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Apple iPhone 14 vs. Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Apple’s long-awaited iPhone 14 lineup has finally debuted. As usual, the company has stuck with its two-tier system, with a pair of standard iPhone 14 models joined by the higher-end iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Perhaps the most significant change to the lineup this year is the elimination of the 5.4-inch iPhone mini from the lineup in favor of a larger 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus. It’s the first time since Apple debuted its “pro” tier that a standard iPhone is available in a larger size, although the ”Plus” suffix reminds us of the more classic 2014 to 2017 era before the iPhone X changed everything.

As with each year’s iPhone release, you’re probably wondering exactly what makes the iPhone 14 Pro so “pro” and whether to opt for the flashier flagship or save your money by sticking with the standard models. The good news is that the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro each have a lot to offer; however, this year, Apple has set the iPhone 14 Pro even farther ahead of the pack with a significant design change and a newer and faster chip. Are those enough to justify its higher price tag? Read on as we compare Apple’s new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 models.

Specs

iPhone 14 iPhone 14 Pro
Size 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8mm (5.78 x 2.82 x 0.31 inches) 147.5 x 71.5 x 7.85mm (5.81 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches)
Weight 172 grams (6.07 ounces) 206 grams (7.27 ounces)
Screen 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED 6.1-inch always-on Super Retina XDR OLED with 120Hz ProMotion
Screen resolution 2532 x 1170 pixels at 460 pixels-per-inch 2556 x 1179 pixels at 460 pixels-per-inch
Operating system iOS 16 iOS 16
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
MicroSD card slot No No
Tap-to-pay services Apple Pay Apple Pay
Processor Apple A15 Bionic Apple A16 Bionic
Camera Rear: 12-megapixel main camera (wide), 12MP ultrawide

Front: 12MP TrueDepth

Rear: 48MP (MP) main camera (wide), 12MP Ultrawide, 12MP telephoto, LiDAR Scanner

Front: 12MP TrueDepth

Video 4K at 24/25/30/60 frames per second (fps)

1080p HD at 25/30/60 fps

HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60fps

Slow motion 1080p at 120/240 fps

4K at 24/25/30/60 frames per second (fps)

1080p HD at 25/30/60 fps

HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60fps

Slow motion 1080p at 120/240 fps

ProRes video recording up to 4K at 30fps (256GB/512GB/1TB models only

Macro video recording

Cellular 5G mmWave (U.S. models only) 5G (sub-6GHz)Dual eSIM (U.S. models only) 5G mmWave (U.S. models only)
5G (sub-6GHz)Dual eSIM (U.S. models only)
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.3 Bluetooth 5.3
Ports Lightning Lightning
Water resistance IP68 IPX8
Battery Video playback: 16 to 20 hours
Audio playback: 80 hours
20W fast charging
Video playback: 20 to 23 hours
Audio playback: 75 hours
20W fast charging
App marketplace App Store App Store
Network support All major carriers All major carriers
Colors Blue, Purple, Midnight, Starlight, (PRODUCT)RED. Deep Purple, Gold, Silver, Space Black
Price Starting at $799 Starting at $999
Available from Apple Apple
Review 4 out of 5 News

Design and display

Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro.
Apple

With this year’s iPhone 14 lineup, Apple has decided to finally ditch the notch, and it’s done this in an exciting way. Sadly though, it’s only happened on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, where a pill-shaped camera hole has replaced the notch. Apple has also crafted a new system-wide iOS feature that it calls “Dynamic Island” to make creative use of this new hole, animating status updates and notifications around it in a way that makes it feel like it’s a natural part of the display.

The standard iPhone 14 retains the notch, to the point where you’ll have a hard time telling it apart from last year’s iPhone. While it’s an established design that’s proven popular, it also feels a bit stale now that the more premium iPhone 14 Pro has moved on.

Unfortunately, the iPhone 14 doesn’t get any significant upgrades in display technology, either. Earlier rumors had us hoping it would gain the faster 120Hz ProMotion display from the iPhone 13 Pro, but that didn’t happen. It’s basically the same display as last year’s iPhone 13, which itself was just a slightly brighter version of the display found on the 2020 iPhone 12.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro adds an even lower refresh rate to the 120Hz ProMotion display to allow for an always-on display — a first on an iPhone. It also gets brighter than the iPhone 14 display, reaching 2,000 nits of peak brightness outdoors; the iPhone 14 remains capped at the same 800 nits typical brightness.

Although the iPhone 14 Pro pulls even farther ahead by offering an always-on display with greater peak brightness and a cool new notch-less screen design, the iPhone 14 remains essentially unchanged from its predecessor. The availability of a larger 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus for the first time may appeal to folks looking for a more affordable model with a larger screen.

Winner: Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Performance and battery

The iPhone 14 Pro with Dynamic Island.
Apple

For the first time in the history of the iPhone, Apple has released a new iPhone with a year-old processor. The iPhone 14 gets the same A15 Bionic chip used in last year’s iPhone 13 Pro; only the iPhone 14 Pro models move on to Apple’s newest A16 Bionic.

The iPhone 13 Pro used a slightly better A15 chip than the iPhone 13, with five GPU cores instead of four. This should give the iPhone 14 a slight performance boost over its predecessor, but we’ll have to wait for real-world benchmarks to see if that makes a meaningful difference. However, we’re not expecting much based on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro benchmarks from last year.

In terms of battery life, the iPhone 14 promises an extra hour of video playback over last year’s iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro gets an additional three hours, perhaps due to improved power efficiency from the newer A16 Bionic chip.

