iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max hands-on

While there isn’t really a drastic change, Apple’s latest iPhone 14 Pro incorporates some significant upgrades to remain one of the best smartphones on the market.

Apple unveiled its iPhone 14s at its back-to-school conference on Wednesday but reserved its biggest changes for its iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models. The most visible new feature? The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max do not have a notch. In its place is a small, pill-shaped screen cutout that houses a revamped TrueDepth camera unit for Face ID, selfies, and video calling. Rather than ignore the cutout, Apple has built a mobile alerts and notifications system called Dynamic Island that uses the black space around it. The odd name aside, the feature is compelling on its own and looks cool.

Dynamic Island, which isn’t present on the iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus, isn’t the only way Apple has used to widen the gap between iPhone Pro and “non-Pro” models. . The price is another. The iPhone 14 Pro is marketed for 1329 euros, or 310 euros more than the iPhone 14 offered at 1019 euros in the entry ticket. The 14 Pro Max is logically more elitist at 1479 euros for the 128 GB version and 2129 euros for the 1 TB version.

iPhone 14 screen: goodbye notch, hello Dynamic Island

From the back, the iPhone 14 Pro doesn’t look all that different from last year’s flagship, the iPhone 13 Pro. But from the front, the 14 Pro’s pill-shaped screen cutout looks much smaller in comparison to the 13 Pro’s notch. This is the first thing I noticed when taking the iPhone 14 Pro, the famous notch has disappeared.

Apple’s Dynamic Island interface also works very well and is practical. For example, I had a song playing on Apple Music and when I left the app there was a tiny waveform on one side of the cutout and a tiny thumbnail showing the cover art of the song. album on the other side. When I tapped on that thumbnail, I was able to immediately access the song in the Apple Music app.

Of course, this cutout is only part of the Super Retina XDR display which can now reach 2,000 nits of brightness for better visibility in bright light. By comparison, the iPhone 13 Pro hits a peak brightness of 1,200 nits. The 14 Pro uses LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) technology to bring the refresh rate down to 1Hz, which could help reduce battery drain and enable an always-on display. The 13 Pro’s LTPO screen is limited to 10 Hz.

The A16 Bionic of the iPhone 14 Pro: the new chip for 2022

There is also the new A16 Bionic chip which, this year, is reserved for Pro models. The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus use the same version of the A15 Bionic chip used in last year’s iPhone 13 Pro. The A16 chip is more efficient and consumes 20% less power than the A15 chip according to Apple.

A16 Bionic
A16 Bionic

The A16 chip has 16 billion transistors on a 4-nanometer process, compared to 15 billion transistors on the A15’s 5-nanometer process. Other than the number of transistors added by the new manufacturing process, the difference in computing power might not be as big between the 13 Pro and the 14 Pro as it was between the 12 Pro and the 13 Pro. It is also not known how much RAM the iPhone 14 Pro will have because Apple has a habit of not communicating on the RAM of its iPhones.

The GPU is also upgraded, with 50% more memory bandwidth. The A16 Bionic chip’s display engine helps power the LTPO display as well as the Dynamic Island. Apple claims that the A16 Bionic’s neural engine is capable of performing 17 trillion operations per second, which is essential for digital photography.

In the few minutes I spent with the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, the system animations felt smooth and iOS 16 snappy. So let’s wait for further tests and benchmarks to decide on the real performance gain of this new chip.

iPhone 14 Pro camera: pixel binning is coming to the iPhone

The iPhone 14 Pro will feature a 48-megapixel camera. The sensor uses pixel binning to group four pixels together and makes them act as one large pixel to optimize light capture. Some high-end Android smartphones, like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, use a similar technique for cameras with high megapixel counts. The camera’s Pro Raw mode also lets you take full-resolution 48-megapixel photos.

iPhone 14 Pro camera
iPhone 14 Pro camera

Apple has developed a new computer image processing method to take advantage of the new pixel pattern and improve color and detail accuracy. This method, called Photonic Engine, doubles the camera performance of the iPhone 14 Pro in low light compared to the iPhone 13 Pro. The 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max can also use the 48-megapixel sensor to “punch” a shot, emulating 2x zoom with the middle 12-megapixel sensor.

Photonic Engine also allows the ultra-wide-angle sensor to improve its performance in low light three times, and twice for the telephoto and the front camera.

As for video capture, Apple said the iPhone 14 Pro will feature Pro Video and Cinematic modes, which can now record in 4K at 24 frames per second. Both Pro models will also benefit from Apple’s new video stabilization mode, dubbed Action mode. When shooting a video, the Action mode icon appears in the upper left corner of the camera preview. I noticed that if the video resolution was set to 4K, Action mode reduced it to 2.8K.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro

With the release of the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, Apple has discontinued its iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. However, even if Apple no longer markets them, they have not yet completely disappeared. Various third-party retailers and operators may continue to sell them. But should you buy an iPhone 13 Pro or an iPhone 14 Pro?

In terms of features, components, and battery life, the iPhone 14 Pro seems to outperform the iPhone 13 Pro in almost every area. However, there is not really a radical change. If you have an iPhone 13 Pro, upgrading to iPhone 14 Pro seems pointless. But if you have an older iPhone and are trying to decide between the two, I’d probably push you towards the newer 14 Pro, unless you find a really good deal on the 13 Pro .

iPhone 14 Pro: Battery life, price, and other specs

Apple says the iPhone 14 Pro will have more than a day’s battery life, longer than previous models. It will also benefit from the new basic iPhone 14 features, such as satellite emergency SOS, a satellite communication system in areas not covered by cellular and Wi-Fi networks, and accident detection. , which lets the device know if you’ve been in a car accident.

These iPhone 14s will be natively powered by iOS 16. The iPhone 14 Pro will be offered for 1329 euros. The 14 Pro Max will be offered for 1479 euros. Apple’s two high-end devices are more expensive than the base iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, which start at $1,019 and $1,169, respectively.

Pre-orders will start on September 9, and the smartphones will be available on September 16.

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