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Apple iPhone 14 Pro review: Luxury that gives a little more

Despite the fact that the iPhone 14 Pro is outwardly very similar to its predecessors, the phone offers several novelties. The most obvious thing to do is to start looking more closely at the dynamic island, the camera hole that Apple replaced the previous sensor panel with. Now system information is gathered here and brief information is from various apps. Here you see music playing when the camera is used for Face ID, active timers, that the phone is charging, that you have an active timer, navigation information from the map app and so on. However, regular app notifications don’t end up here, and even if the dynamic island is possible to use for apps other than Apple’s own, few do so yet. Music apps (such as Spotify) and conversation apps (such as when you call with Facebook Messenger) already use the dynamic island today, but other apps require adaptation before they can take place in the dynamic island.

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Apple iPhone 14 Pro // Source: Anthony Wonner for Frandroid
Apple iPhone 14 Pro // Source: Anthony Wonner for Frandroid

Pros & Cons

POSITIVES OF THE APPLE IPHONE 14 PRO
  • Big performance from the Apple A16 Bionic
  • An OLED screen without any complaints
  • The reference for filming
  • Slight progress in photography
  • The fake 2x mode (48mm equivalent focal length)
  • iOS 16 accomplished and customizable
  • Dynamic Island ingenious, but don’t buy the iPhone 14 Pro for it
  • (MagSafe, IP68, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.3)
CONS OF THE APPLE IPHONE 14 PRO
  • Substantial increase in prices in Europe
  • Wired and wireless charges still slow
  • The 48-megapixel sensor is not a game changer
  • A slimming cure would not be refused
  • The Lightning port lives its last moments
  • No satellite connection needed in Europe
  • Repairability that still leaves something to be desired

Starring American Dynamic Island, a device meant to revolutionize the way the user interacts with the smartphone.

Related: The iPhone 14 Plus is in stores

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Does Apple sin by overconfidence in its technologies or is it close to the truth? To find out, we tested the beast for three weeks.

Last year, the main reasons to upgrade to the iPhone 13 Pro , instead of the iPhone 13, were the x3 telephoto lens, improved battery life, and ProMotion, which is Apple’s name for its frame rate technology. 120Hz screen refresh that debuted on the iPad Pro in 2017. Those were the only real reasons overall.

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This year, things have changed. Apple has further segmented its iPhone line. The evolutions of the iPhone 14 are so non-existent that we could name it iPhone 13s. For the iPhone 14 Pro, it’s different, everything seems to have evolved. On paper at least. This is what we are going to check.

APPLE IPHONE 14 PRO TECHNICAL SHEET

Model Apple iPhone 14 Pro
OS version iOS 16
screen size 6.1 inch
Definition 2556 x 1179 pixels
Pixel density 460 dpi
Technology OLED
SoCs A16 Bionic
Graphics chip (GPU) Apple GPU
Internal memory (flash) 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB
Camera (back) Sensor 1: 48 MP
Sensor 2: 12 MP
Sensor 3: 12 MP
Camera (front) 12 MP
Video recording [email protected] FPS
Wireless Wi-Fi 6 (ax)
Bluetooth 5.3
Bands supported 2100MHz (B1), 800MHz (B20), 1800MHz (B3), 2600MHz (B7), 700MHz (B28)
5G Yes
NFC Yes
Fingerprint sensor Nope
Ports (inputs/outputs) Lightning
Dimensions 71.5 x 147.5 x 7.85mm
Weight 206 grams
Colors Black, Silver, Gold, Purple
Price €1,299

A Bubble Design

Visually, the iPhone 14 Pro looks a lot like the iPhone 13 Pro. But, it would be wrong to think that they are the same. That’s right, they approach the same look & feel , they’re shiny stainless steel… The iPhone 14 Pro is a bit thicker and heavier though. Honestly, however, it doesn’t feel once in hand or in pocket, compared to last year’s.

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Apple iPhone 14 Pro // Source: Anthony Wonner for Frandroid
Apple iPhone 14 Pro // Source: Anthony Wonner for Frandroid

It is clear that the design of the iPhone has not changed much since the introduction of the iPhone X , 5 years ago. And, finally, it is undoubtedly one of the only disappointments that we can have with this new iPhone. We would like change so as not to have the impression of buying the same phone every year.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro // Source: Anthony Wonner for Frandroid
Apple iPhone 14 Pro // Source: Anthony Wonner for Frandroid

At first glance, the cameras are slightly larger than those of the iPhone 13 Pro. The lenses protrude at least a millimeter more and that makes it more wonky when we leave it flat on a table. It’s not a drama, but know it.

The grip is still just as pleasant, it does not slip and its dimensions allow it to be handled with one hand. He is neither big nor small. In truth, in my opinion, it is the perfect size for a smartphone in 2022. Large enough to enjoy video content, and compact enough to be forgotten in the pocket of jeans.

