Apple iPhone 14 Plus strikes a balance for a necessary course adjustment

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The more things change, the more they tend to stay the same. Remember a few years ago when the collective wisdom of voices on social media relegated the iPhone XR to the dustbin of insignificance. Among the many reasons mentioned – only one camera for photography. It turns out that the same iPhone XR ended 2019 as the world’s best-selling smartphone and carried that momentum through the first half of 2020. Loud, often hastily pronounced verdicts tend to be based on wrong on a reading of the data sheet.

Identical shades repeat with the new Apple iPhone 14 Plus. Nothing suggests that it will actually be a success near the iPhone XR. The reverse is also true. Launched alongside the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max, it’s being criticized (again, voices on social media) for using a one-generation older processor . Does it really matter? It shouldn’t. Admittedly, it’s not that simple when price tags are mixed into the purchase decision equation.

No weight of history, but does that mean a new direction?

The iPhone 14 Plus has no ancestry to fall back on. It is, to put it simply, a different approach from Apple towards the latest line of iPhones outside of the “Pro” family. First, the screen size (it’s a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR) is as big as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The latter is no longer unique.

Read also : Apple cuts iPhone 14 production by 30,000 units due to weak demand: report

The screen is the big draw for anyone counting the money for a new iphone. For a significantly lower expense ( 89,900 and more compared to 1,39,900), the iPhone 14 Plus is a tick for the need for a large-screen phone.

In the past two years, there has been the iPhone Mini, especially the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 13 Mini, which have been the highlight. A comparatively much more compact, and rare too, phone in the modern smartphone world. This time around Apple is tackling the other side of demand – big screen phones, at more than one price.

You will spend 89,900 and up for a new iPhone 14 Plus – that’s still a lot of money, but there’s no predecessor to weigh that up (and compare a flight deal, if there was one). The only comparison emerges from the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro Max, and even last year’s iPhone 13 Pro Max (if you can find plenty and the always-on display isn’t calling your name).

Just one big screen, or are there more?

The iPhone 14, with its 6.1-inch display, wouldn’t be able to cut it alone when consumer preferences (often driven by the lack of any other option) often shift to 6.5-inch screens. inches and more. This certainly limited your options, with the Pro Max phones being your only option. Often they would be way over budget for buying a new phone.

The iPhone 14, and indeed the iPhone 13 before it, couldn’t deliver the same immersive big-screen experiences we now demand. Bigger is better with real estate, for gaming, scrolling Instagram, browsing websites, and working quickly on a document too (try doing it on a smaller screen, and you’ll feel a real frustration). After really compact phones, a really big phone.

Apple hasn’t tried too many things. This screen didn’t get the 120Hz refresh rate (also called ProMotion), but everything else (brightness, color accuracy, and balance) is what you’d expect from an iPhone. In fact, the lack of refresh rates above 60Hz is good news for battery life.

Gold is old, but what if it’s not exactly old?

The elephant in the room needs to be addressed. The processor, the beating heart, is at the very heart of Apple’s attempts to more clearly differentiate non-Pro phones such as the iPhone 14 Plus from Pro phones (such as the iPhone 14 Pro Max). The iPhone 14 Plus is powered by an A15 Bionic chip, while the iPhone 14 Pro series runs the new A16 Bionic chip.

However, without going into too much complicated technical detail, we will touch on the finer differences. The A15 Bionic which performs the functions of the iPhone 14 Plus has an updated 6-core processor and a 5-core GPU, or graphics processing unit. The latter has an extra core this time around, while updates to larger core configurations are focused on improving battery life.

“Our longest battery life” is not hyperbole

Battery endurance has been significantly improved, while performance was and still isn’t an issue for iPhones running the previous version of the A15 Bionic. There are two and a half ingredients to why the iPhone 14 Plus has battery life that will last days in the real world, not a day or a few hours.

First, the physical capacity of the battery is equal to that of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Coupled with the chip level improvements for frugality, it’s a pretty powerful combination to rely on. Finally, unlike the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Plus doesn’t have as much of a power-hungry screen.

To give you a fair idea of ​​where we came from, let’s illustrate a real-world scenario as it unfolded. iPhone 14 Plus with about 4 hours of screen time (brightness set to auto; dark mode on) with only 25% of day spent on 4G networks (stays on stable Wi-Fi and alas, no 5G), the battery drain was between 30-35% for an entire day, including waking up on the bedside table at night (we noticed some quirks with the Find My app running late at night, when inactive).

These observations indicate that you can go three full days, and not just hours of work, before you need to pick up the charger again. Granted, play around or use the camera more, and estimates will vary, but the underlying improvements provide a solid base to work with. This kind of endurance is incredibly rare for an iPhone, although the Pro Max phones are coming close.

But it’s the extreme comfort and complete lack of battery anxiety that add the most value to this iPhone experience.

Is it a brand new phone or a new familiar phone?

Unlike iPhone 14 which had more similarities with iPhone 13, iPhone 14 Plus does not have this problem. Performance is fast even when you’re careless with apps running at the same time. It may be a decimal evolution of last year’s chip, but it undoubtedly has more than enough power to put many Android phones into the shadows.

Apple has clearly taken conservative measures with the iPhone 14 Plus. The cameras, for example, are the same as the iPhone 14 – that means there’s no new 48-megapixel sensor, but a very capable combination of two 12-megapixel cameras for photography and videos. The new Photonic Engine image processing showed us the advantages of the iPhone 14, and these will also be fully visible here.

With the iPhone 14, the upgrade advice wasn’t as clear. It may have made sense for many to opt for the very similar iPhone 13 instead, and save a bit of cash in the process (the deals on the iPhone 13 really bring the price down). But it’s different with the iPhone 14 Plus, because the screen size is worth it – you see more at once, you scroll less over time, and it’s still very convenient.

Despite last year’s specs for the most part, the Apple iPhone 14 Plus with all it has, is more than enough for most iPhone users.


  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Vishal Mathur is technology editor for Hindustan Times. When he doesn’t understand technology, he often searches for an elusive analog space in a digital world.
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