The Apple iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 14 Pro review

According to a number of analysts, the iPhone 14 Pro is the most sought-after flagship of the year. It’s not the first year that I consider the usual Pro to be the golden mean in terms of the ratio of dimensions and characteristics. Moreover, this applies to all smartphones. I still have not found a regular alternative on Android.

I don’t plan to switch to it from the iPhone 13 Pro; even after the tests, my opinion has not changed – again, a minor update for the sake of an update. But this is not a reason not to release the material because even these tiny changes will appeal to them. Actually, I propose to start with them.

Specifications iPhone 14 Pro:

  • Dimensions: 147.5 x 71.5 x 7.9mm, 206g
  • Display: 6.1″, LTPO OLED, Super Retina XDR, 2556×1179, 460ppi, 1-120Hz 
  • Processor: 6-core Apple A16 Bionic Memory: 6 GB RAM, 128/256/512 GB or 1 TB ROM 
  • Cameras: 48 MP, f/1.8 (wide) + 12 MP, f/2.2, 120 degrees (ultra wide) + 12 MP, f/2.8 (telephoto); 12 MP, f/1.9 (front) 
  • OS: iOS 16 
  • Connectivity: Lightning (USB 2.0), Gigabit LTE, 5G, Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with MIMO technology, Bluetooth 5.3, UWB, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, NFC, eSIM Case 
  • Color: Silver, Graphite, Gold, Purple

Dynamic gap 

Perhaps the most noticeable and memorable of all the innovations is the new cutout design for Face ID and the camera. I, as before, do not think that the notch is somehow very annoying, and face unlocks are much more convenient than a fingerprint scanner. But the “dynamic island” looks more likable, I agree.

iPhone 14 Pro ReviewiPhone 14 Vs iPhone 13

And how its appearance was beaten is just a beautiful approach, nothing more. And finally, the company has ceased to be ashamed of this cutout and does not try to hide it with dark wallpaper but instead attracts attention. Moreover, this cutout will often have to poke.

I explain. The giant pill in the screen consists of two holes, framed by turned-off pixels in the screen – so beautiful. Face scanning sensors are hidden in one cutout, and the front camera is in the second. In bright light, they can be seen in more detail.

iPhone 14 Pro

The hole also has a functional feature in which the cutout visually becomes larger, and additional widget animations are displayed. For example, when AirPods are connected, the animation will notify you of the state of charge. When the player is minimized, the cover will pop out; when the timer starts, a countdown will pop up, when switching modes, a bell and text will pop up; when the screen is unlocked, a lock will appear. And so on.

Naturally, developers already have an API, and anyone can come up with something of their own. For example, the creator of Apollo, a third-party Reddit feed reader app, put a pixelated cat that runs around the cutout while you flip through the feed. The app automatically detects which iPhone you have. Moreover, the author is already making money on this – the change of animals is provided for a subscription. A quick widget for the iOS 16 lock screen is also available.

Notch widgets work in two modes, one of which may not immediately appear. If you click on the strip, the application will open, and if you hold it down, the widget will pop up. Several bloggers have already expressed that it is inconvenient and that the working principle should be reversed. I support it, but the best solution would be to add the ability to change this in the settings.

iPhone 14 Pro Sound System

It does not bring any practical benefit. It’s just fantastic. The first time you will play, you will score. But the magic is comparable to when they first showed AirPods and a pop-up window when connected. Only now it is functional. But clearly not something worth updating for. Looking for more.

Non-standard Always-On

Exactly one year ago, at a press conference after the presentation of the iPhone 13, we asked questions to Apple Vice President Kayanna Drance. Among them was apparent – why is there still no Always-On in the iPhone? Kayanne replied: there is no need to constantly look at the smartphone. Apparently, the market has arisen.

While you have to give credit to Apple, Always-On is unusual. If Samsung turns off pixels and barely noticeable typical clocks or styles are on, then on the iPhone 14 Pro, it seems that the screen has not gone out. You can clearly see everything on the lock screen. In the sun, you can’t immediately understand whether your screen is unlocked or not.

