The iPhone 14 Pro hits stores Friday and early reviewers share their impressions of the new phone. As you might have guessed, they like it, although some early reviewers aren’t convinced that the iPhone 14 Pro and Dynamic Island’s cameras are the big upgrades Apple says they are.
The biggest change in the new iPhones is the Dynamic Island, which is “much more noticeable and useful than the notch,” Nilay Patel wrote to The Verge. He didn’t hate it, but thinks it “needs a year of refinement and developer attention” before it can be considered a major feature.
Wired’s Julian Chokkattu called the Dynamic Island “a smart and fun way to make use of the dead space” and also noted that it “will feel a little richer in a year.” Florence Ion of Gizmodo, an Android user, described the Dynamic Island as “pretty fluid” and noted that “it’s nice not to worry about swiping down when trying to access something.”
The always-on display provoked similar reactions. The Verge called it “much more vibrant than other always-on displays” but “would rather have a black and white Pixel-style clock over something that looks like my phone is awake all the time.” Patrick Holland of CNET called Apple’s implementation “the most beautiful ever”, but wanted an easier way to “simplify” it. Similarly, C. Low of Engadget said, “Because it’s so similar to the lock screen, I sometimes got confused and pressed the power button trying to turn off the screen.
None of the reviewers felt the always-on screen had a major impact on battery life, although Patel “felt the battery drained a little faster than before.” And Marques Brownlee said he’s getting “slightly worse battery life than I expected and had on the 13 Pro for the past year.”
When it comes to the camera, Wired’s Chokkattu thought the iPhone 14 Pro’s camera system was “great,” but not as great as Apple suggests. Jordan Palmer of Tom’s Guide called the new camera system “incredible,” but felt that “the Photonic Engine sometimes goes a bit overboard, especially on the ultra-wide shots.”
Engadget’s Low found iPhone 14 Pro photos “basically indistinguishable” from the iPhone 13 Pro and “the quad-binning of the 48MP sensor doesn’t seem to drastically improve image quality, at least not in daylight.” Patel also said that “you have to look very closely” to see the big difference between the photos of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro.