- Early battery life is great
- Still has strong performance
- Cameras are impressive
In recent years, Apple’s iPhone range has offered a wide variety of sizes and features. The 5.4-inch iPhone Mini model is aimed at those who want an easily portable and affordable smartphone, while the standard 6.1-inch iPhone and iPhone Pro models were the same size but offered vastly different features – with the Pro model having a much better camera, battery life and sustainability.
Then there was the 6.7-inch Pro Max model, which stands high above the rest of the lineup, with the most battery life and the largest screen of the group.
This year, however, Apple has changed its approach. The iPhone 14 Mini is not an option. Instead, Apple went with a more unified iPhone 14 lineup. There are now two 6.1-inch models in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Proand then two 6.7-inch models in the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
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The iPhone 14 Plus was available for pre-order along with the rest of the iPhone 14 range; however, it wasn’t launched until a few weeks later, on October 7. I’ve been using the iPhone 14 Plus as my main phone for the past week, replacing the iPhone 14 Pro Max. And, well, it’s clear to me that Apple’s move from the Mini to the Plus is the right thing to do.
More screen for less money
Since Apple switched to its standard iPhone and iPhone Pro mix of iPhone models, the only way to get an iPhone with a screen greater than 6.1 inches was to buy the most expensive iPhone model in the market. Pro Max version of that year. That meant paying at least $1,100 for an iPhone just because you want a bigger iPhone with a bigger battery.
And yet, this year, iPhone 14 Plus starts at $899 for 128 GB of storage, or $999 for 256 GB, or $1,199 for 512 GB.
That’s a steal for an iPhone with a 6.7-inch screen and what Apple promises to be the longest battery life of all iPhones.
Not only does a bigger screen mean more room for a bigger battery (more on battery life in a minute), but it also makes the iPhone more accessible and easy to use for many people.
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With a larger screen, you have less scrolling when reading long emails or messages and you have a larger viewfinder when using the Camera app. These are all obvious advantages to Android converters or those who have paid the Pro Max premium for the past few years, but for those who simply wanted the cheapest iPhone with an all-day battery, a large screen iPhone at an affordable price. price is a foreign concept.
I have enjoyed using the iPhone 14 Plus and the larger screen for the past week. It brings the main feature that draws me to the Pro Max — the screen size — at a price that, while still more expensive than the base-model iPhone 14, is more affordable than the Pro Max.
Battery life is king
In my review of the iPhone 14, I praised all of its new features and still impressive performance, but I talked a little bit about battery life. I could use a full day, but barely. This means that on days when I’m traveling for work, I’ll have to rely on some sort of external battery pack or top up at the hotel — generally not a bad habit, but something I’d rather not do.
The iPhone 14 Plushowever, carries the promise of longer battery life than the smaller iPhone 14.
After four days of use, I can confidently say that the battery life of the iPhone 14 Plus is an improvement over the iPhone 14. I ended my days – which usually start around 6 a.m. and end after 10 p.m. – with 30 % or more battery left. That’s at about 5 hours of screen time, according to the Battery section in the settings app.
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However, the real test for a phone’s battery is traveling with the phone. So I took the 14 Plus to New York to report on the Made By Google event where the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel Watch were announced.
My first day of travel started at 3:15 am with a 100% charge of the iPhone 14 Plus battery. I used the phone for typical travel tasks: showing my boarding pass when needed, browsing the news, checking email, messaging loved ones and colleagues, making FaceTime calls, streaming music, and monitoring flight delays. I got stuck in Dallas for a few extra hours thanks to what was left of Hurricane Ian which delayed flights to and from New York City airports.
It was then that I began to wonder if the iPhone 14 Plus would have enough battery to get me to my hotel in Williamsburg. After the delay, which brought more FaceTime calls, some video transfer from the DJI Osmo Action 3, and lots of streaming of my favorite Apple Music playlists, my last flight left me with 40% battery.
During the 3+ hour flight from Dallas to New York, I gave in and paid for WiFi so I could get some work done. And then I streamed some live TV (thanks, Southwest), which eventually caused my fear that the battery would run out before I got to my hotel, so I connected a Anker MagSafe Battery Pack to the iPhone 14 Plus to top it all off. This was on time after about 5 hours of screen time, but even more background use. Essentially, I haven’t stopped using the phone in some form from 4:30 a.m. Mountain time to 5:00 p.m. ET. If I hadn’t given in to the Wi-Fi temptation, I have no doubt the battery would have made it until I got to the hotel around 6pm that night; although it would have been practically empty.
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The moral of the story? The battery life of the iPhone 14 Plus is more than enough to get through a rough day of travel, and probably even longer if you’re not someone who’s constantly on their phone like I am.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is now really for Pro users
Prior to the iPhone 14 Plus, the Pro Max variant wasn’t really just for those customers who wanted or needed Pro features. There were two clear camps. Either you wanted the Pro features or you wanted a bigger screen.
Now you have a clear choice to make: a larger iPhone with the core features or a larger iPhone with Pro features.
After a few days of testing the iPhone 14 Plus, I was left wondering whether or not I need the Pro Max now that the iPhone 14 Plus exists. Since then, I’ve come to the conclusion that I like having the extra telephoto camera too much not to have a Pro Max model in my pocket.
The iPhone 14 Plus uses the same camera system as the iPhone 13 Pro. You’re limited to a 12MP main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera, both of which take great photos thanks to the A15 Bionic processor and Apple’s new Photonic Engine. It’s easy to joke about the names and marketing terms Apple comes up with for new products, but I captured some exceptional photos with the iPhone 14 Plus.
Also: iPhone Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: How to Choose?
Here’s one of a storm as my plane approached to land at La Guardia Airport:
Or this from a random building I found in Williamsburg with NFTs on it:
I posted a few more photos on my Instagram account, which I was pleasantly surprised by.
Performance is also the same, if not slightly better, than the iPhone 13 series, as Apple uses the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus – the only difference being an extra core in the five-core GPU, all for $ 899 .
The iPhone 14 Pro Max offers more, with the new Dynamic Island, an improved camera system and even longer battery life. But that also comes with a starting price tag of $1,099.
About that eSIM
One area where the entire iPhone 14 range, including the 14 Plus, may cause frustration for some is Apple’s move to eSIM, rather than the more traditional plastic SIM card used to facilitate communication between your phone and wireless carrier. ease. The setup process with the iPhone 14 Plus and transferring my number was easy, but traveling abroad is likely to cause some headaches in the short term as more carriers adopt eSIM technology.
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What it comes down to:
In my iPhone 14 review, I said it wasn’t worth upgrading from the iPhone 13 to the iPhone 14. The exception to this is if you switch to the 14 Plus, because you get more screen and battery.
Fitting nicely into Apple’s lineup, the 14 Plus makes more sense to me than the Mini ever did, and I have a feeling it will resonate with users whether it’s this year or years to come. I wish we had access to sales figures to see the exact breakdown of the units sold by the model at launch, and then again in a few months. I suspect that the iPhone 14 Plus and Pro Max will eventually become the two most popular models.