Related: It is much more expensive to produce iPhone 14 Pro than 13

The dynamic island

The stylus that houses the Truedepth camera is now positioned a few millimeters below the top edge of the screen. It is now animated and has been named Dynamic Island. Either Apple has a sense of humor or they take themselves very seriously. We’re betting on humor.

Dynamic Island displays notifications, messages and activities on an interactive surface, providing easier access to information and better multitasking. Alerts and system notifications won’t interrupt you when you’re using another app, and it’s easy to get more information about what’s going on in the background.

If you’re playing a song on Spotify, you can easily press and hold Dynamic Island to access controls without having to leave the app you’re currently in. If you start a timer at the same time, Dynamic Island splits and shows both separately – sweet!

Plus it looks flimsy as hell.

Apple Dynamic Island in its default position (top image) and unfolded.
image: macworld

Screen: it’s eye-popping!

Along with battery capacity, screen size is the main difference between iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. The latter uses a 6.7 “diagonal LTPO OLED panel, poetically called Super Retina XDR.

It displays 1290 x 2796 pixels (or 460 dots per inch) and has high-end features. Certified Dolby Vision and HDR 10, it embeds Apple’s ProMotion technology to adjust the refresh rate according to use (between 10 and 120 Hz).

Apple sticks to black-bordered displays. Those of the iPhone 14 Pro Max are thin and discreet enough to be forgotten. The huge notch in effect so far is now replaced by a capsule-shaped perforation. We will come back to this a little later.

iPhone 14 pro review
© Marc Mitrani for Clubic

The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max finally have the permanent display ( always on ), well known to owners of Android smartphones. In order to save the battery, its refresh rate drops to 1 Hz and the light intensity adapts in order not to be disturbing at night.

The always on , according to Apple, is successful and pleasant on a daily basis. Of course, you can turn it off if needed. Small regret however, it is impossible to program it to be active on a defined time slot. Let’s bet that Apple will add it in a future iOS update.

We were absolutely blown away by the quality of the image produced by the screen. In addition to impeccable colorimetric respect (as long as the TrueTone function is deactivated), we appreciate the precision of the rendering, the contrasts and the depth of the black.

The brightness of the panel is also excellent since it can reach 1000 nits in normal use (1800 nits in HDR) and go up to 2000 nits in the event of very high ambient light. The screen of the iPhone 14 Pro Max therefore remains readable in direct sunlight.

Screen quality is one of the traditional strengths of iPhones and it’s not the 14 Pro Max that will prove that reputation wrong. On this point, Apple achieves – once again – almost faultless.

Related: Expect long delivery times even on the iPhone 14 Plus

Updated cameras

The iPhone 14 Pro has received new cameras. On the back there are three placed in the upper left corner. The new main camera is 48 megapixels while the others are 12 megapixels. Among the news is a new zoom mode, 2x, which means there are four zoom options. It is also possible to shoot 48 megapixel images in ProRAW, the images are big as hell, but you get more possibilities for editing. You can now also take portrait photos that have blurred foreground and background.

The new 48MP camera takes really nice pictures.
The new 48MP camera takes really nice pictures.

The main camera’s sensor is also 65 percent larger than the one in the iPhone 13 Pro.

All cameras also perform better in low light thanks to the new “Photonic Engine”. According to Apple, the aperture lets in 49 percent more light. And of course there is a difference in dark photos taken with the iPhone 14 Pro compared to the 13 Pro. Above all, more details are captured by the new lens.

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The picture on the left was taken with the Iphone 14 Pro, the one on the right with the Iphone 13 Pro.   Photo: Petter Ahrnstedt

Apple has a new process for processing images. By applying “deep fusion” earlier in the process, images taken in dark conditions become better. We’re guessing sharing happens with a scoop of technology mixed with a little AI and black magic.

Both models of the iPhone 14 Pro have triple cameras.
Both models of the iPhone 14 Pro have triple cameras.

Cinematic Mode can now film in 4k at 24 frames per second. The new Action mode provides even more stabilized video during high-motion activities and, like Cinematic Mode, is filmed in Dolby Vision HDR.

The image stabilization mode in particular is insanely awesome. The undersigned jogged with the camera and the film was as steady as possible. Pretty impressive! Watch the film if you want to see for yourself what it looks like.

Always On

Always-on Display has also entered the picture, and of course, Apple explains why only this year: with the ProMotion display and 1 Hz image refresh, as well as OLED and LTPO technologies, things have matured so much that the permanent display (iOS- that’s what it’s called) only drain the battery minimally. And then Apple did it sensibly: the lock screen is the one that fades out and stays on all day, and there can be as many backgrounds, widgets, live activity, player cards, notifications, and other information that change during the day.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro // Source: Anthony Wonner for Frandroid
Apple iPhone 14 Pro // Source: Anthony Wonner for Frandroid

A PROVEN DESIGN

Like last year, the design of the iPhone 14 Pro is proven. However, I think it’s time for the iPhone to go on a diet. A little thinning wouldn’t hurt him.

