The iPhone 14 is a decent smartphone, but considering its price tag of $799 and limited upgrades from the iPhone 13, it may not offer the best value for your money. With the increasing competition in this price range, there are several phones available that provide better value than the iPhone 14.
For $799, the iPhone 14 offers a slightly improved A15 Bionic chip, a 60Hz display, 128GB of storage, a pair of 12MP cameras, and 6GB of RAM. Its performance is still impressive, but in terms of hardware, it lags behind its Android counterparts.
The iPhone 14 has also taken a step back in terms of battery life, lasting only 9 hours and 1 minute in our testing. Although it still excels in video, it falls short in photography.
If, like many consumers, you are looking to be more frugal with your spending in 2023, there are more affordable options that provide an equally good or even better experience than the iPhone 14. We also have you covered if you are not willing to switch to Android, although some of these phones may change your mind.
Here are five phones that offer a superior value proposition compared to the iPhone 14
OnePlus has recently launched its latest flagship phone, the OnePlus 11, which marks the company’s return to its affordable roots. Despite its low price tag of under $700, it manages to deliver everything that you would expect from a high-end Android phone priced over $999. The phone is equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, 8 or 16GB of RAM, and a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate. Surprisingly, despite the powerful hardware, it still offers a battery life of 13 hours and 10 minutes, as per our testing.
The OnePlus 11 boasts a triple camera array that has been tuned by Hasselblad. The primary wide-angle camera is a 48MP f/1.8 Sony IMX789 lens developed exclusively for OnePlus, while the ultra-wide lens is a 48MP f/2.2 with a 115-degree field of view that lets you capture stunning panoramas. Additionally, it features a 32-megapixel 2x optical telephoto zoom lens at f/2.4 and a 32MP front-facing camera for selfies.
The Hasselblad partnership has been a game-changer for OnePlus cameras, providing exceptional color reproduction and well-matched photos across all three rear lenses. While it falls slightly short of top-tier phones like the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Galaxy S23 Ultra, and Pixel 7 Pro in terms of hardware, it surpasses the iPhone 14 and many others in this price range.
Over the last year, OnePlus has substantially increased its commitment to software updates, promising four major Android OS updates and five years of security updates, which means that the $700 phone will still receive new software in 2028.
While there are other strong options on the market, it is hard to find a phone that comes as close to a true flagship experience as the OnePlus 11 does, especially considering its price point.
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Google Pixel 7
At a price of $599, and often available for an impressive $449, the Google Pixel 7 is considered by many to be the most valuable phone in the market. Even one of our staff, who is a devoted Apple fan, recently admitted that the Pixel 7 outperforms the iPhone.
Despite not being as powerful as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 found in the OnePlus 11 or the A15 Bionic featured in the iPhone 14, the Pixel 7’s Tensor G2 chip delivers remarkable AI capabilities, enabling the phone to perform exceptionally well.
The Pixel 7’s camera system boasts a 50MP Octa PD Quad Bayer wide-angle camera with an f/1.85 aperture and a 12MP ultra-wide with an f/2.2 aperture. While there is no telephoto lens, the combination of superior hardware and computational photography technology allows the two lenses to take better pictures than most other phones on the market, except for the Pixel 7 Pro. Additionally, the phone features the Magic Eraser, a handy tool that removes unwanted elements from your photos with just one tap.
The Pixel 7 showcases its AI abilities in more ways than just its camera. For instance, the Call Screening feature lets your phone act as your assistant by taking calls and informing you of their purpose before permitting people to speak with you. Other features such as conversation transcription and Now Playing, which displays the music playing in your surroundings on your lock screen, are unique add-ons that set it apart from its competitors.
Although the Pixel 7 lacks a triple camera and the fastest processor, its combination of features and price point make it an unparalleled value.
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Are you keen on the iPhone 14, but the price tag of $800 is beyond your budget? Allow me to present to you the iPhone 13, which is practically the same but costs less than $700.
The iPhone 13 provides the same features as the iPhone 14, such as a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display, an A15 Bionic chipset, 128GB of storage, a 12MP wide-angle camera at ƒ/1.6, and a 12MP ultrawide at ƒ/2.4. The only difference is that it has 4GB of RAM, which still performed well during our testing and was not noticeably slower than the 6GB RAM of the iPhone 14.
Additionally, the iPhone 13 has an edge over the iPhone 14, lasting an extra 1.5 hours in our testing at 10 hours and 33 minutes.
While it’s true that you’ll be getting it a year later, Apple provides 6-7 years of software updates for their phones, making it not that significant of a loss. If you’re not willing to spend more for the iPhone 14 Pro, I highly recommend either opting for the iPhone 13 or waiting for the iPhone 15, which will offer more for the same price later this year.
Samsung Galaxy S23
The Galaxy S23 and iPhone 14 are both popular smartphones, but the Galaxy S23 offers better value despite being sold at the same retail price of $799. The Galaxy S23 boasts flagship specs that are usually found in iPhones sold at $999 or more. It has a stunning 6.1-inch Super AMOLED display with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, a triple camera array on the back with a 3x telephoto lens, and delivers almost 1.5 hours more battery life in testing at 10 hours and 28 minutes.
The Galaxy S23 outperforms the iPhone 14 in benchmark tests, thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The 50-megapixel main sensor, 12MP ultrawide, and 3x 10MP telephoto rear camera system are also significant advantages over the iPhone 13, providing better low-light photos, sweeping landscape shots, and superior zoom capabilities.
While waiting for a sale to purchase the Galaxy S23 for $749 or less would be ideal, the phone is still a better value than the iPhone 13 even at its retail price of $799.
Google Pixel 6a
Let’s explore another option that provides better specifications at the same price point. However, if you want to save more than 50% on the cost of an iPhone 14 while still getting a high-quality phone, consider the Google Pixel 6a. Although the retail price for this phone is $449, you can purchase it for an incredibly low price of $299.
While the Pixel 7 I recommended earlier can provide a near flagship experience for a Pixel, the Pixel 6a is an excellent option for those on a tight budget. It offers the same software, support, and a nearly identical design as the Pixel 7, providing an outstanding experience for less than $300.
The Pixel 6a is equipped with the Tensor G1 chip from the Pixel 6, which isn’t as powerful as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. However, we have had no trouble playing resource-intensive games such as Call of Duty: Mobile or Genshin Impact on this phone. Moreover, the 6.1-inch OLED display is bright and vibrant, with a maximum brightness of 776 nits.
The Pixel 6a’s camera is particularly impressive, outperforming the iPhone 14 in terms of photo quality, despite the latter’s superior video capabilities. With a 12MP wide-angle lens at f/1.7 and a 12MP ultrawide lens at f/2.2, it produces some of the best photos of any phone on the market. If it had a telephoto lens, it would be on par with phones that cost three times as much.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Pixel 6a is an excellent choice. Not only does it provide excellent value, but it also provides significant savings compared to other options on this list.
At the beginning of my statement, I mentioned that the iPhone 14 is not a subpar phone, but it may not provide the most value for your money. Nevertheless, if the price is not a concern for you, then feel free to purchase it, and I’m confident that you will enjoy using it.
However, if you’re searching for an economical option or looking to get the most out of your budget, any of the five phones listed above will offer you a better return on investment than the iPhone 14. Therefore, it’s essential to consider your priorities when choosing a phone, and you can opt for any of them. Rest assured, each one will provide you with an exceptional experience, all while being budget-friendly.
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