Other Opinion: Most Underrated and Overrated iPhones Ever

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by joeblow7777, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    This is a totally opinion based thread where I hope that others will contribute their thoughts. My question is, what do you think is/are the most highly overrated and underrated iPhones and why. Controversial opinions are welcome. Allow me to being...

    Most Underrated: iPhone 8 Plus

    It's important to remember that being "underrated" doesn't mean that something isn't well liked, because I can't recall anyone ever calling the 8 Plus a bad device. The problem is, of course, that it was over-shadowed by the X which led to many people people dismissing it as being less than a flagship when it launched.

    But the thing is, the 8 Plus is essentially the X in a form that many people preferred. Same processor, same RAM, same storage options, and even some advantages such as somewhat better battery life, and an effectively larger display, even if the X's is "technically" larger while being significantly narrower, and of course, a lower price. In fact, with 3D-touch and a higher resolution display, the 8 Plus offer's some advantages over the Xr, while again costing less.

    All things considered, the 8 Plus never really got to be in the spotlight even though it could compete with the best phones of 2017-2018.

    (Runner-up) Most Underrated: iPhone 5c

    Not a lot to say about this one other than that I don't think that it deserves the hate that it gets. It's typical for Apple to continue selling the previous year's model when a new one launches and no one gives it much thought. That's basically all the 5c was, the 5 in a new colourful plastic body that launched alongside the flagship 5s. I don't even think that the plastic body is particularly cheap looking or feeling. It always seemed to me like a decent device for anyone who didn't need or couldn't afford the latest and greatest model, and a way to feel like they're still getting a new iPhone instead of a year old one.

    Most Overrated: iPhone 6

    Similarly to what I said about the 8 Plus above, "overrated" doesn't mean that I think this is a bad device. In fact, I had a 6 for over 3 years because looking at the 6s and 7 I saw little reason to upgrade. However, I've heard that the 6 is the most popular iPhone to date and frankly, other than the larger screen, it's not that big a leap over the 5s. Not sure what else to say except that while I loved my 6 I'm pretty sure that the only reason why I and many others bought it was because we wanted a larger 5s, and that's all Apple really bothered to do.

    (Runner-up) Most Overrated: iPhone Xs

    Might be a bit controversial as I'm sure there are many happy Xs owners reading this, and again, not saying it's not a great phone, but in my opinion, the X to Xs is the least significant generation-to-generation improvement that Apple has ever released. Every other generation I can name at least once notable new feature that it brought to the table, but the Xs is basically just a faster X with a better camera, which is basically the least that can be done while calling something an upgrade, and it's not like the previous model was slow or had a poor camera. I don't buy a new iPhone every year, usually more like every 2 or 3. But every year the tech enthusiast in me has to fight off a serious wave of temptation... except with the Xs. Nothing about it made me say, "wow, I wish I had that!"
    The only reason why it's just a runner-up for most over-rated and not the winner is because I think that a lot of people feel the same way that I do, so the Xs never felt over-hyped.
  2. badatusernames macrumors regular


    Jul 1, 2018
  3. Shanghaichica macrumors G4


    Apr 8, 2013
    Most overrated: iPhone X
    Underrated: iPhone 6S, iPhone 4
  4. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
    Most underrated: iPhone 6 series

    Apple introduced NFC which allowed for practical applications for Apple Pay, VoLTE, M8 for continuous motion tracking, and OIS on iPhone 6 Plus. Jony Ive indicated he designed rounded edges to make iPhone 6 feel less clunky and more comfortable to hold. That design language continues to be used today.

    Most overrated: iPhone 8 series

    Apple added wireless charging, Portrait mode, and A11. Base storage was increased to 64GB but Apple increased the base price by $50. Without a new design, it felt like a carryover model from iPhone 7.
  5. craigio85 macrumors 6502


    Jun 27, 2017
    United Kingdom
    Difficult to answer because opinions change as time passes and all iPhones are a product of the time they were released.

    Refining to the current range of devices available directly from Apple, I’d say the underrated one is the XS. In my eyes it was a substantial refinement of the X. Hits the sweet spot in terms of size, considerable camera refinement, outstanding performance and powerful enough that it should still hold its own in 2-3 years time. I think underrated because its two siblings (iPhone X and iPhone XS Max) both had physical designs that were new to market, while the XS was just an s-cycle repeat with under-the-hood enhancements.

