Although these are costly, excellent phones, the enhancements are not significant.
IMAGE: AN APPLE
Strong phone with a vivid screen, all-day battery life, and excellent construction. Both sizes have the same features. Dynamic Island is enjoyable. has an always-on display at last. Overall, the camera system is excellent.
The camera improvements aren’t as significant as Apple claims. Android phones have trouble transferring eSIM effortlessly.
Nothing makes Apple happier than using the word “best.” It’s typically simple to verify these claims after some real-world testing, especially with cameras. The new iPhone 14 Pro is the “greatest iPhone yet,” with a 48-megapixel camera system that allows users to take the “best images and video.” In many cases, newer, bigger picture sensors perform better. The results this year, though, are… complex.
Over the past three days, I’ve taken more than 250 pictures with four different phones, and occasionally, the iPhone 13 Pro from a year ago outperformed the most recent model. Even in those areas where the iPhone 14 Pro triumphed, the gains were so slight that I’m forced to wonder if Apple simply oversold its device. Without a doubt, the 14 Pro has excellent cameras—some of the best you can find in a smartphone, especially for video—but the advancements aren’t as significant as the manufacturer claims.
Other features like the irrationally bright display, which can now be left on permanently so you never have to tap the screen, overwhelm these cameras. A clever and entertaining way to utilise empty space is the Dynamic Island, which takes the place of the infamous Face ID notch. But I’d go so far as to say that iOS 16 is what gives this iPhone a brand-new vibe more than anything else. Do it now. You should update your iPhone. You might not feel the need to replace the hardware given all the additional benefits the software offers.
Notifications and controls are now displayed in the expanded portion of the Face ID sensor array’s vacant space at the top of the screen. IMAGE: AN APPLE
The iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max are the four models that make up the iPhone 14 line. For the past week, I’ve primarily tested the latter two (in black and “grandma purple,” as my friend called it), but I’ll be able to share my impressions on the less expensive iPhones soon. For what it’s worth, the Pro versions are generally the only ones that receive the most of the new advancements promised this year. who is first on the list? Adaptable Island.
No, there isn’t a button that will whisk you away to the warm Caribbean. It is the name of the component that contains the Face ID sensors and the selfie camera. The notch has been replaced with a smaller pill-shaped cutout, similar to those on many Android phones, but Apple cleverly uses this area as a sort of second screen. When music is playing, the tablet slightly extends to display album art and a music visualizer (LG V10, anyone?) Tap it to launch your music app, or hold down the button to bring up the playback controls. The same thing happens when you receive a call, launch Maps, or track a Lyft.
The interactions on Dynamic Island are animated. IMAGE: AN APPLE
It’s convenient that you don’t have to swipe down on the Notification Center to access these live activities right away; like the name suggests, it’s merely lively and enjoyable. It’s important to note that not all apps currently support the Dynamic Island. Google Maps did not function as well as YouTube Music did. In a year, I predict that this feature will feel a little more luxurious.
The always-on display comes next. Although it has long been a standard feature on Android phones, it is finally available (if you want it!) on the iPhone. Since the screen runs at a power-sipping 1 Hz, Apple claims that it consumes very little battery, and that claim appears to be accurate. The screen turns off when you place the phone upside down in a pocket or bag, so you never have to worry about it draining your priceless battery.
These two iPhones are the only ones equipped with the cutting-edge A16 Bionic chipset, which is an unusual choice (usually the whole range gets the new chip). My benchmark tests demonstrate that they are among the fastest mobile CPUs available, and every task, especially gaming, benefits from this. With my BackBone One controller, I played Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm and Rocket League Sideswipe for 45 minutes with excellent performance, and the iPhone didn’t become uncomfortable hot. Will there be a noticeable difference between the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 on a daily basis, though? Most likely not.
Now let’s discuss about the eSIM. All iPhone 14 models sold in the US come without a physical SIM tray, so you’ll need to set up an eSIM in order to use it with your carrier’s cellular network. Although the technology is not new, this phone is the first to totally do away with the actual SIM mechanism. I had never used an eSIM before, and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was. The iPhone 14 Pro asked me whether I wanted to transfer my number from my iPhone 13 Pro as I was setting it up. I complied, and the new phone had my number on it shortly after. No little SIM tool is required! The number was moved to my iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max in succession without experiencing any problems.
Up until I made the decision to switch to the Google Pixel 6 Pro, an Android device that supports eSIM. The Pixel simply asked me to scan a QR code from my carrier, which I didn’t have, thus I was unable to proceed. That unavoidably meant that if I wanted to transfer my phone number from my iPhone to the Pixel, I would have needed to call my carrier. I’m not sure how this is meant to be simpler than simply inserting and removing an actual SIM card. Yes, eSIMs are more secure (you’re probably not switching to numerous different phones all the time, so this is more of a headache for me.) But in this case, it creates significant friction for anyone who doesn’t want to be confined to Apple’s environment. I sincerely hope that as device compatibility improves, this experience will get better with time.
The fact that the Pro models are once again feature-parallel is arguably this year’s finest news. You won’t feel left out if you choose one over the other because they are both made of stainless steel, which is more durable than the aluminium used in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. I like the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro because I get a little tired of almost dropping the bulky Max throughout the day.
The batteries in both Pro iPhones easily lasted me a whole day even with intensive use, however the iPhone 14 Pro Max has a little bit more juice to see you through to the next morning (and maybe afternoon). Is a two-day battery life unreasonable, though?
