In this guide

  • Review
  • Details
    • Pricing & Availability
  • Ask a question
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iPhone 14
3.0
★★★★★
Finder score
  • Battery Score
  • Camera Score 3
  • Design Score 3
  • Performance Score 3

Summary

Verdict: The base model in the iPhone 14 range delivers Apple's usual quality and speed but at a price point that makes it almost impossible to recommend.

Pros

  • Nice range of colours
  • Crash detection could be great (but try not to crash your car)
  • Powerful processor
Cons

  • Disappointing battery life
  • iPhone 13 is nearly identical and much cheaper
  • Cameras should be better at this price

In this guide

  • Review
  • Details
    • Pricing & Availability
  • Ask a question

Details

Pricing & Availability

Launch price (RRP) $1,399
Launch date 2022-09
iPhone 14

Would we recommend the iPhone 14?

The iPhone 14 base model is the "affordable" option in the line-up that should in theory boil the iPhone experience to its core essentials.

It doesn't quite fail at that job, but it is a hard phone to recommend to someone unless you're upgrading from a much older iPhone model.

You can get similar performance from a cheaper iPhone 13 or any number of Android competitors. It might be even better to spend a little more money and the iPhone 14 Pro instead.

Having said that, here's a deep dive into what we think ticks the box or what we believe could have been better.

The good stuff: Performance

Apple's traditional approach to iPhone processors normally involves offering similar generations across a single year's iPhone lineup.

This meant the A15 Bionic was present in all 2021 iPhone 13 models, regardless of size or variant, with minor GPU variations.

However, 2022 diverges from this norm, as Apple introduces the A16 Bionic exclusively for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

Choosing the iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus provides the previous year's A15 Bionic, slightly enhanced from the iPhone 13 Pro Max's version.

This distinction seemingly aims to separate the Pro and regular models, or potentially maximise profits for the lower-priced option.

While Apple's processors have excelled for years, the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 14 is undoubtedly capable and well-suited for its price point.

Notably, new features such as automatic crash detection and satellite SOS support come with the iPhone 14.

The main caveat is the possibility that future OS upgrades might favour newer models, posing an issue for the iPhone 14's longevity.

What we don't love: Design

The iPhone 14 doesn't represent much of a radical departure from last year's iPhone 13 in terms of design. Aside from colours, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 diverge in ways more irksome than useful.

This comparison is crucial as Apple sells the iPhone 13 for $170 less.

The iPhone 14 features a 6.1-inch 60Hz OLED display, akin to the iPhone 13, and a chunkier Face ID "notch" in classic Apple style. The animated "dynamic island" notch is only featured in the pricier iPhone 14 Pro models.

Apple iPhone 14 review review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

The notch isn't a dealbreaker, but the 60Hz display is disappointing, lagging behind Android's smoother 90Hz or 120Hz alternatives. Apple's 120Hz rates are reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro models, leaving regular iPhone 14 users with a lesser experience.

Despite its similarity to the iPhone 13, the iPhone 14 is slightly thicker at 7.8mm. Cases for iPhone 13 won't fit the bulkier iPhone 14.

An innovative aspect is the expanded colour range for the iPhone 14, including Midnight, Purple, Starlight, PRODUCT (RED), and Blue finishes.

Apple iPhone 14 review review

Image: Alex Kidman/Finder

What we don't love: Camera

Apple often presents itself as a revolutionary force, reshaping technology with groundbreaking designs. However, its changes tend to be gradual, favouring proven approaches.

The iPhone 14's camera system illustrates this. Much like the iPhone 13, it features a dual rear camera bump with diagonally positioned 12MP sensors. For selfies and Face ID, there's a single 12MP TrueDepth front camera.

Has Apple just slapped the same camera modules into a phone and hoped that nobody noticed?

Not quite. Camera quality isn't just a megapixels game, and there are technical differences that should give the iPhone 14 a leg up in many shooting situations compared to its immediate predecessor.

iPhone 14 sample images

Apple doesn't make the bold low-light claims for the iPhone 14 as it does for the Pro models, but it describes a substantial improvement of "up to" 2.5x in low-light capture for the primary lens. To test this, the iPhone 14 was compared with other models in a low-light setting, yielding mixed results.

