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Should You Upgrade? An Honest Review of the iPhone 14

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Holy Cross chapter.

When my iPhone XR’s screen started shaking up and down for the third time in the past month, I decided I finally had to upgrade my phone. While I originally found it frustrating that I had to get a new phone (as if I’m not busy enough!), it just so happened to be the same weekend the iPhone 14 was released. God’s timing is always right, you know?

As someone who is not particularly tech-savvy, I wanted to know what the real deal about the 14 was before buying. However, many of the reviews I read I found to be a bit confusing. I didn’t want to know about the refresh rate or the fact that they did not change the chip from the 13 to the 14. I wanted to know what new features were available and what ones I would actually use as an average college student. So, after semi-careful consideration and examination, I present to you, my personal review on the iPhone 14 for the everyday phone user.

Many of the reviews I read were underwhelmed that the design of the 14 followed the same standard design used for the iPhone 11, 12, and 13. Personally, I do not see this as a bad thing. Frankly, it’s a great size phone with a 6.1 inch display. It can fit comfortably in your hand or your pocket, and hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!  If you prefer a bigger screen, don’t worry, Apple’s got that covered with the 6.7 inch display on the 14 Pro. Additionally, the 14 is outfitted with 2 cameras, which is also very similar to its predecessor models. This was actually super fun for me to try out since I had an XR before this, which only had one lens. I have a newfound passion for taking 0.5 pics! I think the camera quality is very clear from both the front and back cameras. Overall, the appearance is nothing too outside-the-box but it’s still an ideal setup that’s perfect for user accessibility.

One aspect of the 14 that is new and fun and was definitely my biggest factor when deciding on a 14 was the color options for the phone. My XR was yellow and I really loved having it in a clear case to see the vibrant color. I spent a good amount of time glossing over the color options and decided on a light shade of purple. You can also get the 14 in blue, midnight, red, and starlight. While I wish Apple would still offer the bold colors that came with the iPhone 5, I think the 14 offers a great range of colors for everybody.

One of my favorite upgrades from the XR to the 14 was the increase in battery life. I’m a pretty busy college student, as I’m sure many of you reading also are, and I pretty much never carry a charger on me. Because of this routine, I’ve been stranded with my phone on 5% more times than I can count. The 14 has a much longer battery life which is perfect when I’m running around campus for 15 hours straight.

Certain reviews I read criticized Apple for not changing any of the settings when it came to the latest phone model. The brightness, water, & dust resistant features, as well as being made of ceramic glass, are all the same as before. Like I mentioned, with the physical model of the phone, I don’t see why this would be a problem. I actually think it makes things easier when you upgrade because you don’t have to re-learn how to use an iPhone. I feel like trading in my XR for a 14 was a major jump, but the interface was pretty easy to adapt to, as not much had drastically changed. A fun fact I learned about the 14 is that it is able to sit in 6 meters of water for half an hour and still be fine, which is actually awesome. You never know when you’re gonna drop your phone in the toilet or another body of water, but now you know it’ll be able to make a full recovery.

One new feature that’s included in the iPhone 14 Pro is the Crash Detection. If you get into an accident, your phone can now immediately dial emergency services and alert them of your location. It can also call your emergency contacts for you. I think this is a revolutionary and amazing feature, as Apple could be saving lives by adding this into the phone’s capabilities. You can watch a video of the Crash Detection feature being tested here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZn6K44qfdU

So, should you upgrade? I think it depends on the situation. If you have a 12 or 13, I would recommend waiting before you upgrade. The 12, 13, and 14 are all very similar (yet still good!) so the upgrade might not be worth it to you. If you were like me and had an XR or older, it’s worth the money. The battery life alone was such a major benefit to my life and I am loving the increase in camera quality. Overall, I really enjoy my iPhone 14 and at least for me, the upgrade was totally worth it.

Lexi Carroll

Holy Cross '26

Lexi is a freshman at Holy Cross who plans to major in Political Science with a concentration on Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies. When she's not busy studying, you can find her at dance class, hanging out with her besties, or spending an absurd amount of hours on Pinterest.