Review of the iPhone 14 Pro: Islands in the Display

Kutl Ahmedia

Apple's Pro category of iPhones, which all cost well over Rs. 1,00,000, have to go above and above in a world where even Android phones priced less Rs. 20,000 can essentially do everything the normal person could require. Each new design must advance the state of the art or at the very least appear modern and stylish. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max follow this path; they don't accomplish anything radically new and don't look much different, but there are a few upgrades that might persuade you to upgrade if you haven't felt the need to do so previously.

The iPhone 14 Pro we're examining has the same capabilities as its bigger sibling, the iPhone 14 Pro Max, for those who prefer a larger screen or longer battery life. I considered the iPhone 13 Pro Max to be quite cumbersome and hefty in my review, and that hasn't changed with this version. It came time to make a choice after spending some time with both at Apple's major announcement event, and I believe the iPhone 14 Pro strikes the ideal balance for me. My complete review is below.

Price of the India's iPhone 14 Pro

Unfortunately, despite the fact that both of these phones are priced the same as their predecessors in the US, Apple has increased costs in India. Both models come with storage options of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. Each of these capabilities for the iPhone 14 Pro costs Rs. 1,29,900, Rs. 1,39,900, Rs. 1,59,900, and Rs. 1,79,900, respectively. The corresponding varieties are priced at Rs. 1,39,900, Rs. 1,49,900, Rs. 1,69,900, and Rs. 1,89,900, respectively. The iPhone 14 Pro Max costs Rs. 10,000 extra for each.

Only a Lightning cable and a SIM eject pin are included in the box; there is still no charger or headset. Even if you purchased a 20W or greater USB Type-C converter with an earlier iPhone, it won't be as quick, thus you'll need to spend more money if you want one.

The Gold and Silver color selections remain the same as previously, however Space Black has taken the place of Graphite. Deep Purple is the launch's hallmark color, and I now possess it. For the previous two generations, Apple has added a new color option mid-cycle; if this trend continues, we might see something new around March of the following year.

iPhone 14 Pro in Purple Rear NDTv

The Deep Purple color, which Apple has never before published, appears differently indoors and in sunlight.

iPhone 14 Pro style

The Dynamic Island, which Apple claims was created as a combination of hardware and software capabilities to make the greatest use of the pretty sizable camera hole, is of course the main piece of news. The Android community has been quick to try to copy it, but it's clear that no other firm has even considered doing something similar before, and they might not achieve the same degree of integration. This gives Apple something distinctive to advertise. In a moment, we'll discuss this issue more.

In terms of overall design, not much has changed in recent years. We still have a flat stainless steel band with rounded corners wrapping around all four sides and a flat back, both of which are necessary for Apple's MagSafe accessory ecosystem. The larger iPhone 14 Pro Max is much more difficult to hold without a case than the smaller iPhone 14 Pro. The two are each 206g and 240g in weight. If you look closely, you'll see that the screen's borders are a little bit thinner than they were on earlier models.

You might not even notice that the Deep Purple unit I have isn't gray because it appears so somber indoors. But when the panel catches the light, a deep plum color with a tone that is almost metallic is seen. The three cameras' metal rings and stainless steel bands match the color of the rear panel, although they are particularly prone to fingerprints. The elevated camera island's edge can be bothersome if you aren't wearing a case because it is composed of clear glass.

Apple still uses toughened glass for the rear and its proprietary Ceramic Shield material for the display. For water and dust protection, all current-generation iPhones have an IP68 rating. Apple intends to switch to using exclusively eSIMs, thus units sold in the US do not have a physical SIM tray. Thankfully, though, units sold in India still support both an eSIM and a Nano-SIM. If you were looking for a switch to USB Type-C, you might have to wait another year because there is still a Lightning port on the bottom.

NDTV Iphone 14 Pro Frame

The stainless steel body of the iPhone 14 Pro is prone to smudges.

Dynamic Island and always-on display for the iPhone 14 Pro

The displays on the siblings of the iPhone 14 Pro have undergone the most changes. The good news is that Apple has finally abandoned the notch, which, although still easily recognizable, has started to seem a little dated. The Dynamic Island, which replaces it, isn't any better, which is the bad news. It appears incredibly sleek in promotional videos, and on the surface, it is. Apple has strong control over both hardware and software, which enables it to perform tasks like anti-aliasing animation optimization and making the homescreen appear to "flow" around the user. In a world when so many phones are physically identical, the idea is also really creative and feels new.

