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Should you upgrade to iPhone 14? Read our guide and find out

Is the iPhone 14 worth it? Dive into our comparison and decide for yourself

Published onJune 9, 2023

Apple iPhone 14 back on stone
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Every year there’s a new iPhone, and every year users ask themselves the same question of whether they should upgrade their device. The iPhone 14 is the latest in Apple’s illustrious line of smartphones, and it certainly offers its share of enhancements, but is it a game changer? After all, the measure of a true upgrade is not merely in novelty but in significant, tangible benefits that justify the investment. So is the juice worth the squeeze? We’ll compare the iPhone 14 with its predecessors, all the way back to the iPhone 8, to help you decide whether the iPhone 14 presents a compelling improvement over your current model. It might also be worth considering the best iPhone 14 alternatives if you can look outside iOS.

iPhone 13 series vs iPhone 14

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

New features of the iPhone 14 include car-crash detection, an end to physical SIM cards for US models, and the primary camera sports a faster sensor and larger aperture than the iPhone 13‘s primary shooter. But that’s about it. These changes aren’t profound enough to necessitate an upgrade from the iPhone 13 series.

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus has retained the smaller notch from the 13 series and carry the A15 Bionic chip from the 13 Pro models. The screens are virtually identical to their predecessors, except the iPhone 14 Plus, which introduces a 6.7-inch display without the Pro Max price tag.

We advise holding off on the upgrade if you own an iPhone 13 or 13 Pro. However, if you are set on upgrading, consider the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, which offer noticeable enhancements, including a high-refresh-rate display, the new Dynamic Island multitasking feature, and an always-on display. Still, iPhone 13 series users have no compelling reason to jump shit yet.

iPhone 12 series vs iPhone 14

iphone 12 iphone 13 iphone 14 placed on a black mat
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Although the iPhone 14 boasts some fresh features, it’s more a refurbishment than a revolutionary leap from the iPhone 12 series released in 2020. Both phone generations support 5G, fast processors, quality cameras, and MagSafe accessories. The iPhone 14 introduces notable enhancements, upgraded cameras, and a smooth video recording action mode. Yet, the 2-year-old iPhone 12 cameras, including the Pro’s three-lens system, remain highly capable. Given these minimal upgrades won’t make much difference in everyday use, if your iPhone 12 is in good shape, consider sticking with it and updating to iOS 16 to enjoy the latest software features.

But if you’re itching for an upgrade, the iPhone 14 Pro models offer more substantial camera upgrades, including a larger 48MP main and an ultrawide camera and telephoto lens. In a nutshell, the iPhone 14 doesn’t provide a significant enough leap from the iPhone 12 to warrant an upgrade, but the Pro model, with its versatile camera rig, can be a worthwhile step up with a good trade-in value.

iPhone 11 series vs iPhone 14

iphone 11 rear 2

Here’s where the upgrade becomes worth it. For iPhone 11 users, stepping up to the iPhone 14, or even the iPhone 13, would offer noticeable upgrades due to improvements made over the last few years in battery life, performance, screen quality, camera capabilities, and durability. You’ll also gain 5G support, more storage (128GB vs 64GB), enhanced cameras, new video modes like Action and Cinematic, and compatibility with MagSafe accessories.

The enhanced battery life and performance will be the most beneficial in everyday use, and combined with all the other bells and whistles, such as the new 48-megapixel primary camera, closer 3x optical zoom, and the Dynamic Island replacing the notch, the iPhone 14 series offers substantial improvements to justify an upgrade from the iPhone 11. Although, if your current device is serving you well, updating to iOS 16 and retaining it is also a viable option.

iPhone XS/XR series vs iPhone 14

The iPhone XS.

If you’re still hanging onto your iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR, now over four years old, upgrading to the iPhone 14 offers many enticing benefits. The iPhone 14 grants you a significant battery life extension, up to six extra hours, as per Apple’s claims, alongside other technological improvements.

You’ll gain 5G connectivity, twice the storage space (128GB vs 64GB), faster performance, and a superior camera system. The XS series missed out on features like Night Mode and Deep Fusion, which enhance low-light photography. Furthermore, the front camera on the iPhone 14 boasts a larger 12-megapixel sensor, improving on the 7-megapixel one in the XS models. Adding an ultrawide lens is another advantage if you are coming from the iPhone  XR.

