iPhone 14 Buyer's Guide

iPhone 14 Buyer's Guide

Whether you've used an Apple® iPhone for years or are considering crossing over from Android, the iPhone 14 has something for everyone. This lineup, released in fall 2022, includes two standard models and two Pro models, all packed with high-end features and the full Apple experience. With the new Apple® iPhone specs, we got plenty of new features, such as Crash Detection, an advanced camera system and the Dynamic Island.

We'll walk you through the most important iPhone 14 info in our comprehensive buyer's guide.

iPhone 14 Display Options

We'll kick off our Apple® iPhone 14 review with the display, an area where the tech giant made some big moves. Like its predecessors, the Apple® iPhone 14 lineup includes a few varieties. You can choose one of the lower-priced standard models — the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus — or one of the more robust Pro models — the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The 14 and 14 Pro offer 6.1-inch screens, while the iPhone 14 Plus and 14 Pro Max have 6.7-inch screens. The iPhone 14 screen size measurements come from the diagonal distance across the display. Although the iPhone 13 lineup included a smaller 13 mini, Apple did away with that model for the iPhone 14. The smallest and cheapest phone is now the standard iPhone 14.

Both standard and Pro models have a Super Retina Extreme Dynamic Range organic light-emitting diode display — but that's a mouthful, so most people call it the Super Retina XDR OLED display. It uses Apple's unique screen technology to create a stunning image with deeper blacks, brighter whites and vivid colors. It has an ultra-high contrast ratio and supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 standards.

Other features you'll find in both models include:

  • True Tone display: Apple's True Tone technology uses your phone's camera to measure the light in the environment and adjust the display accordingly. For example, it can help if you're trying to read your phone on a bright, sunny day or in a dark room. True Tone offers support in these environments with a less-reflective display and color modifications that help you see the screen colors more accurately.
  • Haptic Touch: Haptic Touch enables different types of “clicks” depending on how hard or soft you press the screen. A light tap might open an app, but a harder press will open up a new menu with different options. The lock screen, for example, has a flashlight icon. To prevent you from turning it on accidentally, turning on the flashlight requires a harder press.

Upgrading to the 14 Pro or Pro Max will give you many new display features, including the exciting Dynamic Island. The Dynamic Island is Apple's approach to eliminating the controversial "notch" in the screen. In other models, the notch dips in from the top of the screen to house the front-facing camera and other components. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max replaced the notch with a pill-shaped cutout.

The new shape isn't particularly exciting on its own, but Apple turned it into something new by changing how the screen adapts to the cutout. The Dynamic Island can change its shape and content based on your actions. If you play music, for instance, it can show you album art, while a long press will open up quick controls. It also shows animations for tasks like using Face ID to log into an app.

The iPhone 14 Pro specs also include the following display features:

  • ProMotion technology: ProMotion is Apple's adaptive refresh rate technology. A refresh rate reflects how many times your phone screen updates each second, with higher numbers offering a smoother experience. However, higher values also use more power, but an adaptive refresh rate can adjust according to your activity. Your phone might ramp up the rate while you're playing a game and reduce it when you're scrolling social media to save battery. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max support refresh rates of up to 120 hertz (Hz).
  • Always-On display: With the help of ProMotion's ultra-low refresh rates, the iPhone 14 Pro models also get an Always-On display. Instead of turning the display off completely when you aren't using your phone, this feature dims the background, leaving only a few important elements lit up, such as the time. ProMotion lets iPhones keep the screen lit up without draining the battery.
  • More brightness: The iPhone 14 Pro is the brightest phone on the market, offering a peak brightness of 2,000 nits and a more typical brightness of 1,600 nits. Many other flagship smartphones max out below 1,000 nits, and the standard iPhone 14 offers 1,200 nits. A brighter screen is crucial for seeing the display in sunny conditions and powering features like high dynamic range (HDR).

All in all, Apple made some dramatic updates to the 2022 iPhones.

iPhone 14 Designs

Apple has mostly perfected its phone design, so don't expect any major changes here. All iPhone 14 models have the same squared-off corners as their predecessors. They also have a Ceramic Shield front to prevent chips and scratches and an IP68 rating that offers some protection when submerged up to 6 meters underwater for up to 30 minutes.

The standard models have shiny glass backs and frames made of aerospace-grade aluminum. A glass back can be a magnet for fingerprints, but the phone comes in many lighter colors, which can help hide smudges over dark colors. The standard iPhone 14 comes in blue, purple, yellow, Midnight, Starlight and (PRODUCT)RED.

Pro models have a more rugged build, with stainless steel frames and matte glass backings. Although they come in darker colors, the matte coating helps them resist smudges more easily. Choose from gold, silver, Space Black or the new Deep Purple. The Pro iPhones are heavier than the standard versions due to the upgraded camera and other hardware components. Otherwise, they feel very similar.

Here are the iPhone 14 sizes:

  • iPhone 14: The standard 14 is 5.78 inches tall, 2.82 inches wide and .31 inches deep. It weighs 6.07 ounces.
  • iPhone 14 Plus: The iPhone 14 Plus is sized at 6.33 inches tall, 3.07 inches wide and .31 inches deep. It weighs in at 7.16 ounces.
  • iPhone 14 Pro: The smallest of the Pro models has almost the same dimensions as the iPhone 14. It's slightly taller at 5.81 inches and a hair wider at 2.81 inches. It weighs 7.27 ounces.
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: The biggest and heaviest iPhone 14 is the Pro Max. It is 6.33 inches tall, 3.05 inches wide and .31 inches deep. It weighs in at a whopping 8.47 ounces.


All of the iPhone 14 models feel great in your hands and offer exceptional durability. They also include Apple's MagSafe system. It adds a strong magnetic ring to the back of the phone to attach to chargers and other accessories.


iPhone 14 Battery and Performance

All iPhone 14 models offer excellent battery life and lightning-fast performance. The Pro models have the advantage, with more space for big batteries and an upgraded processor, but everyday users likely won't notice a difference. You can charge both models wirelessly or via a lightning-to-USB cable.

Both standard and Pro iPhone 14 varieties get a 16-core Neural Engine, which supports machine learning applications in the phone. For example, it helps power Cinematic mode and Live Text, which lets you take a picture of text and interact with it on your phone. You might use it to scan a URL from a pamphlet or translate text on a road sign from another language.

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus feature the speedy A15 Bionic processor, which is similar to the one used in the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. It's plenty fast and can support multiple apps and demanding use. The 14 offers up to 20 hours of video playback and 80 hours of audio playback and can charge up to 50% in 30 minutes. The 14 Plus can give you up to 26 hours of video playback and 100 hours of audio playback. It can charge up to 50% in 35 minutes.

Moving up to the Pro models will get you Apple's newer processor, the A16 Bionic. Its benchmark scores blow other phones out of the water, making it one of the fastest-performing chips by far. You might appreciate this speedy processor if you use demanding apps like video editors and games.

When it comes to battery life, you can expect up to 23 hours of video playback and up to 75 hours of audio playback on the Pro, with 30-minute fast charging. The Pro Max offers up to 29 hours of video playback and 95 hours of audio playback. Its fast-charge option takes 35 minutes.

iPhone 14 Storage Options

The iPhone 14 specs include the same storage capacity as the iPhone 13. Both the standard and Pro models start at 128 gigabytes (GB) of storage and offer 256GB and 512GB varieties. If you want as much storage space as possible, you'll need the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which comes in a 1 terabyte (TB) option.

The 128GB option is good for people who primarily use cloud storage or don't save very many photos, videos or files. Those who take a lot of photos and videos will likely need a higher storage tier. The 1TB option can be especially appealing for these users.

If you're used to Androids, know that iPhones do not offer expandable storage. That means you cannot add extra space by inserting a microSD card. If you want more storage later, you'll need to use a cloud service, such as iCloud or Google Photos, to upload your data over the internet.

iPhone 14 Camera and Video Recording

Smartphone photographers flock to Apple for its stellar camera systems, and the tech giant carried on the tradition with the iPhone 14 lineup. This year's biggest upgrades include the new Photonic Engine and upgraded sensors. The Photonic Engine is a powerful new piece of tech that uses machine learning to improve photos, especially those shot in low lighting. It can increase detail while preserving textures and colors.

Other new iPhone 14 features in both standard and Pro models include autofocus on the front-facing cameras and Action mode, which stabilizes shaky shots for ultra smooth video.

In all iPhone 14 models, you'll also get attractive features from earlier iPhones, like:

  • Portrait mode
  • Night mode
  • Photographic Styles
  • Slo-mo and time-lapse video recording
  • Cinematic mode
  • 4K, 1080p and HDR video recording with Dolby Vision for up to 60 frames per second (fps)

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus models have dual camera systems with 12-megapixel (MP) Main and Ultra Wide lenses. They offer optical zoom at .5x and 1x. This system is similar to the one in the iPhone 13, although the newer phones have an improved sensor to let in more light in dim environments.

If you move to the Pro, you'll get a much more sophisticated camera, ideal for casual and experienced smartphone photographers and videographers. Apple has traditionally avoided high-megapixel sensors, instead opting for 12MP cameras and capable processing technology. With the 14 Pro, the company made its first jump to a 48MP camera, with a sensor 65% larger than the one on the 13 Pro. It uses smart pixel-binning technology that behaves more like a 12MP sensor in certain situations but uses the full 48MP resolution when it makes sense.

