Should You Upgrade to the iPhone 14? How It Compares to Older iPhones

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

Apple’s new iPhone 14 lineup is now on sale, apart from the iPhone 14 Plus, which arrives Oct. 7. With a brand new technology right here, you is likely to be questioning if it is time to improve. The reply largely will depend on which telephone you at present have. When you’ve got a latest mannequin just like the iPhone 13 or 12, you may afford to attend. In case your telephone is older although, it is value determining how a lot you will achieve by leaping to a more moderen iPhone.

The $799 (£849, AU$1,399) iPhone 14 brings modest enhancements which are appreciated however not game-changing, like nitty-gritty digicam enhancements, car-crash detection and the assist for satellite-based emergency messaging. (Hopefully, you will by no means be in a scenario the place you will want to make use of the latter two).

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iPhone 14 Evaluation: 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 incredible 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 digicam sensor. If you happen to want bigger telephones, you might wish to wait till Apple releases the iPhone 14 Plus earlier than making your resolution. 

It is vital to do not forget that you do not have to purchase the iPhone 14 to get digicam, battery and efficiency enhancements over an earlier iPhone. The lately discounted $699 iPhone 13 or the smaller $599 13 Mini may very well be an excellent possibility when you nonetheless need extra storage, sooner efficiency and an improved digicam, particularly if you’re coming from a telephone that is three years outdated or extra. It is also the one possibility if you would like the smaller Mini and its 5.4-inch display screen, 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 screen. 

Buying choices will all the time range relying on funds, how properly your telephone works proper now and your private wants, so there is no 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 resembling 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 although 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. Actually, the iPhone 14 represents “one of the vital minimal year-over-year upgrades in Apple’s historical past,” in response to 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 screen appears to be like precisely just like the one on the 13. Maybe essentially the most outstanding change this yr is the introduction of a bigger model of the iPhone 14 known 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 biggest display screen doable. 

In fact, the iPhone 14 continues to be extremely rated, however we suggest saving your cash and skipping the improve. If you happen to’ve made up your thoughts to improve, we propose going for an iPhone 14 Professional or iPhone 14 Professional Max when you can afford it. These telephones are costly, however buys you entry to some salient modifications — particularly 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: When you’ve got an iPhone 13 or 13 Professional, do not improve. However if you’re decided to get a brand new telephone, go for the iPhone 14 Professional or 14 Professional Max, particularly when you will need to have the Dynamic Island proper now. 

Learn Extra: iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max Evaluation

The purple iPhone 12

The iPhone 12.

Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 12, 12 Professional 

Though the iPhone 12 lineup was launched two years in the past, they nonetheless share 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.

Because the iPhone 14 is extra of a refresh than a significant improve, we suggest 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 resembling lock display screen customizations, widgets and the flexibility to unsend textual content messages by upgrading to iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 obtained a couple of notable digicam upgrades, like a bigger sensor, a brand new lens with a sooner aperture, improved picture processing and Motion Mode which makes the actions in movies look smoother if you file them.

However the iPhone 12’s cameras stay glorious although they’re two years outdated. The iPhone 12 has a 12-megapixel twin digicam system, whereas the iPhone 12 Professional features a third digicam with a telephoto lens. Take a look at our iPhone 12 overview 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 embrace the whole lot that is new within the 14, in addition to an upgraded most important digicam with a bigger 48-megapixel sensor, an ultrawide digicam that permits you to take Macro pictures and a 3rd digicam with a telephoto lens. If you may get an excellent trade-in deal that considerably knocks down the iPhone 14 Professional’s worth, upgrading from the common iPhone 12 is a good 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 carry extra important modifications that may very well be worthwhile when you can snag an excellent 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

If you happen to’re utilizing an iPhone 11, we suggest 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 digicam with a wider aperture lens, new video capturing choices like Motion mode and Cinematic mode, a greater selfie digicam with Night time mode and Apple’s Photonic Engine processing, compatibility with Apple’s MagSafe equipment, longer battery life and sooner efficiency. That is along with car-crash detection and Apple’s new emergency satellite tv for pc messaging function. 

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

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

The underside line: The iPhone 14 lineup consists of sufficient modifications to justify upgrading from the iPhone 11. But when your telephone continues 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

If you happen to purchased the iPhone XS, XS Max or XR at launch, meaning your telephone is roughly 4 years outdated and could also be beginning to really feel sluggish. That alone makes a powerful case for upgrading, however there’s loads extra to achieve. 

