Whatever you do, don’t buy an iPhone 14 on Memorial Day – get these models instead

iPhone 14 in the hand
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

If you’re looking to upgrade your iPhone to a new (or newer) model during this year’s Memorial Day sales, you might be tempted to pick up an iPhone 14 on the cheap. After all, Apple’s standard-level 2023 flagship is still less than two years old, it’s got a seriously snappy chipset and best of all, it’s set to continue receiving software updates until at least 2028 (yay!).

In other words, the iPhone 14 appears – on paper, at least – to be a worthy upgrade over older-generations models like the iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. But let me echo the same advice I shared over Black Friday last year: don’t buy an iPhone 14 this Memorial Day – get an iPhone 13 or an iPhone 15 instead. 

To be clear: the iPhone 14 is not a bad phone, by any means. In our iPhone 14 review, we described the standard model as a “capable smartphone with a seriously snappy CPU, lovely screen, and good cameras.” But as a value proposition in 2024, the iPhone 14 doesn't hold a candle to the comparable iPhone 13 or the vastly superior iPhone 15, especially when you consider that both of those devices are also likely to receive discounts as part of retailers’ upcoming Memorial Day Apple sales.

Why do I say this? Well, the standard iPhone 14 is basically the same phone as the iPhone 13, but more expensive. Their aluminum designs are identical, their cameras are almost identical, and their chipsets are separated by just one generation – which, in Apple terms, means next to nothing. For a detailed breakdown of the differences between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13, check out our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13 comparison, but rest assured that those differences are not nearly as significant as their difference in price.

The iPhone 13 laying on a table

The iPhone 13 (above) looks identical to the iPhone 14 (Image credit: TechRadar)

Right now, the iPhone 14 starts at $699, while the iPhone 13 starts at $599. As mentioned, those prices are likely to dip on Memorial Day, but the difference between them will also likely remain around the $100 mark. Yes, the iPhone 14 is a better phone than the iPhone 13 – it’s got a slightly faster chipset, a better TrueDepth camera and the ability to make emergency satellite phone calls – but it’s not $100 better.

The reverse is true of the iPhone 15, which represents the biggest generational iPhone upgrade in years. For $799 (or slightly less on Memorial Day), you’ll get Apple’s Dynamic Island, a Pro-level 48MP main camera and USB-C connectivity. You'll find a full breakdown of the key differences in our iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14 comparison, but know that those differences are worth the $100 premium you can expect to pay for the iPhone 15 over the iPhone 14 – a hard truth I came to realize after already buying the iPhone 14 in 2022.

The iPhone 14 Pro is still a-go

Apple iPhone 14 Pro home screen

The iPhone 14 Pro is still a compelling choice in 2024 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

When it comes to the Plus, Pro and Pro Max models, things are a little less clear cut. The iPhone 14 Pro is markedly better than the iPhone 13 Pro, and although the iPhone 15 Pro is, for me, the best iPhone ever made, Apple’s 2022 flagship remains a top-notch choice if you’re simply looking for a lightning fast iPhone with a Dynamic Island and 120Hz scrolling.

The iPhone 14 Plus is similarly impressive; there’s no iPhone 13 Plus model to compare it to, and its Pro Max-sized screen and impressive battery life credentials remain compelling in 2024. I’d still recommend going for the Dynamic Island-equipped iPhone 15 Plus, mind, but the iPhone 14 Plus is likely to prove the subject of more discounts come Memorial Day.

So there you have it. If you’ve got around $600 to spend on a new iPhone this Memorial Day, I’d recommend picking up an iPhone 13 and kitting it out with as much storage as possible, or going for an iPhone 14 Plus or Pro model. Alternatively, go the whole nine yards and grab a discounted iPhone 15. Just don’t – I repeat, don’t – get the standard iPhone 14. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.