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iPhone 14 Plus hands-on: release date, price, specs and first impressions

The new iPhone 14 Plus delivers a large 6.7-inch display and welcome camera improvements for a reasonable price

iPhone 14 Plus
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The iPhone 14 Plus offers a 6.7-inch display for $200 (AU$320) less than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, giving you a big screen for a reasonable price. The other upgrades are not as exciting but the cameras are improved, especially in low light.

Pros

  • +

    Big screen for less than Pro Max

  • +

    Cameras have better low-light performance

  • +

    Satellite connectivity and crash detection

  • +

    Fairly light design

Cons

  • -

    Same old design

  • -

    No SIM card tray

The iPhone 14 Plus is here to replace the mini, and it's a smart move on Apple's part. Small phones are so over, and Apple has recognized that by introducing a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus to complement the 6.1-inch iPhone 14.

At first glance, that's the only thing that appears new about the iPhone 14 Plus. The design is the same as Apple's iPhone 13, and the Plus even features a similar A15 Bionic chip, albeit with more graphics cores. So what's different other than the new size?

The iPhone 14 Plus focuses on camera improvements with better low-light photography and a new Action mode for video. And there's new safety features like Emergency SOS via satellite and Crash Detection. 

Is the iPhone 14 Plus exciting? It's not iPhone 14 Pro Max exciting, which ditches the notch and sports a new 48MP camera and always-on display. But if you want a big display for $200 (AU$320) less, the iPhone 14 Plus could be the best iPhone for you. 

Also check out our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13 comparison to see what the upgrades are and our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Plus guide to check out the differences. 

iPhone 14 Plus specs

iPhone 14 Plus
Screen size6.7-inches
Refresh rate60Hz
CPUApple A15 Bionic
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB
CamerasDual 12MP (Wide, ultrawide)
Size6.33 x 3.07 x 0.31 inches
Weight7.16 ounces
Dust/Water resistanceIP68
ColorsPurple, blue, midnight, starlight and Product RED
Rated battery life26 hours video playback

iPhone 14 Plus release date and price

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Plus has a release date of October 7, which is later than the regular iPhone 14 (September 16). iPhone 14 Plus preorders start September 9.

The base price for the iPhone 14 Plus is $899 (AU$1,579), which gets you 128GB storage. That's $100 (AU$180) more than the iPhone 14, but $200 (AU$320) cheaper than the same-size iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The 256GB version of the iPhone 14 Plus costs $999 (AU$1,749) and the 512GB model will cost you $1,199 (AU$2,099). See our iPhone 14 preorder page for more details and our iPhone 14 deals page to see all the biggest discounts. 

iPhone 14 Plus design and colors

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Plus is basically just a larger version of last year's iPhone on the design front. Yes, the notch is still there, and you get the same camera arrangement on the back of the phone — which now has a removable glass panel to make repairs easier. The only real difference is the size. 

Make sure your iPhone 14 Plus doesn't need any repairs - removable glass panel or no - with the help of the best iPhone 14 Plus cases.

With its 6.7-inch display, the iPhone 14 Plus fits more info on screen without having to scroll, whether you're surfing the web or texting. The design is pretty light, too, at least for this size display. It comes in at 7.16 ounces, compared to 8.47 ounces for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. During my hands-on time I appreciated how relatively portable this device is. 

iPhone 14 Plus colors

(Image credit: Future)

What's not here? A SIM card tray. Apple has remove it to support the eSIM standard. And while the company says this feature is easy to use, I don't like not having the flexibility to plug in a new SIM card on the fly. 

The iPhone 14 Plus comes in five colors: Midnight, Purple, Starlight, Product Red and Blue. 

iPhone 14 Plus cameras

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Plus sports a 12MP camera so you don't get a bump up in resolution. But it does use a larger sensor with larger pixels, so you should get brighter images with less noise.

Another plus: the iPhone 14 Plus leverages Apple's new Photonic Engine, which uses computational photography to improve low-light performance up to 2x on the ultra-wide and front cameras and up to 2.5x on the main camera. One camera sample of a woman near a window let us see lots of detail in her sweater. 

If you like taking selfies, you'll be pleased to know that the front TrueDepth camera has a wider f/1.9 aperture and autofocus. 

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to video, the new Action mode looks impressive, as it smoothes out video. I saw a side-by-side comparison with the feature on and off, and the result looked a lot more stable. 

We'll have to test the iPhone 14 Plus out for ourselves versus the best camera phones to see how it stacks up.

iPhone 14 Plus performance

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Plus feels a bit like a warmed over iPhone 13 in the performance department, and that's because it uses last-year's A15 Bionic chip. But it's not exactly the same. You get a 5-core GPU, which was unique to the iPhone 13 Pro models last year. 

Nevertheless, the iPhone 14 Plus felt responsive during our hands-on time, and it should once again beat the Android competition. I also appreciated the smooth gameplay while playing a frenetic Apple Arcade game.

iPhone 14 Plus battery life and charging

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Apple says the iPhone 14 Plus has the "best battery life on iPhone," but I'm not quite sure what that means. It's rated for 26 hours of video playback, 20 hours of streamed video and 100 hours of audio. 

However, the iPhone 14 Pro Max ups that to 29, 25 and and 95 hours. The iPhone 14 Plus does have longer rated endurance than the regular iPhone, which is said to last 20, 16 and 80 hours in those scenarios.

Don't expect the fastest charging. The iPhone 14 Plus gets to 50% in 30 minutes via 20W charging. And it also supports 15W MagSafe charging.

iPhone 14 Plus satellite and crash detection

There's two notable safety features for the iPhone 14 Plus. First is Emergency SOS via satellite, which will connect you to emergency services via text when you're out of cellular range. This service is coming to the U.S. and Canada first this November. Your iPhone 14 Plus purchase entitles you to two years of coverage.

The iPhone 14 Plus also offers crash detection, which leverages the accelerometer and gyroscope to contact emergency services on your behalf. 

iPhone 14 Plus outlook

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Plus doesn't really have a wow factor going for it. But it may not need it, because it gives fans of big-screen phones a viable option without having to pay a big premium. On paper and in person, it certainly seems like a good value at $899 (AU$1,579), putting it in direct competition with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus and upcoming Google Pixel 7 Pro. 

Those looking for more advanced features, like an always-on display and 48MP camera, might be better off saving another $200 (AU$320) for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. But if you want a big screen on a budget, the iPhone 14 Plus could be for you. 

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.