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Is the iPhone 14 worth the upgrade resized

Is the iPhone 14 worth the upgrade?  Steve Jobs' daughter thinks not.

19 Sep 2022

And she is not alone. So lets take a look at how the iPhone 14 series compares to its predecessor.

Following Apple's 'Far Out' event on September 7, 2022, the memes were flowing hard and fast on socials.

The prevailing view?  'Nothing to see here.'

A Twitter post by Steve Jobs' 24-year-old daughter, Eve, reinforced the sentiment. Her meme of an elderly gentlemen with a new shirt that is exactly the same as the shirt he is wearing is well known on Twitter as representing 'no change'. 



But is it fair? How does the iPhone 14 compare to its predecessor?  Is it much of an upgrade?


Minor changes for iPhone 14, new features reserved for Pro models

  • Apple iPhone 14 from A$1,399
  • Apple iPhone 14 Plus from A$1,579

Looking past the hype, the youngest Jobs has a point. Almost all the new features announced by Apple are available only with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models. 

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are fairly light on when it comes to meaningful upgrades. 

iphone 14 lineup


Here is a comparison between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13

  • The iPhone 14 still runs on the same A15 bionic chip as the iPhone 13 and refreshes at 60Hz, whereas the 14 Pro models have the A16 chip and ProMotion 120Hz support. 
  • Screen brightness remains the same as the iPhone 13 with a peak of up to 1,200 nits compared with the new 2,000 nits or '2x brighter in the sun' of the 14 Pro models.
  • Nothing has changed on the biometrics front either: the familiar Face ID, and the same forward-facing notch. The new pill-shaped notch and Dynamic Island is only available on the Pro series.
  • No discernible change to the design, although the iPhone 14 is marginally thicker than the 13, so existing cases won't fit - of course. The iPhone 14 Pro does get an upgrade from the aluminium body to a stainless steel frame.
  • The iPhone 14 has a new purple color and different shades of blue and red.

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  • There is the same dual camera arrangement but, as expected, an upgrade of the cameras to new 12MP ƒ/1.9 front-facing camera with autofocus, new 12MP ultrawide camera and main camera with larger, 1/1.65" sensor, and 1.9 micron pixels. There is also 4K Cinematic mode offering 30 or 24 frames per second which is film industry standard. The iPhone 13 by comparison is recording at 1080p,
  • There is apparently a faster, more energy-efficient 6nm Qualcomm 5G modem made by TSMC (Taiwan  Semiconductor  Manufacturing  Company) but this is not quantified in any useful way.
  • The iPhone 14 has a marginally larger battery at 3,379 mAh v 3,227 mAh on iPhone 13. This equates to about one hour extra of video playback.
  • One true positive is the iPhone 14 has 50% more RAM at 6GB  compared to the iPhone 13.
  • Bluetooth 5.3.
  • Penta-core GPU.

iphone 14 features


Crash detection builds on fall detection as touted safety feature

Apple is aiming to differentiate its iPhone 14 lineup from previous models by focusing on safety improvements.

Each new iPhone 14 model comes with built-in car crash detection and a new feature called Emergency SOS via Satellite (only that second feature is not available in Australia).

Car Crash Detection is automatically activated when the iPhone is in driving mode and the sensors onboard detect that there has been a severe car accident, including rear impact, front impact, side impact and rollover scenarios.

This builds on Apple's fall detection feature which is very popular with various segments of Apple users, especially the elderly and disabled.  

When iPhone 14 detects a car crash, it delivers a prompt on the home screen for the owner to answer if they are okay or not; if there is no answer in a given time period, the iPhone will automatically contact emergency services.

iphone 14 collision tech


Australia misses out on 'Satellite Emergency SOS', for now

Emergency SOS via Satellite is a new service that Apple is bundling for free for two years with each new iPhone 14 purchase in the US and Canada.

This service would be extremely useful and popular if it were available in Australia. It allows users to contact emergency services or send text messages via satellite when there is no connectivity otherwise available through cellular or Wi-Fi.

