Is the iPhone 14 Definitely worth the Improve? How It Compares to Apple’s Older Telephones

This story is a part of Focal Level iPhone 2022, CNET’s assortment of reports, ideas and recommendation round Apple’s hottest product.

Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Professional arrived on Sept. 16, and you might be questioning if both iPhone is definitely worth the trade-up from a earlier iPhone. Above all else, the reply relies on which telephone you at present personal. In case you have a latest mannequin just like the iPhone 13 or 12, it is best to wait. In case your telephone is older although, it is value determining how a lot you will achieve by leaping to a more moderen iPhone.

The $799 (£849, AU$1,399) iPhone 14 brings modest enhancements which are appreciated however not game-changing, like nitty-gritty digicam enhancements, car-crash detection and the help for satellite-based emergency messaging. (Hopefully, you will by no means be in a state of affairs the place you will want to make use of the latter two.) The iPhone 14 additionally has a brand new inside design with simpler entry to inside parts, making it simpler to restore than earlier fashions. iFixit, an internet site that disassembles tech merchandise and assesses how straightforward they’re to repair, referred to as it “probably the most repairable iPhone in years.” 


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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 excellent 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 important digicam sensor. In the event you desire bigger telephones, you might need to wait till Apple releases the iPhone 14 Plus earlier than making your resolution. 

In the event you desire bigger telephones, you additionally may need to wait till the 6.7-inch $899 iPhone 14 Plus arrives on Oct. 7. It is vital to do not forget that you do not have to purchase the iPhone 14 to get digicam, battery and efficiency enhancements over an earlier iPhone. 

The lately discounted $699 iPhone 13 or the smaller $599 13 Mini might be a very good possibility should you nonetheless need extra storage, quicker efficiency and an improved digicam, particularly in case you are coming from a telephone that is three years outdated or extra. It is also the one possibility if you need the smaller Mini and its 5.4-inch display screen, for the reason that iPhone 14 line eliminates that measurement in favor of the brand new $899 iPhone 14 Plus with a 6.7-inch display screen. 

Buying choices will all the time differ relying on funds, how effectively your telephone works proper now and your private wants, so there is not any easy reply that works for everybody. However listed here are the most important 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 reminiscent of car-crash detection, the elimination of the bodily SIM card for US telephones, and enhanced cameras on the rear and entrance. Regardless of these modifications, iPhone 14 is not totally different sufficient to justify upgrading from the iPhone 13. And regardless that 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. In truth, the iPhone 14 represents “probably the most minimal year-over-year upgrades in Apple’s historical past,” in line 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 screen 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 referred to as the iPhone 14 Plus, which has a 6.7-inch display screen just like the Professional Max. Which means you not should splurge on Apple’s most costly iPhone if you need the most important display screen doable. 

After all, the iPhone 14 continues to be extremely rated, however we advocate saving your cash and skipping the improve. In the event you’ve made up your thoughts to improve, we recommend 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 modifications — 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 will need to 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 

Regardless that the iPhone 12 lineup was launched two years in the past, they nonetheless share many similarities with Apple’s newest telephones. Each the iPhone 12 and iPhone 14 help 5G, run on quick processors, provide nice cameras and embody MagSafe accent compatibility.

Because the iPhone 14 is extra of a refresh than a serious improve, we advocate hanging onto your iPhone 12 if it is nonetheless in good situation. You’ll be able to reap the benefits of the iPhone’s newest software program options reminiscent of lock display screen customizations, widgets and the flexibility to unsend textual content messages by upgrading to iOS 16.

The iPhone 14 obtained just a few notable digicam upgrades, like a bigger sensor, a brand new lens with a quicker aperture, improved photograph processing and Motion Mode which makes the actions in movies look smoother if you report them.

However the iPhone 12’s cameras stay wonderful regardless that they’re two years outdated. The iPhone 12 has a 12-megapixel twin digicam system, whereas the iPhone 12 Professional features a third digicam with a telephoto lens. Take a look at our iPhone 12 assessment to see how the cameras held up when CNET put them by way of the paces.

