Big screen and better iPhone battery life

Play videos on iPhone 14 Plus.

Sophia Pitt

I’ve been testing Apple’s new $899 iPhone 14 Plus, which hits stores on Friday, for the past few days. It has the biggest screen you can get on an iPhone without paying $1,099 for the Pro model, and the best battery life on an iPhone.

The iPhone 14 Plus is great for people who just want a bigger screen and don’t mind missing out on the new Pro and Pro Max features like Dynamic Island and always-on display.

But most buyers seem to have flocked to the Pro models over the regular iPhone 14 so far.

Analysts at Bank of America issued a rare downgrade on Apple stock last week and cut its price target on “weaker consumer demand” and the possibility of a subdued iPhone cycle as consumers slow spending. The bank suggested that while there has been a stronger mix of Pro model purchases so far, that won’t offset the drop in revenue and profits if Apple sells fewer units overall.

iPhone 14 Plus.

Sophia Pitt

And JPMorgan analysts said in an Oct. 3 note that compared shipping times between iPhone models that price-sensitive customers are choosing the iPhone 13 over the more expensive iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.

But you shouldn’t just write off the iPhone 14 Plus. It’s a good choice for those who just want a big screen and don’t want to spend $200 more on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. And it has great battery life and improved cameras in a lightweight package.

Here’s what you need to know about the iPhone 14 Plus.

iPhone 14 Plus: What’s good

Apple unveiled four new iPhones, three new Apple Watches and an updated AirPods Pro during a press event on Wednesday in Cupertino, California, United States on September 7, 2022.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The big screen is the highlight here. And, if you’re like me, you’ll dig having a bigger screen in your pocket for reading, movies, games, and more. It’s otherwise the same screen as the regular iPhone 14. I noticed blacks were nice and deep and colors popped when streaming YouTube videos.

You can see more on a page, such as a website you’re browsing, or save more apps to your home page. And this helps if you want to see more while increasing the text size, which can be handy for those who prefer or need larger text.

iPhone 14 Plus.

Sophia Pitt

The iPhone 14 Plus is just 0.11 ounces lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which has the same screen size, but the difference was noticeable when I was carrying it.

The iPhone 14 Plus is 1.31 ounces lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and the difference was noticeable when I was carrying it around.

Apple says the iPhone 14 Plus has “the best battery life ever on an iPhone,” which just refers to general day-to-day use. Battery life was excellent in my tests. I was able to stream YouTube videos for more than 19 hours before the phone died, which is in line with Apple’s claim of 20 hours of continuous video playback. Apple also promises up to 100 hours of audio playback, which is longer than any other iPhone.

The cameras are also stable. While you don’t have the telephoto or really sharp main cameras that you’ll find on the iPhone 14 Pro models, you still have an improved 12-megapixel main camera that took good photos, including clearer and brighter photos at night when there weren’t many lights.

Photo of iPhone 14 Plus in night mode.

Sophia Pitt

There’s also a new front-facing camera with autofocus for selfies. This means your selfies will look sharper and more focused than the iPhone 13.

iPhone 14 Plus selfies.

Sophia Pitt

Apple introduced new safety features to all iPhone 14 models, including collision detection and emergency SOS via satellite, the latter of which will be available in November. I haven’t been in a car crash to test it, although many reports have already shown that the feature works. Both security features are not available on iPhone 13.

iPhone 14 Plus.

Sophia Pitt

iPhone 14 Plus: What a shame

Despite its size, the iPhone 14 Plus is a relatively small update over last year’s iPhone 13. You’ll see more of an upgrade from the Pro models. These phones have always-on displays that can display notifications even when your phone is idle, and they feature Dynamic Island, which makes better use of the notch at the top of the display. Dynamic Island can display things like album art for the music you’re playing, for example, and will soon offer other features like live sports scores at the top of your screen.

iPhone 14 Plus home screen.

Sophia Pitt

If you’re looking for a camera upgrade, you’ll notice a difference if you’re upgrading from an iPhone 12, but it’s hard to see a significant difference if you’re switching from the 13 to the 14 Plus, other than autofocus on the front-facing selfie camera.

The iPhone 14 Plus uses the same A15 chip as the iPhone 13, but with an additional graphics processing core for improved gaming performance. I didn’t notice any difference when I played the game “Diablo: Immortal” on both phones.

I’m disappointed that all iPhone 14s still have a Lightning port instead of USB-C. I didn’t expect Apple to change, but it would be very useful to just carry the same USB-C charger I use to power a MacBook and an iPad.

iPhone 14 Plus.

Sophia Pitt

Should you buy it?

The iPhone 14 Plus is a great buy for those who just want an iPhone with a bigger screen and don’t want or need the features in the Pro models. At $899, the $100 premium over the standard iPhone 14 is worth it for the bigger screen and better battery life. But you probably don’t need to upgrade from the iPhone 13 for this.

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