iPhone 14 review: A minor upgrade with some cool surprises

iPhone 14 evaluate: A minor improve with some cool surprises

Two-minute evaluate

It’s slightly laborious to get enthusiastic about an iPhone that options final 12 months’s design, final 12 months’s display, and final 12 months’s CPU, however taken by itself – out of the substantial shadow of the brand new iPhone 14 Professional – Apple’s new iPhone 14 seems to be like a reasonably darn good smartphone.

Regardless that the iPhone 14 seems to be loads just like the iPhone 13, there are quite a few upgrades underneath the hood that promise to ship an improved expertise total.

The telephone’s two rear cameras – a 12MP vast and 12MP ultra-wide – have new sensors, and the 12MP TrueDepth digital camera gobbles up extra mild and may now autofocus. All of the lenses are backed by Apple’s new Photonic Engine (“photonic” refers back to the administration of photons, or mild particles – learn extra about it in our iPhone 14 digital camera explainer). In a sensible sense, it’s a reordering of Apple’s imaging pipeline, which now applies the Deep Fusion neural engine picture processing to uncompressed photographs (relatively than compressed ones, because it did beforehand).

What you gained’t discover here’s a 48MP sensor with quad-pixel binning or any form of zoom. For these, it’s essential improve to the iPhone 14 Professional or iPhone 14 Professional Max.

There’s nonetheless the wonderful Tremendous Retina XDR OLED display, however for those who’re not a fan of that notch it’s possible you’ll once more wish to go for the 14 Professional or Professional Max, that are rocking Apple’s nifty new Dynamic Island, together with an adaptive refresh fee and always-on show. 

Apple additionally made the choice to maintain the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus on final 12 months’s Apple silicon. Granted, it’s not the identical A15 Bionic that ran final 12 months’s iPhone 13 and 13 mini. As a substitute of a four-core GPU, this A15 Bionic has a five-core GPU. It’s basically the identical chip that was in final 12 months’s iPhone 13 Professional and 13 Professional Max, and will promise improved efficiency over the iPhone 13’s chip.

For all that hasn’t modified, there are some cool new (although hard-to-test) options, like crash detection; the place the telephone will know for those who’re in a automotive crash and mechanically alert emergency companies and key contacts. In an identical vein, the iPhone 14 can now use satellite tv for pc communications to contact emergency companies. It’s an business first, and it’s good to see that even Apple’s entry-level iPhone 14 acquired this new skill. 

There are another important under-the-hood updates, particularly a brand new warmth dissipation system that may assist the telephone handle temperatures higher, and work extra effectively (this telephone has higher battery life than the iPhone 13). Apple additionally contends that this iPhone is simpler to restore than earlier fashions, as – amongst different issues, the again glass can now get replaced with out should swap out your complete enclosure. 

A well-known face to the iPhone 13 (Picture credit score: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Apple iPhone 14 value and availability

128GB: $799 / £849 / AU$1,339
256GB: $899 / £959 / AU$1,579
512GB: $1,099 / £1,179 / AU$1,899

Apple unveiled its whole iPhone 14 line – the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Professional, and iPhone 14 Professional Max – on September 7, 2022. 

The iPhone 14 went on preorder on September 9 and is now obtainable, as of September 16. It begins at $799 / £849 / AU$1,399 for the 128GB mannequin, however you will get it with as much as 512GB of storage (take a look at our greatest iPhone 14 offers for those who’re already ).

Not like most Android telephones, there aren’t any choices for extra RAM, past the baseline 6GB, though that’s greater than the bottom iPhone 13, which had solely 4GB.

Apple iPhone 14 back

The mannequin we examined got here in a tasteful blue end (Picture credit score: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Apple iPhone 14 design

Close to-identical design to iPhone 13
The SIM slot is gone (US-only)
Similar notched Tremendous Retina XDR show

Apart from new colours – we examined the tasteful pale blue mannequin – the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 seems to be very very similar to the iPhone 13. Its aluminum body, button placement, stereo speaker grilles, Lightning port, and even the display, all seem unchanged. There are, although, tiny structural variations.

Apple iPhone 14 volume buttons and no SIM

No SIM slot on this iPhone (Picture credit score: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

At 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8mm, it’s only a hair thicker than the iPhone 13. It’s additionally two grams lighter than the final telephone, which we assume is all the way down to the brand new thermal structure contained in the machine. Regardless of the chassis similarities, the iPhone 14 doesn’t fairly slot in an official iPhone 13 MagSafe case – the physique slides in simply tremendous, however the iPhone 14’s two-lens digital camera array is barely bigger (as are the lenses themselves).

All of the supplies – together with the Ceramic Protect masking the show – are the identical, and the mud and water resistance stays unchanged from the iPhone 13, as properly. Naturally, we ran our iPhone 14 by way of a sprinkler, simply to make sure it might deal with it. It was tremendous – and it might have loved the respite from the New York warmth.

