Best cheap iPhones 2020

Best cheap iPhones 2020



The retail price for iPhones are rising every year with virtually no end in sight. While that may sound like bad news for those on a budget, it’s still possible to find a cheap iPhone you’ll love without breaking the bank.

On Swappa you can save a ton of money by picking up a gently used iPhone at a fraction of what it would cost brand new. So don’t bother with that second mortgage and hold onto those kidneys — Swappa is helping you keep more of your money where it belongs: your pocket.

While you can easily browse Swappa’s entire catalog of cheap iPhones, with so many models you may not know where to start. In order to help you find the right iPhone for you, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best cheap iPhones under $400.

Best cheap iPhones under $400

Best iPhone camera: iPhone XS

The iPhone XS is the 2018 followup to the iconic iPhone X and was the first to showoff Apple’s latest camera development: Smart HDR. The feature is baked right into the camera software and dramatically increases the dynamic range in brightly lit environments. It’s a huge step up in photo quality from the previous year’s iPhone X.

Without a doubt, the iPhone XS has the best camera you can find on an iPhone under $400, and is trumped only by later, higher priced iterations like the iPhone 11 Pro.

You’ll also find Apple’s now familiar next generation design, with the iPhone XS showcasing that trademark notch and the same 5.8-inch Super Retina HD screen we saw on the iPhone X, but with improved HDR. Despite looking nearly identical to the iPhone X, there’s a lot of under the hood improvements, so check out the bullet points below for more. In any case, if you’re looking for the best camera and display on an iPhone under $400, look no further than the iPhone XS.

Prices for the iPhone XS start at $365 on Swappa and vary depending on the color, carrier, and storage configuration. To grab the best deal on an iPhone XS, check out the widget below to see how much you can save.

Top iPhone XS features

  • 5.8-inch Super Retina HD OLED display
  • 60% greater dynamic range (when viewing HDR content)
  • 15% faster CPU, 50% faster graphics, 50% lower power
  • 120Hz touch sensing for a more responsive screen
  • 4GB RAM
  • True Tone display
  • Faster Face ID
  • True Depth front facing camera with Portrait mode
  • Faster wireless charging
  • Improved IP68 water resistance (2 meters / 30 minutes)
  • 600Mhz band support
  • 512GB storage option

Which iPhone 11 Pro features are missing from the iPhone XS?

  • Matte glass finish
  • Brighter Super Retina XDR display (800 nits)
  • 12MP ultra-wide angle camera
  • Improved IP68 water resistance (4 meters 30 minutes)
  • A13 Bionic chip with third-generation Neural Engine
  • Deep Fusion and Night mode
  • Next-generation Smart HDR
  • 12MP front facing camera (with 4K video recording and slo-mo support)
  • Improved 3,046 mAh battery (18-hour video playback rating)
  • Midnight Green color option
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Best iPhone screen: iPhone X

Released back in 2017, the iPhone X (pronounced “ten”) was the iconic iPhone that launched a thousand copycats. The iPhone X was the first to showoff Apple’s new design language (iPhones with Apple’s now trademark notch and edge-to-edge screens) as well as the first to feature OLED technology. It’s a pretty huge leap in image quality over previous Retina displays, making the iPhone X the best (cheap) iPhone screen you can buy.

With a large 5.8-inch Super Retina display, the iPhone X has vibrant color saturation, deep blacks, wide color support, HDR, and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10. This was also the first year (2017) that Apple introduced their True Tone display feature, which adjusts the white balance of the display to match your environment. This is hands down the best screen you can find on an iPhone under $400, trumped only by later, higher priced iterations (iPhone XS and iPhone 11 Pro).

Prices for the iPhone X start at $375 on Swappa and vary depending on the color, carrier, and storage configuration. To grab the best deal on an iPhone X, hit the button below and start saving.

Top iPhone X features

  • 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED screen
  • Small overall form factor (82.9% screen-to-body ratio)
  • True Tone
  • Face ID
  • TrueDepth front facing camera with Portrait mode
  • Animoji and Memoji
  • Wireless charging
  • IP67 water resistance

Which iPhone XS features are missing from the iPhone X?

  • Portrait mode with depth control
  • 60% greater dynamic range with HDR content
  • 120Hz touch sensing for a more responsive screen
  • Stereo video recording
  • 25% louder speaker
  • Faster Face ID
  • IP68 water resistance
  • Dual SIM (nano + eSIM)
  • Gold color option
  • 15% faster CPU, 50% faster graphics, 50% lower power
  • 4GB RAM
  • Faster wireless charging
  • 600MHz band support
  • Smart HDR (big upgrade in camera quality)
  • 512GB storage option
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Best big iPhone: iPhone XR

The iPhone XR was released in 2018 alongside the iPhone XS and XS Max. Billed as the more affordable model in Apple’s 2018 lineup, the iPhone XR offers a solid mix of hardware and pricing, while keeping with Apple’s new design language (gesture navigation and trademark notch). The iPhone XR’s larger size is sure to appeal to those who find more premium models like the iPhone 11 a bit out of their price range.

