September 28, 2022
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Apple’s iPhone 14 Isn’t Flashy, but It’ll Hit the Spot

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This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular product.

The iPhone 14 is each an enchancment on final yr’s iPhone 13 and one of the crucial minimal year-over-year upgrades in Apple’s historical past. On the surface, the 14 inherits the iPhone 13’s tried and true flat-sided aluminum design. On the within, Apple basically repackaged the iPhone 13 Professional, sans the telephoto digital camera and high-refresh-rate display screen. The result’s pretty and the iPhone 14 is an efficient improve for most individuals.

The iPhone 14 begins at $799 (together with a $30 connectivity low cost if you happen to activate it with AT&T, Dash, T-Cell or Verizon), the identical value because the iPhone 12 and 13 after they first went on sale. When you’re hoping for extra important enhancements, there’s the costlier iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, each of that are brimming with updates. 

iPhone 14 off-contract value breakdown

Storage US value UK value AU value
128GB $829 £849 AU$1,399
256GB $929 £959 AU$1,579
512GB $1,129 £1,179 AU$1,899

As Individuals grapple with inflation, some firms have saved prices the identical by providing rather less. The iPhone 14 looks like a approach for Apple to launch a brand new cellphone whereas sustaining final yr’s value. Is that this a case of “shrinkflation“? Possibly, however not essentially.

The iPhone 14 jogs my memory of the iPhone 5C, which got here out in 2013 alongside the iPhone 5S. The 5C was principally an iPhone 5 inside a brand new plastic physique that was meant to attraction to a extra budget-minded viewers. Whereas there are some similarities, the 14 appears to be aimed toward balancing value and including new options.

back of the Apple iPhone 14 standing on a purple surface with a red background

Whereas the iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max have the flashiest new options, it is simple to miss the enhancements Apple made to the iPhone 14.


James Martin/CNET

Apple added quite a few security instruments to the 14 together with Crash Detection and satellite tv for pc connectivity for sending emergency messages whenever you’re out of vary of a cell tower. The iPhone 14 additionally obtained an inside redesign that helps dissipate warmth higher and permits its glass again to be repaired extra simply and for much less cash.

However these are options most individuals will hopefully by no means use they usually’re largely invisible. Even the iPhone’s transfer away from bodily SIM playing cards to eSIM on US fashions is one thing most individuals will solely cope with as soon as when transferring their quantity.

Like

  • Most important digital camera improve is nice
  • Autofocus makes selfies look higher
  • Improved repairability is welcomed
  • Motion mode is easy

Do not Like

  • Ultrawide photographs are a step down in picture high quality
  • 12 months-over-year upgrades are minimal
  • Movies recorded in low mild look simply OK

The obvious improve is the brand new bigger model of the iPhone 14, referred to as the iPhone 14 Plus. With the identical sized 6.7-inch display screen because the 14 Professional Max, the iPhone 14 Plus ought to attraction to individuals who need a big cellphone however do not wish to spend $1,099. Nonetheless, the 14 Plus will not be out till Oct. 7.

The iPhone 14 goes on sale Friday, Sept. 16, and is presently available for preorder.

The iPhone 14 is snug and acquainted

Familiarity is an underrated high quality, and the iPhone 14 is full of it. The 6.1-inch OLED display screen has the identical Ceramic Defend, display screen notch and matte-finished aluminum because the iPhone 13. And it weighs 17% lower than the iPhone 14 Professional, regardless of being practically an identical in measurement. That lighter weight makes the 14 a pleasure to carry and use with or with out a case.

The iPhone 14 is rated IP68 for water- and dust-resistance, which means it could possibly survive being submerged underneath 6 meters of water (about 20 toes). So it should not have any bother having a can of Yerba Mate spilled on it.

One factor that is lacking from the 14 is a SIM card tray. Within the US, the iPhone 14 will solely work with an eSIM. Apple has partnered with US carriers to make sure the method of shifting the quantity out of your outdated cellphone to an iPhone 14 is so simple as placing your outdated iPhone subsequent to your new one and following a couple of prompts. Smaller carriers like Mint Mobile and US Mobile additionally provide eSIMs.

My private cellphone is on Google Fi, which helps eSIMs. However once I tried to switch my quantity to a evaluate unit, I needed to contact the service for help. (Seems my SIM card was very, very outdated.)

The iPhone 14 is accessible in 5 colours: Product Purple, midnight, starlight, purple and blue, which is the colour of the evaluate unit Apple lent me.

iPhone 14 will get upgraded cameras

The iPhone 14 has three cameras: a fundamental extensive angle and ultrawide cameras on the again, and a brand new up to date TrueDepth digital camera system on the entrance. The iPhone 14’s digital camera is just like the principle digital camera on the iPhone 13 Professional, which is among the the explanation why I referred to as it an iPhone 13 Professional with out the telephoto digital camera.

