Apple has generally reserved its biggest and best smartphone experiences for the iPhone Pro Max range. In particular, if you want the largest screen and the longest battery life of any iPhone, you usually have to buy Apple’s high-end device.
This is changing this year with the introduction of the Apple iPhone 14 Plus ($899), a new handset from the iPhone range that offers you the experience of the big screen at a slightly lower price.
Although we think the iPhone 14 Pro Max ($1,099) and its powerful new features are worth the extra money (as well as our Editors’ Choice award), the iPhone 14 Plus is a respectable alternative with only a few drawbacks to a higher budget. friendly price.
Different, but the same
Apple somehow pulled a 180 with the iPhone 14 Plus. In recent years, the iPhone range has included a vanilla model, a miniature version of the vanilla model, then the Pro and Pro Max models. This year, Apple has abandoned the mini, probably due to poor sales, in favor of the Plus, a larger variant of the vanilla iPhone 14 ($799) in the same way that the Pro Max is a larger version of the Pro ($999). Previously, the only way to get the biggest iPhone was to opt for the Pro Max. The 14 Plus offers big iPhone lovers a more affordable option.
Practical PCMag logo with the Apple iPhone 14 range
The iPhone 14 Plus measures 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.31 inches and weighs 7.16 ounces.
It is noticeably larger than the iPhone 14 (5.78 by 2.82 by 0.31 inches, 6.07 ounces), but roughly equal with the iPhone 14 Pro Max in terms of dimensions (6.33 by 3.05 by 0.31 inches) if not weight (8.47 ounces).
Competing devices in this category include the Google Pixel 6 Pro (6.45 x 2.99 x 0.35 inches) and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches).
Apple iPhone 14 Plus Back Panel
Despite being a brand new iPhone, the 14 Plus shares every element of its design with existing family members. Apple’s hardware is the best on the market.
The company’s Ceramic Shield protects the screen and is installed in a flat aluminum frame along the side edges.
Similar phones from Google and Samsung rely on Corning Gorilla Glass Victus for their protection. The iPhone 14 Plus complies with the IP68 standard for protection against dust and water. It can withstand submersion or a dripping tap if you get it dirty.
You can choose from Blue, Midnight, Purple, (Product) Red or Starlight, the same colors available for the smallest iPhone 14.
Apple sent us the Purple model, and we have to say that it is the most subtle version of purple that we have ever seen – most of the time the phone appears as white.
According to iFixit, the iPhone 14 Plus is more repairable than the Pro range thanks to a new interior design and a removable back panel.
Apple iPhone 14 Plus in hand
Using an iPhone is simple thanks to the simple layout of the controls.
The power/screen lock combo button is perched on the right edge, while the volume buttons and the ring switch are on the left.
The proprietary and dated Lightning port is centered on the bottom, between round holes drilled for the mic and the bottom-triggered speaker.
Now that the EU has officially mandated that devices adopt USB-C by 2024, it is likely that next year’s iPhone will switch to the most common connector for charging.
Apple iPhone 14 Plus view from the left side
The entire range of American iPhone 14 models does not have a physical SIM card tray, including the 14 Plus. US buyers will have to activate the integrated eSIM via the operator of their choice and use software to move the service from one phone to another. International buyers will still be able to grab an iPhone 14 Plus with a physical SIM card.
Finally, without a fingerprint reader, you have to rely on Apple’s Face ID to secure the phone, which is fast most of the time. Only the iPhone SE ($429) retains a physical fingerprint reader.
A big screen at a low price
Okay, maybe spending $899 on an iPhone 14 Plus doesn’t necessarily count as a “budget” purchase, but the 6.7-inch screen of the 14 Plus matches the size of the 14 Pro Max screen for $200 less.
Apple iPhone 14 Plus Screen
The Super Retina XDR OLED contains 2,778 x 1,284 pixels, for a density of 458ppi. It offers a contrast ratio of two million to one with a brightness of 800 nits (typical) and a peak of 1,200 nits (HDR). It is incredibly sharp and bright, with excellent color and tone.
I had no problem seeing the screen outside during the day.
As with the smaller iPhone 14, the screen refresh rate is stuck at 60 Hz. The 14 Pro and Pro Max offer variable refresh rates that range from 1 Hz to save energy to 120 Hz for extra-smooth performance.
Most importantly, many competing Android devices in this price range (including the Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G and Moto Edge) have adopted screens at 90 Hz, 120 Hz and even 144 Hz. Apple should have used faster screens for the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, although we know