Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

Introduction

An improved display. Better cameras. A faster chip. This is the new iPhone. A phone that is often criticized for lagging behind in certain ways, but often copied. A polarizing device that sets the trends in more ways than one. The iPhone 14 Pro is as controversial as any high-profile iPhone that has come before it, if not more.

The iPhone 14 Pro follows Apple’s formula to a T — it brings an even brighter Super Retina XDR OLED with an Always On option and a smaller pill-shaped cutout. Apple has done it again – turning weakness into strength. Once an eyesore, the infamous notch is now the Dynamic Island, a unique feature that other brands are considering copying.

There are other improvements to the cameras, courtesy of new sensors, lenses and ISP. And of course, Apple’s A16 Bionic chipset is faster and more power efficient than the A15, just as expected.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

Let’s start with the screen. While it’s still a 6.1-inch OLED, it has a smaller pill-shaped cutout, can be as bright as 2000 nits, and supports Always On thanks to a new, more energy-efficient panel. The cutout is arguably the most iconic feature of the iPhone 14 Pro series, which actually consists of two small cutouts: one pill-shaped and one round. Apple has made this a feature with several cool animations for notifications and calls it Dynamic Island.

Then come the cameras. The rear camera is still a triple setup with a LiDAR scanner, but now the main camera has a 48MP sensor with second-generation sensor shift stabilization and a 2x lossless zoom option. The 12MP ultrawide camera got a new larger sensor and improved lens. Then there’s the front camera, which now has a brighter lens, autofocus and even optical stabilization. There’s also better image processing called Photonic Engine and a new 9-LED flash.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

The Apple A16 Bionic chipset offers an even faster processor and graphics, although it still has a similar 6-core CPU and 5-core GPU architecture. It now supports LPDDR5 RAM and has a higher memory bandwidth. Finally, there is of course a new ISP and DSP present.

Another new introduction as part of the new hardware is the Emergency SOS via satellite – a feature that lets you send a message to emergency services wherever you are around the world – no SIM or network coverage required. And thanks to a bunch of new sensors, the new iPhones now support Crash Detection and can automatically send for help if they detect you were in a crash.

This is the first iPhone series to come without a SIM slot in the US, which means that the trial period for equipping the SIM slot has officially started – at least as far as Apple is concerned. If it works, as with the nano SIM card, prepare yourself for a smartphone world without SIM cards in a few years.

What hasn’t changed is the design – it’s the same as on the iPhone 12 and 13 series, and just as rugged with ceramic shields and improved IP68 ingress protection. The battery and charging options have also remained unchanged.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro specifications at a glance:

  • Body: 147.5×71.5×7.9mm, 206g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass), glass back (Gorilla Glass), stainless steel frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 6m for 30 minutes), Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified).
  • Display: 6.10″ LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED, 120Hz, HDR10, Dolby Vision, 1000 nits (typ), 2000 nits (HBM), 1179x2556px resolution, 19.51:9 aspect ratio, 460ppi; Always-On display.
  • chipset: Apple A16 Bionic (4nm): Hexa-core (2×3.46GHz Everest + 4×2.02GHz Sawtooth); Apple GPU (5 core graphics).
  • Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 6GB RAM, 512GB 6GB RAM, 1TB 6GB RAM; NVM.
  • Operating system/software: iOS 16, upgradable to iOS 16.0.2.
  • Rear camera: wide (head): 48 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.28″, 1.22 µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS with sensor shift; Telephoto: 12 MP, f/2.8, 77mm, 1/3.5″, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13 mm, 120˚, 1/2.55″, 1.4 µm, dual pixel PDAF; Depth: TOF 3D LiDAR scanner.
  • Front camera: wide (head): 12 MP, f/1.9, 23mm, 1/3.6″, PDAF, OIS (unconfirmed); Depth: SL3D.
  • Video recording: reversing camera: [email protected]/25/30/60fps, [email protected]/30/60/120/240fps, 10-bit HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps), ProRes, Cinematic mode ([email protected]/30fps), stereo sound recording ; Front camera: [email protected]/25/30/60fps, [email protected]/30/60/120fps, Gyro EIS.
  • Battery: 3200mAh; Fast charging, 50% in 30 min (advertised), USB Power Delivery 2.0, MagSafe fast wireless charging 15W, Qi wireless charging 7.5W.
  • Miscellaneous: Face ID, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; NFC; stereo speakers; Ultra Wideband (UWB) support, Emergency SOS via satellite (SMS send/receive).

So, what’s missing from the new iPhone 14 Pro? A good file manager! Just kidding, this isn’t happening. It seems that Apple has addressed many of the omissions of the past generations and that we have the best iPhone ever. Until the iPhone 15 comes with USB-C, at least.

Unpacking the Apple iPhone 14 Pro

The thin paper box contains the iPhone and a USB-C to Lighting cable. We were disappointed that Apple didn’t discontinue the Lightning port on its iPhones this year, as it already did on its other devices. We think that’s a task for the next.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

In addition to the cable, you get a SIM card removal tool for models with a SIM card slot and a sticker with the Apple logo. While Apple has ditched the plastic packaging from the boxes, the plastic sticker remains.

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