The iPhone 14 looks identical to the iPhone 13, but there's a new 6.7-inch model called the iPhone 14 Plus. Under-the-hood improvements include 6GB of RAM, a 5-core GPU, Bluetooth 5.3, and multiple camera updates. Color options have been updated with (PRODUCT)RED, blue, purple, midnight, and starlight.
● 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch display sizes
● Emergency SOS via satellite
● Lightning port and notch remain
● No SIM tray in the United States
● A15 processor with 5-core GPU
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Apple announced the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus during the "Far Out" Apple event on September 7, 2022. These devices could easily be mistaken for their predecessors, minus the larger 6.7-inch model.
Despite minimal external updates, Apple pushed these base models forward with several user-facing updates and quality-of-life improvements. The iPhone 14 Pro lineup saw more significant changes that widened the gap between pro and base models, but customers have a clear throughline for features and prices from top to bottom.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus Features
Apple has continued the approach of offering identical feature sets across models in the same device class. Therefore, there are no exclusive features for the larger iPhone 14 Plus besides the display size and battery life.
Note that there isn't an iPhone mini in this generation. The 5.4-inch display size was eliminated in favor of the larger 6.7-inch model, allegedly due to a lack of demand for smaller iPhones.
Besides some slight color changes, the iPhone 14 looks nearly identical to the iPhone 13 it replaces. The notch, diagonal rear camera system, and aluminum chassis are the same. The 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display is 460ppi.
The bigger iPhone 14 Plus is a new model but takes on all aspects of the smaller version, including the same-sized camera bump. It uses a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display at 458ppi. However, it does not have ProMotion like the pro model size it is emulating.
Like the iPhone 13, the displays support HDR, True Tone, and have a P3 color gamut. The OLED offers a 2 million to 1 contrast ratio and 800 nits of brightness in normal use.
The only notable design alteration is the lack of a SIM card tray in the U.S. version of the devices. Apple has gone all-in on e-SIM support, so users won't have to bother with physical cards anymore.
Apple updated the newly dubbed Main Camera, formerly referred to as the Wide Camera, with a larger 12MP sensor with a wider f/1.5 aperture. This enables higher quality photos and faster low-light performance. Apple clocks this at a 49% improvement in low light.
The Ultra Wide Camera is unchanged, and there was no mention of the macro photography feature coming to non-pro phones. Apple would need to add autofocus to the Ultra Wide Camera to enable the feature.
The selfie camera is improved with an f/1.9 aperture and autofocus. When combined with the depth sensors used for Face ID, the selfie camera can take better photos faster.
Also, improvements in the chipset enable 4K recording when using Cinematic Mode. Users can set 30fps or 24fps and take advantage of the better camera performance.
Emergency SOS via satellite
Apple developed special antennas and equipment so the latest iPhones could connect to a satellite miles above the Earth's surface without a giant antenna module. This system is meant primarily for emergency purposes.
With a clear view of the sky or below light foliage, a user can activate Emergency SOS via satellite to send out a distress signal. The device will walk the user through prompts to ensure communication is kept short while being detailed.
UI on the display shows the user which direction to point the iPhone to get the best signal from the satellite. Messages sent using this method can take anywhere from 15 seconds to several minutes to relay.
There's a non-emergency use for this as well. If a user wants to update friends or family on their location in the wilderness, the iPhone can use a satellite signal to relay that location data.
A short demo of this feature is available within the Settings app to help users familiarize themselves with how it works. This way, in a true emergency, it won't be the first time a person has seen the system in action.
Emergency SOS via Satellite launched to customers in November 2022. The service will be free until late 2024.
The iPhone 14 lineup, Apple Watch Series 8, second-generation Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra have purpose-built sensors and algorithms for Crash Detection. If the user is in a severe car crash, the iPhone or Apple Watch will contact emergency services.
If both devices are present, they will work in tandem to determine if a crash has occurred. The technology isn't foolproof, however, and can be triggered by non-crash events like some roller coasters.
Crash Detection utilizes an upgraded high dynamic range gyroscope, high g-force accelerometer, barometer, GPS, microphone, and advanced motion algorithms to determine if a severe crash occurred. Apple designed the algorithm to detect front impacts, side impacts, rear-end collisions, and rollovers.
If the user doesn't dismiss the alert in ten seconds, another ten-second timer starts. After that, emergency services are contacted.
An automated message with an estimated location and search radius will be played to the emergency services on a loop. Each replay will play back quieter to give the user a chance to speak to emergency services, and a button can be pressed to stop the recorded playback.
After hanging up with emergency services, a call will be placed to emergency contacts. A ten-second timer will appear that can be dismissed before the call goes out.
Minor collisions will not trigger Crash Detection. The accelerometer can detect up to 256G of force, and it uses the data collected from other sensors to determine if a crash occurred.
Some users have reported false crashes have been detected on roller coasters, but the results are varied. Apple says that there isn't a "silver bullet" description that nails down exactly when Crash Detection activates since the algorithm has so many factors.
