A review of the iPhone 14, asking whether or not you should bother upgrading.

I feel bad for the iPhone 14 because it seems to be this year’s recipient of the least amount of love and attention from Apple. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, two of Apple’s favorite children, have been lavishly updated with a dazzling new user interface called Dynamic Island UI, an always-on display, a powerful new chipset called the A16 Bionic, improved wide and ultra-wide cameras, and a variety of other features.

“Duh!” you may be thinking. The Pro and Pro Max versions will invariably have the most desirable specifications. Yes, however this year there is a bigger gap between the luxuries that come standard on the base models and those that come standard on the more expensive ones. This is a departure from Apple’s usual practice, in which the company updates the chipsets and designs of all of its models simultaneously. However, the iPhone 14 did not receive the Dynamic Island or the A16 CPU. Ouch!

Specs for the iPhone 14

  • Starting: $799
  • OS: iOS 16
  • The display is 6.1 inches and has Super Retina XDR.
  • CPU is an A15 Bionic processor, and the GPU has 5 cores
  • RAM: 6GB
  • 12 megapixels wide (with an aperture of 1.5), and 12 megapixels ultrawide (at 2.4).
  • Selfie camera: 12 MP (f/1.9)
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • 9:01 for the battery.
  • Size: 5.78 x 2.81 x 0.31 in inches
  • 6.07 ounces is how much it weighs.

Does the iPhone 14 look pitiful and envious when it compares itself to its more expensive Pro siblings? Perhaps, but if I were in the shoes of the Pro and Pro Max, I would remind the iPhone 14 that it still has plenty of striking features that differentiate it from the iPhone 13, such as crash detection, satellite connectivity, and improvements to the selfie and wide-angle cameras. These are just a few examples. Another nice feature that the iPhone 14 can brag about is the addition of Action Mode, which is a new video benefit.

Specifications and pricing for the iPhone 14

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon customers may purchase the iPhone 14 with 128GB of storage for a starting price of $799 when they connect it to their network using the device. You’ll have to fork out the sum of $829 if you want to buy it right now and decide on a carrier at a later time. You have the option of going with the payment plan if you are unable to cough up a wad of eight smackeroos right this second. For instance, Apple provides a payment plan with a monthly installment of $33.29 for a period of two years, but Verizon provides a payment plan with a monthly installment of $22.19 for a period of three years.

I strongly suggest that you look into the many trade-in bargains that are available for the iPhone 14. If you use Apple’s Trade-In program, you can obtain a credit for the purchase of an iPhone 14 worth up to $720. For instance, if you trade in your iPhone 13, you may receive $470 credit toward the purchase of the 128GB variant of the iPhone 14, which brings the total cost of the upgrade down to $329. Win!

iPhone 14 design

Apple provided us with a blue review unit, but it is not the rich cobalt or lapis blue that is known for its richness, vibrancy, and royal appearance. It is more of a pastel blue, soft looking, barely their blue — the sort of colors you might see inside a pediatrician’s office, a nursery, or a gender-reveal party. It is a barely-there blue. My taste does not go in that direction, but as the old proverb goes, “there’s a lid for every pot.”

The iPhone 14 is, in all essential respects, an identical twin to the iPhone 13. It still features the boxy, flat-edged form of the iPhone 4 and has rounded corners, but this design allows the iPhone 14 to stand on its own. When I noticed the distinctive notch on the display of the iPhone 14, I said to myself, “you’re still here?!” as I would to an obnoxious houseguest who had overstayed their welcome. Although the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max feature a cutout in the shape of a pill that is less invasive, the “notch” design that has been synonymous with the iPhone brand is still present on the base model of the iPhone. Sigh.

The dual camera configuration on the iPhone 14 is laid out horizontally, much like it was on the iPhone 13 when the device is flipped over to display its glossy back and lustrous Apple logo. It will come as a relief to learn that the iPhone 14 maintains its water resistance classification of IP68, which indicates that it can withstand being submerged in water at a depth of roughly 6 meters for a period of half an hour. If you live in an area that is frequently wet or humid. It is my sincere hope that you are not trapped in a sandstorm; nevertheless, if you are, it is probable that your iPhone 14 will not be damaged because it is “dust tight.”

