Tuesday, 21 Mar 2023

iPhone 14 review: familiar design but now easier to repair

iPhone 14 review: familiar design but now easier to repair

iPhone 14 review: familiar design but now easier to repair

On the surface, the iPhone 14 looks like a very minor upgrade. But a redesigned inside makes it easier and cheaper to repair, marking a major shift in the right direction for Apple.

For the user, that means better heat dissipation so you can game for longer. But for repairs it means you can replace the back glass as easily as you can the screen, which is a significant improvement for the longevity of the device. The result is that back glass repairs cost £169, down from £300-plus from Apple. Third parties are likely to charge less again.

Like the iPhone 14 Pro, the new phone ships without a sim card tray in the US, relying entirely on digital eSims, but continues to have the sim tray outside the US, including the UK. Emergency satellite SOS is rolling out in November, but only to phones sold in the US or Canada.

Apple does not provide an expected lifespan for the battery but it should last in excess of 500 full charge cycles with at least 80% of its original capacity and can be replaced for £105. Out-of-warranty screen repairs cost £289, while back glass repairs cost £169. Repair specialists iFixit awarded the phone seven out of 10 for repairability, praising the new internal design.

New for the iPhone 14 line is car-crash detection, which senses the high impact force of a traffic collision and automatically calls the emergency services if you do not respond within 20 seconds.

The 14 has the same familiar dual-camera setup on the back without an optical zoom, as with previous non-Pro iPhones. But the main 12MP camera sensor is physically bigger than its predecessor, boosting low-light performance by up to 49%. Shots taken in middling- to low-light conditions, such as indoors, are significantly sharper than before and the dedicated night mode is required less frequently.

The ultra-wide camera has better low light performance thanks to improved software processing but remains otherwise unchanged. The two combined are reliably good cameras, but the lack of an optical zoom is disappointing compared to rivals.

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