Change at Sea
With the release of the iPhone 6S in 2015, Apple last updated the number of megapixels in its primary camera. The primary camera now makes another jump. The cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max capture 48 megapixels of image data as opposed to the 12 megapixels that the photo sensors on last year’s models were capable of. Although being able to capture more detail does not necessarily equate to a better photo, having more megapixels does (and print your photos in larger sizes). It’s intended to be a game-changer for the iPhone camera, paired with a brand-new image-processing system called the Photonic Engine. Unfortunately, I can’t say that there has been much of an improvement since last year.
The shots you receive by default are all 12-megapixel pictures, which is very essential to know. In order to increase the size of the sensor’s pixels, which will allow them to absorb more light and provide a brighter image, Apple is utilising a standard technique called pixel binning. Just hit the “RAW” button at the top of the camera app if you want to use the entire 48-megapixel sensor (and put up with the bigger image file sizes). Because you have more control over the image’s saturation, contrast, brightness, and shadows, editing becomes more flexible as a result. In general, I felt like I had more room to manoeuvre in 48-megapixel mode, which frequently resulted in clearer, more detailed photographs.
primary camera on the iPhone 14 Pro (12 megapixels). This and the 48-megapixel version can be compared (next). By default, the primary camera on the iPhone 14 Pro merges pixels to increase light absorption. This results in a 12-megapixel image that is brighter but has a lower resolution (also means normal file sizes). Overall, it is a little brighter and less detailed.
However, I conducted the majority of my tests in the 12-megapixel mode by default. I travelled with the iPhone 14 Pro, the iPhone 13 Pro, the iPhone 14, and the Google Pixel 6 Pro, comparing the outcomes on a color-accurate display. They are not definite. There are very few terrible pictures, but when I looked at the shots from the 14 Pro, there were far too many instances when I could hardly tell what the additional enhancements were accomplishing. You have to really look to see the difference, but it can take somewhat crisper and brighter pictures than its predecessor, especially when capturing some motion. The 13 Pro occasionally produced better pictures with less noise, but it’s not always the case. I was more taken aback by how frequently the Pixel 6 Pro kept up.
Apple bragged about a significant update to the ultrawide camera, including a bigger sensor to enhance low-light performance. However, a picture I took at Radio City Music Hall in rather low light was almost identical to one from the iPhone 13 Pro, with the exception that the earlier model had a slight edge in sharpness. I discovered that the Pixel’s ultrawide camera took crisper pictures overall.
Apple is now utilising the middle 12 megapixels of the 48-megapixel sensor to enable a 2X zoom in addition to a dependable 3X optical zoom, which results in incredibly crisp images. Despite having three cameras, this gives you four zoom levels, and I like it. Since you can also use it in Portrait mode, it is more adaptable. Speaking of, one of my favourite changes to Portrait mode is the foreground blur, which makes some of the foreground as well as the background of a subject appear blurry in the background. With positive outcomes, it’s a wonderful touch.
Photo of Apple
In good lighting, the front camera can take some incredibly clear selfies. Autofocus, though, is its latest trick. I honestly haven’t noticed much of a difference in the pictures I’ve taken with the iPhone 13 Pro compared to before. This is supposed to keep your groupies and selfies (ugh) in focus at various distances from the camera. I took a few selfies with my partner, and they were quieter on the older model.
Apple continues to generate some of the top smartphone video content. I adore that Cinematic Video now enables 4K at 24 frames per second shooting so I can embrace my inner director of photography. Additionally, Apple’s new Action mode enables you to record more steadied video. I ran around in a parking lot while recording to test this, just like you would. The trade-off for smoother photos is a somewhat lower resolution (2.8K), and it also requires a lot of light to function.
The iPhone 14 Pro still offers one of the best mobile camera systems available, despite the upgrades feeling insignificant. I want to use the iPhone to shoot pictures and films because it inspires me to be creative. Only a select few devices, like the Pixel 6, can produce it. When Thomas Mars entered the mezzanine in front of me at a concert in Phoenix, I recorded it all on camera and effortlessly switched between the various zoom levels as he walked farther away. It just seemed to flow so easily, which is important to me when utilising a phone camera.
Crash Detection and SOS Emergency via Satellite are two brand-new capabilities that I am unable to fully test. Similar to Google’s Pixel phones, the iPhone will utilise a variety of sensors and algorithms to identify whether you’ve been in an automobile accident and will call emergency services if you’re not responsive. When you require assistance but are in a rural area without cellular connection, the situation is identical. By connecting to Globalstar satellites in orbit, the iPhone enables you to communicate with first responders or Apple’s own Relay Center. During a demonstration, I used the iPhone as instructed, pointing it at an overhead satellite to establish a connection and send my whereabouts.I hope you never need to use either of these features, but it is extremely cool and maybe even a bit reassuring.
Finally, Apple claims that the iPhone 14 features a new internal design that enables replacing the back glass in the event of an accidently dropped device simpler (and less expensive). I’m glad to hear that, but I’ll hold off to hear what the iFixit staff has to say before acting.
In the end, the new features in iOS 16—many of which aren’t exclusive to this particular iPhone model—are what I find myself appreciating the most. I adore the updated lock screen, the capability to copy and paste a photo’s subject, and the arrival of message editing! You can probably forgo the iPhone 14 Pro and simply switch to the new software if you already have a current iPhone. It will seem entirely new.