Ready for a new iPhone? Read this before you buy one!

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In this Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, file photo, a customer sets up his new iPhone 7 Plus, right, as he switches from the iPhone 6 at a Chicago Apple Store. (Source: AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File) In this Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, file photo, a customer sets up his new iPhone 7 Plus, right, as he switches from the iPhone 6 at a Chicago Apple Store. (Source: AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)
Apple revealed the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. (Source: Apple) Apple revealed the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. (Source: Apple)
(DATA DOCTORS) -

Q: I’m ready to upgrade my iPhone, but I can’t decide which way to go. Any tips?

A: There has never been a better time to be in the market for an iPhone as the current selection includes eight different models -- the entry-level iPhone SE, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus and their top-of-the-line X -- with prices that range from $349 to $1,149.

Start with screen size
If you haven’t already done so, make sure you hold each of the phones in your hand and slide it into your pocket or pocketbook to determine the best fit from a form factor standpoint.

Budget-minded consumers who don’t care about larger screens can opt for the 4-inch SE -- the size of the original iPhone -- for the new reduced pricing of $349 - $449 depending upon your storage needs (32GB – 128GB).

If you want a slightly larger screen (4.7 inches), then your choices are the iPhone 6s, 7 and 8.

If you want a phone with the largest screen size, then your choices are the 6s Plus, 7 Plus, 8 Plus and X.

Cameras
iPhones have long been heralded for their camera technology, and unless you’re really into photography or super hi-res video, every model has a 12MP camera that can shoot 4K video at 30 frames per second (fps).

If you’re a big selfie or Facetime fan, you’ll want to stick to the iPhone 6 or better as the front-facing camera on the SE isn’t great.

Water and dust ratings
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, especially near water, and you want something that can take a bit more abuse, you’ll want to go for an iPhone 7 or higher as they all have superior water and dust resistance ratings.

Despite the ratings for having your phone in 1 to 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes, you really shouldn’t plan on swimming with them.  Exposing your expensive phone to salt and chlorine water isn’t something I’d recommend without something like a LifeProof case.

Newest features
If things like wireless charging, fast charging, 60-fps 4K video and the most powerful processors available are important to you, then you’ll probably be able to justify buying the iPhone 8, 8 Plus or X.

[REVIEW: iPhone 8 cuts the cord and prepares for the future]

[RELATED: The iPhone X will have wireless charging]

Apple’s comparison site is an easy way to compare up to three different models at a time to help you weed through the specs.

Purchasing options
There are a plethora of options for buying new, used or refurbished iPhones, starting with Apple itself.

Apple offers an annual iPhone Upgrade Program, which is best for those who have to have the latest model every year. You also can look into their trade-in program for your older iPhones or shop for deals from Apple’s refurbished inventory.

[RELATED: 3 awesome new iOS 11 features you can use on your old iPhone]

If your current phone is tied to a specific cellular provider, check to see what their current promotions are based on your eligibility.

If you don’t mind a used iPhone there are a number of reputable resources besides a cellular provider that I’ve used to pay cash for a used phone, including Glyde, Swappa and Gazelle.

[RELATED: Here are some alternatives to the pricey new iPhone X]

[MORE: Data Doctors]


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