    Of the current lineup, none are really overrated because they were all good devices. Both the 7 and the 8 were unexciting refreshes of a phone that had already been refreshed once (in the iPhone 6s) but both were refined, solid choices in the phone market as it stood at their release. They do, though, look less and less interesting over time. Now that the incremental improvements of the iPhone 7 over the 6s have faded into insignificance, all it really brought, for most users, was some interesting new black colours.
  6. BrettAP98 macrumors member


    Mar 21, 2019
    Overrated: iPhone 7 Plus

    Underrated: XR
  7. nordique macrumors 65816

    Oct 12, 2014
  8. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Was the 6s really underrated? With it being basically the better version of 6, along with more RAM, seems like that model had a healthy following pretty much right from the beginning and continued to have quite a bit of interest pretty much all along (since it was also the last one that had a headphone jack too).
  9. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    In my opinion, the iPhone 8 definitely is most underrated. I think it’s over looked simply because of the ‘older design’ now that Apple has graduated to X/XS design. And the reason I think the iPhone 8 is fairly underrated, is because it’s highly competitive in terms of what it even offers compared to the latest iPhones with true tone, wireless charging, stereo speakers, 3D Touch, dual camera, etc offer a decent discount right now considering The prices of the latest iPhones in comparison.
  10. nordique macrumors 65816

    Oct 12, 2014
    I think it's completely fair to say the 6s is underrated and the 6 was overrated. Many people out there (most people) don't know what made them different, and have no clue the 6 was essentially a 5s in a new body whereas that 6s they think is the same as an iPhone 6 actually is closer to an iPhone 8 (two generations newer) than it is to a 6.

    It is quite remarkable what apple did with the 6s and I think it really goes overlooked by the general public, and arguably even amongst people who know their phones a bit better

    The 6 also had a ton of sales behind it, whereas the 6s sat in a weird space where even though it sold well it is not a phone people really talk about outside of apple forums or Reddit pages, despite the absolutely impressive device it is.

    Funny how two devices that look the same couldn't be more different
  11. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    I think those basically followed the established new version followed by an S version pattern basically. I think between the two, 6 and 6s, certainly 6 would be overrated and 6s underrated, but overall it seems like it's not that much different than what happened with 5 and 5s before, and 4 and 4s before that, for example.

    Overall it seems like the 7 and 8 are probably more underrated really as they didn't really even change as far as design goes, while most were expecting/hoping for that (especially given the previous/usual pattern).
  12. puma1552, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019

    puma1552 Suspended

    Nov 20, 2008
    I think the 8 is underrated, and the Xs is overrated.

    I like my Xs, but I regret giving up my 8, which was my all time favorite phone.
  13. mnsportsgeek macrumors 68000

    Feb 24, 2009
  14. supergt macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2019
    I respectfully disagree. The Xs is overrated until you use it for one day as your primary phone. Everything else seems obsolete thereafter. At least in my experience.
  15. joeblow7777 thread starter macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    I'm curious, do you say that coming from a X or even an 8 or 8 Plus? Does it really make the previous phones seem obsolete? As I explained on my opening post, I think that the Xs is only a minimal upgrade over its immediate predecessors.
  16. BluefinTuna macrumors member


    Feb 10, 2019
    OP, the only phones from your list that I’ve owned are the Xs that I currently have. Bought it this weekend from the Apple Store with an iPhone 7 trade in discount of $250. I rarely upgrade and have never bought new except for this Xs.

    Prior to my current iPhone, I’ve owned the 4, 5, 5s, 7, and an X that lasted a week. I returned the iPhone X last week to the eBay seller because the screen was flickering. Turned out to be a third party repair. Made me realize that the iPhone 7, that I had also bought on eBay, had a screen issue too. Way too many scammers on there.

    In addition to returning the iPhone X, I decided to get rid of the iPhone 7. Both worked well minus the screen issues but I was never fully satisfied with their fluidity, screens, camera, and data speeds. The iPhone 7 also had poor reception and relatively bad speakers compared to the X.

    For me the most underrated phone is the iPhone Xs. It’s overshadowed by the iPhone Xs Max due to the new form factor. The iPhone X and Xr are cheaper and offer better value. So people either get those or splurge on the Max. The Xs is the middle ground that nobody wants to buy unless they are upgrading from an iPhone 7 or older.

    The iPhone Xs is the perfect size for me. I would have been happy with the X although some aspects of it frustrated me such as the slow Face ID, semi slow data, and the camera being poor in low light. I needed the better camera specifically to take photos of my newborn daughter in the evening when I come home from work.

    Having used the iPhone 7, X, and Xs during the past two weeks I can say that the Xs is a major upgrade for me. If you don’t care about OLED, gigabit LTE, a great low light camera, speedy Face ID, or IP68 then get the Xr. I think that the iPhone X was discontinued because it was too good of a value compared to the new phones.

