With iPhone cameras getting better and better every year, it’s natural to assume that the newest, most expensive iPhone is the best choice for your photography. But that’s not always the case. Depending on your needs, you might want to give other models another look. Whether you want an iPhone to capture stunning videos or one that has the battery life needed for long hikes, keep reading to figure out the best iPhone to buy for you.
What is the best iPhone to buy right now in 2023?
The latest iPhone models were the iPhone 14, and iPhone 14 plus . These models offer advanced features such as A16 Bionic chip, Ceramic Shield front cover, 5G connectivity, improved camera systems, and longer battery life compared to their predecessors.
However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, you may want to consider the iPhone 13 Pro or the iPhone 12 Pro, both of which offer solid performance and features at a lower price point.
It’s important to note that the best iPhone for you may depend on your individual needs, preferences, and budget. I recommend considering factors such as screen size, camera quality, storage capacity, and price before making a purchase
The iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus are Apple’s “affordable” flagship iPhones with pricing starting at $799, and the devices are being sold alongside the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Apple did away with the “mini” iPhone in 2022, and the iPhone 14 models come in 6.1- and 6.7-inch sizes. The new 6.7-inch iPhone 14 is called the “iPhone 14 Plus,” harkening back to the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus and prior generations. Apple’s iPhone 14 models are identical in design to the iPhone 13 models, featuring flat edges, an aerospace-grade aluminum enclosure, and a glass back that enables wireless charging.
The iPhone 14 models come in blue, purple, midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED, plus Apple added a new yellow color in March. Unlike the iPhone 14 Pro models, the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus continue to have a notch at the top of the display that houses the TrueDepth camera. Like the iPhone 13 models, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus include Super Retina XDR OLED displays that support 1200 nits peak brightness, a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, Dolby Vision, and True Tone support for matching the white balance of the display to the lighting in the room. There is no ProMotion display technology available in the standard iPhone 14 models, with this feature limited to the Pro models.
A durable Ceramic Shield front cover protects the iPhone’s display from bumps and drops, and the iPhone 14 models are IP68 water resistant, allowing them to withstand a depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes.
Apple is using the same A15 chip that was in the iPhone 13 Pro models for the iPhone 14 models, but there is an updated internal design that allows for better thermal performance. The A15 chip offers a 6-core CPU, a 5-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine.
There’s an updated 12-megapixel Wide camera that features a larger sensor, an ƒ/1.5 aperture, and larger 1.9 µm pixels for improved performance in low-light, plus there’s sensor-shift optical image stabilization. Apple also added an updated TrueDepth camera with an ƒ/1.9 aperture, and while the Ultra Wide lens didn’t get improvements, the Photonic Engine improves low-light photography across all of the iPhone 14 cameras.
Using a combination of hardware and software, the Photonic Engine improves low-light performance up to 2x on the Ultra Wide camera, 2x on the TrueDepth camera, and 2.5x on the Wide camera. The Photonic Engine expands on Deep Fusion and provides impressive detail while preserving subtle textures and providing improved color.
For video, there’s an Action mode that provides smooth-looking video with better image stabilization than ever before. Action mode is able to adjust to significant shakes, motion, and vibrations, even when video is captured in the middle of action. Cinematic mode has been improved and is available in 4K at 30 fps and 4K at 24 fps. The True Tone flash is 10 percent brighter with better uniformity for more consistent lighting.
The iPhone 14 models include a dual-core accelerometer that can measure up to 256Gs, and the accelerometer and a high dynamic range gyroscope power a Crash Detection feature that can automatically contact emergency services if you’re in a serious accident and can’t reach your iPhone. Apple also uses other sensors to power this feature, so the barometer detects changes in cabin pressure, the GPS watches for rapid speed changes, and the microphone can listen for car crash noises.
Apple also added Emergency SOS via satellite, an option that allows the iPhone 14 to connect directly to satellites for communication purposes in emergency situations when WiFi and cellular are not available. Emergency SOS via satellite works in open areas with few trees, and it allows users to send texts to emergency personnel. It is free for two years and works in the U.S. and Canada. Satellite connectivity can also be used to share your location with friends and family in Find My when you’re out hiking or camping in remote areas.
As with the iPhone 13 models, the iPhone 14 models support 5G connectivity (sub-6GHz and mmWave in the United States), and they use a new Qualcomm X65 modem. In the United States, iPhone models ship without a physical SIM card as carriers now use eSIM.
