Apple on Wednesday, September 7th announced iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the most advanced Pro lineup ever, featuring the Dynamic Island — a new design that introduces an intuitive way to experience iPhone — and the Always-On display.
Powered by A16 Bionic, the fastest chip ever in a smartphone, iPhone 14 Pro introduces a new class of pro camera system, with the first-ever 48MP Main camera on iPhone featuring a quad-pixel sensor, and Photonic Engine, an enhanced image pipeline that dramatically improves low-light photos. T
hese groundbreaking advancements make iPhone even more indispensable for everyday tasks, creative projects, and now even emergency situations with features such as Emergency SOS via satellite and Crash Detection.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will be available in four gorgeous new finishes: deep purple, silver, gold, and space black. Pre-orders begin Friday, September 9, with availability beginning Friday, September 16.
“Our customers count on their iPhone every day, and with iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, we’re delivering more advancements than any other iPhone. iPhone 14 Pro introduces a camera system that empowers every user — from the casual user to the professional — to take their best photos and video, and innovative new technologies like the Always-On display and the Dynamic Island, which offers new interactions for notifications and activities,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
“Groundbreaking safety capabilities bring users even more security, offering help when they need it most. And with the incredibly powerful and efficient A16 Bionic chip and all-day battery life, this is the best iPhone yet.”
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max feature a beautiful surgical-grade stainless steel and textured matte glass design in four stunning colors. Available in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes,1 both models include a new Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion that features the Always-On display for the first time ever on iPhone, enabled by a new 1Hz refresh rate and multiple power-efficient technologies.
This makes the new Lock Screen even more useful, keeping the time, widgets, and Live Activities available at a glance. The advanced display also brings the same peak HDR brightness level as Pro Display XDR, and the highest outdoor peak brightness in a smartphone: up to 2000 nits, which is twice as bright as iPhone 13 Pro.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max offer durability eatures with the Ceramic Shield front cover — tougher than any smartphone glass — and are protected from common spills and accidents with water and dust resistance.
Dynamic Island, not present on the iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus, is just one of the ways Apple widened the gap between Pro and non-Pro iPhone models. Another way is price. The iPhone 14 Pro starts at $999 which is $200 more than the iPhone 14 that starts at $799.
The 14 Pro costs the same price as previous Pro models and the iPhone X which debuted in 2018. But some people will be put off by the 14 Pro’s price or the 14 Pro Max which starts at $1,099.
iPhone 14 Display
From the back, the iPhone 14 Pro doesn’t look that much different from last year’s flagship, the iPhone 13 Pro. But from the front, the 14 Pro’s display cutout looks contemporary and fresh compared the notch on the 13 Pro. The first thing I noticed picking up an iPhone 14 Pro was that the infamous notch was gone. The pill-shaped display cutout is so much smaller in comparison.
Apple’s Dynamic Island interface works so well, too. For example, I was listening to a song in Apple Music playing. When I closed the app there was a tiny waveform on one side of the cutout and a minute thumbnail of the album’s artwork on the other. When I tapped on the Dynamic Island, I was immediately taken to the song in the Apple Music app.
Of course the cutout is just one part of the Super Retina XDR display which can now hit 2,000 nits of brightness for better visibility in bright light. By contrast, the iPhone 13 Pro maxes out at 1,200 nits of brightness. The 14 Pro uses LTPO (low-temperature Polycrystalline oxide) technology to bring the refresh rate down to 1Hz, which could help save on battery drain and allow for the always-on display. The 13 Pro’s LTPO screen bottoms out at 10Hz.
iPhone 14 Pro’s A16 Bionic
The A16 chip includes 16 billion transistors on a 4-nanometer process versus 15 billion transistors on the A15’s 5-nanometer process. The jump in computational power might not be as significant from the 13 Pro to the 14 Pro as it was from the 12 Pro to 13 Pro. It’s also uncertain how much RAM the iPhone 14 Pro will have as Apple historically doesn’t share how much RAM is in the iPhone.
The GPU sees an upgrade as well, with 50% more memory bandwidth. The display engine on the A16 Bionic chip helps power the LTPO display as well as the Dynamic Island. Apple says the A16 Bionic’s neural engine is capable of 17 trillion operations per second, which is needed for computational photography.
In my few minutes with the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, the system animations seemed smooth and iOS 16 was peppy.
iPhone 14 Pro Camera
The iPhone 14 Pro will have a 48-megapixel camera. The quad-pixel sensor uses pixel binning to group four pixels and have them act as one large pixel for better light capture. Android phones including the Galaxy S22 Ultra employ a similar technique with high-megapixel camera sensors. The handset’s Pro Raw mode allows photos to be captured at its full 48-megapixel resolution.
Apple developed a new computational image-processing method to take advantage of the new pixel pattern for better color accuracy and detail. It’s called Photonic Engine, which improves the iPhone Pro’s camera performance two times in low-light compared with the iPhone 13 Pro. The 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max can also use the 48-megapixel sensor to “punch-in” a photo, emulating a 2x zoom with the middle 12-megapixels of the sensor.
The Photonic Engine processing also benefits the ultrawide camera with a three times improvement in low-light photos, and two times better on telephoto and front-facing camera photos.
Apple said the iPhone 14 Pro will come with Pro Video and Cinematic modes that can now record at 4K and 24 frames per second. Both Pro models also get Apple’s new video image stabilization which is called Action mode. Essentially when you are filming a video, on the top-left corner of the camera preview is the Action mode icon. When I tried it out, it seemed to work well smoothing out hand-shakes. I noticed that if I had video resolution set to 4K that Action mode reduced it down to 2.8K.
With the release of the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, Apple also discontinued the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. Even though Apple isn’t selling last year’s Pro models doesn’t mean it’s entirely gone. Various third-party retailers and carriers might continue to sell the old Pro. But should you get an iPhone 13 Pro or and iPhone 14 Pro?
In terms of features, hardware and lifespan the iPhone 14 Pro seems to outshine the iPhone 13 Pro in nearly every way. However, sometimes there isn’t a drastic difference between the two phones. If you own an iPhone 13 Pro it looks like upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro is unnecessary. But if you have an older iPhone and are trying to choose between the two, I’d likely push you towards the newer 14 Pro, unless you’re getting an absolute killer discount on the 13 Pro.
iPhone 14 Pro Battery life
Apple said the iPhone 14 Pro will feature all-day battery life, longer than previous models. It’ll also include the newly unveiled features found in the base iPhone 14, such as Emergency SOS via satellite, a satellite-based system for communication in cellular and Wi-Fi dead zones, and Crash Detection, which lets the device know if you’ve been in a car accident.
The upcoming iOS 16 will be the operating system powering Apple’s iPhone 14 line out of the box.
The iPhone 14 Pro will start at $999 (£1,099, AU$1,749). The 14 Pro Max will start at $1,099 (£1,199, AU$1,899). Both of Apple’s premium handsets are more expensive than the base iPhone 14 and 14 Plus devices, which start at $799 (£849, AU$1,399) and $899 (£949, AU$1,579) respectively.
Preorders start on Sept. 9, with the phones launching on Sept. 16.