What we don't love: Design

The story of the iPhone 14 being good but not great at its asking price continues when you consider battery life.

Officially, Apple rates it as being good for up to 20 hours of straight video playback, or 16 hours of streaming video, but I sure didn't see that or even close to it in my tests.

Finder's standard battery test streams an hour of YouTube video, looking to get at least 90% remaining to ensure a likely day of battery usage.

Is it possible to get a day's use out of the iPhone 14? It's possible, but it's very much a stretch. More than once I've had to dive for a charger before the sun was setting while testing out the iPhone 14.

It's not in the woeful territory of the iPhone 13 Mini but it's not far off, and that's just not good enough for a phone at this price. As with any other 5G-capable phone, if you're using it extensively on next-gen mobile networks, you'll see an evident drop in battery life too.

Recharging the iPhone 14 is via Apple's own lightning connector, and once again there's no charger in the box. That may be a blessing if Apple does – as seems inevitable – flip to USB-C charging for next year's model. It's a blessing I wish Saint Tim would bestow on us sooner rather than later.

iPhone 14 features and specs

The iPhone 14 could be worth buying if for some reason you can't get an iPhone 13 or can't afford an iPhone 14 Pro.

Here's a look at its features and specs so you can make an informed decision.

iPhone 14 price in Australia

The price for the iPhone 14 lineup starts at $1,399 and goes up all the way to $2,769.

iPhone modelAustralian RRP
Buy outright (Amazon)
Buy outright (eBay)
Apple iPhone 14 128GB$1,399
Go to Amazon
Go to eBay
Apple iPhone 14 256GB$1,579
Go to Amazon
Go to eBay
Apple iPhone 14 512GB$1,899
Go to Amazon
Go to eBay

iPhone 14 colours

Apple expanded its colour range for the iPhone 14 and you can buy handset in Midnight, Purple, Starlight, PRODUCT (RED), or Blue.

iPhone 14 camera

The iPhone 14 comes with a 12MP main wide-angle and a 12MP ultra wide-angle lens. The selfie camera's also been given a legs up with the introduction of autofocus.

iPhone 14 screen size

The iPhone 14 has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2532 x 1170 pixel resolution at 460 pixels per inch.

iPhone 14 battery and charging time

Apple claims the iPhone 14 can carry 20 hours of straight video playback, or 16 hours of streaming video. You can charge it using a typical lightning cable or traditional USB-A wall adapter.

Is the iPhone 14 waterproof?

The iPhone 14 is splash, water and dust resistant. Its rated IP68 meaning in theory it should be okay to a maximum depth of 6 metres up to 30 minutes.

How does the iPhone 14 compare to the iPhone 13?

In general, the iPhone 14 is a bit more refined compared to the iPhone 13 when you consider photography and videography capabilities, battery life, and GPU performance.

Here's a snapshot of how the 2 phones stack up based on specifications and features.

iPhone 13iPhone 14
Display6.1-inch6.1-inch
SOSEmergency SOS
  • Emergency SOS
  • Emergency SOS via satellite
  • Crash detection
CameraDual-camera system
  • 12MP Main I Ultrawide
  • TrueDepth front camera
Advanced dual-camera system
  • 12MP Main I Ultrawide
  • Autofocus on TrueDepth front camera
  • Photonic Engine for colour and detail
  • Action-mode smooths out shaky hand-held videos
BatteryUp to 19 hours video playbackUp to 20 hours video playback
ProcessorA15 Bionic chip
  • 6-core CPU
  • 4-core GPU
A15 Bionic chip
  • 6-core CPU
  • 5-core GPU
Water resistanceTo a depth of 6 metres up to 30 minutesTo a depth of 6 metres up to 30 minutes
Price$1,229$1,399
ColoursBlue, Pink, Midnight, Starlight, Green, PRODUCT (RED)Midnight, Purple, Starlight, PRODUCT (RED), Blue

How to buy the iPhone 14 on a plan

You can buy the iPhone 14 on a 12, 24 or 36 month repayment period with a mobile plan from Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.

How to buy the iPhone 14 outright

Read our reviews of the iPhone 14 range

Apple iPhone 14 Pro phone in blue background
iPhone 14 Pro
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max phone in blue background
iPhone 14 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 14 Plus phone in blue background
iPhone 14 Plus

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