In the United States, Apple has remained a dominant force in the mobile phone industry since the release of the first iPhone a decade and a half ago. While each iteration has innovated over the previous versions, some iPhone models are more impressive than others.
The new kid on the block is the iPhone 14, replacing last year’s iPhone 13. It is the most advanced base iPhone on the market, but is it worth it for new consumers to pick up?
iPhone 14 Overview
The iPhone 14 is a great phone, but the first thing many people will notice is its stark similarities to the iPhone 13. They run on the same processor and have very similar displays. While the more advanced iPhone 14 Pro models and Pro Max have significantly more impactful upgrades over the previous generation, such as the dynamic island, this is not a Pro review: the base iPhone 14 is modest in its advancements.
Coming in at approximately $100 more expensive than a retail iPhone 13, some people will have trouble justifying the purchase, especially since the iPhone 13 offers similar features, including:
- iOS 16 compatibility
- MagSafe, Apple Watch, and other standard iPhone accessories
- 12 -megapixel main camera with a telephoto lens, autofocus, low-light, portrait mode, and night mode
- USB-C charger
- IP68 water resistance
Those looking for the best iPhone may want a 14 Pro, Pro Max, or even an iPhone 13 Pro, while people who just want a modern, stable phone (perhaps first-time phone buyers or converts from Android phones) will likely be happy with an iPhone 13.
What Is the Cost of the iPhone 14?
The retail price of an iPhone 14 is $799. This is consistent with previous base iPhone models.
This also puts the iPhone 14 in the mid to upper tier of smartphone prices. This is far from being a budget phone, but it is the most affordable model in the 14 series, and it is not sitting in the four digits like some of the most expensive Samsung phones.
You will have to dish out more cash if you want more storage. A 256GB model comes to $899, while the ultra-sized 512GB model is a whopping $1,099.
Who Is the iPhone 14 Made For?
The iPhone 14 is great for people who want to keep up with the latest and greatest smartphone trends. People who pick up the new iPhone every generation will likely still want to pick this one up, even if there are other models with more impressive features.
Apple phones also have several community features, such as iMessage, Find My iPhone, and other apps that work best if you have a community of people who all have Apple phones. The iPhone 14 is a great phone to switch to if you have not previously had an iPhone.
How Does the iPhone 14 Compare to the iPhone 13 in 2023?
The iPhone 14 costs $799 for the base version, with the most expensive and high storage version costing $1,099. This is currently $200 more expensive than the iPhone 13, which you can pick up for $699. This is less expensive than the highest-tier model in the current iPhone generation, the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which costs $1,099, with the option for paying up to $1,499 for a terabyte of storage.
Design and New Colors
You can get an iPhone 14 in the brand new purple color, blue, midnight, starlight, or (PRODUCT)RED. Regarding the structure of the phone, everything looks mostly the same as the iPhone 13.
While the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have some design changes, such as a detached notch on the top of the display, the changes made to the base iPhone 14 are minimal. It still features a ceramic shield, a glass back, and an aluminum design.
The iPhone 14 has a 6.1” diagonal all-screen OLED display with a Super Retina XDR display. Its screen is made up of a 2532-by-1170-pixel resolution at 460 PPI, with the same screen shape featured on the iPhone 13.
The iPhone 14 also has an HDR always-on display, True Tone, Wide color, Haptic Touch, 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, 1200 nits max brightness (HDR), and fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.
Unfortunately, the model still lacks the 120Hz refresh rate that many other phones, including more advanced iPhones, have begun integrating.
The Apple iPhone 14 has three 12MP camera lenses: a front, wide, and ultrawide camera.
While this is consistent with the iPhone 13, the 14 main lens has 1.9-micrometer pixels and f/1.7 aperture. These improvements result in better shots of moving objects and better pictures taken with minimal light.
As expected, the front-facing selfie camera isn’t as impressive as the rear camera; however, it does the job for most practical, real-world needs such as Face ID and FaceTime.
