Play video on iPhone 14 Plus.

Sophia Pitt

Over the past few days, I’ve been testing Apple’s new $899 iPhone 14 Plus, which hits stores on Friday. It has the biggest screen you can get on an iPhone without paying $1,099 for the Pro model, and the best battery life ever on an iPhone.

The iPhone 14 Plus is great for people who just want a bigger screen and don’t mind missing out on the new Pro and Pro Max features, like Dynamic Island and always-on display.

But most buyers seem to have gone for the Pro models instead of the regular iPhone 14 so far.

Analysts at Bank of America issued a rare downgrade on Apple shares last week and cut their price target on “weaker consumer demand” and the potential for a slow iPhone cycle as consumers slow spending. The bank suggested that while there has been a bigger mix of Pro model purchases so far, that won’t offset the drop in revenue and profit if Apple sells fewer units overall.

iPhone 14 Plus.

Sophia Pitt

And JPMorgan analysts said in an Oct. 3 note that compared shipping times for iPhone models that price-sensitive customers are choosing the iPhone 13 over the more expensive iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus.

But you shouldn’t just write off the iPhone 14 Plus. It’s a good option for people who just want a big screen and don’t want to spend $200 more on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. And it has excellent battery life and improved cameras in a lightweight package.

Here’s what you need to know about the iPhone 14 Plus.

iPhone 14 Plus: What’s good

Apple unveiled four new iPhones, three new Apple Watches and an updated AirPods Pro during a press conference on Wednesday in Cupertino, California, US on September 7, 2022.

Typhoon Koskun | Anatolian Agency | Getty Images

The big screen is the highlight here. And if you’re like me, you’ll dig having a bigger display in your pocket for reading, movies, games, and more. It’s otherwise the same screen as the regular iPhone 14. I noticed blacks were nice and deep and colors popped while streaming YouTube videos.

You can see more of a page, such as a website you’re browsing, or store more apps on your home page. And it helps if you want to see more while increasing the text size, which can be handy for people who prefer or need larger text.

iPhone 14 Plus.

Sophia Pitt

The iPhone 14 Plus is only 0.11 ounces lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which has the same display size, but the difference felt significant when I carried it around.

The iPhone 14 Plus is 1.31 ounces lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and the difference felt significant when I carried it around.

Apple says the iPhone 14 Plus has “the best battery life ever in an iPhone,” which only applies to general all-day use. Battery life was great in my tests. I was able to stream YouTube videos for more than 19 hours before the phone died, which is in line with Apple’s claim of 20 hours of video streaming. Apple also promises up to 100 hours of audio playback, which is longer than any other iPhone.

The cameras are also solid. While you don’t get the telephoto or really sharp main cameras you’ll find on the iPhone 14 Pro models, you do get an improved 12-megapixel main camera that takes good photos, including clearer and brighter shots at night when there’s no lots of lights.

Photo of iPhone 14 Plus in night mode.

Sophia Pitt

There’s also a new front-facing camera with autofocus for selfies. This means your selfies will look sharper and more focused than on the iPhone 13.

iPhone 14 Plus selfies.

Sophia Pitt

iPhone 14 Plus.

Sophia Pitt

iPhone 14 Plus: What’s bad

Despite its size, the iPhone 14 Plus is a relatively minor update over last year’s iPhone 13. You’ll see more of an upgrade from the Pro models. These phones have always-on displays that can show notifications even when your phone is idle, and they feature Dynamic Island, which makes better use of the notch at the top of the screen. Dynamic Island can display things like album art for the music you’re playing, for example, and will soon offer other features like live sports scores at the top of the screen.

iPhone 14 Plus home screen.

Sophia Pitt

If you’re looking for a camera upgrade, you’ll notice a difference if you’re upgrading from the iPhone 12, but it’s hard to see a significant difference if you’re going from the 13 to the 14 Plus, other than autofocus on the front selfie camera.

The iPhone 14 Plus uses the same A15 chip as the iPhone 13, but with an additional graphics processing core for improved gaming performance. I didn’t notice any difference when I played the game “Diablo: Immortal” on both phones.

I’m disappointed that all iPhone 14s still have a Lightning port instead of USB-C. I didn’t expect Apple to switch, but it would be really helpful to just carry around the same USB-C charger I use to power my MacBook and iPad.

iPhone 14 Plus.

Sophia Pitt

Should you buy it?

The iPhone 14 Plus is a great buy for people who just want an iPhone with a bigger screen and who don’t want or need the features of the Pro models. At $899, the $100 premium over the standard iPhone 14 is worth it for the larger display and better battery life. But you probably don’t need to upgrade from the iPhone 13 for it.