Apple made a huge splash on Wednesday with the introduction of the Apple Watch 8 Series, AirPods Pro 2nd Gen Wireless Earbuds, and 4 new versions of the iPhone 14. But did any of them truly move the needle when it comes to hi-res audio, 8K video, or the portable home theater experience?
We think Tim Cook needs to listen to more wireless earbuds before declaring the AirPods Pro 2nd Gen the “best sounding earbuds” in the world, but that’s a separate issue. You can read about what we think are some of the best wireless earbuds and know that they will deliver a better sonic experience with your new iPhone 14 than what Apple introduced.
There was no mention of how the new iPhone 14 is better sonically or how it works with the new AirPods Pro 2 which feature more advanced ANC and Spatial Audio.
But what about the new iPhone 14?
Apple spent a strange amount of time during the press event focused on car crashes, getting lost in the woods, or falling off the side of a mountain — but that was intentional to create more buzz around the new safety features that are part of the design now.
New iPhone 14 Models
- iPhone 14 ($799) 6.1-inch
- iPhone 14 Plus ($899) 6.7-inch
- iPhone 14 Pro ($999) 6.1-inch
- iPhone 14 Pro Max ($1,099) 6.7-inch
New features across all 2022 models include a new sensor for Crash Detection, Emergency SOS via satellite, and improved camera systems. They are also the first iPhones to support Bluetooth 5.3; the new codec is only popping up on devices launched this summer based on what we’ve seen so far.
iPhone 14 & iPhone 14 Plus
The standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are identical except for their size differences (6.1-inch vs. 6.7-inch). Other than the aforementioned new features, the iPhone 14 is mostly identical to iPhone 13. They are almost exactly the same size, share the same 15 Bionic chip, and have the same screen. However, iPhone 14 is .25mm thinner, 2 grams lighter, and squeezes in 1 more GPU core and an extra hour of battery life.
Tip: The iPhone 14 Plus lowers the price barrier for a 6.7-inch model. Previously a 6.7-inch iPhone was only offered in the more expensive Pro Max. Also, Apple last used the “Plus” monicker for iPhone 8 Plus in 2017.
iPhone 14 Pro & iPhone 14 Pro Max
The step-up iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are the first iPhones to replace its iconic notch with an innovative way to hide the front cameras behind the screen. Apple calls it Dynamic Island. It’s a floating bar that can morph into a placeholder for notifications and simple interactions. In Apple speak, “a new way to interact with iPhone.”
Tip: The notch debuted in iPhone X in 2017.
Dimensions once again differentiate each Pro model, which are the same size as each corresponding non-pro model. However, the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max has room for a larger battery, which can deliver 6 extra hours of battery life (23 hours vs. 29 hours) over the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro. That’s only one hour more than last year’s comparable models.
Both Pro iPhones usher in the new A16 Bionic chip — the fastest ever. Its rear three-camera system has been improved and now includes a 48-megapixel main camera — up from 12MP previously. The rear flash has been improved; the front camera now includes autofocus and cinematic mode can now shoot up to 4K HDR at 30 fps (previously was 1080p).
Additional pro camera system upgrades and features include:
- A new 12MP Ultra Wide camera with 1.4 µm pixels, which delivers sharper images with more detail, improving already powerful macro photography capabilities.
- An improved Telephoto camera that offers 3x optical zoom.
- A new front TrueDepth camera with an ƒ/1.9 aperture that enables better low-light performance for photos and video. Using autofocus for the first time, it can focus even faster in low light and capture group shots from farther away.
- A new Adaptive True Tone flash that has been completely redesigned with an array of nine LEDs that change pattern based on the chosen focal length.
- Powerful computational photography benefits like Night mode, Smart HDR 4, Portrait mode with Portrait Lighting, Night mode Portrait photos, Photographic Styles to personalize the look of every photo, and Apple ProRAW.
- A new Action mode for incredibly smooth-looking video that adjusts to significant shakes, motion, and vibrations, even when video is being captured in the middle of the action.
- Cinematic mode, now available in 4K at 30 fps and 4K at 24 fps (requires 256GB model or higher).
- Pro-level workflows for video, including ProRes (requires 256GB model or higher) and end-to-end Dolby Vision HDR.
Also, new for 2022 in the Pro models only is an Always-On Display along with improved screen brightness. Both iPhone 14 Pros can achieve 2000 nits peak brightness outdoors. That’s nearly double the brightness of the iPhone 13 Pro.
Here’s how Apple explains each new feature.
Dynamic Island: An Interactive User Experience
The Dynamic Island enables new ways to interact with iPhone, featuring a design that blends the line between hardware and software, adapting in real time to show important alerts, notifications, and activities. With the introduction of the Dynamic Island, the TrueDepth camera has been redesigned to take up less of the display area. Without impeding content on the screen, the Dynamic Island maintains an active state to allow users easier access to controls with a simple tap-and-hold. Ongoing background activities like Maps, Music, or a timer remain visible and interactive, and third-party apps in iOS 16 that provide information like sports scores and ride-sharing with Live Activities can take advantage of the Dynamic Island.
Pro Camera System
For the first time ever, the Pro lineup features a new 48MP Main camera with a quad-pixel sensor that adapts to the photo being captured, and features second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization. For most photos, the quad-pixel sensor combines every four pixels into one large quad pixel equivalent to 2.44 µm, resulting in amazing low-light capture and keeping photo size at a practical 12MP.
The quad-pixel sensor also enables a 2x Telephoto option that uses the middle 12 megapixels of the sensor for full-resolution photos and 4K videos with no digital zoom. This delivers optical quality at a familiar focal length, which is great for features like Portrait mode.
The quad-pixel sensor also brings benefits to pro workflows, optimizing for detail in ProRAW. And with a new machine learning model designed specifically for the quad-pixel sensor, iPhone now shoots ProRAW at 48MP with an unprecedented level of detail, enabling new creative workflows for pro users.
iPhone 14 Pro takes computational photography even further with Photonic Engine, offering a giant leap for mid- to low-light performance in photos across all cameras through a deep integration of hardware and software: up to 2x on the Main camera, up to 3x on the Ultra Wide camera, up to 2x on the Telephoto camera, and up to 2x on the TrueDepth camera.
The Photonic Engine enables this dramatic increase in quality by applying Deep Fusion earlier in the imaging process to deliver extraordinary detail, and preserve subtle textures, provide better color, and maintain more information in a photo.
A16 Bionic: The Fastest Chip in a Smartphone
The A16 Bionic chip in iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max is generations ahead of the competition and delivers impressive computational photography capabilities. With two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, the new 6-core CPU is up to 40 percent faster than the competition and easily handles demanding workloads.
A16 Bionic features an accelerated 5-core GPU with 50 percent more memory bandwidth — perfect for graphics-intensive games and apps — and a new 16-core Neural Engine capable of nearly 17 trillion operations per second. Using Apple’s best-in-class fusion architecture to combine performance and energy savings, the chip delivers more performance with a fraction of the power compared to the competition.
A15 Bionic: Last Year’s Chip
A15 Bionic brings incredible performance to iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. Still faster than all the competition at any price, the 5-core GPU enables even smoother graphics for video apps and high-performance gaming, and powers incredible camera features like Photonic Engine and Cinematic mode, all while delivering impressive battery life, and protecting privacy and security with the Secure Enclave. The 6-core CPU handles demanding tasks smoothly and efficiently, and the 16-core Neural Engine is capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second, enabling even faster machine learning computations for features in iOS 16 and third-party app experiences.
The entire iPhone 14 lineup introduces groundbreaking safety capabilities that can provide emergency assistance when it matters most. With a new dual-core accelerometer capable of detecting G-force measurements of up to 256Gs and a new high dynamic range gyroscope, Crash Detection on iPhone can now detect a severe car crash and automatically dial emergency services when a user is unconscious or unable to reach their iPhone.
These capabilities build on existing components, like the barometer, which can now detect cabin pressure changes, the GPS for additional input for speed changes, and the microphone,4which can recognize loud noises typified by severe car crashes. Advanced Apple-designed motion algorithms trained with over a million hours of real-world driving and crash record data provide even better accuracy.
