Skip to main content

iPhone 14 Plus — 5 reasons to buy and 3 reasons to skip

iPhone 14 Plus
(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Plus represents a new entry in Apple's lineup, replacing the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini with a much larger screen. We're talking 6.7 inches, which is the same size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max

But the chief appeal of the iPhone 14 Plus isn't just the supersized display. It's the price. At $899, the new Plus costs $100 less than the iPhone 14 Pro and $200 less than the Pro Max. But soft initial pre-order numbers suggest the smartphone might be struggling to find an audience. 

So what are you getting for your money and are you better off splurging for the Pro? Here's reasons to buy and skip the iPhone 14 Plus. Also, be sure to check out our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Plus comparison for more info, and the best iPhone 14 Plus cases if you want to keep your plus-sized iPhone safe.

Reasons to buy iPhone 14 Plus

Finally, a bigger screen

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Now that I've seen the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus side by side, it's an easy call. I'd much prefer the iPhone 14 Plus, and not just because I'm using reading glasses now. The larger 6.7-inch panel simply lets you see more at once without scrolling as much, compared to the 6.1-inch screen on the iPhone 14. 

Having a larger display also makes the iPhone 14 Plus a better choice for watching movies and playing games. And don't think that this phone is too heavy. It's actually quite light given the screen size at 7.16 ounces, compared to 8.47 ounces for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. 

Cheaper than the iPhone 14 Pros

The iPhone 14 Pro starts at $899 for 128GB of storage. That's $100 more than the regular iPhone 14 but $200 less than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. And that's a lot of money right now.

This price puts the iPhone 14 Pro in the same price range as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, which has a similar 6.6-inch screen size. That model starts at $999, but you can find it for between $749 and $799 on sale in Galaxy S22 deals

Basically, the iPhone 14 Plus seems like a good value if you don't want to pay the Pro premium Apple charges.

Solid camera upgrades

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Don't be fooled by the same-looking 12MP main sensor on the iPhone 14 Plus. You get a larger sensor than you would with the last year's iPhone. The new lens uses 1.9 micron pixels and features a faster f/1.9 aperture, which results in a 49% percent improvement in light gathering performance.

Plus, the new Photonic Engine in the iPhone 14 lineup improves mid-to-low-light performance all of the cameras: we're talking a 2.5x improvement on the main camera and 2x on the ultrawide and TrueDepth camera, according to Apple's claims. Plus, the front camera offers autofocus for the first time. 

Last but not least, there's a new Action Mode when recording video that promises ultra smooth footage even when you're in motion.

Longest battery life of any iPhone

We have to put this claim to the test, but Apple says that the iPhone 14 Plus offers the "best battery life on iPhone." The iPhone 14 Plus is rated for 26 hours of video playback, 20 hours of video streaming and 100 hours of audio playback. All of these numbers beat the regular iPhone 14's 20/16/80 hours under the same scenarios. 

Apple even says the iPhone 14 Plus lasts longer than the mighty iPhone 14 Pro Max during everyday use. Stay tuned for our test results. 

New safety features 

iPhone 14 crash detection and emergency SOS via satellite

(Image credit: Future)

You'll find this feature on all four new iPhone 14 models, but it's definitely a pro for the iPhone 14 Plus. The device offers a new feature called Emergency SOS via Satellite, which uses a combination of custom components and software to enable the iPhone 14 Plus' antennas to connect to satellites to get you help when you can't get a cellular signal. 

The Crash Detection feature could also be a vital safety feature, which leverages the accelerometer and gyroscope to automatically detect a crash and dial emergency services. 

Reasons to skip iPhone 14 Plus

Just 60Hz display

In this year 2022, we'd like to submit that a 120Hz display is not a Pro feature. And yet the ProMotion display remains exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Even a jump to 90Hz would have been nice, especially for smoother scrolling and animations.

Unfortunately, the iPhone 14 Plus is stuck at 60Hz at a time most Android phones in this price range offer 120Hz refresh rates. 

No telephoto zoom 

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Plus has gone big on the display but not the zoom. There's no telephoto zoom at all, and the digital zoom maxes out at 5x. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 offers a 3x optical zoom and digital zoom out to 30x. And the Google Pixel 6 Pro (soon to be replaced by the Pixel 7 Pro) offers a 4x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom.

So if you want a more powerful zoom for the iPhone, you're better off with the iPone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max with 3x optical and 15x digital. 

SIM card tray is gone

Apple has decided to ditch the SIM Card tray on the iPhone 14 series in favor of eSIM support. On the plus side, you can have two active phone numbers at once on the iPhone 14 Plus — say one for business and one for personal use. 

Apple says that eSIMs actually allows users to easily connect or quickly transfer existing plans, but we're betting some users will miss the flexibility of having the physical SIM card option. 

iPhone 14 Plus outlook

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Plus isn't a huge upgrade on paper versus the iPhone 13 series, but if you want a big screen for less than the iPhone 14 Pro, it's definitely worth a look. You get a large 6.7-inch display, improved cameras and strong A15 Bionic performance for a reasonable price.

However, the lack of a 120Hz display and optical zoom are bummers for a device in the $899 price range — at least compared to the best Android phones. And some may not like the removal of the SIM card tray.

Stay tuned for our full iPhone 14 Plus review for our test results and final verdict. 

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.