iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 13: what’s the difference?

The arrival of the new iPhone 14 lineup doesn’t mean that the iPhone 13 is gone. As Apple has done with previous iPhone releases, the company kept some of the year-old iPhone models in its lineup as a more affordable option in its iPhone lineup.

This year, Apple kept the $699 iPhone 13 and $599 iPhone 13 Mini, giving iPhone users the option of purchasing either of those or picking up the new $799 iPhone 14 or $899 iPhone 14 Plus.

There have never been two iPhone models that mirror each other in features and capabilities as closely as the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 do, and they’re both among the best phones you can buy. Because of that, deciding which iPhone is right for you has gotten even more difficult this year. Below we’ll walk you through the key differences in an effort to help you decide which iPhone is right for you.

iPhone 13

Display

6.1-inch or 6.7-inch

5.4-inch or 6.1-inch

Processor

A15 Bionic

A15 Bionic

Storage

128GB / 256GB / 512GB

128GB / 256GB / 512GB

Battery

Up to 20 hours of video playback

Up to 19 hours of video playback

Rear cameras

12MP main, 12MP ultra-wide

12MP main, 12MP ultra-wide

front camera

12MP TrueDepth camera

12MP TrueDepth camera

connectivity

5G, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.3

5G, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0

Safety features

Emergency SOS via satellite, Crash Detection

Emergency SOS

colors

Blue, purple, midnight, starlight, Product(RED)

Pink, blue, midnight, starlight, green and Product(RED)

Price

From $799

From $599

Apple-iPhone-14-iPhone-14-Plus-hero-220907

Apple

Apple replaced the smallest iPhone with the iPhone 14 Plus. The 6.7-inch display dwarfs the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini, and gives iPhone owners the option to go big without the requirement of paying a premium for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which is the same size as the iPhone 14 Plus.

The larger display is nice, but so is the battery life that a larger phone allows for. In fact, that’s why I’ve preferred the Pro Max models with every new iPhone release. Battery life on the bigger phones is better by several hours and is good enough to get through long travel days where I’m constantly streaming music, using Maps, Uber and TripIt for travel-related activities.

With previous iPhone launches, if you wanted a 6.7-inch iPhone model, you’d have to go with the iPhone Pro Max — a device that starts at $1,099. The iPhone 14 Plus starts at $899 for 128GB of storage. The only downside? You’ll have to wait for it — the iPhone 14 Plus is currently available to preorder, but won’t start shipping until Oct. 7.

iphone 14 pro 6

Apple

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus come with two new safety features. With Crash Detection, all iPhone 14 models can now detect when you’re in a car crash and call for help. And in November, Apple will launch its Emergency SOS via satellite feature that will allow iPhone 14 owners to send emergency messages using satellites to summon help. It’s a fantastic feature for someone who often goes hiking or travels through areas without cellular coverage.

Emergency SOS via satellite will be free for the first two years. Apple hasn’t said what it expects the cost to be after that.

iphone 14 design (1)

Mike Andronico/CNN

Finally, the iPhone 14’s camera setup is better than the iPhone 13’s. For the average user, the differences won’t matter much — but for someone who wants to take better photos and videos, the iPhone 14’s camera system is where it’s at.

There’s a 12-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and now the front-facing camera has autofocus to improve your selfie game. Where the real improvements are found is in how the iPhone 14 processes images, capturing more details and more accurate color.

iPhone 14 (left), iPhone 13 (right)

And, finally, the iPhone 14 camera has a new video trick called Action mode. When recording video in Action mode, the camera stabilizes the video and removes nearly all shakeness. It’s designed to be used in scenarios where stabilizing the camera isn’t really possible, such as when running.

You don’t need Apple’s latest and greatest

14-iphone 13 underscored review

Jacob Krol/CNN

When you look at the spec sheet and compare the iPhone 13 to the iPhone 14, they’re practically the same exact device. Granted, the sizes don’t exactly match up, with Apple getting rid of the Mini iPhone model, replacing it with the iPhone 14 Plus.

Outside of that, however, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 use practically the same A15 Bionic processor. The lone difference between the chip that powers either model is the iPhone 14’s processor has one more GPU core than the iPhone 13. That results in boosted graphics performance (and some slightly higher scores on our benchmark tests), but in everyday use the difference is negligible.

Both models use the same display tech, have two-rear facing cameras, 5G connectivity, Face ID, and have the same storage capacities.

Apple estimates battery life on the iPhone 14 to be 20 hours, while the iPhone 13 is 19 hours of constant video streaming. That’s not all that big of a difference, and we’ve found both phones to be similarly long-lasting in our own testing.

4-iphone 13 underscored review

Jacob Krol/CNN

The iPhone 13 line is now limited to just the standard 6.1-inch iPhone 13, and the smaller 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini. For some, the iPhone 13 Mini’s smaller overall footprint is more manageable and easier to use, especially one-handed, when compared to the 6.1-inch iPhone 13 or even the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus.

With the iPhone 13 Mini, you’re still getting the same features, performance and reliable camera that you’d get with the iPhone 13.

The iPhone 13 Mini’s only potential weak point is battery life, as a smaller phone means a smaller battery. However, the 13 Mini only tapped out about 30 minutes before the standard 13 in our tests, so you won’t be making too big a sacrifice on Apple’s smaller phone.

iPhone 13

With so many similarities between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14, the decision may very well come down to which color you prefer. The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini are available in pink, blue, midnight, starlight, green and Product(RED).

The iPhone 14 comes in a different shade of blue, purple, midnight, starlight and Product(RED). In addition to slightly different colors, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have a more muted color palette — outside of the vibrant Product(RED) offering. The iPhone 13, however, is brighter and, in my professional Dad opinion, a lot more fun, especially for teens and tweens.

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