Should You Upgrade to the iPhone 14? How It Compares to Older Phones #GeekLeap

This story is a part of Focal Level iPhone 2023, CNET’s assortment of stories, ideas and recommendation round Apple’s hottest product.

The iPhone 14 lineup introduces quite a lot of enhancements, corresponding to car-crash detection and a 48-megapixel major digital camera on the Professional fashions. That may make it tempting to improve, however doing so may not make sense for everybody. Above all else, the reply as to whether you need to improve depends upon which telephone you at present personal. 

In case you have a latest mannequin just like the iPhone 13 or possibly even 12, it will be clever to attend. In case your telephone is older although, it is price determining what you stand to realize by leaping to a more moderen iPhone.

The $799 (£849, AU$1,399) iPhone 14 brings modest enhancements however not game-changing ones. These adjustments embrace nitty-gritty digital camera enhancements and the help for satellite-based emergency messaging. The iPhone 14 additionally has a brand new inside design, with less complicated entry to inside parts, making it simpler to restore than earlier fashions. iFixit, an internet site that disassembles tech merchandise and assesses how simple they’re to repair, known as it “probably the most repairable iPhone in years.” And if you would like these options in a bigger dimension, the iPhone 14 Plus begins at $100 extra, at $899.

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iPhone 14 Overview: A First rate Improve for Most


The iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max’s upgrades are extra dramatic, however you continue to do not want to improve except you’ll be able to rating an awesome 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 major digital camera sensor. 

It is necessary to keep in mind that you do not have to purchase the iPhone 14 to get digital camera, battery and efficiency enhancements over an earlier iPhone. 

The not too long ago discounted $699 iPhone 13 or the smaller $599 13 Mini could possibly be a superb choice should you nonetheless need extra storage, sooner efficiency and an improved digital camera, particularly should you’re coming from a telephone that is 3 years previous or extra. It is also the one choice if you would like the smaller Mini and its 5.4-inch display, because the iPhone 14 line eliminates that dimension in favor of the brand new $899 iPhone 14 Plus with a 6.7-inch display. 

Buying selections will all the time differ relying on finances, how nicely your telephone works proper now and your private wants, so there is not any easy reply that works for everybody. However listed below are the largest variations between the iPhone 14 lineup and former iPhone generations, to assist making a decision.

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 corresponding to car-crash detection, the removing of the bodily SIM card for US telephones, and enhanced cameras on the rear and entrance. Regardless of these adjustments, iPhone 14 is not totally different sufficient to justify upgrading from the iPhone 13. And though 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 sequence. Actually, the iPhone 14 represents “one of the crucial minimal year-over-year upgrades in Apple’s historical past,” in accordance with 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 seems to be precisely just like the one on the 13. Maybe probably the most distinguished 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 just like the Professional Max. Which means you not should splurge on Apple’s most costly iPhone if you would like the most important display doable. 

In fact, the iPhone 14 continues to be extremely rated, however we advocate saving your cash and skipping the improve. In case you’ve made up your thoughts to improve, we advise going for an iPhone 14 Professional or iPhone 14 Professional Max should you can afford it. These telephones are costly, however buys you entry to some salient adjustments — specifically a high-refresh charge show, Apple’s new Dynamic Island multitasking bar, an always-on show in addition to higher cameras amongst different options.

The underside line: In case you have an iPhone 13 or 13 Professional, do not improve. However in case you are decided to get a brand new telephone, go for the iPhone 14 Professional or 14 Professional Max, particularly should you should have the Dynamic Island proper now. 

Learn extra: iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max Overview

The purple iPhone 12

The iPhone 12.

Sarah Tew/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 12, 12 Professional 

Although the iPhone 12 lineup was launched two years in the past, it nonetheless shares many similarities with Apple’s newest telephones. Each the iPhone 12 and iPhone 14 help 5G, run on quick processors, supply nice cameras and embrace MagSafe accent compatibility.

Because the iPhone 14 is extra of a refresh than a significant improve, we advocate hanging onto your iPhone 12 if it is nonetheless in good situation. You possibly can benefit from the iPhone’s newest software program options corresponding to lock display customizations, widgets and the flexibility to unsend textual content messages by upgrading to iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 obtained just a few notable digital camera 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 whenever you document them.

However the iPhone 12’s cameras stay glorious though they’re 2 years previous. The iPhone 12 has a 12-megapixel twin digital camera system, whereas the iPhone 12 Professional features a third digital camera with a telephoto lens. Try our iPhone 12 evaluation to see how the cameras held up when CNET put them by means of the paces.

