Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

GSMArena Team, 23 September 2022.

Introduction

An improved display. Better cameras. A faster chip. This is the new iPhone. A phone that's often criticized for being behind-the-curve in certain ways, but often copied. A polarizing device that sets the trends in more ways than one. The iPhone 14 Pro is as controversial as any high-profile iPhone to come before it, if not more.

The iPhone 14 Pro follows Apple's formula to a T - it brings an even brighter Super Retina XDR OLED with an Always On option and a smaller pill-shaped cutout. Apple has done it again - turning weakness into strength. Once an eyesore, the infamous notch is now the Dynamic Island, a unique feature other brands are considering copying.

There are other improvements across the cameras, courtesy of new sensors, lenses and ISP. And, of course, Apple's A16 Bionic chipset is faster and more energy-efficient than the A15, just as expected.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

Let's start with the screen. While it's still a 6.1-inch OLED, it has a smaller pill-shaped cutout, can be as bright as 2,000nits, and supports Always On thanks to new more energy-efficient panel. The cutout is arguably the most iconic iPhone 14 Pro series feature, which actually comprises of two small cutouts - one pill-shaped and one round. Apple has turned this into a feature with various cool animations for notifications and calls it Dynamic Island.

Then come the cameras. The rear camera is still a triple-setup with a LiDAR scanner, but now the main shooter features a 48MP sensor with second-gen sensor-shift stabilization and a 2x lossless zoom option. The 12MP ultrawide camera got a new larger sensor and improved lens. Then there is the front camera, which now has a brighter lens, autofocus and even optical stabilization. There is also a better image processing called Photonic Engine and a new 9-LED flash.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

The Apple A16 Bionic chipset offers an even faster processor and graphics though it still features a similar 6-core CPU and 5-core GPU architecture. It does support LPDDR5 RAM now and has higher memory bandwidth. Finally, a new ISP and DSP are present, of course.

Another new introduction as part of the new hardware is the Emergency SOS via satellite - a feature that allows you to send a message to emergency services wherever you are around the world - no need for SIM or network coverage. And thanks to a bunch of new sensors, the new iPhones now support Crash Detection and can automatically send for help if they detect you were in a crash.

This is the first iPhone series to come without a SIM slot in the US, which means the trial run for the SIM slot retirement has officially begun - at least as far as Apple is concerned. If successful, like it was with the nano-SIM, get ready for a smartphone world without SIM cards in a few years.

What hasn't changed is the design - it's the same as on the iPhone 12 and 13 series, and just as tough with Ceramic Shields and improved IP68 ingress protection. Battery and charging capabilities have also stayed unchanged.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro specs at a glance:

  • Body: 147.5x71.5x7.9mm, 206g; Glass front (Corning-made glass), glass back (Corning-made glass), stainless steel frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 6m for 30 mins), Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified).
  • Display: 6.10" LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED, 120Hz, HDR10, Dolby Vision, 1000 nits (typ), 2000 nits (HBM), 1179x2556px resolution, 19.51:9 aspect ratio, 460ppi; Always-On display.
  • Chipset: Apple A16 Bionic (4 nm): Hexa-core (2x3.46 GHz Everest + 4x2.02 GHz Sawtooth); Apple GPU (5-core graphics).
  • Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 6GB RAM, 512GB 6GB RAM, 1TB 6GB RAM; NVMe.
  • OS/Software: iOS 16, upgradable to iOS 16.0.2.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.28", 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS; Telephoto: 12 MP, f/2.8, 77mm, 1/3.5", PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚, 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF; Depth: TOF 3D LiDAR scanner.
  • Front camera: Wide (main): 12 MP, f/1.9, 23mm, 1/3.6", PDAF, OIS (unconfirmed); Depth: SL 3D.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@25/30/60/120/240fps, 10-bit HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps), ProRes, Cinematic mode (4K@24/30fps), stereo sound rec; Front camera: 4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@25/30/60/120fps, gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 3200mAh; Fast charging, 50% in 30 min (advertised), USB Power Delivery 2.0, MagSafe fast wireless charging 15W, Qi wireless charging 7.5W.
  • Misc: Face ID, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; NFC; stereo speakers; Ultra Wideband (UWB) support, Emergency SOS via satellite (SMS sending/receiving).

So, what's missing on the new iPhone 14 Pro? A proper file manager! Just kidding, this ain't happening. It seems Apple has addressed many of the omissions from the past generations, and we have the best iPhone ever. Until USB-C-featuring iPhone 15 comes, that is.

Unboxing the Apple iPhone 14 Pro

The thin paper box contains the iPhone and a USB-C-to-Lighting cable. We were disappointed Apple didn't retire the Lightning port on the iPhones this year, as it already did on its other devices. We guess that's a task for the next one.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro review

Other than the cable, you will get a SIM ejection tool for models with a SIM slot and one Apple logo sticker. While Apple has ditched the plastic wrapping from the boxes, the plastic sticker remains.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 28 Oct 2022
  • n@7

Apple's camera is extremely worrying. It shows large details that don't exist. See m.youtube.com/watch?v=rBILZe1eEcE at 2:00 or m.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs63a-klQqE&t=566s at 9:11 and 9:17. This is due to excessive machine learning. I hope...

I just got my 14 Pro and I set it up as a new device with no Apple ID assigned to it. I have had it unplugged and sitting on my desk for the last 6 hours with the always-on display enabled and the battery hasn't dropped even one percent. Since I...

  • Anonymous
  • 09 Oct 2022
  • StU

file managers are actually good if you use your device for more than just saving pics and stuff....it's just easier to go through your file manager seeing everything laid out like a dekstop pc, easy to sort, share, keep tabs on, etc