When combined with Apple Watch, Crash Detection seamlessly leverages the unique strength of both devices to get users help efficiently. When a severe crash is detected, the emergency services call interface will appear on Apple Watch, as it is most likely to be in closer proximity to the user, while the call is placed through iPhone if it is in range for the best possible connection.
Emergency SOS via Satellite
The iPhone 14 lineup also introduces Emergency SOS via satellite, which combines custom components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Satellites are moving targets with low bandwidth, and it can take minutes for messages to get through.
Since every second counts, with Emergency SOS via satellite, iPhone front-loads a few vital questions to assess the user’s situation and shows them where to point their phone to connect to a satellite. The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple‑trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf.
This breakthrough technology also allows users to manually share their location over satellite with Find My when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection, providing a sense of security when hiking or camping off the grid. Emergency SOS via satellite will be available to users in the US and Canada in November, and the service will be free for two years.
iPhone 14 offers users super-fast downloads and uploads, better streaming, and real-time connectivity with 5G to help them stay in touch, share, and enjoy content. Support for 5G on iPhone now extends to over 250 carrier partners in over 70 markets around the world, with expanded support for standalone networks. eSIM allows users to easily connect or quickly transfer their existing plans digitally, is a more secure alternative to a physical SIM card, and allows for multiple cellular plans on a single device. All four iPhone 14 models remove the SIM tray for US models, enabling users to more quickly and easily set up their device.
Featuring iOS 16
Designed to take advantage of the new capabilities of iPhone 14 Pro, iOS 16 features a reimagined Lock Screen along with new communication, sharing, and intelligence features that together change the way users experience iPhone. The Lock Screen is more personal, beautiful, and helpful than ever with a multilayered effect that artfully sets subjects of photos in front of the time, and newly designed widgets that offer information at a glance.
For Lock Screen inspiration, the wallpaper gallery offers a range of options, including Apple collections, a Weather wallpaper to see live weather conditions as they change throughout the day, an Astronomy wallpaper for views of the Earth, moon, and solar system, and many more.
With Messages, users can now edit or recall recently sent messages, and mark conversations as unread to revisit them later. Users can edit a message for up to 15 minutes after sending it and can unsend a message for up to two minutes after sending it. Users can make up to five edits to a given message, and recipients will be able to see a record of edits made to the message.
iCloud Shared Photo Library makes it even easier to share a collection of photos with family. Live Text gets more powerful with the ability to recognize text in video and quickly convert currency, translate text, and more, and Visual Look Up adds a new feature that allows users to tap and hold on the subject of an image to lift it from the background and place it in apps like Messages.
Apple Fitness+ for All iPhone Users
Later this fall, for the first time ever, Apple Fitness+ will be available for all iPhone users to subscribe to and enjoy in the 21 countries it is offered in, even if they don’t have an Apple Watch. iPhone users will have access to the entire service featuring over 3,000 studio-style workouts and meditations, all led by a diverse and inclusive team of trainers. Fitness+ users will see onscreen trainer guidance and interval timing, and estimated calories burned will be used to make progress on their Move ring. Fitness+ will be fully integrated with the Fitness app coming with iOS 16 and located in the middle tab, where users can stay motivated to close their Move ring through awards, activity sharing, and more. Users only need an iPhone to sign up, and can then experience Fitness+ on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV.
Price & Availability
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will be available in four new finishes: deep purple, silver, gold, and space black. Pre-orders begin Friday, September 9, with availability beginning Friday, September 16, 2022.
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus will be available in midnight, blue, starlight, purple, and red finishes. Pre-orders begin Friday, September 9, with availability for iPhone 14 beginning Friday, September 16, and availability for iPhone 14 Plus beginning Friday, October 7, 2022.
128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB iPhone 14 $799 $899 $1,099 N/A iPhone 14 Plus $899 $999 $1,199 N/A iPhone 14 Pro $999 $1,099 $1,299 $1,499 iPhone 14 Pro Max $1,099 $1,199 $1,399 $1,599
For more information: apple.com/iphone/