Apple Reveals iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro: New Notch Design, A16 Bionic Chip, 48MP Cameras, and Satellite Connectivity
Coming live from the Far Out event, Apple has finally revealed the iPhone 14 lineup, and as expected we have four models this time around. The base iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus lead the charge with incremental upgrades from last-gen, while the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max are the true highlights of the show.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are this year’s value for money devices… at least by Apple’s standards. Both of them continue on the iPhone 13’s design theme, and also use last year’s flagship SoC, the A15 Bionic. The base iPhone 14 is a smaller device, coming in 6.1-inches, while the iPhone 14 Plus features a bigger display at 6.7-inches.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models feature the older DDR4X RAM standard, starting at 6GB of capacity. Both the phones are brighter, too, compared to last year’s models, maxing out at 1000 nits. Apple also says they’ve updated the internal design of the phone to improve thermals and, therefore, provide better sustained performance in tasks like gaming.
Both the phones are backed by decent sized batteries, with the iPhone 14 packing in a 3279mAh cell, while the iPhone 14 Plus packs in a 4325mAh battery. As is tradition, the iPhone 14 Plus has the customary “the best battery life ever in an iPhone” with claims of it actually lasting more than a day. The iPhone 13 lineup already had stellar battery so anything that builds upon that is a welcome upgrade.
Coming to the cameras, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus feature the same two-camera system—a main 12MP lens with sensor-shift OIS and another telephoto camera with 3x zoom. The front camera gets a decent upgrade here, with it now being able to auto-focus, and a wide ƒ1.9 aperture resulting in 38% better low-light shots.
Apple is also introducing the new “Photonic Engine” which is essentially an upgraded version of Deep Fusion. It works mostly in the same ways, with the key difference being that now Deep Fusion is applied much earlier in the processing pipeline, and it works across all cameras. Apple promises some big numbers here, with a 2x front camera improvement, 2x improvement on the ultrawide, and 2.5x better performance on the main sensor.
On the video side of things, the iPhone 14 has a new, more advanced stabilization mode called “Action Mode“. It uses the full sensor with more scaling (cropping) to get a very smooth image that is perfect for fast-paced mobile shots. It also supports Dolby Vision HDR.
As for the pricing, Apple is sticking to the same figures as last year, which means the iPhone 14 stating at $799 and the iPhone 14 Plus starting at $899. You can to pre-order starting from September 9th, with general availability beginning next week from September 16th.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max packs in the best of what Apple has to offer. Both the phones feature an all new front design with an updated pill-shaped notch that isn’t just another cutout, but actually a new playing ground for notifications and alerts.
Apple has designed a myriad of animations that essentially surround the notch and dynamically adapt to it based on what’s going on. They’re calling this experience the “Dynamic Island” since the cutout floats like an island surrounded by the iPhone’s screen.
You can some examples of this new feature in action above. See how certain activities utilize the notch area with rather clean animations and neat tricks to blend the software and hardware. Apple held a whole segment for this, which clearly shows that they’ve put a lot of effort into it and only time will tell if it was worth it.
The phones also feature this year’s flagship SoC, the A16 Bionic, which according to Apple is “40 percent faster than the competition“. It features a 6-core CPU with two high-power and four high-efficiency cores, all of which Apple claims are the best in the league. In fact, Apple says their efficiency core is basically 3x more efficient than the competition and the new 5-core GPU has 50% more bandwidth.
Apple claims that their 3-year old SoC is still faster than 2022 Android flagships | AppleThis year’s iPhone 14 Pro model has a 6.1-inch screen, while the Pro Max has a 6.7-inch screen. Both the phones use an extremely advanced OLED LTPO panel, which can dynamically alter the panel’s refresh rate between 1-120Hz. The panels feature a max brightness of 2000 nits, which again is a big improvement from last year, and the brightest any smartphone can go. However, while viewing HDR content, the display maxes out at 1600 nits.
The iPhone 14 Pro also brings the long-awaited Always on Display support to iPhone with some smart features, such as automatic wallpaper dimming. If that weren’t enough, the iPhone 14 Pro screen features an insane 2,000,000 : 1 contrast ratio for incredibly vivid and sharp colors. That’s on top of wide color gamut and a 460 ppi pixel density.
Coming over to the battery, iPhone 14 Pro is powered by a 3200mAh battery, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max is powered by a 4323mAh battery. Although these should last longer than the standard iPhone models, due to the more efficient A16 SoC, and the LTPO display.
The Pro models feature a bigger camera upgrade, with the use of a 48MP quad-pixel sensor for the first time. According to Apple, the new sensor deliver up to 2x improvement in low light performance over the iPhone 13 Pro. Essentially, Apple achieves this by pixel binning where it takes data from four pixels and extrapolates it to a large quad pixel. You would still get a 12MP image, but it would be very detailed.
For the ultimate combination of detail and flexibility, shoot in ProRAW at 48MP resolution. A new machine learning model delivers sharper images and less noise for unprecedented detail. So you can reframe your photos while still retaining amazing resolution.
The iPhone 14 Pro now has an additional 2x Telephoto, which delivers multiple zoom options – at 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 3x. The Telephoto lens can now use the new quad-pixel sensor to deliver 4K videos without digital zoom.
All of the camera upgrades of the iPhone 14, such as the improved front camera carry over to the Pro models as well. According to Apple, the front cam now has 38 percent better light gathering capability. Due to the new 48-megapixel main lens, the new Pro models also feature 8K video recording. Apple has also improved the phone’s flash, and the new Adaptive True Tone flash uses nine LEDs to shoot the subject in best lighting.
- 24 mm
- 48 mm (2x Telephoto)
- Quad-pixel sensor
- 2.44 µm quad pixel
- 1.22 µm single pixel
- ƒ/1.78 aperture
- 100% Focus Pixels
- 7-element lens
- Sensor-shift OIS (2nd gen)
Satellite Connectivity and Other Features
The iPhone 14 Pro also features emergency SOS, where the phone can directly communicate with a satellite to contact emergency services. Although, Satellites are actually very slow moving targets, and they don’t have a lot of bandwidth. To counter this, the new iPhones automatically “front-loads a few questions to assess your situation“. You can then tap to respond, and the phone will point you to a satellite. Once a connection is established, your iPhone sends “your answers, location, Medical ID (if set up), and battery level to a dispatcher.”
According to Apple, the Emergency SOS via satellite service is included for free for two years with the iPhone 14 lineup, meaning the service will be chargeable somewhere down the line. As satellite communication is very slow, a normal message would take less than 15 minutes to send, and that can extend up to a minute under light foliage. To even enable this timing, Apple had to create a separate compression algorithm that essentially makes texts up to three times smaller.
The new iPhone lineup also features a new crash detection feature. The phone is able to automatically pick-up sudden shifts in g-forces, changes in cabin pressure, and abrupt changes in direction to detect if the user is involved in a crash.
Another interesting addition, or rather removal, is of the SIM Tray. The entire iPhone 14 lineup is now eSIM enabled. This allows users to add or remove carriers digitally, without needing to change the SIM card. An eSIM also lets your have multiple phone numbers, along with data plans on a single phone.
Surprisingly, no price hikes here, with the iPhone 14 Pro starting at $999 and the iPhone 14 Pro Max starting at $1099. There will be four color options: Black, Silver, Gold, and a new Deep Purple. Just like the standard iPhone 14, the Pro models go on sale September 16th, with pre-orders beginning from September 9th.
Is this enough of an upgrade or did you expect more? Let us know your thoughts down below! Check out our coverage of the AirPods Pro 2 and the all-new Apple Watches announced at the show as well, including the $800 Apple Watch Ultra.