iPhone 14 and 14 Plus hands-on: A bigger screen and small camera updates

Pour one out for the iPhone mini.

Billy Steele / Engadget

For the iPhone 14, Apple has decided to "go bigger." So instead of an iPhone 14 mini, this year we're seeing the iPhone 14 Plus take the smaller handset's place. The new 6.1-inch iPhone 14 is accompanied by the 6.7-inch Plus variant, with the company promising to deliver the best battery life on an iPhone. Though I can't verify that claim yet, I was able to spend some time with the new iPhone 14 models at the Apple event. Though I miss the cute mini flagship, I can understand why the company opted for a larger phone.

Many reviewers like myself loved the small iPhone for its size, but lamented its short battery life. With a bigger frame, the iPhone 14 Plus should have room for a larger battery to last longer. Both the 6.1-inch and the 6.7-inch models also use the A15 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 13 Pro, and are generally not very different from the last generation.

In spite of its size, the iPhone 14 Plus is, thankfully, lighter than the Pros. At 203 grams, it weighs less than the iPhone 14 Pro (206 grams) and the Pro Max, which is an absolute brick at 240 grams. I did appreciate how the iPhone 14 Plus felt less like it would crack my skull open if I dropped it on my face in bed.

The biggest difference here is that the rear camera has a larger 12-megapixel sensor and bigger 1.9-micron pixels. The front camera now offers autofocus for clearer selfies, and these were things that were hard to gauge at the crowded hands-on area. I snapped a few photos and they all turned out sharp, though I couldn't tell if it was thanks to the autofocus.

I was excited to check out the new blue and purple colors Apple brought to the iPhone 14 lineup. I wish the purple version was a little more saturated and the blue was a little lighter, but I tend to prefer pastel hues and you might have a different opinion. None of the color options this year feel garish or offensive, at least.

It's worth noting that US models of the iPhone 14 will no longer have a physical SIM card slot, though this wasn't something I was very bothered by. If you're already keen to get an iPhone 14 or 14 Plus before we can put it through its paces, you can pre-order one on September 9th starting at $799. The iPhone 14 will be available from September 16th, while the Plus will only be ready come October 7th.

Follow all of the news from Apple’s iPhone event right here.