iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus

iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus Review | Best value for your money

iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus Review | Best value for your money

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  • Post last modified:February 20, 2023
  • Post category:Tech
  • Post comments:2 Comments
  • Reading time:13 mins read

Apple recently held their Annual September event and as we all expected, the iPhone 14 lineup was revealed. Apart from all the upgrades and features released, Apple managed to squeeze in a new device; the iPhone 14 Plus. In exchange, the Mini was officially discontinued due to low demand and sales over the last two years. On the upside, the new iPhone 14 Plus is as big as the iPhone 14 Pro Max which eliminates spending almost double the money to get a larger display.

The main focus in these new phones, was performance and cameras. Despite them having last year’s A15 chip, they are still a bit faster due to some changes which we will discuss below. In the photography department, the name of the game is low light photography.

iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus

This is because every change they made was mainly targeted at improving low light photography which most mobile cameras suffer from. In this article, we are going to discuss the design language, the performance improvements with the A15 chip, the revamped cameras, the display,the battery life and I will finally give you my final thoughts.

• Build – Gorilla Glass (front), Gorilla Glass (back), Aluminum frame
• Display – 6.1” Super Retina XDR OLED (iPhone 14)
– 6.7” Super Retina XDR OLED (iPhone 14 Plus)
• Peak brightness – 1200nits
• Refresh rate – 120Hz Pro Motion
• OS – IOS 16
• Chipset – A15 Bionic (5nm)
• RAM – 6GB
• Storage – 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
• Main Camera – 12 MP, f/1.5, 26mm (wide)
• Ultra-wide camera – 12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm, 120˚
• Selfie Camera – 12 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide),
• 3.5mm headphone jack – no
• Ports – Lightning port
• Security sensors -Face ID
• Battery capacity – Li-Ion 3279 mAh, non-removable (iPhone 14)
– Li-Ion 4323 mAh, non-removable  (iPhone 14 Plus)
• MagSafe wireless charging – 15W
• Qi magnetic fast Wireless charging – 7.5W
• Water resistance rating – IP68
• Colors – Midnight, Purple, Starlight, Blue, Product Red
• Starting Price – $799 (iPhone 14)
– $899 (iPhone 14 Plus)
• Availability – From September 16th (iPhone 14)
– From October 7th (iPhone 14 Plus)

Design language.

iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus

As with most Apple devices the build quality in both of these devices is as premium as it gets. Apple still boasts of Ceramic Shield which they claim offers the best scratch resistance as well as durability for their displays. The frame is made of Aluminum which adds a dash of elegance if you will.

The iPhone 14 features a 6.1-inch display while its bigger brother comes in at 6.7-inches. Despite their size differences, both displays are OLED and are Pro Motion enabled. Pro Motion is Apple’s way of saying that the displays support 120Hz refresh rate. The faster transitions and buttery smooth animations come at the cost of battery life. Although you can choose between the standard 60Hz and 120Hz, dynamic refresh rate would have been so much better in these models.

Red iPhone 14

Dynamic refresh rate simply means that the display can automatically adjust its refresh rate depending on what you are viewing. For example when gaming it can adjust itself to 120Hz but when reading an E-Book, the display can adjust to as low as 1Hz like in the Pro models.

On the same note, it is frustrating to see that the Always on display did not transition over to the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus. Part of the reason may be due to the impact it might have on battery life since both of these devices lack dynamic refresh rate. Other than these two downsides, the display is as sharp and bright as ever. In fact both devices have a peak brightness of 1200nits which is more than enough even in bright outdoor conditions. To put this into perspective, the recently announced M2 MacBook Pro 13 has a peak brightness of 500nits which is half of what both of these iPhone devices offer.

iPhone 14 Plus on a table

Aside from the display, Apple is still staying true to the lightning port. Most people thought that this year they would finally transition over to USB Type C but it is what it is. Unfortunately, the new design which Apple refers to as the Dynamic Island did not make it to any of these devices which is a bummer. Design-wise, it is really hard to tell between the iPhone 13 and both of these devices since not much has changed.


iPhone 14 camera layout

The cameras have received major revamps all for the sole purpose of low light photography as I mentioned earlier. Apple can’t seem to emphasize enough how important low light photography is. This is true because most mobile cameras are really bad when it comes to low light photography.

