We all were hoping to see some nice changes, both cosmetic and hardware, however Apple has decided to keep things simple. The new iPhone 14 looks identical to the iPhone 13 but is just slightly thicker this time.
The phone has the same camera setup with a new aperture size which will help you take better shots in low light. The battery life on the new iPhone is said to be better than last year.
I was also hoping to see the new Apple chipset however, it’s not coming in the base model. So, is the iPhone 14 really an upgrade over its predecessor or just a new name? Let’s find out in this Apple iPhone 14 Review.
The Apple iPhone 14 starts at Rs 79900 in India for the 128GB variant. There are two other variants – Rs 89900 for the 256GB storage variant and Rs 109900 for the 512GB storage variant.
The phone will be available in five colour options: Purple, Blue, Midnight, Starlight and Red. You can buy the phone directly from Apple’s official website or Amazon and Flipkart as well as Apple Premium Resellers.
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The Apple iPhone 14 packs the following items inside the box:
- USB-C to Lightning Cable
Before we talk in detail about the Apple iPhone 14, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.1 Super Retina AMOLED display
- Chipset: A15 Bionic
- RAM & ROM: 6 GB RAM | 128 GB, 256GB, 512GB Storage
- Software: iOS 16
- Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP
- Selfie camera: 12MP
- Battery: 3,279mAh
- Weight: 172 grams
- Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7 mm
The Apple iPhone 14 brings no major changes in the design department. By saying no major changes, what I mean is the new iPhone is a bit thicker than last year with bigger camera lenses. No other change at all. In fact, you won’t even be able to tell them apart at first glance.
It features a standard notch on the top of the front side housing the Face ID and selfie camera. Talking about the backside, you get to see the glass back with a matte finish, which looks really good. The edges are flat and made of aluminium with curved corners.
The in-hand feel is good and it feels really sturdy. It does, however, attract some fingerprints, so you better get a phone cover. Apart from that, you’ll notice two lenses on the back which are somewhat bigger this time. The phone brings a new Purple colour option which looks great.
Other than that, there are four more colour options: Blue, Midnight, Starlight and Red. Even though it’s not a big change, it is nice to see the old Purple colour back in the game.
The right side of the phone features the power button, while the left side houses the volume buttons, mute switch and SIM card slot. The bottom side holds the traditional lighting port along with a speaker grille.
Coming to the camera section, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus will still stick to having two lenses on the back. This includes a new 12MP main sensor with f/1.5 aperture and a 12MP Ultra-wide lens. The front has a 12MP lens with autofocus for taking selfies. While the bigger brothers, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max feature a triple camera setup on the back.
Things are pretty much the same as last year here as well. You won’t see any drastic improvement in camera performance. The main lens captures great photos in daylight with plenty of details and a high dynamic range.
The shots were crisp and the colours were really punchy. Low-light shots are where I noticed some improvement. These shots were more detailed and less grainy. I also took some portrait shots and the images turned out to be good. The subject was well separated from the background and the blur effect looked very subtle.
The ultra-wide performs similar to last year. Not much improvement here. The shots were good and the dynamic range was nice as well. To be honest, you won’t notice any change in quality if you are an iPhone 13 user.
Coming over to the front, you get a new 12MP selfie camera with autofocus. The selfies I took were detailed and crisp, thanks to the autofocus. The skin tones were pretty natural and the shots were pleasing to the eye.
Moving on to the video part, the iPhone 14 can record 4K videos at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps from both the main and front camera. But the real deal is the new Action Mode in the camera app, which lets you capture some super stable videos without compromising on details.
The Apple iPhone 14 comes with a battery improvement which goes with the thicker body to house a bigger cell. It packs a 3279 mAh battery along with the same old 20W fast charging support.
Apple claims that the new iPhone would offer 1 hour of more battery life during video playback than its predecessor. Personally, I wouldn’t mind my phone being a little more thicker if I’m getting a nice upgrade on the battery performance.
But is it a nice upgrade? I got easily through my day with casual use. My usage involved some gaming, Instagram scrolling, reading Tweets and watching videos on YouTube. If you are a heavy user, you might need to plug in the charger by the evening.
It really disappoints me that there is still no ‘Real’ fast charging support in the iPhone 14 sereis. Now, you would still need to charge the iPhone 14 using the usual type-C to lighting cable as Apple adopting a Type-C port still looks like a dream.
