It’s that time of year again, Apple’s just unveiled its latest set of iPhones, the iPhone 15 series and you’re left with an interesting conundrum –– should you buy one of Apple’s and greatest or save a little bit of cash and go with the one older, yet still great iPhone 14s. I’m here to help you make that decision a bit easier, by pitting the iPhone 15 against its predecessor, the iPhone 14.
As the lowest tiers in both their series, the iPhone 15 and 14 lack some of the snazzier features of their pricier brethren. But how do they measure up against each other? We know that the iPhone 15 is coming with last year’s A16 Bionic chip, a better rear camera and of course the new USB-C port. But is that enough to warrant shelling out $799 to start?
It seems that the iPhone 14 is starting off on the back foot here as its A15 Bionic chip which being two generations behind is definitely going to be less powerful than its successor. And a 48-megapixel rear camera is definitely better than 12MP and USB-C is great too. But not so fast, do you actually need those features, especially when it’s all but guaranteed that the iPhone 14 is going to get a massive discount, especially in the lead up to Prime Day 2, Black Friday and Cyber Monday? And with new chipsets comes new battery concerns. Can the iPhone 15 outlast the 14?
These and more questions abound as we wait to get the iPhone 15 in for testing. But in the meantime, here’s how the iPhone 15 stacks up against the iPhone 14. Please stay tuned to this face-off as we add updates with benchmarks as soon as we receive Apple’s latest base model iPhone.
iPhone 15 Vs. iPhone 14: Pricing and availability
Currently the base model iPhone 14 costs $699 which gets you the company’s A15 Bionic chip with a 5-core GPU, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of onboard storage. Need more storage, the 256GB, 512GB and 1TB iterations will cost $899, $1,099 and $1,499, respectively. That pricing is sure to drop with the arrival of the iPhone 15. Not to mention, you have trade-in and carrier deals to consider.
The new kid on the block is priced at $799 and brings us last year’s A16 Bionic chip with a 5-core GPU and 6GB of RAM. The base model 128GB iPhone 15 sits at $799 while the 256GB and 512GB versions are priced at $899 and $1,099. Currently, there’s no word on the TB model. And of course, there will be plenty of trade-in deals and discounts available in order to swing you the iPhone 15’s way.
Winner: iPhone 14
iPhone 15 Vs. iPhone 14: Design
It’s like looking at one of those Find the Differences games. The iPhone 14 and 15 are nearly identical, but there are a few key differences -– Dynamic Island and the USB-C port. The base model iPhone 15 gets the polarizing Dynamic Island which will get some upgraded usability. I’m still on the fence about how much space it takes up on the display, but I found it wasn’t too unobtrusive on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
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Yes, at long last, Apple is ditching its proprietary Lightning port in favor of the USB-C (Thanks EU!). No longer will Apple owners have to look around frantically for a Lightning in an increasing sea of USB-C cords. Will this make me ditch my beloved Samsung phones? No, but it’s nice to know that I can help my friends and family out in a charging emergency now. That kind of makes the iPhone 14 a collectible as it’ll be the last iPhone with the now extinct Lightning port.
If for no other reason, I like the iPhone 15 because it’s one of the pops of color in Apple’s rather buttoned up lineup. The phone comes in Yellow, Green, Blue, Pink, White and Black. The iPhone 14, however, is more colorful coming in Purple, Deep Purple, Starlight, Midnight, Space Black, Blue, Gold, Silver, Yellow and Product(RED). And thanks to its aluminum (mostly recycled) frame, ceramic shield and water and dust-resistance, the iPhone 15 is one of the most durable iPhones ever.
Last, but not least, the iPhone 15’s corners fea
Winner: iPhone 15
iPhone 15 Vs. iPhone 14: Display
The iPhone 15 retains the same 6.1-inch, Super Retina XDR display as its predecessor. And while both OLED panels have a refresh rate of 60Hz, the 14 is plagued by a massive notch while the 15 has a less offensive pill cutout. There’s a few other differences starting with the resolution. The 15 gets a slight bump up to 2556 x 1179 pixels compared to the 2532 x 1170 pixels on the 14. The iPhone 15 also has a max brightness of 2,000 nits compared to the iPhone 14’s 1,200 nits. Plus, with the 15’s Ceramic Shield display, it’s less likely to crack when dropped (I hope).
Winner: iPhone 15
iPhone 15 Vs. iPhone 14: Performance
Base model iPhones are at once a step up and a step back. A step up because you are getting a new processor. It’s a step back because it’s last gen’s CPU. So between the iPhone 15 and 14, you’re talking about an A16 Bionic processor against an A15 CPU. So the iPhone 14 is already at a disadvantage. Let’s take a look at the numbers. And since we haven’t received the iPhone 15 for review yet, I’m going to use the iPhone 14 Pro’s benchmarks which has an A16 Bionic chipset.
Take Geekbench 5, where the iPhone 14 Pro notched 5,469 compared to the iPhone 14 4,554. And on the Adobe Premiere Rush test, the 14 Pro continued its dominance taking only 26 seconds to complete a set of video-editng tasks compared to the 14 which finished in 28 seconds. And during the Jetstream web browsing test, the 14 Pro got a score of 285.9 compared to 225.7.
Winner: iPhone 15
iPhone 15 Vs. iPhone 14: Cameras
In our iPhone 14 review, we noted that the smartphone’s pair of 12MP rear cameras took good shots, but our reviewer really didn’t notice a difference between this and the 13’s results on the wide angle shots until she zoomed in. Then, she noticed the details were sharper on the 14. There was also a marked improvement on Night Mode. However, there was no improvement noted on the ultrawide which was disappointing to say the least.
As far as the 12MP front shooter, it’s gotten a helping hand from Apple’s Photonic Engine technology which leverages AI and software to make images sharper and more detailed, especially in low-light conditions. The results are a crisper photos with a more natural lighting effect.
And while the images from the iPhone 14 are good, they’re nothing compared to what the iPhone 15 is going to produce with its newish 48MP (26mm, f/1.6) main rear camera. I say newish, because this was featured on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. We noted it as a definitely step up from the 13 Pro and Pro Max as the sensor is double the size of its predecessor and produced some beautiful shots. The 12MP ultrawide (13mm, f/2.4) shooter unfortunately remains unchanged and the same goes for its front cam.
iPhone 15 Vs. iPhone 14: Battery life
I have to hand it to Apple, they continue to find a way to create more powerful chips while improving efficiency. Case in point, the iPhone 14 only lasted 9 hours and 1 minute with its A15 Bionic chip while the iPhone 14 Pro with its A16 Bionic processor gave us a time of 10:13 on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (continuous web surfing over network connection at 150 nits). I expect similar or better from the iPhone 15.
Winner: iPhone 15
At the end of the day, this is going to be a battle between your wallet and your feature lust. The iPhone 14 is older with a last-gen chip, which will be less powerful than its successor, we’re just not sure how big the deficit will be. Same goes for the battery life. I for one, am hoping the iPhone 15 will last longer than 9:01, which is highly likely with the A16 Bionic chipset. The smartphone’s cluster of 12MP cameras are fine and will still take great pictures, but it’s definitely outclassed by the iPhone 15’s 48MP main rear camera.
Although we’re anxiously waiting to test the iPhone 15, based on the results from the iPhone 14 Pro, we can expect marked improvements. Is it enough to warrant $799? For some budget-minded consumers, the answer might be no. But it’s clear, that the iPhone 15 is going to put its last-gen processor to serious work.