iPhone 14 Plus review roundup: Bigger is better

iPhone 14 Plus review roundup: Bigger is better

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Why iPhone 14 Plus is delayed until October
The iPhone 14 Plus delivers a large screen with a lengthy battery life.
Photo: Apple

Early reviews of the iPhone 14 Plus praise its long battery life and large display. There are also positive comments on the camera and the smartphone’s weight.

Apple’s first 6.7-inch non-Pro handset reaches store shelves on Friday.

iPhone 14 Plus combines merges two other Apple models

The iPhone 14 Plus is not a direct successor to any earlier iOS device. Its 6.7-inch display and other features make it a combination of the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

It was unveiled along with Apple’s other new handsets in September, but was delayed until October 7.

6.7-inch iPhone that’s not a Pro

The upcoming model has (mostly) the same screen as the 2021 Pro Max. That means a resolution of 2,778 by 1,284-pixels at 458 ppi.

Obviously, the Plus includes a larger, higher resolution display than the 6.1-inch iPhone 14. “Images look just as sharp on this screen — they’re just, you know, bigger, and you can see more emails or parts of a webpage before you need to start scrolling,” says The Verge review.

And Cnet says, “Another way to think about the 14 Plus’ screen is that it can show everything the iPhone 14 can, just larger. A magnified view seems like such a mundane feature, yet as my eyes get older, I definitely welcome it.”

The display is more than just big. “I noticed blacks were nice and deep and colors popped while streaming YouTube videos,” notes the CNBC reviewer.

Unlike the iPhone 14 Pro Max, it doesn’t come with the Dynamic Island, instead sticking with the traditional static peninsula (aka the notch). The iPhone 14 Plus screen also does not come equipped with Apple’s ProMotion technology, so the refresh rate tops out at 60 Hz. And this is not an always-on display.

A long time between charges

Larger screen make room for big batteries. And Apple’s new Plus model turns that into a lengthy battery life.

“A lot of device makers talk about making handsets that can last multiple days, but in my experience, the iPhone 14 Plus is one of the few that actually delivers,” says Engadget‘s reviewer.

“In terms of battery life, the iPhone 14 Plus easily made it through a day and a half on a single charge,” says Cnet.

“If you’d rather have an iPhone with the best possible battery life than an iPhone with the very newest features, then the iPhone 14 Plus is the one for you,” comments The Verge.

Less weight than you expect

Generally, a disadvantage of large handsets is weight. But iPhone 14 Plus reviewers commented on how light it felt.

“Despite the 14 Plus and 14 Pro Max being roughly the same size, there is a big difference in terms of weight. The 14 Plus is 36 grams lighter than the 14 Pro Max, and the discrepancy is instantly noticeable,” says Cnet.

“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,” says CNBC.

Better cameras than iPhone 13

iPhone 14 Plus offers better cameras than iPhone 13
The iPhone 14 Plus handles low-light photography than its predecessors.
Photo: Apple

The cameras in the iPhone 14 series got an upgrade, too. Its 12 megapixel main camera has a larger sensor and larger pixels at 1.9 microns It has a faster ƒ/1.5 aperture and sensor-shift optical image stabilization. There’s a new Action mode for smoother-looking video, and the flash is 10% brighter.

And the front-facing camera has an ƒ/1.9 aperture that enables better low-light performance.

The Verge found “better low-light performance, especially from the ultrawide and selfie cam, even though the hardware isn’t exactly new or special.”

New Non-Pro features

The Plus includes some features that might have been reserved for the Pro models. There’s crash detection, and any iPhone 14 model in the U.S. or Canada can exchange text messages with emergency responders by contacting satellites in low-Earth orbit. SOS by Satellite will be free for two years, and available anywhere there’s an open view of the sky.

None of the reviewers tested either of these on the Plus.

iPhone 14 Plus: A welcome upgrade

Based on these hands-on reviews, the iPhone 14 Plus is for shoppers looking for Apple’s largest screen and a lengthy battery life at a lower price than the Pro models.

“If you own an iPhone XS Max or older and are only interested in having a bigger screen, you will be blown away by the iPhone 14 Plus,” says Cnet.

And CNBC says, “It’s a good option for folks who just want a big screen and don’t want to spend $200 more for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.”

The iPhone 14 Plus starts at $899. As noted, that’s $200 below the cost of the Pro Max. On the other hand, it’s $100 more than the smaller iPhone 14 Pro.

The Plus can be preordered now on the Apple online store. At this point it is slightly backordered so an order placed October 6 won’t arrive before Oct. 12.

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