iPhone 16 Plus vs iPhone 14 Plus: Is it time to upgrade?

iPhone 16 Plus vs iPhone 14 Plus: Is it time to upgrade?

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Intro

Apple revived the Plus model back in 2022 with the iPhone 14 Plus, and it seems that the company is sticking with it. Now, as the official announcement of the iPhone 16 series draws near, it’s time to see what the new iPhone 16 Plus will bring to the table and what kind of evolution we have witnessed in the past couple of years when it comes to the iPhone Plus.The iPhone Plus formula seems to have remained unchanged. For all fans of large iPhones who don’t want to pay an extra premium for the Pro Max model, the iPhone Plus is a great choice. How will the new iPhone 16 Plus improve on that? Is it enough of an upgrade over the original Plus to make people switch and buy the new model? Today, in this preliminary comparison, we will try to find out.

This is the iPhone 14 Plus versus the iPhone 16 Plus. Who will win this battle? Read on to find out!

iPhone 16 Plus vs iPhone 14 Plus differences:

Table of Contents:

Also read:

Design and Size

Refinements
When we compared the iPhone 15 Plus with the iPhone 14 Plus, the differences were minuscule, and we expect the same with the iPhone 15 Plus and the iPhone 16 Plus. But what about the original Plus and the new model? Have enough changes piled up during the past two years to make a huge visual difference? No, we don’t think so.

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There are two big design differences between the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 16 Plus. The first one is the notch. The new iPhone 16 Plus follows with the Dynamic Island philosophy, offering a pill-shaped cutout on its screen with some added functionality, while the original iPhone 14 Plus has the old notch.

The other big difference is the design of the camera. The iPhone 16 Plus comes with a redesigned vertical main camera, similar to the one on the iPhone X, just a bit beefier. The iPhone 14 Plus has the usual squarish camera bump design with diagonal placement for the main and ultrawide cameras.

There is no difference in build materials between these two. We’re talking about the usual glass-aluminum sandwich, but there’s a difference when it comes to buttons. The new model will feature an Action Button, and, most likely, a capacitive Camera Button as well, while the iPhone 14 Plus comes with conventional volume and power buttons, plus the mute switch.

Regarding the available colors, you can check out the expected colors for the iPhone 16 Plus below, as well as all the available iPhone 14 hues.

iPhone 16 Plus expected colors:

iPhone 14 Plus available colors:

  • Midnight
  • Purple
  • Starlight
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Yellow

Display Differences

Where’s my 120Hz display?

Not much has changed regarding the display, sadly. The iPhone 14 Plus sports a 6.69-inch OLED screen with a 60Hz refresh rate, and while this slow refresh rate was somewhat acceptable back in 2022, it’s not the case anymore.

Nevertheless, Apple seems to be stuck in the past because we expect the iPhone 16 Plus to sport the exact same display with the exact same refresh rate, only a bit brighter. The iPhone 14 Plus is rated at 1,200 nits of peak brightness, while the new model is expected to bump this number to 2,000.

Obviously, the notch remains on the iPhone 14 Plus, and for some people it’s an eyesore, while others don’t even notice it. The new iPhone 16 Plus comes with a pill-shaped cutout and Dynamic Island features attached to it.

As always, stay tuned for our display tests, which will reveal any hidden changes to minimum and maximum brightness, color temperature, and color accuracy.

Performance and Software

A18 vs A15
The iPhone 16 Plus is expected to come with the new A18 chip, made with 3nm technology for better power efficiency and unprecedented power, of course. This new model is also likely to have more RAM to handle the advanced on-device AI that Apple might bring with the iPhone 16 series.

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That said, the iPhone 14 Plus, with its A15 chip and 6GB of RAM, is still a great option for everyday use. When we factor in the ecosystem and the way Apple optimizes its App Store and apps to run across different iPhone generations, we don’t expect major difference in real-life performance. The new chip should really shine in benchmarks, and we’ll share those results as soon as we get our hands on the iPhone 16 Plus.

Where things could get interesting is the software. The iPhone 16 Plus should come with iOS 18, which will probably also be available for the iPhone 14 Plus shortly after. However, the new model might have some cool AI features that the older one won’t get, and it will depend on whether these are on-device or cloud-based. The world is moving toward AI, and Apple can’t afford to lag behind. In the worst case scenario, the AI features could be reserved for the Pro models, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Software updates are important too. Pixel and Galaxy phones already offer seven years of updates, which puts some pressure on Apple. We’re not sure if the iPhone 16 Plus will get more than five years of OS updates, but five is the least we can expect, which gives a two year advantage for the iPhone 16 Plus over the iPhone 14 Plus in terms of longevity.

Camera

More pixels on the main sensor
Apple finally upgraded the main camera sensor across the iPhone 15 range, and this will be transferred to the iPhone 16 Plus. The 48MP main camera is not an upgrade per se, when we compare it to the previous generation, but when we go farther back in time and plug the iPhone 14 Plus into the equation, it’s indeed an upgrade.

The original iPhone 14 Plus features a 12 MP main camera with sensor shift stabilization but no clever hi-resolution tricks. The iPhone 16 Plus, on the other hand, will most likely produce high-resolution 24 MP images from its main sensor.

The ultrawide camera seems to be identical on both models, as is the selfie camera. We have to snap some samples to be able to tell if there are big real-life differences between the two phones in image quality, but we don’t expect that, to be honest.

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The cameras are positioned differently on the new model, and it’s not for aesthetic reasons alone. The iPhone 16 Plus should be able to record spatial video in landscape mode, which is meant to be viewed on the Apple Vision Pro headset. The iPhone 14 Plus can’t do this with its diagonally positioned cameras on the back.

Battery Life and Charging

What, the battery is smaller now?

The iPhone 14 Plus will sport a larger battery than the iPhone 16 Plus. There, we’ve said it. We’re not sure what’s the logic behind this decision but according to our info, the iPhone 16 Plus will come with a 4,006mAh cell. The two-generation older iPhone 14 Plus sports a 4,325mAh battery, and its battery life has proven to be solid. 

Another difference, of course, is the USB-C port on the new iPhone 16 Plus model. The iPhone 14 Plus sports the old Lightning port, but contrary to what most people would expect, the charging speeds aren’t that different. On paper, the iPhone 16 Plus could be pumped up with 27W of wired power, while the iPhone 14 Plus is listed with 20W wired charging support.

We will carry out our usual battery and charging tests and update this comparison with some hard numbers soon.

Specs Comparison

Summary

The iPhone 16 Plus might not look like a radical upgrade, but when we compare it to the the original iPhone 14 Plus, which restarted the model, the changes start to look substantial. We have the Dynamic Island, the USB-C port, a brighter display, more RAM, and a faster chipset.

Let’s not forget the new buttons and the potential new AI features that Apple might bake into the new iPhone 16 Plus. So, if you’re coming from the iPhone 14 Plus, it might be time to upgrade. Is there a reason to go and grab the iPhone 14 Plus? Probably not. If you’re just getting into the Apple ecosystem, you like big phones but don’t want to cough up a lot of money on the Pro Max model, the iPhone 16 Plus could be a perfect match for you.



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