Apple launched its latest innovation, the iPhone 14 series lineup on September 07, 2022. Like every year, there are buzzes and excitements centering the latest iPhone series. However, there are some mixed reactions about the iPhone 14 model, as it comes with the same chipset found in its ancestor 13 version. Now, is the new iPhone 14 worth buying? Or should you just pick up an iPhone 13 taking advantage of its slashed price? Let’s find out the best deal between iPhone 14 and iPhone 13.
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 14: Similarities and Differences
As Apple has made very minor tweaks in most departments, the exterior design might give an impression that there is almost no difference between the iPhone 14 and its ancestor 13 version. These changes are so small that they can hardly make any difference to the average user. Not to mention, these changes have improved the overall construction of the iPhone 14. Now this device can be considered refined according to the latest standards. Let’s look at the changes from the previous model.
Design and Build
From a glance, the iPhone 14 appears to be the exact carbon copy of the iPhone 13. The front dimensions of both the models are the same but if you try to put an iPhone 13 case on the 14, you will notice the difference.
That is because with a larger camera module the iPhone 14 is slightly thicker (7.8mm) that iPhone 13 (7.7mm). Other than that, everything else seems to be right where it was on the 13.
But perhaps the most striking change is the seamless sides on the iPhone 14. For the first time, Apple has removed the physical sim slot from the iPhone 14 series in the US market.
The move is made to facilitate e-sim adoption as it allows for dual sim connectivity with options to register up to 8 sims on a single device.
However, other region specific iPhone 14s will still come with a physical sim slot as e-sim adoption hasn’t kicked off yet globally.
Speaking of the bump on the back, Apple has upgraded the camera module on both the back and the front.
The camera on the back is still a 12 MP one but with a much larger lens featuring 26mm wide focal length, 1/1.7" and f/1.5 aperture. This specific lens setup has been replaced by the 13 Pro series to make for noticeably better camera performance.
The same difference is seen on the front camera as well. The iPhone 14’s 12 MP front sensor now has a larger aperture of f/1.9 aperture which has been upgraded from iPhone 13’s f/2.2 aperture.
Apple iPhone 14’s camera section’s best feature has to be the autofocus which significantly increases the selfie quality.
What’s more? Apple has also included its proprietary Photonic Engine in the latest iPhone. It’s a fancy name for a new image processing module that can increase the low light image quality by up to 50%.
Processor, Performance, and Connectivity
Perhaps the greatest negative press that Apple got in the last few years is the inclusion of the same A15 Bionic chip from the iPhone 13 series to the iPhone 14. The iPhone 14 Pro models got the new and improved A16 Bionic chips. It makes a clear distinction in processing power in the same lineup for the first time.
However, it’s not the exact same chip. The A15 Bionic has been tweaked to improve the GPU from four cores to 5 cores. This increased the graphics rendering capability of the iPhone 14 by almost 18% from the previous generation.
There has been an improvement in the memory department as well. Apple has finally upgraded from 4 GB RAM on their base model to 6 GB RAM. The RAM increment is easily noticeable as apps don’t have to refresh as regularly as they used to.
The combined result is improved performance on paper. We say on paper because the performance differences aren’t all that noticeable. High-intensity games still run the same as they did on the iPhone 13 before without any visible performance improvement.
However, that’s not necessarily a drawback as iPhones have long before reached a performance saturation point. The performance was already above and beyond on the iPhone 13 so it's no surprise that the improvements are only minor.
On the connectivity end, there is the new X65 5G modem on the iPhone 14. While using both 5G and LTE, there has been a 38% increase in upload and download speed. This will definitely help to enhance the 5G experience more where it is fully available.
The Display and the Speakers
There has been a little buzz regarding the display and the speaker on the iPhone 14. Some say that there is a noticeable difference from the last generation. But unfortunately, the display and the speaker are both carried over from the last generation.
Meaning the display is still the same Super Retina XDR one as Apple loves to call it. The speaker performance is also the same on both video playbacks as well as calls.
Battery and Charge Time
iPhone 14’s battery has been bumped to 3279 mAh from iPhone 13’s 3227 mAh battery. This allows for a slightly improved battery performance over the previous model. In testing, the iPhone 14 was able to clock an extra hour in video playback which seems like a pretty great deal.
The charging speed is the same 20W with the wired one and 15W with the Magsafe charger.
What’s New on the iPhone 14?
Now it's easy to get lost in the myriad of minor tweaks here and there. But did Apple actually include anything new with their new iPhone 14?
Yes, they did. But how much will it impact day-to-day use remains a question. The two additional features this year include the Emergency SOS signal via satellite and crash detection technology.
Apple has brought a premium service of connecting directly to a satellite for extreme emergencies where there are no signals or connectivity. Apple said that the feature will be free for the first two years with premium plans afterward.
On the other hand, Apple improved their gyro sensors to develop a crash detection technology that will automatically notify authorities if you find yourself in an accident.
As a user, these are just extreme cases and something that anyone would wish never to try.
Final Verdict: Which one Should you Buy?
The release of the new iPhone 14 means Apple would slash the price of their previous models by 100 dollars. And that price cut makes the choice a lot more interesting.
With an equal price, it makes sense to go for the iPhone 14 over the 13. But now you will have to pay 100 dollars more for slightly better camera performance and two new features which you’ll probably never use.
From a complete value perspective, the iPhone 13 is the better choice. It brings almost all the bells and whistles at a much cheaper price.
But if you need the latest and greatest Apple tech, the 14 can be a minimal yet understandable choice.