It comes with the standard 20W charging support which takes more than an hour to fully charge the phone from 0 to 100 per cent. A 30-minute charge can juice the battery to about 50 per cent. You can also charge the phone wirelessly with MagSafe and Qi wireless chargers.
The Apple iPhone 14 features a 6.1-inch Super Retina OLED display with a 2532×1170 pixel resolution. You get a peak brightness of 1,2000 nits while viewing HDR content. The phone gets bright enough for outdoor use, even under direct sunlight.
The display quality is superb, as it’s with every other iPhone on the market. The colours are punchy and the viewing angles are also good. But, the only letdown is getting a 60Hz refresh rate at this price range. Using the phone in day-to-day feels smooth, but still, I would have been happier to see a 120Hz panel, which is, by the way, reserved for Pro models.
Another thing reserved for Pro models is the always-on display mode. But keeping all this aside, the display doesn’t disappoint at all. I watched some videos on YouTube and my experience was pretty good.
Not to forget, this display is protected by Ceramic Shield. It is pretty tough and will save your phone from minor accidental drops.
As far as I would have liked to see the new A16 Bionic chipset on the iPhone 14, that won’t be the case. The iPhone 14 comes with the same old A15 Bionic chipset which is paired with 6GB RAM and up to 512GB of storage. The new A16 Bionic chipset is reserved for the Pro models.
The only change you see is that iPhone 14 has 5 GPU cores like the Apple iPhone 13 Pro. Talking about performance, the phone handles everyday tasks smoothly without any issues. The phone easily runs demanding apps.
Multitasking is also pretty smooth and switching between the apps is a breeze. I did not face any lags or shutters while using the device. Those extra GPU cores help to provide a better gaming experience.
Talking about gaming, I tried some graphic demanding games like Apex Legends Mobile, New State Mobile and Asphalt 9. All the games ran smoothly without any lags at their highest settings. I did not notice any lags or frame drops during my gaming sessions.
Moreover, the phone doesn’t heat up at all while playing games. Overall, even though there is almost no performance improvement, it’s a flagship phone and you get the same level of performance.
The Apple iPhone 14 runs on the latest runs on iOS 16. There are many new features and customisation options coming with the latest software. Some of these are a new lock screen, a new health app, battery percentage indicator and more.
Starting off with the lock screen, you can now add up to four widgets to your lock screen. On top of that, you can have different lock screens saved on the phone and just switch among them with a single tap and hold gesture.
You can also hide a complete homescreen page and the apps that are placed there. With iOS 16, now you can see the battery percentage of your phone without needing to swipe down on the screen. Not a game changer but definitely a welcome addition, for me at least.
Not to forget, the new Health app comes with medication tracking apart from the standard fitness information. A really handy feature for elderlies and those who are on medication.
Apart from all this, the iPhone 14 series comes with two new features – Crash Detection and Emergency SOS. The Crash Detection feature uses the sensors on the phone to discover if the user has got into a car crash and automatically informs the emergency services.
Emergency SOS lets the user connect to a satellite and send an emergency message when there’s no cellular connectivity. You simply have to follow the instructions on the screen and point the phone towards the sky and let it connect to a satellite.
The Apple iPhone 14 packs a stereo speaker setup. The primary speaker is located at the bottom, while the other is on the top. The sound quality from these speakers is really clear and crisp. It’s pretty similar to last year, which was already good.
Talking about connectivity, the iPhone 14 comes with 5G connectivity with support for 22 5G bands. These include n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n25, n26, n28, n30, n38, n40, n41, n48, n53, n66, n70, n77, n78, and n79. It comes with Wi‑Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC and GPS as other connectivity options.
Apple iPhone 14 brings the standard Face ID setup housed inside the notch for biometric security. It is quite reliable and unlocks the phone quickly, even at night.
All in all, the phone seems like a small upgrade, at least for the base model. There is absolutely no change from the design perspective. It looks exactly like the iPhone 13. I won’t call a new colour option a design upgrade.
The same chipset as last year means not much change in performance. Yes, the main lens performs somewhat better in low light than its predecessor, but again, nothing extraordinary. The battery life is a teeny-tiny bit better, thanks to better optimisation.
So, the main question – is it really worth it? I don’t think so. It’s the same chipset, same display, same design. If you are using an iPhone 13, you are better off sticking to it. However, if you have an iPhone 11 or 12, you can consider this as a decent upgrade.