The iPhone 14 is official. Apple unveiled the new range of iPhones at an event at its California headquarters, and it doesn’t disappoint.
It offers new cameras, a new design, a new variant, a new processor and plenty of fancy new features. So why is it such a big deal? And what exactly do you need to know about it? Let’s run down what’s new.
iPhone 14 variants: bye bye, iPhone mini
The big news is the iPhone mini is no more. Although it was widely rumoured over a year before the iPhone 14 launched (so even before the iPhone 13 was announced), it’s still a big change. Now the smallest iPhone in the new range is the standard model, which has a 6.1-inch screen.
That’s joined by the iPhone 14 Pro, which is the same size but is more advanced elsewhere. The two bigger models are the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and the new iPhone 14 Plus, both with 6.7-inch screens.
The 5.4-inch iPhone mini has gone to the big phone resting place in the sky, reportedly due to poor sales. That’s a shame for fans of smaller phones, who might now be better served elsewhere.
iPhone 14 design: a new look for a new phone
Some years, you struggle to tell the difference between the new iPhone and the old model it replaces. Even with them placed side by side, you might have to squint to pick out a slight tweak here and there. Not this year.
The biggest design change is to the notch. This is the cut-out at the top of the screen which houses the front-facing camera and sensors. It’s been necessary on every full-screen (i.e. no Home button) iPhone since the iPhone X.
Users have hated it for a long time now, as it eats into screen space and intrudes on what you’re watching or playing. And now Apple has taken this criticism on board.
Its innovative pill-shaped cut-out is far less intrusive than the notch of old. The round hole punch cut-out (as previously seen on Samsung’s Galaxy S handsets, among others) houses the Face ID dot projector and the pill-shaped one being home to the front-facing camera and Face ID infrared camera.
And not only that, but Apple has actually turned this cut-out into a very useful feature. Dubbed the Dynamic Island, the new-look notch interacts with different apps to display notifications, incoming calls and messages.
The bad news? Only the two pricier Pro models benefit from this new design. The standard non-Pro variants stick with the old notch.
The Pro models also have slimmer bezels (the border around the edge of the screen). That makes the screen more impactful, as there’s less to distract your eye from what’s on-screen.
But it’s not just from a design point of view that the Pro models are a cut above...
iPhone 14 specs: more power, same storage
Apple has a new processor to offer us: the A16 Bionic. But it’s keeping it back for only the two Pro models.
The A16 Bionic is one of the first 4nm chips, which is a serious jump in power compared to the A15 Bionic found in the iPhone 13. That means smoother graphics, quicker responses and slicker 3D maps.
The A15 Bionic is also found inside the wallet-friendly iPhone SE (2022). So if you want the same amount of power (though not quite as optimised) for a lot less money, you could opt for the SE instead.
But the non-Pro models of iPhone 14 do get an upgrade in terms of RAM. All iPhone 14 models have 6GB of RAM – while the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max already had this amount, the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini only had 4GB, so this is a step up for them.
(Apple doesn’t publicise the amount of RAM its phones have, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see this spec from the firm itself.)
The Pro models have more advanced screens than their non-Pro siblings. The Pros offer 120Hz refresh rates, which means the screen refreshes 120 times every second. That means smoother video with less blur, and will be especially noticeable during frantic fast-moving action like gaming.
Apple has stuck with the same amount of storage for the iPhone 14 range as its predecessor. Options start at 128GB, and go all the way up to 1TB, which should be plenty for all but the most hardcore power users.
iPhone 14 camera: three times the resolution
iPhone cameras are among the best around, but they don’t boast the highest-resolution sensors compared to the competition. Apple has stuck with 12-megapixel main cameras for its iPhones for years, but now that’s all change.
Now the iPhone 14 Pro has a 48-megapixel main shooter – that’s three times as many pixels as the iPone 13 range’s main cameras. This should make for more detailed snaps. And looking further ahead, it could also be more suitable for augmented reality (AR) applications that would accompany Apple’s long-rumoured AR headset.
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max boast triple-lens cameras, while the standard iPhone 14 has to make do with a dual-lens shooter. But if past form is anything to go by, it’s bound to be a belter...
iPhone 14 price: the cost of living
The good news is that the iPhone 14 costs the same as the iPhone 13. The bad? Because there’s no iPhone 14 Mini, the starting price of the iPhone 14 range is now higher, as the standard iPhone 14 is now the cheapest variant available.
That starts at £849, while the Pro is £1,099 and the Pro Max £1,199. The new iPhone 14 Plus starts at £949 – think of it as a gateway to the Pro models.
These are all starting prices. If you want more storage, it’ll cost you.
The upside is that the iPhone 13 range has now come down in price, so you can pick up still very capable handsets for less money than before.
iPhone 14 on-sale date: sooner rather than later
The iPhone 14 handsets might have been announced, but you can’t buy them just yet. Pre-orders won’t be fulfilled and shops won’t stock them until Friday 16 September. Not long now...
Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “It’s been 15 years since the first iPhone and with the iconic device now in its mid-teens, Apple has set its sights on keeping fans excited about the next generation. With four in ten Apple users planning to buy one of the latest models, the pressure is on.
“Apple has stuck to its guns and reserved its biggest leaps in innovation for its most premium handsets, despite the economic challenges facing many consumers.
“While the entry level iPhone 14 is more durable than its predecessor and inherits the A15 Bionic chipset from the iPhone 13 Pro, its higher-spec sibling has a more powerful and speedier new A16 chip.
“The iPhone 14 Pro has finally ditched the notch display which became infamous due to the number of devices on the market integrating the front camera into the screen.
“The single pill-shaped Dynamic Island now gives Apple fans a smooth replacement to the notch and is a clever way to utilise screen real estate that was previously wasted. We should eventually see this design trickle down to more basic Apple phones in the coming years.
“With its new always-on display, the iPhone 14 Pro not only brings the handset in line with many rivals, but goes further by offering weather, calendars, stocks, activities and other data on the lock screen - all while using minimal power.
“The return of the Plus model will be welcomed by those looking for a larger screen, but who don’t want to pay for the top-of-the-range Pro Max. Yet while the tech giant has given with one hand, it has also taken away the iPhone Mini, the cheapest and most pocket-friendly phone from the main series.
“Apple is also showcasing innovation in its camera, with a 48-megapixel main lens in the iPhone 14 Pro that will be popular with smartphone photographers and is one of the biggest camera updates we've seen on the iPhone line in years. There are advanced low-light capabilities, courtesy of its photonic engine, along with enhanced stabilisation.
“The new flagship also has an out-of-this-world SOS feature, allowing users to link to a satellite when all other connectivity is down - you never know when you might need it, but you’ll be happy when you do.”
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