Apple’s carefully built walled-garden ecosystem has a regular stream of visitors. That group continues to drive the demand for its product even though the latest additions to the garden hardly look new from the outside.
The launch of the iPhone 14 was followed by questions as to whether or not it is any different from its predecessor. Let’s find out the similarities and differences between the two phones.
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In the Box
Opening the box introduces you to the wrapped iPhone 14, a USB Type-C to Lightning cable, and a SIM ejector tool.
The new iPhone 14 is the identical twin of the iPhone 13. It has the exact same display size and notch design. The phone feels like the iPhone 13 due to the same round edge corners. It is one or two grams lighter, which is not much of a difference. The new iPhone 14, just like its predecessor, comes with a glass sandwich body divided by an aluminium frame. The front glass has a ceramic shield that guards the screen against scratches. The rear side is protected by a glass covering. It comes with an IP68 ingress protection rating, allowing the phone to withstand water pressure up to six metres deep for about thirty minutes.
The keys are placed just like in the previous iPhone models. The power button is placed on the right side whereas the alert slider, volume rockers, and SIM tray are located on the left-hand side. At the bottom lies the lightning connector and two speaker grilles. The connector supports Delivery 2.0 charging.
Externally, the new iPhone 14 is no different from the iPhone 13, but internally the company has made some rearrangements in the design. The iPhone 14 is more easily fixed than its predecessor as the rear glass panel can be detached as a separate piece, which eases the repair process.
The display size of the iPhone 14 is exactly the same as that of the iPhone 13 with the same 6.1-inch display. The phone comes with Super Retina XDR OLED, with a resolution of 1170 x 2532 pixels and 460 PPI pixel density. This is very sharp but we have seen the same display type in the iPhone 13 as well, so there is nothing new here. The display has 1200 nits of peak brightness, making the display easy to view even under bright sunlight.
The contents viewed on the screen offer utmost joy as the phone supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision, enhancing the viewing experience. The colours produced are very accurate, crisp, and vivid. The company has used a 60Hz refresh rate in the new iPhone 14 which we feel is a little disappointing, as most Android phones even in the affordable ranges are offering a 90Hz refresh rate as a standard. Here, the iPhone 14 and Pixel 6a mimic each other.
Although the iPhone 14 comes with a 60Hz refresh rate, it doesn’t feel like 60Hz as the touch and scrolling experience is no less than a 90Hz refresh rate display. Games ran smoothly and we did not face any issues while navigating the game controls.
The new iPhone 14 comes with phenomenal speakers producing high-definition sound with very fine tunings and detailing. The first speaker can be located on top of the notch and acts as an earpiece when you are making calls. The other speaker outlet is at the bottom, firing sound waves in a much more controlled and directional manner. The speakers on the new iPhone 14 come with spatial audio and Dolby Atmos support.
The new iPhone 14 ships with iOS 16 out of the box. Not a very significant upgrade over the iOS 15 is seen in the iPhone 13, but it does come with improved features like notification management, lock screen, etc. The new OS sends up the notifications from the bottom of the screen. You can also customise the notification style on the display. The Focus mode has also been improved and you can choose between Personal, Work, Driving, Gaming, and Do Not Disturb modes. The Message app now allows you to edit the sent messages. The Fitness app is available on the phone and buyers can make use of it even without the Apple watch.
The Face unlock feature has also been improved and is a little faster in working from every angle. The fast response rate of the face unlock feature compensates for the lack of a fingerprint sensor.
The new iPhone 14 and all the 14 series phones come with the latest Crash Detection feature. This feature automatically detects and contacts emergency services in case of a car crash.
The iPhone 14 also comes with a satellite connectivity feature which is not rolled out in India as of yet. This feature will allow you to send emergency texts in case you get lost or stuck in a region without enough reception.