IPhone 14 Pro features
Always-On on and Off

The iPhone 14 Pro has a new generation LTPO screen for those, not in the know. If in 13 Pro, the refresh rate changed from 10 to 120 Hz, then in 14 Pro, from 1 to 120 Hz. In Always-On, the frequency drops to 1 Hz, dimming the screen and saving power consumption. Although with the charge, it goes much faster. But it also depends on the use because Always-On is smart here: it turns off when you put your smartphone in your pocket or move far enough away from it (if, at the same time, you are wearing an Apple Watch).

I never considered Always-On to be useless. On the contrary, this is the feature for which I would advise taking the Series 6, 7 or 8 with the Apple Watch SE. This gives them the format of ordinary watches where you can see the time under any condition. You don’t need to pull your hand or press something on purpose. In the iPhone 14 Pro, this is also useful, especially if you put your smartphone next to it – you get a desktop clock.

The peak brightness has been corrected: the standard is up to 1000 nits, the peak in HDR is 1600 nits (it was 1200), and outdoors in bright sunlight, the brightness can rise as much as 2000 nits! In Vancouver, the sun is not so bright, but a check in Dubai showed that it is difficult to notice the difference. But with the help of brilliant light HDR tests, we achieved as much as 2300 nits! So don’t lie. At least according to our device.

Separately, I will say about the quality of the matrix. This is the detail that many do not pay attention to but in vain. Previously, bloggers shouted about PWM screens from all sides, but now they have died down, but it has not gone away. You can notice the screen update using a particular device or a mirrorless camera – you point, reduce the brightness and watch the running stripes.

It hurts the eyes and is a common problem with budget (and not) AMOLED Android smartphones. In the iPhone, most often, there is no such problem, the screen is set up well, and specifically, in the iPhone 14, I did not notice PWM even at a refresh rate of 1 Hz. A particular device showed a PWM of 13% at maximum brightness and 20% at low brightness.

What’s with the cameras?

Even though the diagonals of the screens have remained the same, the dimensions of smartphones have changed slightly, which means that the old cases will not fit. The camera block has also grown. This is especially noticeable if you stick the iPhone 13 Pro into the 14 Pro case.

iPhone 14 Pro camera

Inside, new sensors, but the immediate attention to the main. For the first time since the iPhone 6S, the company changed the sensor’s resolution – from 12 to 48 megapixels. The aperture has decreased from ƒ / 1.5 to ƒ / 1.78, but the sensor has increased by 65% ​​compared to its predecessor, which means more light gets in.

Second-generation sensor-shift optical stabilization, 24mm focal length, seven lenses. The output photos are 12 megapixels, and 48 megapixels are available only in Apple ProRAW mode. I tried several times to shoot in RAW and then process it as usual – the quality didn’t get much better. However, it was still noticeable that the photo was on the phone. Now nothing has changed. In addition, there is a problem when processing on Lightroom Classic – the images automatically become dark. Most likely, they will correct them in the future.

The ultra wide-angle sensor is also new:

  • Six lenses.
  • A focal length of 13 mm.
  • An aperture of ƒ / 2.2 (was ƒ / 1.8).
  • Macro mode.

The telephoto lens, apparently, remained the same. ƒ/2.8 aperture, triple optical zoom. But the application interface also has a double zoom. It is implemented due to the crop from the primary camera – the output is the same 12 megapixels.

iPhone 14 Night Mode Camera

The front has been updated. 12 MP with ƒ / 1.9 aperture, and, most importantly, autofocus exists. I think the quality has grown noticeably, especially paying attention to detail.

The True Tone flash is also new. It will shine brighter; inside, nine diodes work adaptively, not all at once. In direct comparison with the iPhone 13 Pro, the difference in brightness is noticeable – an excellent flashlight.

Sensors are only half the job. Apple again worked on software and processing. Deep Fusion and Smart HDR 4 — Photonic Engine have added a new phrase. Basically, it’s an improved Deep Fusion feature that helps you take sharper pictures in low-light conditions.

