Apple iPhone 14 review: the familiar iPhone I can’t help but love

Apple iPhone 14

MSRP $799.00

“The iPhone 14 is not an enormous upgrade compared its predecessor. But with a terrific design, screen, performance, and cameras, that is removed from a foul thing in any respect.”


  • Comfortable, high-end construct
  • OLED screen looks incredible
  • A15 chip performs great
  • Good camera upgrades
  • Dependable battery life
  • Helpful safety features


  • 60Hz display
  • No telephoto camera
  • eSIM could be a pain for some

“It’s just one other iPhone.” That’s how I’ve heard a variety of people confer with the iPhone 14 — and for good reason. In comparison with last yr’s model, the iPhone 14 is a very familiar smartphone. It has the identical design, screen, chipset, and a really similar camera system.

But here’s the thing. Those similarities shouldn’t come as a disappointment. The iPhone 14 takes a really strong foundation, keeps what works, and adds just a few subtle improvements that make it a greater overall handset. It’s removed from the yr’s most invigorating or jaw-dropping release, but when what you’re out there for is “just one other iPhone,” the iPhone 14 makes a terrific case for itself.

iPhone 14 design

An iPhone 14 laying on a table.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

This welcome familiarity is seen immediately with the iPhone 14’s design. The iPhone 14 still has a 6.1-inch display with a notch, Apple’s Ceramic Shield covering that display, and an aerospace-grade aluminum frame. You’re also treated to the identical square camera housing on the back with the angled sensors, though they’re barely larger than the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 can be 0.15mm thicker and 2g heavier, but otherwise, it’s the identical feeling and looking phone as last yr.

In my book, that is nary a foul thing in any respect. Perhaps it’s because I switched to the iPhone 14 from my much heavier iPhone 13 Pro, however the iPhone 14 feels wonderful to carry. It’s sturdy, lightweight, and the aluminum sides are impervious to fingerprints.

Someone holding a blue iPhone 14 in one hand and a purple iPhone 14 in another hand.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

I also quite like Apple’s choice of colours this yr. Apple sent me the iPhone 14 in purple, which looks like a muted lavender in person. It’s very subtle and never too vibrant, but I’ve loved carrying it around with me while reviewing the iPhone 14. The redesigned blue color can be great (and appears higher than the iPhone 13’s blue, for my part). The red color is significantly more vibrant this yr, plus midnight and starlight remain trusty neutral options.

The iPhone 14 feels wonderful to carry.

Other mainstays of the iPhone 13 are also present on the iPhone 14. An IP68 rating protects it from dust and water, it’s fully compatible with MagSafe accessories, and — yes — there continues to be a Lightning port on the underside as a substitute of USB-C.

Is that this a fresh or exciting design? In no way. Apart from different colours, the iPhone 14 really does look similar to the iPhone 13. I get that some people were hoping for a drastic redesign, but I’m completely satisfied Apple stuck with this body for one more generation. The iPhone 14 has proven practical and cozy in each day use, and it has looked good while doing so. Call it boring should you want, however it’s a smartphone design I can’t help but thoroughly enjoy.

iPhone 14 screen

An iPhone 14 standing up, propped against a succulent.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Apple’s recycling of last yr’s hardware also works out well for the screen … mostly.

The iPhone 14 is provided with a 6.1-inch OLED screen with a 2532 x 1170 resolution. There’s HDR support, as much as 800 nits of max typical brightness, and 1,200 nits of peak HDR brightness — all the identical specs we got with the iPhone 13.

In almost every regard, this stays a terrific display setup for the iPhone 14. Colours are punchy (but not overly saturated), text and icons look great, and the display is plenty visible in shiny rooms or outside on a sunny day. Whether I’m watching a YouTube video, old photos, or reading an article from considered one of my colleagues, the iPhone 14’s screen allows all of it to pop.

Someone holding an iPhone 14. The display is turned on and showing the Control Center.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Where the iPhone 14 display disappoints is with its refresh rate. Just like the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max last yr, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max again have 120Hz screens. The baseline iPhone 14, nevertheless, is again stuck with a 60Hz one. In comparison with phones with 120 or 90Hz refresh rates, things like scrolling and swiping look choppier on the iPhone 14.

Being stuck with 60Hz on the iPhone 14 is a shame.

iOS 16’s smooth animations and the nice performance out of the A15 Bionic keep the iPhone 14 from ever feeling slow or sluggish, however it’s still disappointing to not see any improvement here. Within the Android space, it’s not unusual to see phones for $600, $500, and even $400 with 90 or 120Hz refresh rates. Being stuck with 60Hz on the iPhone 14, a phone that starts at $799, is a shame.

iPhone 14 cameras

An iPhone 14 resting inside of a decorative lamp.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The iPhone 14 Pro has stolen a lot of the camera limelight for its recent 48MP primary sensor, but that doesn’t mean the conventional iPhone 14 is a slouch. Like so many other facets of the phone, the iPhone 14’s cameras are quite a bit just like the iPhone 13 but barely improved in some key ways.

You continue to have a 12MP primary camera, however it’s a bigger sensor with an f/1.5 aperture to capture more light and make lowlight shots look higher. The front-facing camera is much more improved. The megapixel count stays at 12MP, however it has a bigger f/1.9 aperture (in comparison with f/2.2 on previous iPhones) and introduces autofocus for the primary time. The 12MP ultrawide camera is strictly because it was on the iPhone 14’s predecessor.

Sounds great! But what does any of this mean for photo quality? Starting with the 12MP major camera, it has the entire same qualities we saw with the iPhone 13. In good lighting conditions, the iPhone 14 can produce truly gorgeous photos. Colours are vibrant and true to life, images have a load of nice details, and the Camera app captures photos quickly for fast, trustworthy shooting. And in these well-lit conditions, the larger sensor gives some subjects a natural depth of field, allowing you to get portrait-like shots without using the dedicated Portrait mode.

I’ve also been mostly completely satisfied with lowlight images. In a dark room at night with minimal lighting, the iPhone 14 can still take excellent photos with ample detail (the photo of my cat sleeping on a pillow is a terrific example).

For scenes which can be really dark, the iPhone 14 robotically switches to Night mode. It’ll robotically hold exposure for around 2 or 5 seconds, but you possibly can force it to go on for 30 seconds should you really want it. In these scenarios, the iPhone 14 does job of letting ample light into to show a pitch-black scene into something that’s actually visible. However the more you bring the lights down, the softer and softer details change into.

An outdoor photo of the sky and a pond, taken with the iPhone 14.

An outdoor photo of the sky and a pond, taken with the iPhone 14.

  • 1.
    Photo from the iPhone 14’s major camera
  • 2.
    Photo from the iPhone 14’s ultrawide camera

What concerning the ultrawide camera? Regardless that it’s similar to the iPhone 13’s, it’s been extremely reliable during my testing. Colours are nearly similar to the major camera, the broader view is useful, and details look pretty good considering the ultrawide nature of the thing.

A selfie of Joe Maring and his dog, taken with the iPhone 14.

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

A selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the iPhone 14.

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

A selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the iPhone 14.

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

A selfie of Joe Maring, taken with the iPhone 14.

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

And, in fact, now we have to speak concerning the recent selfie camera. I’ll say upfront that I’m not a selfie guy. I’ve never been one to take a variety of selfies, and I don’t anticipate that the iPhone 14 will change that about me. Besides, it’s pretty remarkable how significantly better the iPhone 14’s recent selfie camera really is.

Due to the addition of autofocus, photos generally look sharper throughout. From finer details in your hair and face to taking up-close shots of you and your mates, autofocus adds a recent layer of flexibility that may really take selfies to the subsequent level. And just like the major camera, the larger aperture leads to higher natural bokeh and decent results even when the lights go down.

iPhone 14 performance

Call of Duty: Mobile on an iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Some of the controversial changes with the iPhone 14 is something that didn’t change in any respect. Normally, Apple gives every recent iPhone a recent chipset to power it. The iPhone 12 series got the A14 chip, the iPhone 13 lineup was powered by the A15, and all iPhone 14 handsets have the A16 — right? Not exactly.

