iPhone 14 fatigue: why the new iPhone isn't 2022’s most exciting handset

iPhone 13 mini
(Image credit: TechRadar)

If you follow tech – or the news in general – you'll probably know that the iPhone 14 is on its way very soon. Apple's next smartphone is expected to launch in September, and it'll likely be one of the most talked-about phones of the year... but it's certainly not the most exciting.

Other phones are coming later this year too, and there are actually some more interesting ones than the iPhone. The Xiaomi 12T, Motorola Razr and Sony Xperia 5 IV (if that comes along) could all be far more exciting, for a few key reasons. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a bending phone, with more power and functionality than one can shake a stick at, and yet it commanded far less search interest in its launch buildup than the iPhone 14 currently does.

Now, this isn't an article to say 'Androids rule, iPhones drool' or anything like that – no, our comments on the iPhone 14 aren't regarding its merits or foibles, but the way the tech community treats these devices.

iPhone fever, iPhone fatigue

It can be hard to get to iPhone launch day without being completely exhausted by the leaks and rumors surrounding them. Not because of the content, but the sheer volume and laugh ability of some ‘insider knowledge’.

Leakers spend months and months incessantly spouting out predictions and leaks for the new iPhones, often with dubious accuracy. That's because, while top leakers often have some reliable information, lots of smaller leakers try and use the excitement around the iPhone to try and gain some notoriety.

And many of these leaks say the same things, as this is a smartphone, after all, and there's not that much to say about it. We hear the same information, about the cameras or screen size or processor, ad nauseam. 

Several Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro models lying face down

The Google Pixel 7, discussed presently. (Image credit: Google)

Bear in mind that Apple has slowed down the rate of change - in terms of design - between its new devices year on year (the iPhone 12 was the last big design upgrade,  two years ago) and the iPhone 14 - particularly the standard model - will almost definitely be the same as the iPhone 13 but with a few small changes.

Because of this, it can be very hard to have any level of excitement for the iPhone 14. But that's not the case for other upcoming phones.

A little bit of mystery

We've seen one single leak for the Xiaomi 12T, which provided some potential camera and screen specs, but certainly not enough to get a real feel for what the phone will be like.

We've heard absolutely nothing about the Sony Xperia 5 IV (there's a real possibility that it's not coming), and the few Huawei Mate 50 details we've heard can't even agree if it's coming out or not.

And that’s where the sadness, the fatigue, comes in. Apple knows that it doesn’t need to bring swinging updates because its customers are still interested in every morsel that comes out, because they’re probably going to buy the iPhone, or at the very least a comparable flagship phone from Samsung or OnePlus.

And that’s why the other brands have to work so hard on innovation - the incredible power, screen design, folding screens or 200MP cameras on the so-called ’smaller brands’ are attempts to get people interested in what might be coming - and we should all find that refreshing. 

We get that the amount of innovation left in the smartphone world isn’t a high as it once was - there’s only so much you can do with a black oblong - but it doesn’t mean excitement for other tech, whether it’s super-fast battery charging, amazing cooling for gaming or just a really smart interface, is worth skipping.

And while we know roughly that some brands are more likely than others to innovate in these way, we don’t know how - there’s a certain allure to the unknown, and since we have so little information about these upcoming phones, it's a lot easier to get excited about them.

Even handsets we do know a lot about, like the Google Pixel 7 or Motorola Razr 2022, are still clouded in more mystery than the iPhone. We don't know the price of the Razr, or what cameras the Pixel 7 will have, and that mystery is intriguing. 

So if you're excited for the iPhone 14 – and somehow have avoided iPhone fatigue until now – then do check out some of the other Android phones coming this year, because while you’ll probably still end up getting the iPhone 14, there’s a lot more exciting tech magic happening out there that you should still know about. 

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.