Why Apple’s entry-level iPhones are great for travelers

In what seems to be an annual tradition, the spring season begins with a new iPhone.

No, it’s not an entirely new model, but it’s a fresh seasonal color – yellow – that will catch your eye.

Available across the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus range, this new yellow finish hit shelves this week. Ahead of the launch, I had the opportunity to spend some hands-on time with the iPhone 14 Plus in yellow.


As well as warming up to the bold new colour, I’m impressed with the phone itself.

It might not be as powerful as the higher-end iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Still, it packs a lot into a lightweight and more affordable package (starting at $799) that should make it a hit with travelers.


Here’s why.

Best battery life ever

If you’re anything like me, you might be (a bit) obsessed with making sure you don’t run out of juice along the way.


Personally, that means looking for outlets at the airport or lugging around an external battery pack to make sure my phone is always charged. As a last resort, I will enable Apple’s “Low Power Mode” on the iPhone, but this feature comes with reduced performance to minimize battery drain.

Luckily, travelers with the larger iPhone 14 Plus don’t have to worry about that. Apple says this model has the longest battery life of any iPhone to date, and my experience backs up that claim very well.

I had no problem getting pretty consistent use of productivity, social media, travel, and camera apps for almost a day and a half without having to charge.

That’s pretty impressive, and perhaps reason enough for some street warriors to choose the iPhone 14 Plus over any other model.

If you go for the entry-level iPhone 14, you can expect up to 20 hours of battery life, which should still help most travelers get through their trip.

Bigger, better screens

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“Plus” doesn’t just refer to a bigger battery. It also means the device has a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display, giving you even more space to enjoy content on the go.

Whether you’re using the extra screen real estate to dive into a game or read the inflight entertainment program, it won’t be long before you appreciate the larger display.


Better still, I found the larger phone didn’t feel much bulkier. It weighs only 7.16 ounces and fits my hand perfectly. I don’t mind sacrificing a bit of portability for a larger display and longer battery life, but that’s a personal choice every traveler has to make.

The 6.1-inch iPhone 14 also features a crisp Super Retina XDR display.

One feature of Apple’s higher-end iPhones that you won’t find on the standard 14 and 14 Plus models is a ProMotion display. This allows the content to scroll between pages more smoothly. Another downside is that the display brightness on the entry-level models isn’t as high as on the more expensive Pro devices – a difference that’s immediately noticeable when the sun is shining outside.


However, for most casual travelers, those two features alone aren’t worth the $200 upgrade to a Pro model.

Impressive performance

I recently attended a gaming showcase where some iOS developers showed off their latest games.


While I’m not a serious gamer myself, I left the case most impressed with how well Apple’s entry-level iPhone 14 models rendered the games. When messing around with Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile, the iPhone 14 had no problem keeping up with the millions of internal calculations required to display the game without lag or overheating.

That performance is powered by Apple’s proprietary A15 Bionic chip – the same pro-level silicon that powered last year’s iPhone 13 Pro.


For the average user, A15 is very powerful. It only takes seconds to do batch edits and render videos in iMovie, two advanced tasks that most casual travelers can easily perform on these devices.

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Emergency SOS

Knock on wood, emergency satellite SOS is a feature we hope you’ll never need. However, the feature can save your life if you sadly need it.

This feature lets you connect to emergency services via satellite, even if you’re far from the grid with no cellular or Wi-Fi service.

Every iPhone 14, including entry-level models, comes with built-in satellite connectivity — a game changer for those who often hike or adventure off the beaten track.


Even if you buy your iPhone in the US, you can activate Satellite Emergency SOS in 12 (and counting) countries – including Canada and many of Europe’s largest countries. This makes it a great insurance policy for your summer vacation.

Even if you don’t need emergency help, you can send your location to loved ones back home via satellite connection via the Find My app.

Although you can’t call or text them, the ability to send your location should reassure your family and friends that you’re doing well on your camping trip.


For more information on how to use Emergency SOS via satellite, see TPG’s dedicated guide.

No more physical SIM cards

For the past 15 years, every iPhone model has come with a physical SIM card slot (short for Subscriber Identity Module).

These tiny chips contain the information needed to connect to the cellular network. However, they’re a hassle to manage – especially when you’re traveling abroad and fumbling around with multiple nano-sized SIM cards during your trip.


Also, physical SIM cards are less secure. If your phone is lost or stolen, someone could remove your SIM card to use your phone number to make calls and texts (and get two-factor authentication codes).

This year, every iPhone 14 sold in the US will forgo the physical SIM slot in favor of the new eSIM (or Embedded SIM) standard.


With this innovation you can store at least eight digital SIM cards directly on your phone. That means no messing around with multiple 9mm on 12mm chips.

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You can switch between phone numbers right in iOS and even download cheap international plans through apps like Airalo, Truphone and GigSky.


In fact, both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus support dual SIM, which means you can connect to two cellular networks at the same time. This is a key feature to avoid those pesky $10 per day roaming fees on AT&T and Verizon.

crash detection

In recent years, Apple has been busy developing health and safety-focused features across its line of phones and watches.

With the introduction of crash detection in the iPhone 14 family, you have the peace of mind that your smartphone can detect a serious car accident and automatically dial emergency services if necessary.


Just like emergency satellite SOS, this is a feature that we hope you’ll never use. Still, it can give travelers extra security when they’re on the move.

bottom line

Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are phenomenal smartphones for the everyday traveler – and they now come in a bold new yellow color.

Both offer plenty of must-have features, including the introduction of eSIM-only cellular connectivity. The real star of the show is the Plus model, which is Apple’s first entry-level model to offer a 6.7-inch touchscreen.

It also offers the longest battery life in an iPhone to date, making it a great option for travelers who are often on the go.


Emergency SOS via satellite and built-in accident detection are two key safety-related features that can be especially reassuring for solo travelers or those heading to remote destinations.

Of course, some heavy smartphone users and creatives might want to splurge on the top-end Pro models. If you don’t need camera and display upgrades, however, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus should fit the bill quite nicely.