Should you buy the iPhone 14 Plus? Here's the pros and cons

iPhone 14 Plus front in hand
(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Plus is a literally a big deal because this phone replaces the iPhone mini in Apple's lineup. It delivers a large 6.7-inch display for $200 less than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and it's only $100 more than the regular iPhone 14. So is the Plus just right or should you skip it? 

In our iPhone 14 Plus review, we praised this phone's camera capabilities, larger screen and especially its long battery life. Overall, the iPhone 14 Plus is one of the best phones for the money. But there are some reasons to think twice about this flagship. Here's the iPhone 14 Plus pros and cons you need to know before you buy. 

If you're on the fence, check out our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Plus comparison, as well as our iPhone 14 Pro Max review to see if that's the big-screen iPhone for you.  

Reasons to buy iPhone 14 Plus

A bigger display for less than Pro Max

iPhone 14 Plus shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It might not seem like a big difference, but the iPhone 14 Plus' 6.7-inch screen is significantly larger than the regular iPhone 14's 6.1-inch panel. The Plus' display delivers more of everything, whether you're looking for a more immersive viewing experience, a bigger viewfinder for taking photos or you want to see more text on screen at once. 

So you're getting the same size screen as the iPhone 14 Pro Max for $200 less than Apple's top-end flagship. That's a pretty good value. 

Very long battery life 

iPhone 14 Plus shown on table

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 14 Plus has room for a larger battery than the iPhone 14, and it shows. On the Tom's Guide Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over 5G at 150 nits of screen brightness, the iPhone 14 Plus lasted an excellent 11 hours and 57 minutes. That's enough to make our best phone battery life list.

By comparison, the iPhone 14 lasted 9:28. So we're talking about a nearly 2.5 hours extra juice from the iPhone 14 Plus. 

Great cameras

The iPhone 14 Plus offers a lot of great camera upgrades, including a brighter and bigger main sensor and Photonic Engine for better looking images in low light. Check out the above comparison with the Galaxy S22. The new iPhone delivers better detail in the petals of this impatiens flower, especially when you look at the water droplets.

Other camera highlights include a 12MP ultrawide camera that captures 4x more of the scene and a faster f/1.9 aperture on the front 12MP camera with autofocus.  

Action mode video

At first I thought Action Mode on the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 was a gimmick. Then I tried it. Apple uses the ultra-wide camera and special software to deliver super-steady footage when you're trying to capture a subject in motion. 

Check out the above video shot with the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 13 when running up a hill. The iPhone 14 Plus clip is nearly as steady as what you'd get with a gimbal, while the older iPhone is all over the place. 

Strong performance

iPhone 14 Plus shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Yes, the A15 Bionic chip inside the iPhone 14 Plus is from last year's iPhone 13 Pro series, but you do get a little bit more graphics juice as a result. And none of the best Android phones are as fast as this device. 

For example, on 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited, which measures graphics performance, the iPhone 14 Plus scored 11,512 and averaged 69 frames per second. The iPhone 13 scored 9,331 and averaged 56 fps. So you should expect better graphics and gameplay overall. 

Reasons to skip iPhone 14 Plus

Display is just 60Hz 

iPhone 14 Plus shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Don't get me wrong. The iPhone 14 Plus's 6.-7-inch OLED display is bright and beautiful with wide viewing angles. It's generally a joy to use. But I wish Apple would bring its ProMotion technology over to the iPhone Plus from the iPhone 14 Pro series.

Basically, you're still stuck at 60Hz, at a time the Google Pixel 7 Pro offers a 120Hz panel for the same $899 price. And the Galaxy S22 Plus also goes to 120Hz. So you'll miss out on that buttery smooth scrolling and even better gameplay. 

No telephoto zoom 

iPhone 14 Plus shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Another feature reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro is the telephoto zoom lens. So you don't get optical zoom on the iPhone 14 Plus at all, and the digital zoom maxes out at just 5x. Compare that to the Pixel 7 Pro, which has a true 5x optical zoom along with 30x Super Res digital zoom.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 Plus has a 3x optical zoom and 30x Space Zoom. So it's clear that Apple is behind the competition here, even though its cameras offer stellar image quality. 

Charging could be faster

iPhone 14 Plus with Lightning cable

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Plus can charge at a decent clip using Apple's 20W USB-C charger, but this phone is still behind the Android crowd. The Plus got to only 46% in 30 minutes based on our testing. The Galaxy S22 Plus reached 70% in the same amount of time, 

Apple is even further behind phones like the OnePlus 10T, which can get to 84% in 15 minutes and 100% in 20 minutes. 

Bottom line

iPhone 14 Plus shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 14 Plus is the new iPhone I would get if I wanted something for less than $900. As good as the regular iPhone 14 is, I prefer the Plus for its larger display and its much longer battery life. And you get the same great cameras and strong performance.

Still, there are good reasons to splurge for the iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max, including an always-on display, the new Dynamic Island for alerts and live activities and the usual Pro-level features like 120Hz refresh rate and telephoto zoom.

If you can't make up your mind, check out our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro comparison. 

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.