It is value remembering that you just get extra noticeable upgrades with the iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max. These embody every thing that is new within the 14, in addition to an upgraded important digicam with a bigger 48-megapixel sensor, an ultrawide digicam that means that you can take Macro pictures and a 3rd digicam with a telephoto lens. If you will get a very good trade-in deal that considerably knocks down the iPhone 14 Professional’s value, upgrading from the common iPhone 12 is a good step-up. 

The underside line: Maintain onto your iPhone 12 for one more yr for the reason that iPhone 14 is not dramatically totally different. Nonetheless, the iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max convey extra vital modifications that might be worthwhile should you can snag a very good 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 the event 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 modifications to options together with battery life, efficiency, display screen high quality, cameras and sturdiness to advantage shopping for a brand new iPhone. 

Upgrading to the iPhone 14 will get you 5G help, extra storage (128GB on the base stage versus 64GB) a greater important digicam with a wider aperture lens, new video capturing choices like Motion mode and Cinematic mode, a greater selfie digicam with Night time mode and Apple’s Photonic Engine processing, compatibility with Apple’s MagSafe equipment, longer battery life and quicker 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 modifications in comparison with the iPhone 11. And the longer battery life and extra space for storing are welcomed upgrades that you will discover each day.

As beforehand talked about, should you go for the 14 Professional as an alternative, you get a brand new 48-megapixel important digicam, a more in-depth 3x optical zoom versus the 11 Professional Max’s 2x zoom, the Dynamic Island as an alternative of the notch and quite a few different upgrades like an always-on show.

The underside line: The iPhone 14 lineup consists of sufficient modifications to justify upgrading from the iPhone 11. But when your telephone continues to be in good situation and also you’re glad with it, set up iOS 16 and maintain onto it for one more yr. 

The iPhone XS

The iPhone XS.


Josh Miller/CNET

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone XS, XS Max, XR

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

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

These embody 5G help, extra storage (once more, you get 128GB versus 64GB), quicker efficiency and a greater digicam. The iPhone XS technology lacks Night time mode for taking clearer photos at midnight, 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 digicam has a decrease 7-megapixel decision in comparison with the bigger and newer 12-megapixel sensor on the iPhone 14. In the event you’re upgrading from an iPhone XR, you will additionally get a further digicam with an ultrawide lens for taking broader group pictures for the primary time. 

The iPhone 14 additionally has a bigger 6.1-inch display screen in comparison with the iPhone XS’ 5.8-inch show (the iPhone XS Max has a 6.5-inch display screen, whereas the XR’s display screen 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 digicam module that replaces the pill-shaped rear digicam cutout. So your telephone won’t solely really feel extra trendy, but it surely’ll look newer, too. 

The underside line: In case you have an iPhone XS, XS Max or XR, it is undoubtedly value upgrading. You get a noticeable increase in digicam 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 outdated, which implies it most likely feels gradual and its battery life is not what it was once. With an iPhone 14, you will discover a serious improve in each classes, in addition to design, improved sturdiness, connectivity and digicam high quality. 

Let’s begin with efficiency. The iPhone X runs on a a lot older A11 Bionic chip that is now 5 years outdated, 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 operate, which signifies that the iPhone X could wrestle to maintain up with newer capabilities.

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

The iPhone 14 helps Dolby Atmos and spatial audio playback, whereas the iPhone X simply has stereo playback. That is most likely not a deal-breaker, however may 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 possibility, higher water resistance (as much as 6 meters for half-hour versus 1 meter), 5G help, extra space for storing, Ceramic Defend 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 digicam to efficiency, battery life and the way in which 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 technology has Apple’s legacy iPhone design, which is becoming for a telephone that is now 5 years outdated. In case you have an iPhone 8 and are contemplating an improve, lots of the causes to do this are the identical as the explanations to improve from the iPhone X. The processor is getting outdated, 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 Night time mode (the smaller iPhone 8 does not have Portrait mode both, because it solely has one lens). By upgrading, you will get extra storage, considerably longer battery life, help for 5G connectivity and MagSafe equipment, too.

