Should You Upgrade to iPhone 14? Comparing It to Earlier Apple Phones

This story is a part of Focal Level iPhone 2022, CNET’s assortment of stories, suggestions and recommendation round Apple’s hottest product.

Apple’s iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Professional telephones are all now obtainable. With that in thoughts, you could be questioning: Must you improve to the iPhone 14? Above all else, the reply relies on which cellphone you at present personal. You probably have a current mannequin just like the iPhone 13 or 12, you need to wait. In case your cellphone is older although, it is value determining how a lot you may achieve by leaping to a more moderen iPhone.

The $799 (£849, AU$1,399) iPhone 14 brings modest enhancements which can be appreciated however not game-changing, like nitty-gritty digital camera enhancements, automobile crash detection and the assist for satellite-based emergency messaging. (Hopefully, you may by no means be in a scenario the place you may want to make use of the latter two.) The iPhone 14 additionally has a brand new inner design with simpler entry to inner parts, making it simpler to restore than earlier fashions. iFixit, an internet site that disassembles tech merchandise and assesses how straightforward they’re to repair, referred to as it “essentially the most repairable iPhone in years.” And if you need these options in a bigger dimension, the iPhone 14 Plus is precisely this beginning at $100 extra at $899.

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iPhone 14 Overview: 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 until you may rating an ideal 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 major digital camera sensor. 

It is vital 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 just lately discounted $699 iPhone 13 or the smaller $599 13 Mini might be a great possibility should you nonetheless need extra storage, quicker efficiency and an improved digital camera, particularly if you’re coming from a cellphone that is three years outdated or extra. It is also the one possibility if you need the smaller Mini and its 5.4-inch display, for the reason that iPhone 14 line eliminates that dimension in favor of the brand new $899 iPhone 14 Plus with a 6.7-inch display. 

Buying selections will all the time fluctuate relying on funds, how effectively your cellphone works proper now and your private wants, so there is not any easy reply that works for everybody. However listed here are the largest variations between the iPhone 14 lineup and former iPhone generations to assist you decide.

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 reminiscent of car-crash detection, the removing of the bodily SIM card for US telephones, and enhanced cameras on the rear and entrance. Regardless of these adjustments, iPhone 14 is not completely different sufficient to justify upgrading from the iPhone 13. And regardless 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 collection. In reality, the iPhone 14 represents “one of the crucial minimal year-over-year upgrades in Apple’s historical past,” in keeping 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 yr’s iPhone 13 Professional and iPhone 13 Professional Max. The 14’s display seems precisely just like the one on the 13. Maybe essentially the most distinguished change this yr 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 just like the Professional Max. Meaning you not need to splurge on Apple’s most costly iPhone if you need the most important display attainable. 

In fact, the iPhone 14 remains to be extremely rated, however we advocate saving your cash and skipping the improve. Should you’ve made up your thoughts to improve, we advise going for an iPhone 14 Professional or iPhone 14 Professional Max should you can afford it. These telephones are costly, however buys you entry to some salient adjustments — specifically a high-refresh price show, Apple’s new Dynamic Island multitasking bar, an always-on show in addition to higher cameras amongst different options.

The underside line: You probably have an iPhone 13 or 13 Professional, do not improve. However if you’re decided to get a brand new cellphone, go for the iPhone 14 Professional or 14 Professional Max, particularly should you should have the Dynamic Island proper now. 

Learn extra: iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max Overview

The purple iPhone 12

The iPhone 12.

Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 12, 12 Professional 

Although the iPhone 12 lineup was launched two years in the past, it nonetheless shares many similarities with Apple’s newest telephones. Each the iPhone 12 and iPhone 14 assist 5G, run on quick processors, supply nice cameras and embody 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 possibly can benefit from the iPhone’s newest software program options reminiscent of lock display customizations, widgets and the flexibility to unsend textual content messages by upgrading to iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 obtained a couple of 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 once you file them.

However the iPhone 12’s cameras stay glorious regardless that they’re 2 years outdated. 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 assessment to see how the cameras held up when CNET put them via the paces.

It is value remembering that you simply get extra noticeable upgrades with the iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max. These embody all the pieces that is new within the 14, in addition to an upgraded major digital camera with a bigger 48-megapixel sensor, an ultrawide digital camera that permits you to take Macro pictures and a 3rd digital camera with a telephoto lens. If you will get a great 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 an additional yr for the reason that iPhone 14 is not dramatically completely different. Nevertheless, the iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max convey extra important adjustments that might be worthwhile should you can snag a great 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

Should you’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 adjustments to options together with battery life, efficiency, display high quality, cameras and sturdiness to advantage 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 major 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 characteristic. 

Many of the pictures and videography enhancements are dramatic adjustments in comparison with the iPhone 11. And the longer battery life and extra space for storing are welcomed upgrades that you’re going to discover every day.

As beforehand talked about, should you go for the 14 Professional as an alternative, you get a brand new 48-megapixel major 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 consists of sufficient adjustments to justify upgrading from the iPhone 11. But when your cellphone remains to be in good situation and also you’re glad with it, set up iOS 16 and maintain onto it for an additional yr. 

The iPhone XS

The iPhone XS.

Josh Miller/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone XS, XS Max, XR

Should you purchased the iPhone XS, XS Max or XR at launch, which means your cellphone is roughly 4 years outdated and could also be beginning to really feel sluggish. That alone makes a robust case for upgrading, however there’s lots extra to realize. 