As seen in the previously launched 13 series iPhones, the A15 Bionic chipset is being carried to the new iPhone 14 as well, but is the higher variant chipset of 13 Pro models. The CPU configuration is also the same, consisting of two cores clocked at 3.23 GHz Avalanche and four cores clocked at 1.82 GHz Blizzard. We did not come across any lag while multitasking or playing games. The performance level of the iPhone 14 is the same as that of the iPhone 13.
We used both phones side by side and saw both phones had the same speed in launching apps, rendering videos, etc. The new iPhone 14 may be faster by a fraction of a second, making it confusing for people to decide which phone to buy. The iPhone 14 has 6GB of RAM now, which makes it distinct from the iPhone 13 as it came with 4GB of RAM. The improved RAM surely enhances the functions a bit more. The gaming experience is also very similar to that of the iPhone 13 and we were able to run all the games seamlessly.
The new iPhone 14 uses the camera of the iPhone 13. It comes with dual camera sensors just like the iPhone 13 with similar placement but the performance of the iPhone 14’s main camera is better as it has a brighter aperture of f/1.5 and larger pixels when compared to the iPhone 13. With the 12MP primary sensor, you can click images like that of the iPhone 13. The second 12MP ultra-wide lens is the same one we had on the iPhone 13. It comes with an aperture of f/2.4 and a 120 degree field of view. In terms of detailing the images, you will hardly notice any major difference.
The new iPhone 14 comes with the phase detection autofocus feature which was earlier present on the Pro models. This is a difference between the iPhone 13 and the base model of the iPhone 14. The company has also incorporated a new image processing unit called Photonic Engine which helps combine more images into one. Another new feature rolled out this year in all the iPhone 14 models is Action mode, which enhances the stabilisation power of the videos.
All the other features remain the same as that of the iPhone 13: you get the Portrait mode on both the front and rear cameras, the Cinematic mode, Photographic styles, Smart HDR, and Night Mode.
Images captured in daylight maintain the natural colour of the environment. The detailing is on point, and we did not come across any noise effect in the images. When compared to its predecessor the images captured on both models were alike in every aspect, except the new iPhone 14 delivers a slightly sharper image. The portrait images captured maintain the delicacy level with perfect subject detection and separation. The ultra-wide lens does a phenomenal job capturing detailed wide images. The colour and the contrast levels are on point without over-rendition.
Images captured at night are enriched with detail as well. There was an almost negligible level of noise detection. The phone takes a few seconds to process the images captured at night, so you need to keep it stable for some seconds. The Night mode does a remarkable job of keeping the details sharp and keeping the images very vibrant.
For selfies, there is the same 12MP lens found in the iPhone 13. The selfies captured were brilliant, maintaining all the details like skin tone and texture in perfect balance. In the portrait mode, selfies are cropped to 7MP. In the horizontal frame, the selfie camera captures images in 12MP. Phase detection autofocus is also present in the selfie camera, which helps to quickly focus and capture sharp selfies. When compared with the iPhone 13 selfies, the new iPhone 14 differs in terms of minute details which are barely noticeable.
The new iPhone 14 comes with a slightly improved battery of 3,279 mAh while the iPhone 13 had 3,240 mAh battery power. The phone comfortably lasts for a day. We noticed that despite using the same processor, the new iPhone 14 offers improved battery performance. The discharge speed is very slow, and we found out that with normal use, the battery power stood at 40-50% at the end of the day - meaning you can carry out the tasks the next day as well with a single charge. As we all know, Apple stopped shipping the charger with its latest iPhones and the new iPhone 14 is no exception. Apple is offering a 20W charger as an additional purchase. The charging speed of the new iPhone 14 has improved by a slight margin. We were able to charge the phone 0-100% within 50-60 minutes.
Externally, the new iPhone 14 does not look any different from outside the walled garden. But inside, it has some interesting updates. One gets to see an upgrade in camera capabilities, battery performance, and efficient charging. Yet, the major upgrade lies in the Pro models of the iPhone 14. The presence of 60Hz is questionable, especially considering the competition. If you are thrifty, then the iPhone 13 is a better option than the iPhone 14.