December 9, 2023

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I’ve been testing Apple’s new $899 iPhone 14 Plus for the past several days, which arrives in stores on Friday. Without spending $1,099 for the Pro model, and without the best battery life ever on an iPhone, it has the biggest screen you can get on an iPhone.

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The iPhone 14 Plus is great for those who just want a bigger screen and don’t mind missing out on the Pro and Pro Max’s new features, such as Dynamic Island and Always-On Display.

But most buyers have been flocking to the regular iPhone 14 for the Pro model until now.

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Analysts at Bank of America issued a rare downgrade in Apple stock last week and cut their price targets on “weak consumer demand” and the prospect of a sluggish iPhone cycle as consumers slow spending. The bank suggested that there is a strong mix of Pro model purchases so far, but that revenue and profit will not decline if Apple sells fewer units overall.

And analysts at JPMorgan said in a note dated October 3, which compared shipment times across iPhone models, that price-sensitive customers are choosing the iPhone 13 instead of the more expensive iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.

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

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

iPhone 14 Plus: What’s Good

The big screen is the main attraction here. And, if you’re like me, you’ll dig a large display in your pocket for reading, movies, gaming, and more. It’s otherwise the same screen as the regular iPhone 14. I noticed that blacks were nice and deep and colors popped while streaming YouTube videos.

You can see more on a page, such as the website you’re browsing, or store more apps on your homepage. And it helps if you want to see more as you increase the text size, which can be convenient for those who like or want larger text.

The iPhone 14 Plus is 1.31 ounces lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the difference felt significant when I carried it around.

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

There is also a new front camera with autofocus for selfies. This means that your selfies will appear sharper and more in focus than on the iPhone 13.

Apple rolled out new safety features on all iPhone 14 models, including crash detection and emergency SOS via satellite, the latter of which will be available in November. I didn’t get into a car accident to test it though Many reports have already shown The feature works. Both security features are not available on iPhone 13.

iPhone 14 Plus: What’s Worse

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

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

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

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I’m disappointed that all iPhone 14s still have a Lightning port instead of USB-C. I wasn’t expecting Apple to switch, but it would really only be useful to carry the same USB-C charger I use to power MacBooks and iPads.

should you buy it?

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

Correction: This article has been updated to correct the weight of the iPhone 14 Plus,