The new iPhone 14 series is out and this leaves one question on the mind of avid Apple fans and tech consumers: "Should I splurge on the latest gadgets or should I upgrade with an older model instead?"
At a glance, the smartphone lineup doesn't look much different from each other—except for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max—but Apple definitely made upgrades to the device's battery life, camera capabilities, and processing power.
While the iPhone 14 has all the latest bells and whistles from the tech giant, updating to the latest model isn't really necessary, unless you have the means to do so. The previous models, like the iPhone 12 and 13 series, can still serve users well for a long time, even though they were launched a couple of years ago. Not to mention, the prices for these smartphones have gone down because of the new iPhones, making them more affordable to many people.
Whether you're still rocking the iPhone 6 or iPhone X and are looking to make an upgrade, let's take a look at how the newest iPhone 14 series compares to its previous iterations.
What's the same?
All models across the iPhone 12, 13, and 14 series sport an OLED or Super Retina XDR display for a more vibrant visual experience. The phones also all support MagSafe wireless charging, Face ID, iOS 16, as well as 5G connectivity.
Notably, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max sport a revamped design in front, with a pill-shaped cutout housing the front camera instead of the notch seen on the iPhone 12, 13, 14, and 14 Plus.
The new cutout isn't just for aesthetics, it serves as a "Dynamic Island" where your notifications and activities will show up so it doesn't take up the whole top part of your screen.
Screen sizes are generally the same, except the 14 series doesn't feature a mini phone in its range. Instead, there's the 14 Plus, which is basically the same size as a Pro Max iPhone with a 6.7-inch display.
For users who want a smoother visual experience while they're scrolling on social media or playing mobile games, the ProMotion feature, found in the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max as well as the pro versions of the iPhone 14, is a plus. This feature allows the display to refresh at up to 120Hz, instead of the standard 60Hz on other models.
In addition, the iPhone 14 Pro comes with a new Always-On display—a feature already seen on most Android phones—which dims the phone's screen when not in use and provides users with useful information they need to see at a glance without tapping on the display.
Shoot your shot
If you look at the spec sheet, megapixels across the iPhones are similar. However, each year, Apple has been bumping the device up with new photography features.
The iPhone 12 has two 12MP shooters capable of 2x optical zoom, 5x digital zoom, and optical image stabilization. It can also record 4K at up to 60 frames per second. This is more than capable of taking great photos even in low-light areas.
The 13 Pro kicks it up a notch by introducing Cinematic Mode, a way to shoot videos with a shallow depth of field so you can keep your subject in focus—a feature that comes in handy for content creators.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 line has all the features from the previous models and more. The new phones are capable of taking better portrait selfies with more of the creamy bokeh that keeps you in focus. It also introduces Camera Action, a stabilization feature enabling you to take smoother videos as if you're using a gimbal.
On the photography side, Apple promises better low light photography in the new range and has equipped the 14 Pro with a 48MP main camera to capture more details as you snap photos.
Under the hood
Every year, Apple says the processing power of the new chips inside the iPhone gets more powerful, and the same promise comes in the iPhone 14. While the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus sport the same chip as the iPhone 13 series, the A15 Bionic chip is a workhorse that can crunch multiple tasks and run AAA mobile games.
Inside the pro versions of the iPhone 14 are A16 Bionic chips, with 50% more memory bandwidth to make heavy workloads, watching videos, and playing games smoother than before. This also helps with the camera performance, allowing the iPhone 14 Pro to snap 48MP in ProRAW.
Battery-wise, the iPhone 12 series offers the least with only 17 hours of use and thankfully, Apple has continued to improve the battery life each year. Pro tip: go with the 13 or 14 series for longer battery life.
What's unique about the iPhone 14 series is that it no longer has a SIM card tray. The devices will use an eSIM instead.
Which one should I get?
It's all up to your budget and use case. If you're looking to snap more videos and photos for your IG feed, go with the iPhone 13 Pro or 14 Pro. For those looking for a more affordable daily driver with adequate battery life throughout the day, go with a standard iPhone 12 or 13—whatever fits your budget.
All of these phones are future-proof, thanks to their 5G capabilities, and they only really differ when it comes to camera features, battery life, screen size, and price.
Here's how much each model is in 2022:
iPhone 12 - P42,990
iPhone 12 mini - P38,990
iPhone 12 Pro - P65,990
iPhone 12 Pro Max - P71,990
iPhone 13 - P49,990
iPhone 13 mini - P42,990
iPhone 13 Pro - P68,990
iPhone 13 Pro Max - P75,990
iPhone 14 - P56,990
iPhone 14 Plus - P63,990
iPhone 14 Pro - P70,990
iPhone 14 Pro Max - P77,990