Apple iPhone 14 Review

Apple iPhone 14 Review
The default iPhone still impresses.

  • Outstanding battery life
  • Great performance
  • Superb dual cameras
  • Top build quality
  • 60Hz display
  • Slow charging
  • No RAW photo shooting
Our Verdict
  • The iPhone 14 is the iPhone most people should buy with great cameras and performance, though at this price it should have a high refresh rate display.

It’s difficult to review an iPhone without comparing it to the one that came before it. To that end, 2022’s iPhone 14 is incredibly similar to 2021’s iPhone 13, and a little boring because of it.

It has the exact same design and barely brings anything new. If you have an iPhone 13, you most certainly do not need an iPhone 14.

But if you’re here wondering whether to buy the iPhone 14, you probably don’t own an iPhone 13. You’ll have an older iPhone, maybe the iPhone XR or iPhone 11, or you want to switch from Android and aren’t sure you need the bells and whistles of the iPhone 14 Pro.

In that case, the iPhone 14 is a great phone. It has a good screen, excellent battery life, superb cameras, and outstanding performance. It’s the default iPhone choice and will seamlessly fit into your life.

All that said, it’s more expensive than the iPhone 13 was in the UK and Europe at $799/£849/€1,019, and though its screen is good, it’s stuck at 60Hz when most Android phones at this price have slicker 120Hz refresh rates. Apple also purposefully leaves out features the hardware can cope with to try and upsell you to the iPhone 14 Pro, which is annoying.

Essentially, the iPhone 14 is a very good phone, but Apple has stunted just how good it could be so it can charge more for the iPhone 14 Pro.

Design And Build

  • Premium feel
  • Nicer in hand than the Pro
  • No Dynamic Island
The iPhone 14 continues the design language Apple began with 2020’s iPhone 12: flat aluminium sides with curved edges and a flat front and back. I like it. It feels premium and I still prefer the matt sides and glossy back to the iPhone Pro line’s glossy steel sides and matt back. I also prefer the lightness of this model compared to the Pro, which is much heavier.
Apple iPhone 14 Review

This feels like the ‘right’ size for an iPhone, and indeed is not mini, Max, or Plus – this is the plain old ‘iPhone’ for this year. Apple no longer makes a mini model after the iPhone 12 mini and 13 mini, instead offering the iPhone 14 Plus, which is coming out later than the 14. I have small hands, so personally missed the size of the iPhone mini while using this regular-sized model.

The iPhone 14 has the same size notch for the front camera and Face ID system as the iPhone 13, missing out on the iPhone 14 Pro’s fancy Dynamic Island cut-out camera and sensor with its software tricks and new ways to display information. Apple’s new always-on display tech is also exclusive to the Pro.

On the back, there are two camera lenses in a bump that means the phone rocks on a table if not in a case (the bump is also bigger so will not fit in any iPhone 13 cases). The sides have volume buttons on the left edge below the mute switch, with the power button on the right. There’s also a SIM tray in every country except the US, as Apple has made the switch to eSIM only for its North American models.

If you don’t like the idea of that coming to your country, then you might want to get the iPhone 14 as it could be one of the last iPhones with a physical SIM tray.
Apple iPhone 14 Review

It could also be the last year the iPhone uses the 10-year-old Lightning port as the iPhone is rumoured to be switching to USB-C soon, but a Lightning port does reside on the bottom of the phone here still, next to the down-firing speaker that pairs with the earpiece for dual speaker sound.

The phone is also fully waterproof with an IP68 rating, and I can happily report the iPhone still has the best haptics – vibration feedback – of any phone on the market.

My review sample was in the new light blue colour, but I still think the best hue is the Product Red version. You can also get the phone in midnight, starlight, or purple.

Display And Audio

  • Bright 6.1in screen
  • Only 60Hz
  • Dual stereo speakers
The iPhone 14 is one of the most expensive phones you can buy that still has a 60Hz refresh rate screen. The iPhone 14 Pro and many mid-range and high-end Android phones have 90Hz or 120Hz screens that make content scroll smoother and appear more fluid, particularly in menus or apps with a lot of text.
Apple iPhone 14 Review

I didn’t overly miss a higher refresh rate using the iPhone 14, but when I compared it side by side to phones that have one, like the Google Pixel 6 Pro (a phone that costs about the same), the difference is stark. For the asking price, Apple should be offering the ProMotion 120Hz display of its Pro phones, but it continues to leave it off the regular iPhone to try and upsell you.

Thankfully the 6.1in OLED panel of the iPhone 14 is very good. It has excellent sharpness and brightness, and Apple has perfectly rounded the corners to fit the aesthetic it has had since the iPhone X.

For FaceTime calls and the occasional podcast, the stereo speakers on the phone are solid. Playing Apple Music through them at a high volume is grating though, and it distorts, as you’d expect on any smartphone.

Specs And Performance

  • A15 Bionic
  • Blazing fast
  • As good as the Pro for most
Apple has changed tactics in 2022, giving the iPhone 14 Pro the new A16 Bionic chipset, but not putting it in this regular iPhone 14. The bottom line is this doesn’t matter, as the version of the A15 in the iPhone 14 is very fast and capable indeed – in fact it is the same one found in the iPhone 13 Pro.

Apple doesn’t say how much RAM it puts in its phones, but teardowns have revealed there’s 6GB. iFixit’s teardown also found out Apple has redesigned the iPhone 14 on the inside, making it much more repairable – a small win.
Apple iPhone 14 Review

The phone comes with 128, 256, or 512GB of non-expandable storage. I recommend at least 256GB if you have a lot of photos and apps and want to keep this phone for a few years.

Using the phone as my main device, I came across absolutely no performance issues. Despite the year-old chipset, the iPhone 14 still feels comfortably more fluid and performant than many current Android flagships. That’s not to say it is, but it just feels so slick because Apple has full control over the hardware and software, and its quality control is very high.

Flicking between apps is seamless, and the phone keeps apps in memory so you can right back to where you left off. There is also none of the aggressive background snoozing of apps you find on some Android devices, meaning notifications came through without fail.

In benchmarks, the phone went toe to toe with the iPhone 13 Pro, which makes sense given it’s practically the same hardware. The phone also got a higher score than the 14 Pro in Geekbench’s multicore CPU test, proving the gains you’ll actually see by going ‘pro’ with an iPhone are negligible.

Battery And Charging

  • Superb battery life
  • Slow to charge
  • Qi and MagSafe wireless charging
Apple also annoyingly does not say how big the batteries in its phones are, but you might not care as it doesn’t reflect how long the phone lasts on a charge. I found battery life on the iPhone 14 to be excellent. The phone regularly lasted me a day and a half of use before I needed to recharge – that’s off the charger at about 8am and only just dipping below 20% by midday the next day.

The cell (if you do care) is 3,279mAh, much lower than the 5,000mAh now commonly seen on Android phones. Apple controlling all its hardware and iOS software means battery efficiency is excellent, so it can achieve longevity with smaller cells.

If you really hammer your phone, you might want to opt for the larger 14 Plus or the iPhone 14 Pro Max that have larger batteries.
Apple iPhone 14 Review

A downside to the iPhone 14 is its slow charging. Compared to Android phones that can charge to 100% in less than half an hour, the iPhone remains glacial. From empty, I charged the phone to 60% in 30 minutes using the included Lightning cable and a 30W Apple USB-C charger (there’s no charging brick in the box).

Slow charging won’t matter if you want to charge your phone overnight, but if it hits low battery during the day it takes longer to charge than rival phones.

There’s also wireless charging using the Qi standard, as well as Apple’s MagSafe magnetic charging circle built into the back so you can use magnetic wireless chargers or accessories like Apple’s neat three-card wallet.

Camera And Video

  • Excellent main 12Mp lens
  • Autofocus on selfie cam
  • No RAW capture
While much praise is heaped on the Pro iPhones’ cameras, the regular iPhone 14 is no slouch. It’s one of the best camera setups I’ve used on a phone this year, and will suffice so long as you don’t really want an optical telephoto lens.

Alongside the Google Pixel, the iPhone has the best point-and-shoot camera experience of any phone brand. You can shoot with either a 12Mp main f/1.5 lens with optical image stabilisation (OIS) or a 12Mp ultra-wide f/2.4 lens with a 120-degree field of view.

You don’t get the 48Mp main lens found on the iPhone 14 Pro, and nor does Apple let you shoot in Apple’s ProRAW RAW format, which would benefit people who want to edit their photos but don’t want to fork out for a Pro iPhone. Not allowing RAW shots on the iPhone 14 when the hardware is clearly capable of it is galling – especially when the main sensor used here is in the same one as on the iPhone 13 Pro, which can shoot in RAW.

The HEIF (if Live Photos is on) or JPEG shots out of the main lens are stunning though, capturing tons of detail, though results are a little over-sharpening by Apple’s computational processing. Low light performance is better than on the regular iPhone 13, but it’s only noticeable when you compare images side to side. Year on year, these are very marginal gains.
Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

Apple iPhone 14 Camera

There are solid software options like Photographic Styles that let you shoot with slightly different contrast and exposure presets that give different feels to photos compared to the default setting. I like Rich Contrast the best out of these as it gives shots a moodier, more film-like colour.

Portrait mode is great thanks to the ever-improving software effect, and I like how the iPhone lets you shoot these at 1x, whereas many Android phones have to crop in to 2x or more to do this. The main lens can also handle natural bokeh too, though sometimes those out-of-focus areas are a little shaky. As there’s no telephoto lens, any zoom is digital from the main lens. It goes up to 5x, but anything over 2x doesn’t look great.

Ultra-wide shots from the dedicated lens are solid, though do warp at the edges of some shots despite Apple’s lens correction algorithms.

If Apple holds back some features from the regular model, at least the iPhone 14 does get Action Mode, a stabilisation mode for video. You toggle it on with a running person icon in video mode in the camera app, and it very successfully reduces natural shake on video. Results are very impressive and will benefit anything from skateboarding videos to recording your child’s dance recital.