  • iPhone 12 Pro: 7.4 mm thick / 189 grams
  • iPhone 13 Pro: 7.65 mm thick / 204 grams
  • iPhone 14 Pro: 7.85 mm thick / 206 grams

Also, time is running out for Apple to switch the iPhone to USB-C. We will have to wait at least another year. But, it’s only a matter of time now. This iPhone 14 Pro will undoubtedly be the last to have a Lightning port.

iPhone 14 pro Always- on Display

Excellent performance

The iPhone 14 Pro features the Silicon A16 Bionic SoC. This new chip is the first from Apple engraved in 4 nm. It consists of six cores (two high-performance, four more energy efficient) and a five-core graphics chip. The set is completed by a neural engine supporting everything related to artificial intelligence.

Apple announces a 10% performance gain compared to the Silicon A15 Bionic, as well as support for new technologies fitted to the device (refresh at 1 Hz, always on , etc.).

According to our tests, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is indeed a monster of power, able to rival – and even exceed – the high-end SoCs of the competition. We can therefore entrust it with eyes closed with the most demanding tasks in terms of computing power and play the latest generation 3D games.

It should be noted in passing that at no time during our tests did we notice excessive heating of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. You don’t have to worry about the slight overheating that you will notice during the first days of use. The device runs continuously to analyze data (including photos and videos) that you may have imported into it.

Apple accompanies the A16 with 6 GB of working memory. This may seem if we refer to the 8 or even 12 GB fitted to Android smartphones… but it is not at all the case, the memory management by iOS being very different from what Android does.

As always on the iPhone, internal storage cannot be expanded. Depending on the model chosen, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB.

VARIOUS BENCHMARKS

Model Apple iPhone 14 Pro Apple iPhone 13 Pro Apple iPhone 12 Pro Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro
AnTuTu 9 949082 812211 N/C 901944 1109651
AnTuTu 8 N/C N/C 577191 N/C N/C
AnTuTu CPU 238980 210851 169547 203077 262115
AnTuTu GPU 413733 318695 200121 384962 466005
AnTuTu MEM 153747 151602 114589 148623 196358
AnTuTu UX 142622 131063 92939 165282 185173
3DMark Slingshot Extreme 3258 N/C 5433 N/C N/C
Geekbench 5 Single-core 1858 1707 N/C N/C N/C
Geekbench 5 Multi-core 5014 4543 N/C N/C N/C
Geekbench 5 Compute 15725 15725 N/C N/C

Satellite calls

The iPhone 14 now supports satellite calls. Unfortunately, the service only works in the US and Canada at this time. When the function will be rolled out in Sweden is highly unclear. But if you buy an iPhone 14 in Sweden, it will be able to make emergency calls via satellite if you are in North America.

“Where are the satellites?” perhaps friend of order asks. In true Apple spirit, just point the phone at the sky and you’ll be guided in the right direction. If you are in North America.

Should you end up in a car crash, the phone detects it through Crash Detection and calls an ambulance. Let’s hope you don’t have to experience that feature.

AUDIO

This year, the iPhone 14 Pro comes without any Lightning headphones in France. It will therefore be necessary to go through Bluetooth, which offers excellent performance with support for Bluetooth 5.3. We also appreciate the power and quality of the stereo speakers. The performance is comparable to last year.

BATTERY

The iPhone 14 Pro incorporates a battery whose capacity is slightly higher than the 13 Pro, which explains why it is thicker. In any case, it does no less well than the iPhone 13 Pro, which was already one of the most autonomous iPhones of all generations. No extra effort this year, however the 14 Pro still provides a very big day of autonomy, despite the Always On mode activated.

You’ll cringe… Apple sticks to the same wired charging speeds: 50% charge in 30 minutes with a 20W adapter (or more), which isn’t included as a reminder. At this level, MagSafe wireless charging at 15W is almost as fast, but you must have the MagSafe compatible accessory. In short, this is one of the points where Apple can really improve.

Finally, the iPhone 14 Pro is certainly the last iPhone equipped with Lightning connectivity. It’s a safe bet that USB-C will replace it, which would simplify our daily lives. Note also that the USB-C charger and the Lightning cable have not been sold with the iPhone since 2020.

PRICE AND RELEASE DATE

Between the euro-dollar parity, which means that for one euro, you can only buy one dollar, and inflation… prices are soaring in Europe. However, this context does not explain why prices have increased so much in Europe.

Storage quantity iPhone 13 Pro iPhone 14 Pro Evolution Difference
128 GB €1,159.00 €1,329.00 14.67% €170.00
256 GB €1,279.00 €1,459.00 14.07% €180.00
512 GB €1,509.00 €1,719.00 13.92% 210,00 €
1TB €1,739.00 €1,979.00 13.80%

 

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