Is the iPhone 14 Worth the Upgrade? How to Decide

Apple’s iPhone 14 lineup makes upgrading a tempting selection, particularly for those who’re eyeballing the iPhone 14 Professional for its sharper digital camera and always-on show. However relying on which telephone you might have, it may be a good suggestion to attend earlier than upgrading. In any case, the rumored iPhone 15 lineup could also be proper across the nook. 

When you’ve got a latest mannequin, such because the iPhone 13 or perhaps even 12, it will be smart to hold onto it for a short time longer. In case your telephone is older, nonetheless, it is price determining what you stand to achieve by leaping to a more moderen iPhone.

The $799 (£849, AU$1,399) iPhone 14 brings modest enhancements however not game-changing ones. These modifications embrace nitty-gritty digital camera enhancements and the assist for satellite-based emergency messaging. The iPhone 14 additionally has a brand new inside design, with less complicated entry to inside parts, making it simpler to restore than earlier fashions. iFixit, an internet site that disassembles tech merchandise and assesses how simple they’re to repair, referred to as it “essentially the most repairable iPhone in years.” And if you would like these options in a bigger measurement, the iPhone 14 Plus begins at $100 extra, at $899.


Watch this: iPhone 14 Assessment: A Respectable Improve for Most

The iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max’s upgrades are extra dramatic, however you continue to do not want to improve except you possibly can rating a fantastic trade-in deal. Apple saved its most fascinating new options for the Professional lineup, together with the Dynamic Island that replaces the notch, the brand new A16 Bionic processor and a 48-megapixel most important digital camera sensor. 

It is essential to do not forget that you do not have to purchase the iPhone 14 to get digital camera, battery and efficiency enhancements over an earlier iPhone. 

The not too long ago discounted $699 iPhone 13 or the smaller $599 13 Mini might be a very good possibility for those who nonetheless need extra storage, quicker efficiency and an improved digital camera, particularly for those who’re coming from a telephone that is 3 years previous or extra. It is also the one possibility if you would like the smaller Mini and its 5.4-inch display screen, because the iPhone 14 line eliminates that measurement in favor of the brand new $899 iPhone 14 Plus with a 6.7-inch display screen. 

Buying selections will at all times differ relying on funds, how properly your telephone works proper now and your private wants, so there is not any easy reply that works for everybody. However listed here are the most important variations between the iPhone 14 lineup and former iPhone generations, to assist making a decision.

iPhone 13 leaning against surface

The iPhone 13.

Patrick Holland/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13, 13 Professional, 13 Professional Max

The iPhone 14 lineup introduces new options comparable to car-crash detection, the removing of the bodily SIM card for US telephones, and enhanced cameras on the rear and entrance. Regardless of these modifications, iPhone 14 is not completely different sufficient to justify upgrading from the iPhone 13. And despite the fact that Apple lastly removed the notorious notch within the Professional fashions, the 14 and 14 Plus nonetheless have one — it is the identical smaller notch that debuted on the iPhone 13 sequence. In truth, the iPhone 14 represents “one of the crucial minimal year-over-year upgrades in Apple’s historical past,” in line with CNET’s Patrick Holland, who reviewed Apple’s newest telephones. 

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have the A15 Bionic chip from final 12 months’s iPhone 13 Professional and iPhone 13 Professional Max. The 14’s display screen appears to be like precisely just like the one on the 13. Maybe essentially the most distinguished change this 12 months is the introduction of a bigger model of the iPhone 14 referred to as the iPhone 14 Plus, which has a 6.7-inch display screen just like the Professional Max. Meaning you not should splurge on Apple’s most costly iPhone if you would like the most important display screen attainable. 

After all, the iPhone 14 continues to be extremely rated, however we advocate saving your cash and skipping the improve. For those who’ve made up your thoughts to improve, we recommend going for an iPhone 14 Professional or iPhone 14 Professional Max for those who can afford it. These telephones are costly, however buys you entry to some salient modifications — specifically a high-refresh charge show, Apple’s new Dynamic Island multitasking bar, an always-on show in addition to higher cameras amongst different options.

The underside line: When you’ve got an iPhone 13 or 13 Professional, do not improve. However in case you are decided to get a brand new telephone, go for the iPhone 14 Professional or 14 Professional Max, particularly for those who should have the Dynamic Island proper now. 