It is price remembering that you just get extra noticeable upgrades with the iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max. These embrace every little thing that is new within the 14, in addition to an upgraded major digital camera with a bigger 48-megapixel sensor, an ultrawide digital camera that lets you take Macro pictures and a 3rd digital camera with a telephoto lens. If you will get a superb trade-in deal that considerably knocks down the iPhone 14 Professional’s value, upgrading from the common iPhone 12 is an honest step-up. 

The underside line: Maintain onto your iPhone 12 for an additional yr because the iPhone 14 is not dramatically totally different. Nonetheless, the iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max carry extra important adjustments that could possibly be worthwhile should you can snag a superb 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

In case you’re utilizing an iPhone 11, we advocate upgrading to an iPhone 14 (and even an iPhone 13). Within the final three years, Apple has made sufficient adjustments to options together with battery life, efficiency, display high quality, cameras and sturdiness to benefit shopping for a brand new iPhone. 

Upgrading to the iPhone 14 will get you 5G help, extra storage (128GB on the base degree versus 64GB) a greater major digital camera with a wider aperture lens, new video capturing choices like Motion mode and Cinematic mode, a greater selfie digital camera with Evening 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. 

A lot of the pictures and videography enhancements are dramatic adjustments in comparison with the iPhone 11. And the longer battery life and extra cupboard space are welcomed upgrades that you’re going to discover each day.

As beforehand talked about, should you go for the 14 Professional as a substitute, you get a brand new 48-megapixel major digital camera, 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 adjustments to justify upgrading from the iPhone 11. But when your telephone continues to be in good situation and also you’re happy 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

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

In comparison with the iPhone XS, the iPhone 14 gives six hours of further battery life (in accordance with Apple’s estimates). Along with every little thing that is new within the iPhone 14 particularly, you may additionally get different upgrades Apple has added to the iPhone over the previous few years. 

These embrace 5G help, extra storage (once more, you get 128GB versus 64GB), sooner efficiency and a greater digital camera. The iPhone XS era lacks Evening mode for taking clearer footage in the dead of night, and it additionally does not have Deep Fusion, which is Apple’s identify for its picture processing approach that improves element and readability in darker environments. The XS’s entrance digital camera has a decrease 7-megapixel decision in comparison with the bigger and newer 12-megapixel sensor on the iPhone 14. In case you’re upgrading from an iPhone XR, you may additionally get a further digital camera with an ultrawide lens for taking broader group pictures for the primary time. 

The iPhone 14 additionally has a bigger 6.1-inch display in comparison with the iPhone XS’ 5.8-inch show (the iPhone XS Max has a 6.5-inch display, whereas the XR’s display can 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, totally different finishes and a brand new “squircle”-shaped digital camera module that replaces the pill-shaped rear digital camera cutout. So your telephone is not going to solely really feel extra trendy, nevertheless it’ll look newer, too. 

The underside line: In case you have an iPhone XS, XS Max or XR, it is positively price upgrading. You get a noticeable enhance in digital camera 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 previous, which suggests it in all probability feels sluggish and its battery life is not what it was once. With an iPhone 14, you may discover a significant improve in each classes, in addition to design, improved sturdiness, connectivity and digital camera high quality. 

Let’s begin with efficiency. The iPhone X runs on a a lot older A11 Bionic chip that is now 5 years previous, 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 an even bigger a part of the iPhone expertise. Issues like app recommendations within the App Library and Apple’s Translate app depend on machine studying to perform, which signifies that the iPhone X might battle to maintain up with newer capabilities.

The iPhone X additionally has a dual-lens digital camera much like that of the iPhone XS, that means it is lacking the iPhone 14’s digital camera {hardware} enhancements along with Evening 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 digital camera in comparison with a 12-megapixel selfie digital camera 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 is larger than the 5.8-inch show on the iPhone X, and it must also be brighter since it could actually attain 800 nits of max brightness in comparison with the iPhone X’s 625-nit display.

The iPhone 14 helps Dolby Atmos and spatial audio playback, whereas the iPhone X simply has stereo playback. That is in all probability not a deal-breaker, however could be essential should you watch quite a lot 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 by way of satellite tv for pc choice, higher water resistance (as much as 6 meters for half-hour versus 1 meter), 5G help, extra cupboard space, Ceramic Protect for the show, a refreshed design and the choice to make use of MagSafe equipment on the iPhone 14.

The underside line: In case you have the iPhone X, it is time to improve. The iPhone 14 will really feel new in nearly each approach, from the digital camera to efficiency, battery life and the best way it seems to be and feels. 

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 and eight Plus.

Gabriel Sama/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 8, 8 Plus

The iPhone 8 era has Apple’s legacy iPhone design, which is becoming for a telephone that is now 5 years previous. In case you have an iPhone 8 and are contemplating an improve, lots of the causes to try this are the identical as the explanations to improve from the iPhone X. The processor is getting previous, 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 Evening mode (the smaller iPhone 8 does not have Portrait mode both, because it solely has one lens). By upgrading, you may get extra storage, considerably longer battery life, help for 5G connectivity and MagSafe equipment, too.

However the greatest distinction is within the iPhone 8’s design, which is far more than simply an aesthetic improve. Telephones with Apple’s extra trendy edge-to-edge display commerce Contact ID for Face ID, which helps you to unlock your telephone and authenticate funds simply by taking a look at your gadget. In case you favor Contact ID over Face ID, particularly because it’s troublesome to make use of Face ID whereas carrying a masks, you may need to no less than take into account upgrading to the $429 iPhone SE, because it has the identical processor because the iPhone 13, 5G compatibility and loads of pictures enhancements inside the same physique to the iPhone 8.

Upgrading to the iPhone 14 has a noticeably giant leap in show dimension and high quality. Since newer telephones just like the iPhone 14 haven’t got a house button, there’s extra room for Apple to broaden the display with out making the gadget really feel cumbersome. The iPhone 14’s display is even bigger than the iPhone 8 Plus’ 5.5-inch display regardless of the gadget itself feeling extra compact. (And for extra perspective, take into account that the iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch show). In case you go for the 14 Professional you get one other huge change: the Dynamic Island, which transforms the notch space into an space for viewing alerts, system notifications and apps operating within the background like Spotify or Apple Music. 

From private expertise, switching from an iPhone 8 (which has a 4.7-inch display) to the iPhone 12’s 6.1-inch show makes studying, checking e mail and watching movies far more snug. The display 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 large leap from the iPhone 8. Every little thing about this telephone will really feel quick and new: the a lot bigger and bolder display, Face ID, the faster processor, its longer battery life and naturally the considerably upgraded cameras. Of notice nevertheless, should you actually need to get a more moderen iPhone however maintain 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 14 vs. iPhone 7, 7 Plus

In case you have an iPhone 7, it is time to improve. It’s 6 years previous, and it reveals in every little thing from the processor to the digital camera and cupboard space. The iPhone 7 does not help iOS 16, offering much more incentive for buying a more moderen gadget. 

Whereas we usually advocate selecting the iPhone 14 Professional over the iPhone 14 most often, coming from a telephone this previous, means you may discover loads that is new within the iPhone 14. 

The iPhone 7 runs on an ageing A10 Fusion processor, which does not actually have a neural engine and is years behind Apple’s newest expertise. It has a single-lens digital camera with out Portrait mode, whereas the 7 Plus has two cameras. However these cameras lack many trendy options like Evening mode and Portrait Lighting, which provides particular lighting results to your portraits. 

Just like the iPhone 8, the iPhone 7 sequence consists of Contact ID and is available in both 4.7- or 5.5-inch display sizes. However because the iPhone 7 is a yr older than the iPhone 8, it is also lacking wi-fi charging, which suggests you will need to plug it in to cost. 

In case you’ve owned an iPhone 7 for a number of years, it is in all probability bursting on the seams because it has considerably much less cupboard space. The entry-level iPhone 7 solely got here with 32GB of house, which is 1 / 4 of capability out there on the most cost effective iPhone 14. 

The iPhone 14 brings main features in almost each side. The usual mannequin has a bigger, bolder and brighter bezel-free 6.1-inch display that also feels compact because it does 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 digital camera with a bigger major digital camera sensor and superior options like the brand new Cinematic mode for video and Evening mode. Plus, Apple’s estimates point out it will supply seven hours of further battery life throughout video playback, which is a large bump.

The underside line: In case you’re nonetheless holding onto your iPhone 7, there is not any query that you just’re due for an improve. A greater display, compatibility with iOS 16, longer battery life and extra superior cameras are only a few of the features the iPhone 14 has to supply over the iPhone 7. And much like my advice with the iPhone 8, should you actually need to maintain the house button and avoid wasting cash, take into account the iPhone SE. It offers you newer efficiency upgrades whereas conserving the same telephone type.

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