Any feature like this to reduce shaky video is welcome. It’s much more useful for most people than Cinematic Mode, which tries to recreate the rack focus effect of focusing on foreground or background planes. With a little patience, you can get some fun footage, though.
Apple iPhone 14 Review

The 12Mp f/1.9 selfie camera on the iPhone 14 is one of the best improvements this year. It has autofocus for the first time on any iPhone, and shots are crisp and clear. Like shots from the rear cameras, it also benefits from Apple’s so-called Photonic Engine, the company’s marketing term for low-light photo processing.

I didn’t expect to enjoy shooting photos with the iPhone 14 as much as I did, and I didn’t miss the telephoto lens too much either. I’d prefer it was there, but otherwise, this is a very accomplished camera setup.

Software And Updates

  • iOS 16 at launch
  • Long software support
  • Thoughtful touches
One of the best things about the iPhone 14 is its projected longevity. Buy one close to launch at the tail end of 2022, and you are pretty much guaranteed five years of software updates. Given the phone ships with iOS 16, it’s reasonable to expect it will get iOS 20. 2017’s iPhone 8 got iOS 16, and even older iPhones still get security patches. Buying an iPhone gets you the best software support in the smartphone game, and you can take iPhones into any Apple Store for a paid battery replacement if it’s worn out after a few years.

If the iPhone 14 isn’t too exciting a hardware upgrade year on year, then delightful moments with the phone can be found in the software. iOS 16 adds new lock screen customisation so you can add widgets and change the colour of the time and text.
Apple iPhone 14 Review

Using Face ID is still unparalleled convenience, far more seamless than any Android phone’s biometric system.

Using AirPods with an iPhone is still the easiest way to use any Bluetooth headphones thanks to immediate pairing that doesn’t require you to go anywhere near the Bluetooth settings on the phone. Using SharePlay to push audio to a second pair is very handy, too.

With Apple Music, Dolby Atmos tracks get great separation through my three-year-old AirPods Pro, and some albums have Spatial Audio support, though Apple still does not support hi-res wireless streaming to any of its own headphone products, which is odd.

The Find My app is still clever, and thanks to the U1 Ultra-Wideband chip in the iPhone 14 you can locate AirTags, AirPods, or any Apple product linked to your Apple ID much easier.
Apple iPhone 14 Review

I also really enjoy using the Wallet app when I use an iPhone as the storing of payment cards, loyalty cards, and event tickets is more seamless and more polished than Google Wallet. You can also finally get haptic feedback from the keyboard when typing, a feature Android phones have had for years.

New to the iPhone 14 is car crash detection, a feature I hope you will not have to use but calls emergency services in the event of a crash, and is exclusive to the 14 and 14 Pro phones. Apple has also added satellite connectivity to the phones for sending texts when out of cellular range, but at the moment it’s only coming to the US.

Privacy-wise, I appreciate the Hide My Email feature when you log into apps using your Apple ID. Logging in with Google or Facebook means sharing your email with the developer, but Apple’s system lets you use your ID but generates a unique email redirect that means your data stays private. It’s touches like this that win customers over.
Apple iPhone 14 Review

Price And Availability

The iPhone 14 costs from $799/£849/€1,019 for the 128GB model. This is the same price in the US as the iPhone 13 but is £70 more in the UK and a big €120 more in Europe.

The best place to buy it in any region is direct from Apple as you can also purchase Apple Care insurance at the same time. For other retail options, check out our where to buy the iPhone 14 article.

The price goes up to $899/£959/€1,149 for the 256GB model and $1099/£1179/€1.409 for 512GB, the model I tested.

You might prefer to buy the iPhone 14 on a two-year contract, which will soften the blow of the price rise, but if you want to buy it outright, you might consider cheaper, premium Android alternatives such as the $599/£599/€649 Google Pixel 6, which has a 90Hz display and similar main and ultra-wide camera.


The iPhone 14 replaces the iPhone 13 in Apple’s line-up and is still the default iPhone choice for most people. It has very good cameras, outstanding battery life, and a great, if 60Hz, display.

It’s not too large like the iPhone Plus and Max models are, and it isn’t a lead weight in a pocket or bag. I also prefer the aluminium sides of the iPhone 14 to the glossy sides of the Pro iPhones that pick up greasy fingerprints.

Add in full waterproofing, wireless charging, and top software support, and you have an iPhone that will last you for four or five years. It’s just very similar to the iPhone 13, and for this price should have a high refresh rate display and the ability to shoot in RAW format so people can use the camera as a professional tool.


  • 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8mm
  • 172g
  • 6.1in Super Retina XDR display (2532 x 1170)
  • IP68 dust and water resistance
  • A15 Bionic
  • Main 12Mp camera, f/1.5, sensor-shift OIS
  • 120-degree 12Mp ultrawide, f/2.4
  • 4K@60fps with Dolby Vision HDR support
  • 12Mp f/1.9 front-facing camera with autofocus
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Wi-Fi 6 with 2xMIMO
  • NFC
  • Satellite connectivity
  • Car Crash detection
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Apple iPhone 14 Review Apple iPhone 14 Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 25, 2022 Rating: 5


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