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Apple iPhone 14 Plus review: Big is beautiful!

Apple iPhone 14 Plus 10
© NextPit

Apple is bringing back the Plus models for its popular iPhones! The iPhone 6 Plus's 5.5-inch screen now measures a whopping 6.7 inches in the iPhone 14 Plus. In our review, we will tell you what other advantages the new Plus model has to offer and how the gigantic display behaves in everyday use. Proudly presented by: A fan of the iPhone 13 mini!

Rating

Good

  • Great display for movies & games
  • Very good battery life
  • Action mode and 4K cinema mode
  • Useful extension of the iPhone catalog

Bad

  • 60-hertz display looks antiquated
  • Pro models offer significantly more
  • Satellite emergency call only for the USA
  • Charging takes too long for 2022

Apple iPhone 14 Plus release date and price

Unlike the iPhone 14, which revealed only a few innovations in my test, the Plus model is a very good addition to the iPhone lineup. After all, fans of large phones will no longer have to reach for the Pro Max model in 2022. However, those who are looking for a really modern and exciting phone from Apple will not get around this year's Pro models. Most of the real innovations are reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The iPhone 14 Plus has been available in stores since October 8. Compared to the basic model, you only have to pay a surcharge of 100 USD for the 14 Plus. That sounds quite fair and is roughly the same price as the rival Galaxy S22 Plus, which was released at the beginning of the year. Finally, you will have to pay $899 for 128 GB of storage - 256 GB for $999 and 512 GB for $1199.

Design & Display

Apple's new Plus model has a 6.7-inch display, which makes it a massive 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.8 millimeters. With a weight of 203 grams, it is almost 40 grams lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple relies on high-quality OLED panels for the display, but the content is refreshed at 60 hertz.

Das Display des iPhone 14 Plus.
Too bad: The display only offers a refresh rate of 60 hertz. / © NextPit

What I liked:

  • Great display for media content and mobile games.
  • Very high-quality build quality.
  • Very good speakers.

What I disliked:

  • Low refresh rate of 60 hertz.
  • Still with a notch.

Fans of phones with large displays (or does anyone else say "phablets"? 😉) finally get a cheaper alternative to the iPhone 14 Pro Max with the Plus model. The display is just under 6.7 inches like in the Pro Max model, but Apple still does without Pro Motion. Thus, screen contents are rendered with only 60 hertz, which really looks outdated in 2022. At the same time, Apple only turns its notch into a "Dynamic Island" in the Pro models, the base models go with the tried-and-tested notch.

Apart from these drawbacks, the display of the iPhone 14 Plus is wonderfully suitable for media and mobile games. The maximum brightness of 1,200 nits for HDR content and 600 nits for regular content is sufficient to ensure readability in direct sunlight. With a higher resolution compared to the base model, exactly 2,778 x 1,284 pixels, the Plus model offers a similar pixel density of 458 PPI. Single pixels are thus not visible in everyday use.

An-Knopf des Apple iPhone 14 Plus.
The on-switch is nice and big and offers a good pressure point. / © NextPit

Apart from the display, Apple maintains its usual high level of build quality. Although the Plus model consists of two large glass elements, nothing creaks or wobbles on the case. In addition, there is a high-quality vibration motor, which you can finally use while typing in iOS 16, and powerful dual speakers.

Apple iPhone 14 Plus software

The iPhone 14 Plus runs iOS 16, Apple's latest operating system. Besides a pretty and intuitive interface, you will also benefit from long-term update support. Even though Apple does not give exact forecasts, a provision of more than five years of security and OS updates is likely.


What I liked:

  • iOS 16 with all new features pre-installed.
  • Long update policy.
  • New accident detection.

What I disliked:

  • Satellite connectivity only available in the USA and Canada.

If you are interested in Apple's iPhones for the first time, I recommend our big overview of iOS 16. There you will find all models that get the update, get a lot of information about the latest features, and much more.

Since we have already gone into detail about iOS 16 in our review of the iPhone 14 as well as in our reviews of the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, I will keep it short here. Personally, I like iOS 16 very much - especially since I use a MacBook Air for work and private use. The software integration in Apple's ecosystem is second to none. For example, have you ever made a phone call with your laptop?

