iPhone has come a long way since its arrival in 2007. Whilst the core design has fundamentally stayed the same, the software of the phones have evolved to offer tremendous processing power and visual fidelity with each instalment. This brings us to iPhone 14, and it is in many ways the greatest representation of this ‘familiar yet progressive’ philosophy.
It’s in the visual recognition of iPhone 14 where we can see how Apple has focused on the familiar. The design is broadly the same as iPhone 13, which will be music to the ears of those who love this curved style. Durable Gorilla Glass protects the front and back panels from damage, whilst the body of iPhone 14 retains the aluminium shell of devices past. The Pro and Pro Max models differ slightly, as they are built with a stronger stainless steel; otherwise, the entire iPhone 14 line-up includes the same sturdy design features, including the Ceramic Shield which makes the front glass even tougher.
This familiarity also extends to the layout of iPhone 14. The button placement is identical to the previous range, so there is no re-learning of where the volume slider and Siri buttons are. iPhone 14 will be immediately recognisable to fans of previous ranges, but for those looking for new innovations, Apple has introduced a new feature: the Dynamic Island.
Available only on the Pro and Pro Max, Dynamic Island uses the pill box where the camera is housed to display information at a glance. The box will dynamically expand to show you what music is playing, if a call is incoming or if you’ve received a message, and then shrink after a few seconds. Apple has touted this as one of its biggest innovations since going all-screen, and it is incredibly impressive to see how Dynamic Island makes use of space in this way.
Apple has opted to use the same display technology as previous models for iPhone 14, which considering how stunning those displays were, is a great move. Front and centre is the 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR screen, which showcases a resolution of 2532x1170. The visual quality of iPhone 14 continues Apple’s trend of being sublime and only proceeds to impress with the inclusion of HDR and True Tone for accurate, beautiful contrasts. The Plus and Pro Max models extend the screen to 6.7 inches, whilst iPhone 14 Pro retains the 6.1-inch size but includes ProMotion technology for a smoother scrolling experience.
With the arrival of iPhone 14 comes iOS 16, which massively enhances the way you can personalise the phone to your liking. Leading the software charge is changes to the Lock Screen. This area of iPhone 14 can be customised with font changes, photos, and widgets to significantly improve the Lock Screen’s functionality. Given how often it is used, the ability to deeply change the Lock Screen to the user’s liking is a refreshing improvement.
iOS 16 also enables the addition of widgets, such as displaying weather, to quickly check info without unlocking iPhone 14. Notifications and live activities are expanded on the Lock Screen as well, presenting a more detailed view of what is happening during the day.
All models of iPhone 14 include two new safety features: Crash Detection and satellite communication. The former can detect when a user has been potentially involved in a car crash, by using tools such as a highly sensitive accelerometer and gyroscope. Satellite communication is aimed as a last resort form of sending messages, should someone be in an emergency with no access to mobile data. It requires an unobstructed view of the sky and will begin as a free trial.
These inclusions in iOS 16 form part of iPhone 14’s wider focus: accessibility of information. It is now much easier to see and filter what matters most to you.
iPhone 14’s performance is similar to its overall design, in that Apple has not made sweeping changes and instead maintained what was exceptional about the previous range. The A15 Bionic chip is once again at the heart of iPhone's flagship phone, and the 6-core CPU remains an excellent processor, being able to run any task with ease and play games smoothly via the App Store or Apple Arcade.
Bigger changes can be seen in the Pro and Pro Max, which include the new A16 Bionic chip. A significant increase in transistors and memory bandwidth means this chip runs faster than its predecessor, whilst being more power efficient to help the battery life last longer.
All devices in the 14 line-up also come 5G ready, meaning regardless of which you choose, you can connect wirelessly to mobile data and experience that lightning-fast speed.
Beautiful photography is achievable with iPhone 14 and retains the dual 12 MP camera array on the rear, with a 12 MP TrueDepth selfie lens on the front. The largest changes include a wider aperture in the main camera, to let in more light for detailed shots in dark environments, and the all-new Photonic Engine, which merges pixels together earlier than normal when taking photos for greater image quality. iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max push this quality even further with a phenomenal 48 MP main camera.
Filmmaking also sees some improvements, with a new Action Mode being introduced. This mode smooths out erratic video footage by cropping the clip whilst filming, leaving it steady and stable. Because this mode crops out much of the surroundings to stabilise the subject, Action Mode is very aptly named and aimed more at professional filmmakers.
Cinematic Mode can now also shoot videos at 4K resolution and 30 frames per second, a monumental improvement over iPhone 13, which is limited to filming in 1080p 30 FPS when in Cinematic Mode.
Battery & Storage
Battery life is another part of iPhone 14 that is much the same yet still superb. Up to 20 hours of video playback is possible and can recharge back to 50% in around 30 minutes. Anyone wanting a larger battery capacity will find it in iPhone 14 Pro Max, which is capable of up to 29 hours of video playback. All iPhones in the 14 range also continue to support MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W.
Storage continues to be excellent with iPhone 14, as it is possible to store up to 512GB of videos, photos, and apps. This can be extended up to 1TB with the Pro and Pro Max versions.
Apple has undoubtedly looked to balance the familiar with the new in iPhone 14. Whilst some fundamentals maintain consistency with phones past or see upgrades, there are some exciting additions to accessibility and safety that continue to redefine what a smartphone can do.
Moving from one iPhone to the next also means transferring your data across and setting it up to access the new features. Check out our guide on preparing to use your new iPhone once it arrives.