Apple iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max Review: Great iPhones, Small Upgrades

It’s nice that you don’t need to swipe down on Notification Center to quickly access these live activities; like the name, it’s just playful and fun. It’s worth noting that not all apps work with Dynamic Island yet. YouTube Music worked perfectly fine, while Google Maps didn’t. I hope this feature feels a bit richer a year from now.

Next, there’s the always-on display. It has been a staple feature on Android phones for years, but now it’s finally an option (if you want it!) on the iPhone. Apple says that it consumes very little battery, since the screen works at a power consumption of 1 Hz, and that seems to track. Put the phone face down, in your pocket or bag, and the screen will turn off, so you never have to worry if it’s drinking precious battery juice.

speaking of the smooth as butter 120-Hz screen, it becomes brighter than ever. Honestly, I’m not sure it’s necessary, as I’ve never found the iPhone screen to lack brightness, but I will say that at these extreme brightness levels, the iPhone 14 Pro maintains really fantastic colors, whereas some phone screens tend to to wash them outside.

In an unusual move, these are the only two iPhones with the latest and greatest A16 Bionic processor (usually the entire range gets the new chip). My benchmark tests show that they are, in fact, some of the fastest mobile chips out there, and that is reflected in every task, especially gaming. I performed flawlessly during a 45-minute session of playing Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Kingdom Y Rocket League side slam with my Backbone One Controller, and the iPhone didn’t get too hot. However, are you going to notice a dramatic difference on a day-to-day basis from the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 13 or iPhone 14? Probably not.

Well, it’s time to talk. about the eSIM. In the US, all iPhone 14 models ship without a physical SIM tray, which means you’ll need to set up an eSIM to connect it to your carrier’s cellular network. This technology has been around for some time, but this is the first phone to ditch the physical SIM system altogether. I had never used an eSIM before and found the process very simple. When I was setting up the iPhone 14 Pro, it asked if I wanted to transfer my number from my iPhone 13 Pro. I complied, and within minutes, my number was on the new phone. No small SIM tool needed! I transferred the number to iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max one after another with no problem.

Until… I decided to transfer my number to an eSIM compatible Android phone: the Google Pixel 6 Pro. I couldn’t get very far, because the Pixel only asked me to scan a QR code from my carrier, which I didn’t have. That inevitably meant I’d have to call my carrier if I wanted to move my number from my iPhone to the Pixel. How this is supposed to be easier than just popping a physical SIM in and out, I have no idea. (I’m probably not switching to multiple different phones all the time, so this is more of a headache for me.) Yes, eSIM are safer. But here it presents a substantial amount of friction for anyone who doesn’t want to remain locked into the Apple ecosystem. I really hope that this experience will improve over time with better interoperability between devices.

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