    Still, I would say that the most overrated phone is the Xr because it’s lacking too much for the asking price. Nobody mentions that it didn’t get gigabit LTE. I’m sure many more corners were cut with it. Reminds me of the iPhone 5C except that this time it got current internals. The 5C got the internals of the 5 and couldn’t compete with the 5s. That was fixed with the SE but then backtracked somewhat with the Xr.
  17. supergt macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2019
    I went from a 6s to an 8 prior to my current Xs and I loved both those phones. In fact I kept the 8 as a back up. While I can see that it would be considered less of a significant upgrade over the X, it’s just so much more pleasurable to use than the 8 for me. The amazing screen, Face ID, and the blazing speed are my favorite things. And the little things like the additional weight make it feel more premium to me in hand. I’ll add that I was a skeptic of the X series until I actually bought the phone and used it. After that it does feel like the older series 6/7/8 are just that...old.
  18. joeblow7777 thread starter macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    The feel old based on the performance and features or the design?
  19. NJHitmen macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2010
    I get your overarching argument, but for clarity: the XR has the same FaceID array and exactly the same wide-angle camera as the XS (both with Smart HDR, enabled by the A12). It lacks the telephoto lens. But if your concern is low-light photography, the XR is just as good as the XS.

    Personally, I think the XR is criminally underrated, largely thanks to the display. The XR's spec sheet - listing LCD and relatively low pixel density - do it no favors. But to my eyes, it looks great, in spite of the tech & numbers. It does most of the same things just as well as the XS. And it has one pretty significant advantage over its XS brethren (which, interestingly, is a direct result of its LCD screen tech): spectacular battery life. I nearly bought an XR on the strength of that advantage alone. Though, admittedly, battery life is probably more important to me than it is to the average customer.

    I'd go so far as to say that the XS Max (the phone I ended up with) is a little overrated - simply because of the existence of the XR. Don't get me wrong - I like my Max. Sure, it's better than the XR in a handful of ways. But I feel like it isn't so clearly superior such that the eye-watering price tag is justified. ymmv, of course. I can only speak for my own priorities/preferences in a phone. Different strokes for different folks and all that.
  20. ipponrg macrumors 65816

    Oct 15, 2008
    Most overrated: iPhone X. Face ID is a hit/miss experience for me. I’m told you’re holding it wrong or you need to scan again. Sorry, but it doesn’t work when it’s lying flat on a table or at a not perpendicular to your face. The AR features are under utilized and kinda gimmicky. On the plus the X screen size is decent. I wish it was a tad smaller. The notch isn’t that bad, but I still think it’s a cop out design.

    Most underrated: iPhone 6S. I wouldn’t be on my iPhone X had I not been a victim of throttle gate before Apple got caught. I was wondering why my phone was slowed down immensely with the iOS update shortly before the X release. I enjoyed everything about this phone except the performance hit with each iOS update that passively motivated you to upgrade.
  21. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    I think one of the phones that also was easily overlooked because it didn’t include a 3.5 Jack for the first year, was the iPhone 7. It was fairly comparable to the 6S, but what made it one of the ‘better’ (<—Yes, that’s a subjective word) phones in my opinion, was the stereo speakers, dual camera and haptic home button. And for me, I actually really liked the haptic home button much better than a ‘mechanical push style button’, simply it can invoke actions quicker on the iPhone.
  22. Dirtydutch macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2015
    I agree completely, the 7 Plus also received 3gb of RAM...It also was the first in a while to come in 2 fantastic true Black variants, I felt when I got it on launch day it was a generation ahead actually...I have used my 7 Plus occasionally recently and it is still so fast, hardly see a huge performance difference at all in real world use comparable to my XS Max...
  23. Martyimac macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2009
    S. AZ.
    For me only, the Xs is overrated. I got sucked in by the release event and ordered one knowing I wasn't going to use the face id. Well, I was right. I should have stayed with my 8 and may very well end up going back to it.
    Keep in mind that I don't live on my phone. My primary uses are making phone calls - 95% and weather, stocks, mail, Saveway app, and messaging take up the other 5%.
    It has been a disappointing experience. IMHO.
  24. Dkka1, Apr 4, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019

    Dkka1 macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2019
    An LCD screen feels ancient nowadays. Ive himself said this several YEARS ago. It's just embarrassing at 859€ base price in Europe, costs cutting at its worst.

    Apple is relying on its fan base and previous customers, but their hardware is terrible for the money currently. And with Intel modems and others, it will get even worse.

    As of today, the Samsung S10 costs half the price of the iPhone Xs here (just over 600€).
  25. supergt macrumors member

    Feb 22, 2019
    A little bit of both but it's honestly the speed that blows me away. Everything happens almost instantaneously on the Xs and the 8 is no slouch in that department.

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