5 phones that are a better value than the iPhone 14

iPhone 14
(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 is a good phone, but at $799 and with limited upgrades over the iPhone 13, it isn't necessarily the best value. With increasing competition at that price point, if you are looking to spend $800 or less, several phones offer a better value than the iPhone 14.

For $799, the iPhone 14 gives you a slightly upgraded A15 Bionic chip, a 60Hz display, 128GB of storage, a pair of 12MP cameras, and 6GB of RAM. Its performance remains excellent, but the Android competition has it beat in the hardware department.

The iPhone 14 also backslid on battery life, only making it 9 hours and 1 minute in our testing. And while it remains outstanding at video, it's fallen behind with its photography as we demonstrated in a recent camera face-off between the iPhone 14 Plus and a Galaxy S22 Ultra.

If like many consumers you are looking to be a little more cautious with your spending in 2023, there are more affordable options that will give you an experience at least as good, if not better, than the iPhone 14. We even have you covered if you aren't willing to switch to Android, although after seeing some of these phones you might change your mind on that point.

Here are 5 phones that are a better value than the iPhone 14.

OnePlus 11

OnePlus 11

(Image credit: Future)
OnePlus 11 specs

Price: $699
OS: Android 13
Screen size: 6.7-inch AMOLED
Screen resolution: 1440 x 3216
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 
RAM: 8GB & 16GB options
Storage: 128GB and 256GB option
Rear cameras: 50MP Ultra-Wide + 48MP Main camera + 8MP Telephoto Hasselblad Tuned
Front camera: 16MP
Size: 6.4 x 2.9 x 0.34 inches
Weight: 7.23 ounces

The OnePlus 11 is the latest flagship phone from OnePlus, a company that has finally returned to its affordable roots, delivering an outstanding phone for under $700, while still making good on its "No Settle" mantra.

The OnePlus 11 delivers almost everything you would expect from a $999+ Android phone including a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, and 8 or 16GB of RAM. Amazingly despite all that powerful hardware under the hood it still managed 13 hours and 10 minutes in our battery life testing.

The OnePlus 11 also boasts a triple camera array tuned by Hasselblad. The primary wide-angle camera remains a 48MP f/1.8 Sony IMX789 exclusively developed for OnePlus. The ultra-wide is a 48MP f/2.2 with a 115-degree field of view to allow you to capture gorgeous panoramas. Finally, you have a 32-megapixel 2x optical telephoto zoom lens at f/2.4. For selfie fans, you have a 32MP front-facing camera.

That Hasselblad partnership was a real game-changer for the cameras from OnePlus, delivering outstanding color reproduction and well-matched photos across all three rear lenses. While its hardware comes up a little short of the top-tier iPhone 14 Pro Max, Galaxy S23 Ultra, and Pixel 7 Pro, it has the edge on the iPhone 14 and many others in this price range.

OnePlus also dramatically boosted its commitment to software updates over the last year, so you'll get four major Android OS updates and five years of security updates, meaning your $700 phone will still be getting new software in 2028.

While there are other strong options on this list, you'll be hard-pressed to find a phone that comes this close to a true flagship phone experience for under $700.

Read our full OnePlus 11 review.

Google Pixel 7

Google Pixel 7

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)
Google Pixel 7 specs

Google Pixel 7
OS: Android
Screen size: 6.3-inch 90Hz AMOLED
Screen resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Google Tensor 
RAM: 8GB & 12GB options
Storage: 128GB upto 512GB
Rear camera: 50MP Main Camera + 48MP Telephoto + 12MP
Front camera: 10.8MP
Size: 6.41 x 3.02 x 0.35 inches
Weight: 7.48 ounces

The Google Pixel 7 is quite simply the best value of any phone on the market at $599 and you can frequently find it for an astounding $449. One of the biggest Apple fans on our staff recently confessed that the Google Pixel 7 is better than the iPhone.

While its Tensor G2 chip isn't as powerful as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the OnePlus 11 or the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 14, it offers powerful AI capabilities that allow this phone to punch well above its weight.

The Pixel 7 features 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. No telephoto, but these two lenses are capable of producing better photos than any other phone on the market outside of the Google Pixel 7 Pro. This is a combination of the strong hardware with Google's unmatched computational photography. And you even get fun extra camera features like the Magic Eraser that can knock unwanted elements out of your photos with a tap.

Magic Eraser is just one example of the Pixel 7 flexing its AI smarts. Features like Call Screening are life-changing as they let your phone basically act as your assistant to take calls and let you know what they are regarding before letting people through. Other features like conversation transcription or the Now Playing feature that shows you what music is playing around you on your lock screen are all impressive extras that you don't see from competitors.

