It has been almost a year since Apple introduced the iPhone 13 lineup that includes the iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The 2022 Apple Event held on September 7 in Apple Park in Cupertino announced the newer generation of the iPhone: the iPhone 14. The entire lineup consists of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, as well as the higher-tier flagships iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Plus vs. iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Plus: A Quick Comparison of Each iPhone 14 Models
The entire iPhone 14 lineup has notable upgrades versus the previous iPhone 13 lineup. The newer generations of smartphones from Apple feature newer hardware processors, software functionalities, camera specifications, and displays. However, within the lineup, each model has its differentiation apart from pricing. How exactly does each iPhone 14 model differ from one another?
Positioning and Selling Points
Note that the entire lineup can be divided into two categories: mid-range iPhone models and flagship iPhone models. These product categories have been in place since the introduction of the iPhone 12 in October 2020. The devices under the iPhone SE brand such as the iPhone SE 2022 fall under the entry-level iPhone category.
Note that The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus succeeded the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini. These two devices fall under the mid-range category. The flagship category includes the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro max, succeeding the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
All iPhone categories have been an integral part of the overall product strategy of Apple, as well as its pricing strategy. The mid-range models of the iPhone 14 are positioned for a specific smartphone market segment who have more spending power than the entry-level segment but less than those who are in the flagship-level segment.
The flagship iPhone models are geared toward conventional loyal Apple consumers who are willing to spend more for premium and exclusive product features and benefits. These models compete against flagship Android smartphones.
Another difference among the new iPhone 14 models, especially between the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Max centers on their respective hardware capabilities. Of course, the flagship models have better overall performance than the mid-range models.
To be specific, both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus use the Apple A15 bionic system-on-a-chip used on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. The processing capabilities of these newer iPhones are fundamentally better than the mid-range iPhone 13 models and similar to the capabilities of the flagship iPhone 13 models.
Both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max sport the newer Apple A16 Bionic chip. This newest SoC is the first Apple chip based on the N4 5nm manufacturing process node. Note that the A15 chip is based on the standard 5nm manufacturing process node.
The A16 is better than the A15 overall. Apple noted that it has 16 billion transistors compared to the 15 billion transistors of the A15. It also has an improved Neural Engine capable of 17 trillion operations per second or TOPS compared to the 15.8 TOPS of the Neural Engine found in its predecessor and a better image signal processor.
Considering the differences between the A16 Bionic and A15 Bionic, both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have better processing capabilities than the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. These capabilities translate to faster performance and better software features.
Display and Camera Specs
All iPhone 14 models use OLED displays. However, each model and category have specific differences. The iPhone 13 has a 6.1-inch screen while the 13 Plus has a 6.7-inch screen. The 14 Pro also has a 6.1-inch screen while the 14 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch screen. Apple dropped the Mini brand after the introduction of the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 13 Mini.
Note that all models have almost the same pixel density of around 460 ppi. However, the Pro and Pro Max models have XDR or Extreme Dynamic Range with 1000 nits of brightness that peaks to 1600 nits at HDR and further to 2000 nits when used outdoors.
Other differences include the Always-On display, ProMotion of 0Hz to 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, and Dynamic Island found on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. The Always-On and ProMotion features are possible because their OLED screens are based on LTPO. The Dynamic Island is a camera module cutout that replaced the notch.
The front-facing cameras on all models use the same 12-megapixel camera sensors. However, both the mid-range models have two camera modules: one is a 12-megapixel wide camera and the other is a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera.
Both flagship models have a 48-megapixel wide camera, 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, and 12-megapixel telephoto cameras on their rears. Furthermore, compared with the mid0range models, these rears also feature a TOF 3D LiDAR scanner for generating three-dimensional models of the environment, as well as a dual-LED and dual-tone flash.
All models are capable of utilizing major camera features such as HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps. However, because the 14 Pro and Pro Max have improved processors, they can take better photos and videos.
Other Notable Differences
Of course, at one glance, the most obvious difference between the iPhone 14/iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 14 Pro/iPhone Pro Max is the front-side aesthetics. As mentioned, the Pro and Pro Max models feature the so-called Dynamic Island camera module cutout. Note that the iPhone 14 mid-range models still feature a notch.
Dynamic Island is not just a cutout. This pill-shaped cutout also provides additional and exclusive functionalities such as displaying interactive information, switching between apps, or accessing different functions or settings.
It is also worth mentioning that the built quality and overall aesthetic remain one of the noticeable differences between the mid-range and flagship iPhone 14 models. The iPhone 14/iPhone 14 Plus has an aluminum chassis while the iPhone 14 Pro/iPhone Pro Max has a stainless steel chassis plus a slightly bigger screen-to-body ratio.
Apple introduced new features to the entire iPhone 14 lineup. These include better low-light photography, Cinematic mode in 4K, crash detection, emergency SOS via satellite, and Ceramic Shield. However, the Pro and Pro Max models have exclusive features as noted above: Dynamic Island, Always-On Display, ProMotion, 48-MP wide camera, and 2x telephoto camera.