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Apple's iPhone 14, 14 Plus Hands-On: New Cameras, Crash Detection and a Bigger Size

Apple's new iPhone lineup keeps the A15 Bionic chip, but adds new safety features and satellite connectivity.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G | Mobile networks | Wireless carriers | Phones | Tablets | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms | Mobile | Console gaming
Patrick Holland Managing Editor
Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
Expertise Apple | iPhone | iOS | Android | Samsung | Sony | Google | Motorola | Interviews | Coffee equipment | Cats Credentials
  • Patrick's play The Cowboy is included in the Best American Short Plays 2011-12 anthology. He co-wrote and starred in the short film Baden Krunk that won the Best Wisconsin Short Film award at the Milwaukee Short Film Festival.
Eli Blumenthal
Patrick Holland
4 min read

Apple's new iPhone 14 models bring updates to their cameras, as well as the return of a larger Plus model and a focus on safety features like car-crash detection. These phones, which start at $799 (£849, AU$1,399), were announced at Apple's "Far Out" event last week alongside the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max

Probably the biggest upgrade to the non-Pro iPhone 14 is the Plus model, bringing an iPhone with a 6.7-inch display at a lower $899 price. While this comes with the demise of the Mini option previously seen in the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lines, it's a substantial discount over the $1,099 starting price of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Both the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus get a bunch of new features including a new SOS Emergency via Satellite service, a new video stabilization tool called action mode, an upgraded Cinematic mode and all the major iOS 16 features you'd expect.

iPhone 14 showing a grid of app icons

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are Apple's new baseline phones for 2022.

James Martin/CNET

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus also work with the new Apple Watch Series 8 (three models) and the AirPods Pro 2 earbuds. We break down everything announced for the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, including their price, features, colors, release dates and more.

Read more: How iPhone 14 Pro's Whopping 48-Megapixel Camera Will Change Your Phone Photography

iPhone 14 and 14 Plus price and release date

Pricing for the iPhone 14 starts at $799 (£849, AU$1,399) for a 128GB version, the same as last year's iPhone 13 when activated on a carrier plan. Preorders begin Sept. 9 and the phone goes on sale Sept. 16.

The iPhone 14 Plus, which also comes with 128GB of base storage, starts at $899 (£949, AU$1,579) and is available on Oct. 7 -- you can also preorder it Sept. 9. 

iPhone 14 colors you can buy (and one you can't)

True to form, Apple will sell the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus in five colors:

  • Starlight
  • Midnight
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Product Red

During the few minutes I got to try the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, I noticed that the purple color is more of a soft lavender color that shifts depending on the lighting it's under. The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max come in a deep purple finish that shifts between a matte-black look under some lights to a rich deep purple like Prince.

iPhone 14 and 14 Plus features

At first glance, the new iPhone 14 might look just like the iPhone 13. Both iPhones feature outer casings similar to those of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, which were released in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Apple also made a bunch of minor improvements and added new features. The iPhone 14 packs a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone 14 Plus has a 6.7-inch screen.

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus have the same A15 Bionic chip from last year's iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. Apple says the 14 and 14 Plus are 18% faster than the iPhone 13. Only the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max will get the new A16 Bionic chip.

While Apple sold a smaller, Mini model of its main iPhone for the past two years, it did not introduce an iPhone 14 Mini on Wednesday. The iPhone 13 Mini remains on sale, starting at $599.

iPhone 14's cameras get a new engine

In terms of photos and video, both phones feature a main camera with a larger updated 12-megapixel sensor and a wide-angle lens with a wider aperture that lets in more light. The iPhone 14's cameras have a different method for processing photos called the Photonic Engine.
The TrueDepth camera on the front gets a new, faster, f/1.9 aperture lens. Apple also added a new video stabilization mode, dubbed Action mode. It's designed to keep your videos looking smooth even when you're recording video while walking or moving around. 

As rumored, Apple has removed the physical SIM card slot on the new iPhone 14 line. It also adds crash detection, a feature Apple focused on during its Apple Watch presentation, and a new satellite connectivity feature for use in emergencies. The satellite feature will launch in November and will be included for free for two years with the purchase of the iPhone 14. 

In addition to the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, Apple introduced new iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max phones with an updated design that replaces the traditional notch with a new "Dynamic Island" layout for the front camera and Face ID sensor. 

For more on Apple, here's a full list of Apple's new products, including the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Ultra and AirPods Pro 2

Here are the full specs for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus specs compared

iPhone 14iPhone 14 Plus
Display size, resolution 6.1-inch OLED; 2,532x1,170 pixels6.7-inch OLED; 2,778x1,284 pixels
Pixel density 460 ppi458 ppi
Dimensions (inches) 5.78 x 2.82 x 0.31 in.6.33 x 3.07 x 0.31 in.
Dimensions (millimeters) 147 x 72 x 7.8mm161 x 78 x 7.8mm
Weight (ounces, grams) 6.07 oz.; 172g7.16 oz.; 203g
Mobile software iOS 16iOS 16
Rear cameras 12MP (wide), 12MP (ultrawide)12MP (wide), 12MP (ultrawide)
Front-facing camera 12MP12MP
Video capture HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fpsHDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps
Processor Apple A15 BionicApple A15 Bionic
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
RAM UndisclosedUndisclosed
Expandable storage NoNo
Battery Undisclosed; Apple lists 20 hours of video playbackUndisclosed; Apple lists 26 hours of video playback
Fingerprint sensor No (Face ID)No (Face ID)
Connector LightningLightning
Headphone jack NoNo
Special features 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (e-SIM) 5G enabled; MagSafe; water resistant (IP68); wireless charging; dual-SIM capabilities (e-SIM)
Price off-contract (USD) $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB), $1,099 (512GB)$899 (128GB), $999 (256GB), $1,199 (512GB)
Price (GBP) £849 (128GB)£899 (128GB)
Price (AUD) AU$1,399 (128GB)AU$1,579 (128GB)