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The best iPhone 14 series alternatives: 7 phones to consider before you buy
Apple has unleashed its flagship smartphones for 2022 — the iPhone 14 series. With standard-sized iPhones, Pro-tier ultra-premium handsets, and the return of the Plus range, there’s a bit of something for everyone here. Well, as long as you’ve got a minimum of $800 to spend and weren’t looking for another iPhone Mini (sorry, it’s gone!). Yet as solid as Apple’s phones look, what if you’re looking for something a little different? Take a look at our rundown of the best iPhone 14 alternatives you can buy.
The best iPhone 14 alternatives
1. Samsung Galaxy S22 series
The Galaxy S22 family is easily the biggest Android rival to Apple’s iPhone line. There are plenty of reasons for this, namely the fact that there are flagships at multiple price points, they’re available in a ton of markets, and they come with lengthy update commitments.
All three Galaxy S22 phones are equipped with the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC (unless you’re in Europe, in which case you get an Exynos 2200), wireless charging, an IP68 rating, a 12MP ultrawide camera and a 3x telephoto camera. Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra is the top dog though, offering a big battery, an S Pen with integrated slot, and a 10x periscope camera that isn’t matched by Apple.
It’s not all great though, as the base Galaxy S22 has a small battery for a high-end Android phone, and especially when compared to its bigger brother. We also thought the speakers could be better across the board. Nevertheless, these are the best iPhone 14 alternatives for most people and at the top of the list of the best Android phones you can buy.
Stunning camera features
Unequaled software and OS update development
Top software support
Long battery life
2. Apple iPhone SE (2022)
The iPhone SE (2022) is the budget alternative iPhone for those that can’t stretch beyond just over the $400 mark. You do lose a ton by opting for the third-generation SE model though, as it only has a single rear camera and doesn’t have a dedicated night photography mode. It also has a pokey, low-res LCD screen, only 64GB base storage, and a design lifted from iPhones from over five years ago.
Still, the iPhone SE 2022 brings a beefy A15 Bionic chipset (the same SoC seen in the iPhone 13 series, and the iPhone 14/iPhone 14 Max), access to Apple’s ecosystem of services, and a lengthy update pledge that matches (if not beats) the best cheap Android phones.
3. Google Pixel 6 series
The Pixel 7 series is less than a month away from launching at the time of writing, but the Pixel 6 family is still worth considering if you don’t want to wait for the new phones. And you can make a strong argument that these are the best Pixels Google has ever produced and among the best iPhone 14 alternatives on the market.
Both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro pack a semi-custom Tensor chipset that lags far behind Apple’s recent silicon but still delivers brisk performance. They also share a 50MP primary camera and 12MP ultrawide shooter, smart camera tricks, an IP68 rating, wireless charging, and Pixel-exclusive features like call screening. Toss in five years of security updates (and three years of OS updates) and you’ve got a well-rounded package here.
The Pixel 6 Pro brings a 5,003mAh battery compared to the standard Pixel’s 4,500mAh pack. But the Pro also serves up a 48MP 4x telephoto camera for great zoom capabilities. The only real downside to the Pixel 6 series is that they had plenty of bugs at launch and connectivity is a real issue.
Better camera sensors
Solid battery life
4. Apple iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini
Apple doesn’t have an iPhone 14 Mini this year, so those hoping for a premium Mini device will have to opt for the iPhone 13 Mini. But you should also consider the standard iPhone 13 if you’re thinking about the vanilla iPhone 14.
The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini feature the A15 Bionic chipset seen in the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, as well as the same wide notch. Apple’s previous-generation handsets also bring 12MP+12MP dual rear camera systems like the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, although the new devices offer bigger primary camera sensors.
Apple’s previous generation phones have also received price cuts, with the iPhone 13 Mini starting at $599 and the iPhone 13 starting at $699. So they’re really attractive propositions compared to the standard iPhone 14 models. The iPhone 13 Pro duo is also likely to be available on sale, though the iPhone 14 Pro pair offers a little more bang for your buck.
