iPhone 14 evaluation: acquainted design however now simpler to restore | iPhone

On the floor, the iPhone 14 seems to be like a really minor improve. However a redesigned inside makes it simpler and cheaper to restore, marking a serious shift in the proper path for Apple.

Weak foreign money charges towards the greenback imply the brand new iPhone is £70 (A$50) costlier than its predecessor, priced at £849 (A$1,399) regardless of costing the identical $799 within the US. It’s an sadly acquainted story for all of Apple’s present merchandise, and certain others to be launched this 12 months.

On the surface the iPhone 14 is principally the identical as its predecessor with a 6.1-inch normal 60Hz OLED display screen, aluminium sides and a glass again. It even has the identical A15 chip as used within the 13 Professional fashions final 12 months, and the identical lengthy battery lifetime of about 44 to 48 hours between costs. Use it sparingly and also you’ll get about two days between costs.

The glass back of the iPhone 14.
The glass again can now get replaced far more simply if smashed, making it faster and cheaper to restore. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The most important modifications are hidden from view. Beforehand, the again glass panel was basically glued to the body, making its alternative when smashed a painstaking course of requiring full disassembly of the system from the entrance. Now the iPhone 14 has a brand new mid-frame design that enables it to be opened from each back and front. It’s not fairly the modular, user-repairable dream demonstrated by the Fairphone, however it’s a massive step in the proper path for Apple.

For the person, meaning higher warmth dissipation so you’ll be able to sport for longer. However for repairs it means you’ll be able to substitute the again glass as simply as you’ll be able to the display screen, which is a big enchancment for the longevity of the system. The result’s that again glass repairs price £169, down from £300-plus from Apple. Third events are more likely to cost much less once more.

Just like the iPhone 14 Professional, the brand new cellphone ships with out a sim card tray within the US, relying completely on digital eSims, however continues to have the sim tray outdoors the US, together with the UK. Emergency satellite tv for pc SOS is rolling out in November, however solely to telephones bought within the US or Canada.

Specs

  • Display screen: 6.1in Tremendous Retina XDR (OLED) (460ppi)

  • Processor: Apple A15 Bionic

  • RAM: 6GB

  • Storage: 128, 256 or 512GB

  • Working system: iOS 16

  • Digital camera: twin 12MP rear with OIS, 12MP front-facing digicam

  • Connectivity: 5G, wifi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, Lightning, UWB and GNSS

  • Water resistance: IP68 (6 metres for 30 minutes)

  • Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8mm

  • Weight: 172g

The Lightning port in the bottom of the iPhone 14.
The cellphone takes 110 minutes to completely cost, hitting 50% in 25 minutes utilizing the included Lightning cable and a 20W USB-C energy adaptor (not included). It additionally helps 15W wi-fi charging. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Sustainability

Apple doesn’t present an anticipated lifespan for the battery nevertheless it ought to final in extra of 500 full cost cycles with not less than 80% of its unique capability and may be changed for £105. Out-of-warranty display screen repairs price £289, whereas again glass repairs price £169. Restore specialists iFixit awarded the cellphone seven out of 10 for repairability, praising the brand new inner design.

The 14 incorporates recycled gold, plastic, uncommon earth components, tin and tungsten. The corporate breaks down the cellphone’s environmental impression in its report. Apple presents trade-in and free recycling schemes, together with for non-Apple merchandise.

iOS 16

The back camera array on the iPhone 14.
The twin-camera array on the again of the iPhone 14 is barely bigger than its predecessor which means previous instances received’t match the brand new cellphone. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The 14 ships with iOS 16, which is a extra playful model of Apple’s software program and has a revamped lock display screen amongst many different new options. You possibly can count on not less than 5 years of software program and safety updates and probably as many as seven.

New for the iPhone 14 line is car-crash detection, which senses the excessive impression drive of a site visitors collision and routinely calls the emergency companies if you don’t reply inside 20 seconds.

Digital camera

The camera app on the iPhone 14.
The digicam app is without doubt one of the best to make use of with new options corresponding to photographic kinds, motion digicam and improved portrait modes accessed by way of a swipe. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The 14 has the identical acquainted dual-camera setup on the again with out an optical zoom, as with earlier non-Professional iPhones. However the principle 12MP digicam sensor is bodily larger than its predecessor, boosting low-light efficiency by as much as 49%. Photographs taken in middling- to low-light circumstances, corresponding to indoors, are considerably sharper than earlier than and the devoted evening mode is required much less steadily.

The ultra-wide digicam has higher low gentle efficiency because of improved software program processing however stays in any other case unchanged. The 2 mixed are reliably good cameras, however the lack of an optical zoom is disappointing in comparison with rivals.

The selfie digicam has been improved for the primary time in a few years on the iPhone, now with twice pretty much as good low-light efficiency, autofocus and a sharper lens. Photos are crisper with higher element, significantly in low gentle or unsteady circumstances, as is the case for many selfies.

Video seize stays class main. A brand new motion mode stabilisation system works wonders in shiny gentle, however struggles with the rest.

General the 14’s cameras are good, however lack vary for the value.

Value

The iPhone 14 prices from £849 ($799/A$1,399) with 128GB of storage.

For comparability, the iPhone 14 Plus prices £949, the iPhone 14 Professional prices £1,099, the Samsung Galaxy S22+ prices £949, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 prices £999 and the Google Pixel 6 prices £599.

Verdict

At first look the iPhone 14 is principally an iPhone 13 with barely improved cameras. It has the identical display screen, chips, lengthy battery life and design. However it hides a shift change for Apple with reconfigured guts that enable it to be repaired extra simply and for much less. It’s a particular improve for longevity, even when it’s not a whizz-bang function, and hopefully one thing that’s rolled out to the remainder of Apple’s smartphone line quickly.

Whereas it’s definitely not price upgrading from latest fashions, in case you’re trying to substitute an older system coming to the top of its life, the iPhone 14 is a superb, secure cellphone with all the weather that make iPhones a few of the finest available on the market. The currency-driven value improve stings, however trade-in offers might assist soften that blow.

Execs: simpler and cheaper to restore, higher cameras, water-resistant, Face ID, lengthy battery life, good efficiency, good display screen, sturdy and straightforward to carry, lengthy software program help.

Cons: no USB-C, want your individual charger, no telephoto digicam, display screen slower than competitors and 14 Professional, value improve outdoors the US.

The iPhone 14 held in a hand showing the home screen.
The 6.1in dimension of the iPhone 14 remains to be one of the best steadiness of a big sufficient display screen and pretty compact physique for carrying and use. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian