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Here are our thoughts on the impressive new iPhone 14 Pro after an extended test.
If you can stomach the price and you like Apple software then this is probably the best phone of 2022. Of course, those caveats are notable ones. It's still awkward to change from Android to iOS and paying over £1000 for a smartphone is a big — though increasingly common — ask. If that's not put you off then the amazing power and performance of the iPhone 14 Pro will wow you. Apple's new A16 Bionic chip does a wonderful job, paired with a silky smooth 120Hz Super Retina display for a fantastic overall user experience. The camera is as impressive as ever, with new features and better low-light shooting. Plus new safety features offer peace of mind and the Dynamic Island feels like a truly innovative addition, taking the intuitive UI to new heights.
The new iPhone line-up is here. Predictably, as it does every year, Apple released its newest iPhones in September and now they're some of the best smartphones on the market. They're also some of the most expensive though and it's worth doing your research before diving head-first into a purchase.
Apple has slightly shuffled around its iPhone line-up this year, removing the 'mini' and adding a 'Plus'. So, before we start this review, it's worth noting how these relate to each other.
Simply, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus perform the same, but the Plus is bigger. It packs a 6.7-inch display, to the 6.1-inch display of the standard new iPhone.
Similarly, the Pro and Pro Max offer the same performance, but differ in size. The Pro has a 6.1-inch display while the Pro Max has a 6.7-inch panel.
Got it? Okay. Let's take a look at the iPhone 14 Pro.
The RadioTimes.com team has got hands-on with the all-new Pro model to see how it compares to the competition and whether it's worth your cash.
There is an awful lot to like about the iPhone 14 Pro. Unless you're dying to have a bigger display then it's the stand-out phone in Apple's new line-up. It's also one of the very best smartphones available right now.
While the iPhone 14 feels a little like it's re-hashing old ground, the iPhone 14 Pro does enough to feel fresh. The new dynamic island is genuinely innovative and makes for a more seamless experience that will only expand as more apps become compatible with the feature.
Elsewhere we loved the power and performance and the phone made it easy to take amazing photographs and video. Read on for our thoughts on conclusions after a full test of the new iPhone 14 Pro.
Sitting in between the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 14 Pro Max price-wise, the iPhone 14 Pro is essentially a more powerful big brother to the standard iPhone. It offers new features like the dynamic island and an always-on display but costs a little more too.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the standard iPhone 14 and the 14 Pro is its processor. Under the hood, the standard iPhone 14 carries the same A15 Bionic chip that powered the iPhone 13 Pro, whereas the iPhone 14 has the all-new A16 Bionic.
The iPhone 14 Pro starts at £1099 for 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It's £1209 for 256GB of storage, £1428 for 512GB and £1649 for 1TB of storage.
There is one inconvenient oddity about this year's pricing — in the USA the iPhone 14 Pro costs $999. Factor in the exchange rate on top of that cheaper price and us Brits aren't doing too well.
If you want a larger display the iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at £1199 for 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It's £1309 for 256GB, £1528 for 512GB and £1749 for 1TB.
The new iPhone 14 models are also available on contract at the likes of Carphone Warehouse, Sky, EE and Vodafone.
Whether or not it's the most important feature on the new iPhone 14 Pro, the 'dynamic island' is certainly the most discussed.
Taking the place of the notch which previously housed the selfie camera and facial recognition tech, the dynamic island does that, adding a new TrueDepth camera system and a small morphing cut-out section in the display which houses alerts and background apps. It's fairly useful and intuitive, allowing you to pause and play music and access other background processes.
Apple has big plans for the dynamic island and wants to make it compatible with even more third-party apps. You'll be able to check sporting scores, check on that ride-hailing app and much more.
The feature more central to the phone's performance is that A16 Bionic chip. As stated, the Pro and Pro Max have Apple's all-new silicon, while the standard iPhone 14 and the Plus stick with the A15 that is featured in the iPhone 13 series.
The latest iPhones also pack some interesting new safety features. After adding fall detect on the iPhone 13, Apple has now added crash detect to the iPhone 14 series. This feature uses new gyroscopes and accelerometers which can detect if you are in a severe car crash and then alert the emergency services, playing a message out-loud to the person who answers in the language of whichever country you happen to be in. While that innovative new feature impressed us, the accompanying satellite SOS feature got more mixed reviews. Why? Because it's only available in the US at launch, though it may come to more countries before the end of this year, as reported by 9to5Mac.
The upcoming feature uses satellites and allows you to signal for help if you're lost or in trouble, even if you have no phone signal or WiFi. Apple says this feature is included free for two years, but that seems to imply it will be a paid extra afterwards.
It's also worth noting that if you aim to switch from an Android phone to your new iPhone, the Apple device will prompt you to use the 'Move to iOS' app. We tried this across several different iPhones and Android devices with mixed results. The long-lived struggle of moving from Android to iPhone, or vice versa, is still alive and kicking.
