Once upon a time, Apple was the only smartphone maker to charge more than $1,000/£1,000 for its phones, but now, with more firms raising their prices, the new iPhone 14 Pro (starting at $1,099/£1,099) he is in good company.
In a world full of expensive phones, what does Apple do to stand out from the rest? Starting with imaging, the new selfie camera, which lives on Dynamic Island, along with Face ID sensors, now has autofocus for better depth recognition and close-up shots. The main camera sensor is also larger, approaching the one-inch mark that Xiaomi hit with its 12s Ultra, and Apple has also upped the resolution from 12MP to 48MP, the first increase in pixel count since 2015.
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro costs about the same as the Oppo Find X5 Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro in the UK, and slightly less than the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra globally. But can Apple’s new camera mix for its most expensive iPhones to date make the 14 Pro and Pro Max, which have identical optics, the best? best iPhones for photography, and possibly even the best camera phones of 2022 (opens in a new tab)?
iPhone 14 Pro design and display
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While it looks very iPhone 13 Pro from the back, it’s all about Dynamic Island from the front, which helps the new iPhone 14 Pro stand out from the pack.
Available in a new Deep Purple color, you can also choose the Pro in Gold, Silver and Space Black, and all four options have a frosted back. Side by side with the 13 Pro, the new iPhone doesn’t look much different, but it’s a bit thicker thanks to the new camera sensor. It has the same button configuration: a power button on the right, volume buttons on the left, and an alert slider. Having said that, iPhone 13 Pro Cases (opens in a new tab) it won’t quite fit the new model thanks to the slightly different position of the buttons.
The new iPhone lineup is IP68 waterproof and is also protected by a scratch-resistant Ceramic Shield glass front panel. You don’t get a screen protector pre-installed on the phone, you don’t get a case in the box, and you don’t get a charger either. But the Pro comes with a USB-C to lightning cable that powers the iPhone.
Weighing 206g, the 14 Pro is just a few grams heavier than the iPhone 13 Pro (opens in a new tab) which was released last year. It’s also thicker, officially measuring 7.85mm deep, but actually measuring around 11.5mm if you factor in the mighty camera bump.
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With a 6.7-inch display, Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro takes on the Samsung Galaxy S22 and other high-performance yet compact flagship phones. Light on compromises, the 14 Pro’s display is best-in-class in key areas, with up to 2000 nits peak brightness, bettering even Samsung’s best flagship displays.
The 14 Pro’s Super Retina XDR display doesn’t just get bright, it’s also nice and sharp with a resolution of 2556×1179, with a pixel density of 460 pixels per inch. At top center is Dynamic Island, and the phone is also the first from Apple to support an always-on display. Add HDR credentials and a 120Hz refresh rate to the mix, and the iPhone 14 Pro doesn’t break any new ground, but it does tick all the major boxes.
iPhone 14 Pro camera specifications
The 48MP camera on the iPhone 14 Pro is a huge spec jump over previous-generation iPhones. We haven’t seen a megapixel boost since the iPhone 6s bumped up the line’s sensors from 8MP to 12MP. Since then, more cameras have been added, but not more megapixels. For 2022, Apple introduced a large 1/1.28-inch sensor that outperforms the Galaxy S22 Ultra and much of the flagship Android competition.
The new larger sensor is paired with an f/1.78 aperture lens with a 23mm focal length, second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization, a seven-element lens, and 100% focus pixels.
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Apple has also updated the ultra-wide camera, increasing its sensor to 1/2.55-inch and combining it with 12MP resolution and a 13mm focal length. It also benefits from 100% of its pixels being focus pixels and it has a six-element lens and autofocus.
Apple takes advantage of the main camera’s high-resolution sensor when it comes to its telephoto offering. By adding a digital lens, the iPhone 14 Pro crops on the internal 12MP main camera sensor to create a native 12MP two-shot telephoto image. This punches out 48mm, perfect for portraits.
For objects further away, the 14 Pro includes the same 12MP triple telephoto camera as the 13 Pro Max, with a 77mm focal length and f/2.8 aperture, as well as OIS and a six-element lens. .
The cameras benefit from sapphire crystal lens cover protection, and there’s also a LiDAR scanner, which helps with night mode portraits. Another notable addition, the iPhone 14 Pro features a new Action mode, which adds GoPro-style stabilization to 2.7K video content for high-motion shots.
Unfortunately, Apple’s selfie camera, which has been updated with autofocus, doesn’t appear to include a new, larger sensor or benefit from an increase in megapixels. Instead, it features the same 12 MP camera with an f/1.9 aperture that was featured in the iPhone 11 Pro in 2019, only now it can focus on near or far objects.
iPhone 14 Pro additional specifications
The new Apple A16 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 14 Pros is the company’s most powerful to date, unsurprisingly, and with the iPhone 13 Pro and its A15 performing so well, we have no reason to doubt the 14’s performance. Pro.
With iOS 16, the operating system currently being rolled out to older-generation iPhones with features like smart and customizable lock screens, to get the full benefit of the OS, i.e. that always-on screen, you’ll need a 14 Pro or Pro. Max.
Available with 128GB of storage as the starting capacity and with up to 1TB, in its higher capacity version, the iPhone 14 Pro can cost up to $1,649 / £1,649.
Apple claims the 14 Pro charges up to 50 percent in just 30 minutes, and the phone also supports Qi and MagSafe wireless charging.
With 5G connectivity and eSIM support globally, US customers lose the SIM card tray altogether, while global customers gain access to a new fault detection and satellite communication system. Taking the ‘prepare for the worst, hope for the best’ mantra to heart, the first feature connects the iPhone to a satellite to contact emergency services when you don’t have a signal. As for the second function, it detects the high impact of a crash and calls for help automatically, unless you stop your phone in time.
iPhone 14 Pro Early Verdict
The iPhone 14 Pro is, from the start, a pocket powerhouse. Yes, it’s chunky, but its relatively compact size and ample camera and power combination make it an attractive option, especially for photographers.
We’re very excited to see how far Apple can take the photography experience now that the Pro line has a new, larger sensor that takes the fight to its Android competition. Arguably the most exciting thing is what app developers can take advantage of, from Lightroom to Filmic Pro, those 48MP RAW photos and low-light 4K videos should look a lot better this time around.
So while the new iPhone 14 Pro is pricey, it has made a great first impression. Watch this space to see how it fares after a week of use, when we’ll update it with a full review and comparisons to the best camera phones money can buy.