With the latest iPhone models announced and pre-orders underway, there are plenty of Apple lovers out there wondering which of the new devices is the right one for them. And with good reason – the range has some impressive specs and upgrades on iPhone 13 that are hard to resist.
But with so much on offer, there’s a lot to consider – what to prioritise? Which features are just too good to miss out on? What do you actually use your iPhone for?
So instead of scrolling for hours, trying to figure out the answer like the latest Wordle, why not have a look at our handy guide? We’ve pulled together a few no-nonsense comparisons between devices, and some easy-to-follow recommendations for the best iPhone 14 depending on what you want to use it for. And when you’re done, you can get your pre-order in without worrying.
How much do the new iPhone 14 models cost?
Smack in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, it’s no wonder we’ve started with cost. Whether you prefer to buy your devices outright or pay monthly on a contract, a new mobile phone is always an investment.
As you might expect, Apple’s iPhone 14 range goes up in cost as the models get better, starting at £849, and going up to £949 for iPhone 14 Plus. The Pro models will set you back a bit more, starting at £1099 for the standard Pro handset, and £1199 for the Pro Max.
Of course, if you opt to buy your mobile with a monthly contract and spread the cost, the prices become considerably more palatable, so cost might not be the biggest consideration. And, all in all, these prices aren’t that different to the models released last year.
Still, there’s still plenty more to think about…
What is the display like on iPhone 14 and the new range?
As is often the case with Apple, there are a couple of different size options available to choose from with iPhone 14. Both iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are the same size, with a 6.1-inch screen that’s plenty big enough for day-to-day use – and features a Super Retina XDR display no matter which you opt for (and that includes the Plus and Pro Max, too).
However, if you spend a lot of time gaming, streaming or even recording videos and vlogging, then a bigger screen could make all the difference – and iPhone 14 Plus and Pro Max both have 6.7-inch screens that look and feel quite a bit larger than the reality of the 0.6-inch increase.
The thing is, this is Apple – so it’s not as simple as a size increase between models. Both iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have additional display features that you might miss out on if you opt for the lower-cost options. With this release, Apple have announced Dynamic Island and Always On, as well as ProMotion technology. These three clever features combine to make life a little easier, keep your battery at its best, and optimise your experience – and we honestly reckon they might be a game changer.
Always On is exactly what it says on the tin – it keeps your screen on. But in doing so, it also lets you see your chosen widgets, wallpaper and notifications at a glance, without having to unlock your device. Plus, it works alongside ProMotion to dynamically adapt your refresh rate (which can go up to 120Hz) to make sure that when Always On is active, you don’t go above 1Hz, and therefore save battery along the way.
As for Dynamic Island, this fun little feature replaces the notch on the standard 14 and 14 Plus. In short, it’s a little pill box shaped area around the Face ID and selfie cams that expands and shrinks to provide notifications, updates and info about apps you’ve got running in the background – all without interrupting whatever it is you’re doing. For example, you could be using one app while playing music in the background – and with Dynamic Island, you’ll be able to see the song playing at the top of the screen. Plus, Apple are currently working with a ton of other app developers, so the feature should only get more useful as time goes on.
One more little note on the display of the new models – if brightness is an important factor for you, then it’s worth remembering that the Pro and Pro Max are twice as bright as the 13 Pro, with an outdoor peak brightness of 2000 nits.
How good are the cameras in the new iPhone 14 range?
For years now, Apple have stuck with a 12MP camera on their devices, and we’ve consistently found them ranked as some of the best camera phones out there. With iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, everything is business as usual, but it wouldn’t be new if it wasn’t bigger and better, right?
iPhone 14 and 14 Plus both have a 12MP camera, yes, but it’s also got a bigger sensor and more pixels than we’ve seen before, which means more detail and less noise even in varying light. There are also a few hefty software updates that mean the new models can do more with similar hardware, thanks to the new Photonic Engine – and video shooting has been significantly improved, too. So even going for the lower-cost models in the 14 range, you’ll see quite a difference in the quality of your shots from iPhone 13 or earlier devices.
Of course, you can’t call a model “pro” and not kit it out with pro-grade features, so iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have absolutely levelled up Apple’s camera game above and beyond what anyone was expecting. Featuring three lenses, the main camera is a 48MP affair with quad-pixel technology that not only combines 4 pixels into one but enables RAW images, too. There’s also support from a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a further 12MP telephoto camera, which means you’ll see improved low-light performance as well as a bunch of fantastic software stuff that’s downright impressive.
If you’re into vlogging or generally just love making videos, then Apple have added a couple of features that make the Pro and Pro Max irresistible – starting with Action Mode, which allows you to capture 2.8k video at 60fps as steady as if you were using a gimbal. Without the need to fork out for a gimbal (and they aren’t exactly cheap if you want one that works). There’s also 4k recording at either 24 or 30 fps in Cinematic Mode, which all in all makes us inclined to recommend the higher end of the latest Apple range for those who are into their photography and videography. It’s kind of a no-brainer, actually.
What about performance on iPhone 14?
There’s a beautiful balance of software and hardware going on with the latest offerings from Apple, in that iPhone 14 and 14 Plus actually use the same A15 chip as iPhone 13, with a few marked improvements.
However, the Pro and Pro Max models feature an all-new A16 chip with a 5-core GPU that promises more memory, better battery life and generally improved speed and performance. So, if this is something that you prioritise in your device, you know what we’re going to say…
Are there any other features I should know about?
Yes and no. There are extra features, yes – Apple’s new Emergency SOS via Satellite is definitely handy if you find yourself in a car accident and unable to call for help. But it’s available on all models, so it’s not likely to affect your decision if you’re unsure.
Okay, how do I decide?
That’s where we can help – we’ve put together a list of “priorities” you might have and can make a recommendation for each. Shall we have a look?
- Like to show off a fancy new colour with your iPhone
- Want the latest model and tech, but don’t want to pay a fortune
- Prefer an easy-to-use screen size that can be used with one hand
Then go for:
It’s the most affordable of the four new releases, has some notable improvements to last year’s iPhone 13, is nicely sized with a 6.1-inch screen, and offers more colour choices than the Pro range.
You can show off the latest technology from Apple without it costing the earth, and there’s a choice of Midnight, Blue, Starlight, Purple, and (PRODUCT)RED to express yourself with.
- Love having a big screen for streaming your favourite shows or gaming
- Want better battery life than your last iPhone
- Still like the choice of plenty of colours
Then go for:
iPhone 14 Plus
The 6.7-inch screen lets you binge-watch Netflix to your heart’s content, and you still get the amazing Super Retina XDR display you’d see with the Pro models. Plus (get it?) the larger screen doesn’t cost as much as it would for the alternative option, the Pro Max.
All five colours are available to choose from, but you’ll also get “the best battery life ever on an iPhone”, so there’s no need to carry your charger with you everywhere.
- Want the Pro features, but don’t want the Pro Max price
- Prefer an easier-to-handle, palm-friendly screen size
- Love the fancy new camera specs in the Pro models
Then go for:
iPhone 14 Pro
Sitting nicely in the middle of the road, the Pro doesn’t cost as much as the Pro Max, is still plenty of screen size for your hard-earned cash and is easier to use and handle.
You get the advantage of the new 48MP camera, features such as Always On and Dynamic Island, and can get started on your career as the next big Hollywood director thanks to all the amazing video extras.
However, your colour options are limited to Space Black, Deep Purple, Silver and Gold – but that’s what cases are for, right?
- Want the biggest and best iPhone available
- Need battery life that goes well beyond normal usage
- Prefer to have the top camera specs of any iPhone
- Can afford to pay a little more to get a little more.
Then go for:
iPhone 14 Pro Max
If you’ve got the cash to flash or use your phone as a tool for photography and videography on a regular basis, then the Pro Max is the way to go. With the longest battery life (up to 29 hours of video playback) and seriously impressive endurance when tested, then you can’t go wrong.
The camera specs here are the same as iPhone 14 Pro, but you get the larger 6.7-inch screen to view your handiwork on, which is incredibly useful if you use your mobile as a professional for editing and so on.
Choosing from four new models is no small feat, and it ultimately depends on how you use your phone. If you make calls, message your mates and scroll socials, then you might not need more than the base iPhone 14 or 14 Plus models to get you through. They’ve got a better battery than you’d expect, great camera specs, and some awesome new features that make it worth the upgrade.
If your phone is your life in your pocket, then there’s good reason to splash out on the Pro and Pro Max models – if only for the newest Apple camera and chipset. And the fantastic battery.
Of course, Dynamic Island is a whole new world of fun to explore, and Always On is inarguably a clever little update that’s likely to become indispensable, so if you can afford it, iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are well worth pre-ordering.