Review: The iPhone 14 is just as good as it should be

Review: The iPhone 14 is just as good as it should be


  • improved camera
  • strong performance
  • Improved repairability is consumer friendly


  • The lack of a SIM card tray will be a problem for some
  • Battery life is a concern

Let’s get this out of the way now – $799 iPhone 14 It is a great smartphone with solid camera performance, reliable overall performance, and a slightly worrisome battery life. I’ve been using Apple’s latest base iPhone model, iPhone 14, for about 10 days along with iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro Max are very similar But it is completely different at the same time.

Upgrading from iPhone 13 to iPhone 14Not the most compelling move, or even the iPhone 12, but for anyone else who just needs a new iPhone – the iPhone 14 is well worth the investment.

However, if you are someone who wants a larger phone, you can either pick up iPhone 14 Pro Max Now (assuming you can find it in stock) or wait $899 for iPhone 14 Plus It will be launched on October 7. Pre-orders for the larger-screen iPhone 14 model are currently valid.

How and why did you reach those conclusions? Let’s dig.

also: How to get the best deal on new iPhone 14 models


Healer Apple A15 Bionic
Show 6.1 inch Super Retina XDR
memory 6 GB
storage 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
cameras 12MP Main, 12MP Ultra Wide, 12MP TrueDepth
battery up to 20 hours
Connection 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.3, 5G (Sub6/mmWave)
The operating system iOS 16
Colors Midnight, starlight, blue, violet, red product

Familiar design, except for one

Aside from the color options, the iPhone 14 is almost identical to the iPhone 13 in design. There is actually one noticeable change in my eyes, which is the lack of a SIM card tray on the iPhone 14. Apple made the decision to go with everything. eSIM, digital version From the little plastic card that we all carry between phones.

During the initial setup of the iPhone 14, I was asked if I wanted to Transfer my current phone number from my character iPhone 13 Pro Max To iPhone 14. Keep in mind, before turning on the iPhone 14 and logging in with my Apple ID, there was no way for the iPhone 14 to know what phone number I had or to which it would be assigned.

also: Here’s how the major carriers handle the iPhone 14 eSIM

After deciding that I wanted my iPhone 14 to use my phone number, Apple and my carrier did some magic behind the scenes and my number was transferred to the new iPhone in less than two minutes. It was really an easy experience.

I covered more details about making Switch from SIM to iPhone 14 eSIM herewhich should help you get started.

As for colors, you can get the iPhone 14 in Midnight, Starlight, Blue, Purple, or Product RED, with storage starting at 128GB, with options of 256GB and 512GB.

iPhone 14 standing on edge, indicating no SIM card slot

The side of the iPhone no longer has a SIM card slot.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Performance and battery life

If you visit Apple’s comparison toolpitting iPhone 13 vs iPhone 14You will notice that the phones use the same A15 Bionic processor. This is the first time Apple has used the previous generation processor in a new iPhone model, as the iPhone maker builds on the already solid performance that the A15 Bionic has brought to the iPhone 13.

To be clear, there is a slight difference between the A15 Bionic used in the iPhone 14. It has a five-core GPU, unlike four cores in the iPhone 13 version. Apple says that the extra core brings about an 18% increase in GPU performance to the iPhone 14 .

I didn’t notice any significant improvement in performance compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but I had no complaints about performance on the iPhone 13 overall. This means – I don’t think performance is an issue with the iPhone 14. I haven’t had any issues when multitasking between apps or playing Ballistic Baseball. Apple has had a track record of supporting hardware via software updates for several years, so I’m not worried about the company dropping support for the iPhone 14 anytime soon, despite it having the same processor as the now one-year-old iPhone 13.

Another internal difference between the two generations is the increase in memory, from 4GB in the iPhone 13 to 6GB in the iPhone 14. This added memory will help keep apps and tabs open in memory for longer and improve overall multitasking.

iPhone 14 on the table

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Battery life should be a little better, with the iPhone 14 getting an extra hour of video playback. After more than a week of testing, battery life is my only area of ​​concern with the iPhone 14. Probably because I came from iPhone 13 Pro Max With a bigger battery, but I pushed the iPhone 14 battery charge to the limit on a daily basis. On a busy day or even a busy day traveling on a business trip, I have no doubt that I will have to charge the battery before the end of the day to make sure I have enough energy to do so.

also: Bad battery after installing iOS 16? Don’t panic, do this instead

I’m intrigued to see what battery life is like in iPhone 14 Plusthe 6.7-inch version of the iPhone 14. Battery life is usually better on iPhone models with larger screens, and if that’s also the case this year, the Plus could end up being very popular.

iPhone 14 back cameras

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

camera upgrades

The biggest changes Apple made to the iPhone 14 are all about the camera. Apple describes the iPhone 14’s camera system as an “advanced dual camera system,” thanks in part to some hardware upgrades but also due to some iOS Camera Software Features Which is new this year.

There’s a new 12MP main camera with a larger sensor that uses Apple’s new Photonic Engine for better performance. Apple promises improved low-light performance from the engine, and the addition of a new working mode for video capture.

also: iPhone 14 Pro: Huge new camera sensor, same slow lightning transfers

When enabled, Action Mode will stabilize recorded video in a similar way to GoPro cameras. You’ll want to use the new mode outdoors, or at least in an area with plenty of light. I’ve done some random jogging around my house and backyard and can confirm that Motion Mode really keeps my iPhone video smooth and stable.

I can’t wait to fiddle with this feature further to see where it really excels, and where it falls short. The fact that it needs a well-lit environment is kind of frustrating.

As for the main camera, I’ve taken a bunch of photos and the iPhone 14’s main camera is definitely improvements over the iPhone 13. From a quick portrait mode photo I took of my Emoji, to a sunset photo you can see below, the iPhone 14 camera does a great job at capturing and reflecting colors lighting and details.

Sunset lights the end of the street

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

The above image has not been edited other than cropping the image in order to post it. All color and saturation settings remain the same.

safety first

You can expect more features to be enabled on iPhone 14 in the future. the new SOS emergency via satellite The feature, for example, is not yet available. It’s supposed to go live in November and will remain a free service for the next two years. Pricing after that is not known yet. Garmin offers a similar service on standalone devices with pricing plans starting at $15 a month, but I imagine Apple will figure out a way to bundle them into Apple One plans.

The new emergency communications feature comes along with a file Fault detection feature This will automatically identify when you are in a car accident and call emergency services for help.

also: iPhone 14 Pro has a lot of innovations for the same price as last year


It’s easy to call Apple as it repurposed the iPhone 13’s interior, made a small tweak here and there, and called it the iPhone 14. This year, Apple drew a line deeper in the sand to distinguish the iPhone 14 from the iPhone 14 Pro lined up. The Obviously, the iPhone 14 Pro line is for those who want a big change From last year’s design.

Like I said above, the iPhone 14 is a great phone, and for someone coming from an iPhone 11 or earlier, the iPhone 14 is a major upgrade. The camera, design, and overall performance are well worth the investment in Apple’s latest releases.

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