Is Apple’s iPhone 14 Worth It?

An unboxed iPhone 14
An unboxed iPhone 14. Photo credit to @sambalina on Unsplash.

Since the launch of the first iPhone back in 2007, Apple has released a new version every year. Each new release brings updated features and design changes, as well as improvements to performance, camera quality, and battery life. But with smartphones having reached a certain level of maturity, it becomes increasingly challenging to deliver meaningful innovation with each new release, which begs the question – is the iPhone 14 really worth your money?

The iPhone 14 series comes with four available versions, the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. It does not come with a complete design overhaul or a significant upgrade of the processor, with only the Pro versions using a new chip. Rather, this release offers a host of small upgrades from previous models that Apple hopes will add up to create a more refined user experience.

All models look nearly identical to their iPhone 13 counterparts, with barely any differences in size and weight. The main innovations lie in the camera, display, and emergency connectivity safety features.mAlthough the display itself is pretty much the same as its predecessor’s, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have two new features that aim to improve user experience.

The first is the always-on display, which constantly shows the time, your battery life, and a number of widgets when the phone is on standby mode. It’s almost like having your lock screen always on display, although at a lower brightness level and refresh rate.

Another innovation is Apple’s new dynamic island. This replaces the notch that previously housed the phone’s front-facing camera at the top of the screen with a new horizontal pill shaped cut out. As well as being a design change, the dynamic island shows notifications, alerts, or background messages from apps, such as music playback or countdown timers.

Mobile phones are critical to have around in an emergency, but the problem is that when you need to make a call, you might find yourself without coverage. To address this issue, Apple has included a new feature in the iPhone 14 that allows you to connect to first responders and medical professionals by sending an emergency SOS via satellite service, that makes it available when you don’t have cellphone coverage in your location.

And if you find yourself in an accident, the iPhone 14 can automatically call emergency services, even in you can’t, so that help can be on the way as soon as possible via the new Crash Detection feature. These safety features are a valuable addition, particularly for anyone who often finds themselves in rural or remote areas.

Is there anyone who still uses their smartphone for actual phone calls? It feels like the most important feature for users today is camera quality, and the iPhone 14 doesn’t disappoint, but it also doesn’t offer substantial innovations, with the Pro versions again leading the pack as the most improved.

The iPhone 14 has two 12MP rear cameras, a wide-angle and an ultra-wide angle, whereas the Pro phones count on a 48MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP ultra-wide angle, and a 12MP telephoto. This new 48MP camera is the big selling point of the Pro models, and it promises to deliver sharper, more detailed images.

But there are some other technical advances included in all the iPhone 14 models, such as improved performance in low-light settings with an f/1.9 aperture for brighter photos than the previous f/2.2 aperture. It also has a so-called “Photonic Engine,” designed to create better pictures by performing Deep Fusion calculations earlier than before. The phone analyzes images from multiple exposures and selects the best ones to combine them to create the best possible image.

If we take a look inside to see what’s in the iPhone 14, we can find several changes versus the iPhone 13. Although the iPhone 14 uses the same A15 Bionic chip as the iPhone 13, the Pro and Pro Max use the new A16 Bionic chip processor that, according to Apple, offers significantly improved memory bandwidth and faster performance than the A15. In terms of storage, all models in the series offer the same options as the iPhone 13. All models come with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB, with the Pro and Pro Max also offering a 1 TB version.

Another innovation that users will be happy with is that the iPhone 14 now comes with a removable glass back panel that makes it easier to access the inside of the phone for repairs, making it more painless to service. Hopefully this will help consumers be able to extend the life of the device.

When it comes to the ever-critical battery life, there is some improvement, with the iPhone 14 battery adding one hour of extra juice to each model over the previous version when watching video playback. However, users will be disappointed to see that there’s no real change in terms of fast charging. Annoyingly, the iPhone 14 still comes with Apple’s lightning cable rather than the newer and faster USB-C standard that most new devices use, forcing buyers to carry around another cable just for their iPhone.

And a significant update is that the iPhone 14 doesn’t come with a SIM card slot, which means that it is not possible to use physical SIM cards. Instead, it offers the option of using a dual eSIM, with the option to store up to eight eSIMs altogether. The option to have dual SIMS is definitely something mobile phone users have always wanted, and it’s been offered by Apple since the iPhone XS, the first that could combine a physical SIM and an eSIM on the same phone. But with many countries not having eSIM support, it remains to be seen how popular this feature will actually be or if the lack of a physical SIM slot could turn out to be a showstopper, especially for avid travelers.

So should you upgrade to Apple’s iPhone 14? The short answer is that it depends on what phone you have now. If you’re still using an iPhone 11 or earlier, the new camera and improved battery life alone could be worth the upgrade. But if you have an iPhone 12 or 13, the changes might not be significant enough to warrant spending money on a new phone.

Written by Editorial Team

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