Please do not confuse it with the night mode, which you can turn off. The Photonic Engine works by default and focuses not on bright objects but on dark ones. In other words, it draws shadows. This feature is available in all cameras but only in the 14 iPhone series. However, again, what prevented you from putting it in the iPhone 13 Pro, which has the same A15 Bionic? A question without an answer.

In general, Apple, in the presentation, summarized that all cameras have become better at shooting in low-light conditions. They even named specific numbers: the TV set was twice, the width was three, and the main one was two times. Apparently, the whole point is in this very photon engine.

In fact, the situation is debatable. Some frames show the advantage of the iPhone 14 Pro, but mostly in detail – the difference is especially noticeable at 2x zoom:

iPhone 14 Pro Wide Camera

It is not what you expect in scenes where the photon engine should show all its power. The iPhone 13 Pro brightens the picture, while the 14 Pro darkens the highlights and doesn’t pull out the dark scenes much. In addition, the new sensor gives different colours, a little more cold, which is noticeable compared to the ultra-wide. The over-width in dark scenes does just as badly.

Don’t forget about the video, either. Not much sound, though. First, action mode (Action mode) – improved stabilization while shooting on the move. Many praises, actually quite good. Secondly, the cinematic way can now record in 4K. It didn’t get any better. The blur is still too artificial.

Otherwise, everything is at the same level: 4K from 24 to 60 frames, HDR recording with Dolby Vision, Slow-Mo 1080p up to 240 frames, stereo sound recording, audio zoom, and time-lapse with stabilization.

It is also worth noting that at the start, bugs began to be found in the new iPhones. One of the most notable ones was the camera – optical stabilization was incorrectly configured, and the sensor was shaking wildly in third-party applications. But the problem has already been fixed with the release of iOS 16.0.2. There was no such bug in my version. As well as issues with GPS. 

Processor and autonomy

The most boring but essential thing is the processor. This time, the Pro version differs from the usual one with the new A16 Bionic processor. The chip is made using a 4-nanometer process technology, 16 billion transistors, and six cores: two productive ones that consume 20% less energy and four energy-efficient ones. There are five graphics cores. At the presentation, the processor was compared with the 2019 A13, noting that performance increased by 40%. RAM 6 GB.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

The processor has a separate module responsible for the screen refresh rate, Always-On and Dynamic Island. An image Signal Processor (ISP) is responsible for photo processing. Synthetic test results: in Geekbench, 1890 points in single-core and 5541 in multi-core mode, for the iPhone 13 Pro, for comparison, 1743 and 4835, respectively. AnTuTu already has 935,798 points. A little more, and there will be a million!

I will repeat more than once that A16, A15, that even A14 are excellent and productive enough for most tasks. Moreover, the test results have already shown that the A15 outperforms some functions, but I think this is an optimization issue – everything will be fixed.

Next, autonomy is significant. At the presentation, we were promised, as always, a day of work; on the official website, the difference is visible only in video playback – an hour longer than its predecessor. According to independent tests, the battery grew by only 50 mAh. In fact, with Always-On turned on, the smartphone still holds the same amount as the iPhone 13 Pro, and this is a working day of active use. With intense loads (games, photos, the Internet), you will barely have enough of it from 9 am to 5-6 pm.

The charging speed remained the same – up to 50% in 30 minutes with a 20W adapter, which must be purchased separately. Supports wireless charging up to 15W with MagSafe.

Accidents, satellites, eSIM and communications

Let’s go through the details. The entire 14th line of iPhones has new sensors, as in the Apple Watch Series 8, which allows the smartphone to detect an accident and call the rescue service automatically. American blogger TechRax tested the function in the field – everything works clearly, as Apple promised. An accelerometer, a barometer and even microphones are used to determine events – they will hear powerful sounds.