The entire crowd at Apple's launch event was taken aback when it was decided to make use of the empty space between camera holes, enlarging it rather than trying to blend it in. We learned about the hardware from supply chain leaks, and if you look at the front of the iPhone 14 Pro in bright light, you can see the edges of the pill-and-hole cuts that we anticipated. Using the space above and below these voids, Apple may arrange the information and icons so that everything still seems unified. There are no touch detection dead zones, so you can even tap on the camera hardware. However, this can result in smudges on the lens.

In essence, Apple has relied on the somewhat outdated idea of a second screen. LG experimented with an enlarged screen area filling the lateral space adjacent to the front camera, used for background information and controls, in 2016 models including the X screen (Review) and V20 (Review). It would be interesting to watch how Apple pushes developers to work with the Dynamic Island and what they come up with. What was lacking back then was wider OS-level integration.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Double Island NDTv

You may tap either island to return to that app's home page, and up to two apps can display status information at once.

On either side of the front camera and Face ID hardware, there is often room for two small icons or text labels, and everything is encased in a single black oval. When long-pressed, the "island" can be expanded to reveal more context or controls. If you're listening to music, for instance, you'll see a small album art icon and an animated waveform; however, tapping the island will display a full set of controls, as well as a progress bar, a larger thumbnail, and information about the artist and album. Simpler indicators include a padlock to show that the screen is locked, a bright green icon to show that you're tethering, and a bell and text label to show that silent mode is on or off, among others. In a secondary "island" to the right, you can also have a second app displaying its state as a single icon.

But even when fully blank, the "island" is enormous and ungainly. Similar to the notch, it necessitates that content and controls in most apps begin below it. As a result, it frequently feels like there is a thick band at the top of the screen that is merely taking up space. When using some apps, and yes, video as well as some games display all around it when stretched to full screen, it took some getting used to the island's visual distraction (though without any status icons).

I found the dynamic island to be quite useful at times throughout my review period, but there were also occasions when I wished it could be turned off. While it's convenient to swiftly switch music tracks while browsing Reddit, for instance, the moving waveform was distracting and a skip button would have been more helpful.

pill for iPhone 14 iPhone 14 hole ndtv

Early rumors were based on the hardware that can be seen within the big "island," which is what you can see.

It's simple to see secondary screen use cases for the Dynamic Island, such as watching real-time sports scores or situational updates while you're engaged in another activity. When copying large files using AirDrop, I actually quite appreciated seeing a progress indication ring. On the other hand, I didn't need to constantly have a large, vivid green tethering icon in my face. Other system animations, like when setting up Face ID recognition or pairing AirPods, merely use the island for aesthetic purposes and don't actually require it. Here, other notification types may have been added. The design could actually be readily modified to fit below and around the notches on the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, and even older handsets, but it might not seem as elegant.

The always-on display mode is the other significant unique feature. Although the Android community has enjoyed this for years (and even Symbian phones did it more than ten years ago), Apple has obviously handled it differently. Battery life shouldn't be much impacted because the business reportedly waited for its SoC, display, and software to be adequate.

Your display now dims rather than turning off, but your lockscreen widgets and wallpaper remain in place. Because Apple may adjust contrast and brightness, your wallpaper image still contains information and even details that can be seen. Some widgets and active notifications don't refresh continuously due to the decline in refresh rate. Even with the phone locked, some apps may still be partially running. If the phone is left idle for a time or put in a pocket, or of course while low power mode is engaged, the always-on display will automatically turn off.

The always-on display bothered me a little, and given that all current iPhones unlock themselves when your face appears in the picture, even accidental taps on the screen can have unexpected consequences. The screen appears to be on at all times. Additionally, iOS 16 automatically piles up notifications, so you can't see as much at a look as you can on other Android-based solutions. It would have been helpful to have icons for the apps that have created notifications. Although it will take some getting used to, the always-on display was pleasant to have when the iPhone 14 Pro was sitting on a table or couch while I worked.

iPhone 14 pro with aod and ndtv

The lockscreen (left) is the always-on display (right), just optimized to use much less power.