Prices for the iPhone XR start at $359 on Swappa, that’s $40 cheaper than what Apple is currently asking for the iPhone SE (2nd generation). Because of its hardware specs, features — and the fact that it’s a full $340 cheaper than the iPhone 11 — the iPhone XR is easily the best cheap iPhone you can buy in the large size category.

Below you can check out some of the more noteworthy features and find out what you’ll be missing from the iPhone 11 if you decide to go with the iPhone XR.

Top iPhone XR features

  • iOS 14
  • 12MP camera with Smart HDR and Portrait mode
  • Wireless charging
  • 6.1-inch True Tone display (with notch)
  • Face ID
  • Haptic touch
  • Long battery life with up to 16 hours video playback
  • IP67 water resistance
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • White, black, blue, yellow, coral, and red color options

Which iPhone 11 features are missing from the iPhone XR?

  • 12MP ultra wide angle lens
  • Night mode
  • IP68 water resistance
  • One extra hour of battery life
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Best small iPhone: iPhone SE (2020)

After months (or even years) of rumors, the iPhone SE (2nd generation) is the latest iPhone in Apple’s affordable “SE” line to launch around the world. The original iPhone SE (1st generation) launched in 2016, so it’s certainly been a long time coming.

The iPhone SE (2nd generation) shares a whole lot in common with the iPhone 8, featuring the same body and mostly the same hardware features like wireless charging. For 2020, the iPhone SE gains a more powerful A13 processor which brings faster data speeds (both cellular and WiFi) and improved photo capture abilities, leveraging Apple’s “Smart HDR” technology for improved dynamic range. And despite only having a single lens, the SE can shoot in Portrait mode for both the rear and selfie cameras, something that was lacking on the iPhone 8.

New retail price for the iPhone SE (2nd generation) is $399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), and $549 (256GB). Despite only released this month, you can already find a handful of the new second gen models already being sold on the Swappa, with iPhone SE prices starting at around $375. When it comes to cheap iPhones, the second generation iPhone SE is hands down the best small iPhone you can buy for the price.

Top iPhone SE (2020) features

  • Least expensive new iPhone ($400)
  • Apple A13 Bionic
  • iOS 14
  • 3GB RAM
  • IP67 water resistance
  • 1,821mAh battery
  • Wireless charging
  • Fast charging (18W)
  • 12MP camera with Smart HDR and Portrait mode
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Stereo speakers
  • 64GB, 128GB, 256GB storage options

Which iPhone 11 features are missing from the iPhone SE (2020)?

  • 12MP dual camera with ultra wide angle lens
  • Night mode
  • 4GB RAM
  • 3,046mAh battery (up to 17 hours video playback)
  • Face ID
  • 6.1-inch display
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Best value iPhone: iPhone 8 and 8 Plus

A mix between old and new, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are the best value iPhones you can get for the price. You get new features like wireless charging, 18W fast charging, and Portrait mode (iPhone 8 Plus-only), but in a traditional iPhone design complete with Touch ID.

With the release of the iPhone SE (2020), the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were officially retired, but you can still find gently used models for a fraction of the price on Swappa. Why pay $400 for a brand new iPhone SE (2nd generation) when you can get an iPhone 8 — with almost all the same hardware and features — for almost half the price?

On Swappa, the price of the iPhone 8 starts at $205, while the larger iPhone 8 Plus starts at $260. So pick up either model and tell your friends your iPhone 8 is actually a second generation iPhone SE (or heck, even an iPhone SE Plus). Your secret is safe with us. 😉

Top iPhone 8 features

  • 12MP camera
  • Wireless charging
  • Fast charging (18W)
  • 2X optical zoom (iPhone 8 Plus)
  • Portrait mode (iPhone 8 Plus)
  • IP67 water resistance
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Stereo speakers
  • 3D Touch
  • 64GB, 256GB storage options
  • iOS 14

Which iPhone SE (2020) features are missing from the iPhone 8?

  • Faster A13 Bionic processor
  • Faster cellular and WiFi data speeds
  • Smart HDR
  • Portrait mode (both rear and selfie cameras)
  • QuickTake video capture
  • Video stabilization for 4K video
  • Stereo video recording
  • Dual SIM (nano + e-SIM)
  • 128GB storage option
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Best cheap iPhone: iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Next up, we have the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The phones were officially retired in 2019, with the release of the iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max — but you can still find them at extremely discounted prices on Swappa.

