Following Apple’s annual update to its all-conquering smartphone range, there are now four new iPhones: the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. If you are trying to decide between the similarly sizes iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro we are here to help you decide if it is worth spending extra on the ‘pro’ iPhone, or if the cheaper standard iPhone would be suitable for you.
This question has become more pertinent than ever because the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models are suffering from sever shortages with waiting lists are extending to January. This is due to Covid-related lockdowns and walkouts at Foxconn’s Chinese factory. Luckily Apple manufacturers the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus in a factory in India, so those handsets aren’t suffering the same shortages. This is why if you want a new iPhone right now the iPhones 14 and 14 Plus might be the ones you have to settle for.
Should you wait until the iPhone 14 Pro is back in stock or go ahead and buy an iPhone 14 or event the iPhone 14 Plus? Here’s our guide to the main differences so you know whether or not it’s worth waiting to go Pro.
Apple iPhone 14
iPhone 14 Pro
iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: Design
It’s easy to spot the differences between the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro handsets – but less simple to distinguish between this generation and the predecessors.
From the front you’ll notice that the iPhone 14 retains the notch, which is the same size as the notch on the iPhone 13, but smaller than that on the iPhone 12. In contrast, The iPhone 14 Pro (and Pro Max) have a new feature – the Dynamic Island. This is an evolution of the notch. The notch is still there but it’s a lot smaller, and now there is a clever way that Apple utilises the space around the notch to kind of turn it into a menu. We’ll discuss this more later.
Turn the iPhones around and from the back there are clear differences between the two handsets. As is usually the case, the standard iPhone has two lenses, placed diagonally, while the iPhone 14 Pro has three lenses. We’ll talk in more detail about the differences in the cameras below. One difference between the iPhone 14 Pro and the 13 Pro is that the cameras take up a lot more surface area, so that’s an easy way to identify the generation.
The differences between the iPhone 14 its predecessor aren’t as obvious. Basically, if you’ve held an iPhone 13 then you’ve pretty much held an iPhone 14, at least in terms of aesthetics. The outward design is almost identical to the iPhone 13. The dimensions are nearly the same although Apple has managed to shave off 2g of weight on the new model. The new model is just the slightest bit thicker, too. Beware that Apple appears to have slightly shifted the location of the side and volume buttons, so you may run into problems when using a case made for the iPhone 13 on an iPhone 14.
While the iPhone 14 Pro retains much of the design language from its predecessor, It’s the tiniest bit taller, narrower, and thicker, and heavier (not that you’d notice).
|iPhone 14||5.78 inches (146.7mm)||2.82 inches (71.5mm)||0.31 inch (7.80-mm)||6.07 ounces|
|iPhone 14 Plus||6.33 inches (160.8 mm)||3.07 inches (78.1 mm)||0.31 inch (7.80 mm)||7.16 ounces (203 grams)|
|iPhone 14 Pro||5.81 inches (147.5mm)||2.81 inches (71.5mm)||0.31 inch (7.85-mm)||7.27 ounces|
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||6.33 inches (160.7 mm)||3.05 inches (77.6 mm)||0.31 inch (7.85 mm)||8.47 ounces (240 grams)|
Both the iPhone 14 and it’s Pro sibling have a glass back panel to allow for wireless charging from MagSafe or Qi compatible chargers – this isn’t a new feature, its been offered by iPhones for some years now. Both iPhones also have the same IP68 water and dust resistance rating as each other and their predecessors, which should ensure even a quick dip shouldn’t be able to stop the iPhone in its tracks.
Both iPhones feature the Ceramic Shield, which should offer some protection, but the Pro chassis is made from a superior surgical grade stainless steel as opposed to the aerospace-grade aluminum on the standard model, which adds some extra weight and should withstand more knocks.
Another key difference between the Pro and standard iPhones is the color finishes available.
- The iPhone 14 (and Plus) come in blue, purple, midnight, starlight and red.
- The iPhone 14 Pro (and Pro Max) come in deep purple, gold, silver and black.
