My personal phone is the iPhone 13 Pro Max. For me this is the perfect mobile phone. It’s fast, has a big screen and a good camera.
When Apple announced the new iPhone 14 model in September, I was curious to see how it would improve on last year’s phone.
The new phone looks just like last year’s, but as usual, there are some nice updates under the hood.
Apple sent me an iPhone 14 Pro for this review.
As a reminder, Apple has four new iPhone models. The 6.1-inch iPhone 14, the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus, and two pro models, the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and the 6.7-inch iPhone Pro Max.
The features and specs described here are for the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. The Pro iPhones are identical except for screen size and battery size.
iPhone 14 models do not use physical SIM cards. Use eSIM, which is a virtual SIM card. Usually, you just plug the SIM card into your new phone and you’re good to go. This time, I had to transfer the number from the SIM card to the iPhone 14 Pro’s eSIM. This will deactivate your old SIM card. I think you’ll need to get a new SIM card from your provider after you’ve finished testing.
The 14 Pro has an always-on display, which is an adjustment for me. I’m not used to staring at my phone screen all the time. It feels like you’re wasting battery life, but the new adaptive refresh rate runs at just 1 Hertz (refreshes per second). The screen can refresh at a rate of 10Hz to 120Hz, depending on the content on the screen. The display disappears when you turn it upside down.
The OLED screen is also very bright, up to 2,000 nits outdoors.
The 14 Pro model doesn’t have the usual screen notch for the front-facing camera. Instead, Apple developers turned the notch into a feature called Dynamic Island, moving the old notch opening a few pixels below the top of the screen. The opening has rounded edges and expands to provide a place to view incoming calls, volume changes, music playback information, notifications, and more. This island can also be used by app developers.
I downloaded the Sports Scores app that shows live game scores on Dynamic Islands.
It’s a unique solution to an area of the screen that people have complained about.
The 14 Pro’s main camera has a 24mm wide-angle lens with a 48-megapixel sensor. This is a significant improvement from his 12-megapixel camera from last year.
The other two cameras are the same as last year. The 12-megapixel telephoto camera has a 3x optical zoom and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. All three cameras feature new lenses and superior sensors for truly impressive low-light photography.
Overall, the camera is one of the best phones I’ve used, although I would have liked to see more telephoto zoom range.
The selfie camera has a 12-megapixel sensor, and photos and Facetime calls look great.
Oh, and the camera lens is significantly larger than last year, with a more pronounced camera bump.
Emergency SOS satellite message
iPhone 14 models can now send text messages via satellite if you need help out of cell phone range.
Before sending the message, the phone will ask you a few questions to assess the situation and then indicate which direction you should point your phone for satellite connectivity.
When you connect to a satellite, your phone automatically sends information to the dispatcher, such as your location, your medical ID (if you created one in your phone’s settings), and your phone’s battery level.
You can’t just text your friends via satellite with an emergency dispatch service.
You must be outdoors with a clear view of the sky and sending and receiving messages can take up to a minute.
Emergency SOS service is free for 2 years.
You can also use the Find My app to share your location via satellite with anyone authorized to see your location.
There is a new high-gravity accelerometer that can sense extreme accelerations and decelerations. This new sensor works with several other sensors to determine if there has been a collision.
There are sensors that can measure sudden pressure changes in the cabin, sharp turns and loud impact noises.
If the smartphone determines that it has been hit, a screen will appear asking if it is okay. If you do not confirm that you are okay, the local emergency services will be called, given your location, and notified that you need help.
Since the phone’s introduction, false collisions have been detected, especially on roller coasters, and I’m sure Apple will tweak the settings in the future.
The iPhone 14 Pro runs the new A16 Bionic processor with a 6-core processor, a 5-core graphics processor, and a 16-core neural engine.
Features Face ID to unlock the phone and use Apple Pay.
It features mmWave and sub-6 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3.
I had no problem getting a full day out of the battery. Apple doesn’t disclose battery size, but says the 14 Pro’s battery can last up to 23 hours of video playback and up to 75 hours of audio playback.
Equipped with wireless charging function including MagSafe. Fast-charge up to 50% in 30 minutes with a 20-watt charger (sold separately).
The phone is dust and water resistant (IP68). It can be submerged in water up to 6 meters deep for up to 30 minutes.
The 14 Pro models come in Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple colors, with storage from 128 gigabytes up to 1 terabyte.
is it for you?
14 Should I update to Pro or Pro Max?
If you have an iPhone 11 or 12 model and are ready for a new phone, we highly recommend upgrading.
Owners of iPhone 13 Pro models (myself included) have a tougher choice to make.
The 14 Pro model is a nice step up, but there’s nothing wrong with my year-old iPhone 13 Pro Max — in fact, I’m still paying for it.
The European Union has passed a law requiring all phones sold in Europe to have a USB-C port, so next year promises to be an interesting one. Apple confirms that iPhone 15 models will include his USB-C port
It will be interesting to see if the 2023 iPhone will be more of a redesign than an enhancement.
Jim Rossman is a technical columnist for the Tribune News Service.he can be reached at [email protected].