Apple iPhone 14 review: why I really like this acquainted iPhone

Apple iPhone 14

MSRP $799.00

“The iPhone 14 is not an enormous improve in comparison with its predecessor. However with an amazing design, display, efficiency, and cameras, that is removed from a nasty factor in any respect.”


  • Snug, high-end construct
  • OLED display seems incredible
  • A15 chip performs nice
  • Good camera upgrades
  • Reliable battery life
  • Useful security options


  • 60Hz show
  • No telephoto camera
  • eSIM could be a ache for some

“It’s simply one other iPhone.” That’s how I’ve heard lots of people confer with the iPhone 14 — and for good cause. In comparison with final yr’s mannequin, the iPhone 14 is a very acquainted smartphone. It has the identical design, display, chipset, and a really related camera system.

However right here’s the factor. These similarities shouldn’t come as a disappointment. The iPhone 14 takes a really robust basis, retains what works, and provides a number of delicate enhancements that make it a greater general handset. It’s removed from the yr’s most invigorating or jaw-dropping launch, but when what you’re available in the market for is “simply one other iPhone,” the iPhone 14 makes an amazing case for itself.

Should you’re extra interested by Apple’s higher-end fashions, see our iPhone 14 Professional review and iPhone 14 Professional Max review.

iPhone 14 design

An iPhone 14 laying on a table.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

This welcome familiarity is seen instantly with the iPhone 14’s design. The iPhone 14 nonetheless has a 6.1-inch show with a notch, Apple’s Ceramic Defend overlaying that show, and an aerospace-grade aluminum body. You’re additionally handled to the identical sq. camera housing on the again with the angled sensors, although they’re barely bigger than the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 can be 0.15mm thicker and 2g heavier, however in any other case, it’s the identical feeling and looking telephone as final yr.

In my e-book, that is nary a nasty factor in any respect. Perhaps it’s as a result of I switched to the iPhone 14 from my a lot heavier iPhone 13 Professional, however the iPhone 14 feels fantastic to carry. It’s sturdy, light-weight, and the aluminum sides are impervious to fingerprints.

Someone holding a blue iPhone 14 in one hand and a purple iPhone 14 in another hand.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

I additionally fairly like Apple’s choice of colours this yr. Apple despatched me the iPhone 14 in purple, which seems like a muted lavender in individual. It’s very delicate and never too vibrant, however I’ve liked carrying it round with me whereas reviewing the iPhone 14. The redesigned blue shade can be nice (and appears higher than the iPhone 13’s blue, in my view). The pink shade is considerably extra vibrant this yr, plus midnight and starlight stay trusty impartial choices.

The iPhone 14 feels fantastic to carry.

Different mainstays of the iPhone 13 are additionally current on the iPhone 14. An IP68 ranking protects it from mud and water, it’s totally appropriate with MagSafe equipment, and — sure — there’s nonetheless a Lightning port on the underside as a substitute of USB-C.

Is that this a contemporary or thrilling design? By no means. Except for the totally different colours, the iPhone 14 actually does look equivalent to the iPhone 13. I get that some individuals have been hoping for a drastic redesign, however I’m blissful Apple caught with this physique for an additional era. The iPhone 14 has confirmed sensible and comfy in each day use, and it has appeared good whereas doing so. Name it boring if you would like, but it surely’s a smartphone design I can’t assist however completely get pleasure from.

iPhone 14 display

An iPhone 14 standing up, propped against a succulent.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

Apple’s recycling of final yr’s {hardware} additionally works out effectively for the display … largely.

The iPhone 14 is supplied with a 6.1-inch OLED display with a 2532 x 1170 decision. There’s HDR assist, as much as 800 nits of max typical brightness, and 1,200 nits of peak HDR brightness — all the identical specs we received with the iPhone 13.

In virtually each regard, this stays an amazing show setup for the iPhone 14. Colours are punchy (however not overly saturated), textual content and icons look nice, and the show is loads seen in brilliant rooms or outdoors on a sunny day. Whether or not I’m watching a YouTube video, outdated photographs, or studying an article from one in all my colleagues, the iPhone 14’s display permits all of it to pop.

Someone holding an iPhone 14. The display is turned on and showing the Control Center.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

The place the iPhone 14 show disappoints is with its refresh charge. Just like the iPhone 13 Professional and Professional Max final yr, the iPhone 14 Professional and iPhone 14 Professional Max once more have 120Hz screens. The baseline iPhone 14, nevertheless, is once more caught with a 60Hz one. In comparison with telephones with 120 or 90Hz refresh charges, issues like scrolling and swiping look choppier on the iPhone 14.

Being caught with 60Hz on the iPhone 14 is a disgrace.

iOS 16’s clean animations and the nice efficiency out of the A15 Bionic maintain the iPhone 14 from ever feeling gradual or sluggish, but it surely’s nonetheless disappointing to not see any enchancment right here. Within the Android house, it’s not unusual to see telephones for $600, $500, and even $400 with 90 or 120Hz refresh charges. Being caught with 60Hz on the iPhone 14, a telephone that begins at $799, is a disgrace.

iPhone 14 cameras

An iPhone 14 resting inside of a decorative lamp.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

The iPhone 14 Professional has stolen a lot of the camera limelight for its new 48MP main sensor, however that doesn’t imply the traditional iPhone 14 is a slouch. Like so many different facets of the telephone, the iPhone 14’s cameras are loads just like the iPhone 13 however barely improved in some key methods.

You continue to have a 12MP main camera, but it surely’s a bigger sensor with an f/1.5 aperture to seize extra mild and make lowlight pictures look higher. The front-facing camera is much more improved. The megapixel depend stays at 12MP, but it surely has a bigger f/1.9 aperture (in comparison with f/2.2 on earlier iPhones) and introduces autofocus for the primary time. The 12MP ultrawide camera is strictly because it was on the iPhone 14’s predecessor.

Sounds nice! However what does any of this imply for picture high quality? Beginning with the 12MP predominant camera, it has the entire identical qualities we noticed with the iPhone 13. In good lighting circumstances, the iPhone 14 can produce actually beautiful photographs. Colours are vibrant and true to life, photographs have a load of high-quality particulars, and the Digital camera app captures photographs rapidly for quick, reliable capturing. And in these well-lit circumstances, the bigger sensor provides some topics a pure depth of area, permitting you to get portrait-like pictures with out utilizing the devoted Portrait mode.

I’ve additionally been largely pleased with lowlight photographs. In a darkish room at night time with minimal lighting, the iPhone 14 can nonetheless take superb photographs with ample element (the picture of my cat sleeping on a pillow is a good instance).

For scenes which are actually darkish, the iPhone 14 routinely switches to Evening mode. It’ll routinely maintain publicity for round 2 or 5 seconds, however you possibly can pressure it to go on for 30 seconds if you really want it. In these situations, the iPhone 14 does a great job of letting ample mild into to show a pitch-black scene into one thing that’s really seen. However the extra you carry the lights down, the softer and softer particulars change into.

An outdoor photo of the sky and a pond, taken with the iPhone 14.

An outdoor photo of the sky and a pond, taken with the iPhone 14.

  • 1.
    Picture from the iPhone 14’s predominant camera
  • 2.
    Picture from the iPhone 14’s ultrawide camera

What concerning the ultrawide camera? Though it’s the identical because the iPhone 13’s, it’s been extraordinarily dependable throughout my testing. Colours are almost equivalent to the principle camera, the broader view is useful, and particulars look fairly good contemplating the ultrawide nature of the factor.

A selfie of Joe Maring and his dog, taken with the iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

A selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

A selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

A selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

And, in fact, we now have to speak concerning the new selfie camera. I’ll say upfront that I’m not a selfie man. I’ve by no means been one to take loads of selfies, and I don’t anticipate that the iPhone 14 will change that about me. Besides, it’s fairly outstanding how a lot better the iPhone 14’s new selfie camera actually is.

Due to the addition of autofocus, photographs usually look sharper throughout. From finer particulars in your hair and face to taking up-close pictures of you and your folks, autofocus provides a brand new layer of flexibility that may actually take selfies to the subsequent stage. And like the principle camera, the bigger aperture leads to higher pure bokeh and first rate outcomes even when the lights go down.

iPhone 14 efficiency

Call of Duty: Mobile on an iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

Some of the controversial modifications with the iPhone 14 is one thing that didn’t change in any respect. Normally, Apple provides each new iPhone a brand new chipset to energy it. The iPhone 12 collection received the A14 chip, the iPhone 13 lineup was powered by the A15, and all iPhone 14 handsets have the A16 — proper? Not precisely.

Whereas the iPhone 14 Professional and iPhone 14 Professional Max have a brand new A16 chipset, the iPhone 14 (and iPhone 14 Plus) nonetheless have the A15. It’s the extra highly effective model of the A15 used within the iPhone 13 Professional with 5 GPU cores as a substitute of the 4 used within the regular iPhone 13, however in any other case, it’s the very same processor.

There’s been loads of backlash in opposition to this resolution as one other approach for Apple to stifle innovation and save a buck. And perhaps it’s! However I’d be mendacity if I mentioned I used to be upset about having the A15 within the iPhone 14.

The A15 continues to be an unbelievable cell chipset.

Merely put, that is nonetheless an unbelievable cell chipset. Each day apps like Twitter, Outlook, and Instagram run and not using a hitch. Video games are nice, too. I’ve performed loads of Name of Obligation: Cell on the iPhone 14, and from the graphics to border charge, every little thing performs completely. The iPhone 14 additionally touts a brand new thermal design, supplying you with higher warmth dissipation in comparison with the iPhone 13. I solely received the iPhone 14 to get noticeably heat as soon as throughout testing, and that was after 30+ minutes of downloading quite a few information for CoD: Cell with the show on. In any other case, the telephone has run cool as a cucumber no matter which apps or video games I’m working.

iPhone 14 eSIM

Someone holding up an iPhone 14 to their ear.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

Talking of controversy, we must always take a minute to speak about eSIM. Should you purchase an iPhone 14 within the U.S, it doesn’t include a bodily SIM card. As an alternative, mobile service is simply accessed through a digital eSIM. We’ve had eSIM technology in smartphones for years, however the iPhone 14 is the primary main smartphone to solely have eSIM and no possibility for a bodily SIM card.

In my very own expertise, this hasn’t been an issue in any respect. I already had my quantity as an eSIM on my iPhone 13 Professional and transferred it to the iPhone 14 in about two minutes. Apple guides you thru this course of throughout setup, and you may entry eSIM switch/activation settings at any time within the Settings app. And even when you’ve got an older iPhone that’s nonetheless utilizing a bodily SIM card, Apple’s labored with main carriers within the U.S. to make the switch course of as seamless as doable.

Transferring an eSIM from an old iPhone to an iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

Whereas I’ve had no points with eSIM on the iPhone 14, that doesn’t imply it hasn’t been inflicting complications for some individuals. If in case you have service by way of a smaller supplier like Mint Cell, transferring your SIM might require utilizing your provider’s app or having to name customer support. Transferring your SIM from an Android telephone additionally comes with its personal complications, and there have been some studies of eSIM transfers taking hours (and even days) with some numbers.

Simply transferred a T-Cell eSIM from a 13 Professional to a 14 and yeah— the entire course of for transferring eSIMs is shockingly fast and easy

eSIM isn’t with out its faults, but it surely’s additionally not the massive scary monster some are making it out to be

— Joe Maring (@JoeMaring1) September 15, 2022

That is a kind of issues the place your mileage will fluctuate. Should you’re coming to the iPhone 14 from an outdated iPhone, the eSIM switch course of ought to be pretty easy — regardless when you’re already utilizing eSIM or nonetheless have a bodily SIM card. Issues stand to be extra difficult when you’re switching from an Android telephone, and when you plan on doing loads of worldwide journey, there are challenges to contemplate there, too. There’s definitely nonetheless work to be carried out right here, and though eSIM is way from excellent, it hasn’t carried out something to tarnish my time with the iPhone 14. Right here’s to hoping Apple and carriers could make that the case for everybody sooner somewhat than later.

iPhone 14 automotive crash detection and satellite tv for pc connectivity

Person holding iPhone 14 with Emergency SOS via satellite notifications.Apple

Two different large options with the iPhone 14 are automotive crash detection and satellite tv for pc connectivity — two options I’ve been unable to strive with my iPhone 14.

The previous is fairly self-explanatory. Should you’re concerned in a extreme automotive crash, the iPhone 14 makes use of a wide range of sensors to detect modifications in velocity and cabin strain, extraordinarily loud sounds, and a sudden shift within the course you’re heading. If it determines that you simply have been concerned in an accident, the iPhone 14 shows a automotive crash display with buttons to name emergency companies or dismiss the pop-up. Should you don’t reply inside 10 seconds, emergency companies are routinely known as for you. Apple says it used 1 million hours of “real-world driving and crash information” to construct the iPhone 14’s automotive crash detection. Wanting me getting in an accident to check the function myself, I’ll take Apple at its phrase that the function works as meant.

Introducing Crash Detection | iPhone 14 Professional | Apple

In an analogous vein, the iPhone 14 additionally brings Emergency SOS through satellite tv for pc. Should you’re in a state of affairs the place you need assistance however don’t have entry to mobile information or a Wi-Fi connection, the iPhone 14 lets you hook up with a satellite tv for pc and ship a message to emergency companies. Like automotive crash detection, it’s a kind of options you hope you by no means have to make use of.

Regardless, I’m actually glad Apple added this stuff this yr. Yearly enhancements to processor velocity, show decision, and camera megapixels are nice. However these are options that would legitimately save your life. Apple’s advertising might lay it thick with the severity of them, however there’s weight to what the corporate is saying. I pray that I by no means get in a nasty automotive wreck or change into injured and stranded someplace, however within the occasion that I do, it’s reassuring to know that the iPhone 14 has the mandatory instruments to be helpful in these conditions.

iPhone 14 battery and charging

The battery page on an iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

Lastly, let’s speak about battery life. Apple made important battery strides with the iPhone 13 collection, and with the iPhone 14, it claims that endurance is even higher. Whereas I’m not hitting the 20 hours of video playback Apple touts on its web site, the iPhone 14 has constantly gotten me by way of every day I’ve used it — even after I’m actually pushing it.

Right here’s what a typical day with the iPhone 14 has appeared like for me, I’ll watch about an hour of YouTube, play 30-ish minutes of Name of Obligation: Cell, and often use numerous different apps like Twitter, Safari, Microsoft Groups, Outlook, Apple Music, and extra all through the day. After over 14 hours of uptime with over 5.5 hours of screen-on time, I’ve about 25% battery life left within the tank.

On a lighter day with over 15 hours of use and about 4 hours of display time (with little or no gaming), I ended the day with 38% nonetheless remaining. The iPhone 14 will probably be a one-day telephone for most individuals, however I’ve been in a position to very comfortably get by way of every day even with pretty heavy utilization. Play a number of video games, watch some movies, and take as many footage as you need. As long as you aren’t in your telephone 24/7, you must be capable to finish every day with the iPhone 14 with little-to-no battery anxiousness.

The bottom of an iPhone 14, showing its speaker grille and Lightning port.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

Apple didn’t make any charging enhancements this yr, however the choices accessible are high-quality. You should use the Lightning port to get wired charging speeds as much as 25W, Qi wi-fi charging delivers as much as 7.5W, and a supported MagSafe charger (my most well-liked methodology of charging) delivers as much as 15W of energy. There’s no ultra-fast wired charging such as you’ll discover on the OnePlus 10T or Oppo Reno 8 Professional, however perhaps Apple will get round to including that subsequent yr with the iPhone 15.

iPhone 14 value and availability

An iPhone 14 laying face-down on a table.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

The iPhone 14 is offered for buy now with a beginning value of $799. That $799 value will get you 128GB of inside storage and ought to be loads for most individuals. Should you want extra room, 256GB and 512GB choices can be found for $899 and $1099, respectively.

Whereas Apple’s promotional presents aren’t one of the best round, it’s nonetheless doable to avoid wasting money in your buy. Shopping for direct from Apple allows you to commerce in your outdated telephone to get a credit score between $40 and $720. Moreover, paying for the iPhone 14 together with your Apple Card will get you 3% cashback with Apple’s Each day Money program.

The iPhone 14 is a good improve, when you want it

Someone holding an iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Traits

That’s the iPhone 14. Its cameras are nicer, it’s barely higher with demanding video games, and it has a few spectacular security options that you simply’ll (hopefully) by no means have to make use of. However they’re there simply in case.

I completely perceive why some individuals have dismissed the iPhone 14 as an ‘iPhone 13S’ and as a tool you must ignore. But it surely’s the final half I disagree with. If you have already got an iPhone 13 and don’t see any cause to improve, that’s in all probability the suitable name.

However when you’ve got an iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and even the iPhone 12, the iPhone 14 is a telephone I’m very happy to suggest. Should you don’t care concerning the Dynamic Island, 120Hz refresh charges, or a telephoto camera, the iPhone 14 is hands-down one of the best iPhone you should buy at present. Even when it’s somewhat boring.

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