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Apple announced its new iPhone 14 series during the company’s September 7 event, including the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The iPhone 14 series represents the biggest changes since the iPhone 12 series in 2020. There’s a new larger iPhone that costs under $1,000, while the iPhone 14 Pros come with a number of big upgrades in their performance, camera systems, and design. Apple also unveiled Dynamic Island and always-on displays in the Pros, which give users new ways to interact with their phones.
The iPhone 14 isn’t drastically different than the iPhone 13, which makes the older model the better buy. The iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max are the most compelling options, and we’ve listed the six main reasons why you should consider them.
The iPhone 14 Pro models run Apple’s new A16 Bionic processor, which not only offers the best performance from an iPhone to date, but it also contributes to the quality of the photos and videos.
Note that only the iPhone 14 Pro models get the A16 Bionic, while the standard iPhone 14 models continue to use the A15 Bionic introduced in the iPhone 13 series. We won’t know the performance gap between the A16 Bionic and A15 Bionic until we run benchmark tests, but it’s very likely the A16 Bionic will outperform the A15 Bionic.
Apple says the mid-to-low-light performance of iPhone 14 series is two-to-three-times better than the iPhone 13 series, due to the new camera system’s “Photonic Engine.” This means more visible details in darker areas and brighter colors.
The iPhone 14 Pro cameras get the biggest upgrade. There’s now a 48-megapixel main camera — a huge leap from the iPhone 13 Pro’s 12 megapixels. This increase in resolution means you can make larger-sized prints, or zoom or crop into an image without compromising the image quality. It also allows for a new 2x zoom. Apple also says the sensor has been redesigned to capture more light, resulting in even better image quality.
The real meat of the 48-megapixel camera upgrade caters to those who like to use ProRAW mode on their iPhones. With ProRAW, you can take a 48-megapixel uncompressed photo that captures more detail and reduces noise, especially when you zoom into a photo, which helps with photo editing. The extra pixels in ProRAW also mean you can crop a photo while maintaining more detail than a 12-megapixel camera does.
Apple also added a new video stabilizing feature called Action Mode that helps reduce jarring motion while recording video when running, for example.
The divisive notch that dates back to the iPhone X, which houses the front camera and Face ID sensors, has been replaced with a small, pill-shaped cut-out that Apple calls the Dynamic Island. This new feature is found only in the Pro models.
Unlike the notch, which simply takes up space at the top of a screen, Dynamic Island doubles as camera/sensor and a secondary display that shows notifications and basic information, like a timer’s progress, music album art, and even navigation prompts. And, depending on what information is shown, it can “expand” virtually in size. This bit of trickery is done through software, but it’s useful because you can now control multimedia and calls from the Dynamic Island without leaving what you’re doing on your phone.
As for overall design, the borders around the screen of the iPhone 14 Pro have also been slimmed down for a sleeker look.
The iPhone 14 Pro models are the first iPhones to have an always-on display, which dims when your phone is locked, but basic information, like the time and widgets, is always visible. Like the Dynamic Island, this screen feature gives users a new convenient hands-free way to interact with the device. It eliminates the need to tap your phone’s screen to wake it, just to get a quick glance at the time or a widget. Even in its dimmed state, the display can preserve your background’s colors, which goes beyond the always-on displays on existing Android phones.
Based on the specs, the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max have the longest battery life out of any iPhones.
Apple claims the iPhone 14 Plus can play up to 26 hours of video saved on the phone, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max can do it for up to 29 hours. As for video streaming, the iPhone 14 Plus battery lasts up to 20 hours and the iPhone 14 Pro Max up to 25 hours.
While actual use will vary, these numbers represent a big increase over the phones’ predecessors.
Before the introduction of the Pro models, Apple offered a “Plus” option, which was last seen in the iPhone 8. Apple has now brought it back in the iPhone 14, giving people a large-screen iPhone that doesn’t cost over $1,000.
The iPhone 14 Plus has a 6.7-inch screen — the same size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max — but costs $200 less, at $899. Arguably, it’s something Apple should have done years ago, as it limited the big iPhone experience to those who could afford the Pro Max iPhone models.
Other than a bigger display and longer battery life, the iPhone 14 Plus shares the same internal specs as the iPhone 14.
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