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Apple iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13: Is the upgrade worth it?

iPhone 14 vs 13
© Apple, Collage: nextpit

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The iPhone 14 didn't spark as much joy as the iPhone 13 from the moment it was released in 2022. At nextpit, we are seeing an increase in searches for the iPhone 13 variant, so we decided to revamp this comparison of Apple's most recent smartphones. So, which iPhone generation should you choose: the one from 2021 or the one from 2022?

  2022 model 2021 model
Apple iPhone 14
Apple iPhone 13
Display 6.1-inch OLED
1,170 x 2,532 pixels (460 PPI)
60 hertz
6.1-inch OLED
1,170 x 2,532 pixels (460 PPI)
60 hertz
SoC Apple A15 Bionic (5 nm) | Apple GPU with 5 cores Apple A15 Bionic (5 nm) | Apple GPU with 4 cores
Memory 6 GB RAM
128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of storage
128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of storage
Micro SD
Main camera 12 MP | f/1.5 | 26 mm | 1.9 µm | dual pixel autofocus, sensor-shift OIS 12 MP | f/1.6 | 26 mm | 1.7 µm | dual-pixel autofocus, sensor-shift OIS
Ultra-wide angle 12 MP | f/2.4 | 120° | 13 millimeter focal length
3D - -
Video Max: 4K at 60 fps | HDR | Dolby Vision HDR | Cinematic Mode
Selfies 12 MP at 23 mm
Audio Stereo speakers
UWB ✔️
Battery 3,279 mAh 3,227 mAh
Quick-charging Max. 20 watts
Wireless charging Max. 15 watts
Colors Midnight, Polaris, Purple, Blue, (PRODUCT)RED Polaris, Midnight, Blue, Rose,
Dimensions and weight 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.80 mm | 172 g 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65 mm | 173 g
Price (MSRP) From $799 From $699
  • Top performance level despite last year's chip
  • Very high-quality workmanship
  • Improved image and video quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • OLED display with deep black tones
  • Good battery life
  • Good camera quality
  • IP68 certification
  • iOS 15
  • Hardly any innovations
  • Charging takes too long for 2022
  • Screen refresh rate of only 60 Hz
  • Face ID remains cumbersome when using masks
  • Quick charging with only 20 watts
Read the iPhone 14 review
Read the iPhone 13 review
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During its annual product unveiling in September 2022, Apple announced the introduction of the iPhone 14 series. The tech giant incorporated a range of cutting-edge features such as the Dynamic Island into the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models.

Moreover, deciding between the latest iPhone generation and its predecessor was already a tough call at the time of the new release, and it's even more challenging now. The difficulty stems not only from the fact that iPhones tend to retain their value over time but also due to the anticipation of an upcoming new generation.

Upon a detailed examination of the table, one might surmise that the iPhone 14 doesn't represent a substantial update. However, instead of speculating, let's methodically assess whether the iPhone 14 indeed has improvements, and if so, how it outperforms 2021's standard iPhone model.

Table of Contents:

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13: Models and prices

There are four models in the iPhone 14 series: two base models and two Pro models. As you might remember, Apple dropped the 'mini' and introduced an iPhone 14 Plus to the series instead.

So, if you want a mini model, you have to buy the iPhone 13 mini on Apple's website from $599. The iPhone 14 Plus can be found at a starting price of $899.

Apple has increased the price by $100 bucks per device, depending on the storage size. Here is an overview of the prices for the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 13:

Prices at a glance

Model iPhone 14 iPhone 13 Difference
128 GB $799 $699 + $100
256 GB $899 $799 + $100
512 GB $1,099 $999 + $100

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13: Design and display

If you take an iPhone 13 in one hand and an iPhone 14 in the other, you won't be able to tell the difference right away. Both iterations could be twins, so identical are the dimensions and the general design. Height times width remains absolutely identical, but the new iPhone is an incredible 0.25 mm thicker and with 172 grams, also one gram lighter than the predecessor.

Apple iPhone 13 display
iPhone 13 or iPhone 14? Yeah, we can't really see the difference. / © nextpit

There are slight changes in terms of color: Midnight and Aurora Borealis remain, as do (PRODUCT)RED and Blue. The blue looks different, and in addition, we have now rosé and yellow.

The display is even less different than the design. Again, 6.1 inches, again AMOLED with identical resolution, and again only 60 hertz. The "Dynamic Island" of the Pro models is also missing, so you will find the identical notch of the iPhone 13 in the iPhone 14 as well.