Ports and battery life
The Lightning port remains even as rumors point to USB-C in the 2023 "iPhone 15." Speculation had suggested Apple might move to a 30W fast charging speed, but Apple kept it at 20W.
Apple claims the battery life has improved, placing the smaller 6.1-inch iPhone at 20 hours during normal use. The iPhone 14 Plus can last up to 26 hours, and is the highest-rated battery life in an iPhone.
Both models have fast charge support, officially rated at 20W. So, plug the iPhone into a 20W charger to get a 50% charge in about 30 minutes.
MagSafe accessories and charging are also supported with no change over previous generations. Magnets align products to the center of the iPhone, though some designed with older camera bumps in mind may have trouble attaching to some models.
Processor, biometrics, wireless
Apple reserved the latest A16 Bionic for the iPhone 14 Pro lineup, leaving the iPhone 14 with the A15 Bionic. This isn't the same processor used by the iPhone 13, instead, it is the iPhone 13 Pro's version.
It has a 5-core GPU, enabling improved processing in some apps and across the system. This updated processor is also why the iPhone 14 gets access to the updated 4K Cinematic Mode.
WiFi connectivity, 5G, and the U1 were not updated for the iPhone 14 lineup. However, Apple did include the newer Bluetooth 5.3 spec. The AirPods Pro 2 also use Bluetooth 5.3, but no information was provided to explain the benefit of this newer standard.
iPhone 14 Review
The iPhone 14 is a solid flagship phone with a decent mix of features for the price. However, existing iPhone models make it a hard compare.
The camera system has some small improvements but the overall photo quality is about the same. The selfie camera is better too, but only just.
Crash Detection will surely be another feature we hear testimonies about on a regular basis. The high dynamic range gyroscope and dual-core accelerometer sense up to 256g of force to determine if a crash has occurred.
Apple also included the new SOS via satellite feature for contacting emergency services without cell signal. While very few users will ever need to use it, knowing it is there for that rare case provides some peace of mind.
Apple reused the A15 Bionic found in iPhone 13 Pro models for the base model iPhone 14 models. It is an increase in performance year over year, but only just.
Anyone upgrading from an iPhone 13 won't find any reason to buy this device. It is a good product, but there are plenty of competitive options from Apple within striking distance.
Read the full iPhone 14 Review from AppleInsider and see why we gave it a 3.5 out of 5.
iPhone 14 Plus review
Apple replaced the iPhone mini with a 6.7-inch iPhone Plus, which was the best decision made in this product cycle. It offers a large-screen upgrade option for people who don't want to pay a "pro" premium.
There's not a lot to distinguish the iPhone 14 Plus design beyond the larger display paired with a small camera bump. It has a bigger battery, which translates to excellent battery life, but most every other spec is borrowed from the standard model.
The return of the A15 Bionic is less notable in the larger iPhone since it scored nearly identical to the base model. Benchmarks show that despite using the year-old processor, Apple is ahead of the game in performance and graphics.
The camera system doesn't offer any surprises. The Main Camera got a larger sensor, and when combined with the Photonic Engine, translates to a 49% low-light performance improvement.
Other camera improvements include Cinematic Mode at 4K 30fps and Action Mode.
The selfie camera also saw some improvements thanks to a better f/1.9 aperture. It also gains the other new capabilities like the Photonic Engine.
Crash Detection, Emergency SOS via Satellite, Bluetooth 5.3, and 5G are all included. These upgrades and features are identical to the other iPhone 14 models, so it doesn't bear repeating here.
There isn't much to say differently about a larger iPhone that has identical features to its counterpart. The products are so similar that it comes down to user preference on which they choose.
Read the full iPhone 14 Plus Review from AppleInsider and see why we gave it a 4 out of 5.
The rumor cycle for iPhone 14 started early. Just days before Apple announced the iPhone 13 lineup, Jon Prosser shared an image of the 2022 iPhone.
However, this image was a far cry from what was ultimately announced. There were just too many technological advancements that would be needed for it to be possible.
The alleged design showed that the camera bump was gone, a single camera cutout had replaced the notch, and the sides resembled an iPhone 4.
After this render made the rounds for a few weeks, more realistic rumors appeared. Apple would retain the iPhone 13 design, keep the notch, and even offer the same processor in its next device.
Very little was shared about what would actually change in the base models, just that Apple would abandon the mini size for a "Max" or "Plus" with a 6.7-inch display.
Ultimately, Apple leaned on camera improvements, satellite communications, and crash detection as new tentpole features. Big changes are expected for "iPhone 15" too, namely adding a USB-C port, but only time will tell.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus Pricing
Both models are available in blue, purple, midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED. Storage can be configured to 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB.
The iPhone 14 starts at $799 and began shipping to customers on September 16, 2022. The iPhone 14 Plus starts at $899 and ships on October 7.