iPhone 14 and 14 Pro: Everything you need to know about Apple's latest phones (2023)

In a year of numerous phone releases, Apple'siPhone 14 lineupis curious. There it isiPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, which represent the culmination of the company's design, software and hardware. The iPhone 14 Pro notably features an oval screen cutout for the true-depth camera, replacing the notch dubbed Dynamic Island. But then there are thoseiPhone 14that seems like a repackagediPhone 13 prowithout the stainless steel body or the third rear camera for telephoto shooting.

Apple discontinued itiPhone 13 Miniand replaced it with a larger version of the 14 called theiPhone 14Plus. Starting at $929, it's said to be a slightly "cheaper" way to get a big-screen iPhone without breaking the $1,000 mark. Overall you have two high-end Pro iPhone models, a regular big-screen iPhone and the standard iPhone 14, which doesn't look like an upgrade from the iPhone 13 on the surface. Apple's lineup offers exciting new features while feeling like an odd iteration of what came out last year.

iPhone 14 and 14 Pro: Everything you need to know about Apple's latest phones (1)

Currently running: Look at that: iPhone 14 and 14 Pro 3-month review: More to offer

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For the last three months I've been using the iPhone 14 as my daily driver and the 14 Pro as my work phone. During this time I randetailed battery testsShe took numerous photos and used them to do soCNET-Videos the movieandtried out the new Emergency SOS via satelliteFeature. Several of my CNET colleagues have also tested the cameras and compared them to cameras like thatGoogle Pixel 7 ProandGalaxy S22 Ultra. Here are my thoughts on the iPhone 14 family since my first reviews back in September.

The iPhone 14 battery doesn't last as long as the iPhone 13

I've never met a single person who said, "Wow, I have too much battery life on my phone." But I've definitely met many who wanted more. Phone battery life lands at an interesting crossroads. They have the physical and chemical limitations of modern lithium batteries, as well as clever software and processing optimizations aimed at making these batteries more efficient.

Apple doesn't disclose the size of the batteries in its phones, but I wish it did because they are relatively small compared to the batteries in Android phones. The point here isn't to shame Apple, but to highlight how much longevity the company squeezes out of this battery through software optimizations and the efficiency of its A-series chips. In fact, last year's iPhone 13 Pro Max lasted longer on a single charge than any other phone we've tested.

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Currently running: Look at that: We tested the batteries of the new iPhone 14 models

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(Video) Introducing iPhone 14 Pro | Apple

The same cannot be said for this year. The iPhone 14 series has good battery life, but it's definitely a step backwards from the iPhone 13 family, which has longer battery life. The difference wasn't drastic, and I imagine most people don't upgrade their phone every year and would never be the wiser.

At CNET, we run some battery life tests and see how long the phones last in real life. The first test I ran on each phone was an endurance test. For 45 minutes I played video games (some were online) and watched videos, scrolled through social media apps like TikTok and Instagram, and made a FaceTime video call. During that time, the iPhone 14's battery decreased by 10%, the 14 Plus by 5%, the 14 Pro by 8%, and the 14 Pro Max by 7%.

I also fully charged each phone and then played a downloaded video in airplane mode with the screen brightness set to 50%. We've been running this test at CNET for years and are in the process of phasing it out as the software and chips are now optimized for video playback. And most people watch streaming videos.

So why do this test? It allows us to compare Apple's video playback claims as well as the result we got with the iPhone 13 series. The results are below.

Video playback test results

Telephone Claim by Apple Our results
iPhone 14 20 Stunden 18 hours 45 minutes
iPhone 14 pro 23 hours 20 hours
iPhone 14Plus 26 hours 25 hours
iPhone 14 Promax 29 hours 26 hours 15 minutes

These times are also tight compared to the iPhone 13 series. The regular 13 lasted 21 hours and 51 minutes, the 13 Pro 22 hours and 4 minutes and the 13 Pro Max clocked an excellent 31 hours and 19 minutes. I should also note that the 13 Mini lasted 18 hours and 19 minutes, which is almost as long as the regular iPhone 14.

There has been a lot of talk about the always-on display on the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max and how it drains the battery. In our testing, the always-on display didn't significantly reduce battery life compared to having the display off.

I charged both phones to 100% and left them on my desk with the always-on screen enabled. After 6 hours, the 14 Pro lost 4% and the 14 Pro Max lost 2%. I ran the same scenario again, but this time turned off the always-on display. The results were essentially the same, with the 14 Pro down 4% and the 14 Pro Max down 3%.

A lot of this depends on your lock screen background, as the always-on display isn't a black screen and instead shows a dimmed version of your background photo. Happily,iOS 16.2 has new always-on display settingswith which you turn off the wallpaper and only have a black screen.

(Video) Apple's new Ultra line revealed!

Emergency SOS via satellite helped three people to be rescued

Emergency SOS via satellite and car accident detection (or should it say"I'm on a roller coaster with an iPhone 14 detection") might be two of the best features of the regular iPhone 14 and 14 Plus. But they're largely invisible tools that most people hopefully never have to use.

I had to last monthTry Emergency SOS via Satellite in a demonstration at Apple Park. I was impressed how easy it was to use even in the rain and connect to a satellite. In fact, since then the featurehelped rescue a stranded snowmobiler in Alaskaandtwo people whose car went off a mountainside.

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Currently running: Look at that: I tried Satellite Emergency SOS on iPhone 14

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Features like these are important and I think they help the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus stand out. But I don't know if most people would prioritize them as something they must have on a phone. After a few months, it's clear that the standard iPhone 14 is aimed at people upgrading from an iPhone 11 or older, rather than last year's iPhone 13.

