Every September, Apple introduces a new iPhone. And every year, the Real good things are reserved for the Pro models. This year is no different, and at Wednesday’s Far Out event, Apple officially unveiled the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, Apple’s most impressive iPhone yet. Because of course it is; it would be weird if it wasn’t.
We’ll have a full rundown of every little detail about the iPhone 14 Pro soon enough, but in the meantime, here are the most important things you need to know.
iPhone 14 Pro design changes
The iPhone 14 Pro is available in two sizes, the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. In other words, the same overall dimensions as the iPhone 13 Pro models.
Also gone is the “notch” for the front cameras and sensors that enable Face ID. It has, as rumored, been replaced by a pill-shaped cutout. Technically, this is a round hole and a small pill, but Apple keeps the screen in between dark to turn it into one long oval that Apple calls the Dynamic Island.
The triple camera array on the back has the same layout as before, but the whole system is much larger, with larger round lenses protruding further from the back of the phone. Both models are available in four colors: silver, gold, space black and deep purple.
iPhone 14 Pro camera upgrades
The iPhone’s camera gets better every year, but this year the iPhone 14 Pro gets some really exciting improvements.
The star of the show is the 48 megapixel qual-pixel Wide camera. For most photos, the iPhone 14 Pro combines four pixels into one in its image processing pipeline, creating a 12-megapixel camera with more detail than ever before. This sensor is also huge: 65 percent larger than the Wide camera in the iPhone 13 Pro. Combined with Apple’s new “Photonic Engine” computational photography pipeline, you can take up to 2x better low-light photos than iPhone 13 Pro. The new Photonic Engine also improves on the other two cameras, producing more detail in low-light shooting.
That new 48MP camera also enables two other new features. A 2x optical telephoto mode that uses the main wide-angle camera, but only the middle 12 megapixels of the sensor, joins the 3x optical telephoto camera (which is a separate sensor and lens array). If you want to shoot full 48MP footage, you can, as long as you shoot in ProRAW format.
The ultra-wide camera goes down to an f/2.2 aperture, but with a larger sensor with 1.4 micron pixels (from 1.0 micron higher). That gives those ultra-wide shots much better low-light performance.
The front camera gets a wider f/1.9 aperture (the iPhone 13 Pro is f/2.2) and autofocus, which should make for better selfies and video calls, especially in low light.
Video is boosted by all these new camera features, of course, but it gets a few other cool new tricks. Movie mode can now shoot in 4K at up to 30 fps, and you can select 24 fps for a more cinematic feel. A new action mode, also available on the regular iPhone 14, applies extreme video stabilization for “gimbal-like” shots. But we’ll have to wait another year for 8K video.
iPhone 14 Pro always-on display and Dynamic Island
While Android phones have had always-on screens for years, the iPhone 14 Pro will be Apple’s first line of phones to do so. The new ProMotion display can go down to a low refresh rate of 1 Hz, which will dim your wallpaper but still show iOS 16’s custom clock and widgets.
The screen also gets brighter: up to 1,600 nits in HDR content, peaking at up to 2,000 nits for a limited time when viewed outdoors.
But the real star of the new display is what Apple calls the Dynamic Island. The company has taken a hurdle — the cutouts used for the front cameras and sensors — and made it a core interface feature of the iPhone. That little pill-shaped recess that houses the TrueDepth sensors expands to show background processors like timers, Live Activities (that’s the dynamic notifications coming in an update to iOS 16), and alerts like AirPods connection or AirDrop notifications.
Apple has seemingly turned camera cutouts into a desired interface function, which is quite an achievement. It’s one of the slickest iPhone interface improvements we’ve seen in a while – there will even be an API available for features like baseball scoring.
Apple says you can expect the same great all-day battery life despite these new display features.
iPhone 14 Pro’s new A16 processor
The new A16 chip will only appear in the iPhone 14 Pro models this year. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus will use a more expensive A15 (the 5-core GPU version found in the iPhone 13 Pro models).
What’s new? While the company hasn’t given much detail, it said the focus this year will be on power efficiency, display and camera features. It’s made with a new 4nm manufacturing process, but has what appears to be the same 6-core CPU and 5-core GPU found on the A15, along with the same 16-core Neural Engine. Apple says it can handle nearly 17 trillion operations per second, up from 15.8 trillion in the A15, but our guess is that this is the result of a small increase in clock speed rather than a design change.
There’s also a new display engine, which allows the ProMotion display to go all the way down to 1 Hz and better control over brightness, for both the brighter HDR and outdoor display modes and the new always-on display.
However, Apple seems to have switched to LPDDR5 memory. While it didn’t quite mention the technology, it claimed over 50 percent more memory bandwidth, and it probably comes from a shift from LPDDR4x to LPDDR5.
iPhone 14 Pro price and availability
While the iPhone 14 Pro was rumored to be getting a price increase, Apple has managed to keep prices the same as the iPhone 13 Pro. The 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro starts at $999 and the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099. Both come with 128 GB of storage – 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB models are available at higher prices.
Preorders begin Friday, September 9 at 8 a.m. ET (5 p.m. PT). They will be available for shipping and in stores the following Friday, September 16.