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New iPhone 14 color hands-on: This is not a mellow yellow

The yellow iPhone 14 Plus on a tabletop.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Apple is fond of the spring. It’s usually when the company holds a March event to announce new hardware that sometimes includes iPads and Macs. Other times, the iPhone maker takes the impending warmer weather to refresh the colors of its cases, Apple Watch bands, and even the iPhone itself. 

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And, like clockwork, this year Apple announced a very spring-like color for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. The tagline Apple is using on its website is “Hello, yellow!” and, honestly, it’s perfect. Watch my unboxing below.

My first impression of the color is that it’s an overly bright shade of yellow. Think school bus bright. Number 2 pencil bright. Perfectly ripe banana, bright. 

Unlike last year, Apple didn’t release a new color option for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Instead, only the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are receiving the extra configuration. 

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And after receiving a sample of the yellow iPhone 14 Plus, I can see why — the edges of the phone look more gold than they do yellow, and the iPhone 14 Pro lineup already has a gold option. That said, the back of the phone is definitely yellow. 

A person holding up the iPhone 14 Plus from the side.

The right side of the iPhone still houses the power button and antennas.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Outside of the new color, there isn’t anything new or notable about the phone. Internally, it still uses Apple’s A15 Bionic processor, has two rear-facing cameras, a 12-megapixel front-facing True Depth camera for Face ID unlocking and FaceTime calls. 

A close-up shot of the iPhone 14 Plus' camera bump.

Depending on the angle, the yellow can have a lighter hue.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Battery life also remains a highlight, particularly with the iPhone 14 Plus which Apple touts as having the longest battery life out of any iPhone released to date — a statement my personal experience backs up

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You may be asking, “Why doesn’t Apple just release all of the planned colors for an iPhone model in September?”. The biggest reason is it’s a way to spur mid-cycle upgrades for those who don’t rush out an upgrade to a new iPhone each fall when it’s first released. Those same customers likely won’t care that a new iPhone is six months away if Apple sticks to its standard September launch schedule. 

A hand holding the iPhone 14 Plus in yellow.

Besides the color, everything about the yellow iPhone 14 and 14 Plus is same as usual.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

The yellow iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus aren’t out quite yet, but you can preorder them starting Friday, March 10, with deliveries beginning the following Tuesday, March 14. You can order either model directly from Apple for their standard starting prices of $799 and $899 before any trade-in discounts or other promotions. 

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