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Apple iPhone 14 Pro review: Familiar, but with a good new user experience

Despite its high starting price of Rs 1,29,990, the Apple iPhone 14 Pro has enough newness to convince enthusiasts for an upgrade

Topics
Apple India | iPhones | Apple Inc

Khalid Anzar  |  New Delhi 



iPhone 14 Pro
iPhone 14 Pro

The iPhone 14 Pro is essentially the iPhone 13 Pro (review), but with new experience. As part of upgrades, Apple's flagship smartphone gets a brighter new screen with pill shaped cut-out on the top, instead of notch, accommodating the front camera and FaceID-related hardware. The screen supports an always-on feature and gets an interactive interface around the cut-out area called Dynamic Island, which turns the otherwise blank cut-out area into a lively spot on the screen. Besides the new screen and its related features, the phone gets a new 48-megapixel primary camera sensor in the triple-camera system on the rear.

Screen is the gateway to smartphone experience, and Apple’s iteration in the iPhone 14 Pro is noteworthy. The smartphone sports a 6.1-inch OLED (Super Retina XDR) screen of 120Hz adaptive refresh rate (ProMotion). Though familiar, it is an entirely new panel. The screen is brighter than the one seen in the last generation Pro models. The extra brightness it gets makes it perform even better in bright outdoor environments, compared to the iPhone 13 Pro. Not just peak brightness, the screen is as good when it comes to the other side of the brightness spectrum. It gets dim-lit for comfortable use in a dark environment. The extremely low lux levels prove beneficial in always-on screen mode.

Apple’s implementation of always-on display is novel even if the feature itself is not new. The always-on screen on the iPhone 14 Pro shows the lock screen at dimmed brightness with clock, day and date, and widgets information visible on the forefront, and the wallpaper faded in the background. As the case with the Watch series, sensitive information such as health and wellness data is hidden on the always-on screen. Though different and novel, the always-on screen on the iPhone 14 Pro consumes a fair amount of battery power because the entire screen is active, and not just a portion.

The bright screen panel and always-on mode are good additions, but it is the Dynamic Island that gives the iPhone 14 Pro an edge over others. Some may see it as Apple’s way to hide the distracting screen cut-out, but there is more to it than meets the eye. It is a dynamic interface designed around the cut-out area on the screen to show system alerts, live activity, and notifications at a glance. Importantly, it is animated and interactive. Currently, the Dynamic Island supports tap and tap-and-hold controls for quick view and full view, respectively. It enables multitasking and makes way for a secondary interface on the screen. However, the list of supported apps and integrations is currently limited.

Imaging is another area where the iPhone 14 Pro brings meaningful improvements. Not that the last generation Pro model was bad, but the iPhone 14 Pro is better with visible quality improvements in both photos and videos. The primary wide-angle sensor impresses with detailed output and colour accuracy. Besides, it is quick in terms of focus speed and there is no shutter lag to ruin the moment. Importantly, the camera delivers consistent results irrespective of lighting conditions. The ultra-wide-angle sensor captures as much detail in the frame and maintains colour accuracy, similar to the primary sensor. It doubles up as a macro camera for close-up shots. The telephoto lens enables up to 3x optical zoom and is a solid performer – especially in daylight conditions.

In terms of videos, the iPhone 14 Pro brings minor but meaningful upgrades. It introduces a new action mode, which stabilises the video by reducing shakes, motion, and vibrations for smooth and linear output. However, it works well only in well-lit environments. The cinematic mode, which Apple introduced with the iPhone 13 Pro, gets a boost in terms of frames recorded per second. The iPhone 14 Pro is capable of recording videos in cinematic mode at up to 4K resolution at 30 frames-per-second (fps), up from 24fps in the predecessor.

The iPhone 14 Pro is capable of recording 4K resolution videos at up to 60fps from all available camera sensors, including the front-facing one. At 30 fps, you can even switch between the wide, ultra-wide and telephoto sensors while recording the video. Like the iPhone 13 Pro, the phone can record high dynamic range (HDR) videos in Dolby Vision format.

Rounding up the package is the class-leading on-battery time. The iPhone 14 Pro easily sails through a day on regular usage, with always-on screen enabled. Power-intensive tasks such as graphic-intensive gaming, video recording, and video editing make the phone go hot and drain the battery quickly, but do not hamper the performance.

Verdict

The iPhone 14 Pro is a familiar looking smartphone that is different in terms of experience. Part of the differentiating experience is enabled by screen related upgrades. Dynamic Island, for instance, proves useful in daily usage. Likewise, Apple’s approach to the always-on display and redesigned lock screen is both novel and functional. Despite its high starting price of Rs 1,29,990, the 14 Pro has enough newness to convince enthusiasts for an upgrade.


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First Published: Tue, September 27 2022. 16:02 IST

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