The new iPhone 14 Pro offers a crisp, smooth display. Apple's LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED display is impressive and easy to use.
There's now an always-on display option too, allowing you to check the time or your notifications without unlocking the phone. It's a nice new touch but also something that's been present on plenty of Android competitors for a long time now.
Then there's the refresh rate. While the standard iPhone 14 is locked at 60Hz, the Pro has a 120Hz refresh rate and the ability to scale that right down to 1Hz for the always-on display. It's a nice touch and means you can check the time, or notifications, with a glance and without unlocking your phone.
Of course, the immediately noticeable change in the display is the all-new 'Dynamic Island' which replaces the oft-discussed 'notch' from previous iPhones. Now, it's a pill-shaped cut-out housing the selfie camera face ID sensors. However, a portion of the screen around it is also reserved for a small morphing display within a display which changes shape and size depending on how you use it. This shows off notifications and background processes, like the music you're listening to, timers you have set, or similar tasks. Apple says it's going to be made compatible with more apps soon too, so you'll be able to keep track of sporting scores or track a taxi you ordered, for example.
The Dynamic Island seems to have split opinion a little but it's well-animated and intuitive to use. During testing, we found it added a new level of ease to interacting with background apps and overall it felt genuinely innovative.
It will surprise some users to learn that the battery in the iPhone 14 Pro is only a relatively small one at 3200mAh. However, while battery life isn't the phone's strong point, it's not as short-lived as that small cell might suggest. That's because of the great power efficiency of Apple's A16 Bionic chip.
Apple still likes to keep its battery-related claims vague, throwing around the term "all-day battery" an awful lot. During testing, we found the battery performed passably. Three hours of mixed but intensive use — including music and video streaming — only drained the battery by 10%. That's a pretty impressive performance.
Apple tells us the best battery in the whole line-up is actually in the iPhone 14 Plus. This is because its larger size allows for a larger battery but it doesn't put the extra demands on the battery that the Pro and Pro Max phones do with their more sophisticated processors and higher performance.
We tested the camera of the iPhone 14 Pro alongside that of the standard iPhone 14 and a flagship Android device. The difference between that standard and Pro phones was immediately obvious, with a better zoom function that retains detail and much-improved macro photography. It was also streets ahead of the Android flagship in many respects.
The camera is an improvement on the 13 Pro, going from a 12MP sensor to a beefier 48MP offering. This Quad Pixel sensor combines four pixels together in rendering each image to give you more detail and better low-light shooting.
Apple's new 'Photonic Engine' is another impressive layer of AI that boosts image processing even further, delivering more quality and versatility. Essentially this engine takes details from more stages of the processing of the photo, leaving you with a clearer final image.
The camera has made impressive leaps forward in low-light shooting and offers good zoom photography too. There's a 3x optical zoom and 15x digital zoom. Both retain detail impressively when zoomed in without necessarily being the best in their field
When it comes to video the Pro is no slouch. The new Action Mode is fantastic for content creators, essentially offering a gimbal experience without using a physical one. This mode cuts out shake from camera shots where the camera-person was on the move, shooting action shots, sports and similar.
It's also possible to shoot in ProRAW mode for those who want a professional experience with the ability to edit and adapt their images as they see fit.
We road-tested the camera across photo and video modes with some pleasing results. You can see some samples of the resulting photos below but bear in mind they've been slightly compressed in order to be shown in this format.
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With its 6.1-inch display, the iPhone 14 Pro is exactly the same size and width as the standard iPhone 14. It's got a little more weight and heft to it though, a bigger camera array and an extra sheen of quality. The finish on the back panel is more satin-esque compared to the glossier finish on the standard phone and the Apple logo is a little more subtle too.
Another plus is that that nicely finished backing doesn't mark up with greasy fingerprints, which can be a big bugbear for some would-be buyers and has plagued several Android flagships this year. The standard phone doesn't do too badly in this respect either but the Pro is ahead.
Generally, it has a really high-quality look and feel. From the glass back panel and the surgical-grade steel frame to the frosted finish.
The only real drawbacks of the iPhone 14 Pro are its hefty price tag and the fact that — if you're currently an Android user — migrating to iOS is still a pain in the behind.
Otherwise, the iPhone 14 Pro impressed us at every turn. As soon as you pick it up it has a feeling of solid quality. It's intuitive to use and the performance is silky smooth across a huge range of tasks, from gaming to streaming, to video capture and much more.
Overall it's a hugely capable device that can deliver for almost any user. If you're a fan of iOS and Apple products then this is the iPhone to get in 2022. It's still awkward to switch from Android, but if any phone is going to tempt you it's this one.
The iPhone 14 Pro is available to buy from a wide range of UK retailers right now, as is the Pro Max — if you like the sound of that larger display for streaming content and playing games.