In comparison with the iPhone 13, the 14’s fundamental digital camera has a bigger sensor and a brand new lens with a sooner f1.5 aperture. All that {hardware} mixed with Apple’s new processing pipeline, referred to as Photonic Engine, helps enhance picture high quality, particularly whenever you take photographs in darker environments.

Apple iPhone 14

The iPhone 14 takes nice photographs because of a bigger picture sensor and a brand new approach Apple processes photographs.


James Martin/CNET

And in my checks, the iPhone 14 takes nice photographs and movies. I used to be in a position to get a good snap, even when the lighting wasn’t good. Try the photograph beneath of a canine that I took within the not-so-bright inside of a espresso store. Discover how properly the 14 captures the feel and element within the canine’s fur. It additionally did a great job of freezing the motion despite the fact that the canine was shifting his head as I used to be taking the photograph. 

a dog on a leash

The bigger sensor and new processing helped enhance the brightness with out boosting picture noise.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Though the 14’s ultrawide digital camera is considered one of my favourite cameras, it is nonetheless a step down from the principle digital camera when it comes to general picture high quality and efficiency. And the ultrawide digital camera cannot double as a Macro digital camera prefer it does on the iPhone 14 Professional. However I do admire how the intense area of view offers photographs and movies a dramatic look.

a black cat looking at her toy

It is powerful to seize a photograph of Maisie the cat. The ultrawide digital camera did an OK job, but it surely’s not nice.


Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone 14’s Night time mode is improved, however nonetheless suffers from mild supply reflections. Check out the beneath photograph of an overpass. Discover how the shop’s signal is mirrored within the night time sky.

An overpass at night

Discover the reflection of the shop’s signal within the sky.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Listed below are another photographs I took with the iPhone 14.

Lot of people relaxing on the grass

This was taken on a foggy summer time day at Dolores Park in San Francisco.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Buildings at dusk

Sundown over downtown San Francisco captured with the principle digital camera.


Patrick Holland/CNET

the front of a coffee shop

I took this photograph with the ultrawide digital camera within the entrance of a espresso store. 


Patrick Holland/CNET

A hot chocolate, cookie and marshmallow

A scorching chocolate from Dandelion Chocolate. Take a look at that marshmallow.


Patrick Holland/CNET

A pedestrian bridge with triangle supports

I just like the distinction of the triangle form and colours of the bridge towards the cloudy sky.


Patrick Holland/CNET

A woman and a man taking a selfie

The TrueDepth digital camera obtained a brand new sooner f1.9 lens and now has autofocus which helps with group selfies.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Cinematic mode obtained an improve and it could possibly now document 4K video at 24 fps. There’s additionally a brand new software for video picture stability referred to as Motion mode. Mainly, it applies GoPro-like ranges of picture stabilization whenever you’re recording a video. The Galaxy S22 has an analogous function referred to as Tremendous Regular. When you’re taking pictures 4K video on the iPhone and use Motion mode, the decision drops to 2.8K. However the outcomes are incredible.

Video high quality is great general in vivid mild, however underneath dimmer lighting the small print look muddy. Check out my iPhone 14 review video to see a bunch of clips I shot utilizing the cellphone.

The iPhone 14 has an A15 Bionic chip

The iPhone 14 has Apple’s A15 Bionic chip, which is the opposite cause it looks like a repackaged 13 Professional. Final yr, there have been two variations of this chip: One for the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, and one other with an additional GPU core for the iPhone 13 Professional and 13 Professional Max. The 14 has the one with the additional GPU core.

When it comes to efficiency, the iPhone 14 is speedy. Animations look easy. Gaming is enjoyable and the iPhone 14 dealt with every thing I threw at it, from Name of Obligation Cell and Asphalt 8: Airbourne Plus to Warped Kart Racers and Lego Brawls.

Someone playing a video game on the iPhone

Whereas the A15 Bionic was launched with the iPhone 13 collection, it is nonetheless one of the crucial highly effective processors in any cellphone offered at present.


Celso Bulgatti/CNET

In our benchmark checks, the iPhone 14 carried out on par with final yr’s iPhone 13 however continues to be sooner and extra highly effective than any Android cellphone presently offered. Such excessive efficiency is not essentially one thing you will use at present, but it surely’ll future-proof the cellphone for years. Try the outcomes of our benchmark checks beneath.

GEEKBENCH V.5.0 SINGLE-CORE

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

GEEKBENCH V.5.0 MULTICORE

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

3DMARK WILDLIFE EXTREME

Be aware:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

When it comes to battery, the iPhone 14 lasts a tad longer than the iPhone 13. I can simply get by means of a full day with my screen-on time averaging 5 hours a day, which is on common with different telephones we have examined. The rise in battery life is available in half from the redesigned inside in addition to iOS 16, which in my time with the cellphone was peppy, easy and lacked any bugs. iOS 16 is also available as a free update for the iPhone 8 and later. 