All four iPhone 14 models have the same fast charging and wireless charging capabilities. As before, you’ll need a 20W power adapter to get the best wired charging speeds or a proper MagSafe charger for the fastest wireless charging.

Winner: Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Cameras

The camera app on the iPhone 14 Pro.
Apple

Apple has been widening the gulf between the iPhone and iPhone Pro over the past few years, especially when it comes to photography.

This year, the iPhone 14 Pro takes that to the next level, increasing the primary (wide) camera sensor to 48-megapixels (MP) — the first resolution bump since the iPhone 6S increased the single camera to 12MP in 2015. It’s a 65% larger sensor that can capture significantly more light for low-light photos that Apple promises are two-to-three times better than those taken on the iPhone 13 Pro.

That 48MP sensor isn’t primarily for shooting 48-megapixel photos, although you can certainly do that when operating in ProRAW mode. Instead, Apple uses the extra sensor data to power its computational photography features. This should result in more stunning photos, especially under low or unusual lighting conditions. An Adaptive True Tone flash on the iPhone 14 Pro also provides much better fill lighting with nine LEDs that can automatically adjust in pattern and intensity depending on what you’re taking a picture of.

While the cameras remain mostly unchanged on the iPhone 14 (the main camera gets a slightly wider f/1.5 aperture), Apple has added its new Photonic Engine to all iPhone 14 models across the board. This takes the Deep Fusion engine introduced on the iPhone 11 and gives it more raw pixels to work with, resulting in more detailed textures and vivid colors, particularly in low lighting conditions.

All iPhone 14 models also now support using cinematic mode in 4K HDR at up to 30 frames per second (fps). That’s a nice increase from the maximum resolution of 1080p/30fps on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro.

Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that the camera improvements on the iPhone 14 are modest at best compared to its predecessor. On the other hand, the iPhone 14 Pro has almost an entirely new camera system. If taking great pictures with your iPhone is essential to you, it’s more apparent than ever that you’ll want to go with the iPhone 14 Pro.

Winner: Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Software and updates

All of Apple’s iPhone 14 models will ship with iOS 16, the latest version of its mobile operating system that is now available from September 12 for current iPhone models.

While iOS 16 will naturally offer support for the newer iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro hardware features, everything else in iOS 16 will also be available to folks with other recent iPhone models. Older iPhone models may miss out on a few things due to their older chipsets, but there shouldn’t be anything in iOS 16 exclusive to the iPhone 14 except those things that can only work with the newer hardware on the iPhone 14.

It’s also safe to say that future updates will remain in lockstep between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro. Apple supports its smartphones with software updates for a very long time, so you’ll likely be able to upgrade them to iOS 21 in a few years.

Winner: Tie

Special features

Person holding iPhone 14 with Emergency SOS via satellite notifications.
Apple

This year Apple has introduced two groundbreaking new safety features that are available across the entire iPhone 14 lineup. This includes Crash Detection, which uses new hardware sensors and algorithms to determine when you’ve been in a car accident and automatically summon help, plus Emergency SOS via satellite, which can reach out to emergency responders even when you’re in the middle of nowhere, with no cellular service at all. Both of these features are equally available on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, although Emergency SOS via Satellite won’t be available at launch; it’s coming in a later iOS 16 point release in November.

However, this year is the first time an iPhone Pro model gets a particular software feature due to its unique front screen design. Since only the iPhone 14 Pro models have the pill-shaped camera cutout, the new Dynamic Island feature will only appear on those models. The iPhone 14 will presumably stay with the traditional way of presenting notifications and status information.

It’s a slightly silly name for what’s actually a pretty cool improvement to the user interface. Pop-up indicators like Face ID authentication and incoming AirDrops appear to burst out from the notch, and it can also be used to show things like scores for teams you’re following while a game is on, small album artwork thumbnails for whatever you’re listening to, or timers in progress.

Winner: Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Price and availability

The iPhone 14 is available for pre-order today from Apple and most major carriers, starting at $799 for the 128GB 6.1-inch model and $899 for the 128GB 6.7-inch iPhone Plus, up to $1,099 or $1,199 for a 512GB iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus, respectively. It’s available in Midnight, Starlight, Purple, Blue, and (PRODUCT)RED colors.

The iPhone 14 Pro is also available for pre-order today from Apple and major carriers and starts at $999 for the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro or $1,099 for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 Pro models top out at 1TB for $1,499 and $1,599, depending on size. Color options include Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple.

Both of these iPhone 14 models should be available in Apple Stores and other major retailers on Friday, September 16.

Overall winner: Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Apple iPhone 14 Pro.
Apple

If you’ve got the feeling that Apple “phoned it in” this year with the iPhone 14, you’re not the only one. The new base iPhone model does gain a few minor improvements, mainly around the camera and video recording, but it’s otherwise eerily similar to last year’s iPhone 13. The most significant enhancements are features you’ll hopefully never need to use: Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via satellite.

To be fair, the iPhone 14 isn’t a bad choice for folks who are either new to the iPhone or moving up from a much older model. It’s still the best iPhone for most people, with solid photography features, full 5G support, and advanced video recording, including cinematic mode and 4K HDR Dolby Vision. The iPhone 14 is certainly no slouch, but it’s also tough to recommend even as an upgrade from the 2020 iPhone 12, much less last year’s iPhone 13.

The iPhone 14 Pro, on the other hand, is a whole new ballgame. The elimination of the notch is more than just a cosmetic improvement. The new Dynamic Island feature provides exciting new user interface improvements and an always-on display that means you’ll always be able to see what’s going on. The 48MP main camera will also deliver photo quality never before seen on an iPhone.

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