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Daily media information 😷😞🤫 Should you buy the cheaper iPhone 14?

Should you buy the cheaper iPhone 14?

It goes without saying that the Pro version of Apple’s latest phone has a better camera – essential if you want to identify the bugs chomping your garden.

John DavidsonColumnist

Picture the most delicious ice-cream you’ve ever eaten. Picture the cone, so crisp it snaps in your mouth or, if you’re more a cup person, so blissfully absent you’ve not a care in the world the ice-cream might topple over or drip into your lap.

Picture the ice-cream in the exact flavour you want, as long as you only want blackcurrant, vanilla, eggplant, tomato or jenipapo.

Now picture this ice-cream without a cherry on top. Or more accurately, picture it without two cherries on top. Either way, it has zero cherries or, indeed, any sort of topping – because only a monster would demand accompaniments to the world’s most delicious dairy product.

The 6.1-inch iPhone 14, left, and the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus. 

What you’ve just pictured, dear reader, is the iPhone 14.

The cone/cup represents the vast array of cases and MagSafe holders and attachments already available for the iPhone 14, far exceeding those for any other phone on the market.

The flavours are obviously the colours.

And the missing cherries are the two features on the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro you will need to live without if you buy the standard iPhone 14: the “Dynamic Island”, an ingenious animated area at the top of the screen that forms the basis of the best notifications area ever to appear on a phone; and a camera system with a 48-megapixel sensor that takes the most detailed photos we’ve seen from a phone.

There are other things the iPhone 14 Pro has that the iPhone 14 lacks, such as extra storage options, an always-on screen that is brighter in sunlight and varies its refresh rate to save batteries or play games, and a faster processor. But they’re not enough to qualify as cherries. At best, they’re sprinkles.

Indeed, the faster processor on the Pro is barely even a sprinkle, or not one you will care about at any rate.

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Benchmarking the iPhone 14 against the iPhone 14 Pro shows the more expensive model to be 7 per cent faster for single-core performance, 14 per cent faster for multi-core performance, and 21 per cent faster for graphics.

So, yes, the Pro is faster, and might even be faster in a way that matters – but for the fact that Apple’s processor performance is so off the charts that even its slowest phone is insanely fast nowadays.

Which flavour of ice-cream, um, iPhone 14 do you fancy? 

Compared with Samsung’s fastest phone, the marvellous Galaxy Z Fold4, the regular iPhone 14 (the one with no cherries on top) is 31 per cent faster for single-core, 15 per cent faster for multi-core and 91 per cent faster for graphics.

So will the speed and performance of the iPhone 14 leave you hankering for the extra sprinkle of the Pro? Most likely no.

What you might hanker for is battery life, in which case the non-Pro version of the iPhone 14 has a cherry of its own. Apple says the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus, which hasn’t been released yet, has the longest battery life of all its phones, meaning that it beats the Pro models on two of the three metrics most people actually care about: price and battery life.

Macro photos taken on the iPhone 14 Pro are sharp and detailed enough to crop right in on even the tiniest insect.

Though I suppose, if you really cared about battery life, you wouldn’t be in the Apple camp in the first place. You’d be looking at Android phones that have double or triple the battery life of iPhones.

As for the third thing that most people care about, the camera: well, this is the one area where it’s hard to recommend the iPhone 14 over the iPhone 14 Pro.

It’s stating the obvious to say that the iPhone 14 Pro has a better camera than the iPhone 14. The whole point of the Pro model is to appeal to people who are serious about their photography and/or videography. But the difference between the camera systems can have an impact in non-obvious ways that might affect you even if you’re not one bit into photography.

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For those of you who don’t have the 20/20 vision required to read fine print or those tiny, low-contrast serial numbers etched into innumerable devices nowadays, the magnifying glass feature in the iPhone 14 Pro is dramatically better than the one on the iPhone 14, for instance.

Both will zoom in to the same extent, but at extreme zooms the iPhone 14 Pro will give you a much steadier image that’s significantly easier to read or photograph. The difference is chalk and cheese. Or, in our analogy, delicious juicy cherries and stale crushed nuts.

In a similar vein, the non-Pro model lacks the Pro camera system’s macro mode, which can come in handy even if you’re not into photography.

I’m not at all interested in photographing insects, for instance, but I do like to identify them so I can control them in my garden. Macro photos taken on the iPhone 14 Pro are sharp and detailed enough to crop right in on even the tiniest insect, to compare with photos on the internet or to send off to an expert.

Macro photos on the regular iPhone 14, on the other hand, well, they don’t really exist. They’re like the cherry that isn’t there, being eaten by a bug that you can’t see.

iPhone 14

  • Likes | Decent camera. Incredible performance. Great range of  accessories.
  • Dislikes | Still has the ugly notch at the top of the screen.
  • Price | $1399 for iPhone 14 with 128 GB of storage, $1579 for 256 GB and $1899 for 512 GB. 

More gadget reviews from John Davidson

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip4 This phone could take your phone usage one of two ways. It could make you use it more or, if you’ve a mind to, it could help you use it less.
  • iPhone 14 This phone will matter to Australians. Only around one third of our continent’s landmass has mobile phone reception, but the new iPhone makes this less of a problem.
  • Synology RT6600ax WiFi-6 router It might look like a monster from Tolkien’s imagination, but in fact this router could save you from the monsters, at home and abroad.
  • Sennheiser Momentum 4 headphones They may stick out like a giant pair of ear muffs, but the technology inside Sennheiser’s latest headphones means they get out of your way and let you get on with life.
  • Samsung S95B OLED TV A decade after LG released its first OLED television, Samsung has finally caught up.

Read More

  • Life & Leisure
  • Review
  • Phones
  • Gadgets
  • Apple
  • Opinion
John DavidsonColumnistJohn Davidson is an award-winning columnist, reviewer, and senior writer based in Sydney and in the Digital Life Laboratories, from where he writes about personal technology. Connect with John on Twitter. Email John at [email protected]

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