The phone sports a computational photography feature that competes with the machine learning features offered by the Google Tensor chip in the Google Pixel series of phones. This technology, called the photonic engine, boosts photo quality and improves fidelity in low lighting.
The camera system only has 5x zoom, which is considerably lower than other premium phones, some of which sport 30x optical zoom features.
In terms of the video system, the cinematic mode from earlier generations returns, allowing for high-quality video-taking that automatically takes care of things like brightness settings and depth. New to the iPhone 14 is action mode, which smooths video while you or the subject itself is in motion.
Overall, the camera system is slightly improved over the iPhone 13 with some specific new features that photography buffs will likely appreciate.
Battery Life and Charging
The iPhone 14 has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery and is compatible with wireless charging stations. The phone is fast-charge capable, getting 50% charge in 30 minutes with a 20W adapter.
The battery life allows up to 80 hours of audio playback, 20 hours of video playback, and 16 hours of streamed video playback. Wireless charging is safe up to 15W.
The A15 Bionic Chip is what the iPhone 14 uses and is precisely the same as the iPhone 13’s processor. It has a six-core CPU, a four-core GPU, and a 16-core neural engine.
The A15 is above and beyond the competition, including the latest Snapdragon and Tensor chipsets. It allows for excellent speed and processing power compared to other phones on the market.
The issue with this chipset is that the A16 Bionic is already used on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. The A15 has been the chipset used by Apple before, and while it is still a great product, it is not the newest option out there anymore.
This means that if you want the most powerful possible phone, Apple has competition that can make the iPhone 14 less attractive. While improvements have been made to the power of the iPhone 14, its chipset is identical to the phones already out there.
What Are Some Pros of the iPhone 14?
The main Pro of the iPhone 14 is that it is the newest base iPhone model. Every new generation of iPhones is a big deal, and their popularity means that even small innovations can be significant signs of the future.
It has a great camera, a powerful processor, and a solid display. At an objective level, it is an impressive piece of hardware.
Additionally, some may appreciate the additional emergency services, such as emergency SOS and car crash detection features.
What Are Some Cons of the iPhone 14?
While the iPhone 14 is a great phone, most of what it does was already accomplished in the iPhone 13. For example, the iPhone 14’s specs are much better than the iPhone 12, but the generational benchmarks set by the 13 have not been substantially improved.
We already had a powerful A15 chip and a consistent camera system. The design is almost identical; the phone has not changed much.
You can pick up an iPhone 13 for $599 at the Apple store. Considering how much cheaper this is than an iPhone 14, it drives a hard bargain.
Should You Just Wait for the iPhone 15?
One of the big what if’s when it comes to the iPhone 14 is whether or not the iPhone 15 will be the better deal. We do not know anything about the iPhone 15 yet, but we have some ideas about what to expect.
For starters, the new phones will likely follow in the footsteps of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max by utilizing the A16 chip in the base models. This would mean every phone in the generation will be significantly more powerful than the iPhone 14.
It is also likely that USB-C charging will finally be the norm after years of Apple using its in-house ports and charging methods. This will mean the accessories that come with the iPhone will change as new cords become necessities.
On the other hand, it is also possible that these innovations will come with price hikes. If the iPhone 15 is expensive, which is likely given previous trends, the iPhone 14 may have a value of its own. As of now, there are so many uncertainties that the iPhone 14 is hard to recommend.
The average person will get just as much out of an iPhone 13 as they would of an iPhone 14. The features are mostly the same, and the improvements are minor.
That said, if you are looking for new tech, the Pro and Pro Max versions of the iPhone 14 will be a better bet. The 14, despite its impressive hardware, sits in between these different options, making it difficult to recommend.
Use Navi to help yourself figure out what the best phone is for you. Navi enables you to sort through your personal preferences to ensure you only pay for what works for you. Navi uses industry insight to connect you with the best possible resources to make the best decision.
Use Navi to decide if the iPhone 14 is right for you.