The colors suggest that the iPhone 14 is the fun phone, while the Pro model is more refined and serious.
Both iPhone models come with an 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display (the iPhone 14 Pro and Plus share a 6.7-inch display. The screens aren’t completely identical though – the Pro screen has additional features we discuss below.
iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: Display
As mentioned above, both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro come with 6.1-inch or 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED displays, although the Pros models get the more power-efficient and controllable LTPO versions. For this generation though, there are some other big differences. As with the iPhone 13 series, ProMotion is only on the Pro models–it allows for variable refresh rates up to 120Hz. The standard models always run at 60Hz.
Related to this screen technology, Apple has also introduced an Always-On display with the iPhone 14 Pro, so you can see incoming notifications, the time, and other widgets without having to wake the phone. In order to stop these notifications draining battery life Apple is able to use the ProMotion feature to reduce the refresh rate to a low level that uses less power. Hence Always on is reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro (and Pro Max).
Perhaps the biggest change is with the ‘notch’. On the iPhone 14 you have the standard black block with cameras and sensors that has been a feature of iPhones for years now, but the iPhone 14 Pro features the new Dynamic Island. This, as the name suggests, detaches the notch from the edge of the display and creates a pill-shaped island at the top of the screen. Apple has added some clever design to this so that the shape changes to accommodate various notifications, quick controls for apps running in the background, or is just incorporated into system messages all while disguising the fact that the camera cutouts are even there.
Obviously, the ‘notch’ will still be visible when watching movies or other video content on the iPhone 14 Pro, it is much smaller than previously and in all other instances it now becomes a useful feature rather than an ugly encumbrance.
In terms of brightness, the iPhone 14 tops out at 800 nits in typical use and 1,200 peak brightness when viewing HDR content. The Pro models beat this with respective scores of 1,000 and 1,600 nits, and can jump all the way up to 2,000 nits in bright light outdoors.
Other than that, both boast 2,000,000:1 contrast ratios, True Tone, Wide color (P3), Haptic Touch, and similar 460 ppi resolution. If the 6.1-inch screen isn’t big enough, then Pro users can select the 6.7 inch version that is the iPhone 14 Pro Max. This year standard iPhone users get the same option thanks to the introduction of the iPhone 14 Plus. It’s essentially the same phone, just in a larger size.
|Max brightness (SDR)||Max brightness (HDR)||ProMotion||Other features|
|iPhone 14/Plus||800 nits||1,200 nits||No||True Tone, Wide color|
|iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max||1,000 nits (2,000 outdoors)||1,600 nits||Yes (120Hz)||True Tone, Wide color, Dynamic Island, Always-on-display|
iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: Processor
While on paper it looks like the iPhone 14 has the same chip as its predecessor, the iPhone 13, that isn’t quite true. Instead, Apple has opted to use the slightly tweaked version of the A15 that appeared in the iPhone 13 Pro devices. It has five GPU cores instead of four, providing significantly better graphics performance.
The iPhone 14 Pro models have the new A16 chip. It has a similar six-core CPU, five-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine, but is made on a 4nm manufacturing process that improves power efficiency and allows the chip to run a bit faster. It also uses LPDDR5 memory instead of LPDDR4x, which delivers up to 50% more memory bandwidth. The image signal processor and display engine are new, which enable the always-on display and new camera capabilities of the Pro models.
In terms of raw performance, you can expect the iPhone 14 Pro models to be a bit faster than the standard iPhone 14–on the order of around 10% or so.
Here’s how the processors compare:
iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: Cameras
Camera systems have seen some decent upgrades across the entire iPhone 14 range. In the standard models you’ll find a new 12MP f/1.5 main camera, and a 2.4 aperture ultra wide camera, while
The Pro models now boast a 48MP camera with a ƒ/1.78 aperture on the main camera that is a serious upgrade to the standard 12MP that has featured up to this point. This features a sensor 65% bigger than that on the iPhone 13 Pro. It takes 12MP images by combing four pixels into one, but you can take full 48MP images in ProRAW mode. It also enables a new 2x telephoto mode in addition to the 3x mode provided by the separate telephoto camera (ƒ/2.8 aperture). The 12MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide camera has a larger sensor that captures more light, too. Macro photos and video remain a Pro model exclusive.
