iPhone-14-honest-review

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

Updated on 5 April 2024

If you were hoping for a breakthrough in Apple innovation, then the entry-level iPhone 14 will bitterly disappoint.

BOTTOM LINE

💗💗💗🤍🤍 3/5: Good

The iPhone 14 faces scrutiny for being only a slight upgrade from the iPhone 13. However, the camera capabilities has been a worthy highlight that showed noticeable improvement. For those loyal to the Apple ecosystem and upgrading from an older iPhone, it is perhaps best to opt for the iPhone 14 Pro for its multiple enhanced features, rather than a couple of enhancements with the entry level iPhone 14.
iphone-14-in-hand
Take me to the iPhone 14 range

Pros & Cons of the iPhone 14

  • iphone-14-starlight-module-card

    iPhone 14

    Pros

    Excellent camera
    A15 bionic chip
    Reduced wind noise on calls

    Cons

    Same design as iPhone 13
    Same display as iPhone 13
    Slow battery charging rate
  • Pro #1: Excellent camera

    The iPhone 14 now comes with with a faster aperture at ƒ/1.5 as well as a large sensor to improve shooting pictures, especially in low-light settings. There's a realistic bokeh effect when portrait mode is utilised and good exposure with beautiful colours.

    iphone-14-camera-action
  • Pro #2: A15 Bionic chip

    Uses a 5-core GPU that’s suited for an improved gaming experience, plus a higher frame rate score in comparison to the iPhone 13 (69 fps vs 60fps).

    A15-chip
  • Pro #3: Reduced wind noise on calls

    Speakers on the iPhone 14 support spatial audio which guarantees impressive sound with good timbre performance overall. The wind noise reduction on the iPhone 14 is also surprisingly better than the more advanced iPhone 14 models in the line up.

    reduced-wind-noise-iphone-14
  • Con #1: Same design as iPhone 13

    There really aren’t that many big differences at all with the iPhone 13. 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.

    14-vs-13-design
  • Con #2: Same display as iPhone 13

    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).

    Same-display-14-vs-13
  • Con #3: Slow battery charging rate

    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).

    iphone-14-charging

Expect enhanced camera specs but not much else compared to the iPhone 13 with the new iPhone 14

Released in the UK on 16 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 more below to find out more about what we think about the Apple iPhone 14.

iPhone 14 specifications

iphone-14-specs-infographic

Here are the iPhone 14 technical specs in more detail:

iPhone 14 (base model)

Specs

Body Dimensions

146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8 mm

Weight

172g

Build

Glass-front and glass-back, aluminium frame

IP Rating

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

RAM

6GB

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)

Camera 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)

Selfie Camera Features

HDR, Cinematic mode (4K@30fps)

Selfie Video

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

Battery Life

Up to 20 hours of video playback

Battery Capacity

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

Model 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 (New)

Prices starting from £699

Back Market Price (refurbished)

Prices starting as low as £396

👉 For more info about the features, read our iPhone 14 features article here.

👉 Check out out helpful guide on how to choose the right storage capacity for your iPhone 14 model.

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 can see for yourself just what little of a difference it makes. The colours for the iPhone 14 are also lighter in comparison to the deeper tones of the 13 models. The iPhone 14 colour 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 the Ceramic Shield means 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. 

👉 Read our helpful guide on iPhone 14 cases here.

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

iphone-14-display-photos

Performance

The iPhone 14 is powered by an A15 Bionic chip, similar to the iPhone 13 Pro. This means a 5-core GPU that’s suited 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 ground breaking enough to warrant getting a new phone if you already own a Phone 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 really isn’t that much to shout about. 

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 timbre 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. There’s also a My Sports feature under the News app so sports fans 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 now 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 utilised and good exposure with beautiful colours. 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 were happy about.

iPhone-14-camera

The Photonic Engine system helps in getting more detail out of photos. To add to that, the Action Mode is great for stabilising 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.

iphone-14-camera-zoom

Price and availability

Cost-wise, the iPhone 14 officially retails at £699 in Apple stores which makes it the most affordable iPhone 14 option in the latest line up. On Back Market, you can get it from a starting price that’s as low as £430 (price checked on 04/03/2024). Back Market offers the phone cheaper than all retailers due to the nature of refurbished products. Though these products are second hand in nature, they work just as well as new ones, with no compromise on performance. Opting for a second hand iPhone also means you’re doing your part in supporting circularity and less waste to prevent further environmental damage. 

With Back Market, you get a hassle-free returns period of up to 30 days so that you don’t have to worry in the event of anything faulty with your device. All purchases also come with a 1-year warranty, just like if you’re buying a phone brand new!

👉 Read our informative iPhone 14 Price guide here.

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. Opting for a Nothing Phone with a starting price of £399 (more than half the price of the iPhone 14) with specs that are more or less similar may be a better bet, though the iPhone 14 definitely wins with its camera capabilities. Suppose you’re a fan of keeping things within the Apple ecosystem and are looking to jump from an older iPhone model. In that case, we recommend spending a little extra and going with the iPhone 14 Pro instead to enjoy more features and capabilities. For more options on finding the right iPhone for you, don't forget to browse all of our cheap iPhone deals available on Back Market. 

👉 Read next: An Unbiased Review of the Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Haziq

Written by HaziqTech Expert for Back Market UK, Ireland & Australia

When not fighting the good fight for environmental sustainability, Haziq loves making reviews of everything and anything tech-related.

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