Hands-on with iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

Straight from this year's Apple Event, we've got our first hands-on impressions of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.

iPhone 14 Pink
iPhone 14
Starts at
$1,399
Processor
A15
Cameras
12MP + 12MP
Alex Choros
Group Reviews Editor
Read More
September 08, 2022
2 min read

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The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus stick to the script, in that they seem like a solid if unexciting update. They’re still iPhones! Here are some initial thoughts based on some quick hands on time after the launch.

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

iPhone 14 128GB plans (36 months)

iPhone 14 128GB plans (24 months)

iPhone 14 Plus 128GB plans (36 months)

iPhone 14 Plus 128GB plans (24 months)

Initial pros

A big screen with a less big price. Until now, if you wanted a big screen iPhone, you’d need to buy the more expensive iPhone. While the iPhone 14 Plus isn’t cheap by any measure, you still save a good chunk when compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. And a larger iPhone 14 certainly isn't a bad thing if you don't need or want all the bells and whistles. 

Battery bump. It was hard to fault the iPhone 13’s battery, but the iPhone 14’s is even larger; you’ll get an extra hour of video playback per charge. It’s hard to tell what this will mean in real-world usage, but the iPhone 13 was consistently giving me between five and six hours of screen time per charge. We'd expect eight or more from the iPhone 14 Plus, given its similarities to the Pro Max.

Car Crash Detection. It’s one of those features you’d hope you’d never need and not something I ever thought a phone should have, but it will almost certainly prove invaluable to a very small amount of users.

Initial cons

Doesn’t have the latest and greatest processor. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are powered by a slightly souped-up version of last year’s A15 processor, rather than the new A16 processor. In practice, this probably doesn’t matter. The A15 is a lightning fast chip. But it does mean the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus could have a shorter software support life when compared to the Pros. Apple tends to cut off phone support based on processor, so the standard iPhone 14 might see one year less support than the iPhone 14 Pro. 

Black finish is smudgy. The black finish on the standard iPhone family has been a fingerprint magnet for the last couple of years, and sadly still is. If you care about gadgets looking pristine, opt for one of the other colours instead. I’m quite partial to the new blue. 

No more iPhone mini. The iPhone mini may not have been the most popular model, but I’m a big fan of the smaller size. It’s sad to see it go, and hopefully, Apple will revive the size as an iPhone SE down the line.

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First thoughts

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus feel like upgrader phones. They’re the annual update with plenty of nice little improvements, but they’re still iPhones. If your iPhone 11 or iPhone XR is getting on and you’re not wooed by the Pros, the standard iPhone 14 models are a reliable pick. And while I’m sad about the lack of an iPhone 14 mini, at least the iPhone 14 Plus makes a larger screen slightly more fiscally accessible when compared to buying an iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Disclaimer: This author owns shares in Apple

Hands-on photos

How much does the iPhone 14 cost?

Starting at $1,399

The iPhone 14 starts at $1,399, while you're looking at a minimum of $1,579 for the iPhone 14 Plus.  

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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