Side view of the iPhone 14 held in hand

Is the Apple iPhone 14 Worth It? Here’s Our Honest Review to Help You Decide.

Updated on June 28, 2023

Published Jan 26, 2023 - Curious about the Apple iPhone 14? Expect enhanced camera specs, but not much else compared to the iPhone 13 with the new iPhone 14. Here's your go-to guide to help you figure out if it's the right phone for you.

Apple's newest 2022 flagship phone

Released in September 2022, the Apple iPhone 14 hit shelves a year after the release of the previous Apple iPhone 13 models. After hearing a lot of hype, we were eager to check it out for ourselves. We were especially curious about the difference between iPhone 13 and 14, and to see if it’d also compare to other phones in the market, particularly with the solid reception of the Nothing Phone received in the same year. 

Well, let’s dive right into it. Read on to find out more about what we think about the Apple iPhone 14.

iPhone 14 specifications

Let's start with a quick overview of the iPhone 14 technical specs

iPhone 14 (base model)

Body

Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8 mm

Weight: 172g

Build: Glass-front and glass-back, aluminium frame

IP68 dust/water resistant

SIM: Nano-SIM and eSIM - International

Colours: Midnight, Purple, Starlight, Blue, Red

Display

6.1-inch (diagonal) all-screen Super Retina XDR OLED 

Resolution: 1170 x 2532 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~460 ppi density)

Brightness: 1,200-nits 

Protection: Ceramic Shield glass

Performance

Processor: A15 Bionic

GPU: Apple-designed 5-core

CPU: 6-core CPU

6GB RAM

Storage

* 128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Camera

Dual Camera:

2 MP, f/1.5, 26mm (wide), 1/1.7", 1.9µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS

12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide)

Features: Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama)

Video: Dolby Vision HDR up to 4K at 60fps

Selfie Camera:

12 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide), 1/3.6", PDAF

SL 3D, (depth/biometrics sensor)

Features: HDR, Cinematic mode (4K@30fps)

Video: 4K at 24/25/30/60fps, 1080p at 25/30/60/120fps, gyro-EIS

Battery

Up to 20 hours of video playback

Li-Ion 3279 mAh, non-removable (12.68 Wh)

Features

* Face ID, Barometer, High dynamic range gyro, High-g accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Dual ambient light sensors

Sound

* Stereo speakers with no headphones jack

Price

Apple store: Price starting from £849 

Back Market: Price starting as low as £671.14

iPhone 14 Design

If you’re wondering how the iPhone 14 looks any different than the iPhone 13, there really aren’t that many big differences at all. The only slight physical change would be how the camera for the iPhone 14 protrudes more, but even this change is so slight that it’s hardly noticeable. 

The Apple iPhone 14 weighs 172g, making it the lightest phone in the iPhone 14 lineup. It’s just ever-so-slightly lighter than the Apple iPhone 13 (173g) and fits nicely in the pocket if you’re into smaller phones. 

The measurements for the iPhone 14 are 146.7 mm x 71.5 mm x 7.80 mm x  172 grams whereas the measurements for the iPhone 13 are 146.7 mm x 71.5 mm x 7.65 mm x 173 grams so you likely won't notice a difference in size between the two on a day to day basis. The colors for the iPhone 14 are also lighter in comparison to the deeper tones of the 13 models. The iPhone 14 color lineup ranges from pale blue, purple, Midnight, Starlight and bright red in hues that are noticeably lighter than that of the 13 models.

Display / Screen

Just like with the iPhone 13, the iPhone 14 has a screen size of 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with the same identical notch. The resolution remains at 2532-by-1170-pixel resolution at 460 PPI with 800 nits max brightness and 1,200 nits peak brightness (HDR). If you’re aiming for a better display/screen, you may be better off with the iPhone 14 Pro

The iPhone 14 features a Ceramic Shield meaning that it’s less prone to damage. That said, the back area is still a glass back to accommodate MagSafe charging. This means that it’s still vulnerable to breaking if you drop it by mistake. We’d highly recommend still getting a proper phone case to prevent any damage in the event that you drop it by mistake. 