Learn extra: iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max Assessment

The purple iPhone 12

The iPhone 12.

Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 12, 12 Professional 

Regardless that the iPhone 12 lineup was launched in 2020, it nonetheless shares many similarities with Apple’s newest telephones. Each the iPhone 12 and iPhone 14 assist 5G, run on quick processors, provide nice cameras and embrace MagSafe accent compatibility.

For the reason that iPhone 14 is extra of a refresh than a serious improve, we advocate hanging onto your iPhone 12 if it is nonetheless in good situation. You may make the most of the iPhone’s newest software program options comparable to lock display screen customizations, widgets and the power to unsend textual content messages by upgrading to iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 obtained just a few notable digital camera upgrades, like a bigger sensor, a brand new lens with a quicker aperture, improved picture processing and Motion Mode which makes the actions in movies look smoother if you document them.

However the iPhone 12’s cameras stay wonderful despite the fact that they’re 2 years previous. The iPhone 12 has a 12-megapixel twin digital camera system, whereas the iPhone 12 Professional features a third digital camera with a telephoto lens. Try our iPhone 12 overview to see how the cameras held up when CNET put them by means of the paces.

It is price remembering that you just get extra noticeable upgrades with the iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max. These embrace all the pieces that is new within the 14, in addition to an upgraded most important digital camera with a bigger 48-megapixel sensor, an ultrawide digital camera that means that you can take Macro pictures and a 3rd digital camera with a telephoto lens. If you will get a very good trade-in deal that considerably knocks down the iPhone 14 Professional’s value, upgrading from the common iPhone 12 is an honest step-up. 

The underside line: Maintain onto your iPhone 12 for one more 12 months because the iPhone 14 is not dramatically completely different. Nonetheless, the iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max deliver extra important modifications that might be worthwhile for those who can snag a very good trade-in deal. 

Learn Extra: All The “New” iPhone Options That Have Been on Android For Years

The iPhone 11.

The iPhone 11.

Angela Lang/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 11, 11 Professional

For those who’re utilizing an iPhone 11, we advocate upgrading to an iPhone 14 (and even an iPhone 13). Within the final three years, Apple has made sufficient modifications to options together with battery life, efficiency, display screen high quality, cameras and sturdiness to benefit shopping for a brand new iPhone. 

Upgrading to the iPhone 14 will get you 5G assist, extra storage (128GB on the base stage versus 64GB) a greater most important digital camera with a wider aperture lens, new video capturing choices like Motion mode and Cinematic mode, a greater selfie digital camera with Night time mode and Apple’s Photonic Engine processing, compatibility with Apple’s MagSafe equipment, longer battery life and quicker efficiency. That is along with car-crash detection and Apple’s new emergency satellite tv for pc messaging function. 

A lot of the images and videography enhancements are dramatic modifications in comparison with the iPhone 11. And the longer battery life and extra cupboard space are welcomed upgrades that you’re going to discover each day.

As beforehand talked about, for those who go for the 14 Professional as an alternative, you get a brand new 48-megapixel most important digital camera, a better 3x optical zoom versus the 11 Professional Max’s 2x zoom, the Dynamic Island as an alternative of the notch and quite a few different upgrades like an always-on show.

The underside line: The iPhone 14 lineup contains sufficient modifications to justify upgrading from the iPhone 11. But when your telephone continues to be in good situation and also you’re happy with it, set up iOS 16 and maintain onto it for one more 12 months. 

The iPhone XS

The iPhone XS.

Josh Miller/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone XS, XS Max, XR

For those who purchased the iPhone XS, XS Max or XR at launch, which means your telephone is roughly 4 years previous and could also be beginning to really feel sluggish. That alone makes a robust case for upgrading, however there’s a lot extra to achieve. 

In comparison with the iPhone XS, the iPhone 14 offers six hours of extra battery life (in line with Apple’s estimates). Along with all the pieces that is new within the iPhone 14 particularly, you may additionally get different upgrades Apple has added to the iPhone over the previous few years. 

