iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Plus: key differences

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iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Plus: key differences


The iPhone 14 series is now yesteryears' news — since the iPhone 15 family launched. But, as usual, Apple keeps the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus in the roster, to sell as cheaper options to the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.

The iPhone 14 era brought about some changes to the Apple smartphone line. For one, it killed the mini form factor. Secondly, it widened the gap between what makes a Pro iPhone versus a non-Pro. So, in the "more affordable" corner, we now have an iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.

The iPhone 14 Plus is quite the curious launch — it's as big as the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but not as taxing on the wallet. It was the first time ever you could buy a large-screened iPhone without paying the full Pro Max money. Since it's a non-Pro model, it is a regular iPhone 14 at heart — no triple camera, no processor upgrade, no 120 Hz ProMotion.

But it still costs $100 more than the regular iPhone 14. Is that uptick worth in, considering they are basically the same phone? Let's investigate!

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Plus in a nutshell:
  • Normal sized vs plus-sized iPhone (6.1- vs 6.7-inch screens)
  • Same design language and colors
  • Battery life is better on the Plus thanks to a larger battery

Table of Contents:

Apple iPhone 14

Apple iPhone 14

The Good

  • Improved low-light photos, color balance, and dynamic range
  • Faster graphics subsystem and connectivity options
  • Bright display
  • Good battery life
  • Much cheaper to repair

The Bad

  • Too wide of a specs and performance gap with the iPhone 14 Pro
  • Display calibration is lacking
  • The new penta-core GPU is a battery hog
  • Slow charging
Apple iPhone 14 Plus

Apple iPhone 14 Plus

The Good

  • Huge display
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Great performance
  • Powerful sound

The Bad

  • Same old design with a notch, no Dynamic Island here
  • 60Hz display refresh rate
  • No always-on display
  • Still feels a bit too expensive

Design and Display Quality

Same screens, but one is smoother

At the very basic level, these two are fundamentally the same phone. The Plus is just... big. The iPhone 14 has a 6.1-inch screen, while the Plus has a 6.7-incher. These are stretched out in the 19.5:9 aspect ratio and mirror the shape and proportions of an iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. PPI figures are pretty much identical — 460 and 458 pixels per inch, respectively. So is their peak HDR brightness level of 1200 nits and typical brightness of 800 nits.

We honestly find the iPhone 14 to be big enough for most needs and cases and can rarely find a reason or excuse to pick up the Plus instead. Though, some users out there that do extensive gaming or movie-binging may find the 6.7" display slightly more comfortable, and the increase in battery size a huge plus — more on that later.

No Pro Motion on any of these phones — both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus stay at 60Hz refresh rate, which is one of the things that Apple reserves to keep them feeling "cheaper" than their Pro siblings. Both are protected by Apple's Ceramic Shield cover glass.

You will see the good old notch on both devices — admittedly, it's now smaller since the iPhone 13 series slimmed it out. Of course, this is there to house the array of Face ID sensors and the selfie camera. Apple's face unlocking has become incredibly quick and reliable over the years, and we find it easy to unlock the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus with just a glance. They even support facial scans when you are wearing a face mask.

Flat aluminum frame on the sides and glossy glass backs is what we see again for the base iPhone 14 models. Both versions are, of course, IP68 water- and dust-resistant, as is customary, and will have the Lightning port for charging and data transfer — possibly for the last time.

On the back, we see the square-shaped camera module on both phones. Though, the non-Pro iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus only have dual lenses back there — one wide-angle and one ultra-wide angle camera for each.

The non-Pro iPhones also come in vibrant and fun colors, which sometimes make them more desirable than the "boring" Pro colors — at least to some crowds. The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are available in five colors: Midnight (black), purple, Starlight (creme white), (PRODUCT)RED, and blue.

So, for all intents and purposes, we are looking at identical iPhones. It's just that one is... bigger. The iPhone 14 Plus is here to scratch the itch of those that wanted the Pro Max size but didn't want to pay Pro Max money.

We have to say, for most people, the size of the regular iPhone 14 will feel just right — it offers plenty of room for thumb typing and viewing content on its 6.1 screen is very much comfortable. The 6.7-inch diagonal of the Plus offers that extra oomph for those that prefer to game on their phone or overly indulge in prolonged Netflix binges. Be sure to get a kickstand, if that's the case!

As for contents in the boxes, inside you'll find an iPhone and a USB-C to Lightning cable. Nothing more, nothing less (hopefully).

Performance and Software

Same chips, a worse deal?

Some might be concerned by Apple's decision to equip the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus with an Apple A15 Bionic — that is the 2021 iPhone SoC. Indeed, this is the first time ever for Apple to launch a new generation of iPhones with a previous year's chip. However, Apple claims its A15 Bionic is still better than anything its Android competitors have to offer. 

Naturally, with the same chips as last year, we expect the same performance — save for an 18% bump in graphics performance, as the iPhone 14's chip uses a 5-core GPU instead of a quad-core one. Between the 14 and the 14 Plus, we did get slightly better results in the test from the small phone. But we can definitely spot that the larger one has better thermal management, no doubt thanks to its size — it scored higher in the final stages of the 3D Mark WildLife Extreme stress test, compared to the regular iPhone 14.

Performance benchmarks:

Geekbench 5 SingleHigher is better
Apple iPhone 141733
Apple iPhone 14 Plus1677
Geekbench 5 MultiHigher is better
Apple iPhone 144648
Apple iPhone 14 Plus4415
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 143018
Apple iPhone 14 Plus2817
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 142115
Apple iPhone 14 Plus2244

By the way, the iPhone 14 Pro models do get a new A16 SoC, which is more powerful and more efficient.

Both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus probably come with 6 GB of RAM. Naturally, this is plenty enough for them to run iOS — Apple's extremely efficient operating system, which employs background freezes to keep the phones running snappy.

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Unsurprisingly, iOS 17 runs great on these phones — smooth, snappy, and responsive. Despite the 60 Hz screens, iPhones feel very fluid when operating. Though, when you switch to the 120 Hz ProMotion screen of a Pro, it requires some getting used to when going back.

A curious addition to the iPhone 14 lineup is satellite connectivity. This is a feature meant to be used in cases of emergency, allowing you to call for help even when cellular coverage is not available. The feature is coming in November for the US and Canada, and will be available on both iPhone 14 and Plus, as well as the Pros.

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An upgraded 12MP dual-cam system

While the iPhone 14 Pro models sport a brand-new, 48 MP sensor for their main cameras, the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus stay in the past. Once again, we see 12 MP sensors for the wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle cameras of the lower-tier iPhones. And yes, the 14 and 14 Plus come with identical cameras and identical image processing, so no differences to be found here.

Video Thumbnail

Audio Quality and Haptics

The speakers on iPhones have been pretty good in the past years — they've been getting better and better ever since we got the stereo setup with the iPhone 7 series. In the iPhone 13 series, the Pro Max sounds the best — no doubt because the huge body allows for better acoustics inside.

The story repeats itself here — the iPhone 14 sounds great, the iPhone 14 Plus sounds ever so slightly better. Considering these are... well, phones, they do offer a good amount of audible bass, and lots of clarity in the highs. Apple sticks to a slightly V-shaped EQ curve on these speakers, but we wouldn't say there are a lot of details lost in the mids. It's just that the iPhones can sound a tad shrill at full volume.

Battery Life and Charging

Can the Plus max out?

The iPhone 13 Pro Max shocked us with massive battery endurance numbers. Thanks to the huge chassis of the phone, we got a big battery (by iPhone standards) and great thermal management, which no doubt helped in that.

In the case of iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Plus, we have respective capacities of 3,279 mAh and 4,325 mAh. And here's how they handled our battery tests:

Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 148h 35 min
Apple iPhone 14 Plus10h 53 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 1415h 23 min
Apple iPhone 14 Plus14h 51 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 146h 44 min
Apple iPhone 14 Plus8h 18 min

Yep, that iPhone 14 Plus can reach some impressive endurance numbers. When we are not torturing it with benchmarks, it can truly be a 2-day phone. Though, the regular iPhone 14 is not lagging far behind. We'd say that both these devices have very dependable battery performance.

Specs Comparison

You can get a full view of the iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Plus specs and features in our comparison page.

Summary and Final Verdict

While we feel that the iPhone 14 is the right size for most people — making the good compromise between a screen that is big enough on a device that's not too much to handle, the iPhone 14 Plus will definitely have its niche. It's meant for the small subset of fans that demand that larger battery and probably enjoy a ton of media on their smartphone — be it gaming or video.

Surely, devout Apple Arcade and Apple TV+ subscribers will find value in the large-screened iPhone 14 Plus that doesn't cost as much as a Pro Max. If you don't see yourself as someone who spends a ton of time staring at a phone screen, you will most probably be just fine with the iPhone 14 and its more easily pocketable size.

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