the iphone 14s are official and this is my brutally honest take on them the good the bad and the ugly.
so let’s start with the good the way that apple’s managed to swap out the notch on past iphones with this much sleeker symmetrical hole punch it is legitimately impressive because it’s not just an aesthetic improvement with this tiny little sliver of extra display you now unlock.
somehow making the phone look about three years more current but then it’s also how they’ve managed to trim it like this while keeping the benefits of face id and then also turning it into a feature.
that they’re calling dynamic island when this first came on i thought what are these animations that’s such a gimmick but then realizing that this effectively allows you to multitask to see and change your music or check the progress of a timer you’ve set without leaving.
the app that you’re already in i was very quickly all on board with it but then on top of that they’ve also managed to upgrade the selfie camera that goes inside of this hole punch.
and i think this is going to be a big hit we’re in the tik tok generation there are millions of people almost exclusively using their front-facing cameras every single day to record and share themselves with the world.
and as someone who knows that most phone companies spend about 95 of their total camera budget on the rear cameras this pains me.
so i am extremely excited by the prospect of a front-facing camera that can let in more light create more separation between foreground and background.
and then use real autofocus to make sure that your face stays as that foreground and this will mostlikely extend the leads.
that apple already has when it comes to how snapchats and instagram stories are going to come across and then again on the almost surprising note of looking out for the customer.
the iphone 14s now also support direct to satellite communications which is it’s considered the holy grail of connectivity.
it basically means that even if you’re out of range of the traditional cell towers you can still send messages directly by the satellites orbiting the planets.
the only caveat being that the signal from them is going to be pretty weak by the time it reaches earth.
so you can only do things that require small amounts of data so for now apple’s limited it to purely emergency services and keeping your family updated on your location if you’re out and about remotely you can’t use satellite to continue your search.
for love with tinder on the go as much as an emergency as that may feel like it is but still this feature is kind of ahead of the curve the only slight alarm bell is.
the fact that this is a subscription service free for the first two years but then not after that there’s a pretty big display upgrade on the new pro iphones slimmer screen borders although only slightly.
i’m actually kind of finding it hard to tell at a glance and then a new brightness level of up to 2 000 nits which is nuts and also the highest brightness ever recorded on a smartphone.
okay well a lot of the most exciting things this time around only apply to the 14 pro and the pro max there is one big shake up to the non-pro iphones with the iphone 14s apple has swapped out the iphone mini.
that used to be the cheapest entry-level iphone for the iphone 14 plus which now sits above the base.
iphone 14 but below the pros probably for two reasons the mini was not a huge sales success like even though it was 25 of the iphone 13 lineup.
it only sold about five percent of the volume which i think is mostly due to the fact that smaller screens make the average person think that a phone is worthless.
but also b the simple fact that this has allowed apple to swap out the 699 iphone for what’s going to be an 899 iphone and yes they give you a bigger screen and a bigger battery for that.
but that won’t cost them close to the extra 200 that they’re charging for it just leading to more profit per unit than before but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad option.
the main reason that i always go for these ultra pro max phones is because they’re the only ones that can satisfy my battery life needs and also the fact that when you have a little bit of extra battery life headroom it prolongs.
how many years you can keep using it before the battery becomes an issue and so the fact that this iphone 14 plus can give you maybe three or four more hours in the standard iphone 14 without having to spring to the pro max.
makes it a viable option now the biggest upgrade that we had with last year’s iphone 13 pro was something that apple calls the pro motion display a fancy way of saying a refresh rate.
that can scale all the way up to 120 hertz which makes the phone feel very responsive and smooth and all the way down to just 10 hertz which saves battery when you’re looking at static pages well this year that 10 hertz lower limit has just become one hertz.
and that actually changes how you can use your phone it means much more potential battery saving but more importantly it’s enabled apple to create a really efficient always on display the fact that the screen can refresh just one time per second paired with the oled panel.
it uses which allows the black pixels to turn off completely means that you can have a screen like this on all the time that can still keep.
you updated with any stat or calendar or notification with practically zero extra cost to battery life like with most things here not a feature.
that we’ve never seen before i used to have an amazon display on my samsung galaxy s8 like five years ago and through third-party apps you could make that always on display show almost anything.
you wanted it but the value of what apple’s offering here is a strong set of options that are visually consistent with the rest of the operating system.
easy to use with an even lower hit to your battery and without needing to go down the route of downloading apps that you don’t particularly trust don’t get me wrong.
there are absolutely things that apple does that irritate me to no end but i don’t think the fact that they wait till they can do things really well is a negative kind of what i do with my videos i’m never the first one to upload a post on a topic but i just like to think that you know that when i do post it’s because i have a lot to say.
plus the way that this always-on display is integrated into the rest of the software is classy with most androids first your screen turns off then you’re always on display just pops in it’s.
kind of like you’re opening a separate piece of software but the iphone kind of like some xiaomi phones with their super wallpapers transition subtly from your home screen to your always on display.
it makes it feel like a thoughtful feature like it’s not just been tacked on at the end and i also imagine that once they add more features to this always display this will be the new lock screen and you’ll just go straight from it to your home screen.
but we’re not quite there yet and then just before things start to get worse they get better the rear cameras are also getting upgraded on the normal 14 and 14 plus that means a slightly better sensor which has better stabilization.