No matter how many fingerprints you leave on the chassis of the iPhone 14, they are almost impossible to see. This is one of the design features that I really enjoy about the iPhone 14. Even though I might be in the minority on this, I really like how Apple got rid of the SIM tray (for U.S. customers).

eSIMs have been a godsend for me as a frequent flyer and traveler in the past when I’ve utilized them. The cost of purchasing a SIM card at the airport is high, and who wants to search out a shady hole-in-the-wall location in an unknown neighborhood in order to acquire phone service? In addition to this, it is quite simple to misplace those little, real SIM cards. As a result, I am really grateful to Apple for launching the new age of using eSIMs exclusively. It is only a matter of time before other competitors (like Samsung, for example) catch on.

A review of the iPhone 14 asking whether or not you should bother upgrading. 1

Display for the iPhone 14

Even though this is a review of the iPhone 14, when I saw it sitting next to the iPhone 14 Plus, its 6.1-inch, 2532 x 1170-pixel, Super Retina XDR (OLED) display made it appear to be a much smaller device than it actually is. The iPhone 14 Plus, on the other hand, looked like The Rock with its enormous 6.7-inch display and 2778 by 1284-pixel resolution (and the iPhone 14 is, sorry to say, reminiscent of Kevin Hart).

Everything appeared to have a superior image quality on the iPhone 14 Plus, including gaming, streaming, and online surfing. Because there is more content displayed, it is more comfortable for the viewer to look at. If like me, you have a tendency to be a bit of a klutz, then the screen of the iPhone 14 is less likely to shatter in comparison to other rivals since it still has the Ceramic Shield display that was introduced with the iPhone 12. This is a positive aspect of the iPhone 14.

There has never been an iPhone display that has genuinely impressed me, and the display on the iPhone 14 is no exception. It’s not bad by any means, but I doubt anyone will say much more than “Yeah, it’s good. Whatever. Nothing exceptional coming from me, sorry.

I was able to view the trailer for The Black Adam on YouTube. I was able to see the red ophthalmic veins that were flowing through Dwayne Johnson’s sclera like they were stray branches when the frame focused on Dwayne Johnson’s eyes. My attention was drawn to Quintessa Swindell’s Cyclone because of her stunning hair, which was styled in a spiral pattern. I have to give credit where credit is due: the display on the iPhone 14 does a great job of bringing out the finer details.

However, the screen does not have enough color. On the screen of the iPhone 14, the shade of purple that Viola Davis wore on her lips, for instance, might have been more arresting and startling. To be fair, this is not something that the everyday Joe is going to pick up on. As a reviewer who has encountered a great number of stunning displays, the lackluster quality of the one on the iPhone 14 stands out to me more than it does to others.

Our test findings mirror my anecdotal experience. According to our colorimeter, the iPhone 14 covered just 83% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. This coverage did not come close to meeting or exceeding the 91% coverage of the typical smartphone. The latest generation of the iPhone was not able to compete with the astounding 151% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage of the Galaxy S22, but happily, it was an improvement over the iPhone 13 (which only had 110%).

According to Apple, the iPhone 14 can achieve a maximum brightness of 1,200 nits, however, based on our tests, the highest level of brightness that we were able to get with the iPhone 14 was 758 nits. This is a decrease in brightness compared to the iPhone 13, which has an average brightness of 796 nits. The Galaxy S22 is a shining example of excellence, reaching a staggering 1,191 nits in brightness. The positive aspect is that the iPhone 14 was able to outperform the typical smartphone (698 nits).

The iPhone 14 has a Delta-E color accuracy of 0.25, which is a modest improvement over the iPhone 13 (0.26) and the typical smartphone. Closer to 0 is preferable (0.26). This performs far better than the Galaxy S22 when it is set to the Vivid mode (which is the default), which has a Delta-E color accuracy score of 0.33. If you want to see a better score of 0.24, you have to switch the Android flagship to its Natural mode. However, this results in a color gamut that is only 79% accurate according to the DCI-P3 standard.

iPhone 14 Audio

The volume of the music that blasted out of the dual speakers that were already incorporated into the iPhone 14 was sufficient to kick off a small party. My evaluation space is around 1,000 square feet, and I used Spotify to play Doja Cat’s “Vegas.” The song completely filled the space. It seems clear enough for me to distinguish the right lyrics, which are “you ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog” rather than “hot dog”!

