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The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are official with satellite-based Emergency SOS

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are official with satellite-based Emergency SOS


A really big iPhone for $899

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Image of the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus, both in a light shade of blue.
The colors have been toned down a lot this year.
Image: Apple

Apple has announced the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, preserving much of the iPhone 13’s design — including the previous-gen A15 Bionic chipset. There’s no Mini option this year, so your options are big or bigger. The US models of the iPhone 14 also do away with the physical SIM tray, going all in on eSIM. The standard iPhone 14 model starts at $799, and the 14 Plus starts at $899. Preorders will start September 9th; the standard 14 ships on September 16th, and the 14 Plus arrives later on October 7th.

Both models support Emergency SOS, the much-rumored emergency messaging via communication satellites when you’re out of range of a cell signal. The phone’s antennas can connect to satellite frequencies. Apple says it can take less than 15 seconds to send a message with a clear view of the sky, and the interface guides users to point their phone in the right direction and walks them through the steps to connect with emergency service providers. It’s also possible to use the Find My app to share location without sending a message. It’s free for two years with iPhone 14 models.

The iPhone 14 sticks with a 6.1-inch screen, while the 14 Plus offers a big 6.7-inch screen. The 14 Plus model claims to offer the best battery life of any iPhone. Both models continue to offer last year’s A15 Bionic chipset — a major shift for Apple, which has typically introduced a new processor to be used by its entire iPhone portfolio every year.

Image showing all the modes of the iPhone 14 in black, blue, starlight, purple, and red.
The iPhone 14 comes in two sizes and a handful of colors.
Image: Apple

On the camera front, there’s an ultrawide and a new 12-megapixel main camera with f/1.5 aperture and sensor-based stabilization. Apple claims there’s a 49 percent improvement in low-light image quality and says that night mode is twice as fast now. There’s also a new 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera with autofocus around front. Apple says it’s also applying its Deep Fusion image processing earlier in the image pipeline, improving low-light performance and color rendering, a technology it’s calling “Photonic Engine.” Video recording also gets a new stabilization mode called Action mode that uses the whole sensor for gimbal-esque steadiness.

The iPhone 14’s debut comes at a unique moment: inflation is driving the price of absolutely everything up — consumer tech included — and household budgets are stretched thin. Google has launched a public shaming campaign calling out Apple to adopt its open standard for messaging. And the company is having to face the fact that people in the US just don’t want a small iPhone, despite its efforts to sell one over the past couple of years. It all boils down to an unusual amount of pressure as Apple stages its annual iPhone unveiling from its gleaming Silicon Valley campus.