iPhone 14 Pro marks the second time Apple has been a leader smart phone It has undergone a major redesign in the past two years. While it may have a very similar silhouette, a lot has changed — including the new always-on display, a pill-shaped cutout for the Face ID camera, and a new set of rear cameras.
Of course, there are new internals as well, but this iPhone Pro update feels excitingly packed, which is amazing when it was last year. iPhone 13 Pro It has already proven to be a great upgrade.
iPhone 14 Pro review
iPhone 14 Pro – Design and Features
Last year’s iPhone update shrunk the notch, and now the iPhone 14 Pro swaps it out for a smaller dial shape Apple calls Dynamic Island. Absurd marketing names aside, the actual camera aperture is much larger than that for selfie cameras on most Android cameras, probably because that space also houses the depth-sensing facial recognition camera.
The new slit is called Dynamic Island because it grows dynamically and shrinks in size. If you activate Face ID, it grows to a box that shows a green check mark when your face is recognized. This item also turns into a kind of dummy taskbar to keep track of up to two things you do.
For example, if you’re streaming music or video and swiping away from it, it will expand the pill-shaped hole into a longer hole that displays an icon for your media and an animated waveform. And if you activate a timer over media playback, it splits the dynamic island into a tweak for your media and a smaller circle to show you the countdown. You can also click on any section of the dynamic island to easily return to either task.
Furthermore, some app developers are finding fun ways to use Dynamic Island for games and other interactive uses. Hit The Island, for example, turns the hole that looks like a pill into a tennis racket that you need to bounce the ball off of.
Aside from Dynamic Island, the iPhone 14 Pro’s 6.1-inch screen has seen some extensive upgrades. For one thing, it’s now an always-on screen. Interestingly, the Apple app simply dims the lock screen instead of turning it into a black and white placeholder like most Android phones. This consumes more power in the long run, but having a dimmed screen means you can see your notifications at any time. It’s also easy to see the new row of widgets accompanying the iOS 16 redesign (which includes weather, battery life, and your fitness rings) whenever you look at your phone.
One of the small physical changes made to the iPhone 14 Pro is that it has one less space for a physical SIM. All the new iPhones this year have switched to digital eSIMs, which is a little annoying if you want to travel to another country and easily buy a local SIM to hop on networks. This means that you will need to do more planning and purchase a foreign eSIM before your trip.
As a sort of consolation prize, every new iPhone will also come with emergency satellite communications so you can make an SOS call to 911 when cellular service isn’t available. This service is launching later this year.
iPhone 14 Pro – Gaming and Performance
The iPhone 14 Pro is incredibly fast thanks to the new A16 Bionic chip that’s exclusive to this year’s new iPhone Pro models. Apps open quickly, switching apps feels instant, and iOS 16 runs seamlessly—especially when watching Dynamic Island constantly grow and shrink.
However, the performance difference between the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro is not really noticeable. Even the Geekbench 5 scores (shown below) don’t show a gap of difference either. What really makes the A16 Bionic special is its more efficient 4nm process that helps extend battery life – but we’ll get more of that later.
- iPhone 14 Pro: 1,889 (single), 5,120 (multi)
- iPhone 13 Pro: 1,747 (single), 4,531 (multi)
All this performance makes iPhone 14 Pro great for playing games. This phone has no problem keeping up with the latest Apple Arcade games like Shovel Knight Dig and Fantasian. More impressively, you can play indie games that were only once available on console and PC like Gris+ and Goat Simulator+. The graphic power of iPhone 14 Pro is amazing.
iPhone 14 Pro photos
iPhone 14 Pro – Camera
The iPhone 14 Pro now has a 48-megapixel main camera, which represents the biggest leap in resolution since the iPhone 6s first introduced a 12-megapixel camera seven years ago. The increased resolution is welcome, but the bigger deal is a much larger sensor which allows it to put out more bokeh and absorb more light for low-light photography.
Now, to be clear, the new sensor may have a total resolution of 48MP, but for the most part it still takes 12MP photos. It does this because it is a pixel-binning sensor, which means it combines all four pixels into one larger pixel for better color accuracy and low-light performance. It’s a far cry from the first phone to do this because almost every Android phone with an HD camera does the same thing.
iPhone 14 Pro – Photo Comparisons
The Apple app is a little bit unique (or was even so Google Pixel 7 Pro announced a week later) where you can also use the main sensor as a 2x camera. While shooting as a 2x camera, the iPhone 14 Pro shoots at only 12MP in the center of the main 48MP sensor. It’s basically a digital crop that gives you surprisingly clean photos, although the image quality does suffer in low-light situations.
To take 48MP photos, you have to take photos in Apple’s ProRaw format. This gives you plenty of room to edit and restore details, but results in huge file sizes, so I wouldn’t recommend shooting everything in this format.
Compared to the older iPhone 13 Pro, the image quality from Apple’s latest smartphone is a clear step forward. Photos from iPhone 14 Pro have more detail, and you’ll get more background blur thanks to the larger sensor.
Even more impressive is the way Apple’s new Photonic Engine has improved the image quality of all other cameras, most of which are from last year’s model. The dynamic range of images from telephoto and ultra-wide cameras is generally improved.
Also, there’s a new action mode for videos that adds a bunch of stabilization, eliminating the need for a gimbal if you don’t want shaky footage. It sure adds some much-needed smoothing if I shoot any videos while walking — so much so that it’s on par with the GoPro 11 Black I was also testing. However, there is still a noticeable amount of swaying as you take your steps. Shooting motion mode videos also requires a lot of light, so you’ll only be able to use it in broad daylight, and its resolution is 2.8k.
iPhone 14 Pro – Battery Life
The iPhone 14 Pro comes with a slightly larger battery, with a capacity of 3,200 mAh compared to the 3,095 mAh battery found in the iPhone 13 Pro. Despite the large battery, I finished most of my heavy days of use with 30-20% battery life, which was on par with what I got with my older iPhone 13 Pro.
This may not seem like an improvement, but it’s still impressive when you consider the extra power usage from the always-on display. The only reason battery life remains largely the same is due to the efficiency improvements from the new A16 Bionic processor.
Turning off the always-on display greatly improved the phone’s battery life, to the point where I was ending days with 40% battery life. However, this removes a huge piece of utility, not to mention the headline advantage of this newer iPhone.
As for recharge times, Apple’s 20W wired fast charger can return 28% of battery life after 15 minutes and 57% after 30 minutes. MagSafe charging is convenient but slightly less efficient, giving 15% battery life after 15 minutes and 30% after 30 minutes.
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