These embrace 5G assist, extra storage (once more, you get 128GB versus 64GB), quicker efficiency and a greater digital camera. The iPhone XS era lacks Night time mode for taking clearer photos in the dead of night, and it additionally does not have Deep Fusion, which is Apple’s identify for its picture processing method that improves element and readability in darker environments. The XS’s entrance digital camera has a decrease 7-megapixel decision in comparison with the bigger and newer 12-megapixel sensor on the iPhone 14. For those who’re upgrading from an iPhone XR, you may additionally get a further digital camera with an ultrawide lens for taking broader group photographs for the primary time. 

The iPhone 14 additionally has a bigger 6.1-inch display screen in comparison with the iPhone XS’ 5.8-inch show (the iPhone XS Max has a 6.5-inch display screen, whereas the XR’s display screen can be 6.1 inches). The design has additionally modified fairly a bit over the previous 4 years; newer fashions have flat edges, a barely smaller notch, completely different finishes and a brand new “squircle”-shaped digital camera module that replaces the pill-shaped rear digital camera cutout. So your telephone is not going to solely really feel extra trendy, but it surely’ll look newer, too. 

The underside line: When you’ve got an iPhone XS, XS Max or XR, it is undoubtedly price upgrading. You get a noticeable increase in digital camera high quality, battery life and efficiency amongst different areas.

The iPhone X

The iPhone X.

James Martin/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone X

The iPhone X is greater than 5 years previous, which implies it most likely feels gradual and its battery life is not what it was. With an iPhone 14, you may discover a serious improve in each classes, in addition to design, improved sturdiness, connectivity and digital camera high quality. 

Let’s begin with efficiency. The iPhone X runs on a a lot older A11 Bionic chip that is now 5 years previous, whereas the iPhone 14 runs on Apple’s A15 Bionic processor. The iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max run on Apple’s newer A16 Bionic chip. Each new processors are method forward of the A11 chip, which solely has a two-core neural engine in comparison with the A15 Bionic’s 16-core neural engine. 

The iPhone’s neural engine powers duties that depend on machine studying and synthetic intelligence, which have gotten a much bigger a part of the iPhone expertise. Issues like app recommendations within the App Library and Apple’s Translate app depend on machine studying to perform, which signifies that the iPhone X might wrestle to maintain up with newer capabilities.

The iPhone X additionally has a dual-lens digital camera much like that of the iPhone XS, which means it is lacking the iPhone 14’s digital camera {hardware} enhancements along with Night time mode, Deep Fusion and the power to manage depth-of-field and blur ranges in Portrait mode. Just like the iPhone XS, you are solely getting a 7-megapixel entrance digital camera in comparison with a 12-megapixel selfie digital camera on Apple’s newer telephones.

Apple’s five-year-old iPhone additionally has shorter battery life, with Apple estimating it ought to final for 13 hours when enjoying again video in comparison with 20 hours on the iPhone 14. The iPhone 14’s 6.1-inch display screen is greater than the 5.8-inch show on the iPhone X, and it also needs to be brighter since it will possibly attain 800 nits of max brightness in comparison with the iPhone X’s 625-nit display screen.

The iPhone 14 helps Dolby Atmos and spatial audio playback, whereas the iPhone X simply has stereo playback. That is most likely not a deal-breaker, however may be essential for those who watch numerous video in your telephone with out headphones.

And naturally, there’s the good thing about getting car-crash detection, Apple’s new emergency SOS messaging through satellite tv for pc possibility, higher water resistance (as much as 6 meters for half-hour versus 1 meter), 5G assist, extra cupboard space, Ceramic Protect for the show, a refreshed design and the choice to make use of MagSafe equipment on the iPhone 14.

The underside line: When you’ve got the iPhone X, it is time to improve. The iPhone 14 will really feel new in nearly each method, from the digital camera to efficiency, battery life and the way in which it appears to be like and feels. 

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 and eight Plus.

Gabriel Sama/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 8, 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 era has Apple’s legacy iPhone design, which is becoming for a telephone that is now greater than 5 years previous. When you’ve got an iPhone 8 and are contemplating an improve, lots of the causes to do this are the identical as the explanations to improve from the iPhone X. The processor is getting previous, which may make it tougher to make use of newer iPhone options that depend on machine studying. The cameras are outdated and lack options like Night time mode (the smaller iPhone 8 does not have Portrait mode both, because it solely has one lens). By upgrading, you may get extra storage, considerably longer battery life, assist for 5G connectivity and MagSafe equipment, too.