Apple iPhone 14 in Yellow
Apple iPhone 14 in yellow. / © nextpit

Apple changed the inner workings of the iPhone 14 to facilitate repairs, which hopefully will also be cheaper. At $169 a pop to repair the glass on the back, for example, the iPhone is much more repairable. If you are rather clumsy with your smartphone, the iPhone 14 might be the better choice for you.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13: Performance

A15 Bionic? We know that too, don't we? Okay, it's actually not a new SoC, but still a change compared to iPhone 13 series. The variant from the iPhone 13 Pro is now used—an identical chipset, but with five instead of four graphics cores.

iPhone 13 gaming
Although slightly less powerful, the A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 13 remains highly competitive in 2023. / © nextpit

The iPhone 14 now has 6 GB of RAM instead of 4 GB, which means better performance with the combination of more RAM and more graphics cores, leaving the iPhone 13 behind in terms of performance. In our benchmark test, the iPhone 14 performed as follows:

  Apple iPhone 14 Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max Asus Zenfone 9 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
3D Mark Wild Life Too powerful Too powerful Too powerful 8611
3D Mark Wild Life Extreme 2431 3362 - -
3D Mark Wild Life Stress Test Best Loop: 9,761
Worst Loop: 8,321
Best Loop: 9,599
Worst Loop: 8,121
Best Loop: 10,524
Worst Loop: 5,617
Best Loop: 10,332
Worst Loop: 5,606
Geekbench 5 Single: 1699
Multiple: 4817
Simple: 1885
Multiple: 5406
Single: 1263
Several: 3899
Single: 1332
Several: 3947

And otherwise? Everything as usual: No microSD slot, still 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB as available storage variants. The iPhone 14 should be a bit faster and offer a bit more graphics performance. Apple has also improved the sensor technology so that the drop detection now also detects car accidents. Furthermore, you can call for help via satellite thanks to "Emergency SOS" when Wi-Fi and mobile Internet fail you.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13: Camera

But now: If not much else has changed, then Apple has certainly made a decent leap forward in its special discipline, photos, hasn't it? At least Apple itself writes on the product page that the iPhone 14 makes a "huge leap for low-light photos". How does Apple explain this leap?

The specs tell us that the main camera is equipped with a ƒ/1.5 aperture instead of the ƒ/1.6 aperture. This should allow the iPhone to capture up to 49% more light.

At the same time, Apple rearranged its image processing process, where the new Photonic Engine works in such a way that the ISP, the Image Signaling Processor, has more raw data available for processing. The advantage should be more noticeable in your photos, especially at night.

Nahaufnahme von der Hauptkamera des iPhone 14
The new flash is supposed to be more consistent depending on which lens you use. / © nextpit

Last but not least, there is an improved front camera which remains at 12 megapixels, but Apple has installed autofocus for the very first time. In reality, as we found out in our review of the iPhone 14, this did not make a massive difference. The reason? The sharp area in photos is very large with such small sensors, even without autofocus. The advantages are more pronounced in the close-up range.

Two exciting benefits for fans of video: There is a new Action mode that Apple offers powerful digital stabilization of video content. There's also an upgrade for Apple's cinema mode. It now works with either 24 or 30 frames per second with 4K resolution. In the video above you can see both upgrades in action!

Apple iPhone 14 image gallery

To check out the iPhone 13 image gallery, you need to access the iPhone 13 review at nextpit.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13: Battery capacity and charging

The battery lasts longer, Apple promises: 20 instead of 19 hours of video playback are possible. The battery capacity of the iPhone 14 has increased slightly to 3,279 mAh compared to 3,227 mAh of the iPhone 13. But does it make a difference in daily use?

In our review, the iPhone 13 was able to sustain a full day's usage, concluding with an additional 25% of battery life. On the other hand, the iPhone 14, thanks to its enhancements, is capable of delivering two full days of battery life.

iPhone 14 supports MagSafe charging as well
Wireless charging has a power of 15 W with MagSafe products and 7.5 W with other products. / © nextpit

The fast charging remains at a maximum of 20 Watts, and wireless charging will continue to be possible with a maximum of 15 watts. Of course, wireless charging via MagSafe or any Qi-compatible charger is possible so you do not have to throw out your older accessories.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13: Which phone should you choose in 2023?

In summary, there are few convincing arguments for dropping $799 on the new iPhone 14 if you already own the predecessor. But if you don't own the iPhone 13, picking one up is advisable since the prices have dropped since the iPhone 14 was released. The iPhone 14 feels the same as the iPhone 13 in everyday use and offers very similar performance in everyday use.

The iPhone 14 will only offer noticeable advantages to those of you who love to record videos with the smartphone. Although the hardware is very similar, the video mode and the 4K Cinematic Mode will probably remain exclusive to the iPhone 14 models.

However, you should also think twice before paying the extra price for one of the new Pro models. For a detailed description of practical use, read our iPhone 14 Pro review and iPhone 14 Pro Max review.

Before we leave you to make the final decision: You can already find all relevant information about the iPhone models available in stores in our major iPhone overview. That way, you can best assess which particular iPhone suits your needs.

Which model are you most likely to choose? Please let us know in the comments!

The iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13 comparison was updated in July 2023 to highlight the differences between the two models.

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Benjamin Lucks

Benjamin Lucks
Product Reviewer

Benjamin works as a freelance journalist and is always on the lookout for special features that make new cell phones, headphones and gadgets interesting for the reader. If he doesn't succeed, he comforts himself by writing short stories and using his digital camera.

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