This year, the main camera still features a 12MP sensor, however, the sensor is a bit bigger as compared to last year and the pixels are now larger at 1.9 microns. The main camera now also has a faster aperture which allows for better motion freezing when taking photos. In addition to this, night mode exposure is also twice as fast. The benefit of having a larger sensor is that more light can be captured hence the image processor has more data to work with.

The result is richer photos which have a lot of details. Another upside to a larger senor is better low light photos which Apple claims to be 2.5X better when compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. The Ultra-wide lens is more or less the same as the one from last year, which is necessarily not a bad thing.

iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus

The Front facing True depth camera received auto focus for the first time ever in an iPhone which is a very huge deal. The aperture in the selfie camera is also faster when compared to its predecessor. When you combine both of these features the front facing camera can now focus subjects quickly and with a lot of precision which is very impressive.

All this hardware is very impressive but without the right software engineering, it is all in vain. This is why Apple has introduced a new photonic engine. The Photonic engine is a new image pipeline which uses hardware, machine learning and software to improve the overall image quality. With all the hardware changes coupled with the new photonic engine, Apple claims that you should expect a 2X improvement in low light environment with the Ultra-wide lens, a 2.5X improvement with the main lens and a 2X improvement with the Front facing camera

iPhone 14 with the iPhone 14 Plus

In addition to all this, Apple introduced Action Mode which is a more advanced stabilization mode. Action Mode uses the full sensor with more over-scan and advanced roll correction for stabilization. This results in very stable videos even in the most shaky conditions such as running while filming. As a bonus, Action Mode eliminates the need of having a gimbal. As far as cameras are concerned, these are all the changes, upgrades and tweaks that come with both the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus.


A15 Bionic chip

When it comes to performance, Apple does not disappoint. It came as a surprise when they announced that both the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus were going to use last year’s A15 Chip. But is it really that big of a deal? Of course not. Despite having the older chip, some tweaks have been done to it to improve on performance more so in the GPU. See, last year there were two versions of the A15 Bionic chip. One had a 4 core GPU while the other had a more powerful 5-core GPU.

The 4-core GPU chip was allocated to the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini while the latter was allocated to the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. This year, both of these devices receive the more powerful A15 Bionic chip with the 5-core GPU. To add cherry on top of the cake, the GPU is now 18% faster as compared to the same chip from last year which is an advantage when dealing with graphic intensive tasks such as gaming.

iPhone 14

In addition to this, Apple has updated the internal design of the iPhone 14 for the sole purpose of improving thermal performance. Other than that, the A15 chip still has a 6-core CPU with two high performance cores and 4 high efficiency cores. Although Apple does not like to talk about RAM, both of these devices come with 6GB RAM and storage options of either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB.

Battery life and Charging.

iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus

This year Apple announced that both of these devices feature the longest battery life ever in an iPhone. According to Apple’s statistics, the iPhone 14 can last up to 20 hours on a single charge while the iPhone 14 Plus can last up to 26 hours. While it is true they can last this long, it should be taken with a grain of salt. This is because battery life is directly proportional to the task being done. For example if you are gaming for hours on end, you should expect lower battery life. This is because the high performance cores are now being used as well as a huge percentage of the 5-core GPU.

In terms of charging nothing has changed. Both can be charged either through MagSafe or via the lightning port. Through MagSafe, you can access fast wireless charging of 15W which is very impressive. This simply translates to 0-50% in 30 minutes. In terms of battery life and charging, I have no complains here.

Final thoughts.

iPhone 14 Plus

Both of these devices offer a lot of features at a relatively affordable price. But we have to address the elephant in the room. Are these devices worth the upgrade if you have an iPhone 13 or even an iPhone 12. Well, in my opinion you don’t. This is because most of these features especially software wise will be available if you upgrade to IOS 16. If you care about having an “outdated” A15 or even the A14 bionic chip, it does not really matter. This is because even the best chip from Android, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is still struggling to catch up with the A14 chip. But of course, if you have some extra money to spare, go for it. Cheers!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nelly Njeri

    Now I get the hype about the iPhones.

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