However the greatest distinction is within the iPhone 8’s design, which is rather more than simply an aesthetic improve. Telephones with Apple’s extra trendy edge-to-edge display screen commerce Contact ID for Face ID, which helps you to unlock your telephone and authenticate funds simply by your system. For those who want Contact ID over Face ID, particularly because it’s troublesome to make use of Face ID whereas carrying a masks, you would possibly need to not less than think about upgrading to the $429 iPhone SE, because it has the identical processor because the iPhone 13, 5G compatibility and loads of images enhancements inside an identical physique to the iPhone 8.

Upgrading to the iPhone 14 has a noticeably giant leap in show measurement and high quality. Since newer telephones just like the iPhone 14 haven’t got a house button, there’s extra room for Apple to increase the display screen with out making the system really feel cumbersome. The iPhone 14’s display screen is even bigger than the iPhone 8 Plus’ 5.5-inch display screen regardless of the system itself feeling extra compact. (And for extra perspective, think about that the iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch show). For those who go for the 14 Professional you get one other large change: the Dynamic Island, which transforms the notch space into an space for viewing alerts, system notifications and apps operating within the background like Spotify or Apple Music. 

From private expertise, switching from an iPhone 8 (which has a 4.7-inch display screen) to the iPhone 12’s 6.1-inch show makes studying, checking electronic mail and watching movies rather more snug. The display screen is not solely bigger, but it surely’s additionally extra vibrant with higher distinction because it makes use of an OLED show moderately than LCD.

The underside line: The iPhone 14 is a big leap from the iPhone 8. Every thing about this telephone will really feel quick and new: the a lot bigger and bolder display screen, Face ID, the faster processor, its longer battery life and naturally the considerably upgraded cameras. Of word nonetheless, for those who actually need to get a more moderen iPhone however preserve the iPhone 8’s design, commerce as much as the present 2022 iPhone SE.

The iPhone 7 Plus and 7.

The iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 7.

Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 7, 7 Plus

When you’ve got an iPhone 7, it is time to improve. It is greater than 6 years previous, and it reveals in all the pieces from the processor to the digital camera and cupboard space. The iPhone 7 does not assist iOS 16, offering much more incentive for buying a more moderen system. 

Whereas we typically advocate selecting the iPhone 14 Professional over the iPhone 14 normally, coming from a telephone this previous, means you may discover a lot that is new within the iPhone 14. 

The iPhone 7 runs on an growing old A10 Fusion processor, which does not actually have a neural engine and is years behind Apple’s newest expertise. It has a single-lens digital camera with out Portrait mode, whereas the 7 Plus has two cameras. However these cameras lack many trendy options like Night time mode and Portrait Lighting, which provides particular lighting results to your portraits. 

Much like the iPhone 8, the iPhone 7 sequence contains Contact ID and is available in both 4.7- or 5.5-inch display screen sizes. However because the iPhone 7 is a 12 months older than the iPhone 8, it is also lacking wi-fi charging, which implies it’s essential to plug it in to cost. 

For those who’ve owned an iPhone 7 for a number of years, it is most likely bursting on the seams because it has considerably much less cupboard space. The entry-level iPhone 7 solely got here with 32GB of area, which is 1 / 4 of capability obtainable on the most affordable iPhone 14. 

The iPhone 14 brings main positive aspects in practically each side. The usual mannequin has a bigger, bolder and brighter bezel-free 6.1-inch display screen that also feels compact because it does not have a house button. It runs on Apple’s A15 Bionic processor, which is healthier geared up to deal with newer iOS options. And it has a drastically improved dual-lens digital camera with a bigger most important digital camera sensor and superior options like the brand new Cinematic mode for video and Night time mode. Plus, Apple’s estimates point out it will provide seven hours of extra battery life throughout video playback, which is a big bump.

The underside line: For those who’re nonetheless holding onto your iPhone 7, there is not any query that you just’re due for an improve. A greater display screen, compatibility with iOS 16, longer battery life and extra superior cameras are only a few of the positive aspects the iPhone 14 has to supply over the iPhone 7. And much like my suggestion with the iPhone 8, for those who actually need to preserve the house button and avoid wasting cash, think about the iPhone SE. It provides you newer efficiency upgrades whereas maintaining an identical telephone fashion.

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