Specifications and software for the iPhone 14 Pro

Although the entire user experience is more crucial in Apple's universe than specifications, we still prefer to know what's going on within our gadgets. The performance disparity is wider than ever because the new A16 Bionic SoC is only available in this year's Pro iPhones. The processing of photos and videos, graphics, and power efficiency bring this to light. According to Apple, this SoC has 16 billion transistors and is made using a 4nm technology, which is the best in the industry. Apple claims that its own silicon performs 40% faster than the industry's top competitors, Qualcomm and MediaTek, and has been able to surpass them for years.

A 16-core "Neural Engine" and a five-core integrated GPU are also included in the A16 Bionic, along with two performance cores and four efficiency cores for on-device AI and machine learning acceleration. Additionally, there are separate blocks for managing displays, handling display subsystems, and image processing (currently referred to as "Photonic Engine").

All versions of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro contain 6GB of RAM, which Apple for some reason chooses not to make public. Additionally, battery capacities are not disclosed, but according to third-party teardowns, the two variants have batteries of 3,200mAh and 4,323mAh, respectively. The only way to describe battery life is in terms of time; for the two models, local video playback can last up to 28 hours and 29 hours, respectively.

Although charging speed is not defined, it has been estimated at 27W, which is far lower than current Android industry standards. Perhaps Apple will be able to increase this speed once it switches from Lightning to USB Type-C, which is widely anticipated to happen next year. Speaking of Lightning, wired data transfers are still limited to USB 2.0 speed, which is a big bummer considering that you might have up to 1TB of photographs and videos to upload. There is no reverse wireless charging, and up to 15W of wireless charging is possible with authorized MagSafe accessories.

iPhone 14 Pro with Sim and NDTv

While the Nano-SIM tray is currently present in devices marketed in India, it may disappear in the future.

The LTPO OLED panel that powers the 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display features a 1179x2556 pixel resolution. A refresh rate range of 1Hz to 120Hz is possible. HDR peak brightness can now reach 1600 nits, and if necessary, the display can temporarily reach 2000 nits outside. Along with Dolby Atmos audio, you also receive support for the Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG HDR standards.

A switch to dual-band GPS for increased accuracy, far more sensitive accelerometer and gyroscopes for crash detection, and the inclusion of satellite communication hardware to enable Apple's new Emergency SOS functionality (which isn't yet available in India) are some further minor hardware upgrades.

A few small upgrades obtained during the course of this evaluation have taken us up to version 16.0.3 of the iOS operating system, which Apple distributes with the iPhone 14 series. The major software updates include lockscreen widgets and personalization, AI tweaks like automatic image cutouts and text recognition in videos, a fitness app that functions without an Apple Watch, and various changes to many of the default apps. Many of these features are also present on older models. Users in India can now communicate with Siri in a variety of languages. Later this year, other services like the iCloud Shared Photo Library and Live Activities will become available.

Recently, iOS has added a lot of features, and it is starting to feel a little jumbled. For instance, adding lockscreen widgets isn't always obvious. It takes some time to realize that you must tap the world time widget when the widget selection panel is open in order to bring up a separate list of cities that you may update when you wish to display it. It doesn't choose cities that you've already added within the clock app. When you travel somewhere, your home city won't likewise be displayed automatically. Additionally, you may now have numerous lockscreens, each of which is associated with a particular Focus mode state and has its own collection of wallpapers and widgets. You must manually configure each lockscreen with the same configuration if all you want to do is change the Focus while keeping the same widgets.

iPhone 14 pro with ndtv and display

The iPhone 14 Pro sports a 120Hz display that is brilliant, clear, and HDR-capable.

Performance and usefulness of iPhone 14 Pro

The 120Hz display of the iPhone 14 Pro naturally makes it feel buttery smooth. You won't have any trouble getting things done, iOS 16 is responsive, and the animations are nice. There are many preinstalled apps; many of them you may never use, but almost all of them are removable. The sole drawback in terms of everyday use was the rather slow charging. Additionally, I occasionally felt the iPhone 14 Pro get a little warm when it was being charged with an authorized Apple 30W USB Type-C converter.