On the iPhone 14, the bluesy melody had good amplification and was very clear, yet it lacked a certain degree of warmth. Nevertheless, when I was browsing the Apple Music app, I came upon a playlist of tunes that are optimized for a spatial-audio experience.

I put on Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl,” and the speakers were filled with a groovy and recognizable beat that went on and on like a well-tuned machine. The Spatial Audio Hits playlist that can be found on Apple Music comes highly recommended to me. When tuned with Dolby Atmos, songs have an overall sound quality that is more velvety smooth than typical.

The capabilities and visuals of the iPhone 14

Even though the iPhone 14 was passed over for an update to the A16 Bionic chip, it is still in the first place, and I have proof of that!

The iPhone 14, which is equipped with an A15 Bionic CPU and has had its graphics processing unit (GPU) enhanced to include 5 cores, scored a remarkable score of 4,554 on the Geekbench 5 overall performance test. That performs far better than the typical smartphone (3,446) and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU used in the Galaxy S22 (3,341). Additionally, it was superior to the iPhone 13 (4,436).

My test of the iPhone 14’s ability to multitask was easily passed thanks to its 6GB of RAM. It effortlessly managed 15 tabs in Google Chrome, 10 tabs in Safari, three mobile games, and streaming from Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify all at the same time.

In our video-editing test with Adobe Premiere Rush, it took the iPhone 14 28 seconds to complete a series of tasks, which is two seconds longer than the score achieved by the iPhone 13, which was 26 seconds. To our relief, the iPhone 14 blew right by both the typical smartphone (which took 53 seconds) and the Samsung Galaxy S22 (48 seconds).

Battery life of the iPhone 14

If you were considering upgrading from an iPhone 13 to an iPhone 14, but this section has swayed your opinion, you may want to rethink your decision.

The iPhone 14 lasted for 9 hours and 1 minute on the battery test that was conducted by Laptop Mag. The test consisted of continuous web surfing at 150 nits while connected to a cellular network. This is far worse than the typical smartphone (9:18), and it’s even worse than the iPhone 13. (9:40). The Galaxy S22, on the other hand, comes out on top in this match despite having a terrible battery life of 7 hours and 7 minutes. Yikes!

iPhone 14 cameras

The iPhone 14, just like the iPhone 13, features two 12-megapixel cameras on the back and one 12-megapixel camera on the front for taking selfies. Apple claims that there has been a significant increase in low-light performance on the wide camera by 49%; let’s talk about whether or not I saw the changes when I took the cameras out for a spin in Manhattan.

Wide camera

The wide camera in the iPhone 14 has been upgraded from the iPhone 13’s 1.7 m lens to a newer, more advanced 1.9 m lens. These numbers correspond to the pixel size, which is expressed in microns (m). Because larger pixel size equals more light, Apple asserts that the wide-lens camera on the iPhone 14 provides superior performance in low-light environments than the camera on the iPhone 13. On top of that, the aperture of the main camera on the iPhone 14 was upgraded to f/1.5, which is a significant improvement over the f/1.6 aperture on the iPhone 13.

When taking photos outside throughout the day using the wide-angle camera on the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14, I did not detect a significant difference between the two devices. And that is not always a negative thing. At Sutton Place Park, I used my iPhone 13 to take a photo of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, and I was astonished by how beautifully the camera captured the distorted reflections dancing on the surface of the East River.

This time, though, I had the iPhone 14 with me as I visited Sutton Place Park for the second time this year. The rust and weathered elements that dotted the century-old point of interest are captured rather clearly in the photographs of the bridge, which are still in excellent condition.

