The wait for new iPhones is over. The speculation that has been going around over the past few months has been all over the place: Would the iPhone 14 have an always-on display and a notchless screen? Does the star-filled “Far Out” invitation herald the arrival of Apple’s satcom era of technology? Did the iPhone mini become obsolete? Even if the majority of the reports were largely accurate, it was nevertheless exciting to witness the four new iPhones in person at Apple’s Cupertino launch event.
After the event was over, it was pretty obvious that most of the attendees were interested in the iPhone 14 Pro side of the hands-on demo table because that’s where most of the cool new advancements are happening. However, not everyone will opt for the more expensive Pro series over the more affordable iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, so we got our hands on all four models to share our initial thoughts with you.
Notch No More
The name given to the now-animated region where the iPhone originally had a notch is Dynamic Island, which is not a reality dating program. To be clear, it’s exclusively on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. It seemed revolutionary in Apple’s introductory film. When I see you, my first impressions are: It’s cool, but somewhat small (most of the time). The Island takes different forms depending on the apps you have open in the background; for the majority of apps, it appears that you must swipe up while using the app for it to join the Island.
The Island is extremely dynamic in both color and shape because to how well multiple apps are merged into this little space at once. You can see anything from a timer to album art, and the animated waveform’s hue when music is playing matches the color scheme of the album art. It’s also remarkable how inconspicuously you use the front-facing camera. The shape-shifting blob from the Island will be visible if you look for it, but your eye will probably catch it before the camera does.
What I dislike is the Island’s presence while watching videos, and I have a feeling Apple is less eager to flaunt it. Even when the notch is gone, an Island still prevents full-screen playback.
New Always-On Display and Lock Screen
The new lock screen has a dynamic vibe to it on its own. An remarkable number of adjustable options are revealed by long-pressing the screen. In addition to a large image gallery that features Suggested Photos from your personal library and image banks with themes like weather and astronomy, there are now numerous methods to customize your lock screen.
You may be absolutely absurd; it’s not just about changing fonts and picture libraries. For instance, you may make any emoji (or a group of emoji) into your wallpaper, and you can choose from ten different repeating patterns for it, including a swirling image. In the new always-on display, widgets can also be added to the lock screen and will show up below the time.
Megapixels for Days
The 48MP main camera of the new Pro camera system has real resolution when viewed in person. Zooming in on a photograph shot with the camera may reveal a lot of information in an Apple promotional movie, but we all take these clips with a grain of salt (or at least we should).
But how does it feel to actually zoom in on a high-resolution image on the new Pro screen? It’s impressive how well-rounded renderings of difficult elements are done. You can easily see the texture and individual strands when you zoom in on items of clothes or hair. We are, of course, examining professional pictures used to promote these features. It will be interesting to see if the camera makes it simple for amateur photographers to get the same outcomes.
It wasn’t particularly scientific, but we pushed the phone up and down while filming, then switched to Action mode and repeated the action. Action video mode is claimed to stabilize wobble. The final product was undoubtedly superior to the non-Action Mode footage, but it wasn’t as radically stabilized as what we all saw in the promotional film. Even so, it’s a nice feature, and missing a few edges (which is how most image stabilization functions) won’t make much of a difference when you have all that extra resolution at your disposal.
A Well-Known Look in a New Color
While the Pros in Space Black, Gold, and Silver editions appear more glossy and showy, similar to a high-end watch, the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus models have a more recognizable appearance. Then there is Deep Purple, which undoubtedly has its distinct sound. Of the four models, it’s the most remarkable in person. Purple is undoubtedly in style right now thanks to Samsung and Apple. The purple of the iPhone 14 Pro is quite regal and has a muted, two-tone appearance, seeming almost gray from some perspectives.
All of these models feel heavy, chunky, and metallic in the hand. The iPhone 14 series is not for fans of the iPhone mini because all of the versions feel hefty. Additionally, these items can serve as fingerprint collection kits, just as earlier generations. An Apple employee had to clean the phones between each demo in order to prepare them for the following round of pictures and recordings. The screens and backs can become noticeably dirty in just a minute. It’s either fingerprints or a case, but who really wants a case with phones this big and an IP68 rating?
We weren’t able to get a good sense of the A16’s upgrade during our hands-on time with the iPhone 14 Pro models, but its “nearly 16 billion” transistors undoubtedly enable many of the excellent new display features, such as lock screen dimming and Dynamic Island mutations, to function without any noticeable hiccups. I didn’t see any visuals stuttering or saw screens having difficulty loading will playing about with the phones.
Sending Out an SOS
Crash detection and the new Emergency SOS via satellite are two capabilities that I sincerely hope I never have to use in the real world.
The fact that Apple has a team of individuals ready to call on your behalf if you get lost when hiking through the Sonoran Desert or another distant area is what I find to be the most astounding aspect of it. Thankfully, there were no crash demonstrations on the showroom floor, so the demo video gives you more information than what we were able to gather there.
Which iPhone 14 Is Right for You?
Pre-orders for all of the new iPhone 14 versions commence on September 9 (this Friday), and the devices will be available starting on September 16. (except for the 14 Plus, which is available on Oct. 7).
The new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have starting prices of $799 and $899 for the 128GB variants, respectively. They also come in 256GB and 512GB storage options. For the 128GB variants, the new iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max start at $999 and $1099, respectively. The Pros are also offered in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB capacities for a premium.
The new iPhone 14 and 14 Plus come in Midnight, Purple (more lavender, in my opinion), Starlight (essentially cream—handsome in person), Blue (a very pale blue), and a main (Product) Red variant. The aforementioned Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple models of The Pros are available.
Tim Cook, was there somewhere else he had to be? After his introduction, the man never returned to the stage, and if he did, I was too busy taking pictures and films to notice. The film was undoubtedly a little more amazing to watch on the Steve Jobs Theater’s enormous stage with surround sound blaring from the speakers than it was on my laptop at home. Happy to be back.
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Lirien Chen, a writer who is always seeking to learn and grow, both as a storyteller and as a person. I believe that writing is not just about putting words on a page, but about constantly challenging oneself and pushing the boundaries of what's possible. I strive to create work that is both original and thought-provoking, that pushes the limits of what's possible with the written word. I believe that writing has the power to change the world, and I am honored to be a part of that tradition