It’s now been six months since the launch of the iPhone 14 (and iPhone 14 Plus), which means it’s time to check out how Apple’s most affordable flagship phones are aging. Additionally, the six-month mark in a phone’s lifecycle is crucial for users who are undecided whether to buy the latest iPhone or wait another six months for the new one. That being said, this story isn’t really meant to be an iPhone 14 review or the ultimate iPhone buying guide, but one where I can talk about the iPhone 14 in the context of all the other iPhone upgrades in the story. In other words, while the iPhone 14 is a great device in isolation, it might not be the most impressive new iPhone for those looking to upgrade from an older model.
Not to spoil the verdict, let’s just say that the iPhone 14 has been at the bottom of my list when it comes to iPhone upgrades over the years. Oh, of course there’s also the iPhone 14’s bigger brother, the iPhone 14 Plus, which may actually be the most ignored iPhone in history…
iPhone 14 by far the least impressive upgrade in Apple history: Less impressive than the iPhone XS
Although it looks exactly like the iPhone X, the iPhone XS brought massive upgrades to iPhone camera processing. Just look at the difference in this photo courtesy of MactechNews.
If we don’t count the different versions of the same version and the iPhone SE (Special Edition), there are exactly 14 different iPhone flagships in history – despite all the “S” models, the upcoming iPhone (15) will actually become one of the 15. version of the legendary device. So, in nearly 15 years of making 15 different flagship iPhones, Apple has learned the importance of “innovating slowly,” which might as well be Cupertino’s actual motto — though “Think Different” also holds up pretty well for the company that has all the buttons removed from his phone.
As such, there have been many relatively minor (at least superficial) upgrades over the years…
iPhone 4S (from iPhone 4)iPhone 5S (from iPhone 5)iPhone 6S (from iPhone 6)iPhone 8 (from iPhone 7)
But with that in mind, the iPhone XS might be the only iPhone upgrade I can think of when trying to think of a potential iPhone 14 competitor for “the smallest iPhone upgrade ever.” As an “S” model, it’s already clear that the iPhone XS will look exactly like its predecessor (the iPhone X), but what matters is what’s inside.
For one, the iPhone XS came with a new A12 Bionic chip based on the 7nm standard (up from 10nm for the A11 Bionic on the iPhone X). Coupled with 4GB of RAM (up from 3GB on the iPhone X), this was a notable upgrade (on paper, at least) for the iPhone XS. Apple also switched from IP67 water and dust resistance to IP68.
Most notable (and few will remember), the XS, despite looking exactly like the iPhone X, was one of the biggest changes in how Apple approached photography on the iPhone. Little did we know that the iPhone XS’s aggressive HDR processing would (re)define the look of iPhone photos for years to come. (including X vs. XS HDR capture). This alone makes the iPhone XS one of the biggest iPhone camera upgrades of all time, giving the one and only iPhone 14 the title of “Minor iPhone Upgrade Ever” (automatically).
If we can all agree that the iPhone X represents the most significant iPhone upgrade we’ve seen from Apple, then the iPhone 14 is the least notable.
The iPhone 14 took two big steps in a very controversial direction
Can you spot a difference?
6 GB RAM instead of 4 GB Slight camera improvements (f/1.5 aperture vs. f/1.6), slightly better details in low-light photos
The above is more or less what you can expect when switching from the iPhone 13 to the iPhone 14, again indicating that this is the most insignificant upgrade we’ve seen coming out of Cupertino. But the iPhone 14 wasn’t just a minor upgrade, it was also quite a controversial one. One of the reasons has to do with Apple deciding (for the first time ever) to reuse an old chip for a new phone, giving the iPhone 14 the same SoC that we saw in the 2021 iPhone 13 (Pro). This drew a lot of backlash online, and while it’s unlikely to have a huge (negative) effect on sales, it only makes the iPhone 14 harder to recommend.
The second controversial step? The iPhone 14 was the first iPhone ever to ship without a physical SIM card tray (US only, but only for now), and six months later this is as controversial as day one.
Apple’s decision to ditch the physical SIM card tray sparked an outcry on social media, as to this day there are tweets from dissatisfied iPhone users finding themselves in a difficult situation when attempting to swap out SIMs (most of them travel abroad). ).
Despite offering excellent hardware, good battery life, and (still) the longest software support of any flagship, the iPhone 14 still deserves the well-deserved title of “least exciting upgrade ever” — maybe also “the most controversial” (( in my book) becomes the hardest iPhone to recommend.
With that in mind, the iPhone 14 sets the bar as low as possible for the iPhone 15, which means Apple’s chance to “apologize” is pretty good! iPhone 14 Plus is part of Apple’s failed plan; Whatever you do, don’t buy an iPhone 14 unless you can get a great deal
iPhone 15 (right) is expected to bring significant improvements over the iPhone 14.
In the end, it’s worth addressing why I said (in one of the headlines) that the iPhone 14 is modern iPhone XS history. Of course, one of the reasons is that the iPhone 14 is an “S” upgrade in disguise (we’ve figured out why), but the other is called… iPhone 14 Plus. Yes, this iPhone exists! Remember?
You may not remember right away, but in reality there was something that made the iPhone XS (literally) a huge upgrade over the iPhone X, and that “feature” was the iPhone XS Max. Similarly, Apple tried for the 14s series to wow everyone with a new big iPhone – the iPhone 14 Plus. Long story short, the poor sales of the iPhone 14 Plus tell us that the plan didn’t quite work out, and it’s not too hard to see why… A lot of (smart) people are choosing the iPhone 13 over the iPhone 14 , as the former is cheaper and… pretty much the same deviceThe global financial crisis means that the majority of people who upgrade their phones are in a better financial position, making it more likely that they will upgrade the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max to the iPhone Prefer 14/14 Plus capable iPhone 13 Pro comes at the same price as the iPhone 14 Plus
Do you want to buy a new iPhone? Six months after the iPhone 14 launched, the only sensible choice is to wait for the iPhone 15 or iPhone SE 4
So what to do when you need a new iPhone?
Wait for the new iPhone 15 – the Dynamic Island, a 48-megapixel main camera with a 2x zoom in optical quality, a more comfortable (curvy) design and USB-C (!) are features that can change the way How to use your iPhone Phones allow it, and if you’re looking for the cheapest new iPhone, wait for the iPhone SE 4 – this is expected to be an iPhone 14 at a much lower price – the catch here is this is likely to be in the Spring will arrive in 2024
Finally, I have a question for Cupertino… What is your plan for the vanilla iPhone model, Apple?
Bringing back the “S” model so people are less likely to buy an iPhone that’s not really new without knowing it? biennial release for the vanilla iPhone? Why not!
I guess we’ll never know. Until we do. What do you think the future of the standard iPhone looks like? Remember, this is Apple’s most popular phone.