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iPhone 14 vs. Earlier iPhones: Are Older Models Better Value For Money?

  • Apple released the iPhone 14 on September 7, 2022, but a lot of users are still confused about upgrading to the new iPhone 14
  • The reviews about the new model are not too exciting, as the iPhone 14 series is not too different than the iPhone 13 series
  • Most experts suggest waiting till the iPhone 15 comes out if you have a recent model, like the iPhone 13 or iPhone 12

Ever since Apple released the iPhone 14, users have been wondering whether they should upgrade to the recent model. The iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, and iPhone 14 Pro are all available to order. But should you upgrade to the iPhone 14? The answer depends on which iPhone model you own right now. If it is a more recent model like the iPhone 12 or 13, it’s better to wait till Apple releases the iPhone 15.

However, if you own an older model, like the iPhone XR or iPhone 7, it’s probably the right time to buy an iPhone 13. The primary reason for upgrading to the iPhone 13 instead of 14 is that the latter only brings modest improvements that are not game-changing. You can get most of the features included in the iPhone 14 for a much lesser price in a used iPhone 13 without compromising quality.

Why do slightly older iPhone models offer better value for money right now? We’ve explained that below in detail.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max, 13 Pro, and 13

With the iPhone 14, you get a few new features, like removing the physical SIM card (in US phones), enhanced camera features, support for satellite-based emergency messaging, and car crash detection.

While these upgrades sound fancy, they aren’t really. In most cases, users won’t even need to use the last two features under normal circumstances. The other upgrades are relatively minimal to justify upgrading from the iPhone 13 to iPhone 14.

The iPhone 14 series features some of the most minimal year-over-year upgrades in Apple’s history. For instance, the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus still feature a notch that debuted in the iPhone 13 series. So, it doesn’t sound fair to upgrade from more recent models, like the iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Another major drawback of upgrading from the iPhone 13 to the iPhone 14 is the A15 Bionic chip. Previously, Apple always introduced a new lineup with a new chip, but not this year. The 2022 iPhone features the A15 Bionic chip from last year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro.

As far as the iPhone 14 screen is concerned, it looks exactly like the one on the iPhone 13. In terms of screen size, the most prominent upgrade is the introduction of a larger version of the iPhone: the iPhone 14 Plus. It features a 6.7-inch screen like the Pro Max model, so you don’t have to buy the most expensive iPhone to get the largest screen.

The Bottom Line 

If you have a new or used iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, or iPhone 13, you don’t need to upgrade. You should save up and skip the upgrade to buy the iPhone 15.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 12 Pro and 12

Despite releasing two years ago, the iPhone 12 still holds true to its brand name with its advanced features. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 12 feature powerful processors, support 5G, have excellent cameras, and include MagSafe accessory compatibility.

If you want to access the iPhone’s latest software features, you can easily do that with your iPhone 12. Since iPhone 12 is compatible with iOS 16, you don’t need to upgrade to a whole other model to enjoy these features, like widgets and lock screen customization.

As far as iPhone 14 colors are concerned, you won’t get a significant change from iPhone 12 Pro colors. They both come in three similar colors, including Silver, Gold, and Graphite/Space Black. However, the iPhone 12’s Pacific Blue is replaced with the iPhone 14’s Deep Purple.

If you’re wondering about the difference between iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, check out our detailed comparison.

The Bottom Line

Compared to the iPhone 12 series, the iPhone 14 is a refresh instead of a significant upgrade. So, if your iPhone 12 is in good condition, you should keep holding on to it until Apple releases a new model.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro, and 11

For iPhone 11 users, it may be time for an upgrade. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they must upgrade to the latest model. There are two entire iPhone series to upgrade to besides the new iPhone 14. They can easily find a used iPhone 12 Pro or refurbished iPhone 13 Pro Max at a much lesser price than a new iPhone 14.

Upgrading to any of these models comes with more storage (128 GB at the base level), a better primary camera, 5G support, compatible Apple’s MagSafe accessories, longer battery life, and faster performance.

Compared to the iPhone 14 colors, the iPhone 11 Pro Max offers all matte finishes. But upgrading a model doesn’t seem justified only to access non-matte finishes.

The Bottom Line

The iPhone 14 offers enough advanced features to upgrade from an iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max. However, you can access pretty much all these features by upgrading to the iPhone 12 or 13. Plus, if you’re only looking for software changes, you can easily access them on your iPhone 11 by installing iOS 16.

Final Verdict

It’s been over a month since the iPhone 14 came out. Over this period, we’ve seen several iPhone 14 problems, and Apple has resolved most of these with iOS updates. Despite being a new model, there’s nothing too new about the latest iPhone. You can find most of the features included in the iPhone 14 in slightly older models, like the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13.

If you have an earlier iPhone model, we suggest you hold onto it for a while and upgrade next year when Apple releases the iPhone 15. But if you absolutely need a new phone, you can consider upgrading to a refurbished iPhone 12 or a used iPhone 13 Pro. These models will come at a relatively lower price than the new iPhone 14 without losing significant features.

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