Battery life has been improved with the iPhone 14, and it lasts an hour longer than the iPhone 13. With its larger size, the iPhone 14 Plus has even longer battery life than the iPhone 14. iPhone 14 lasts for up to 20 hours when watching video, while iPhone 14 Plus lasts for up to 26 hours when watching video.
The iPhone 14 models are available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage capacities. MagSafe charging up to 15W continues to be supported, and fast charging over Lightning is available with a 20W or higher charger. The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus also support WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3.
The ultimate iPhone for photos: iPhone 14 Plus
We put the Apple iPhone 14 through our rigorous DXOMARK Camera test suite to measure its performance in photo, video, and zoom quality from an end-user perspective. This article breaks down how the device fared in a variety of tests and several common use cases and is intended to highlight the most important results of our testing with an extract of the captured data.
Key camera specifications:
- Primary: 12MP 1/1.9-inch sensor, 24mm equivalent f/1.5-aperture lens, Dual PDAF, OIS
- Ultra-wide: 12MP sensor, 24mm equivalent f/2.4-aperture lens, PDAF
Scoring – Sub-scores and attributes included in the calculations of the global score.
- Good exposure and nice color
- Fast and accurate autofocus
- Realistic bokeh effect in portrait mode
- Preview image close to capture
- Good video exposure and fairly wide dynamic range
- Very effective video stabilization, even with intense camera motion
- Good texture/noise trade-off in video
- Smooth video autofocus with fast convergence
- Luminance noise in low light, especially in areas of plain color
- Highlight clipping in strongly backlit scenes
- Artifacts, including ghosting, ringing and hue shift
- No macro mode
- Orange white balance casts in low-light video
- Occasional video exposure instabilities and slow exposure adaptation
- Lens flare, ringing, and color quantization in video, especially in low light
- Noise on moving elements in the scene in low light video
The gains brought by the largest ultra-wide-angle sensor, the switch from a 26 mm to 24 mm lens, and the 48 Mpix of the main module are welcome. But the iPhone 14 Pro remains very conservative, both in terms of zoom power and the character of the optics, which lack punch.
Apple has not been at the top of our Top 10 smartphones for photography for several years now. But the American company still has a strength: it always ranks in the Top 5. While the ranking of competing devices fluctuates, that of the iPhone is more constant. They are, in terms of photography as in other areas, solid and efficient. Unlike actors in the Android world, technological progress at Apple is always measured, weighed, and cautious – and, let’s be honest, also very frustrating. The Cupertino giant is never in a position of innovator, but in the strategy of the fine-tuner. However, with a war chest of several tens of billions of dollars, Apple could go further than everyone else. But it prefers to act as the most conservative actor in the industry.
True to this caution, it took several years for the California-based company to abandon its sacred 12 Mpix sensor for a new 48 Mpix model. A sensor that still produces 12 Mpix images (unless shooting in RAW). But which benefits from oversampling, improving image quality with additional micro-details and a noticeable reduction in digital noise.
Breaking with years of native resolution, Apple has finally switched to the ‘oversampling’ side of the Force. The 48 Mpix sensor that the company uses for its main camera module is not only the largest, but also the most defined that it has ever used for one of its devices. However, it is not an extraordinary sensor, and its performance, although good, did not amaze us (read on for more details).
Let’s first look at the glass half full: yes, this sensor brings an additional level of image quality. In fact, especially for us ‘pixel peepers,’ camera testers and pixel dissectors. Because on the phone screen, it is unlikely that you will be able to measure the extent of the progress. Which is not so bad: iPhones already take good photos for the general public, and for Apple, it was a matter of satisfying its photography audience.
Given the context, the text appears to be a review of the iPhone’s camera by 01net.com. Here’s the translation:
“Given the iPhone’s place in the market and its specificity, a camera test of the device is the norm at 01net.com. And the arrival of the new 48 Mpix sensor has forced us to compare it to the previous generation as well as a competing device with a solid photo performance, the Vivo X80 Pro.
Sticking with the Apple reference, you can see that the brand has done a good job. It has managed to maintain its color rendition between devices of different generations… in most scenes. Because Apple has also done background work on the white balance (WB), especially in low light. The tones, once artificially cooled by the average temperature evaluation module, are finally warmer and closer to reality – the rendering of sodium lamps is finally accurate. Apple remains one of the references for color interpretation – and inter-module consistency.
However, while the shots are clean, with increased detail (even in low light, see the 100% zoom above), they lack punch and character. In the world of photography, we talk about “sharpness” for the 3D rendering effect of some “real” optics, and “softness” for the transitions from sharp to blurry areas. And as efficient as the optics of the iPhone 14 Pro may be, it lacks these two characteristics.