The iPhone 14 Pro is unremarkable in no way. With the addition of the Dynamic Island and always-on display, it's mainly an iterative update. That said, it is comfy, familiar, and simple to use.

No issues will arise while gaming. I had no issues while playing Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends. I also took some time to catch up on less difficult games like Fieldrunners 2 and Alto's Odyssey (which unfortunately showed that older titles need to be optimised for the screen resolution, rounded corners, and Dynamic Island). Because of its larger screen and battery, the iPhone 14 Pro Max may be preferable if you take your gaming seriously.

The conventional Wild Life test on the iPhone 14 Pro reached its maximum frame rate of 59.3 frames per second, while the new 3DMark Wild Life Extreme test, which renders at 4K, managed a total of 3,381 points with a frame rate of 20.2 frames per second. For comparison, an iPhone 13 Pro running iOS 16 was able to complete the same two tests at 18.7 and 54.4 frames per second, respectively. The Wild Life Extreme Stress Test, which loops for 20 minutes, was also run by me. The lowest loop score was 2,051, or around 60% of the best run, which demonstrated that thermal throttling isn't a major issue. This caused the entire back of the phone to become almost uncomfortable hot. All of GFXBench's test scenarios, including the most demanding Aztec Ruins (High Tier) one, were also maxed out by the iPhone 14 Pro.

iPhone 14 pro specifications ndtv

Only the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max use the A16 Bionic SoC.

The single-core and multi-core CPU scores for Geekbench 5 were 1,884 and 5,305, vs 1,739 and 4,862 for an iPhone 13 Pro, respectively. In comparison to the previous model's 1,172.84 and 188.152 scores on the browser-based Basemark Web 3.0 test, Jetstream 2.0 achieved a score of 266.893 and 1,295.82 points, respectively.

Video in streaming applications appeared clear and crisp. Most 16:9 films won't overlap The Dynamic Island, but it might be very bothersome if you wish to fill the entire screen. Apple also keeps producing high-quality stereo speakers that enhance video and enhance dialogue clarity.

For a flagship-class phone, the battery life was respectable. I was able to complete a full day while using my camera frequently, recording videos, and playing video games. I had about 20% remaining when the day came to an end. With the always-on display deactivated, I didn't see much of a difference, but that could be because it turns off after a time and isn't active while the phone is in a pocket. A respectable 19 hours, 41 minutes were spent running our HD video loop test.

As previously observed, charging is much slower than what many modern Android phones offer. In 15 minutes, I reached 29 percent, and an hour later, I was still at 86 percent. According to Apple, you can charge your device to 50% in 30 minutes, which is about right. Even still, it's somewhat insulting that such a pricey phone doesn't come with a fast charger.

14-inch pro iPhone iPhone 14 ndtv

Although the iPhone 14 Pro is manageable, many people will like its larger sister.

cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro

With this year's Pro iPhones, there is a significant difference, but we have seen something similar in the Android market for years. You now receive a 48-megapixel primary camera sensor instead of a 12-megapixel one, but clusters of four pixels now function as one pixel. This increases the pixel surface area, allowing for more light to be captured and improved overall quality at slow shutter rates. As is customary for Apple, the consumer is given no option; this is exactly how images are taken by default. Only in ProRAW mode may you select to take 48-megapixel pictures, therefore this option is obviously not intended for casual users.

Additionally, Apple is able to take 12-megapixel photos by solely using the sensor's center, giving you a 2X optical magnification. Between ordinary photos taken with the primary camera and 3X photos taken with the telephoto camera comes this 2X zoom setting. A whole new degree of video stabilization is possible for video by being able to capture frames with a sizable buffer on all four sides, which is potentially equivalent to utilizing a gimbal to correct for hand shake, bumps, and uneven motion. The Action Option joins the Cinematic Mode from last year, but for some reason it's implemented as a toggle button rather than a different mode you can choose from the carousel, and it's not always clear when it's active.

Although the 48-megapixel primary camera and 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera have less favorable apertures than their equivalents on the iPhone 13 Pro, overall gains should be made thanks to the sensor quality, software, and A16 Bionic "Photonic Engine." Now that there is sufficient power, uncompressed sensor data may be processed much early in the processing pipeline using enhancement procedures. Specifications don't always tell the whole story because the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are believed to perform 2-3 times better in low light shots, depending on which camera is used. For improved sharpness even with artistic composition, the front camera has undergone another evolution with focusing.

Daytime camera examples from the iPhone 14 Pro (top to bottom): Ultra-wide, 1X, 2X, and 3X (tap to see full size)

Photos taken with the iPhone 14 Pro in daylight in practice looked fantastic. Colors are realistic without being exaggerated. Although 48-megapixel images have enormous file sizes, you may reveal far more information and nuance by using Lightroom or another post-processing program. Even though close-ups have extremely tiny details, Apple nevertheless automatically shifts to macro mode, which can interfere with attempts to frame a close-up subject. In the iOS Settings app, this can be turned off. Although little blurry, macros are highly useful.

You won't be dissatisfied with any of the cameras, and tricky daytime exposures were handled skillfully. Even with distant objects, ultra-wide shots kept a fair amount of clarity and weren't too awful in terms of exposure, color, or distortion at the margins. It can be useful for portrait photography because the 2X zoom level offers you an effective 48mm focal length, and the quality is amazing when it comes to things like the texture of animal fur. With both the primary and telephoto cameras, depth of field is excellent. Although 3X will almost always be preferable than 2X for distant objects, having the choice is convenient.

Quick capture of low-light subjects with sharpness, superb detail, and vivid colors. In terms of low-light sharpness and resolution, the 3X optical photos from the telephoto camera are a touch less strong than the 2X cropped shots from the primary camera, but you still get very useable shots and a lot of framing and composition versatility. At 1X, the primary camera performs admirably at night, capturing crisp images with an exceptional dynamic range, with little to no lag and practically no motion blur.

Top-to-bottom: Ultra-wide, 1X, 2X, and 3X low-light camera samples for the iPhone 14 Pro (tap to see full size)

With the exception of a new option to film in 4K HDR at 30fps or 24fps, Cinematic Mode is unchanged. The primary new video feature is Action Mode. Although to varied degrees, it functions on all cameras. Though it isn't exactly novel or ground-breaking for smartphones, this appears much more likely to be beneficial to most people than Cinematic Mode.

While the telephoto camera is obviously the most shaky when walking and shooting, standard video taken with all three cameras was excellent both during the day and at night. Both in 1080p and in 4K, the colors are natural, and the motion is fluid.

Selfies featured excellent depth of field and fine detail. The emphasis of the exposures is on your face rather than the surroundings. Utilizing the 3D depth sensing hardware, the portrait effects are the same as on earlier iPhone models.

Typical selfie shots from the iPhone 14 Pro camera (top to bottom): daylight, low light, and macro (tap to see full size)


The iPhone 14 Pro significantly outperforms its predecessor. It makes sense that there hasn't been a price increase in the US. Unfortunately, in India, we are not as fortunate. Now it's even more difficult to explain what was once a luxury. Although many people find it to be out of their financial range, if you're searching for the best iPhone in terms of features, camera quality, and general performance, you'll buy this phone (or its larger brother) regardless of price. Many modern Android phones (and even older iPhones) provide all the features that the majority of people desire for a significantly lower price, albeit perhaps not with quite the same level of polish.

You might wish to show off or at least experiment with the Dynamic Island. I didn't find it to be as useful as I had hoped it would be for me after the novelty wore off, but I'll keep an open mind as Apple and app developers come up with new applications for it. Emergency messaging via satellite and crash detection are not yet applicable in India. However, a lot of the tiny quality-of-life enhancements add up. I am intrigued by the higher low-light photo quality across all cameras and, to a lesser extent, the always-on display.

It might be time to update for anyone using an iPhone X (Review) or an older model, and the iPhone 14 series has a lot to offer. However, the iPhone 13 Pro is still on the market for the time being and costs significantly less at each storage tier, particularly with holiday promotions going on. By selecting that instead, you wouldn't actually be missing out on much. You can't be blamed for wanting to hold off as USB Type-C and fast charging are now a foregone conclusion for the model coming out the following year. 


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