It may not have a triple camera or the fastest processor, but taken as a total package the Pixel 7 is an unbeatable value.

iPhone 13

iPhone 13

(Image credit: Future)
iPhone 13 specs

Price: $699.99
OS: iOS 16 
Screen size: 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display
Screen resolution: 2532 x 1170 pixels
CPU: Apple A15 Bionic 
Storage: 128GB up to 512GB 
Rear camera: 12MP wide (ƒ/1.6); 12MP ultrawide (ƒ/2.4)
Front camera: 12MP (f/2.2)
Size: 5.78 x 2.82 x 0.30 inches
Weight: 6 ounces

So you were dead set on the iPhone 14, but $800 is a little too much? Let me introduce you to the iPhone 13, which is virtually identical and under $700. 

The iPhone 13 offers the same 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display, an A15 Bionic chipset, 128GB of storage, a 12MP wide-angle camera at ƒ/1.6, and 12MP ultrawide at ƒ/2.4. It does drop from 6GB of RAM to 4GB, but that didn't yield a perceptible difference in our testing.

You also have one definitive advantage over the new iPhone 14, the iPhone 13 lasted an extra 1.5 hours in our testing at 10 hours and 33 minutes. 

Sure, you are getting it a year later, but given that Apple offers 6-7 years of software updates for its phones, it's not that big of a loss. If you aren't going to spend up for the iPhone 14 Pro, I strongly encourage you to either opt for the iPhone 13 or to just wait for the iPhone 15 so you get more for the same $799 later this year.

Read our full iPhone 13 review.

Samsung Galaxy S23

Samsung Galaxy S23

(Image credit: Future)
Samsung Galaxy S23 specs

Price: $799
OS: Android 13
Screen size: 6.1-inch Super AMOLED
Screen resolution: 1080 x 2340
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Storage: 128GB to 256GB
Rear cameras: 50MP Main camera + 12MP Ultra-Wide + 10MP 3x Telephoto
Front camera: 12MP
Size: 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches
Weight: 5.8 ounces

While the Galaxy S23 is more frequently discounted than the iPhone 14, this one is more about value and less about pure price as the Galaxy S23 retails for the same $799.

The Galaxy S23 boasts flagship specs that you need to spend $999 or more for on the iPhone. This includes the gorgeous 6.1-inch Super AMOLED display with its dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, the triple camera array on the back with a 3x telephoto, and it delivers all that while offering almost another 1.5 hours of battery life at 10 hours and 28 minutes in our testing. 

While in years past the iPhone managed to maintain a performance lead on its rivals even a year later, that came to an end with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. The Galaxy S23 comes in 10% higher than the iPhone 13 in Geekbench 5 testing.

The triple-rear camera system is another huge advantage for Samsung at this price point. The 50-megapixel main sensor gives you excellent low-light photos, while the 12MP ultrawide offers sweeping landscape shots, and the 3x 10MP telephoto gives you reach that the iPhone 13 can only dream of. 

If you can wait for a sale to get the Galaxy S23 for $749 or less then all the better, but even at $799 the Galaxy S23 is a superior value to the iPhone 13.

Google Pixel 6a

Google Pixel 6a review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)
Google Pixel 6a specs

Price: $449
OS: Android
Screen size: 6.1-inch OLED
Screen resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Tensor G1
Storage: 128GB
Rear cameras: 12.2MP wide (f/1.7), 12MP ultrawide (f/2.2)
Front camera: 8MP (f/2.0)
Size: 5.9 x 2.8 x 0.34 inches
Weight: 6.3 ounces

We looked at an option that offers better specs at the same price point, now let's take a look at saving you literally over 50% off the price of the iPhone 13, while still getting a super phone. The Google Pixel 6a's retail price is a reasonable $449, but you can expect to pay an almost unthinkable $299 for this phone.

If you want a near flagship experience from a Pixel then by all means stick to the Pixel 7 that I recommended above, but if you need to save money, the Pixel 6a gets you an excellent experience for under $300 with the same software, same support, and a virtually identical design as the Pixel 7.

The Pixel 6a uses the Tensor G1 chip from the Pixel 6, which again can't touch the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but we have had no problem playing intensive games like Call of Duty: Mobile or Genshin Impact on this phone. The 6.1-inch OLED display is vibrant and bright at 776 nits of brightness.

The cameras on this phone are simply remarkable, while the iPhone 14 produces far superior video, Google's budget champ easily outclasses the iPhone 14's photos. The 12MP wide angle at f/1.7 and 12MP ultrawide at f/2.2 produce some of the best photos of any phone on the market. If it weren't for the lack of a telephoto, it would be a dead heat for the best camera phone with phones that cost 3x as much.

If you are looking for not just value, but pure savings, then the Pixel 6a may be the best choice for you on this list.

Read our full Google Pixel 6a review.

Final Thoughts

As I said at the outset, the iPhone 14 isn't a bad phone, it's simply not the best value out there. If that doesn't matter to you, then by all means pick one up, you'll enjoy it.

If however, you are looking to save a little money or just get the best bang for your buck, any of the five phones above give you more for your money than the iPhone 14. So consider what's important to you in a phone and take your pick, each one will offer you a first-class experience (and at coach prices no less).

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.