Advanced photographers can use Apple's ProRAW capabilities to shoot with the full 48MP resolution. This bigger lens is used in the Main camera, but you'll also get 12MP Ultra Wide and 12MP Telephoto cameras that offer .5, 1x, 2x and 3x optical zoom.

The Pro models have some additional features that make them stand out from the standard phones, including:

  • More advanced optical image stabilization
  • Night mode portraits
  • Macro photography and video
  • ProRes video recording
  • Larger sensors on the Wide and Ultra Wide lenses

You'll also find a light detection and ranging (LiDAR) scanner in the iPhone 14 Pros. LiDAR scanners help your phone map out the environment. They support various features, like augmented reality and Night mode portraits.

Whichever model you choose, you can expect Apple's beloved camera systems to offer stunning photos and videos.

iPhone 14 Connectivity

One important thing to know about the iPhone 14 is that it uses eSIM cards instead of traditional SIM cards. A SIM card lets your phone carrier identify your device and link it up with their service. Phones conventionally use physical SIM cards, which are small cards that slide into a slot in the phone. An eSIM is embedded in your phone and replaces the physical cards.

Many people use eSIMs for travel and business purposes. For example, you can store extra eSIM cards to send calls and texts from a work number and seamlessly switch back to a personal one. Apple is one of the first companies to have eSIM-only phones in the US, so you may need to confirm your cell service provider supports eSIM devices.

Apple also made some connectivity changes to its emergency services. Emergency SOS can now use a satellite connection to call for help, which lets you use the tool even if you're off the grid. Previously, you needed to use your cellular data plan to activate this feature, so being in a rural or remote area could be troublesome.

Like most flagship phones, you'll get fast 5G connections in the iPhone 14 lineup, including sub-6 GHz and mmWave networks. Support for these networks can help you get the fastest service possible wherever it's available.


Finding the Best iPhone for You

Now that you've seen the pros and cons in this iPhone 14 guide, you can choose the model that fits you best. Still, there are many small differences, so you must consider factors like your typical usage, budget and preferences. Here are some of our top iPhone 14 picks for different users.


What's the Best Budget iPhone 14?

If your biggest concern is the price, the standard iPhone 14 offers plenty of bang for your buck. It might be the cheapest option, retailing for $799, but it still gives you a fantastic piece of tech. It offers the full Apple experience, including high-performing software and coveted features. The 14 has a comfortable size and weight and offers plenty of power for most everyday users. Even though you're looking for a cost-effective phone, the iPhone 14 feels anything but cheap.

Remember, you can save big on any iPhone model by buying used. For example, you can snag a used iPhone 14 for less than $500, making it even more affordable.


What's the Best iPhone 14 for the Everyday User?

The iPhone 14 or 14 Plus would be a great choice if you lack any specific requirements for your next smartphone. Both offer solid all-around performance without a high price tag. They have updated Apple tech, an impressive camera system and some of the fastest processor chips available.

The 14 is the smaller of the two, which can make it a good fit if you don't want an extra-big screen. If you prefer more screen real estate, try the 14 Plus. It also offers more battery life.


What's the Best iPhone 14 for Someone on the Go?

If you're constantly on the move, you probably want a phone that lasts all day and then some. Try the iPhone 14 Pro Max or the iPhone 14 Plus, with specs that support all-day use. Since these have larger 6.7-inch screens, they have more room for big batteries.

Frequent travelers might want a good camera to help capture their adventures. The Pro Max can help here, too, with its upgraded camera system and 1TB storage option. Any of the iPhone 14 models will give you satellite emergency SOS, so you can be more confident in off-grid activities like road trips and hiking.

The iPhone 14 Plus price is the cheaper of the two, but the Pro Max is the most expensive model. Since they're the same size, comparing the iPhone 14 Plus vs. Pro Max comes down to what Pro features you think you'll want.

What's the Best iPhone 14 for Power Users?

For all the bells and whistles, head to the Pro options. Either the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max will give you Apple's latest and greatest features, like Pro cameras, the Dynamic Island and an ultra-bright screen. They also feature the faster A16 Bionic chip, so you know you're getting the best internal system to support demanding tasks. Gamers, editors and other power users often appreciate this extra oomph.


Save on the iPhone 14 at Gazelle

Once you've decided which phone to get, you've got the hardest decision out of the way. Then, you just need to choose how you'll buy your new iPhone. For the most affordable and environmentally friendly option, try buying used. If you head to the used and refurbished market, you can save big while doing your part for the planet.

Gazelle has an extensive selection of used iPhones to help you get the right one at an affordable price. Every listing goes through a 30-point inspection, and we provide transparent descriptions with any issues listed upfront. You can choose from phones in fair, good and excellent cosmetic conditions to fit your budget and preferences.

Buy with confidence thanks to our free standard shipping and 30-day return policy. Ready to make the switch?

Shop our used iPhone 14 models today!

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