We test every iPhone in real-world scenarios focusing on its features, design, performance, cameras, battery life, and overall value. We document our findings in a preliminary review that is updated periodically when there are new iOS updates or to compare against new phones from competitors like Samsung, Google, and OnePlus.

iphone-15-thumb-3 iphone-15-thumb-3

Joon Kim/CNET


Photography is the main focus of the iPhone, so we take photos and videos of different subjects in a variety of settings and lighting scenarios. We try out any new camera modes, like the ProRes Log video that debuted with the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.

Battery life

Battery testing is performed in several ways. We evaluate how long your iPhone lasts during a typical day of use, and note how it performs during more focused sessions of video calls, streaming media, and gaming. We also perform a video playback test, which is not always included in the initial review and is added later in the update.

Performance Measurement

We use benchmarking apps to measure performance, along with our own anecdotal experiences with phone use for our review. Of particular note is how the graphics and animation look. Is it smooth? Or are they late or stuttering? We also look at how quickly the phone switches between landscape and portrait orientations and how quickly you can open the camera app and get ready to take a photo.

A man holds an iPhone 14 Pro outdoors on a remote hill A man holds an iPhone 14 Pro outdoors on a remote hill

Emergency SOS may be one of the most important features to be released on any phone this year.

Kevin Haynes/CNET

We perform processor-heavy tasks like editing photos and videos, exporting videos, and playing games. We evaluate whether the latest version of the iPhone includes enough features to make it worth upgrading from older models. Some of these tests are added later in updates after the initial review is published.

Read more: How CNET tests phones

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *