Apple recently launched iPhone 14 series which includes four models iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. I was also excited to try the new iPhone but was confused about what model to get. As the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are getting the new A16 Bionic, I decided to get the iPhone 14 Pro. The reason to ditch iPhone 14 Pro Max was its large size. Now when I have been using the iPhone 14 Pro for a few days as a daily driver, I tested everything in this phone to know if this phone is worth investing in. If you are thinking to buy the iPhone 14 Pro, here is a detailed review of the iPhone 14 Pro.
First of all, let’s talk about the design. iPhone 14 Pro looks similar to its predecessor but there are a few noticeable changes. The dimensions and weight are almost the same. In the iPhone 14 Pro, Apple has replaced its traditional display cutout with a pill-shaped notch called Dynamic Island. Dynamic Island houses Face ID hardware and the selfie camera. The Dynamic island displays animations for several system actions and can expand to offer more controls depending on the app you are using.
The phone features a stainless steel frame with a bright display on the front and a brushed glass back. The display is protected by Apple’s Ceramic Shield. The volume rockers, the silence slider, and the SIM slot are on the left side. Yes, the iPhone 14 models in India still have physical SIM card slots. On the right, it has the side button that is used as power, sleep, or Siri buttons. The base side has a speaker grille, a Lighting port, and a Lighting port.
On the back, the phone has a triple camera setup with a Lidar sensor. The camera system now takes more space on the back and the camera bump is massive. So, the phone wobbles if you put it on a flat surface. You may also end up getting the camera glass scratched if you do not handle it properly.
The iPhone 14 Pro is IP68 rated which means the phone is dust and waterproof. Overall, I really liked the design and the build quality. The phone comes in 4 different colors: Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple. I have the Space Black model.
iPhone 14 Pro comes with a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display. The display has a 2556 x 1179 pixels resolution and 460ppi pixel density. It supports TrueTone, HDR, and Apple’s Haptic Touch. Although there is no change in the resolution, the brightness has improved a lot. The display can reach 2,000 nits peak brightness outdoors. The display also seems to offer better color reproduction and accuracy than the predecessor.
The display has a 120Hz refresh rate that can go down to 1Hz to save battery. Apple has also added an always-on display for the first time. The always-on display keeps offering some information on the screen even when the display is off. Android users have been enjoying Always-on Display for years. Not just flagship, but mid-range devices also offer Always-on display. So, adding it to the iPhone is a welcome move from Apple. When you enable the Always-on display, the phone dims the display but you can still see the wallpaper and widgets. I personally didn’t like Apple’s Always-on display when the Waller and widgets are visible. If there’s music playing on the phone, it can also see album cover art. This is a kind of distraction at night when you want to focus on something else and your phone’s display remains always visible.
The phone runs iOS 16 out of the box. The company has improved Focus and added Lock Screen customization. The most notable software experience in the iPhone 14 Pro is the Dynamic Island which uses the pill-shaped notch area for notifications and controls. Dynamic Island still needs support from the developer community and it will surely get it. So, other iOS apps will soon start using Dynamic Island for several quick actions.
Apple has also added Emergency SOS via satellite and Crash Detection. Both the features are useful but Emergency SOS is limited to the US. Crash Detection is the goof feature that detects if you suffered a crash accident. The feature uses a high dynamic range gyroscope and high-g accelerometer, GPS, barometer, microphone, and other advanced motion algorithms to detect car crashes.
The iPhone 14 Pro packs an A16 Bionic chip that is built on a 4nm manufacturing process. The chip has nearly 16 billion transistors. The SoC promises performance improvement and better battery efficiency. Apple claims that the SoC is nearly 40% faster than the competition. The improved 5-core Apple GPU also boasts offering 50% more memory bandwidth. The phone reportedly packs 6GB of RAM. There are technical details that ordinary users don’t really care. What they really want to know is real-world performance.
In terms of performance, the phone is really powerful. The phone can handle powerful tasks such as video editing and gaming. I also ran a few benchmark tests and found A16 Bionic the most powerful mobile chipset. It scored well in both Antutu and Geekbench. The iPhone 14 Pro is the most powerful iPhone available on the market. And probably the best phones in the market in terms of performance.
iPhone 14 Pro Camera specs
- Main camera: 48 MP (OIS, PDAF)
- Second camera: 12 MP (Telephoto)
- Third camera: 12 MP (Ultra-wide)
The primary 48 megapixels camera uses a pixel-binning sensor that captures 12 megapixels photos. So, the camera offers better low-light performance. This camera sensor also adds the ability to shoot full-resolution raw images. If you want to capture RAW photos, you need to enable it from the camera settings.