In comparison with the iPhone XS, the iPhone 14 supplies six hours of extra battery life (in response to Apple’s estimates). Along with the whole lot that is new within the iPhone 14 particularly, you will 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), sooner efficiency and a greater digicam. The iPhone XS technology lacks Night time mode for taking clearer footage at midnight, and it additionally would not have Deep Fusion, which is Apple’s title for its picture processing method that improves element and readability in darker environments. The XS’s entrance digicam has a decrease 7-megapixel decision in comparison with the bigger and newer 12-megapixel sensor on the iPhone 14. If you happen to’re upgrading from an iPhone XR, you will additionally get an extra digicam 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 also 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 digicam module that replaces the pill-shaped rear digicam cutout. So your telephone won’t solely really feel extra fashionable, nevertheless it’ll look newer, too. 

The underside line: When you’ve got an iPhone XS, XS Max or XR, it is undoubtedly value upgrading. You get a noticeable enhance in digicam 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 most likely feels sluggish and its battery life is not what it was once. With an iPhone 14, you will discover a significant improve in each classes, in addition to design, improved sturdiness, connectivity and digicam 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 strategies within the App Library and Apple’s Translate app depend on machine studying to operate, which signifies that the iPhone X could battle to maintain up with newer capabilities.

The iPhone X additionally has a dual-lens digicam just like that of the iPhone XS, that means it is lacking the iPhone 14’s digicam {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 digicam in comparison with a 12-megapixel selfie digicam 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 might 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 is likely to be essential when you watch loads of video in your telephone with out headphones.

And naturally, there’s the advantage of 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 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: When you’ve got the iPhone X, it is time to improve. The iPhone 14 will really feel new in nearly each approach, from the digicam to efficiency, battery life and the best way it appears to be like and feels. 

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 and eight Plus.

Gabriel Sama/CNET

iPhone 13 vs. iPhone 8, 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 technology has Apple’s legacy iPhone design, which is becoming for a telephone that is now 5 years outdated. When you’ve got an iPhone 8 and are contemplating an improve, most of the causes to try 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 will get extra storage, considerably longer battery life, assist for 5G connectivity and MagSafe equipment, too.

However the largest distinction is within the iPhone 8’s design, which is way more than simply an aesthetic improve. Telephones with Apple’s extra fashionable edge-to-edge display screen commerce Contact ID for Face ID, which helps you to unlock your telephone and authenticate funds simply by your gadget. If you happen to want Contact ID over Face ID, particularly because it’s troublesome to make use of Face ID whereas carrying a masks, you may wish to at the very least think about 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 analogous physique to the iPhone 8.

Upgrading to the iPhone 14 has a noticeably giant bounce 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 develop the display screen with out making the gadget 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 gadget itself feeling extra compact. (And for extra perspective, think about that the iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch show). If you happen to go for the 14 Professional you get one other massive change: the Dynamic Island, which transforms the notch space into an space for viewing alerts, system notifications and apps working 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 e mail and watching movies way more snug. The display screen is not solely bigger, nevertheless it’s additionally extra vibrant with higher distinction because it makes use of an OLED show reasonably than LCD.

The underside line: The iPhone 14 is a big bounce from the iPhone 8. Every little 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 observe nonetheless, when 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 13 vs. iPhone 7, 7 Plus

When you’ve got an iPhone 7, it is time to improve. It’s six years outdated, and it exhibits in the whole lot from the processor to the digicam and space for storing. The iPhone 7 would not assist iOS 16, offering much more incentive for buying a more moderen gadget. 

Whereas we usually suggest selecting the iPhone 14 Professional over the iPhone 14 generally, coming from a telephone this outdated, means you will discover loads 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 a number of years behind Apple’s newest know-how. It has a single-lens digicam 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 screen 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 need to plug it in to cost. 

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

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

The underside line: If you happen to’re nonetheless holding onto your iPhone 7, there is no query that you simply’re due for an improve. A greater display screen, compatibility with iOS 16, longer battery life and extra superior cameras are just some of the positive factors the iPhone 14 has to supply over the iPhone 7. And just like my suggestion with the iPhone 8, when you actually wish to preserve the house button and avoid wasting cash, think about the iPhone SE. It provides you more moderen efficiency upgrades whereas retaining an analogous telephone fashion.

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