While the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have a recent A16 chipset, the iPhone 14 (and iPhone 14 Plus) still have the A15. It’s the more powerful version of the A15 utilized in the iPhone 13 Pro with five GPU cores as a substitute of the 4 utilized in the conventional iPhone 13, but otherwise, it’s the very same processor.

There’s been loads of backlash against this decision as one other way for Apple to stifle innovation and save a buck. And possibly it’s! But I’d be lying if I said I used to be upset about having the A15 within the iPhone 14.

The A15 continues to be an incredible mobile chipset.

Simply put, this continues to be an incredible mobile chipset. Every day apps like Twitter, Outlook, and Instagram run and not using a hitch. Games are great, too. I’ve played a variety of Call of Duty: Mobile on the iPhone 14, and from the graphics to border rate, every little thing performs perfectly. The iPhone 14 also touts a recent thermal design, supplying you with higher heat dissipation in comparison with the iPhone 13. I only got the iPhone 14 to get noticeably warm once during testing, and that was after 30+ minutes of downloading quite a few files for CoD: Mobile with the display on. Otherwise, the phone has run cool as a cucumber no matter which apps or games I’m running.

iPhone 14 eSIM

Someone holding up an iPhone 14 to their ear.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Speaking of controversy, we should always take a minute to discuss eSIM. In case you buy an iPhone 14 within the U.S, it doesn’t include a physical SIM card. As an alternative, cellular service is barely accessed via a virtual eSIM. We’ve had eSIM technology in smartphones for years, however the iPhone 14 is the primary major smartphone to only have eSIM and no option for a physical SIM card.

In my very own experience, this hasn’t been an issue in any respect. I already had my number as an eSIM on my iPhone 13 Pro and transferred it to the iPhone 14 in about two minutes. Apple guides you thru this process during setup, and you possibly can access eSIM transfer/activation settings at any time within the Settings app. And even when you will have an older iPhone that’s still using a physical SIM card, Apple’s worked with major carriers within the U.S. to make the transfer process as seamless as possible.

Transferring an eSIM from an old iPhone to an iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

While I’ve had no issues with eSIM on the iPhone 14, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been causing headaches for some people. If you will have service through a smaller provider like Mint Mobile, transferring your SIM may require using your carrier’s app or having to call customer support. Transferring your SIM from an Android phone also comes with its own headaches, and there have been some reports of eSIM transfers taking hours (and even days) with some numbers.

Just transferred a T-Mobile eSIM from a 13 Pro to a 14 and yeah— the entire process for transferring eSIMs is shockingly quick and easy

eSIM isn’t without its faults, however it’s also not the large scary monster some are making it out to be

— Joe Maring (@JoeMaring1) September 15, 2022

That is considered one of those things where your mileage will vary. In case you’re coming to the iPhone 14 from an old iPhone, the eSIM transfer process must be fairly easy — regardless should you’re already using eSIM or still have a physical SIM card. Things stand to be more complicated should you’re switching from an Android phone, and should you plan on doing a variety of international travel, there are challenges to contemplate there, too. There’s actually still work to be done here, and although eSIM is removed from perfect, it hasn’t done anything to tarnish my time with the iPhone 14. Here’s to hoping Apple and carriers could make that the case for everybody sooner moderately than later.

iPhone 14 automotive crash detection and satellite connectivity

Person holding iPhone 14 with Emergency SOS via satellite notifications.Apple

Two other big features with the iPhone 14 are automotive crash detection and satellite connectivity — two features I’ve been unable to try with my iPhone 14.