The iPhone 14’s screen, at 6.1 inches, offers more screen real estate than the 5.8-inch iPhone XS and matches the size of the XR, while the design aesthetics have been revamped, imparting a more contemporary look and feel. In summary, if you own an iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR, upgrading to the iPhone 14 promises a noticeable enhancement in areas such as camera quality, battery life, and overall performance.

iPhone X vs iPhone 14

Still holding onto your iPhone X after more than five years? Then the iPhone 14 presents itself as a major step up, offering significant improvements in performance, battery life, design, durability, connectivity, and camera quality.

The iPhone X’s performance is anchored by the now antiquated A11 Bionic chip, which is substantially outpaced by the A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14, and the even newer A16 Bionic chip in the Pro models. Camera capabilities have also advanced considerably, with the iPhone X missing out on critical features like Night Mode, Deep Fusion, and more detailed control over depth-of-field in Portrait mode, which the iPhone 14 offers. The front camera is upgraded from 7MP in the iPhone X to a 12MP sensor in the newer models.

Furthermore, the iPhone 14 boasts a longer battery life, with an estimated 20-hour video playback capacity compared to the iPhone X’s 13 hours. It also offers a more extensive, brighter display, support for Dolby Atmos and spatial audio playback, as well as other perks including car-crash detection, emergency SOS messaging via satellite, improved water resistance, 5G support, additional storage space, Ceramic Shield for the display, a refreshed design, and compatibility with MagSafe accessories.

In conclusion, it’s high time to upgrade if you’re an iPhone X user. The iPhone 14 brings a noticeable leap forward in nearly every aspect, delivering an enhanced modern experience.

iPhone 8 series vs iPhone 14

A shot of the iPhone 8 Plus Camera taking a shot of an audio speaker.

If you’re still using an iPhone 8 or 8 Plus, the iPhone 14 presents a significant upgrade. You’ll witness remarkable processing power, camera technology, storage capacity, and battery life improvements. Moreover, the shift to 5G and MagSafe accessories compatibility adds to the appeal.

The iPhone 14 brings a significant design overhaul from the iPhone 8, featuring an edge-to-edge screen, which replaces Touch ID with Face ID, significantly enhancing the screen real estate and user experience. However, if you’re attached to Touch ID, the iPhone SE (2022) offers a contemporary alternative, bringing in new technology while retaining a similar body to the iPhone 8.

The iPhone 14’s display is larger and more vibrant, delivering a superior viewing experience. The 14 Pro features the new Dynamic Island, transforming the notch area into an informative space for alerts, system notifications, and background app status. So, if you’re an iPhone 8 user, the leap to iPhone 14 is vast and promises a comprehensive upgrade. Still, if the iPhone 8’s design holds a special place in your heart, the iPhone SE (2022) is worth a look.


It depends on the model you’re currently using. If you’re using an iPhone 8, X series, or earlier, the upgrade would be significant and worth considering. The iPhone 14 features improved cameras, battery life, and performance but isn’t a drastic upgrade from the iPhone 13 or iPhone 12.

Generally, the iPhone 14 is not a substantial upgrade from the iPhone 13. The changes are minor and may not justify the cost for many users. However, if you’re interested in specific features, like the car-crash detection, you might find it worth the upgrade.

Yes, especially if you’re a fan of larger displays. The iPhone 14 Plus offers a 6.7-inch screen like the Pro Max series. If you want the giant screen without splurging on the highest-tier models, it’s a solid choice.

The iPhone 14 is a good phone, maintaining Apple’s reputation for quality and innovation. It has a powerful A15 Bionic chip, enhanced cameras, and new features like car crash detection. However, if you expect a significant change from the iPhone 13, you might find it falls short.

The iPhone 14 still retains the notch, unlike the Pro models that introduce the new Dynamic Island. Additionally, it doesn’t offer significant upgrades from its predecessor, iPhone 13, and lacks the always-on display and high-refresh-rate screen only available in the Pro models.

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