The 128 GB iPhone 7 in matte black is the best iPhone you can buy today. It packs almost all the latest features Apple has to offer into a sleek, powerful package that still fits easily in your pocket or the palm of your hand.

Ritchie Ritchie Rene Ritchie has been covering Apple and the personal technology industry for almost a decade. Editorial director for Mobile Nations, analyst for iMore, video and podcast host, you can follow him on Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter @reneritchie.

Best overall

Matte black 128 GB iPhone 7

iPhone 7

See at Apple

iPhone 7 packs almost all the latest features Apple has to offer into a sleek, powerful package that still fits easily in your pocket or the palm of your hand. That includes a crystal-clear 326ppi display that now supports DCI-P3 wide gamut color, and optically stabilized 12-megapixel, 4K camera with terrific low-light capabilities, a fast Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor, 3D Touch pressure-sensitive screen and force touch Home button, Apple Pay mobile wallet, "Hey Siri!" voice activation, and IP67 water resistance.

Getting it in matte black means minimal distractions when the screen is lit up, and though it's not as glossy as the jet black version, it's also more resistant to smudges and scuffs.

Bottom line: If you want the very latest iPhone, in one of the all-new colors, but you still want it to be a phone, you want the matte black iPhone 7.

One more thing: Also comes in silver, gold, rose gold and jet black.

One other thing: If you think you might ever want to run your iPhone 7 on Verizon in the U.S.; the best iPhone 7 for you is the Verizon iPhone 7, since standard models only work on GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile.

Why the 128GB matte black iPhone 7 is the best

Striking the perfect balance between size, lightness, and power.

Once upon a time Apple only offered one new iPhone a year. Right now the company has three — the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and 6-month old iPhone SE. That makes choosing the best — and choosing your next iPhone — more complicated than ever. So why iPhone 7? One word: Balance.

iPhone 7 isn't as big as iPhone 7 Plus but it's also not as bulky or expensive. It's also not as small as the iPhone SE, but it has even more features, like 3D Touch, a better camera, a faster processor, better radios, and the list goes on.

What you get is a 4.7-inch Retina HD display. It's LCD but has in-plane switching and dual-domain pixels, which provide for outstanding color fidelity at maximum viewing angles. The LED backlight is also used to enable the pressure-sensitive Touch ID feature, which lets you pop up shortcuts and preview messages, photos, and more. New with iPhone 7 is support for the cinematic DCI-P3 color space, which means brighter, more life-like colors, especially magentas, reds, and oranges.

On the back is a new 12-megapixel camera with an all-new sensor, 6-element lens, ƒ/1.8 aperture, and optical image stabilization. On the front is a new 7-megapixel camera with deep trench isolation to prevent color bleeding. Both also capture in DCI-P3 wide gamut color and, with App Store apps, in RAW as well.

Available in 32, 128, and 256GB models, the 128GB will be the sweet spot for most people. That'll let you store a good amount of apps, music, TV shows, movies, photos, and videos without having to juggle what you keep on and what you have to take off.

If all you need is a thin-client for your business apps or portals, or a screen and speakers for music and video streaming, you might be able to get away with 32 GB. If you want to store your media, or not have to worry about how many photos or how much video you take, you'll need 256 GB.

You can get iPhone 7 in silver, gold, or rose gold, but the new colors this year are (matte) black and jet black. Jet black looks fantastic and isn't as slippery as any other color, but is also prone to scuffing. If you like the look of used objects, that's great. If not, matte black will keep it's looks longer and better and be more pleasing for most people in the long run.

You can also get AppleCare+, which means you're only ever a phone call or Apple Store visit away from any fix you may ever need.

Best for productivity

128GB matte black iPhone 7 Plus

iPhone 7 Plus

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iPhone 7 Plus is just what the name implies: iPhone 7 'plus' a few extra features. That includes a larger, denser 5.5-inch display at 401 pixels per inch. Thanks to the all those pixels, you can see more text, if that's what you want, or bigger text, if that's what you need. You can also turn the iPhone 7 Plus sideways to get an iPad-style double-column interface for even greater productivity.

Also, while the camera is still 12 megapixels and 4K, it includes two lenses: a wide-angle ƒ/1.8 and a telephoto ƒ/2.8 aperture. Apple's software fuses them together to give you 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom. Coming in October, it'll also let you simulate the high depth-of-field effect you get with SLR cameras and fast lenses, which will allow for even better looking portraits and still life photos.

Bottom-line: If you want a phone that's also a tiny tablet-style pocket computer, and has the absolute best camera Apple currently offers, you want the iPhone 7 Plus.

One more thing: With the bigger size also comes a bigger battery, which means iPhone 7 Plus will easily last all day, and often more than day. (That is, unless you're Snapchat-ing or playing Pokémon Go 24/7...)

Best for pocketability

64 GB iPhone SE

iPhone SE

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iPhone SE looks like an iPhone 5 but its got the same power as iPhone 6s and the same 12 megapixel, 4K camera. All wrapped up in a smaller 4-inch chassis that's easier to use one-handed and fits into even smaller pockets, bag, and hands. There's no 3D Touch and the LTE radio isn't quite as fast, but you can still take Live Photos, use Touch ID and Apple Pay, download all the same iTunes and iBooks content, and access all the same App Store apps and games.

Bottom-line: If you want a smaller, less expensive phone, that still has plenty of power and a really good camera, you want iPhone SE.

One more thing: Don't think of it as smaller, think of it as super light, like a race car with all the power but without all the weight to slow it down. It flies.

Conclusion

If you really love the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus but don't care about the new cameras or water resistance, you can get last year's iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus and save a hundred bucks. Otherwise, iPhone 7 is the best iPhone available today.

Best overall

Matte black 128 GB iPhone 7

iPhone 7

See at Apple

iPhone 7 packs almost all the latest features Apple has to offer into a sleek, powerful package that still fits easily in your pocket or the palm of your hand. That includes a crystal-clear 326ppi display that now supports DCI-P3 wide gamut color, and optically stabilized 12-megapixel camera with the ability to capture animated "Live Photos" and 4K video, a fast Touch ID fingerprint identity sensor, 3D Touch pressure-sensitive screen and force touch Home button, Apple Pay mobile wallet, "Hey Siri!" voice activation, and IP67 water resistance.

Getting it in matte black means minimal distractions when the screen is lit up, and though it's slightly more slippery than the jet black option, it's also more resistant to scuffing.

Bottom line: If you want the very latest iPhone, in one of the new colors, but you still want it to be a phone, you want the matte black iPhone 7.

One more thing: Also comes in silver, gold, rose gold and jet black.

One other thing: If you think you might ever want to run your iPhone 7 on Verizon in the U.S.; the best iPhone 7 for you is the Verizon iPhone 7, since standard models only work on GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile.