iPhone 14 Review: Similar, Yet Also Much Better…



If you’re running an older iPhone, say, the iPhone 11 or 12, the iPhone 14 is the update you’ve been waiting for. Here’s why…


If you don’t like Apple much, the iPhone 14 is not going to convert you. The phone runs the same CPU as last year’s model, it looks identical too, and the display and screen tech is, again, exactly the same. As updates go, the iPhone 14 – when compared to the iPhone 13 – is about as incremental as an update can be.

But that’s kind of the point. You see, Apple didn’t make the iPhone 14 for its current iPhone 13 users. It knows that they’ll be running that phone for another 12 months – possibly more. The iPhone 14 is designed for Apple’s current iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 users; these types of users are the true target market for Apple’s iPhone 14.

Those and, of course, the millions of current Android users that Apple manages to flip every time a new iPhone series comes out.

If you’re running an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12, the iPhone 14 is well worth your time and money. You’ll experience a huge uplift in performance across the board with big leaps forwards in important things like battery life, camera performance, and overall performance in general. In this regard, the iPhone 14 is a masterclass in what Apple does best: making reliable phones that people love and could not live without.

Sure, once again all the BIG updates are reserved for its Pro models but that is now pretty much par for the course. If you want the new design, sans the notch, the new CPU, and the new and improved 48MP camera sensor, you’re going to have to pay for it – although Apple has fixed its prices the same as last year, so going Pro won’t hit as hard as we initially expected.

Latest iPhone 14 Deals

The Editor's Choice
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  • Pros:
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    • Access To Verizon's Apple One Plan
    • Free Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Arcade & Free iCloud Storage
    • Market-Leading Trade-in Rates
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    • Mint Runs on T-Mobile’s Network, So It’s Utterly Rapid
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    • Unlimited Data + iPhone 14 For Just $85 p/m
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The Editor's Choice
5.0
Pros:
  • Includes Unlimited Data
  • Access To Verizon's Apple One Plan
  • Free Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Arcade & Free iCloud Storage
  • Market-Leading Trade-in Rates
Best Value
4.5
Pros:
  • Simple, Cost-Effective Plan
  • Early Birds Get Six Months Mint Mobile Services FREE
  • Mint Runs on T-Mobile’s Network, So It’s Utterly Rapid
  • 4GB to Unlimited Data Plans Available
  • Cheapest Data Plans on The Market
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iPhone 14 Updates – What’s New & What’s Improved

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Rather than go over the design of the phone, it’s the same as before, or the display tech, again, it’s the same, I’m going to focus on what’s new inside the iPhone 14 and the benefits these changes bring to the fore, especially if you’re running an iPhone 11, iPhone 12, or older iPhone model.

The Camera Updates

First and foremost, Apple is using the same sensors it used on the iPhone 13 but there are some pretty significant changes under the hood. The biggest is that Apple has increased the size of the aperture used on the main lens which improves its low-light performance massively.

The second relates to how images are processed by Apple’s machine learning engine, now called Photonic Engine. This new machine learning engine works across all of the iPhone 14’s sensors and it now kicks in earlier, so images are processed in their raw format and, as a result, come out looking much more polished.

The iPhone 14 will now shoot 4K video at 30fps and you, of course, get access to things like Cinematic Mode which will help make your videos look instantly more professional. Again, if you want the best camera performance, you’ll need to go Pro. But the iPhone 14’s camera is much improved over the iPhone 13.

If you’re coming from the iPhone 11 or iPhone 12, the iPhone 14’s camera will feel like a huge step up. The image quality, thanks to its new wider aperture sensors and Apple’s new Photonic Engine, is brilliant, more than enough for 99.9% of users. For social media uploads and non-Pro shooters, the iPhone 14 camera is still one of the best on the market at this price point.

Performance Updates

Plenty has been made about the iPhone 14 running the same CPU as last year’s iPhone 13 Pro Max. The reason for this is simple: up until the iPhone 14’s release, all new iPhones ran on the same, new chipset. With the iPhone 14 series, the Pro models get Apple’s new A16, and the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus get the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s A15 CPU.

Is this a bad thing? Not entirely. You see, the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s CPU has an additional GPU performance core. This extra GPU core bumps up graphically performance significantly, making the iPhone 14 appear to run faster and handle graphically-intensive processes with ease, even when compared to the iPhone 13.

This probably isn’t reason enough to upgrade from an iPhone 13 to the iPhone 14 but if you’re running an iPhone 12 or an iPhone 11, this difference in performance will be huge – you’ll notice the speed boosts almost instantly: apps load and run faster, the camera processes images quicker, and games – even really intense ones – run smoothly without issue.

