iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models will begin arriving to customers and launch in stores this Friday, September 16, and ahead of time, the first reviews of the devices have now been shared by select media publications and YouTube channels.
Key new features of the iPhone 14 Pro models include an always-on display with a new Dynamic Island, upgraded cameras with a 48-megapixel main lens, car crash detection and satellite connectivity for emergencies, the A16 Bionic chip for faster performance, and new Deep Purple and Space Black color options. Emergency SOS via Satellite is not launching until November, so the feature was not available for review yet.
The only differences between the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max relate to their respective 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch display sizes, battery life, and the weight of the devices, as the Pro and Pro Max once again have identical camera systems this year.
We've rounded up both written and video reviews of the iPhone 14 Pro models below, complete with a feature-by-feature breakdown.
Exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro models, the Dynamic Island replaces the traditional notch found on all iPhone 13 models. Aided by software, the cutout morphs into different shapes and sizes for things such as incoming phone calls, alerts, notifications, Face ID authentication, timers, turn-by-turn navigation, Live Activities, and more.
While the Dynamic Island is certainly more useful than the notch on previous iPhones, The Verge's Nilay Patel said the feature's potential is not fully realized yet, as it currently only supports third-party apps that use the Now Playing or CallKit APIs.
"Right now, the Dynamic Island feels like one of those things that need a year of refinement and developer attention before we really know how important it is," said Patel.
TheStreet's Jacob Krol said the iPhone 14 Pro's new always-on display did not have a noticeable impact on battery life during his testing:
And from my testing so far, using the always-on display doesn't negatively impact the battery life or overall runtime of the 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max. I've still been able to get a full day of moderate use on the 14 Pro, with the larger in size -- and likely in battery capacity -- 14 Pro Max lasting for a day and half with the same use. Apple specifically called out some enhancements within the new A16 Bionic which has cores designed to be efficient operators of the display.
Input's Raymond Wong put the iPhone's new 48-megapixel main lens to the test and was impressed with the 48-megapixel ProRAW photos, but he said he could barely notice a difference for pixel-binned 12-megapixel photos in daylight.
I've tested more than my share of Android phones with high-megapixel camera sensors and they've always underwhelmed in some way. Apple’s ProRAW DNG was a bit disappointing for the iPhone 13 Pro and 12 Pro; there's barely more detail to get from a 12-megapixel RAW compared to a 12-megapixel JPEG. Not so with 48-megapixel ProRAW files; these images are massive (often clocking in between 70-80MB) and the amount of detail you can get is borderline nuts for a phone.
Wong's review includes numerous photos shot on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Deep Purple and Space Black Colors
Wong also shared his thoughts on the new Deep Purple and Space Black color options:
My iPhone 14 Pro review unit is Space Black. I love it. The glass back and the stainless steel frame are noticeably darker than the gray Graphite iPhone 13 Pro; like a mix between the black and Jet Black iPhone 7. My iPhone 14 Pro Max review unit is Deep Purple; it's a dark purple that sometimes looks gray or black. Both look sleek in person; both are still fingerprint magnets. You can also get them in silver and gold.
A16 Bionic Chip
Wong shared Geekbench 5 results for the iPhone 14 Pro models, revealing up to a 16% increase in multi-core performance compared to the 13 Pro:
- iPhone 12 Pro: (A14 Bionic): 1,586 single-core / 3,937 multi-core
- iPhone 13 Pro: (A15 Bionic): 1,725 / 4,722
- iPhone 14 Pro: (A16 Bionic): 1,875 / 5,495
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern said iPhone 14 Pro models did not get significantly longer battery life than iPhone 13 Pro models:
As far as battery life goes, none of the iPhone 14 or 14 Pro models I tried lasted significantly longer than their predecessors. The story might be different with the step-up model, the iPhone 14 Plus. Apple says it has "our longest battery life ever"—I'll test that claim when it arrives.