At the time of writing, the current used price for an iPhone 7 on Swappa starts at $105, while the iPhone 7 Plus is around $160. The best part? Used prices are dropping all of the time, so by the time you come across this post, there’s a good chance that prices will be even lower.

But is the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus worth it in 2020? Although the iPhone 7 is an older iPhone, here’s a quick list of the most noteworthy features and why the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are still the best budget iPhones you can buy today.

Top iPhone 7 / 7 Plus Features

  • Fast performance
  • Water resistance (up to 1m)
  • First and only model to feature “Jet Black” color option
  • Lots of storage space, up to 256GB
  • 12MP rear / 7MP front facing cameras
  • Optical image stabilization (OIS) on both models
  • 2X optical zoom (7 Plus model only)
  • Slo-mo 1080p/120 fps, 720p/240 fps
  • 3D Touch
  • Apple Pay
  • Stereo speakers
  • 2nd Gen Touch ID (super fast)
  • 2 hours more battery life than the iPhone 6S
  • iOS 13 (current), iOS 14 (future update)

Which iPhone 8 features are missing from the iPhone 7?

  • Wireless charging
  • True Tone display
  • Portrait Lighting effects (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono)
  • Fast Charge
  • 4K recording at 60fps
  • Slo-mo 1080p at 240 fps
  • Dolby Vision support and HDR10 content
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Honorable mentions…

iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

If you’re looking to further drive down the cost of admission when it comes to buying an iPhone, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are still good budget options. For the most part, the pair still offer a great iOS experience, just without the bells and whistles of newer models. For many folks, the iPhone 6S/6S Plus will suffice and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Although they’ve long been discontinued by Apple, the last time the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus were available from Apple they retailed at $449 and $549. It goes without saying that you can find used models on Swappa for significantly less, with current prices for the iPhone 6S starting at $74 and the iPhone 6S Plus at $120.

While 16GB models might be tempting, we’d strongly recommend sticking with 32GB minimum to avoid future headaches. You’d be surprised how quickly you can run out of space when downloading apps, shooting video, or snapping Live Photos. Unless you’re getting a crazy good deal on a 16GB, you’ll want to steer clear of this model.

Top iPhone 6S / 6S Plus features

  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Apple Pay
  • Storage options up to 128GB (discontinued 64GB also available on Swappa)
  • 3D Touch
  • 12MP / 5MP cameras
  • 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps
  • 2nd Gen Touch ID
  • iOS 13 (current), iOS 14 (future update)

Which iPhone 7 features are missing from the iPhone 6S?

  • Water resistance
  • Portrait mode
  • 2X optical zoom
  • OIS (iPhone 6S only)
  • Stereo speakers
  • 1080p front facing video (720p max)
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iPhone SE

The iPhone SE is essentially just a smaller, mini version of the iPhone 6S inside the body of an iPhone 5. That means you’ll find the iPhone SE featuring a similar processor, storage sizes, and camera, as the iPhone 6S, only an even more bare bones iPhone hardware.

In many cases, the iPhone SE is the best “minimalist” smartphone for folks looking to take a break from their bigger, newer, and more enticing iPhones. This doesn’t mean the iPhone SE isn’t a fully capable smartphone. It’s running the latest iOS software and has access to all the same apps as its larger siblings (including Maps and navigation). The tiny phone can also shoot 4K video, supports tap-to-pay terminals via Apple Pay and yes, even comes equipped with a coveted 3.5mm headphone jack.

With iPhone SE prices starting at $50 on Swappa, you’ll find the extremely low-price point of the iPhone SE easily its best feature. Whether you’re looking for a spare phone, low cost replacement, or something to help you “unplug” for the weekend, check out the list below for more reasons to buy a cheap iPhone SE on Swappa.

Top iPhone SE features

  • Running latest Apple software (iOS 14)
  • iMessage
  • Live Photos
  • Apple Pay
  • Apple Watch, AirPods compatibility
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 12MP 4K camera
  • Storage sizes up to 128GB (discontinued but available on Swappa)
  • iOS 13 (current), iOS 14 (future update)

Which iPhone 6S features are missing from the iPhone SE?

  • Larger screen w/2.5D glass
  • 3D Touch
  • Optical image stabilization (OIS)
  • 5MP front facing camera (1.2MP max)
  • 2nd gen Touch ID
  • Bigger battery
  • Barometer
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♻️📱💻📷🎮

If you’ve made it this far and still aren’t sure which iPhone is right for you, you can shop all available iPhone models currently available on Swappa by hitting the button below. With so many cheap iPhones to choose from, you’re sure to find something to fit your needs, tastes, or budget. Remember, you can always find the best deals on used iPhones by shopping the Swappa marketplace. So skip the Apple Store or sketchy garage sale apps and start shopping on Swappa today.

SHOP ALL CHEAP IPHONES ON SWAPPA