As usual, Apple released its new line of mobile phones in September. This year, they introduced the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The iPhone 14 Pro is what they call the line of the most powerful iPhones ever. They introduce major camera upgrades as well as new safety features. Also, they are the first iPhones ever to get rid of the notch, which was introduced in 2017 by the iPhone X.
Starting with the updates, the ones said more significant are in the Camera. For the first time since 2017, iPhones got a bump in megapixels for the main rear camera. The previous 12MP sensor was substituted by a larger 48MP one. This upgrade allows for more detail capturing (up to 4x more) and a new 2x Telephoto optical-quality zoom range. All of the cameras got upgrades in low light photos, The Ultra Wide is now up to 3x better, and the main rear and front cameras as well as the telephoto are up to 2x better. Video-wise, they capture the Highest-quality video in a smartphone and offer a new stabilization feature that makes videos stabilization gimbal-like.
The display also received huge upgrades and again introduced a new technology for the iPhone world: Always on Display. We all know that this feature was present in other phones for a while now, but as always, Apple’s lateness is what allows it to make the best version of this technology. This feature is enabled by the adaptive refresh rate of the screen that goes as low as 1hz when the display is in always-on mode, which also makes its battery consumption very low. Samsung, the producer of iPhones’ displays, not only gave Apple the brightest display in any smartphone (it goes all the way up to 2,000 nits of peak brightness, 800 more than the iPhone 13 Pro’s) but also the best all-around display, earning the "DisplayMate Best Smartphone Display Award". It earned a total of 15 awards, 2 more compared to the 13 of the previous winner, the iPhone 13 Pro.
The other upgrade area was security. iPhone 14 Pro offers crash detection, a feature that uses multiple improved sensors to determine if you have been in a crash or not. When it detects a hard crash, it waits around 10 seconds for a response from the driver or a passenger, if this response is not given, it automatically calls emergency services. Another great feature is satellite connectivity for emergency situations when you are off the coverage area. New antennas allow iPhones to connect directly to satellites to ask for help. This connectivity also allows you to share your location with family and friends when there is no connection to do so.
OK, but are these upgrades worth the upgrade?
It depends. And here is why, based on my personal experience with an iPhone 14 Pro Max:
Firstly, talking about aesthetics, it is simply stunning. I chose the Spatial Black color:
In terms of design, I could not notice that much of a difference when compared to my previous iPhone 12 Pro Max. The major difference in the back was the cameras that got way bigger, and in the font, the absence of the notch, and the new dynamic island. If you are upgrading from a non-pro iPhone or the iPhone 11 or older though, you are definitely going to feel a big difference in this aspect.
The Camera though was a big surprise. I knew it got better, but not as much as it actually did. Here are some shots I took to compare the camera differences between the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the iPhone 11:
The display did indeed receive a big bump. I can’t say whether I prefer the always-on display, the Dynamic Island or the 2,000 nits peak brightness. They all add so much to the iPhone experience. I don’t have to cover my phone’s screen anymore to try to see what is displayed in it under bright sunlight, I can see If I have any new notifications and my widgets with only a glance with the Always-on display, without having to ever touch my phone, and have easy access to music control and other great visual touches in the UI with Dynamic Island.
I know, all these features don’t sound great for battery life, but actually, they do not make that big of a difference. I am a person that uses the phone very intensively. I have all features turned on and don’t like using low battery mode. Even with that, in my normal routine, unplugging it from the charger at 6:30 AM and only plugging it in again at 10:00 PM, I end the day with more than 20% battery left. This means that if you turn off features like the always-on display and 5G connections, and use only one SIM, instead of the 2 I use, you will probably get even better battery life.
Finally, I would only recommend upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro lineup if you have an iPhone 11 Pro or older, to get great features like the new design, ultrafast 5G connection, Macro Photography,
Always-on Display, and Dynamic Island, as well as the LiDar Scanner that is great for autofocus and portraits in the dark or measuring things using your phone. If you have an iPhone 12 or newer and are not immersed in the tech world as I am, Don’t Do It!