The Apple iPhone 14 Pro joins the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, and iPhone 14 Pro Max in the company’s 2022 lineup, and it offers significant improvements over its predecessor.
It also deviates significantly from its standard sibling, the iPhone 14, more than in previous years. In the past, the camera was the main reason to buy the Pro models, but this year it’s so much more.
The iPhone 14 Pro is now the most cost-effective option. Here’s our review.
Our quick take
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro is unquestionably the most intriguing of the four new iPhone 14 models. It has a new design, as well as camera and processor upgrades and display improvements. Furthermore, Dynamic Island is enjoyable to use, and the Always On Display provides a refreshing change in how you interact with the iPhone. In our experience, the battery also performs well, which is refreshing given the display enhancements.
There’s also the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which is essentially the same as the iPhone 14 Pro but on a larger scale with a larger battery, but so far we prefer the smaller iPhone 14 Pro’s more compact size, even if the extra screen space makes for a great viewing experience.
Overall, the design refresh and upgrades have positioned the iPhone 14 Pro to be the company’s best iPhone yet, and the Pro is now unmistakably Pro. This is a fantastic device and, without a doubt, the best iPhone 14 model to buy, as well as the flagship smartphone of the year.
The design of the Apple iPhone 14 Pro is familiar, but there are a few key differences this year that set it apart from its predecessors. One of these differences is the device’s front.
The notch at the top of the display was reduced slightly in 2021 compared to how it had been since the release of the iPhone X in 2017. That notch, however, is no longer present in 2022, at least not on the Pro models.
In its place is a wide pill-shaped cutout that houses the Face ID sensors and the front camera, dubbed Dynamic Island by Apple. It’s clean, unobtrusive, and a great departure from the notch, offering something unique. More importantly, it is functional.
The pill-shaped Dynamic Island is an adaptable section that displays small icons within the space and pulls information from an alert or open app, such as Apple Music or Clock. If you launch two apps, the Dynamic Island splits; pressing and holding on the Dynamic Island expands it and gives you more control. A second tap takes you to the full version of the app that is currently occupying the space.
To make an app appear in Dynamic Island, open it normally and swipe up from the bottom. The app then transitions to Dynamic Island. It also works with timely notifications, such as AirPods connecting, a phone call, charging your iPhone, or switching to silent mode, and Live Activities will be added later this year.
The Dynamic Island space changes depending on what you are alerted to, such as forming a square for Face ID or Apple Pay and widening when you toggle the silence toggle. There are some drawbacks – not all apps are yet compatible, and constant pressing results in fingerprints on the selfie camera – but we love it so far. While most phones try to make this part of the phone smaller or non-existent, Apple did the opposite and made it useful.
Other than that, the iPhone 14 Pro has the same flat edges we’ve seen since the iPhone 12’s redesign. In comparison to the standard iPhone 14, it has a surgical-grade stainless steel frame that is weighty and provides a solid, premium feel. However, as in previous years, that glossy stainless steel edge attracts fingerprints, so you’ll find yourself wiping it on your top as well as the selfie camera on a regular basis.
The signature silence slider and volume controls remain on the left edge, while the power button is on the right. The SIM tray has been removed for those in the United States, leaving only eSIM. The SIM tray has been replaced by a frosted section on the edge, but it is still present in other parts of the world. Speakers flank the Lightning charging port at the bottom – yes, no USB-C – and there’s also one at the top of the display in the narrow bezel.
The iPhone 14 Pro, like its predecessor, is IP68 water and dust resistant, but there are new color options this year, including a Deep Purple, which is hands down our favorite. You can still get Gold, Silver, and Space Black if you want something a little less out there, but the purple is really striking. We also liked Space Black, which is our review model. It has good depth and looks better than the iPhone 13 Pro’s Space Grey.
The iPhone 14 Pro retains the three-lens camera setup on the back, with a Lidar sensor in the top left corner, as opposed to the two-lens setup on the standard model. The rear is one glass panel, as with the iPhone 13 Pro, so the camera housing’s edges blend seamlessly into the rest of the rear glass panel. The camera housing is also distinguished by a glossy finish in comparison to the rest of the frosted rear.
Always On Display
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro has some great display changes in addition to the design changes. The iPhone 14 Pro retains the same size as the iPhone 13 Pro, with a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display. The resolution is 2556 x 1179 pixels, and the pixel density is 460ppi. It’s beautiful and sharp, with a lot of detail.
Many of the same technologies are present, including True Tone, HDR support, and Apple’s Haptic Touch. ProMotion is also on board, but with an adaptable refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz as opposed to 10Hz and 120Hz as it was with the iPhone 13 Pro. This enables the Always On Display, which, along with the previously mentioned Dynamic Island, is the other big story of this device.
The Always On Display feature means that information such as the time, Activity Rings, or upcoming calendar appointments remain on the screen in a coloured dimmed format even if you do not turn it on. The Always On Display reflects the Lock Screen you selected in iOS 16 (more on that later), so you can customize what you see by adding widgets.
Now, an Always-On Display isn’t a big deal for Android users. It’s been on Android devices for years, not just flagships, but also mid-range and even budget handsets.
Apple has also offered the technology on its Apple Watch since the Series 5, but the iPhone 14 Pro – and iPhone 14 Pro Max – are the company’s first phones to see the technology, which is exciting for iPhone fans and makes for a significant change in use.
It’s also very well done. For example, if you put your iPhone in Sleep Focus, the Always On Display turns off to save battery life, and if you walk away from your device while wearing an Apple Watch, it assumes the display doesn’t need to be powered during these times.
On the display, the iPhone 14 Pro has a maximum brightness of 1600nits, which is 400nits higher than the iPhone 13 Pro. It does, however, have a peak brightness of 2000nits, which is noticeable in use. It’s extremely bright, and the colors are vibrant and punchy, while the blacks are super black, making for an overall excellent viewing experience.
Hardware and Specs
The iPhone 14 Pro, unlike the standard Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, receives a processor upgrade to the A16 Bionic chip. It is a 4nm chip with a 6-core CPU, two performance cores, and four efficiency cores, as well as a 5-core GPU. A 16-core Neural Engine is also included.
Performance is excellent, with the iPhone 14 Pro easily handling tasks at this level. During a session of Call of Duty Mobile, the iPhone 14 Pro responded quickly without getting hot in any particular area, as some handsets do. It was also capable of handling multiple tasks at once. From our experience, call quality is also good, and the only time we’ve noticed lag is when shooting in ProRAW, which is a slower experience.
Satellite connectivity is also available on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. That is, when there is no phone signal, the iPhone 14 Pro will allow you to contact emergency services via text. For the time being, this is only available in the United States and Canada, and you get two years free.
Storage options for the iPhone 14 Pro – and iPhone 14 Pro Max – are the same as for the iPhone 13 Pro, starting at 128GB and increasing to 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. There is no microSD support for storage expansion, as has been the case since the launch of the iPhone.
As previously stated, there is no SIM tray for those in the United States, with the iPhone now only supporting eSIM. That means you won’t need a nano SIM any longer – but if you travel frequently and want to buy a local SIM at your destination, or if you frequently switch phones, this could be a real pain. Outside of the US, the iPhone 14 models continue to include a nano-SIM tray, so it’s only a problem for those in the US or purchasing an iPhone in the US.
The battery on the iPhone 14 Pro has also been upgraded, promising up to 23 hours of video playback versus up to 22 hours on the iPhone 13 Pro. The battery performance of the iPhone 14 Pro is user dependent, but in our experience, it performs well. The Always On Display appears to have little effect on battery performance, and we got from 7 AM to 11 PM with 25 to 30% to spare, which isn’t bad.
That includes all notifications, including emails, Slack, WhatsApp, and multiple phone calls throughout the day. During those days, we were also heavily testing the camera and other aspects of the device. Read; iPhone 14 Pro — Everything We Know So Far
The camera capabilities of the iPhone Pro models have always been emphasized, and the iPhone 14 Pro is no exception. On the back, there is a triple rear camera consisting of a main camera, an ultrawide camera, and a telephoto camera.
However, there have been some improvements. The primary camera’s sensor has been upgraded from a 12-megapixel sensor to a 48-megapixel sensor with an f/1.78 aperture. It’s a Quad Pixel sensor, which combines four pixels to produce better low-light results from a larger sensor. The ultra wide-angle camera now has 12-megapixels and an f/2.2 aperture, while the telephoto has 12-megapixels and an f/2.8 aperture.
Apple has also included a Photonic Engine, which promises to improve low-light images. It’s essentially the same AI we’ve seen from other manufacturers, which generally improves the quality of photos from all of your cameras, including the front-facing camera.
In terms of performance, the iPhone 14 Pro delivers lovely crisp, clear results in good lighting conditions, as well as acceptable results in low lighting conditions. In good lighting, we didn’t notice any significant differences when compared to the iPhone 13 Pro, with the devices performing nearly identically.
However, there were improvements in low light conditions compared to the iPhone 13 Pro, and not just in the final results, but in the process of taking the photo itself. On the iPhone 14 Pro, night mode activates faster, so you don’t have to stand still for as long.
The iPhone 14 Pro has 15x digital zoom and 3x optical zoom, and while the maximum 15x zoom isn’t as sharp as the Pixel 6 Pro, it still performs well. If you’re looking for long zooms, however, devices like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will outperform. Read More; iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro: Upgrades to Expec
Overall, the iPhone 14 Pro provides an excellent camera experience, and once again, it’s a case of being able to point and shoot and get a good result without fiddling with settings. You can shoot at the full 48-megapixels in ProRAW mode, and the results are excellent, but shooting in the default mode is also excellent. ProRAW is also quite slow, so plan accordingly if you want to shoot in that mode all of the time.
The usual suspects are present, along with a couple of new features such as Action Mode and a Foreground Blur for Portrait mode. When it came to videos we took while moving, the iPhone 14 Pro’s Action Mode provided a little more stabilisation, but the iPhone 13 Pro’s stabilisation without this mode wasn’t bad before.
The front camera on the iPhone 14 Pro is a 12-megapixel sensor, but it has a wider aperture for better low-light shots, and it now has autofocus. In a nutshell, the iPhone 14 Pro takes great selfies, but in our experience, the difference between it and the iPhone 13 Pro isn’t significant.
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro runs iOS 16, which includes a number of new features, most notably the Lock Screen, which we briefly mentioned above. This feature makes the best use of the Always On Display, and they complement each other perfectly. The Dynamic Island feature is another example of hardware and software working well together, and it is only likely to grow in the coming months.
We have a separate feature on iOS 16 and all of the changes it brings, as well as a dedicated feature on the Lock Screen, but there are also changes to Messages, Mail, and Photos that are useful.
Obviously, iOS 16 isn’t limited to the iPhone 14 Pro. The software is available on iPhone 8 and newer, but the iPhone 14 Pro has a few extra features, such as Dynamic Island, Always On Display, and some camera features, such as ProRAW, that provide a different experience than other iPhone models. The iPhone 14 models also include Car Crash Detection, which you can learn more about in our separate feature, but we hope we never have to put it to the test.
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro is unquestionably the most intriguing of the four new iPhone 14 models. It has a new design, camera upgrades, processor upgrades, and display improvements, as well as the very cool Dynamic Island feature. All of these improvements and changes have positioned the iPhone 14 Pro to be the best iPhone the company has ever produced, and the Pro is now undeniably Pro. This is a fantastic device and, without a doubt, the best iPhone 14 model to buy, as well as the flagship smartphone of the year. Read Also; Apple iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max News and Features