The Pro model also offers second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization, 0.5x, 1x, 2x, 3x optical zoom options and Adaptive True Tone flash, all of which all superior to the standard iPhone. Only the iPhone 14 Pro offers Night Mode Portrait, Macro photography and ProRAW capabilities.
Both the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro share the new image processing pipeline Apple calls “Photonic Engine” that combines uncompressed images to make the best possible final composite picture, especially in low light. Cinematic Mode gets an upgrade from 1080p/30fps on the iPhone 13 to 4K/30fps on the iPhone 14, plus there’s the brand new Action Mode on both phones that uses advanced stabilization techniques to make video footage look smooth, even if you’re running along while recording.
The front-facing ‘selfie’ cameras on both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are still 12MP, but have a wider f/1.9 aperture with autofocus, for improved selfies and video calls.
The iPhone 14 has a great range of options for most people’s photography and videography needs, but in this area the Pro really does mean Pro.
|iPhone 14 / Plus||iPhone 14 Pro / Max|
|Main camera (wide)||12MP f/1.5 26mm||larger 48MP “quad pixel” f/1.78 24mm|
|Ultra Wide||12MP f/2.4 13mm||larger 12MP f/2.2 13mm|
|Telephoto||none||12MP f/2.8 77mm|
|Front camera||12MP f/1.9 with autofocus||12MP f/1.9 with autofocus|
|Other features||Photonic Engine, 4K Cinematic Mode, Action Mode||Photonic Engine, 4K Cinematic Mode, Action Mode, 2x telephoto, ProRAW, ProRes video, macro photos and video, Night mode portraits|
iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: Battery Life
Both devices offer what Apple calls “all-day battery life.” According to Apple’s specs, the iPhone 14 can manage 20 hours of video playback from a single charge, a one-hour improvement over the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro is rated for 23 hours, also up one hour from the iPhone 13 Pro.
If you want more battery life then you can turn to the larger models: the iPhone 14 Plus is rated for up to 26 hours of video playback, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max is rated for up to 29 hours.
You’re looking at some really excellent battery life no matter which phone you choose, but the Pro models should be a little better thanks to the more advanced and power-efficient display and A16 processor.
iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: Price
Needless to say, the Pro suffix comes with a cost. Here’s how the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models compare:
- 128GB – $799/£849
- 256GB – $899/£959
- 512GB – $1,099/£1,179
iPhone 14 Plus
- 128GB – $899/£949
- 256GB – $999/£1,059
- 512GB – $1,199/£1,279
iPhone 14 Pro
- 128GB – $999/£1,099
- 256GB – $1,099/£1,209
- 512GB – $1,299/£1,429
- 1TB – $1,499/£1,649
iPhone 14 Pro Max
- 128GB – $1,099/£1,199
- 256GB – $1,199/£1,309
- 512GB – $1,399/£1,529
- 1TB – $1,599/£1,749
If you have a limited budget you might want to consider what’s more important to you, a bigger SSD, or a better camera. You could, for example, buy a 512GB iPhone 14 for the same price as a 256GB iPhone 14 Pro (slightly less in fact if you are in the U.K.)
You don’t have to pay those prices though, to find the best prices for an iPhone take a look at the price comparison tables below.
iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: Which one should you buy?
The iPhone 14 is a hugely capable smartphone that will deliver on the most important features that most users want. It has great cameras, a powerful processor, good battery life and plenty of bells and whistles that will keep you happy for the next couple of years. This is the sensible choice for most of us, particularly when you factor in the $200/£250 difference between standard and Pro models with the same storage capacity.
But if you want cutting edge silicon, arguably the most advanced photo and video setup on any smartphone around, not to mention ProMotion, the Dynamic Island, and an Always-On Display, then the iPhone 14 Pro is a seriously impressive device. You just might have to wait a little longer to get your hands on one of the better iPhones though.