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iPhone 14 launch live blog: Reviews, deals and everything you need to know


iPhone 14

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

We wrote earlier about our iPhone 14 Pro benchmarks, and just how powerful Apple’s new A16 Bionic chipset is, but what about the base iPhone 14?

While it didn’t get the newest chip, it did get an upgrade to the A15 Bionic that was found in last year’s iPhone 13 Pro — so a more powerful version than the one in the standard iPhone 13.

What this boils down to is that the iPhone 14 has a fifth GPU core, compared to the 4-core GPU in last year’s model — and we’ve run some iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13 benchmarks to find out just how much faster the new iPhone is.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Future)

Good morning. Editor in Chief Marc McLaren here for a couple of posts. It’s now just about 24 hours since the iPhone 14 range went on sale in the U.K., where I’m writing from, but availability appears to be even worse than it initially was.

Yesterday morning, I could order an iPhone 14 Pro for next-day pick up in London; today, none of the 128GB variants are available from any of the 12 Apple stores nearest to me, so I’d have to jump up to the more expensive 256GB model to get my hands on one this weekend.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is still unavailable for next-day collection whichever model you chose — so you’re looking at a wait time there of around five or six weeks. 

There are no such issues with the base iPhone 14, though — I can order that right now and pick it up today. 

iPhone 14 Plus colors

(Image credit: Future)

We’ll call it a night — more launch news in the morning — but before we do, let’s just check the status of iPhone availability after Day One of in-store sales. From the San Francisco Bay Area, we went shopping for the 128GB model of the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, selecting an unlocked phone in Midnight or Space Black (for the Pro models). Here’s what the wait times were as of 10:55 p.m. ET on Friday, September 16.

  • iPhone 14: Delivered by September 20; in-store pickup available on September 18.
  • iPhone 14 Pro: Delivered by Oct. 17-24; no in-store pickup available.
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max: Delivered by Oct. 24-31; no in-store pickup available.

Those dates may change based on color, storage size and your part of the world, but that gives you a pretty good idea of what supplies are like at the moment. It seems as if the iPhone 14 can be had with relatively little delay, while the Pro models won’t show up until October. That’s not surprising, given how many features Apple added to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

One other thing to note: In the San Francisco Bay Area at any rate, you can pay an extra $9 for next-day delivery, even for those iPhone 14 Pro models that might otherwise not show up until October. So that’s a possible course of action if you absolutely need to get your new iPhone now.

How to activate eSim on iPhone 14

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

In case you happen to be in the market for a new phone carrier at the same time that you’re doing your iPhone 14 shopping, you’re probably not alone. A lot of iPhone 14 deals are designed to convince shoppers to switch carriers in exchange for a lower cost Apple device. But one of the requirements for these deals is usually that you have to sign up for an eligible unlimited data plan.

A few weeks back, we took a look at the cheapest unlimited plans at all the major carriers. Not all of these plans are always eligible for big phone discounts, but if they are, we can help you judge whether those data plans have what you need before you commit to a new carrier.

iPhone 14 deals

(Image credit: Future)

If you haven’t gotten your iPhone 14 yet, there’s plenty of time to pick one up this weekend. Even better, you can pick Apple’s phone for free at some carriers and retailers, according to our deals editor Louis Ramirez.

You had better believe there are caveats to this deal. First off, you’re going to need a phone to trade-in and it had best be in good condition to receive the maximum rebate on your new device purchase. You’ll also have to sign up for an unlimited data plan, and your rebate — up to $1,000 — will come in the form of monthly bill credits, which essentially tie you to the carrier you’re getting your free iPhone from.

Still, even with those conditions, that’s an appealing deal. Here’s where you can trade in your current device for a free iPhone.

iOS 16 at WWDC 2022

(Image credit: Apple via YouTube)

Assuming you didn’t try out the iOS 16 public beta over the summer or download the new iOS to your current iPhone when the full release came out at the start of this week, your first introduction to the updated iPhone software will be when you fire up your new iPhone 14.

You shouldn’t feel too disoriented, as iOS 16 behaves a lot like the version of iOS that it replaces. But if you need help finding your way around the new additions to Apple’s mobile software, our guide to iOS 16 features can point you in the direction of various tips and tricks.

iPhone 14 eSIM screen

(Image credit: Future)

Lots of people are getting their new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max this weekend, so we wanted to provide this important piece of advice. While your wireless carrier can probably help, you should check out our guide on how to activate eSIM on iPhone 14 (opens in new tab).

As we explain below, U.S. models of the iPhone 14 don’t have a SIM card slot, so it’s eSIM all the way. So follow our step-by-step instructions and also see our guidance on how to transfer an eSIM or a physical SIM to your new iPhone. 

Comparison image of iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13

(Image credit: Apple/Future)

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 look almost identical, so is it worth the upgrade? In short, probably not, unless you’re already in the iPhone upgrade program. The design is the same, including the notch, as is the display.