However, it wasn’t until I zoomed in on the bridge by two times that I saw several characteristics that set the iPhone 14 apart from its predecessor. These differences made the bridge stand out more clearly. The Roosevelt Island Racquet Club seemed in the distance to have greater clarity and detail when viewed on the iPhone 14, Apple’s most recent entry-level smartphone. The structure appeared to be a little bit out of focus on the iPhone 13. I have a sneaking suspicion that the bigger sensor and higher pixel count of the iPhone 14 helped it produce better images when zoomed in.

Ultrawide camera

Apple did not make any upgrades to the ultra-wide camera, despite the fact that it already has 12 megapixels, an aperture of f/2.4, and a focal length of 13 millimeters. This is regrettable because the camera could most surely benefit from an upgrade. The ultra-wide camera on the iPhone 14 is fantastic for capturing expansive landscapes, which is one of the many reasons I enjoy this feature of the device. When you go from the wide camera to the ultra-wide camera, it is almost as if you have been pulled back by a few yards in order to gain a more comprehensive view of the scene that is in front of you.

However, when you utilize the ultra-wide camera, you do lose some of the sharpness and clarity that the wide lens provides, which is notably noticeable in areas with low levels of illumination. Have a look at the photographs that are underneath. The Valley Stream Community Center may be seen in all of its splendor in the first photo, where it can be seen overlooking a dark lake.

Selfie camera

In comparison to the iPhone 13, which had an aperture of f/2.2, the 12MP TrueDepth camera in the iPhone 14 has been upgraded to have an f/1.9 aperture. I’ve stated this several times in the past, but I’ll say it one more: the selfies I snap with my iPhone aren’t very good in my opinion. I understand that Apple may feel driven to develop and enhance the selfie camera, but there comes a point when a camera is simply too excellent. This is something that Apple should keep in mind.

Alongside the release of the iPhone 14, Apple also debuted a brand new component called the Photonic Engine. To put it succinctly, this computational photography technology makes use of artificial intelligence and software to improve the sharpness and level of detail of your photographs, particularly in low-light settings. After taking a selfie at Sutton Place Park, I couldn’t help but notice the Photonic Engine doing its (dark) magic behind the scenes.

After descending a flight of subway stairs and braving a ten-minute walk to the green area in hot weather, the selfie camera was able to capture my strained and fatigued look, as well as some unpleasant beads of perspiration. This was after I had endured the ordeal in hot weather. The identical selfie was taken with my Galaxy S22 Ultra, but for some reason, it made me appear a lot less exhausted. My skin took on an unusually rosy tone all of a sudden, almost as if the sun were setting directly in front of me. In the meantime, the selfie taken with the iPhone 14 produced a picture with cooler tones that is more “lifelike.”

iPhone 14 operating system, as well as the warranty
iOS 16, which was introduced at the beginning of September, may be found on the iPhone 14. There have been instances of people having a bizarre camera fault with third-party applications, but you don’t need to be concerned about that because it’s just a problem for the Pro models.

I opened TikTok, Instagram, and a few other apps that supported my camera, and I was able to use them normally regardless of whether or not I was really utilizing my camera. The return of the percentage of remaining battery life to the status bar is one of the new features in iOS 16 that I particularly like. Instead of expecting you to analyze the iconography on your own to determine what your battery state is, iOS 16 will actually inform you that it is at 27% instead of expecting you to figure it out on your own.

Bottom line

I don’t find the iPhone 14 to be very impressive, but I don’t believe that was Apple’s goal in developing it. The iPhone 14 was intended to be an incremental advance; nevertheless, in certain respects, it was really a little step backward, particularly in terms of its battery life.

Having said that, depending on the way you live your life, you could find that possessing an iPhone 14 is beneficial. For instance, if you’re a travel vlogger who hates carrying around a gimbal, you might find the Action Mode feature useful. This feature will stabilize your videos no matter where you are, whether you’re navigating through crowded, tight places in Mykonos or enduring a bumpy airboat ride on an alligator swamp tour. It doesn’t matter.

Or maybe you’re worried about your own safety or the safety of someone you care about, and the peace of mind that comes with having crash detection and satellite communication is invaluable. Fortunately, I haven’t gotten the opportunity to try the former, and Emergency SOS via satellite won’t be available on iPhone until November, but there’s little harm in upgrading to the iPhone 14 if these capabilities put your mind at ease.

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