With Apple finally having shown off the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro lineups, it’s also time for many people to start asking themselves the question: Which one of these shiny new iPhones should I get for myself? Well, we’re going to try and answer that question now, and we’ll be looking at two of these new iPhones in particular: the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 14 Pro.
Why these two in particular? Well for starters, they’re the two middle children of the new iPhone range, and yet offer very different things. You’re going to have to choose between features like a larger display and longer battery life, or better cameras and a more powerful processor. They’re also much closer in price; with the demise of the iPhone Mini, the iPhone 14 Plus moves the base iPhones much closer to their Pro stablemates than before. So to help you make your pick, here’s a quick rundown of what these two similar yet different devices offer.
1. Design and display
While the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are nearly indistinguishable from last year’s iPhone 13, when placed side by side with the iPhone 14 Pro you could be forgiven for thinking they’re from different years altogether. Let’s first look at the iPhone 14 Plus. It packs a 6.7-inch, Super Retina XDR display with a 1284 x 2778p resolution. The screen also features HDR support with Haptic Touch, a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio and has a typical max brightness of 800nits with a HDR peak brightness of 1,200nits.
As for the iPhone 14 Pro, it is a smaller, 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with a 1179 x 2556p resolution, along with the same HDR support, 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio with Haptic Touch too. There are some upgrades over the iPhone 14 Plus though, most notably the new Dynamic Island that integrates the cutout into the UI, making it a place where notifications, widgets and more can be placed on the display. There’s also ProMotion which allows for a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, as well as a higher 1,000nits of typical max brightness, a peak HDR brightness of 1,600nits and a new 2,000nits of peak brightness outdoors too.
Maybe it’s the courage, but Apple has taken the unprecedented move of keeping their new non-Pro iPhone 14 devices running on last year’s processor. Sure, it is technically the A15 Bionic that was in the iPhone 13 Pro, but it’s still last year’s silicon. It packs a 6-core CPU, a 5-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine too.
The iPhone 14 Pro meanwhile has the shiny new A16 Bionic. On paper, it too has a 6-core CPU, a 5-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine, but being fabbed on the newer 4nm process means improved power efficiency over the older A15 Bionic. Apple is claiming an improved performance in gaming too. Packing over 16 billion transistors, the A16 Bionic is, in Cupertino’s words, ‘generations ahead’ of its rivals and is up to 40% faster than the competition. If you absolutely must have the latest and greatest, then you’re almost surely going to want the new iPhone 14 Pro.
Just like everything else so far, the iPhone 14 Plus is looking at mostly subtle tweaks and upgrades in the camera department. There’s a 12MP, f/1.5 main camera on the rear, which is supposedly packing a larger sensor compared to the iPhone 13, and you’ll get all the regular features such as Cinematic Mode, Sensor Shift and Deep Fusion, along with some new stuff like Photonic Engine that improves low light shots by up to 49% along with Action Mode that offers much improved video stabilisation. Tagging along for the ride is a mostly unchanged 12MP, f/2.4 ultrawide shooter and a slightly upgraded 12MP, f/2.2 TrueDepth front camera that now features autofocus and support for Cinematic Mode at up to 4K HDR 30fps.
If you’re looking at using your new smartphone for photography and videography though, the iPhone 14 Pro is a near hands-down winner in this regard. For starters, it features one of the biggest upgrades Apple has made to the iPhone camera system in years, bumping the main camera to a 48MP, f/1.78 shooter with a 24mm focal length that can also take 48mm 2x telephoto shots. The 65% larger sensor also now has pixel-binning technology to produce 12MP photos, though the full 48MP is available if you shoot in Apple ProRAW.
Next to that new main camera is a 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide camera and a 12MP, f/2.8 telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. You’ll find the same slew of photography and videography features here too, including Macro Mode, Sensor Shift, Cinematic Mode as well as the aforementioned Photonic Engine and Action Mode. Housed in the Dynamic Island cutout meanwhile is a 12MP, f/1.9 TrueDepth front camera.
4. Battery life
In typical Apple fashion, there’s no specific battery capacity numbers on show here but they have given us an expected battery life. Being the larger device, the iPhone 14 Plus finally has its first win here, with an estimated battery life of up to 26 hours of video playback. Apple even calls it the longest battery life ever seen on a non-Pro iPhone. The iPhone 14 Pro meanwhile still comes close, with up to 23 hours of video playback. Both devices will be able to charge up to 30minutes using a 20W charger (that’s not found in the box), and both feature MagSafe wireless charging too.
As we covered prior to this, even though Apple did not raise starting prices for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, the same cannot be said in Malaysia. Furthermore, with the iPhone 14 Plus replacing the iPhone Mini, it now finds itself sitting in between the base model iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Pro in terms of pricing. Specifically, here’s how much each device will set you back:
- iPhone 14 Plus 128GB – RM4,699
- iPhone 14 Plus 256GB – RM5,199
- iPhone 14 Plus 512GB – RM6,199
- iPhone 14 Pro 128GB – RM5,299
- iPhone 14 Pro 256GB – RM5,799
- iPhone 14 Pro 512GB – RM6,799
- iPhone 14 Pro 1TB – RM7,799
While not exactly priced against each other, if you had a budget close to RM5,000, you’re looking at a choice between the 256GB iPhone 14 Plus or the 128GB iPhone 14 Pro. But as always, before you pick either one, you’re going to need to ask yourself what do you actually want in a smartphone.
If you mostly want a large screen iPhone with a long battery life, with no need for its plethora of Pro-grade camera features or its high refresh rate display, the iPhone 14 Plus certainly looks like the better—and cheaper—option for you. On the other hand, if you’re a power user who knows how to get the best out of your smartphone, want the best cameras on your device and would like to have the 120Hz ProMotion display, the iPhone 14 Pro is perhaps what you might lean to instead. Or, if all you want is to
Let’s also not forget the base iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. If all you want is the cheapest new iPhone available to enter the Apple ecosystem, or maybe you just want a solid compact iPhone, the iPhone 14 is still a great smartphone. Alternatively, you could even consider last year’s iPhone 13 too. On the other hand, if you want the absolute best of both the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 14 Pro, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the obvious answer—assuming you have the budget of course, as the iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at a whopping RM5,799, rising to an astronomical RM8,299 for the 1TB option.
And the end of the day, if you really do want one of Apple’s new iPhones, you’re going to want to ask yourself a couple of questions first, such as what features do you want, what features do you actually need, and what your budget is. That last part is perhaps the most important part—always remember to spend within your budget and not fall into debt just to have one of these new iPhones in your pocket.
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