But there are some notable differences, and our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13 comparison breaks everything down for you. The gist is that the iPhone 14 offers better images in low light, a slightly faster A15 Bionic chip (stolen from last year’s iPhone 13 Pro) and silky smooth Action mode video. 

iPhone 14 Pro Max eSIM screen

(Image credit: Future)

No matter which iPhone 14 model you choose in the U.S., none of them have a SIM card tray. And that’s because Apple is going eSIM only in America. That means you’ll have to enter the SIM card info into the Settings app.

Fortunately, it’s not hard to get up and running. Plus, we have a guide to eSIMs on the iPhone 14 and how they work. Once you are set up, it’s fairly easy to switch between active lines. So you can have one phone number for business and one for personal use. And you can store up to 8 eSIMs overall per iPhone 14. 

One of the questions I got on my iPhone 14 Pro Max review on YouTube was whether the Dynamic Island is tough to reach when using one hand. My answer was yes, but Apple already has a solution on the way to make things easier.

As reported by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), the iOS 16.1 beta integrates the Dynamic Island into the Reachability feature under settings. So once you turn the feature on, the Island will actually move along with the rest of the display halfway down the screen. That’s a handy upgrade. 

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro Max back cameras

(Image credit: Future)

Like any new iPhone, the iPhone 14 is not immune to launch day issues. An iPhone 14 bug was initially preventing users from setting up their devices over Wi-Fi. But this problem has apparently been addressed.

According to The Verge (opens in new tab), Apple has released an iOS 16.0.1 update that “should resolve any activation or migration issues facing owners of the new iPhone.” However, note that users may need to update and restore their phones using a Mac or PC to solve this problem.

iPhone 14 Pro always on display support document

(Image credit: Apple)

Whoops! It looks like Apple itself was aware of the rumors that the iPhone 14 Pro series was going to have dual cutouts at the top of the screen. As reported by MacRumors (opens in new tab), Apple has been showing a punch hole and pill shaped cutout for the iPhone 14 in various support documents, even though the new Dynamic Island uses a single cutout.

iPhone 14 vs. Samsung Galaxy S22

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

As good as the iPhone 14 is, it’s not necessarily the best phone in its price range. Case in point: the Samsung Galaxy S22. Samsung’s $799 handset offers a 120Hz display and 3x telephoto zoom, two features the regular iPhone 14 lacks.

Here’s a quick overview of four ways the Galaxy S22 beats the iPhone 14. But we also go over where Apple beats Samsung. Plus, we have a full face-off coming up this weekend to declare a definitive winner. 

A graphic showing the new iPhone lineup following the launch of iPhone 14.

(Image credit: Apple)

With any new iPhone launch you’ll find that Apple gives some older phones the axe. So be sure to see our overview of the iPhones Apple has discontinued (opens in new tab) following the iPhone 14’s release. 

The iPhone 11 is no more, and there’s no iPhone 12 mini, either. The iPhone 11 going away hurts most as there’s no solid sub-$500 iPhone in Apple’s lineup now with a screen size 6 inches or bigger. 

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The iPhone 14 is a good phone, but you should really know about all of the differences between it and the iPhone 14 Pro before you buy. Our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro (opens in new tab) comparison breaks it all down so you’ll be able to make the most informed decision.

Here’s the gist. The iPhone 14 Pro has a bunch of exclusive features, including always-on display, Dynamic Island and a 48MP main camera. But that’s not all. 

iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

We just finished a couple of more battery tests on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and we have good news. Apple’s 6.7-inch flagship lasted an excellent 13 hours and 39 minutes on average, which puts this phone on our best phone battery life list. 

Anything above 11.5 hours is considered excellent. Stay tuned for more results for all the new iPhones! 

iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Early benchmarks before the iPhone 14’s arrival suggested that it might not be as powerful as people hoped.

We needn’t have worried, though — because own benchmarks tell a very different story about just how powerful the A16 Bionic really is. 

In short: Apple has solidified its lead in the mobile system-on-chip space, because the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are the fastest and most powerful phones ever. Get the full story in our iPhone 14 benchmarks test report.

Action mode is another new iPhone 14 feature, and the best way to show it off is to simply watch some footage with it turned on and off. And it’s pretty easy to do; you just press a button in the camera app when recording video, and you should see smooth and steady video, as if you were using a gimbal.

Running up this incline on a path, you can see that the video is much more stable with Action mode turned on. With it off, it looks like I’m veering wildly from side to side. Our iPhone 14 Pro Max review has more comparisons for you to check out.

Ever wondered what the inside of an iPhone 14 Pro Max looks like? No, don’t go prying off the back of your new phone, that’s not a good idea. Instead, take a look at the above iPhone 14 Pro Max teardown video by PBKreviews (opens in new tab), which takes apart the new device piece-by-piece to compare it with the iPhone 13 Pro Max

It’s fascinating stuff if you’re interested in what’s inside your phone rather than just what it can do.

Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone 14

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via Satellite option is another new feature for Apple’s latest handset, and this one’s available on all models rather than just the Pro. 

It currently has limited global coverage, in that it’s only available in the U.S. and Canada, but good news is on the way: the iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity could be coming to more countries this year.

iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island

(Image credit: Apple)

The Dynamic Island is interactive, too. Long pressing this area brings up more controls, such as playback, so you don’t have to keep jumping between multiple apps or swipe down from the top of the screen. 

It gets better. As third-party developers tap into Apple’s Live Activites API, you’ll be able to see the status of your Lyft ride, the score from your favorite NFL team or the ETA for your food delivery order. Now that’s smart, and it worked well in our testing.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Another great new iPhone 14 feature is the Dynamic Island found on the two Pro models. You’re going to be hearing this word a lot, so let’s break down what it means. Dynamic Island is the replacement for the notch on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. 

This pill-shaped cutout doesn’t just house the TrueDepth camera and tech for Face ID; it delivers info and changes shape on the fly. You could start a timer and see the countdown clock towards the top of your screen, or album art for the music playing or the next turn for Apple Maps.

iPhone 14 Pro always-on display

(Image credit: Future)

You might think from the name that the always-on display will always be… well, on. But Apple has now confirmed that there are some instances where the always-on display will temporarily turn off

There are eight of these, including when your iPhone is face down, in a pocket or bag and when Low Power Mode is switched on, with the idea being that disabling the feature at these times will help you preserve battery life on your phone.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

A few bugs and some (inevitable) delays aside, it’s pretty much all good news as far as the iPhone 14 range goes. In fact, there are so many positives — particularly with the Pro models — that it’s hard to know where to start.

But to pick one at random, how about the new iPhone 14 Pro always-on display?

This shows you a low-brightness version of your current lock screen, allowing you to check your notifications, your iOS 16 lock screen widgets, and of course the clock.

It’s something Android phones have had a version of for some time, but none look quite as pretty, or show quite as much at once, as the AOD Apple’s developed.

There’s also a bug that reportedly affects iMessage and FaceTime. According to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), this can leave users unable to receive messages and calls, or iMessages to be sent with the generic green bubbles to other iPhone users.

Fortunately, there is a fix for this one, which we detail in our iPhone 14 release day bugs article.

iPhone 14

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

So what can you look forward to if you do have a shiny new iPhone 14 in your mitts today? Well, mostly lots of very good things, but also a couple of slight negatives.

We’ll start with the negatives, just because they’re freshly reported. For instance, it seems there’s an iPhone 14 activation bug which might be causing the set-up process to fail for some people. 

This comes from MacRumors (opens in new tab), which says it’s seen an internal Apple memo where the iPhone 14 doesn’t connect to open Wi-Fi networks when being set up. The workaround is to instead use a PC or Mac for that part of the process, which isn’t the most elegant solution. Hopefully Apple will sort this issue out quickly.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The fact that so many people want to get their hands on the iPhone 14 Pro models is hardly a surprise — in fact, we think the difference between the base model and its more expensive siblings is greater than ever.

Why? Well, there are multiple reasons including the fact that the Pro replaces the divisive notch with the really clever Dynamic Island, the camera upgrade to a 48MP sensor and the increased battery life.  

Here, our Global Editor in Chief Mark Spoonauer explains why the iPhone 14 Pro is way better than iPhone 14.

iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Nor is the situation just bad for people looking to buy some iPhone 14 Pro models today — even some people who preordered those phones are being told they might not get their handset on time.

According to 9to5Mac, multiple iPhone 14 preorders have been delayed at the 11th hour. Many have contacted them to express their frustration at the estimated delivery dates slipping to September 23. And some have even been pushed back to September 30.

A screenshot showing iPhone 14 Pro Max delays

(Image credit: Apple)

In the U.K., for instance, where Apple stores are already open, I can order an iPhone 14 Pro right now and pick it up from my local outlet tomorrow. However, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is showing as unavailable to collect from any of the 12 nearest stores.

There are no such problems with the base iPhone 14: that’s readily available for pick up tomorrow in multiple colors and configurations. 

Model Estimated delivery date (U.S.) Estimated delivery date (U.K.)
iPhone 14 September 20 September 21
iPhone 14 Plus October 7 October 7
iPhone 14 Pro October 17-24 October 18-25
iPhone 14 Pro Max October 24-31 October 25-November 1

Good morning, and welcome to Tom’s Guide’s iPhone 14 launch day live blog. 

Let’s start by talking about wait times. As the table above shows, some new iPhone 14 models are far easier to get hold of than others. For instance, if you order the base iPhone 14 today, it should be delivered as soon as next week. But if you want the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you might have to wait until the end of October to get your hands on it! 

In-store availability is potentially better than that, but it will depend on which model you want and where you are. Either way, it’s clear that the Pro models are in greater demand than ever this year. 

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