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iPhone 14 release date, price, specs and latest news

Tom's Guide logo Tom's Guide 9/13/2022 Jordan Palmer
null © Apple via YouTube null

Apple announced the new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. The iPhone 14 Plus delivers a big 6.7-inch display to those who want a larger canvas, and the iPhone 14 offers a more compact 6.1-inch display.

Here's a quick overview of all of the new iPhone 14 features, which includes major camera improvements, more robust eSIM support and new Emergency SOS via satellite functionality.

Here's a quick overview of the new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 features, as well as our first hands-on video with the iPhone 14. And when you're done here, be sure to check out our iPhone 14 Plus hands-on review and iPhone 14 Pro Max hands-on review

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus new features: Cheat sheet

  • The iPhone 14 features a 6.1-inch OLED display and the iPhone 14 Plus grows that to 6.7 inches. Yes, the iPhone mini looks dead. 
  • The iPhone 14 starts at $799 (AU$1,399) and the iPhone 14 Plus costs $899 (AU$1,579). 
  • The iPhone 14 Plus promises the best battery life ever on an iPhone
  • Emergency SOS via satellite functionality can be used to communicate when you're out of cellular range. Launches in November and will be free for two years. 
  • There are five colors, including midnight, starlight, blue, purple and product red
  • The A15 Bionic chip is borrowed form the iPhone 13 Pro and gives you a 5-core GPU for 18% faster performance. 
  • The new 12MP main camera has a bigger sensor (1.9 microns and 49% low-light improvement.
  • Front camera is 12MP with faster f/1.9, autofocus for first time and better low light.
  • Photonic Engine: Enhanced image pipeline to deliver better low light photos. 2x improvement on front camera, 2x on ultra wide and 2.5 on main camera., so you'll get much better detail and color.
  • Big improvement to video: advanced stabilization mode, Action mode is new and can be toggled on for smooth video. No gimbal required.
  • Bad news? The iPhone 14 support eSIM only, so there's not SIM card tray
  • The iPhone 14 offers crash detection, just like the new Apple Watch 8. 

iPhone 14 release date and price  

The iPhone 14 has a release date of September 16 and pre-orders start September 9. The iPhone 14 Plus goes on sales October 7. 

The iPhone 14 starts at $799 (AU$1,399), and the iPhone 14 Plus is $899 (AU$1,579). 

Interestingly, one analyst says that the iPhone 14 Plus preorder numbers are pretty bad, but it's fairly early at this point. 

iPhone 14 design  

Apple didn’t reinvent the wheel with the iPhone 14’s design. In fact, it looks basically the same as the iPhone 13. The rear camera module is still in the diagonal layout, which isn’t a bad thing — it looks pretty good. The notch is the same slim one introduced last year.

One improvement lies under the hood. Apple claims to have improved the iPhone 14’s thermal performance, meaning you can push the phone for longer (such as with gaming). Apple has also done away with the physical SIM tray, meaning that the iPhone 14 is an eSIM-only phone.

Another new feature for the iPhone 14 is Emergency SOS with Satellite. This the rumored satellite connectivity that we've heard about for some time now, essentially letting you get emergency help even when you don't have standard cell signal. This is ideal for people out in the wilderness or rural areas. With the iPhone 14, you get two free years of Emergency SOS with Satellite.

Crash Detection, introduced with the Apple Watch Series 8, also makes an appearance on the iPhone 14. This can detect when you've been in a car crash and it will automatically contact emergency services if you can't respond.

The iPhone 14 comes in five fun colors: Midnight, Starlight, Blue, Purple, and Product(RED).

The big news is the iPhone 14 Plus, which is a 6.7-inch non-Pro iPhone. Be sure to check out our iPhone 14 Plus hub for all of the information on that.

iPhone 14 displays

The iPhone 14 comes in two screen sizes like previous years, but the new one is the larger 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus. The iPhone 14 clocks in at 6.1 inches, but both phones feature Apple’s Super Retina XDR OLED display with a peak HDR brightness of 1200 nits. The iPhone 14 sticks with a 60Hz display and here's why we think that is ridiculous.

Both feature Ceramic Shield on the front glass for added durability. 

iPhone 14 cameras  

The iPhone 14 received some big camera upgrades. The main sensor is much larger with bigger pixels (1.9 microns), and with the faster f/1.5 aperture and sensor-shift image stabilization, the iPhone 14 enjoys a 49% improvement in low-light performance. Night mode even gets a bump with the exposure now twice as fast.

As for the ultrawide, Apple didn’t share too much on its specs, leading us to think it might be the same as the iPhone 13. (Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro got a big ultrawide upgrade.) However, the front camera (f/1.9) received an update with a hybrid focusing system thanks to TrueDepth and autofocus. 

We also got to hear about adjustments to Deep Fusion, which is Apple’s technology that combines multiple frames at different exposures into one image in mid- to low-light situations. With iPhone 14, Deep Fusion is applied earlier in the process with uncompressed images.

Apple also introduced Action mode for the iPhone 14, which offers much more advanced stabilization for video, with the phone maker stating you may not even need a gimbal. That’s a lofty claim, but Action mode sure looks cool. Situational, much like Cinematic mode last year, but neat all the same. In fact, the first real-world Action mode video is here and it looks very impressive.

iPhone 14 specs and battery

As rumors suggested, the iPhone 14 did not get the new A16 Bionic chipset, which is a Pro exclusive this year. Instead, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus get the higher-end A15 Bionic that we saw in the iPhone 13 Pro last year. That means it has the same 6-core CPU 16-core Neural Engine, but the iPhone 14 now enjoys a 5-core GPU for boosted gaming performance.

We don’t know how much RAM the iPhone 14 has just yet, but perhaps Apple will reveal that information soon. 

As for battery life, Apple touts “all day” longevity for the iPhone 14, which is nebulous at best. Luckily, the iPhone 13 had pretty good battery life, so we’re not all that concerned.

Also, official battery capacity details for the iPhone 14 range reveal that the all iPhone 14 models have larger capacities than their iPhone 13 counterparts, aside from the iPhone 14 Pro Max. This is a good omen for all the models' battery lives, aside from the largest model. However, we imagine that thanks to its adaptive display refresh rate and more efficient chip, it'll still perform well on our battery test.

The more interesting tidbit is that Apple said the iPhone 14 Plus has the best battery life of any iPhone to date, which is a bold claim. We’ll have to see. We also didn’t get to hear about charging wattage, which we found odd.

iPhone 14 and iOS 16

We already know everything we want to about iOS 16, but the iPhone 14 will enjoy all of its latest features, including the new lock screen, changes to Mail and Messages, and more. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus will ship with iOS 16 in the next few weeks.

You can also take advantage of the new iCloud Shared Photo Libraries and stronger Live Text and Visual Lookup. 

iPhone 14 outlook

It seems like a lot of the rumors over the course of the last year proved correct for the iPhone 14. In fact, there’s very little different between it and the iPhone 13. The biggest change is the iPhone 14 Plus replacing the iPhone mini.

It’s looking like the iPhone 14 isn’t that big of an upgrade over the iPhone 13, but certainly a good one for those rocking an iPhone 12 or older. With the iPhone 13 Pro’s A15 Bionic chipset, better cameras, and boosted battery life, the iPhone 14 looks like a modest offering for 2022.

But what's this we're hearing about an iPhone Ultra?

Next: This is why our News Editor thinks the iPhone 14 upgrades are so minimal — you should just get the discounted iPhone 13.


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