The iPhone 14 can cost rapidly. It is nowhere close to the quick charging speeds on the OnePlus 10 Professional, however the 14’s battery went from 18% to 81% in 45 minutes. I charged it utilizing the included Lightning-to-USB-C cable and a third-party 20-watt wall adapter that I purchased since Apple would not ship one within the field.

An iPhone 14 next to an iPhone 13 Pro

On the left is the iPhone 14 and on the correct is the iPhone 13 Professional.


Celso Bulgatti/CNET

The iPhone 14 vs. the iPhone 13, 12, 11

So, must you improve? When you just like the iPhone 12 and 13, you will be proper at residence on the iPhone 14, however there is no compelling cause to improve from both of these telephones. The iPhone 14 is a superb improve if you happen to’re utilizing an 11 or older iPhone because it gives longer battery life, sooner efficiency, a a lot better display screen, elevated sturdiness and cameras in addition to security options like Crash Detection and Emergency SOS through Satellite tv for pc.

When you’re attempting to resolve between getting an iPhone 14 or the iPhone 13, I would advise you to save cash and go for the just lately discounted $699 iPhone 13 or the smaller $599 13 Mini. However if you need these new security options, it is price contemplating the iPhone 14.

I loved my time with the iPhone 14. Customary upgrades like those discovered within the iPhone 14 are geared at individuals who simply desire a new iPhone and are upgrading from fashions which can be years outdated. Whereas the iPhone Professionals have the flashiest new options, it is simple to miss the enhancements Apple made to the iPhone 14. However the acquainted iPhone 14 is like consolation meals and will certainly hit the spot for most individuals. 

iPhone 14 specs vs. iPhone 14 Plus, 14 Professional, 14 Professional Max

iPhone 14 iPhone 14 Plus iPhone 14 Professional iPhone 14 Professional Max
Show measurement, decision 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532×1,170 pixels 6.7-inch OLED; 2,778×1,284 pixels 6.1-inch Tremendous Retina XDR, OLED show, 2,556×1,179 pixels 6.7-inch Tremendous Retina XDR, OLED show, 2,796×1,290 pixels
Pixel density 460 ppi 458 ppi 460 ppi 460 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.78 x 2.82 x 0.31 in. 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.31 in. 5.81 x 2.81 x 0.31 in. 6.33 x 3.05 x 0.31 in.
Dimensions (Millimeters) 147 x 72 x 7.8mm 161 x 78 x 7.8mm 147.5 x 71.5 x 7.85mm 160.7 x 77.6 x 7.85mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.07 oz.; 172g 7.16 oz.; 203g 7.27 oz.; 206g 8.47 oz.; 240g
Cell software program iOS 16 iOS 16 iOS 16 iOS 16
Rear cameras 12MP (extensive), 12MP (ultrawide) 12MP (extensive), 12MP (ultrawide) 48MP (extensive), 12MP (ultrawide), 12MP (telephoto) 48MP (extensive), 12MP (ultrawide), 12MP (telephoto)
Entrance-facing digital camera 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Video seize HDR video recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient as much as 4K at 60 fps HDR video recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient as much as 4K at 60 fps HDR video recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient as much as 4K at 60 fps HDR video recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient as much as 4K at 60 fps
Processor Apple A15 Bionic Apple A15 Bionic Apple A16 Bionic Apple A16 Bionic
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
RAM Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed Undisclosed
Expandable storage No No No No
Battery Undisclosed; Apple lists 20 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 26 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 29 hours of video playback Undisclosed; Apple lists 29 hours of video playback
Fingerprint sensor No (Face ID) No (Face ID) No (Face ID) No (Face ID)
Connector Lightning Lightning Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No No No
Particular options 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (e-SIM) 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (e-SIM) Dynamic Island; At all times-On show; 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (e-SIM) Dynamic Island; At all times-On show; 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (e-SIM)
Worth off-contract (USD) $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB), $1,099 (512GB) $899 (128GB), $999 (256GB), $1,199 (512GB) $999 (128GB), $1,099 (256GB), $1,299 (512GB), $1,499 (1TB) $1,099 (128GB), $1,199 (256GB), $1,399 (512GB), $1,599 (1TB)
Worth (GBP) £849 (128GB) £949 (128GB) £1,099 (128GB) £1,199 (128GB)
Worth (AUD) AU$1,399 (128GB) AU$1,579 (128GB) AU$1,749 (128GB) AU$1,899 (128GB)
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