The iPhone 14 Pro arrives in stores on Friday and early reviewers are sharing their impressions of the new phone. As you might have guessed, they like it, though some early reviewers aren’t convinced the iPhone 14 Pro’s cameras and Dynamic Island are the big upgrades Apple says they are.
The biggest change in the new iPhones is the Dynamic Island, which is “much more noticeable and useful than the notch,” writes Nilay Patel at The Verge. He didn’t dislike it, but feels that it “needs a year of refinement and developer attention” before it can be considered an important feature.
Julian Chokkattu at Wired called the Dynamic Island “a smart and fun way to make use of dead space” and also noted that it “will feel a little richer in a year’s time.” Florence Ion at Gizmodo, who is an Android user, described the Dynamic Island as “quite fluid,” and noted that “it’s nice not to worry about swiping down when trying to access something.”
The always-on display elicited similar reactions. The Verge called it “much more vibrant than other always-on displays” but “would prefer a Pixel-style black and white clock to something that sort of looks like my phone is awake all the time.” CNET’s Patrick Holland called Apple’s implementation “the most gorgeous one yet” but wanted an easier way to “simplify” it. Similarly, Engadget’s C. Low said, “Because it’s so similar to the lock screen, I sometimes got confused and would hit the power button in an effort to turn the display off.
None of the reviewers found the always-on display greatly impacted battery life, though Patel “felt as though the battery ran down a little bit faster than before.” And Marques Brownlee said he’s “getting slight worse battery life than I expected and that I’ve had on the 13 Pro for the past year.”
When it comes to the camera, Chokkattu at Wired felt the iPhone 14 Pro’s camera system is “great” but isn’t as huge as Apple suggests. Jordan Palmer at Tom’s Guide called the new camera system “incredible” but felt “the Photonic Engine goes a bit overboard sometimes, particularly in the ultrawide shots.”
Engadget’s Low found iPhone 14 Pro photos “basically indistinguishable” from the iPhone 13 Pro and “the quad-binning of the 48-MP sensor doesn’t seem to drastically improve image quality, at least in daylight.” Patel also felt that “you have to look very closely” to see the much of a difference between the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro’s photos.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.