iPhone 14 Series Overview & Review
What's New - iPhone 14 & Plus Some
This year the iPhone 14 line has come with 4 devices,dropping the iPhone Mini.
Apple has decided to take a different approach with the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. And the pro line with the iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The standard 14 series starts off at $799. The display size of this unit comes in at 6.1 inches and a base storage of 128GB and then you have options for 256GB, and 512GB. The top tiered 512GB model will run you $1099. Now with the iPhone 14 Plus model coming in at 6.7 inches and also touting the same storage options as the 6.1 inch variant. The 14 Plus will run $100 more at each tier, bringing the 512GB model to $1199. This year, and just like last years standard 13 series, these devices have Apples Super Retina XDR Display manufactured by Samsung... which is fancy talk for OLED or Organic Light Emitting Diode. Unfortunately there's very little that's been upgraded to the 14 from the 13. Changes that have been made are the addition of the Plus sized variant and exclusion of the Mini, minor camera upgrades, and additional core added to the A15 Bionic chip ( which equals to very minor upgrades to performance), and Emergency SOS via satellite technology, and crash detection.
New Tech in the Pro
I have to say, as a fan of Samsung and Android, but also from the perspective of someone that has jumped ship a few times to go to the Apple side of the spectrum, Apple makes it more and more enticing to switch. With features coming aboard the Pro series such as OLED (which was introduced on the iPhone X), stack-able widgets, introduction of App Library, MagSafe, Always On Display, customizable lock screens with informative and nicely sized and also customizable notifications, multiple and interchangeable lock screens, and my favorite among them all... Dynamic Island.
I see a lot of reviewers criticize Apple for the name of this feature, and I personally think it's cheesy how Apple brands some of their features, such as the Super Retina XDR Displays; although Samsung isn't getting any better by naming Armor Aluminum...🤦♂️I have to say, I think Dynamic Island is a clever name and by far one of my favorite features ever released on an Apple product. It's feature rich, intuitive, and interactive. Samsung has had something similar for a while now, but Apple did it right with the animations and how you can interact with this style. One downfall to the Dynamic Island, it's not supported by all apps... even stock built in Apples apps like Messages.
Apple's new 14 Pro line processor has been upgraded to the A16 Bionic Chip (more fancy branding) and doesn't really correlate to anything meaningful in terms of numbers; in fact Apple makes it very difficult to find any information on real numbers when it comes to their processors and battery capacities unless you really hunt around on the web. The A16 Bionic does seem to run apps very well and performs great during gaming... but my biggest gripe about any and all Apple products is multitasking management... and I'll explain. On any Samsung specific phone, I can go to an app from 10, 15, or 20 apps back, and that app is sitting right where I left off. On any iPhone or even my iPad, if I've gone back to 5 apps ago, it resets starting the session over. This is inclusive to the 12 Pro, 13 Pro, and 14 Pro... and may even go back further, but I can only speak to the devices that I've experienced. If the processors are deemed so powerful, then they need to do better in this area of RAM management. Where Apple's RAM management really excels is when the the iOS or iPad OS device is idle.
When you have a iOS device that has roughly 2,300 to 2,500ish mAh of battery and you can push through a whole day and sometimes then some compared to a device on the Android side that has anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 mAh or more, that is a feat that's hard to beat! These moments of idle help the conservation of the battery, although on the other side of things, when the device is being used... it drains quickly especially if you're using applications such as Maps.... and in my experiences, the A16 Bionic and 14 Pro have been no exception to this issue.
Always On Dsiplay
AOD or Always On Display is a feature that Android has had for years and finally iPhone has brought it to the table... but they tried to put their own spin on it, and it FAILED. However with a new update in the works, Apple has added a feature to get rid of or turn off the very much ON aspect of the AOD to fall more in line with how Android has implemented this feature. So you have the choice to have the more dimmed down wallpaper style AOD or you can turn off the wallpaper and have a more functionable, less battery draining Always On Display.
Deleting the SIM Tray!!!
I absolutely hate that Apple did this! Deleting the SIM tray and forcing people here in the United States to go to eSIM was a huge mistake and I actually did not purchase the 14 Pro because of this one and only reason right here. I had every intention of buying this phone until they announced the lack of a SIM tray. My review information is based strictly off from my son's 14 Pro that he purchased shortly after launch.
Apple tends to not jump on a boat until the feature has been out for a while, which can get aggravating, but they went head first on this one... and if there's any feature they could have done this on, it should not have been to go all in on eSIM. There was an issue on Samsung Galaxy devices which was very specific to T-Mobile and eSIM, and hardly anyone knows about it. In fact it's so unknown that when I had an issue, Samsung and T-Mobile tech support couldn't help me and it was an issue I had discovered all on my own. I'm not going to get into specifics right now on the issue, that's to come in another post, but take my word for it... it was a mess and Apple jumped the gun! If you decide to purchase an iPhone 14, I highly recommend buying an international version that would still support a physical SIM. If you go to https://www.apple.com/ca, you'll get a drop down menu to either select United States or drop down and select "Other Country or Region." When you make that selection, it takes you to a separate page to select another country. From there you can select Canada, as Canadian iPhone 14's still support physical SIM cards. I will say that I strongly feel that Apple made this move to enhance the height of their "Walled Garden," and to keep Apple users locked in; making it one more step to take in order to switch out of the Apple ecosystem.
Overall the 14 series is a good bunch of devices made out of great materials. They're aesthetically pleasing to the touch and hold in the hand, from the aluminum frame of the 14 and smooth glass back, to the the surgical grade stainless steel and frosted glass of the Pro series. If you're looking to upgrade your iPhone from the standard 13 series to the 14 line this holiday season, I'd highly recommend going with the investment of the 14 Pro; there just isn't enough on the plate of the standard 14 series to justify the expense. If you're considering going from the 13 Pro to the 14 Pro, then I might hold off as well unless you really want the added camera features which are just too unmemorable to mention, or Always on Display, or Dynamic Island. However if you're on an 11 Pro or 12 Pro, I'd say make the leap and go for it, but make sure to heavily note what you're getting into and do your research on eSIM before going all in. Watch for my next post, which I'll try to put out before the end of this coming week on my experience with eSIM.