Yesterday, at 16:00 Moscow time, Kyiv and Minsk, the embargo fell on reviews of new Apple products, which will go on sale next Friday. This is the iPhone 14 and both “firmware” – 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. Since we are not interested in the primary iPhone, only colors are new, and the Plus version will go on sale only on October 7. Let’s see what foreign media and bloggers say about the new Pro line.
In all reviews, there are several main points. These are Dynamic Island, new cameras, and Always-On Display. Several other innovations are also touched upon, such as satellite communications and the absence of a physical SIM tray in versions for the US market, as well as the Crash Detection function, which they do not yet know how to test in practice. Therefore, we will focus on these functions.
Witty Dynamic Island
“Monobrov,” which was scolded by many, is gone. In its place came a long “pill,” for which Apple came up with the name “Dynamic Island.” Marketers reflected the main functionality of the new neckline, which can change its shape and generally be very “alive” compared with other forms of necklines.
Apple came up with a hilarious thing. And already, we can say that it has set a trend that will indeed be repeated: if there is a drawback in the hardware interface in the form of cutouts, then why not beat them?
However, Dynamic Island is far from ideal. For example, after watching ads for the new 14 Pro, Nilay Patel from The Verge, I thought that you could interact with the “island” after a quick tap on it. However, this action opens the application that started the animation in Dynamic Island. And it will be possible to extend the widget only after a long press.
Mr. Patel believes Dynamic Island will take another year or so of development before it works. Developers will be able to figure out precisely what needs to be done. And Apple will likely reconsider its approach to user interaction with the Island.
Charlynn Lowe from Engadget notes that some applications are not prepared for Dynamic Island. For example, Spotify and Telegram. It is worth noting that the messenger was generally not ready for the release of iOS 16 – the ability to format text and insert links broke there, which caused a considerable number of SMM specialists to suffer.
Joanna Stern from The Wall Street Journal calls Dynamic Island “the best multitasking addition to the iPhone in a while.”
Always On Display
There’s a lot to be said about Apple being late and introducing a feature that’s been on Android for years. And indeed, it is. However, Apple has implemented this feature differently than other companies, which use something like arrows and a few icons that appear on the screen when it’s off.
The iPhone screen dims when you switch to AOD mode. That is, the wallpaper is visible, but the entire screen is turned on:
Of course, it will not work to call it a revolution, but it will add convenience when using the device.
Always On also supports widgets. For example, navigation icons work in this mode. Handy when you don’t need a map but don’t want to miss the turn notification. He showed it in his video Brian Tong:
However, there is a problem with Always On. The only setting for this mode is to turn it on or off. You cannot change the brightness and also choose what exactly is displayed on it at the moment. And sometimes, as Nilay Patel of The Verge put it, the iPhone screen shows too much in this mode:
Apple has done a good job of keeping wallpaper colors accurate in low-power always-on mode, but honestly, I’d rather have a Pixel-style black and white clock than something that looks like my phone is awake all the time. I hope we see some customization options in the future.
The authors could not agree on whether the function affects power consumption. Based on my experience using the Apple Watch, where this feature was introduced in Series 5 in 2019, the battery is eaten quite a lot.
Nilay Patel of The Verge said that everyone at the publication who used both versions of the iPhone was under the impression that this feature consumed battery power. Still, Jacob Krol from TheStreet, who used the 14 Pro Max, said that the battery lasts precisely as long as the 13 Pro Max.
Another major innovation. The sensor of the primary wide-angle camera has become more extensive. For the first time in a long time, Apple also went to increase the number of pixels on the camera matrix. There are 48 million of them, although it was four times less than previous models.
This innovation only applies to the wide-angle camera of the two firmware – 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. The other cameras received a resolution similar to the previous ones – 12 megapixels.
An increase followed the increase in the matrix in the angle with a decrease in the value of the equivalent focal length from 26 mm to 24 mm. That is, the wide-angle camera has become even more wide-angle.
Despite the increase in megapixels, most pictures will be taken at 12 megapixels, as before. If you want more, shoot in ProRAW.
Almost all journalists and bloggers claim that the pictures taken on the 13 Pro and 14 Pro are indistinguishable. Moreover, the pictures from the new iPhone often lose according to specific parameters to the images from the old iPhone. For example, Charlynn Lowe of Engadget noted that the green in the 14 Pro photo could have been more saturated.
Here Raymond Wong from Input claims that ProRAW in the iPhone 14 Pro is a significant improvement over the same mode introduced a year ago:
ProRAW is a little disappointing on the iPhone 13 Pro, with 12MP RAW barely getting more detail than 12MP JPEG. However, with 48MP ProRAW files, these images are huge (often 70 to 80MB) and the amount of detail you can get is borderline insane for a phone.
It must be assumed that we are discussing detailing at a higher resolution. Like, you can zoom in much closer than a 12-megapixel snapshot.
Nilay Patel of The Verge is more strict. He says the quality of the pictures is standard, but the camera has competitors who shoot at the level. The new ProRAW is suitable for its resolution, but only a few people will shoot in it. He also says it’s nice to have 2x zoom, a digital crop of a 48-megapixel shot.
Other modules have also improved, but it is pretty difficult to notice them, and you will need to peer. This also applies to the front camera – the worst camera in the iPhone, which has long been overtaken even by mid-segment Android smartphones. It’s autofocus, but that doesn’t help much with the world’s most popular camera.
Satellite and eSIM
Both innovations concern only users from the USA. The satellite demo, which will only be launched in November, is said to have made an impression but will be of no use to most users because they don’t often go to places where there is no connection.
The lack of a physical SIM card tray can inconvenience travelers who are used to using local rates.
They also note the Crash Detection function, which sends messages to rescue services if the iPhone or Apple Watch senses that the car has been in an accident. However, no one has been able to test this feature. And this, of course, is a blessing.
Here I will quote the words of Nilay Patey:
The iPhone 14 Pro is full of new ideas, such as Dynamic Island, a new camera, and a satellite communication system. Because these ideas are new, they are inherently incomplete. But they deserve criticism. This is a kind of victory and a sign that Apple does not stand still, seeing the future of the iPhone.
You don’t need these iPhones if you have the 13 Pro/13 Pro Max or their predecessors in the iPhone 12 line. Like the last few years, Apple doesn’t target users who upgrade yearly. This is unprofitable for the company itself because users may get bored with this fact one day, and they will go to competitors.
But this update will suit users of older iPhones. And for them, the innovations of the 14 Pro will be downright high.