However, it is still a shame that Apple only allows users in the USA and Canada to call for help via satellite in emergency situations. However, the new accident or roller coaster detection (little joke) including the emergency call feature is also available here.

Performance: Same same, not different

The iPhone 14 Plus uses the A15 Bionic from the predecessor series. As in the basic model, you get an additional GPU core that provides more graphics performance. The performance level is thus on par with the previous Pro models, which is more than enough for everyday use, as is typical for Apple.


What I liked:

  • High-performance level in everyday use.
  • Hardly any thermal throttling.

What I disliked:

  • Same performance as predecessor models.
  • New A16 Bionic remains Pro-exclusive.

Since I already commented on the performance in detail in my review of the iPhone 14, I'll keep it short. The iPhone 14 Plus cuts a really good figure in everyday use. Loading times in iOS 16 are hardly present, mobile games run without noticeable warming with the highest graphics settings and the processing of pictures and videos is hardly noticeable in most cases. Only the display slows down the smooth iOS experience.

Ben, der mit dem iPhone 14 Plus telefoniert.
The call quality of the iPhone 14 Plus is very good. / © NextPit

Nevertheless, in my opinion, we have to criticize Apple for sticking to the SoC of the predecessor models in 2022 breaking the tradition of a new processor with a new generation. If you buy an iPhone 14 Plus for at least $899, you have to be satisfied with last year's hardware. That is a bland aftertaste, but it is not as severe in the Plus model. The combination of the A15 Bionic and the large display is otherwise only found in the iPhone 13 Pro Max—which was discontinued and is usually found for a higher price.

Apart from graphics and CPU performance, the iPhone 14 Plus offers the latest wireless standards. Among them are Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, ultra-wideband for the exact tracking of AirTags (see review), and a modem that can communicate with satellites in exceptional situations. As already mentioned, the feature is, however, exclusive to the USA and Canada according to the current status.

Camera: Focus on video

On the back of the iPhone 14 Plus you will find a dual camera, each with a resolution of 12 megapixels. In addition to a fast main camera with an enlarged sensor and an f/1.5 aperture, there is an ultra-wide-angle camera without autofocus. The Plus model now takes selfies with autofocus and 12 megapixels.

Dual-Kamera des iPhone 14 Plus.
The dual camera is the same as in the iPhone 14. / © NextPit

What I liked:

  • Overall good picture quality.
  • Cool action mode.
  • Cinema mode now in 4K.

What I disliked:

  • Still without a telephoto camera.
  • Pro models offer more.

Apple has equipped the cameras in its base iPhone 14 models with larger sensors and faster lenses. However, you do not see a real quality advantage compared to the photos of the predecessor series. Thus, you will achieve very good results during the day, both with the main camera and the ultra-wide-angle camera. Apple's night photos in the non-pro models look too artificial in my opinion, though. In the following gallery, you'll find a selection of photos that I took with the iPhone 14 Plus.

Apple made a big announcement during the keynote in September about the new front camera, which now offers autofocus. That sounds very sensible at first, but it does not make too much of a difference in practice. Due to the small sensors in the front camera, the depth of field is so high that almost everything in the picture is sharp anyway. However, the quality of the selfies is good overall.

Besides the minor technical upgrades, Apple integrates some new software tricks in its latest iPhones. For example, the pretty cinema mode now works in 4K. You can also stabilize shaky videos thanks to the action mode. You can see what this looks like in a video that I recorded with the iPhone 14.

In 2022, however, Apple will move its Pro models even further away from the basic models. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max offer new main cameras with 48 megapixels, RAW recording options, and dedicated telephoto cameras. Thus, users who attach particular importance to high-quality photos and videos will hardly be able to avoid the Pro models this year.

Apple iPhone 14 Plus battery

As a large iPhone, the new Plus model also has a large battery! Apple states a video playback of up to 26 hours, but there are no official details about the installed battery. The iPhone 14 Plus is still charged via Lightning, MagSafe, and wireless Qi chargers.

Der Lightning-Anschluss des iPhone 14 Plus.
The Lightning port of the iPhone 14 Plus. / © NextPit

What I liked:

  • Very decent battery life.
  • MagSafe compatible.

What I disliked:

  • No improvements in quick charging.
  • Still with Lightning connector.

If you need an iPhone with a particularly long battery life, you always had to reach for the Pro Max model in the past. With the iPhone 14 Plus, there is now finally a cheaper iPhone long-runner again. According to the manufacturer, the playback time for videos is a whopping 26 hours—mind you, that means the playback of offline content.

In everyday use, the iPhone 14 Plus has an extremely relaxed charging cycle of about one and a half days. With a bit of care when it comes to saving power, you can certainly squeeze out two days when traveling, for example.

Die Lautstärkewippen des iPhone 14 Plus.
Apple's typical button layout can also be found here. / © NextPit

While the iPhone 14 Plus shines in terms of battery life, the charging options are less impressive. According to the manufacturer, the Plus model can be half charged in 30 minutes via the optional quick charger. Other manufacturers offer much more—the argument that Apple saves the battery in this way is no longer valid in 2022.

You can continue to use your existing MagSafe chargers wirelessly, or simply use wireless chargers compatible with the Qi standard.

Apple iPhone 14 Plus technical specifications

  Basic model 2022 Plus model
Device
Price from $799 from $899
Image Apple iPhone 14 product image Apple iPhone 14 Plus product image
Colors
  • Midnight, Purple, Starlight, (PRODUCT)RED, Blue
Display
  • 6.1 inch Super Retina XDR OLED
  • 2532 x 1170 pixels
  • 1200 nits
  • True Tone
  • Notch
  • 6.7 inch Super Retina XDR OLED
  • 2778 x 1284 pixels
  • 1200 nits
  • True Tone
  • Notch
SoC
  • Apple A15 Bionic (5 nm)
  • 6-core CPU
  • 5-core GPU
  • Neural Engine (16 cores)
Memory
  • 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB
microSD
  • not available
Main camera
  • 12 MP | f1.5 aperture | 1.9 µm pixels | sensor-shift OIS
Ultra-wide-angle
  • 12 MP | f/2.4 aperture | 13 mm focal length | 120° FOV
Telephoto lens
  • not available
Video
  • 4K at 24/30/60 fps (rear)
  • 1080p at 30/60/120/240 fps (selfie).
  • Action mode
Selfie
  • 12 MP | f/1.9 aperture | autofocus
Audio
  • Stereo
Battery life
  • Video playback: 20 hours
  • Video (streaming): 16 hours
  • Audio playback: 80 hours
  • Video playback: 26 hours
  • Video (streaming): 20 hours
  • Audio playback: 100 hours
Fast charging
  • 20 W (cable)
  • 15 W (MagSafe)
  • 7.5 W (Qi)
Ruggedness
  • IP68
  • Ceramic Shield, aluminum frame
Connectivity
  • eSIM, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, UWB, satellite
Price from $799 from $899

Final verdict

In 2022, Apple could close an important gap in the iPhone lineup. After all, fans of large phones have spent the last few years standing dreamily in front of store shelves where the expensive Pro Max model was on display. Now, with the iPhone 14 Plus, there is once again an "affordable" model that puts a large display and long battery life ahead of a small form factor. Given the sales problems of the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini models, Apple seems to be responding to the needs of its customers here.

Das iPhone 14 Plus.
The iPhone 14 Plus! / © NextPit

Apple does not really make any mistakes with the revival of the Plus models. Because you don't have to make any compromises with the Plus model compared to the iPhone 14. On the contrary: if you have large hands and roomy pockets, you'll buy the model with the longer battery life, better display, and better sound. However, Apple also inherits the drawbacks of its base iPhone in 2022.

The refresh rate of 60 hertz, the processor from last year, and the lack of innovation, compared to the Pro models, make this year's iPhone models rather unexciting for enthusiasts. If you want a modern phone from Apple, you have to accept the surcharge for the Pro models. Furthermore, the iPhone 13 Pro Max with significantly better cameras is not much more expensive than the Plus.

Confusing? Then we compare all current Apple smartphones for you in our big iPhone comparison!

NextPit receives a commission for purchases made via the marked links. This has no influence on the editorial content and there are no costs for you. You can find out more about how we make money on our transparency page.
Benjamin Lucks

Benjamin Lucks

Ben has been working in tech journalism since 2018, was a freelancer in the middle of the CoVid-crisis and has been full-time at NextPit since November '20. Since then he has tries to find the right mix between professional competence, humor and fresh perspectives in reviews and texts.

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