September 28, 2022
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iPhone 14 Review: A Good Upgrade for Most People

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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 minimal year-over-year upgrades in Apple’s historical past. On the skin, the 14 inherits the iPhone 13’s tried and true flat-sided aluminum design. On the within, Apple basically repackaged the iPhone 13 Pro, sans the telephoto digital camera and high-refresh-rate display. 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 in the event you activate it with AT&T, Dash, T-Cellular or Verizon), the identical value because the iPhone 12 and 13 once they first went on sale. In the event you’re hoping for extra vital enhancements, there’s the dearer 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 corporations have saved prices the identical by providing rather less. The iPhone 14 looks like a manner for Apple to launch a brand new cellphone whereas sustaining final yr’s value. Is that this a case of “shrinkflation“? Perhaps, 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 geared 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 easy 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 while you’re out of vary of a cell tower. The iPhone 14 additionally received an inner 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 take care of as soon as when transferring their quantity.

Like

  • Principal 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
  • Yr-over-year upgrades are minimal
  • Movies recorded in low gentle look simply OK

The obvious improve is the brand new bigger model of the iPhone 14, known as the iPhone 14 Plus. With the identical sized 6.7-inch display because the 14 Professional Max, the iPhone 14 Plus ought to attraction to individuals who need a big cellphone however do not need 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 at the moment available for preorder.

The iPhone 14 is comfy and acquainted

Familiarity is an underrated high quality, and the iPhone 14 is stuffed with it. The 6.1-inch OLED display has the identical Ceramic Defend, display notch and matte-finished aluminum because the iPhone 13. And it weighs 17% lower than the iPhone 14 Professional, regardless of being almost similar in dimension. That lighter weight makes the 14 a pleasure to carry and use with or with no case.

The iPhone 14 is rated IP68 for water- and dust-resistance, that means it may possibly survive being submerged underneath 6 meters of water (about 20 ft). So it shouldn’t 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 transferring the quantity out of your previous cellphone to an iPhone 14 is so simple as placing your previous 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 assessment unit, I needed to contact the service for help. (Seems my SIM card was very, very previous.)

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

iPhone 14 will get upgraded cameras

The iPhone 14 has three cameras: a principal vast 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 without doubt one of the the explanation why I known as it an iPhone 13 Professional with out the telephoto digital camera.

In comparison with the iPhone 13, the 14’s principal 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, known as Photonic Engine, helps enhance picture high quality, particularly while 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 manner Apple processes photographs.


James Martin/CNET

And in my exams, 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. Take a look at the picture under 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 superb job of freezing the motion despite the fact that the canine was transferring his head as I used to be taking the picture. 

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 certainly one of my favourite cameras, it is nonetheless a step down from the principle digital camera by way of total 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 robust to seize a photograph of Maisie the cat. The ultrawide digital camera did an OK job, nevertheless it’s not nice.


Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone 14’s Evening mode is improved, however nonetheless suffers from gentle supply reflections. Check out the under picture of an overpass. Discover how the shop’s signal is mirrored within the evening 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 picture with the ultrawide digital camera within the entrance of a espresso store. 


Patrick Holland/CNET

A hot chocolate, cookie and marshmallow

A sizzling chocolate from Dandelion Chocolate. Have 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 received a brand new sooner f1.9 lens and now has autofocus which helps with group selfies.


Patrick Holland/CNET

Cinematic mode received an improve and it may possibly now document 4K video at 24 fps. There’s additionally a brand new device for video picture stability known as Motion mode. Principally, it applies GoPro-like ranges of picture stabilization while you’re recording a video. The Galaxy S22 has an identical characteristic known as Tremendous Regular. In the event 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 total in vibrant gentle, 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.

By way of efficiency, the iPhone 14 is speedy. Animations look easy. Gaming is enjoyable and the iPhone 14 dealt with every little thing I threw at it, from Name of Responsibility Cellular 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 sequence, it is nonetheless one of the highly effective processors in any cellphone offered at the moment.


Celso Bulgatti/CNET

In our benchmark exams, the iPhone 14 carried out on par with final yr’s iPhone 13 however remains to be sooner and extra highly effective than any Android cellphone at the moment offered. Such excessive efficiency is not essentially one thing you may use at the moment, nevertheless it’ll future-proof the cellphone for years. Take a look at the outcomes of our benchmark exams under.

GEEKBENCH V.5.0 SINGLE-CORE

Observe:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

GEEKBENCH V.5.0 MULTICORE

Observe:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

3DMARK WILDLIFE EXTREME

Observe:

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

By way of battery, the iPhone 14 lasts a tad longer than the iPhone 13. I can simply get by way 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 shortly. 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 does 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 proper is the iPhone 13 Professional.


Celso Bulgatti/CNET

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

So, must you improve? In the event you just like the iPhone 12 and 13, you may be proper at residence on the iPhone 14, however there isn’t any compelling cause to improve from both of these telephones. The iPhone 14 is a superb improve in the event you’re utilizing an 11 or older iPhone because it offers longer battery life, sooner efficiency, a a lot better display, elevated sturdiness and cameras in addition to security options like Crash Detection and Emergency SOS through Satellite tv for pc.

In the event you’re making an attempt to resolve between getting an iPhone 14 or the iPhone 13, I might advise you to economize and go for the lately discounted $699 iPhone 13 or the smaller $599 13 Mini. However if you’d like these new security options, it is price contemplating the iPhone 14.

I loved my time with the iPhone 14. Commonplace 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 previous. Whereas the iPhone Professionals have the flashiest new options, it is easy 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 dimension, 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
Cellular software program iOS 16 iOS 16 iOS 16 iOS 16
Rear cameras 12MP (vast), 12MP (ultrawide) 12MP (vast), 12MP (ultrawide) 48MP (vast), 12MP (ultrawide), 12MP (telephoto) 48MP (vast), 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; All the time-On show; 5G enabled; MagSafe; waterproof (IP68); wi-fi charging; dual-SIM capabilities (e-SIM) Dynamic Island; All the time-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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