Let me remind you that citizens of the United States and Canada also receive two-year access to satellites upon purchase. The function could have been presented last year, but they could not agree with the operators. For the same reason, the process may not be relevant worldwide unless Elon Musk wants to connect with Starlink – the businessman hinted that such negotiations have already been.

The Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Connecting to satellites for emergency response is helpful for those who like to visit wild places with no mobile connection – there are many such places in Canada. In this case, you can send not only SOS but also a short message. To connect, a particular application is used in which the satellite’s location is visible.

But, again, this is not in the world versions of the iPhone 14 Pro, which can be distinguished by another visual detail – the lack of a SIM tray. Therefore, be careful when buying, because you will have to part with your physical cards and go to the operator’s office to suffer (sorry, I can’t call it otherwise). There were problems with the first batches of iPhone 14 Pro, Canadian SIMs were not connected, but within a day, the operators fixed everything. Generally, a phone with eSIM support is very convenient, especially when travelling to other countries (even the remaining ones).

In a separate article about the features of the iPhone 14 Pro, I already talked about communication problems. The iPhone has always lost to competitors in this regard, and this time nothing has changed much. It still uses Wi-Fi 6, which debuted in the iPhone 11, when competitors mastered Wi-Fi 6E with might and main. Mobile communication also catches, like its predecessor. Even the Samsung Galaxy S10 + is average and noticeably worse.

But Bluetooth was suddenly updated to the new version 5.3, which means support for the LC3 codec, which is more energy efficient, has been added. It is no coincidence that the new AirPods Pro also got Bluetooth 5.3.

iOS 16

Out of the box, the new iPhones run iOS 16, which was released on September 12th. According to unofficial data, 10 days after the release, iOS 16 is installed at 23.83%, which is faster than iOS 15. 

I only updated my iPhone 13 Pro to iOS 16 after I started testing the iPhone 14 Pro. And then, just because Series 8 does not support iOS 15, it asks for an update.

Nothing supernatural was added. Of the exciting things – a new lock screen with widgets, the principle of calling notifications has changed (now they are from below) – I can’t get used to this yet. Google and Yandex have already jumped in and released widgets for the lock screen.

From functional-useful: Live Text in Canadian and quick actions, you can cut out objects in a photo in PNG with one click, return a tactile response to the keyboard, add the ability to delete messages in iMessage and enter hidden pictures using Face ID. We talked about all this in the review of the first beta. Since then, only one thing has been added – the percentage of charge in an iPhone with a notch – something that many have been waiting for the last couple of years.

Yes, the Sberbank and Balance apps from VTB were easily installed using the iMazing app. True, they weren’t found from scratch, so I just connected the old iPhone, then stuck a new one, and that’s all – a couple of clicks, and you have the application, and it works!

Cost and sales

Despite global changes, Apple keeps the bar, and the starting price of the iPhone 14 Pro is still $999, as it was with the release of the iPhone X. However, Europe’s cost has increased significantly from 1149 to 1300 euros. They will also be imported into Canada from there. Or from the UAE, where the price starts at 4299 dirhams. But in some countries of southern Asia, the prices are low, take the example of Sri Lanka. The iPhone 14 Pro price in Sri Lanka is really cheap.

The minimum amount of memory is 128 GB. The maximum is 1 TB. The standard colors are graphite, white, gold, and a new purple, which I would not recommend – blue looked much nicer last year.

Apple 14 Pro

Smartphones have not yet been imported for parallel imports. They are expected only in October. In M.Video, for example, the price starts at $1400 CAD. Remember that last year, the iPhone 13 Pro was offered for a thousand, and you could easily buy it from resellers on the day of the start of sales, standing in line.

Opinion

The conclusions will be obvious – updating from the iPhone 13 Pro Max is worth it only for the visual enjoyment of the new cutout design and Always-On presence. In terms of cameras, the improvements are not so critical – the front camera is just a cut above, but the quality in FaceTime will still not be outstanding.

And we have started repair for iPhone 14. So, if you guys need any phone repair services for the iPhone 14 don’t forget to contact us.

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