The previous is pretty self-explanatory. In case you’re involved in a severe automotive crash, the iPhone 14 uses a wide range of sensors to detect changes in speed and cabin pressure, extremely loud sounds, and a sudden shift within the direction you’re heading. If it determines that you simply were involved in an accident, the iPhone 14 displays a automotive crash screen with buttons to call emergency services or dismiss the pop-up. In case you don’t respond inside 10 seconds, emergency services are robotically called for you. Apple says it used 1 million hours of “real-world driving and crash data” to construct the iPhone 14’s automotive crash detection. In need of me getting in an accident to check the feature myself, I’ll take Apple at its word that the feature works as intended.

In an analogous vein, the iPhone 14 also brings Emergency SOS via satellite. In case you’re in a situation where you wish help but don’t have access to cellular data or a Wi-Fi connection, the iPhone 14 means that you can hook up with a satellite and send a message to emergency services. Like automotive crash detection, it’s considered one of those features you hope you never must use.

Regardless, I’m really glad Apple added these items this yr. Yearly improvements to processor speed, display resolution, and camera megapixels are great. But these are features that would legitimately save your life. Apple’s marketing may lay it thick with the severity of them, but there may be weight to what the corporate is saying. I pray that I never get in a foul automotive wreck or change into injured and stranded somewhere, but within the event that I do, it’s reassuring to know that the iPhone 14 has the mandatory tools to be useful in those situations.

iPhone 14 battery and charging

The battery page on an iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Finally, let’s discuss battery life. Apple made significant battery strides with the iPhone 13 series, and with the iPhone 14, it claims that endurance is even higher. While I’m not hitting the 20 hours of video playback Apple touts on its website, the iPhone 14 has consistently gotten me through every day I’ve used it — even after I’m really pushing it.

Here’s what a typical day with the iPhone 14 has looked like for me, I’ll watch about an hour of YouTube, play 30-ish minutes of Call of Duty: Mobile, and usually use countless other apps like Twitter, Safari, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, Apple Music, and more throughout the day. After over 14 hours of uptime with over 5.5 hours of screen-on time, I actually have about 25% battery life left within the tank.

On a lighter day with over 15 hours of use and about 4 hours of screen time (with little or no gaming), I ended the day with 38% still remaining. The iPhone 14 will likely be a one-day phone for most individuals, but I’ve been capable of very comfortably get through every day even with fairly heavy usage. Play just a few games, watch some videos, and take as many pictures as you wish. As long as you aren’t in your phone 24/7, you need to have the option to finish every day with the iPhone 14 with little-to-no battery anxiety.

The bottom of an iPhone 14, showing its speaker grille and Lightning port.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Apple didn’t make any charging improvements this yr, but the choices available are nice. You should utilize the Lightning port to get wired charging hastens to 25W, Qi wireless charging delivers as much as 7.5W, and a supported MagSafe charger (my preferred approach to charging) delivers as much as 15W of power. There’s no ultra-fast wired charging such as you’ll find on the OnePlus 10T or Oppo Reno 8 Pro, but possibly Apple will get around to adding that next yr with the iPhone 15.

The iPhone 14 is a terrific upgrade, should you need it

Someone holding an iPhone 14.Joe Maring/Digital Trends

That’s the iPhone 14. Its cameras are nicer, it’s barely higher with demanding games, and it has a few impressive safety features that you simply’ll (hopefully) never must use. But they’re there just in case.

I totally understand why some people have dismissed the iPhone 14 as an ‘iPhone 13S’ and as a tool you need to ignore. However it’s the last part I disagree with. In case you have already got an iPhone 13 and don’t see any reason to upgrade, that’s probably the suitable call.

But when you will have an iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and even the iPhone 12, the iPhone 14 is a phone I’m greater than completely satisfied to recommend. In case you don’t care concerning the Dynamic Island, 120Hz refresh rates, or a telephoto camera, the iPhone 14 is hands-down the most effective iPhone you possibly can buy today. Even when it’s just a little boring.

Editors’ Recommendations

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Elgin Shopping Mall
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart