iPhone 14

This is arguably the least exciting 2022 iPhone in the range. It retains almost everything from the iPhone 13 and adjusts a few points of its configuration. But is it enough to convince at a time when its call price crosses 1,000 euros?

THE OPINION OF MACBOUND.COM

Apple iPhone 14

MOST

  • + The design is still as pleasant and well finished
  • + The photo part is a little improved
  • + Autonomy that continues to increase
  • + The overall power

THE LESSERS

  • – Screen still no ProMotion
  • – The A15 Bionic is very good but looks like an iPhone 13S
  • – The starting price

The Internet, memes, and even Steve Jobs’ daughter are right, the iPhone 14s looks like the iPhone 13s… In this case, and for the first time, Apple is playing the card of a new generation without changing the SoC. 

The iPhone 14 thus inherits from the A15 Bionic which gave life to the iPhone 13 Pro last year. Compared to the iPhone 13, this is progress, but minimal. From there to think that Apple is replaying the nursery rhyme of the iPhone S quietly, there is only one step, which we are entitled to cross.

This does not mean that the smartphone is not good, the iPhone 13 was an excellent smartphone in view of its price, just that the evolution between the two generations is done in measured steps.

Design, Ergonomics And Display

Externally, no need to spend hours there, the differences are rare or non-existent. The design reintroduced with the iPhone 12 still works wonders, the finish is impeccable and the vertical edges, rimmed with aluminum, are a real pleasure to hold in hand, with or without a shell. 

As on the iPhone 13 and 14 Pro, the solidity of the front panel is entrusted to Ceramic Shield, a glass specially developed by Apple and Corning. The set is water and dust-resistant. If you drop it in a tub or pool, it should survive submersion, but don’t use it to film underwater.

The iPhone 14 retains the notch of previous generations, unlike the Pro models
The iPhone 14 retains the notch of previous generations, unlike the Pro models

Ergonomically, nothing has changed compared to last year. The notch on the front is still there, the same size, and don’t count on a Dynamic Island to brighten up your screen. That hasn’t changed anyway. 

It still doesn’t qualify for the ProMotion designation, which means its refresh rate is still just 60Hz and doesn’t change based on the content you’re viewing. One would have thought that seeing the ProMotion screen of the iPhone 14 Pro go to always-on would allow Apple to slip the ProMotion only into its iPhone 14, but this is not the case.

Nevertheless, the OLED panel, 6.1 inches for 2532×1170 pixels, continues to be of excellent quality and pleasant to watch. The infinite contrast of OLED is accompanied by a luminous panel. 

The 01Lab measured it at 803 cd/m2 in average brightness, with an HDR peak in the same waters. That’s very slightly brighter than the average high-end smartphone we’ve tested over the past twelve months. 

In addition, once again, we must salute the work of calibrating this panel and the accuracy of color reproduction. With a Delta E 2000 (RGB) of 1.3 and a Delta E 2000 (DCI-P3) of 2.64, we are flirting with perfection and the iPhone 14 is almost 45% better than the average smartphone tested. over the past year. No innovation and progress, therefore,

5G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth

On the side of wireless connections, little or no change either. Apple continues to offer 5G sub-6GHz and millimeter modules, the latter not being current in our regions. 

Unlike the United States, the iPhone 14s that you can buy in Europe still has a drawer for the SIM card, which obviously does not prevent you from adopting an eSIM – and you better get used to it because the United States is definitely the first step.

For local networks, Apple has decided to remain faithful to Wi-Fi 6. Its evolution, Wi-FI 6E, which was adopted very quickly by the Galaxy S21, is still not present. Maybe Apple is just waiting for the Wi-Fi 7 standard to take over. 

The first components and devices should be available by the end of the year, according to giants in the field such as Qualcomm, Broadcom, or MediaTek. Intel is a little more cautious and bets on 2024 or 2025. 

On the other hand, we can be happy about one thing: Apple has adopted Bluetooth 5.3 for its iPhone 14. This means that these smartphones will be compatible with Bluetooth LE Audio and the LC3 code (Low Complexity Communication Codec). All that remains is for the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) to be compatible with the Apple Lossless format and life will be good.

The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro still share the same screen size
The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro still share the same screen size

A15 Bionic

Last year, the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro shipped two versions of the A15 Bionic. The difference between the two configurations was in the amount of onboard RAM (4 GB for the first and 6 GB for the second) and the number of cores offered by the graphics part: four for the first and five for the second.

The performances were then obviously in favor of the Pro models but in a discreet way. This additional power was used above all to support the needs of computational photography.

It is therefore this chip that we find this year on board the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus. If we can regret that the A16 Bionic does not come to snort on the two entry-level smartphones, we can oppose two remarks to calm the regrets.

The first is that the new chips gain power mainly on the neural network part, dedicated to calculations related to machine learning. That is, photography functions, recognition of images, objects, text, etc. will be faster. 

And this extra power is mainly justified by the arrival of a 48 Mpixel sensor in the Pro models. No need for that in the iPhone 14, a priori, which still offers only two camera modules.

The additional need for power linked to the arrival of the Photonic Engine should be ensured by the gain on the GPU side.

The second remark is that the iPhone – and indeed all high-end smartphones in general – are now powerful enough for all everyday uses. The iPhone 14s doesn’t offer the best, but that shouldn’t be a problem. At least not in the short term. 

Because by equipping these iPhone 14s with a 2021 chip, Apple may risk creating a processing lag between smartphones of the 2022 generation within a few years…

Anyway, for those who want some numbers, the results displayed by Geekbench are very close, with an astonishing underperformance in multicore of the iPhone 14, but nothing serious: fluctuations of this kind sometimes happen on these kinds of tests. We just note a gain of about 17% for the graphics part.

For the neural engine part, it is about twenty percent more than we find between the two versions of the A15 Bionic. Nothing to complain about.

The good news about this “recycled” A15 Bionic is that it also brings more stability in performance. According to 3Dmark Wild Life, it offers the stability of 80.2% against 73.9 for the previous generation.

Anyway, the interface of iOS 16 is fast, and fluid. The applications launch with the responsiveness to which Apple has accustomed us over the iterations. The most beautiful and demanding 3D games run smoothly and without lag. The iPhone 14 does not lack power, failing to offer something new.

Last Night An iPhone Saved My Life.

For several years, Apple’s keynotes have liked to recall with some tremolos that the Watch has saved lives, either by detecting dangerous cardiac arrhythmias or by alerting help after a fall. With the iPhone 14, Apple smartphones enter the dance. 

Thanks to a new gyroscope and an accelerometer resistant to very strong and violent accelerations, they are able to detect if you are caught in a car accident and then warn the emergency services and your loved ones. It’s a good function, which we obviously don’t want you to have to test.

In the United States only and from November, the iPhone 14 will also be able to call emergencies thanks to a satellite connection. It will make it possible to send written messages to emergency services. 

Apple has developed a simple and intuitive interface to capture the satellite signal and communicate with emergency services. Another interesting function, but not necessarily the one that triggers enthusiasm and a purchase. Although if you are hiking in the high mountains or in the desert, who knows?

The iPhone 14 still only has two photo modules on the back
The iPhone 14 still only has two photo modules on the back

Photography Little New And Better

As we said above, the iPhone 14 has stolen its chip from the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. While he was shopping, he also borrowed his main camera module. He, therefore, finds himself with the same wide angle, equipped with a larger 12 Mpixel sensor, also equipped with larger photosites (1.9 micrometers against 1.7 last year), and an aperture at f /1.5, versus f/1.6. 

If you’ve been tracking well, that means more light is entering and registering. Good news for taking pictures faster and less noisy in low light.

In addition, a small aside, for lovers of selfies: good news, the front camera has a slightly larger aperture (f/1.9 against f/2.2 previously) and also automatic autofocus! Sharpness is yours for your group selfies!

The ultra-wide angle of the iPhone 14 still avoids major distortions at the edges of the shot and offers n-good exposure.
The ultra-wide angle of the iPhone 14 still avoids major distortions at the edges of the shot and offers n-good exposure.
The wide-angle of the iPhone 14 has been slightly improved. In bright light, it produces beautiful shots that are a little more detailed. But the iPhone 14 clearly lacks a third focal length.
The wide-angle of the iPhone 14 has been slightly improved. In bright light, it produces beautiful shots that are a little more detailed. But the iPhone 14 clearly lacks a third focal length.

But let’s go back. In addition to these small hardware improvements – or rather these hardware recoveries – welcome the arrival of the Photonic Engine. A software solution that relies on the power of the SoC and the image processor and applies the various computational methods of image enhancement developed and introduced by Apple in recent years.

Thanks to processing before compression, the images are generally better defined, with enhanced sharpness. The solid effects that were reminiscent of watercolors and have characterized iPhones for several generations are much more discreet, even if the iPhone 14 still has some progress to make.

We also and above all salute its ability to increase ISO when the light drops, without sacrificing color accuracy, exposure, or introducing too much noise – this is especially visible with the wide-angle, which leads us to think that ‘Apple did well to replace it. Once again, in low light, it is better to avoid zooming too much in the shots taken and to use digital zoom when shooting.

This leads us to one of the major flaws of the iPhone 14. They continue to offer only two focal lengths: ultra wide-angle (eq. 13 mm) and wide-angle (eq. 26 mm). They sorely lack a telephoto lens either to take portraits or to be able to bring out a detail in a landscape or the facade of a building.

Portrait mode is still progressing a little, especially in night trigger speed, but the contours are still a little “stiff”.
Portrait mode is still progressing a little, especially in night trigger speed, but the contours are still a little “stiff”.

Despite advances in the Photonic Engine and Apple’s clipping algorithms, portraits are still sometimes struggling when it comes to dealing with wild hair curls. The cut around a face is complicated, and sometimes a photo taken from behind will see the iPhone clipping the hair and applying the bokeh effect to the neck, which is a photographic aberration. So there is still progress to be made.

As we said of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple does not pick up the wagons with the best smartphones in the photo, whether Korean (Samsung) or Chinese (Huawei or Honor, even Xiaomi).

In the video, the iPhone 14 benefits from Apple’s know-how in this area and continues to provide quite incredible stabilization. Action mode is great when you find yourself filming someone running at a run yourself, or following a child roller-skating with skates on their feet. 

Nevertheless, the iPhone 14 does much worse than its big brother and suffers more when the light decreases.

Finally, for the most creative among us, Apple is pushing its Cinematic mode a little further. It is now possible to film in 4K at 30 fps, or at 24 fps. In short, enough to make your cinema and play on the areas of sharpness between different shots. 

Even if, once again, surface recognition and clipping can sometimes be improved, transparent surfaces are always traps in which the iPhone gets tripped up.

The finish of the iPhone 14 is still just as perfect… and identical to that of the iPhone 13.
The finish of the iPhone 14 is still just as perfect… and identical to that of the iPhone 13.

Autonomy

Since the iPhone 11, iPhones have regularly become among the most enduring smartphones. A reversal and a historical trend that will continue this year. 01Lab has indeed submitted the iPhone 14 to its two usual tests: the one in versatile autonomy, which simulates daily tasks chained until the battery gives up the ghost, and the one in video streaming, whose name is rather explicit.

In so-called versatile autonomy, the iPhone 14 progresses by 31 minutes compared to the iPhone 13 and reaches 19:28. It is almost 31% more autonomous than the smartphones facing it.

For autonomy in video streaming, the progression is even stronger. It’s an hour and eleven minutes that the iPhone 14 adds to its account. It now lasts 5:50 p.m. against 4:39 p.m. for the equivalent model in the iPhone 13 range.

It is also 38% better than the average of equivalent smartphones tested by 01Lab over the past twelve months. In other words, this 2022 vintage is excellent and will occupy the top of the rankings in these two areas.

On the charging time side, there is also progress, but Apple has clearly still not decided to start the race at high speed. The iPhone 14 fills up its battery in 1h33, compared to 1h48 last year for the iPhone 13. It’s obviously better, but not dazzling. In thirty minutes you will get a 56% charge according to our measurements.

The iPhone 14 remains faithful to the Lightning port.
The iPhone 14 remains faithful to the Lightning port.

Finally, to stay in the field of charging, note that the iPhone 14 is still compatible with charging via MagSafe at 15 W. Personally, we still prefer to go through the Lightning port, which is still relevant, before that Apple is not forced to adopt USB-C, a prior. 

Wired charging is not only faster, but it’s also more “eco-friendly”. Let’s just say it’s more energy efficient.

Apple iPhone 14 Technical Sheet

SystemiOS 16
ProcessorApple A15 Bionic
Size (diagonal)6.1″
Screen resolution460 dpi

MOST

  • + The design is still as pleasant and well finished
  • + The photo part is a little improved
  • + Autonomy that continues to increase
  • + The overall power

THE LESSERS

  • – Screen still no ProMotion
  • – The A15 Bionic is very good but looks like an iPhone 13S
  • – The starting price

Apple iPhone 14 Verdict

The iPhone 14 is an iPhone 13S, not to say an iPhone 13 in disguise. This reality is magnified by its starting price, above 1,000 euros. Until now, only the top of the range passed this course, and psychologically, we said to ourselves that such was the price of the top of the basket. 

But now, this price makes you wonder who the iPhone 14 is intended for, while the competition offers more for less – especially for the photo part. It does not lack charm, and assets, of course. iOS is one, and the fact that it will benefit from software updates for a long time also weighs in the balance. 

Its 6.1-inch screen size, finish, durability, overall power, and battery life are others. However, by sticking to the position outlined last year, it struggles to justify this increased price.

Ultimately, it’s for those who want to stay within Apple’s ecosystem and own an iPhone 11 and older. Others? Whether they wait until next year or try their luck in the pro range, which is really more expensive, or elsewhere.

Read more about iPhone 14 Pro Max Review

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Abram left his e-business studies to devote himself to his entrepreneurial projects. In 2017, he created the company Inbound Media and wrote articles about high-tech products for his Chromebookeur site. In 2019, Chromebookeur was renamed Macbound and became a general purchasing advice site. Today, Abram manages the development and growth of Macbound, surrounded by a young and talented team.

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