Satellite SOS Support

All of Apple’s iPhone 14 models now come with a feature called Satellite SOS. What is Satellite SOS? Essentially, if you’re out in the wilderness, away from a cell tower, and you do not have reception, you can leverage Satellite SOS to make emergency calls using, you guessed it, Satellites.

This is a pretty amazing feature to have on an entry-level phone. I’m surprised Apple included it on the iPhone 14. The applications for it are significant too. Imagine being stuck out in the woods, lost, unable to make calls or send texts. Normally, you’d be screwed. But with an iPhone 14, you’ll be able to contact emergency services and tell them where you are.

Improved Battery Life

With the iPhone 14, you get things like 5W wireless charging and access to Apple’s MagSafe. The phone is rated for 20 hours of usage, meaning with normal to moderate use you’ll get a solid day-and-a-bit from the phone. This is good, of course, and is closely comparable to the iPhone 13.

If you’re currently running an iPhone 12, however, you will notice a massive difference in battery performance on the iPhone 14. It wipes the floor with the iPhone 12 in this regard, thanks to its larger battery cell, its more efficient 5G modem, and its significantly improved CPU.

Battery life, therefore, is once again very solid on the iPhone 14. You’ll have more than enough juice to get through a busy day on a single charge and, with things like MagSafe included, topping up if needs be throughout the day has never been easier.

More RAM

I’ve already talked about performance, but it is worth noting that the iPhone 14 ships with 6GB of RAM – 2GB more than the iPhone 13. If you’re after performance, the iPhone 14 has it in spades, even when compared to last year’s iPhone 13.

Again, this isn’t reason enough to update from a 12-month-old iPhone 13 but it’ll make a huge difference, making all aspects of iOS 16 and all of your installed applications tick along at a snappier rate if you’re coming from an older model like the iPhone 11 or iPhone 12.

iPhone 14 Reviews

80

Tech Radar

70

The Verge

85

Phone Arena

50

Trusted Reviews

Should You Buy The iPhone 14?

If you’re running an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12, the iPhone 14 – while similar looking on the outside – is a massively significant update. The camera is dramatically improved, its 5G modem is significantly faster and less power hungry, the battery life is superb, and its overall performance is around 40% better than the iPhone 12.

Apple has kept the price of its iPhone 14 competitive, meaning the same as the iPhone 13’s, and it has made adjustments and tweaks in all the right areas which when combined make it a serious force to be reckoned with. If you’re running an iPhone 13, this isn’t one for you though. Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro is a different story.

But for those of you running an iPhone 11 or iPhone 12, the iPhone 14 is the perfect update right now.

iPhone 14 Deals

The Editor's Choice
  • 5.0
  • Pros:
    • Includes Unlimited Data
    • Access To Verizon's Apple One Plan
    • Free Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Arcade & Free iCloud Storage
    • Market-Leading Trade-in Rates
Best Value
  • 4.5
  • Pros:
    • Simple, Cost-Effective Plan
    • Early Birds Get Six Months Mint Mobile Services FREE
    • Mint Runs on T-Mobile’s Network, So It’s Utterly Rapid
    • 4GB to Unlimited Data Plans Available
    • Cheapest Data Plans on The Market
Great For Trade-Ins & Data
  • 4.0
  • Pros:
    • Get iPhone 14 For FREE With Trade-In
    • Simple Data Plan Structure
    • Unlimited Data on All Plans
    • Unlimited Data + iPhone 14 For Just $85 p/m
    • Excellent US Coverage & 5G Speeds
The Editor's Choice
5.0
Pros:
  • Includes Unlimited Data
  • Access To Verizon's Apple One Plan
  • Free Apple TV, Apple Music, Apple Arcade & Free iCloud Storage
  • Market-Leading Trade-in Rates
Best Value
4.5
Pros:
  • Simple, Cost-Effective Plan
  • Early Birds Get Six Months Mint Mobile Services FREE
  • Mint Runs on T-Mobile’s Network, So It’s Utterly Rapid
  • 4GB to Unlimited Data Plans Available
  • Cheapest Data Plans on The Market
Great For Trade-Ins & Data
4.0
Pros:
  • Get iPhone 14 For FREE With Trade-In
  • Simple Data Plan Structure
  • Unlimited Data on All Plans
  • Unlimited Data + iPhone 14 For Just $85 p/m
  • Excellent US Coverage & 5G Speeds
  • Save

Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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