In comparison with the iPhone XS, the iPhone 14 gives six hours of further battery life (in keeping 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 embody 5G assist, extra storage (once more, you get 128GB versus 64GB), quicker efficiency and a greater digital camera. The iPhone XS technology lacks Night time mode for taking clearer photos in the dead of night, and it additionally would not have Deep Fusion, which is Apple’s title for its picture processing approach 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. Should you’re upgrading from an iPhone XR, you may additionally get an extra digital camera with an ultrawide lens for taking broader group pictures for the primary time. 

The iPhone 14 additionally has a bigger 6.1-inch display in comparison with the iPhone XS’ 5.8-inch show (the iPhone XS Max has a 6.5-inch display, whereas the XR’s display 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 cellphone won’t solely really feel extra fashionable, nevertheless it’ll look newer, too. 

The underside line: You probably have an iPhone XS, XS Max or XR, it is undoubtedly value upgrading. You get a noticeable enhance 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 about 5 years outdated, which suggests it in all probability feels sluggish and its battery life is not what it was once. 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 outdated, 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 approach 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 ideas within the App Library and Apple’s Translate app depend on machine studying to perform, which signifies that the iPhone X could wrestle to maintain up with newer capabilities.

The iPhone X additionally has a dual-lens digital camera just 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 flexibility 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 is greater than the 5.8-inch show on the iPhone X, and it also needs to be brighter since it may attain 800 nits of max brightness in comparison with the iPhone X’s 625-nit display.

The iPhone 14 helps Dolby Atmos and spatial audio playback, whereas the iPhone X simply has stereo playback. That is in all probability not a deal-breaker, however may be essential should you watch a whole lot of video in your cellphone with out headphones.

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

The underside line: You probably have the iPhone X, it is time to improve. The iPhone 14 will really feel new in nearly each approach, from the digital camera to efficiency, battery life and the way in which it seems 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 technology has Apple’s legacy iPhone design, which is becoming for a cellphone that is now 5 years outdated. You probably have an iPhone 8 and are contemplating an improve, most of the causes to do this are the identical as the explanations to improve from the iPhone X. The processor is getting outdated, 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 would 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 fashionable edge-to-edge display commerce Contact ID for Face ID, which helps you to unlock your cellphone and authenticate funds simply by your machine. Should you desire Contact ID over Face ID, particularly because it’s tough to make use of Face ID whereas sporting a masks, you would possibly wish to a minimum of contemplate upgrading to the $429 iPhone SE, because it has the identical processor because the iPhone 13, 5G compatibility and loads of pictures enhancements inside an identical physique to the iPhone 8.

Upgrading to the iPhone 14 has a noticeably giant soar in show dimension and high quality. Since newer telephones just like the iPhone 14 do not have a house button, there’s extra room for Apple to increase the display with out making the machine really feel cumbersome. The iPhone 14’s display is even bigger than the iPhone 8 Plus’ 5.5-inch display regardless of the machine itself feeling extra compact. (And for extra perspective, contemplate that the iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch show). Should you go for the 14 Professional you get one other huge 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) to the iPhone 12’s 6.1-inch show makes studying, checking e-mail and watching movies rather more snug. The display is not solely bigger, nevertheless it’s additionally extra vibrant with higher distinction because it makes use of an OLED show quite than LCD.

The underside line: The iPhone 14 is a big soar from the iPhone 8. Every thing about this cellphone will really feel quick and new: the a lot bigger and bolder display, Face ID, the quicker processor, its longer battery life and naturally the considerably upgraded cameras. Of notice nevertheless, should you actually wish 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

You probably have an iPhone 7, it is time to improve. It’s 6 years outdated, and it reveals in all the pieces from the processor to the digital camera and space for storing. The iPhone 7 would not assist iOS 16, offering much more incentive for buying a more moderen machine. 

Whereas we usually advocate selecting the iPhone 14 Professional over the iPhone 14 normally, coming from a cellphone this outdated, means you may discover lots that is new within the iPhone 14. 

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

Just like the iPhone 8, the iPhone 7 collection consists of Contact ID and is available in both 4.7- or 5.5-inch display sizes. However for the reason that iPhone 7 is a yr older than the iPhone 8, it is also lacking wi-fi charging, which suggests you have to plug it in to cost. 

Should you’ve owned an iPhone 7 for a number of years, it is in all probability bursting on the seams because it has considerably much less space for storing. The entry-level iPhone 7 solely got here with 32GB of house, which is 1 / 4 of capability obtainable on the most affordable iPhone 14. 

The iPhone 14 brings main good points in practically each side. The usual mannequin has a bigger, bolder and brighter bezel-free 6.1-inch display that also feels compact because it would not have a house button. It runs on Apple’s A15 Bionic processor, which is healthier outfitted to deal with newer iOS options. And it has a drastically improved dual-lens digital camera with a bigger major 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 supply seven hours of further battery life throughout video playback, which is a big bump.

The underside line: Should you’re nonetheless holding onto your iPhone 7, there is not any query that you simply’re due for an improve. A greater display, compatibility with iOS 16, longer battery life and extra superior cameras are just some of the good points the iPhone 14 has to supply over the iPhone 7. And just like my advice with the iPhone 8, should you actually wish to preserve the house button and avoid wasting cash, contemplate the iPhone SE. It provides you more moderen efficiency upgrades whereas retaining an identical cellphone model.

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