Compact form factor
Solid cameras and video
Solid camera and video experience
5. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4
The Galaxy Z Flip 4 might be for you if you wished Apple offered an iPhone 14 Mini this year. The device has a pocket-friendly clamshell form factor when folded, albeit with a small secondary screen for notifications, calls, and selfies with the main camera. But unfold the device and you’ve got a 6.7-inch screen on offer.
Samsung’s fourth-generation foldable also brings a powerful Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC, an IPX8 water resistance rating, Flex Mode software enhancements to take advantage of the form factor, and five years of updates. It’s not without fault though, as it lacks the S22’s 50MP main camera (sticking with 12MP), while the 3,700mAh battery is still quite small. Nevertheless, this is one of the few choices for a foldable until Apple decides to hop on the bandwagon.
Like the idea of a foldable but want an iPad Mini-style screen? That’s where the Galaxy Z Fold 4 comes in. Expect a smartphone-style form factor when folded and a tablet screen when unfolded. You’re also getting a relatively large battery and versatile camera system, much like Apple’s Pro devices. However, you’ll have to pay $1,800 for this device compared to $999 for the Flip.
Lighter, stronger, and IPX8 rating
Upgraded cameras and battery life
Long-term software support
6. Sony Xperia 1 IV
Sony’s 2022 flagship is another decent iPhone 14 series alternative, especially if you were considering the feature-packed Pro phones. The Xperia 1 IV offers up some noteworthy features of its own, like a 4K/120Hz OLED screen, 3.5mm port, 5,000mAh battery, an IP65/68 design, and wireless charging.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the phone is that it carries a proper variable telephoto camera. This 12MP shooter is capable of natively shooting at any factor between ~3.5x and 5.2x. Otherwise, you’ve also got a 12MP primary camera and a 12MP ultrawide shooter. Toss in features like 4K/120fps slow-mo across all three cameras, pro camera and video apps, and great autofocus and you’ve got a great device for photography enthusiasts.
There are downsides to the device though, such as the inadequate update pledge (two OS updates) and its whopping ~$1,600 price tag. The latter price tag is way higher than base model iPhones and equivalent rival Android devices. This is definitely one for Xperia fans.
7. OnePlus 10 Pro
The OnePlus 10 Pro isn’t the best Pro device ever produced by the company, but it’s still a solid iPhone 14 series alternative if you’re in the US and are craving raw power. Core specs are definitely premium-tier, featuring a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, a 5,000mAh battery, 80W wired charging (or 65W charging in the US), 50W wireless charging, and a QHD+ 120Hz OLED screen.
OnePlus also brings a solid, Hasselblad triple camera system, featuring a 48MP main camera, 50MP ultrawide shooter, and an 8MP 3.3x telephoto snapper. The only major downside here is that the ultrawide sensor is actually a downgrade over the previous generation, featuring inferior image quality and no autofocus (so no macro mode).
At least the Oppo-affiliated brand delivers three OS updates and four years of security patches for the phone. This isn’t the best in the industry but it’s still decent for an Android handset.
iPhone 14 alternatives: Honorable mentions
- Google Pixel 6a ($449 at Amazon): Google’s mid-range phone isn’t that much cheaper than the Pixel 6, but it’s definitely worth considering if you can get it at a discounted price. Expect a relatively powerful chipset, offline voice dictation, Google’s camera smarts, and Pixel-exclusive software features. You’ve also got peace of mind for updates by opting for the Pixel 6a, delivering three years of OS updates and five years of security patches.
- Asus Zenfone 9 ($749 at Amazon): The Zenfone 9 is another device worth keeping in mind if you want a more pocket-friendly proposition. The device packs a 5.9-inch 120Hz OLED screen, Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC, and a 4,300mAh battery. Other noteworthy additions include a 3.5mm port, IP68 rating, and a 50MP main camera with gimbal stabilization tech. In saying so, you miss out on wireless charging and a decent update commitment.
This has been our rundown of the best Apple iPhone alternatives. Are there any devices that you feel should’ve made the list? Let us know by adding a comment below!