iPhone 14 Pro Long-Term Review: Is it Still Worth the Upgrade?
Considering purchasing the iPhone 14 Pro but wondering if it’s worth the upgrade from your current iPhone or smartphone? The iPhone 14 Pro has been around for a few months, and we’re ready to provide our long-term review. Read on for our deep dive into the design, features and benefits of Apple’s flagship device, so you can make an informed decision about whether to make the leap and upgrade.
OVERVIEW OF DESIGN
Apple and design – name a more iconic duo! Apple have lived up to their reputation with plenty of new features packed into the industry-leading iPhone 14 Pro. It has excellent build quality, an impressive camera and brand-new built-in safety features. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are available in a choice of four storage capabilities and four colours: Gold, Silver, Space Black and Deep Purple, with Deep Purple being a new option for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
The phone is water-resistant to an IP68 rating, and the stainless-steel frame and Ceramic Shield glass are designed for durability. However, there are no significant updates to the device design, which is largely recycled from previous models. The iPhone 14 Pro 6.1‑inch (diagonal) OLED display with rounded corners and the overall size are almost identical to the 13 Pro, while the Pro Max sports a bigger 6.7inch display. There’s still an outdated Lightning connection rather than the universal USB-C which is rumoured to be in the iPhone 15 iteration.
Perhaps the most notable design update is the Dynamic Island, exclusive on the Pro and Pro Max versions of the iPhone 14. If you were following announcements about the iPhone 14 Pro’s features, you’ve probably heard about this one! Apple’s reworking of the front-facing camera notch into a place for notifications means that pop-up alerts no longer obscure the main screen. The Dynamic Island changes size and shape depending on what’s on the display and adapts in real time.
Due to this, much of the information that you would previously have had to open the Control Centre for (such as charging status or viewing the AirPods connection) is now shown in the Dynamic Island. The outcome is a reduced need to touch your phone, which we think can only be a good thing!
Alongside the Dynamic Island, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models boast many of the most popular recent features you’d expect from Apple, such as Face ID, eSIM and 5G capability, as well as some shiny new ones. Features of note include:
- Always-On display
This is one of the most requested features from Apple users, and the iPhone 14 Pro is the first device to feature it. Always-On can take a little getting used to for users accustomed to turning their screen off after use – but once you’ve adapted, you’ll never go back! With Always-On, you can instantly check the time or see your notifications, without having to pick up your phone – another way in which Apple is actually helping you reduce your screentime!
- Improved outdoor brightness
Sticking with updates to the screen, users in sunny climates will particularly appreciate the iPhone 14 Pro’s improvement in outdoor brightness as a result of the Super Retina XDR display. Whilst the standard brightness is a fairly typical 1,000 nits, Apple state the display has a peak brightness of 2,000 nits when used outdoors in direct sunlight. This stands up to testing and is the highest of any current smartphone, making it one of the best phones to use outside during the day – great for Aussies!
- A16 Bionic Chip
The A16 Bionic Chip is Apple’s latest smartphone chip and matches that found in the iPhone 14 Pro Max, so it doesn’t get better than this! The fast processor combines with Apple’s iOS 16 OS and means the phone performs best-in-class. It can easily handle running multiple apps and the latest games at top speed. It also has Secure Enclave to keep your personal information, such as Face ID, safe and secure.
- Crash Detection technology
The iPhone 14 Pro has several new safety features, including Crash Detection. This potentially lifesaving technology will detect if you’re involved in a serious car crash and automatically call the emergency services if you’re unconscious or unable to respond to the prompts (you can choose to turn this off though if you prefer).
- Emergency SOS via satellite
This is another feature you’ll hopefully never need, but it’s good to know it’s there, just in case! If you’re off-grid and your phone doesn’t have a mobile signal or a Wi‑Fi connection, you can use your iPhone 14 Pro to text the emergency services over satellite in an SOS situation.
CAMERA AND IMAGE QUALITY
The iPhone 14 Pro boasts one of the most significant updates to an iPhone camera in recent years and is the best camera set-up Apple has produced. The sensor is an impressive 48MP, which you can shoot with in ProRaw mode, and the output is 12MP. There’s been a further improvement to low light shots and upgrades to the zoom function. All the gold wire used in Apple cameras is 100% recycled to reduce the mining of precious resources.
Thanks to the 48MP advanced quad-pixel sensor, you can zoom 2x without losing any quality in the image or needing any extra lenses. It performs much better in low light, especially on the Ultra-Wide camera, so you can take improved shots in dark areas or at night.
Macro mode can help you take incredibly detailed images - although it takes some getting used to, especially with up-close shots, which we've found can sometimes be a little blurry.
It has one of the best portrait modes around, with 1x, 2x, and 3x zoom, so it’s perfect for taking professional pictures of your friends and family. The TrueDepth camera makes use of autofocus to produce great selfies too.
It has a 4K HDR video camera at 24fps, which according to Apple, is the film industry standard and is perfect for users who like to capture life’s best moments as they happen. The Action mode means you can shoot smoothly and stabilise on the go. Editing is the easiest it’s ever been, with the option to edit the depth effect after capture. Videos shot on a smartphone have never looked better!
PERFORMANCE AND BATTERY LIFE
Battery life is one minor drawback of the iPhone 14 Pro. It has a 3,200mAh battery, which is smaller than many competitors and significantly smaller than the 4,323mAh battery found in the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The Always-On display means that the 14 Pro battery drains faster than the iPhone 14 (although you can turn this feature off if you prefer), and it’s also not as good as the Pro Max. However, it’s still plenty of charge to keep you powered up throughout the day under typical use, so it’s certainly not a deal breaker!
A slight con of the fast processor is that the phone can heat up under heavy use. The iPhone 14 Pro uses graphite sheets to control the phone’s thermal performance, which sometimes struggle to keep up with the speed of the phone, especially after a long, graphics-intensive gaming session. However, this is only likely to affect the most hardcore gamers.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO OTHER IPHONES AND FLAGSHIP SMARTPHONES?
The iPhone 14 Pro has more features than the iPhone 14 and is smaller and more affordable than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. There is a slight compromise on battery life, but this is offset by the more manageable, pocket-friendly size.
Compared to previous iPhones, you’ll notice a significant upgrade, especially if you currently own an iPhone 12 or below. The most significant changes are the Always-On display, Dynamic Island and the industry-leading camera. If you’ve got the iPhone Pro 13, you won’t notice much difference in size and feel – although the camera is slightly larger, so you will need to buy a new case!
The closest Android competitors to the iPhone 14 Pro are the Samsung Galaxy S22+ and the Google Pixel 6 Pro and 7 Pro. Both these phones are larger than the 14 Pro. In terms of features, Android phones have offered their own versions of Always-On displays for years, so this won’t be anything new for Android users.
As one of the latest Apple releases, the iPhone 14 Pro is far from the cheapest iPhone on the market. However, it is less ($150 on the 128GB storage base model) than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and when you consider the only drawback is the battery life, the saving could be worth it.
How do I activate international roaming?
It’s important to activate international roaming with your network provider before you leave Australia’s shores. While it’s still possible to do this overseas you will most likely need internet access to do so.
With amaysim, you can activate international roaming via your amaysim app by purchasing the international roaming pack.
In a word: yes. The iPhone 14 Pro is still a superior to the iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 14, with enough new features to justify the expense. For current Apple users of the iPhone 12 or below, we would 100% recommend the upgrade.
Whilst the iPhone Pro 14 Max is the elite flagship device, the only real difference is a larger screen and better battery life, and it is significantly more expensive, so the 14 Pro is an excellent option if budget is a concern. You can purchase the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max from amaysim or check out other range of iPhones.