So, Apple hasn’t used the Plus branding since 2017, and with the new iPhone 14 lineup, they have decided to kick out the Mini for its place of this iPhone 14 Plus, which is a bigger and a prouder version. So is bigger better? Well, let’s find out!
Design & Build
So, in terms of design, the iPhone 14 Plus is essentially an iPhone 14 scaled up. They even share the same thickness of 7.8mm and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that because they are impeccably built and it just looks and feels premium through and through.
The flat sides house the familiar mute toggle and volume buttons, which is on the left and the power button on the right. Then at the bottom, there’s the dual speaker grilles and the Lightning charge port. And rumor has it that USB-C will be coming to the iPhone in the future, so let’s see about that.
So, there are key differences between the regular iPhone 14 and 14 Plus and the Pro models. Firstly, the old notch is still here; love it or hate it. And I’ve actually gotten used to it, so that is fine by me. But if you really need the new Dynamic Island feature, then you have no choice but to go with the Pro instead.
Speaking of which, if you guys haven’t seen it, I’ve done my full video review after one month using the iPhone 14 Pro Max, so make sure to check it out in case you haven’t done so: https://youtu.be/boikfmmQl7c
Then secondly, the iPhone 14 Plus comes with an aluminum chassis and glass exterior compared to the stainless steel and glass on the Pros. There is a benefit to this and something to really appreciate and if you’re wondering what are the benefits, well, you benefit from a bigger display without the weight penalty of the Pro models. Because at 203 grams, it is substantially lighter than the Pro Max, which is about 40 grams heavier at 240 grams. In fact, this iPhone 14 Plus is even lighter than the smaller iPhone 14 Pro.
The aluminum frame matches the color of the rear glass and now it comes with a selection of colors, including the new for 2022, which is Blue, alongside the oldies Midnight, Purple, Starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED.
Then finally, the iPhone 14 is of course dust and water-resistant with an IP68 rating. This means that the phone can survive a full immersion in six-meter-deep fresh water for up to 30 minutes.
From a hardware’s perspective, there are some key things that set the iPhone 14 Plus apart from its new iPhone 14 lineup.
For those of you who want an extra screen estate, the iPhone 14 Plus comes with a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display that pushes a resolution of 2778 x 1284 pixels with a high pixel density of 458 PPI.
Now, obviously you won’t get the ProMotion display that you see on the Pro models, but you’ll get the standard 60Hz refresh rate instead of the super smooth 120Hz.
It probably won’t matter so much if you don’t game a lot on the phone, especially doing some hardcore multi-tasking. But really worth mentioning is the fact that, with the lower refresh rate, it is also less power intensive, so you’ll enjoy a way better battery performance compared to any other iPhone on its lineup. And I think that that is definitely a great trade-off which most people will be very happy with.
And since it’s not an LTPO panel, it doesn’t have the new Always-On Display, as it has on the Pro models.
However, based on my usage daily, it still has a very impressive display that can go up to 1,200 nits of brightness with an average of 800+ nits. You still get an outstanding color accuracy, deeper blacks, and also very vibrant colors.
Apple doesn’t talk much about the audio performance on the 14 Plus, but with the Dolby Atmos-certified stereo speakers, it sounds as good as ever, especially with the larger form factor. The soundstage is wide and the audio is crisp, punchy and very clear, which is great for music, movies, games and of course, using the phone to make phone calls. Isn’t that why smartphones were created?
Speaking of battery performance earlier, the iPhone 14 Plus has the best battery life of the entire iPhone 14 lineup, with Apple claiming up to two days of juice.
And I was wondering whether or not this was true and yes, Apple was absolutely spot on on this as I got an average battery life of 8 hours and 40 minutes to 9 hours plus during a very heavy usage like playing games, and just watching tons of video content on the phone, which indeed was a huge plus, especially if you don’t really use the phone as how hardcore that I would use it.
If you find yourself low on juice, the phone supports up to 20W fast charging. While it is not the highest in the industry standards but it was still very good for my usage and still one of the best when it comes to having better battery duration or better lifespan of the battery. And there’s also 15W charging via MagSafe and up to 7.5W of Qi wireless charging. And using the 30W charger, you’ll be able to get about 50% of charge in about 28 minutes.
Next, the iPhone 14 Plus also gets the one-year-old A15 Bionic chipset, which was lifted from the iPhone 13 Pro but with the added graphics core. So is it a problem having an old chipset on the phone? Well, absolutely not at all, because it is exactly the same type of performance that you can expect from an iPhone. It is snappy, very responsive, and will keep up with just about anything that you can throw at it, including graphic-intensive games like Genshin Impact as well.