There is also an IP68 classification that comes with the iPhone 14 which means it’s resistant to dust, dirt and liquids. You can breathe a little easier when it comes to water damage from accidental spills that are bound to happen from time to time.

Performance

The iPhone 14 is powered by an A15 Bionic chip, similar to the iPhone 13 Pro. This gives it a 5-core GPU that works great for an improved gaming experience. The iPhone 14 sports a higher frame rate score than the iPhone 13 (69 fps vs 60fps) but the performance really isn’t groundbreaking enough to warrant getting a new phone if you already own an iPhone 13.

The iPhone 14 has a 3279 mAh battery pack which supports up to 20 hours of video playback, an hour more compared to the iPhone 13. Personally, we felt that the test on its battery life was disappointing compared to other phones in the market. The iPhone 14 charges at a rate of 20W which isn’t as fast as some of its Android competitors such as the Redmi Note 12 Explorer (210W) or the Samsung Galaxy S22 (25W). Also, an hour more of battery life compared to the iPhone 13 won't make a difference to most users and certainly does not justify the price gap. 

There are two speakers on the phone, with one top front-firing and one side-bottom firing. The speakers on the iPhone 14 support spatial audio which guarantees impressive sound with good performance overall. The wind noise reduction on the iPhone 14 is also surprisingly better than the more advanced iPhone 14 models in the lineup. However, wired headphones fans should note that there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack here. 

The iPhone 14 runs on iOS 16 which means access to new lock screen customisations which can be synced to different Focus modes. There’s also the ability to edit and undo messages. Additionally, we found the new My Sports feature under the News app to be a fun new addition, although we understand that it's not for everyone. Sports fans will appreciate it though because they can set up the teams they root for and have real-time info on scores, game times, video highlights and more at the tip of their fingers. 

If you’re a fitness fan, we’re also happy to say that the new Fitness app that comes with iOS 16 is a pleasure to use. You can set up your movement goals and close various rings like how you normally would with the Apple Watch. You can also add the Fitness widget to your home screen to be on top of your fitness journey at all times.

Camera specs / review

Truth be told, the camera on the iPhone 14 is the biggest upgrade from the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 has two cameras on its back and these come with a faster aperture at ƒ/1.5 as well as a large sensor to improve shooting pictures, especially in low-light settings. We found that there’s a realistic bokeh effect when portrait mode is utilized and good exposure with beautiful colors. It’s definitely a reliable camera to whip out on the go. Using the telezoom at close range showed significant improvements from the iPhone 13 which we're happy about. 

The Photonic Engine system helps in getting more detail out of photos. To add to that, the Action Mode is great for stabilizing when recording videos. There’s smooth video autofocus with quick convergence. If you’re a budding content creator, this type of feature would certainly be helpful in the long run. The selfie camera for the iPhone 14 isn’t to be forgotten too. With an upgraded lens that comes with a brighter f1. 9 aperture as well as the autofocus feature, it’s now easier to achieve less grainy selfies in general.

Price and availability

Cost-wise, the iPhone 14 officially retails starting at $799 in Apple stores which makes it the most affordable iPhone 14 option in the latest lineup. However, if you're looking to save more you can already find the iPhone 14 for less on trusted refurbished sites like Back Market.

Though these products are used or otherwise pre-owned in nature, they have been professionally repaired, cleaned and tested and work just as well as new ones, with no compromise on performance. With Back Market, you'll also get free standard shipping, a 1 year warranty and 30 days to change your mind with every purchase, so there's little risk when compared to buying new. Opting for second-hand products also means you’re doing your part in supporting less waste to prevent further environmental damage.

Overall verdict

So is the iPhone 14 worth it? We struggled a little with making this decision, especially after noting how it’s only a slight upgrade from the iPhone 13. Keeping or upgrading to the iPhone 13 might be a better bet since the specs are more or less the same, though the iPhone 14 definitely wins with its camera capabilities. Other than that, Apple didn't give us any notable new features that would really draw us into the iPhone 14 that you can't get elsewhere. So for us, no it's not necessarily worth the price jump, especially since you get a similar performing phone out of the older iPhone 13 and iPhone 12.

Back Market

Written by Blanca Marín

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