The 12 megapixels ultra-wide camera has a 120-degree field of view. The bigger sensor offers better photos even in low light. You can also capture 48MP RAW photos with the iPhone 14 Pro. By using the A16 Bionic chip, this sensor captures really impressive photos. I captured several photos in both daylight and low light.
The primary camera captures good photos. You get great details, no noise, and proper contrast along with accurate colors. The thing I really like about iPhone cameras is the natural colors from both rear and selfie cameras. Photos offer good dynamic range. The ultra-wide camera is also good and can also be used to shoot macro photos. When you are too close to an object, the camera automatically switches to macro mode. It can focus as close as 4cm and the photos are really good.
This year, you are also getting 3x portraits. Photos offer good background blur and impressive colors. The software processing also applies HDR when needed and edge detection has also been improved.
The new sensor also lets apple offer 2x lossless zoom by cropping the image and 2x zoomed photos are really good with proper details and sharpens. The dynamic range in 2x photos is as good as in normal photos. You can also capture 3x zoomed photos using the telephoto camera and it is also impressive. You get accurate colors and good dynamic range. So, you get impressive 2x and 3x zoom photos with the new iPhone 14 Pro.
The phone also captures good photos using Night Mode. It automatically triggers night mode in low-light scenes. You can disable the Night Mode if you want. I tried the camera in 2x and 3x zoom mode in low light and the results were impressive. The ultra-wide camera also takes good photos in low light with Night Mode. The images have a good dynamic range and excellent color saturation.
Apple has also added OIS and autofocus for the selfie camera. When you capture photos in portrait mode, it captures 7 megapixels of photos but keeping the phone horizontally captures 12 megapixels of photos. You can also switch between two by tapping on arrows on the viewfinder. The selfie experience in daylight is good. You get photos with a wide dynamic range, good details, and high sharpness. The autofocus works really well. Unlike other brands, Apple doesn’t smooth skins and I personally like this. You can also capture selfie portraits with background blur. It also works well by separating the subject from the background.
All cameras can record 4K@60fps videos with Cinematic Stabilization. These cameras can also record Dolby Vision HDR. The company has added Enhanced Stabilization and Action mode. The action mode uses heavy cropping to offer action-camera-like stabilization. If I talk about the performance, I would say iPhone 14 Pro is the best camera in terms of video recording. The phone delivers outstanding video quality in all modes. The quality remains at 24fps or 60fps. The 2X zoom videos are also good and offer enough details and colors. So, 2x zoom videos are also impressive. 3x zoom videos using the telephoto camera are also good.
The selfie camera videos are also really good. If you are a vlogger who wants to shoot videos using the selfie camera, the iPhone will surely impress you.
If I talk about the low-light videos, I was impressed. The phone captures good low-light videos across all modes.
The phone has a stereo speakers setup with one located at the top edge and another on the bottom edge. These speakers offer good and loud sound. Speakers also support spatial audio. I have tested it with a few TWS and all sounds impressive. So, audio experience on iPhone 14 Pro.
In the US, the phone has ditched the traditional SIM card slot for eSIM. Indian models still feature a SIM card slog along with eSIM support. The phone uses a Qualcomm X65 modem to deliver good 5G connectivity. The phone still uses Wi-Fi 6 in place of Wi-Fi 6E that’s a disappointment. The phone has Bluetooth 5.3 support. Apple also promises improved location accuracy. That was not possible for me to check how much it has improved GPS accuracy.
Apple does not confirm battery capacity, but claims improvement in battery performance over the predecessor. The phone can easily offer a full-day battery backup. This is still not good enough compared to flagship Android phones. When you use the phone mostly outdoors where the display pushes to a maximum of 2,000 nits brightness, the battery will drain slightly faster.
The phone doesn’t ship with a power adapter. So, you will have to buy a 20W charger separately. This charger charges the phone up to 50% in 30 minutes and 2 hours to get it up to 100%. The iPhone 14 Pro also supports 15W MagSafe and Qi-based charging.
The iPhone 14 Pro with 6..1-inch display size feels really comfortable. It is powerful, captures excellent photos, and offers a really good display. If you already have the iPhone 13 Pro, I don’t think you should upgrade until you have enough cash to burn. There are several improvements but I still recommend not to upgrade. People who are using iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro can think of getting this new iPhone 14 Pro.
Samsung Galaxy S22 is the biggest competitor of the iPhone 14 Pro in the market. We also have several other Android flagship phones in this segment. But iPhone 14 Pro is still getting more attention than other rival Android flagship phones. Obviously, most people prefer iPhone for its seamless experience and Yeats of software updates.