Apple iPhone 14 bottom edge

The iPhone 14’s backside edge nonetheless encompasses a Lightning port (Picture credit score: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Design rating: 4/5

Apple iPhone 14 show

Acquainted 6.1-inch Tremendous Retina XDR
The notch persists
No adaptive refresh or always-on performance
Nonetheless a high-quality OLED show

Apple iPhone 14 full screen

(Picture credit score: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

With a 2532 x 1170, 460ppi decision, the iPhone 14’s Tremendous Retina XDR show is sort of solely unchanged from the iPhone 13. The notch that’s been banished from the iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max lives on on this now considerably getting old design. It encompasses an up to date TrueDepth digital camera (it’s nonetheless 12MP, however backed by a greater light-gathering sensor and has the power to autofocus), an IR sensor, flood illuminator, and, above all of it, the highest speaker (the opposite speaker is on the underside of the telephone). That is seemingly the final hurrah for the notch, because it appears laborious to imagine that it’ll survive in subsequent 12 months’s anticipated iPhone 15.

Regardless that it is a brilliant (as much as 1,200 nits) and colourful (Extensive Coloration) show with (because of OLED) inky blacks (boasting a 2,000,000-to-1 distinction ratio), it mechanically feels out of step with the newest in Apple show know-how. There’s no adaptive refresh fee, and never even the120Hz ProMotion that we first met on 2021’s Professional fashions. Simply 60Hz. That is perhaps laborious to swallow when the iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max supply adaptive refresh charges that vary from 10Hz to 120Hz. Plus, these telephones have a brand new always-on show mode that may cease down to simply 1Hz, for further energy effectivity. Once more, that is what you pay further for.

Apple iPhone 14 cameras

Acquainted 12MP principal + ultrawide on the again
New sensors throughout the board
Photonic Engine additional improves picture high quality
New Motion mode

Apple iPhone 14 camera array

The 14’s principal 12MP sensor is definitely lifted from the 13 Professional (Picture credit score: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

 The iPhone 14 has simply two rear cameras:

A 12MP principal (26mm, f/1.5)
A 12MP ultrawide (120-degree subject of view, 13mm, f/2.4)

These are good cameras with higher sensors and total low-light efficiency in comparison with their predecessors. The entrance digital camera – additionally 12MP – now has autofocus too, which ought to make group selfies considerably simpler.

All of the cameras profit from a brand new imaging pipeline. The Photonic Engine prioritizes Deep Fusion neural picture processing sooner than beforehand, so it will probably work with uncompressed photographs.

Images with the iPhone 14 is nice, although having additionally examined the iPhone 14 Professional, we do miss having optical zoom and macro skills at our fingertips. Even so, this stage of photographic functionality and the high-quality output ought to fulfill most customers.

Like the remainder of the iPhone 14 line, this mannequin can shoot as much as 4K video, and Cinematic Mode has now been pumped as much as assist 4K at 30fps.

Model new is Lively Mode, which is enabled by deciding on the operating individual icon within the high right-hand portion of the digital camera app’s viewfinder. It is a surprisingly efficient manner of eradicating a lot of the shake from motion movies. No, there isn’t a brand new gimbal within the iPhone 14; as a substitute, Apple employs over-scan and superior roll detection – which is a elaborate manner of claiming it quickly and on-the-fly crops the video to maintain the middle (normally a topic) extra easily in-frame. This processing does discard some video data (leading to a cropped body), however the outcomes are GoPro-smooth. I’m unsure how wildly helpful that is, however for those who’re an motion fan it is perhaps a godsend.

Digital camera samples

Apple iPhone 14 audio

Not less than Apple has been constant on the audio aspect. All 4 iPhone 14 fashions have stereo audio system and spatial audio assist, and create loud (if you would like), clear, and brilliant sound. In films and music that assist it, spatial audio provides a type of surround-sound impact. There are titles on Netflix, Amazon, and different streaming companies to benefit from the function, plus Apple Music has a whole spatial audio playlist to dive into. All the pieces we performed on the iPhone 14 sounded nice. 

Apple iPhone 14 efficiency

Makes use of the iPhone 13 Professional’s A15 Bionic chip
New warmth dissipation system offers the processor extra respiration room
Good efficiency for the worth

Oh hey, final 12 months’s cell CPU! We have to begin out by making clear that there’s nothing improper with the A15 Bionic. It’s a robust chip that has constantly overwhelmed the most effective Qualcomm has to supply, and it has substantial headroom, which suggests cell video games like Asphalt: Legends and PUBG run easily. You possibly can edit 4K movies, browse the net, do all of the issues you are able to do with the quicker and extra environment friendly A16 Bionic discovered within the iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max, with the real-world distinction seemingly solely actually changing into obvious after years of use.

Apple iPhone 14 benchmarks

(Picture credit score: Future)

What Apple did right here – bringing the improved A15 chip from the iPhone 13 Professional to the iPhone 14 – was form of sensible. It’s cost-saving transfer that may depart no one wanting.