and a faster shutter time but then the more significant upgrade actually comes from the software apple’s saying that this new image processing that they’re calling the photonic engine can bring out two times more light when taking night shots that is a very exciting number.
but i just kind of want to temper your expectations on that one because i’ve seen lots of big quotes like this over the years without much of a follow-through they also introduced action modes which is a super stabilized version of the normal camera.
good to have but i mean android’s have had this for years now and i never really use it because it completely kills the quality maybe apple’s done it better though.
but then they went further with the pros for someone whose primary phone is an iphone and whose favorite part of androids is how exciting their camera setups are.
imagine my face when apple revealed that finally finally the iphone 14 pros are gonna come with a 48 megapixel main camera now 48 megapixel sensors aren’t anything new to smartphones.
you can literally go to amazon and buy like that i’m optimistic about this is that iphones have 12 megapixel cameras for seven years now you’ve companies left right and center just throwing out stood there like nope signal that apple isn’t going to make their cameras higher resolution.
just to be able to say that they’re high resolution they’re only going to do it when they think it’s enough of an upgrade for an average user to be able to tell.
so when you combine this new 48 megapixel camera with the fact that you can now take cinematic video in full 4k resolution that is huge for me by the way with the new ultrawide camera.
that the pro iphones also get the improved macro photography that comes as a part of that package with the new photonic engine that all of these iphone 14s are getting this is a camera system that you can bet.
i’m going to be fully testing on this blog and it’s all topped off with one of the smartest camera features that i’ve seen in a long time an adaptive flash being able to recognize.
how far away your subject is and then adjusting the intensity of the flash module accordingly phones have been able to detect how far away your subject is.
four years now i’m actually kind of shocked that it’s taken this long for this feature to exist but it’s a very good one there’s also a new chip this time around the a16 bionic.
this is where things start to get a little hairy the angle apple basically took was to say well hey our a13 bionic chip from like three years ago is already more powerful than the competition we’re only going to compare.
this new a16 to that chip which is pretty much a guarantee that if you compared it to last year’s a15 it is not a big jump in terms of actual peak performance i appreciate the new 5g modem that reduces power consumption.
when you’re using that 5g and also supports more 5g brands for better coverage which is actually much needed because right now my iphone is getting handily beaten by the competition in 5g capability.
but where it started to go properly downhill was when we realized that you’re only getting this upgrade if you go for an iphone 14 pro we already sort of saw this happening last year with the iphone 13s where the normal iphone 13s chip even though it had the exact same name was actually weaker than the iphone 13 pro’s chip.
but this year apple’s taken a step further by literally giving you one for one the same chip as last year with the same name as last year and listen to this.
now we are bringing this proven pro level performance to iphone 14. it is absolutely amazing that they are labeling.
this as if it is a feature and there’s two ways of looking at this i’ve seen so many people just like who cares the iphone 13 is already so far.
ahead of androids with its chipsets in terms of both performance and performance per watt that nobody is going to notice the difference plus i guess you could also argue that this helps apple to get around the current chip shortage whilst also getting some extra use from chips.
they’ve already made that might otherwise have to be thrown away but on the other hand the way that i can’t help but see it myself is that a phone’s chipset is about so much more than performance.
the chip is responsible for how well your phone can take photos how efficient it is with battery how advanced its ai is there’s not a lot that it isn’t responsible for and.
so by getting last year’s chip you’re not just missing out on that extra 10 gaming performance you’re effectively paying full 2022 pricing for a phone that’s just generally bottlenecked by having last year’s brain you certainly do not get 800 android flagships pulling this move which brings us to the not.
so good stuff about these phones like the design the iphone 14s do not look like badly designed phones but they are just incredibly uninspired the same sharp sides and corners the same materials.
an almost identical looking camera system and very similar color selection apart from that purple that’s kind of hard and this is intentional you can tell that apple is very confident with the way that their phones are designed right now.
and they aren’t in the business of unnecessarily changing just for the sake of having something completely different which you can see through the designs are the past few phones literally the only thing that’s changed is the size of the camera module.
and so my point is that in the face of other companies who are making much more significant design refinements as well as the rumors of what the iphone 14 could have been what we’ve actually gotten is not exactly.
setting the world on fire and then we get to the ugly almost definitely the least enjoyable part of this event was when we realized that all the best new features are being made exclusive to people buying the 14 pros and this is where it really clicked for me.
that apple is starting to create a noticeable divide in its user base when this company first started releasing upgraded versions of their existing phones it was a very simple case of hey.
this one’s just bigger than the other one but at this point it’s like the pro and the non-pro phones are a generation apart i can see why apple’s doing it they’re at a stage now where their existing
standard phones are good enough for most people. and so there’s an increasing majority who who won’t just drop everything to buy the top end model as soon as it’s announced but will instead just wait until their current phone.
stops working and then upgrade to the base version of whatever happens to be the latest generation of iphones at the time and this is the bit that i don’t love for all of these users who are just upgrading without really putting too much thought into it.
apple is trying to make sure that they’re not giving them too many good features they’re effectively selling them old attack at full price because these people may not notice the difference and then they’re only actually giving the modern good stuff to the people who are both aware that they want it and are willing to pay.