Today we’re taking a first look at the new iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. I’ve got the two new colours including the Space Black, which is my personal favourite and the Deep Purple.
We’ll look at the colours, design, cameras and of course the new Dynamic Island. I’ll then tell you some of the new features along with the cases I’ve picked up.
Now as I shoot all of the videos on my channel with an iPhone, I’m really excited to see how the new camera will help with my future videos.
The first thing to notice is Apple have changed it up and gone for white boxes for their Pro models this year, instead of the usual black. And the image on the front is of the front of the phone showing off the new notch or Dynamic Island.
Inside the box we have the iPhone itself. Then there’s the usual paperwork and stickers, and under that is a USB-C to lightning cable for charging it. And as we’re now used to, there’s no power brick or earphones in the box.
Ok so I’ve gone for the new Space Black for my Pro Max, it’s a kind of matte black rather than grey or graphite as we’ve seen before.
But on first impressions this looks stealthy and is a lot darker than I was expecting it to be. In fact I definitely prefer this over my graphite 13 Pro Max.
The back glass has that same frosted look again, and even the Apple logo in the middle is a lot darker. It does a good job of hiding the camera bump as well.
Looking around at the sides there’s the same steel band that matches nicely to that dark theme, but it’s still mirror-like, so it’s going to pick up fingerprints. The buttons are unchanged, so there’s the silent and volume buttons on one side, and the power button on the other.
I also have the SIM card tray on mine, but that’s because I’m in the UK. If you’re in the US this has been removed and replaced with an eSIM instead. So you won’t be able to install a physical SIM card anymore.
And on the bottom we still have the lightning port, so no USB-C on the Pro models again.
Looking at the camera bump, we’ve got 3 lenses including the new and improved 48mp main, 12mp ultra wide and the 12mp telephoto lens. I’ll talk more about cameras in a minute.
And then I have the 14 Pro in Deep Purple. This one is for my wife so I won’t be using this at all. But I’m actually pleased she chose this colour as it means I can check it out.
It’s a lot darker than I was expecting though, I’d say it’s more of a grey purple. It could pass as being a dark blue or even graphite in certain light. But when the light hits it you can see that purple coming through.
Now this does look nice and will likely be a really popular choice, but on first impressions, I think I prefer the Space Black, so I’m happy with that choice today.
Let’s talk about the screen on this. So the Pro Max comes with a 6.7” screen, while the Pro model is 6.1”. But they both have the same OLED Super retina XDR display and the same resolution. They both also have the ProMotion 120hz refresh rate, HDR and haptic touch.
Now there are three big changes we’ve seen added to the iPhone 14 Pro screen and that’s the new notch, or Dynamic Island, the always-on display and the increased brightness.
The always-on display basically means the screen will go into a kind of reduced brightness, low power mode, and will still let you view the time and view your notifications. Whether this will impact battery life, I’ll guess only time will tell.
The higher brightness level has been increased from 1,200 nits to 1,600 nits in HDR. And for outdoor use it’s been increased to 2,000 nits peak brightness. That’s huge.
Now having seen all of the demos out there for Dynamic Island, I’m genuinely excited to see how this works. I’ve only had a few hours with it today, but it actually works really well. Apple have taken a pretty boring hardware feature, the pill at the top, and made something of it. So depending on what you’re doing, whether that’s listening to music or setting a timer, or even an incoming call, you can see the notch dynamically changing and adapting to it.
You can then tap to view or press and hold to open it up. At the moment not all apps are optimised for this, but I guess, just like with the widgets in iOS 16, more and more will add support. But as this is so close to the camera, I can imagine you’ll add fingerprints or smudges here over time, so it’ll need to be wiped frequently.
On first impression the notch does look smaller than the 13 Pro, in terms of its width. But as it’s further away from the edge of the phone it definitely protrudes into the screen space more. Using it for watching movies or even gaming could be an issue, especially if you didn’t like the notch before.
As for the cameras. Well they’ve had a nice bump in quality this year, which will see an improvement in both photos and videos.
So we’ve still got 3 lenses on the back including the new 48MP main lens. This is a 24mm f1.78 lens and the focal length on this is perfect. As I take all photos on my Instagram with an iPhone, I can only hope that 48MP is going to make a massive difference in the detail.
Then there’s the 12MP Ultra Wide which is a 13mm F2.2. This is great for getting those nice wide shots, and it’s supposed to be 2 times better in lower light too.
And finally the 12MP telephoto lens. Now this year they’ve given us two focal lengths with this lens, there’s a 2 x 48mm f1.78 and a 3 x 77mm f2.8.
It now means in the camera app we can swap between 0.5, 1, 2 and 3 to get the shot we need. With number 2 being the new one.
Now the video capability on this has also been improved, which is awesome to see. After all, I do record every video on this channel with an iPhone, so any improvement is welcomed.
We still have 4K video at either 24, 25, 30 or 60fps. And we also have 1080p and 720p. From what I can see the video quality looks really good. Hard to say if it’s loads better than the 13 Pro, but I’ll have to do some more testing.
The cinematic mode has been improved from 1080p to 4K30 now, so there’s even more of a reason to shoot with that mode. Then we have all of the usual modes like HDR, ProRes, slow-mo and time-lapse.
But the big one for me, is the new action mode. This is essentially an improved stabilisation mode for sport or action shots. It is capped at 2.8K and 60fps though, so you’re not going to get full 4K, but that’s still pretty good. This could potentially replace the need for a gimbal although it does seem to crop quite a lot of the shot.
A few other specs I wanted to mention on the iPhone 14 Pro. It’s now got an A16 chip, up from the A15, a front facing 12MP camera with autofocus and 1 extra hour of battery. So that’s now 29 hours versus last year’s 28. It also has the new Crash Detection mode where it will notify the authorities should you be in an accident.
I’ve bought two official Apple leather cases, so the Midnight for the Pro Max and the Ink colour for the 14 Pro.
And finally, which is something I always add is a screen protector. I know these screens are supposed to withhold scratches and drops but I’m not taking any chances. So I’m using the Spigen all-screen protector, you just remove the film, line it up and slide your finger from top to bottom. Leave it for a minute and it’s done.
Storage & Prices
As for the price. There are 4 colour choices, 4 storage options and 2 screen sizes to choose from. I’ve gone for the 1TB Pro Max, which is an eye watering £1,749 or $1,599. Now this really does seem overkill, but as I said I do use this for everything I create. Including photos on Instagram, videos on YouTube and even my YouTube thumbnails, so it’s worth it to me.
Then the Pro model here is 256GB and comes in at £1,209 or $1,099. Like for like the larger Pro Max is £100 or $100 more over the normal Pro.
So my first impressions of the new iPhone 14 Pro Max, well I like it, and I think it’s a worthy upgrade. The slightly longer battery, the awesome new Dynamic island, always-on display and of course the improved cameras. That for me is the number one reason.
Now over the coming weeks I’ll do a comparison of the new 14 Pro against my 13 Pro, and whether it’s really worth upgrading.