The A15 Bionic, because it lives inside the brand new iPhone 14, has a brand new inner design for extra environment friendly warmth dissipation. This, Apple claims, helps with repairability, however a cooler chip must also run higher.

Whereas benchmarks have been roughly in step with the A15 Bionic we examined within the iPhone 13 Professional, this iPhone does promise higher battery life (20 hours of video streaming, versus 19 hours for the iPhone 13), regardless of having an solely fractionally-bigger battery; suggesting Apple’s efforts with the cooling system are chargeable for this improved effectivity.

Apple iPhone 14 eSIM and satellite tv for pc connectivity

Within the US, your complete iPhone 14 line is now SIM-slot free, as a substitute using eSIM know-how for connecting you to the cell community. In our expertise, it launched no issue in establishing the iPhone 14; though granted, Apple already assigned our handset a telephone quantity for testing functions. If you wish to switch your current bodily SIM data out of your previous iPhone to a brand new one, you need to be capable of do it electronically, with out the assistance of your provider. We’ll perceive how properly this all works when these new SIM-less iPhones get into shoppers’ arms.

The opposite cool, new connectivity function is satellite-based emergency SOS. Apple is working with Globalstar low-Earth orbit satellites to supply this further stage of emergency assist. Whereas it’s not one thing we might take a look at, we did see it in motion at Apple’s Cupertino, California campus.

We walked up a hill the place cell and Wi-Fi have been purposely unavailable. On the iPhone 14 Professional used for the demo (we’re assuming that the system works the identical on the iPhone 14), we seen a tiny ‘SOS’ and satellite tv for pc icon within the upper-right quadrant of the show. Be aware that these icons gained’t seem until you’re exterior, with a transparent view of the sky.

When you dial 911 (within the US) on this state of affairs, the iPhone 14 will, because it did in our demo, ask if you wish to strive emergency textual content through satellite tv for pc. After that, an on-screen emergency assistant presents a visible cue for which manner you need to face to connect with the closest satellite tv for pc. It then asks you a collection of questions that the system can ship through compressed textual content to Apple’s relay middle, which then contacts emergency companies.

If, in the course of the communication, a satellite tv for pc strikes out of vary, the system will immediate you face in the correct route to reconnect.

Whereas satellite tv for pc communications are primarily for emergency conditions, you too can use the system to let individuals know through Discover My that you just, for instance, efficiently made it to the highest of Mount Everest or Snowdon.

Apple iPhone 14 battery

Sufficient juice for a busy day
Wi-fi charging + MagSafe
Purchase your individual adapter

As I discussed above, the iPhone 14 is rated for 20 hours of video playback, 16 hours of streamed video, and 80 hours of audio playback. We acquired greater than a full day’s battery life off a single cost. The iPhone 14 ships with a Lightning-to-USB-C cost cable and no charger.

You should buy a 5W adapter, or spend a bit extra for Apple’s 20W charger, which can get you to 50% cost in half-hour. The telephone can also be MagSafe and Qi wi-fi charging suitable. 

Apple iPhone 14 software program

All iPhone 14 fashions ship with iOS 16
Stuffed with new options
Customized lock screens, unsending texts, and cleaner notifications are highlights

Apple iPhone 14 wet

(Picture credit score: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

All Apple iPhone 14 handsets ship with iOS 16. It’s a worthwhile improve that provides a few of the most important platform modifications we’ve seen shortly.

Highlights embrace a brand new lock display. As a substitute of 1 static display, you get a number of screens, every with their very own focus mode hooked up.

There are highly effective picture instruments that allow you to take any photograph and apply it to your lock display with, for example, a portion of somebody’s head peeking over the redesigned time readout. You may also add widgets (totally different ones for every lock display) to actually personalize the expertise.

There are different cool options, like editable and retrievable texts, multi-stop instructions in Maps, dwell textual content in movies, and extra.

It’s OS replace, and we expect it enhances any iPhone operating it.

That is now Apple’s lightest and least expensive iPhone 14. It’s greater than 30 grams lighter than the equally sized iPhone 14 Professional, which begins at $899. It lacks the newest display know-how, nonetheless has a notch, and solely has two rear cameras, which for some, might really feel like massive trade-offs, to be able to save $200, however for others, the Professional is perhaps overkill.

The iPhone 14 is Apple’s ‘ok’, which, because it occurs, continues to be fairly very good. It’s unlikely to disappoint most customers, even when new homeowners could also be left casting sideways glances at iPhone 14 Professional customers flaunting their always-on shows and their Dynamic Islands.

Apple iPhone 14 rating card

Good wanting high quality construct and design
A giant improve and no extra notch
Apple A15 Bionic is a step up
Digital camera
The upgraded digital camera array lastly brings pixel binning to the iPhone
Relying on use, will be actually massive battey life
Software program
iOS 16 is one among Apple’s greatest platfomr updates shortly
You’ll pay for Apple’s apex iPhones

Ought to I purchase the Apple iPhone 14 Professional?

Purchase it if…

Don’t purchase it if…

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First reviewed: September 2022


Author: Randy Perez