However the largest distinction is within the iPhone 8’s design, which is way more than simply an aesthetic improve. Telephones with Apple’s extra trendy edge-to-edge display screen commerce Contact ID for Face ID, which helps you to unlock your telephone and authenticate funds simply by taking a look at your machine. In the event you desire Contact ID over Face ID, particularly because it’s tough 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 an identical physique to the iPhone 8.

Upgrading to the iPhone 14 has a noticeably massive bounce in show measurement and high quality. Since newer telephones just like the iPhone 14 do not have a house button, there’s extra room for Apple to increase the display screen with out making the machine really feel cumbersome. The iPhone 14’s display screen is even bigger than the iPhone 8 Plus’ 5.5-inch display screen regardless of the machine itself feeling extra compact. (And for extra perspective, take into account that the iPhone 13 Mini has a 5.4-inch show). In the event 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 screen) to the iPhone 12’s 6.1-inch show makes studying, checking e-mail and watching movies way more snug. The display screen is not solely bigger, but it surely’s additionally extra vibrant with higher distinction because it makes use of an OLED show slightly than LCD.

The underside line: The iPhone 14 is a large bounce from the iPhone 8. Every little thing about this telephone will really feel quick and new: the a lot bigger and bolder display screen, Face ID, the quicker processor, its longer battery life and naturally the considerably upgraded cameras. Of observe nonetheless, should you actually need to get a more moderen iPhone however preserve 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 six years outdated, and it exhibits in every thing from the processor to the digicam and space for storing. The iPhone 7 does not help iOS 16, offering much more incentive for buying a more moderen machine. 

Whereas we usually advocate selecting the iPhone 14 Professional over the iPhone 14 normally, coming from a telephone this outdated, means you will discover lots that is new within the iPhone 14. 

The iPhone 7 runs on an getting older A10 Fusion processor, which does not also have a neural engine and is a number of years behind Apple’s newest know-how. It has a single-lens digicam with out Portrait mode, whereas the 7 Plus has two cameras. However these cameras lack many trendy options like Night time mode and Portrait Lighting, which provides particular lighting results to your portraits. 

Much like the iPhone 8, the iPhone 7 sequence consists of Contact ID and is available in both 4.7- or 5.5-inch display screen sizes. However for the reason that iPhone 7 is a yr older than the iPhone 8, it is also lacking wi-fi charging, which implies you should plug it in to cost. 

In the event you’ve owned an iPhone 7 for a number of years, it is most likely bursting on the seams because it has considerably much less space for storing. The entry-level iPhone 7 solely got here with 32GB of area, which is 1 / 4 of capability out there on the most affordable iPhone 14. 

The iPhone 14 brings main good points in almost each facet. The usual mannequin has a bigger, bolder and brighter bezel-free 6.1-inch display screen that also feels compact because it does not have a house button. It runs on Apple’s A15 Bionic processor, which is best outfitted to deal with newer iOS options. And it has a drastically improved dual-lens digicam with a bigger important digicam sensor and superior options like the brand new Cinematic mode for video and Night time mode. Plus, Apple’s estimates point out it’s going to provide seven hours of further battery life throughout video playback, which is a large bump.

The underside line: In the event you’re nonetheless holding onto your iPhone 7, there is not any query that you just’re due for an improve. A greater display screen, compatibility with iOS 16, longer battery life and extra superior cameras are only a few of the good points the iPhone 14 has to supply over the iPhone 7. And just like my suggestion with the iPhone 8, should you actually need to preserve the house button and avoid wasting cash, take into account the iPhone SE. It provides you more moderen efficiency upgrades whereas holding an identical telephone type.

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