The iPhone 14 is faster than its predecessor and takes better photos. Nevertheless, one can unfortunately hardly recommend the purchase. The test explains why.
It’s a bit of a paradox: Technically, the new iPhone 14 is the best basic iPhone Apple has ever launched. But some of the group’s decisions make it look considerably less attractive – especially the in-house competition. By the way, you can find our test of the much more exciting iPhone 14 Pro here.
While that is iPhone 14 compared to the base model iPhone 13 a progress. Initially, little has changed in terms of design. The iPhone 14 again relies on the very chic combination of aluminum frame and glass back, and it also feels largely the same. The only difference: the camera bulge has become slightly larger. The difference is hardly visible, but ensures that the sleeves of the predecessor no longer fit by a hair’s breadth. If you have an iPhone 13, you can use the cases of the 14 – it doesn’t work the other way around.
- 1 iPhone 14: That sounds familiar to me
- 2 Biggest innovation of the iPhone 14: the camera
- 3 iPhone vs iPhone 14 Pro: The cameras are really good
- 4 Two innovations that are better not needed
- 5 iOS 16: Apple has hidden these 10 exciting iPhone features well
- 6 Is the iPhone 14 worth the extra cost?
- 7 Conclusion: A great iPhone that is difficult to recommend
iPhone 14: That sounds familiar to me
The display is also the same. The OLED screen still has a resolution of 2532 x 1170 pixels and is equally bright with a maximum of 1200 nits. The bulge for FaceID face recognition and the front camera, the so-called notch, is still fully available. The innovative “Dynamic Island”, in which the cut-out changes depending on the context, has only been given to the two iPhone 14 Pro by Apple. That iPhone 14 can hardly be distinguished from its predecessor in terms of look and feel.
On the technical side there are more innovations. With the A15 Bionic, Apple is again using the same processor as the iPhone 13, but there is one more graphics core. In terms of computing power, however, this is hardly measurable. In the benchmark program Geekbench, the iPhone 14 even performs slightly weaker than that iPhone 13 Pro with the same chip. That’s a bit irritating.
To be fair, however, one has to say that the iPhone 13 was so fast that it completed all everyday tasks in no time at all – this also means for the iPhone 14 that there is no reason to complain in games and apps. Nevertheless, the decision is at least unusual: So far, there has also been a chip of the latest generation with every new iPhone, but this year only get the iPhone 14 Pro the current A16 processor. In terms of future viability, this could definitely be a disadvantage for buyers of the simple iPhone 14 in the long run.
Biggest innovation of the iPhone 14: the camera
There’s a big innovation in the camera. The camera sensor has grown properly, so the Knipse can work with more light. This is especially noticeable in poor lighting. That iPhone 14 then captures more detail, almost reaching the quality of last year’s Pro model. Nevertheless: It cannot keep up with the significantly larger sensor of the iPhone 14 Pro.
The resolution remains the same as last year at 12 megapixels. That iPhone 14 Pro has a lot more to offer with 48 megapixels, which is particularly evident in RAW images. In everyday life and in good light, the difference is less dramatic than one might expect. The iPhone 14 shoots colour-true, sharp images. The night mode works better than the iPhone 13, depending on the quality of the iPhone 13 Pro But the new model doesn’t come close – even if the difference is minimal. You can find a comparison in the photo gallery.
The selfie snaps also have something new to offer. For the first time, Apple also installed an autofocus there. If, for example, a second person comes into the picture, this is also recognized and focused. This worked quickly and reliably in the test. The camera itself has not changed otherwise. With an aperture of f2.2 and 12 megapixels, it is identical.
The most important new feature is also available for video recordings iPhone 14. In the so-called action mode, the iPhone uses software to compensate for movements. That actually works great. Whether running fast behind the children or the dog, cycling or even with moving camera pans: the recordings look like professional tracking shots. It’s a shame: the mode doesn’t work in low light, the pictures are then so dark that you can hardly see anything. However, a warning message also appears if the light is not sufficient.
There is a small flaw in the resolution. Because the iPhone basically films in a higher resolution and compensates for the movements by only delivering a section in the middle as a result, the action mode cannot be used in full resolution. Apple names 2.7K as the highest resolution, in the test most of the recordings were in 1080p. But that is bearable.
There is little to complain about in terms of battery life. The iPhone lasted a whole day in the test, but in the end there were still reserves. Apple promises up to 20 hours of video playback, in normal practice between six and eight hours of normal use should be realistic. Unfortunately, even with the latest generation, Apple does not support the extremely fast charging that some Android competitors offer, but 50 percent is possible in a good half hour with the right power supply.
Two innovations that are better not needed
We couldn’t try out two of the most important innovations in the test – because hopefully nobody will ever need them. On the one hand there is the new ability to be able to connect via satellite in an emergency. So if you’re stranded in a remote area and have no signal, the new iPhones can connect directly to satellites to send a call for help. The function is initially only available in the USA and Canada. Incidentally, it is not free: Apple promises support for two years. After that, customers have to pay a fee from their mobile operator. So far no prices for Germany are known.
The second feature, which one would prefer never to see, is the crash detection. Thanks to new sensors and corresponding software tricks, the new iPhones are supposed to use typical movement patterns and ambient noise to recognize when they are in a car that is involved in an accident. As soon as a crash is detected, the iPhone then goes into emergency mode and independently makes an emergency call. Even if the driver or passenger is unconscious. How well this works could not be tested. Even very hard braking couldn’t fool the iPhone because it lacked the abrupt stop and noise of an actual crash. Here, customers have to rely on Apple’s promises. And hope they never have to put it to the test.
Is the iPhone 14 worth the extra cost?
Unfortunately, you can’t talk about the new iPhone 14 without also talking about money. With a recommended retail price of 999 euros, it is actually only 100 euros more expensive than the comparable iPhone 13. Because it comes with the iPhone 13 mini but there was an equivalent device for 799 euros, the entrance fee has effectively become 200 euros more expensive.
At the same time, last year’s iPhones have fallen in price. This is available at the release date of this test iPhone 13 Pro at almost the same price. It doesn’t have the new emergency features, but it offers the same chip and a comparably good camera – apart from the autofocus of the front camera. In addition, there are numerous premium features that are also reserved for the Pro models in this generation: the chic stainless steel frame, the significantly smoother 120 Hertz display and the better camera system with 3x zoom and macro mode.
Conclusion: A great iPhone that is difficult to recommend
That iPhone 14 does a lot of things right. It still feels very good, takes good photos and, with the two new emergency functions, offers useful extra features. That it still feels old is due to Apple’s other products: The iPhone 14Plus at least has the novelty factor of the larger display, that iPhone 13 Pro is still on par. The new iPhone 14 Pro are meanwhile ruthlessly superior. So Apple’s biggest competition is itself.
So it becomes really difficult to advise customers to buy the new iPhone. If you want to save money, you can get iPhone 13 a slightly worse device. That iPhone 13 Pro in turn offers numerous premium features – and apart from the emergency functions, which are only useful in extreme situations, has hardly any disadvantages. And if you want more power, you can go straight to the iPhone 14 Pro grab – and get a device that really feels like a new generation.
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Tag: iphone design, iphone 14, apple iphone, iphone release