I’m skipping the iPhone 13 for iPhone 14 — here's why

iPhone 14 renders by Front Page Tech and Ian Zelbo
(Image credit: Ian Zelbo | Front Page Tech)

The iPhone 13 is not only a great phone, it’s the best phone based on our testing and reviews. And if I were to purchase a new iPhone with my own money, I’d go for the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Yes, it’s pricey at $1,099, but the iPhone 13 Pro Max has nearly everything I’m looking for in a new phone. This includes a great display, stellar cameras and much improved battery life over the iPhone 12 Pro Max. We’re talking nearly an hour and a half longer endurance based on our iPhone 13 battery life tests

But the iPhone 13 Pro Max doesn’t offer dramatic enough improvements for me to upgrade — and right now I’m more excited for the iPhone 14 based on the early rumors for Apple’s 2022 flagship.

The number one iPhone 14 rumor I’m hoping proves true is the addition of Touch ID. There have been reports that Apple may give the iPhone 14 an under-display Touch ID sensor, which would make life a lot easier. Right now with my iPhone 12 Pro Max I’m constantly entering my passcode when I’m in public or in the office and need to wear a mask.

I’d rather not share how many times I unlock my phone a day, but lets just say that it’s enough that having Touch ID on the iPhone 14 would save me a tone of time. It’s possible that Apple might not add a fingerprint sensor to the display, but I would be happy with a reader embedded in the power button.

Another iPhone rumor report points to Apple working on improving Face ID so that it could work with masks on. This tech apparently has been in testing, but there’s no telling when (or if) it would be implemented.

The iPhone 14 could also be the first iPhone to support USB-C instead of Lightning, though we’ve seen one report that this could be limited to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Regardless, Apple could move in this direction as it is under pressure from the European Union to embrace the USB-C standard.

The addition of USB-C would make it easier to charge your MacBook, iPad and iPhone without have to switch to Lightning. And, more important, a USB-C iPhone 14 would presumably enable faster charging, as Apple has been stuck under 30 watts. 

Generally, the iPhone 13 charges to 50 percent in 30 minutes, but we’ve seen other flagship phones charge much faster. For example, the OnePlus 9 Pro can charge from empty to 50% in 15 minutes and to 99% in 30 minutes via its 65W USB-C charger, making it the fastest charging phone. 

Apple has been rumored to be investigating a truly portless design for a future iPhone, but I don’t think that’s going to happen with the iPhone 14. Regardless, I’d like to see faster charging offered via wireless MagSafe charging.

There’s a couple of other iPhone 14 design rumors that have me intrigued. The first is that Apple may finally ditch the notch on its next phone and move toward a smaller punch hold located near the top of the display. The notch is 20% smaller on the iPhone 13 than the iPhone 12 but still distracting. Getting rid of the notch entirely would require Face ID to move under the display, which has also been rumored. 

To add weight to this rumor, the Korean publication The Elec has reported that Apple will apply a "hole display" to the iPhone 14 Pro series. So that would leave only a camera module lens hole instead of the notch. And apparently Samsung Display could be the supplier of the equipment used to make the panel. 

Second, the iPhone 14 is tipped to go with a flatter back and minimize or even eliminate the camera bump. Not having a camera that protrudes from the design would be a welcome change not only in terms of aesthetics but it would prevent any wobbling when the iPhone 14 was sitting on a desk or table.

Last but not least, the iPhone 14 is rumored to feature an upgraded main camera sensor with a higher resolution of 48MP. As I’ve said, the iPhone 13 cameras are great, putting this phone at the top of our best camera phone list. But if I’m going to spend a grand or more on a new iPhone I’d like to see a substantial improvement from one generation to the next.

With several months left of iPhone 14 rumors to wade through before we finally see the new handset, I’m sure a lot more details will surface about Apple’s plans. But based on what I’m hearing so far I feel pretty comfortable holding on to my current iPhone for a while longer. In the meantime, check out our Apple in 2022 guide for all the major new products we expect. 

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

  • labpig
    I'm still on the iPhone X and have no problems unlocking my phone when wearing a mask; just use the apple watch unlock option
  • rhagans
    labpig said:
    I'm still on the iPhone X and have no problems unlocking my phone when wearing a mask; just use the apple watch unlock option
    That's the problem they sucker you into buying extra when they can fix it without asking to buy other products.