iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: Which should you buy?

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13 image of both phones
(Image credit: Apple/Future Owns)

Welcome to our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13 guide. Despite the iPhone 14 being the latest model, it’s a minor upgrade over the iPhone 13. But having two fairly similar phones doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to choose which one to buy. What are the differences and how important are they? Questions like that can trip you up if you don’t have the answers.

Luckily, you’re in the right place to find out. We’ve put the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 head-to-head and analysed where they align and where they diverge. Give this article a read (and our best smartphones article, too) and it should be much clearer which one you should buy (and we’re here with some great iPhone 14 deals and iPhone 13 deals when you’re ready).

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: Design

A photo of the iPhone 14 in red

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

The designs of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 are almost identical. Both are made from “aerospace-grade aluminium”, utilise a flat-edged chassis, and sport a range of flat colours.

In fact, the colours are about the only way you can pick the two apart in terms of design. The iPhone 14 comes in blue, purple, midnight, starlight, and Product(RED). The iPhone 13, meanwhile, is available in Green, pink, blue, midnight, starlight, and Product(RED).

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: Display

iPhone 13 review

(Image credit: Future)

As with the designs of these phones, display technology is another area where the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 are very difficult to separate.

Each phone has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with a 2532x1170-pixel resolution at 460 ppi. There’s support for HDR content and the P3 wide colour gamut on both, plus the Ceramic Shield on the front for extra protection.

As for brightness, you’ll get the same whichever device you pick: 800 nits of max brightness (typical) and 1,200 nits peak brightness (HDR). Even when you put the iPhone 14 side-by-side against the iPhone 13, you’ll be hard pressed to find a difference in their displays.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: Performance

A photo of the iPhone 14 in red

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

In June 2022, Apple made a surprising announcement when it revealed the iPhone 14 would stick with the previous year’s A15 Bionic chip. That means it’s powered by the same chip as the iPhone 13 – on paper, at least.

There is actually a slight difference between the chips in the two devices, despite the fact that they share the A15 name. That’s because the iPhone 14’s A15 Bionic has a 5-core GPU, while the iPhone 13’s A15 Bionic has a 4-core GPU. That’s as far as the differences go, though.

In practice, there will be very little between the performance of the two phones, although the iPhone 14 will pull ahead slightly. Such is Apple’s lead in mobile chip performance, however, that both will outstrip any Android rival.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: Battery life

iPhone 13 review

(Image credit: Future)

As you’d expect, the iPhone 14 offers better battery life than the iPhone 13. But as you’ve also probably come to expect from this article so far, the differences are very small.

According to Apple’s numbers, the iPhone 14 will get you 20 hours of video playback and 16 hours of streamed video watching, compared to the iPhone 13’s 19 hours and 15 hours respectively. When it comes to audio playback, Apple says the iPhone 14 will last for up to 80 hours versus the iPhone 13’s 75 hours.

In other words, both devices should get you all-day battery life, and are very close across a range of metrics in this regard.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: Features

A photo of the iPhone 14 in red

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

While the iPhone 14 range saw the introduction of the Dynamic Island, that feature was limited to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max – the iPhone 14 sticks with the familiar notch, which the iPhone 13 also comes with. Likewise, you’ll get the same storage devices in both devices: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB.

However, there are some differences elsewhere. While both come with emergency SOS, only the iPhone 14 gets the new crash detection feature.

Another feature difference lies in the phones’ Bluetooth capabilities, with the iPhone 14 having Bluetooth 5.3 to the iPhone 13’s Bluetooth 5.0.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: Camera

iPhone 13 review

(Image credit: Future)

While these two phones are similar in so many ways, their camera setups are where they start to diverge. The differences are not as much as those between the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Pro, for example, but they are enough to be noticeable.

Both phones have a two-lens camera arrangement that takes photos up to 12MP resolution, and both have 2x optical zoom range with 5x digital zoom. The iPhone 14, however, has the new Photonic Engine, while the iPhone 13 does not.

On the rear, the ultra wide camera lens on both devices has an aperture of f/2.4. The main camera on the iPhone 14, though, has an aperture of f/1.5 to the f/1.6 on the iPhone 13.

The front-facing camera exposes some more differences. Its aperture on the iPhone 14 is f/1.9 versus the f/2.2 on the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14’s front camera also boasts autofocus and a more advanced cinematic mode that can shoot in 4K HDR (the iPhone 13 is limited to 1080p at 30fps).

Speaking of video recording, the rear lenses come with the same 4K-versus-1080p difference that you see on the front camera. Additionally, the iPhone 14 has action mode, which the iPhone 13 lacks. Both have 2x optical zoom out and 3x digital zoom.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: Price

A photo of the iPhone 14 in red

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

Being the newer device, the iPhone 14 will cost you a little more than the iPhone 13. Its starting configuration with 128GB of storage is £849, with the 256GB model costing £959 and the 512GB version being £1,179.

As for the iPhone 13, you’ll pay £749 for the 128GB model, £859 for 256GB of storage, and £1,079 for 512GB of space.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: Conclusion

iPhone 13 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

As you can see, the iPhone 14 is a small step up over the iPhone 13. There are differences, but they are mostly minor, and in some areas the two devices offer exactly the same features. If you aren’t fussed about those disparities and want to save some cash, the iPhone 13 is still an excellent choice, despite being a year old.

The main reason you might want to upgrade to the iPhone 14 will likely be the camera setup. While the iPhone 14’s lenses are not leagues ahead of those on the iPhone 13, there are enough differences to make it worth considering.

Whichever you go for, you’ll get a powerful product that holds its own in the world of smartphones.

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Alex Blake is a freelance tech journalist who writes for Creative Bloq, TechRadar, Digital Trends, and others. Before going freelance he was commissioning editor at MacFormat magazine, focusing on the world of Apple products. His interests include web design, typography, and video games.