Also introduced in the entire iPhone 14 Series is the Crash Detection feature, so it’s not only available for the Pro Models, so that was nice, which you can automatically detect when you’re having a car accident or any sort of accident. And how this works is that it uses the combination of all the mechanical sensors, like the gyro sensor, the accelerator, and including the microphone as well, where it all calculates the right algorithm to tell if there is a crash detected, and while I personally did not test out this feature, but I’ve seen lots of YouTube videos which actually did that test, and it works very flawlessly.
Now, when it comes to cameras, the iPhone 14 Plus features the same cameras as the iPhone 14. This means that the 12-megapixel f/1.5 main camera with sensor-shift stabilization and the 12-megapixel f/2.4 ultra wide camera on the rear is the same.
Now obviously, you don’t get the new high-resolution 48-megapixel camera found on the Pros, but hey, not everyone needs a super high resolution 48-megapixel photo for your ‘Gram, right? (You know, Instagram? Is that still a thing? Gram?)
The hardware may be the same, but the camera system does get the benefit of Apple’s updated image processing technology, which is called the Photonic Engine, which uses machine learning to get better and faster low-light performance and better overall details.
Now, even in these photos, the results were still very high in quality, no matter the lighting condition that it was in, hence it was flagship level indeed.
In terms of the camera performance, there is a subtle difference compared to the previous model, which is the iPhone 13 or even the Pro models as well, which was great to know.
I did find that the low-light performance was improved both in terms of the processing speed and also the overall quality. In general, the rear cameras perform as how an iPhone would, giving you satisfactory and appealing images in most scenarios and conditions. As an iPhone Pro user, I do miss having the optical zoom or the telephoto zoom, and this may be a deal-breaker for some.
Speaking of video, one of the coolest features on the iPhone 14 Plus is the Action Mode, which is available across all of the iPhone 14 lineup once again. This is designed to deliver very smooth action, with almost gimbal-like performance. The camera does punch in quite a bit, and you’ll need lots of light to have it to be properly stabilized.
And even though with its crop, I like the fact that it still records at a higher resolution of 2.8K compared to typically 1080p on other Android smartphones. So yes the extra resolution is another huge PLUS, pun intended.
Now what’s nice is there is also 4K 30 fps on Cinematic Mode which is available on this Plus or even the non-Pro model, both for the front and also for the rear camera, and that, my friends, was really sweet.
Then finally, hidden in the notch up front is the uprated 12-megapixel f/1.9 wide-angle selfie camera which also has a new autofocus feature, where the results were also very great, with some tack-sharp photos with easy point-of-shoot style like how iPhones always gave, similar to the rear camera lenses as well.
I tend to favor the iPhone’s more true-to-life color science, as it does deliver more natural colors, especially on the skin tones for the front selfie pictures as well.
As for software, the iPhone 14 Plus runs on iOS 16 out of the box.
Now there is a lot to really like about this new software update. The iPhone experience feels fresh and new thanks to the new Lock Screen with widgets, and I also love the little useful features like the ability to unsent text and edit them, and even with the return of the battery percentage indicator as well.
So I did a video on what’s new on iOS 16, which I will link at the description and the card above, so be sure to check out that video here: https://youtube.com/shorts/GUpL5FpRyus
Contrary to popular belief there are a lot of software features that have been implemented on the non-Pro versions of the iPhone 14 models too.
So, yes, everything you’ve read and heard about the iPhone 14 Plus being a bigger version or a bigger brother of the iPhone 14 is true. What you’re getting is the same processor, the same display technology, and of course the same cameras.
But here’s the thing: after using the iPhone 14 Plus over the course of this review, it has become clear that this is a definite better phone compared to its smaller sibling. For those of you who prefer a bigger phone, the iPhone 14 Plus is a natural choice. And it is the cheapest big phone in the iPhone 14 lineup because the iPhone 14 Pro Max is definitely out of reach for some people, especially within the price range. And also, not everyone needs the Pro features as well.
And also contrary to what people call the iPhone 14 Plus as an “old phone”, I digress. Sure, it does not look any different, aside from the new colorway, perhaps, but on the performance front, there is little not to love.
And of course, the thing that impresses me the most is the battery life. Going about my daily business and even during a very heavy usage, this iPhone 14 Plus consistently delivered two days of battery life, as what Apple has mentioned.
So yes, overall performance is excellent from the A15 Bionic chipset, whether or not you are referring to any benchmark tests or even during a real-time usage, as it is overall amazingly snappy, as it is as smooth and responsive as ever.
So with this, if you’re looking for a no-frills bigger iPhone, then the iPhone 14 Plus will be perfect for you. Now yes, it isn’t the latest and greatest from Apple, but it does offer an excellent middle ground between the standard 14 and the 14 Pro models, without the typical Pro premium price tag.
So is bigger better? Hell yeah, it is!
Get the iPhone 14 Plus at the link below:-