Sadly, there is no timeframe for its release here. Apple has foreshadowed additional countries will be announced later this year, followed by even more countries next year. Only they are not saying which countries or when exactly.

The new technology works by allowing the iPhone 14 antennas to connect to GPS communication satellites through a new guided app that trains the user where to point the iPhone in the sky for reception, all without requiring a bulky GPS antenna.

iphone 14 sos



Australian iPhone 14 series retain physical SIM

The iPhone 14 series released in the U.S. has no physical SIM tray and instead supports up to 8 eSIMs and two Dual Active eSIMs.

However, the models released in Australia will retain the physical SIM slot for a nano SIM, and also has eSIM and dual eSIM support.

For sure, Apple will be removing the SIM tray worldwide so it may be worth brushing up on your eSIM knowledge.

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iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max get all the best upgrade features

  • iPhone 14 Pro from A$1,749 
  • iPhone 14 Pro Ma from A$1,899

IApple has saved all the best of the upgrade features for its two 14 Pro models.

The 14 Pro and Pro Max get the latest A16 bionic chip, the "best" camera ever in a smartphone with 48MP lens front and back, the pill-shaped notch and the Dynamic Island, as well as the 'always-on' screen.

Dynamic Island is an area located at the top of the home screen that changes size and shape to accommodate various types of alerts, notifications, and interactions, turning it into an information hub. The Dynamic Island is capable of displaying multiple functions at once, and when that happens, it splits into a larger pill-shaped area and a smaller circular area so the user can see two things at once. 



Best camera ever The 48MP 4-camera array is a new standard for smartphone cameras and sensors 65% larger than iPhone 13 allow for significantly better results in low light

4K HDR Cinematic mode shoots at 24 or 30 frames per second — the film industry standard and the best video in a smartphone to date. The Action Mode is designed to stabilise footage when shooting from a vehicle or moving without the need for a gimbal.

Always-on screen means the Lock Screen is always glanceable, and does not need to be tapped into life. When iPhone is turned face-down or in a pocket, it goes dark to save battery life. The display can operate with a refresh rate as low as 1 Hz with a new low-power mode, and uses improved technology that allows the display to dim the entire Lock Screen. The display dims when the device is locked or idle. Always-On display also uses multiple coprocessors in the A16 Bionic to refresh the display using minimal power. 

All-day battery claims have attracted some criticism with the 14 Pro having a 3,200mAh battery and the Pro Max  4,323mAh. The iPhone 13 Pro Max had a larger battery at 4,352mAh. 

Display of 2,000 nits which makes the screen easier to see outdoor in peak brightness. This is 2x the nits of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

iphone 14 display


Summary - is the iPhone 14 a worthy upgrade?

On balance there is not a great deal of incentive to upgrade to the iPhone 14 from the iPhone 13, but definitely more incentive if upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro models with the new features.

The price difference between the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14 is just A$170. Even so, without the A16 chip or most of the new features which are available only in the Pro series, it is still difficult to justify those extra few dollars for the iPhone 14.

For users looking to upgrade from an iPhone 11 or 12 there is a stronger case. With trade-in and leasing options available, an upgrade to the iPhone 14 would be a significantly improved user experience, especially from an iPhone 11 with its legacy A13 chip and with no 5G compatibility.

The verdict

If you have a iPhone 13 maybe consider stretching to the iPhone 14 Pro from $1,749; or maybe sweat that current iPhone asset a little longer and wait for the A16 chip which surely must be included in the iPhone 15.

If you have an older iPhone 11 or 12 and want to upgrade, you have the choice of the iPhone 13 or 14 and there is really not too much between the two - either in features or in price. But if you stretch to the iPhone 14 Pro models you will experience a serious upgrade.

iPhone 14 series

About MobileCorp

MobileCorp is an Australian communications technology company providing 5G and Wireless WAN,  Managed Mobility ServicesUnified Endpoint ManagementComplex Data and IP Networks, and Unified Communication solutions. We have a proven track record providing solution architecture, build, deployment, and managed services for Australian enterprise and business. We are  a Telstra Platinum Partner and have been a Telstra enterprise and business partner since 1988. 

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