More dynamic island please

iPhone 14 and 14 Pro: Everything you need to know about Apple's latest phones (4)

The dynamic island works well. but it's not without its quirks. For example, the Dynamic Island protrudes further into the screen than the notch, which is noticeable when watching some videos. I also wish more non-Apple apps would take advantage of Dynamic Island.

Also, we didn't get the full experience of Apple's intended dynamic island. It's part of a trinity of features that also includes the always-on display and Live Activity, which tracks the progress of certain activities, such as: B. Showing the live score of a basketball team on your lock screen. The dynamic island will really shine once apps fully take over live activities, which should happen sooner or laternow that iOS 16.2 is out.

My Ceramic Shield has scratches

iPhone 14 and 14 Pro: Everything you need to know about Apple's latest phones (5)

All four models in the iPhone 14 series feature Apple's Ceramic Shield covering the display. And all four phones I tested have scuffs or minor scratches on the front glass. I haven't coddled the phones, but I haven't been reckless with them either. After almost three months, I'm shocked that all these phones have scratches.

The cameras of the iPhone 14 Pro are excellent

iPhone 14 and 14 Pro: Everything you need to know about Apple's latest phones (6)

The cameras of the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are good. But the cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max are great. Does that mean you can't get quality photos with the 14 and 14 Plus? Absolutely not. But the ones I shot with the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max and their 48MP main camera are consistently great. Unfortunately, to take full advantage of the iPhone 14 Pro's full camera resolution, you need to take ProRaw photos, and those images have dramatically larger file sizes. I wish there was a built-in way to save and quickly convert the ProRaw photos to JPEGs.

(Video) A Guided Tour of iPhone 14 & iPhone 14 Pro | Apple

A surprise for me was the cinema mode. It can record in 4K video at 24 frames per second or 30 fps andI actually used it to film several CNET videos. The quality is good and the overall experience with Cinematic mode is much better than on the iPhone 13. (Apple's previous phone was limited to 1080p resolution at 30 fps in this mode.) A trick I use to Getting more natural looking videos is to lower the Cinematic mode aperture setting to f/8. I find this gives the background a more realistic blurred look while keeping the subject in focus.

The iPhone 14 is more expensive, even if the price has not increased

The base iPhone 14 costs $829, which is the same as the iPhone 12 and 13 when they launched. But there is a difference. In 2020 and 2021, Apple also sold the iPhone 12 Mini and 13 Mini for $729. This essentially means the barrier to entry for a new iPhone is now more expensive as the Mini isn't part of the iPhone 14 range. To lower the priceApple and US airlines have a lot of trade-ins. Apple also still sells the iPhone 13 for $729, which can save you some cash.

Read: Apple's next iPhone may not get a price increase Here's why

Then there's the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, Apple's most expensive models. They have the same starting prices as the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max and like the iPhone XS and XS Max in 2018 when they came out. Basically, Apple's top-of-the-line models haven't increased in price, but they're hard to find.Apple has scaled back production of the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Maxdue to COVID-19 lockdowns in China. The iPhone 14 Pro currently has delivery times of three and a half weeks.

If you tryGet an iPhone 14 Pro as a giftIt is best for someone to try third-party carriers and retailers. However, Apple's retail stores usually get more supplies. And I wouldn't put you off ordering an iPhone 14 Pro. It's an excellent phone and will be in three and a half weeks.

Three months later, I'm still amazed by the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro. The cameras are great, Emergency SOS offers more security, but the ceramic shield isn't as durable as I expected. And the battery life isn't as long as last year's iPhone 13 lineup. But whether you're upgrading to an iPhone 14 from an older iPhone, or you just want Apple's absolute best, the iPhone 14 Pro, you should be able to find something that suits your needs, budget, and taste.

Get $650 off an iPhone 14 Pro with a trade-in

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iPhone 14 and 14 Pro: Everything you need to know about Apple's latest phones (7)

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FAQs

What important things to know about iPhone 14? ›

iPhone 14 has the same superspeedy chip that's in iPhone 13 Pro. A15 Bionic, with a 5‑core GPU, powers all the latest features and makes graphically intense games and AR apps feel ultrafluid. An updated internal design delivers better thermal efficiency, so you can stay in the action longer.

What is cool about iPhone 14 Pro? ›

The always-on display and Dynamic Island are two of the main upgraded features on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. There are plenty of tricks, such as deleting duplicate photos or setting up a widget to identify songs with a couple taps, that will work on any iPhone 14 model.

Is iPhone 14 worth buying? ›

In this case, the value offered for the price will still make the device a viable purchase. Considering its specifications and overall value, it can confidently be said that the iPhone 14 will remain a reliable option throughout the year.

What are the major changes in iPhone 14? ›

3.5. The iPhone 14 looks identical to the iPhone 13, but there's a new 6.7-inch model called the iPhone 14 Plus. Under-the-hood improvements include 6GB of RAM, a 5-core GPU, Bluetooth 5.3, and multiple camera updates. Color options have been updated with (PRODUCT)RED, blue, purple, midnight, and starlight.

Is the iPhone 14 waterproof? ›

The new iPhone 14 can withstand about 19 feet for up to 30 minutes underwater which means in the event that you do drop your phone in the water, you can jump in and save it. However, be careful around sand and the ocean as the salt water's corrosive nature can cause more damage than you bargained for.

How much will iPhone 14 cost? ›

There are three options when it comes to picking up the base iPhone 14, depending on how much internal storage space you want. The iPhone 14 is offered with 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB for $799, $899, and $1,099, respectively.

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