iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 First impressions: bigger screen, but not much else has changed

It seems that the iPhone 13 Pro Max was the second most popular of all its siblings in the past year, despite the price being the highest. Now Apple is targeting those who want a bigger screen but don’t need (or don’t want to pay for) all the premium features of the Pro models. The new iPhone 14 Plus is a definite upsell, intended to entice iPhone buyers and upgraders to spend a little more than they might otherwise have. Android phones with screens larger than 5.5 inches now make up more than 50 percent of the market in some countries, so it makes sense for Apple to hit lower price points with a large phone. This is one of the ways Apple has lagged behind the Android world, going back to the iPhone 5.

iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus price in India

Apple launched the iPhone 14 last year for the same price as the iPhone 13 (Review), which is unusual as the iPhone 14 Pro siblings have gone up in price and other models have just undergone price corrections as well, thanks to international exchange rate changes. You pay Rs. 79,900 for 128 GB storage, Rs. 89,900 for 256 GB or Rs. 1,09,900 for 512GB. The iPhone 14 Plus costs Rs. 10,000 more per tier, so prices follow the same pattern: Rs. 89,900, Rs. 99,900 and Rs. respectively 1,19,900.

There is no replacement for the iPhone 13 mini, but given that not much has changed between generations and the fact that a price reduction has now been implemented, it still serves the same audience. iPhones usually get software updates for more than five years and this way, entry-level buyers and those who just want something small because they’re used to older phones are still happy.

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The new purple color option is subtle and soft, but will stand out

iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus: What’s New?

We’re at a point where smartphone manufacturers can’t do much to make them feel fresh and exciting. The iPhone 14 is a skillfully iterative step beyond the iPhone 13, but it doesn’t break new ground and won’t push anyone to buy it. On the other hand, the iPhone 14 Plus represents a brand new offering and if you can afford it, you might be tempted to upgrade.

The most appealing aspect of the iPhone 14 Plus to me is the fact that it’s a lot lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, at 203 grams compared to 240 grams. If you were put off by how bulky and unwieldy the flagship models are, you might find this new option a pleasant middle ground. The iPhone 14 remains one of the lightest in its class and is easy to handle.

What’s also interesting is that the iPhone 14 Plus promises the best battery life of any iPhone ever. It can outperform its premium siblings in this regard thanks to its less demanding display and different hardware.

The camera system has been improved, with a larger sensor and f/1.5 aperture for the new 12-megapixel main camera. The biggest news is that the front camera now supports autofocus, so you can get more creative with self-portraits. Low-light performance is said to be at least twice as good for all cameras, and it was already great with the iPhone 13 series. Between the camera hardware, processor and iOS is a new set of capabilities that Apple calls its “Photonic Engine.” This basically means that HDR processing, which combines details from multiple exposures to create the final shot you see, is now happening much earlier in the capture and processing pipeline. By working with uncompressed data, Apple says locking focus is faster, colors are more lifelike, and detail is significantly improved. Action Mode is a new video stabilization option that uses the sensor area outside the frame of what you’re shooting and then crops each frame to compensate for movement, achieving results that Apple claims are comparable to using a gimbal.

Crash detection is a new feature based on the more advanced accelerometer and gyroscope that all iPhones of this generation have. It can detect sudden delay and recognize sounds, triggering an emergency call and your trusted contacts to get you help if needed. Satellite-based emergency text messaging is currently limited to the US and Canada, and also uses Apple’s hardware and software to locate satellites without a bulky antenna. It’s extremely slow and limited in functionality, but can be a lifesaver if you’re ever stranded without cellular network coverage. It will be a paid service, but we don’t know the cost yet, and the first two years are free.

The Starlight and Midnight color options remain from last year and there is a much brighter (Product) Red option. This year’s new colors are a light denim blue and a very faint lilac purple.

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The bigger iPhone 14 Plus (right) gives Apple a new way to compete with today’s mainstream Android phones

iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus: what you don’t get

Apple believes that last year’s core hardware is still good enough for the latest iPhones. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus do it with the A15 Bionic SoC, although it’s the slightly more capable version last year’s Pro models had, with one extra GPU core, so there’s still a bit of an upgrade. This is the first time Apple has stratified its Pro and non-Pro models with completely different SoCs – this could be because of supply chain and manufacturing issues, or it could be a sign that we’ve really reached a point of diminishing returns in terms of performance. of CPU power for phones.

One big disappointment is that the 120Hz ProMotion display feature hasn’t trickled down from last year’s Pro models to this year’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. The resolution, brightness and color options are exactly the same as last year. Of course, you don’t get the cool new Dynamic Island functionality or always-on display either. Apple has also reserved its 48-megapixel main camera sensor and second-generation sensor shift stabilization for the premium models.

In the US, you don’t get a SIM tray at all, as Apple is now going all-in on eSIMs. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it’s likely Android manufacturers will follow suit. Besides being slightly thicker, the physical design of the iPhone 14 is almost identical to that of the iPhone 13 with a glass back, ceramic front and aluminum frame. There are no new durability claims, no MagSafe improvement or wired charging speed, and no USB Type-C port.

The iPhone 14 Plus is likely to sell well just because it’s a larger iPhone that isn’t as expensive as the Pro Max models. However, the vanilla iPhone 14 will likely have a smaller audience, largely because it doesn’t offer anything significant new.

Disclosure: Apple sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel stays for the Cupertino launch event.

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