You’ve waited long enough, but Apple just pulled the curtains off its latest iPhones. Predictably, this year’s lineup consists of four new models: the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Fall’s just starting, and Apple’s new iPhones are certainly making a compelling case for being some of the best smartphones of the year. As we documented in our head-to-head review, the impressive Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is currently the flagship to beat, but that could change when the iPhone 14 lineup officially drops later this month.
During its press event on September 7, Apple announced a ton of new products. We were expecting some of these, like the AirPods Pro 2, and some of them, like the new Apple Watch Ultra, were a pleasant surprise.
As you might expect, the iPhone 14 generation comes with many new features and design changes (we’ll reserve judgment on whether they’re design improvements until we’ve had a chance to properly test these smartphones).
For this piece, we’ll focus on the iPhone 14 ($799) and iPhone 14 Plus ($899). Pre-orders for the iPhone 14 models will be available on September 9, with general availability on September 16. The more advanced iPhone 14 Plus won’t be released until October 7. That timing is a little surprising, especially considering the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will also be released on September 16.
iPhone 14: At a Glance
- No significant price increase
- Improved low-light photography
- Improved processor
- Emergency satellite SOS
- 100% eSim will frustrate some users
- Release Date: Pre-order opens September 9; general availability on September 16 (with the iPhone 14 Plus to follow on October 7)
- Pricing: Starting at $799
- Size: iPhone 14 – 6.1 inches; iPhone 14 Plus – 6.7 inches
- Front Camera: 12-megapixel
- Processor: Apple A15 Bionic chip
- Display: Super Retina XDR display (1,200 nits)
Why We’re Excited About the iPhone 14
Most notably, we love that Apple has expanded the safety features of the iPhone 14 Series. Technology is great, especially when it can save lives. Similar to the Apple Watch, the iPhone 14 Series can detect crashes with a new dual-core accelerometer and high dynamic range gyroscope.
This pairing will allow the new iPhone 14 Series to automatically dial emergency services and get help. Timing is critical when it comes to crashes, especially if you’re unconscious or trapped — so we can’t tell you how happy we are for this new safety feature.
Complementing that is the new Emergency SOS via Satellite feature that Apple introduced. It effectively makes the iPhone 14 Series satellite phones that can obtain help, even in the most remote locations where cellular connectivity isn’t available.
This is a game changer because a smartphone cannot often rely on satellites to get help. Even more remarkable is that there’s no change to the design to accommodate this feature, which allows users in distress to share their location and send a message out for help.
Beyond these two specific safety features, the iPhone 14 Series receives the typical upgrades. The 6.1-inch iPhone 14 and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus flaunt familiar designs, with Super Retina XDR displays that can achieve a peak brightness output of 1,200 nits. There’s no change with their premium design, which packages an aerospace-grade aluminum casing and durable Ceramic Shield to protect their displays.
They’re powered by the Apple A15 Bionic chip, allowing instant responses with every action with iOS 16. It helps power the new dual-camera system both phones use to deliver even better results under low light. The new 12-megapixel main camera achieves this with the help of a larger sensor, larger pixels, and the Photonic Engine software that enhances the performance of the cameras to deliver optimal results.
And lastly, it should be noted that it looks like Apple’s ditching the traditional SIM slot in its new iPhones in favor of a completely 100% eSIM standard. Apple says that the “eSIM allows users to easily connect or quickly transfer their existing plans digitally, is a more secure alternative to a physical SIM card, and allows for multiple cellular plans on a single device.”
It’s a bold move on Apple’s part but not uncharacteristic given how iPhones have adopted new SIM standards over the years — going from the regular SIM tray to micro and subsequently nano SIM trays.
Pricing and Availability
If you’re in the market for one of these new models, you won’t have to wait long. The Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are priced at $799 and $899, respectively. From the looks of it all, the prices are what we’d expect, which is a relief given that rumors painted a $100 increase.
Pre-orders for both are available starting on September 9, but the iPhone 14 will officially be released on September 16 — with the iPhone 14 Plus penned for release later on October 7.