iPhone 14 Pro review: specs, performance, video, battery life, charging, price, availability, and software.
The iPhone 14 Pro is the best phone for under $1,000. It’s powerful, it has amazing cameras, it features a great screen, and the notch is dead. It’s hard to think of anything really wrong with this device and it’s perfect for people who are sick of giant phones.
Review iPhone 14 Pro
iPhone 14 PRO: specifications
Starting price: $999
Display: 6.1-inch OLED (2556 x 1179)
Refresh rate: 1-120Hz
CPU: A16 Bionic
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
RAM: 6 GB
Rear cameras: 48 MP (f/1.8) main with 2x optical zoom, 12 MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 12MP (f/2.8) telephoto with 3x optical zoom
Front camera: 12 MP (f/1.9)
Video: Up to 4K 60 fps, Cinematic 4K 30 fps, ProRes 4K 30 fps.
Charging: 20W wired, 15W MagSafe, 7.5W wireless
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:13
Weight: 7.3 ounces (206 g)
Size: 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 (147.5 x 71.5 x 7.9 mm)
Colors: Space Black, White, Gold, Deep Purple
Apple has already named its brand of smartphone. The iPhone 14 Pro represents a duality, both very similar to its predecessor while also being new at the same time. It features plenty of camera upgrades and a dynamic island population, which replaces the infamous notch five years after it debuted on the iPhone X.
From its pocketable form factor to its sheer power and camera, the iPhone14 Pro handles everything else you’ve used since the dawn of the modern smartphone. I can’t believe how good it is – I’ve loved using it the whole time I was reviewing the iPhone14 Pro.
Sure, the iPhone 14 Pro isn’t the huge upgrade you might expect, but that’s because the iPhone 13 Pro did so much right. The Pro series has reached a very good point where there is not much upward movement. What we’ve got this year is an example of redundancy: better cameras, a better and brighter screen, a new design element, and more powerful hardware.
As you’ll see in our iPhone14 Pro review, this is closer to the perfect phone I’ve seen in my career. Nothing else comes close to me. But when you’re done, be sure to head over to our iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 reviews to check out what else Apple has come up with this year.
iPhone 14 Pro review: Performance
The iPhone 14Pro sports the new A16 Bionic chipset, Apple Silicon’s latest chip built on the new 4nm process. It features a 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine. It has many improvements over the A15 Bionic from the iPhone 13 Pro, such as a new display engine (which helps with the new always-on display feature), a new image signal processor, and more power efficiency.
Just take a look at this generational improvement on Geekbench, and how much better Apple has over Samsung and the first generation Snapdragon 8. Other test results mostly show some slight improvements, although you’ll notice that the iPhone14 Pro has got Exactly at the same time as the iPhone 13 Pro in the Adobe Premiere Rush 4K-1080p conversion standard.
In practical terms, the iPhone 14 Pro is a power user’s dream. It has energy for days, more than enough for most tasks. No problem playing games, the iPhone14 Pro consistently maintained smooth frame rates in all the games I tested. The A16 Bionic also excels at video editing at up to 4K ProRes speed. You can apply effects and adjustments on the go and the phone hardly suffers from drops.
The Android competition has more room to cover now, although the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 came close to Apple — at least concerning Apple’s silicon last year. I don’t expect Google’s second-generation Tensor to come close to the A16 Bionic, but Google hasn’t targeted the performance crown. Tensor leads the AI package, so it will be interesting to see how the iPhone14 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro stack up when it comes to apps focused on machine learning.
I think the A16 Bionic has more power than most people need, but there’s something very satisfying about having more space than you’re likely to use. I get the same satisfaction from the iPhone14 Pro.
If you’re interested in the full results, and how they compare to other iPhones, take a look at our iPhone 14 benchmarks guide.
iPhone14 Pro review: Video
Apple cemented its dominance of video in smartphones this year. Not only is Cinema mode, which was introduced with the iPhone 13, (now available in 4K at 30 fps), but the iPhone 14Pro can record up to 4K 60 fps or 4K 30 fps in ProRes (on 256 GB and larger models).
New this time is the working mode. This is video stabilization so tight that Apple claims you don’t need a gimbal when shooting video on the go. There is a great use case for this when the theme is on, or when Paint is on, you can see the latter in the examples below.
Suffice it to say, I am amazed. The motion mode made it feel like a natural effect in my step, not the choppy motions that the camera image stabilization tried to correct.
Action mode supports up to 2.8K 60fps and works with Dolby Vision and ProRes. iPhone14 Pro also features smoother zoom transitions in videos. Previous models may have been tricky when switching zoom levels, but the zoom looks a lot better in my experience on the iPhone14Pro.
iPhone14 Pro review: Software
iPhone 14 Pro comes with iOS 16 out of the box. We’ve already broken down everything iOS 16 for you over the past few months, so be sure to check out our iOS 16 review if you want to learn more about all the features.
I have two things that I love most about iOS 16: lock screen and focus improvements. The latter piqued my interest because I recently took time to hone in my focus modes, and now I can set custom lock screens and filters for different focus modes. I love this.
Apple has unlocked the lock screen for a large number of customizations. You can add widgets, change the clock typeface, choose all kinds of effects for wallpapers, etc. iOS 16 allows you to create multiple lock screens to switch between at your leisure. The current Home Lock screen contains a calendar, weather, and Apple Watch battery level widgets.
However, while all compatible iPhones will have a similar iOS 16 experience, the iPhone14 Pro has exclusive access to Dynamic Island. I’ve already touched on this earlier, but upon launch, Dynamic Island is a great alternative. Apple says its related APIs are open to developers, so third-party apps can join in to take advantage of Dynamic Island with alerts. Some have already joined, such as Spotify, WhatsApp, Audible, and Instagram.
My time with the iPhone14 Pro and Dynamic Island was limited, but there are a bunch of first-party services I interact with. Some of them include Apple Pay, Face ID, and incoming phone calls, as well as live activities like ongoing calls, SharePlay, timers, media now playback, and map directions.
Finally, the iOS 16 experience is the best on iPhone14 Pro. Not only does the A16 Bionic display and ProMotion make the system look completely flawless, Dynamic Island really enhances the overall feel of the operating system. Going back to iOS 16 on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, it felt like a watered-down version by comparison – it didn’t take long for me to adjust to Dynamic Island and I find it an important part of the iPhone14 Pro.
iPhone 14 Pro review: Price and availability
The iPhone 14Pro starts at $999 for the 128GB model, just like last year. The rumors about the price hike were proven wrong, and you wouldn’t complain to me about it.
IPhone14 pro 256GB variant costs $1,099, the 512GB variant costs $1,299 and 1 TB will cost you $1,499. And with all the video features, you might want some extra storage – the 1080p limit on ProRes video is still 128GB.
I think the Galaxy S22 Plus is the best iPhone 14 Pro price comparison. Both start at $999, and feature high-end screens, powerful cameras, and excellent processors. But other Android phones cost less than the iPhone 14 Pro, such as the $899 Pixel 6 Pro (which is the main competitor for iPhone photography) and the $749 OnePlus 10 Pro.
Apple has a range of iPhones starting at $799 for the iPhone 14, with the iPhone 14 Plus going up to $899 and the iPhone 14 Pro Max at $1,099.
iPhone 14 Pro review: Battery life and charging
The iPhone 13 Pro amazed me with its battery life, scoring 11 hours and 46 minutes on Tom’s Guide Battery Life test. So I had high hopes for the iPhone14 Pro. So far I haven’t been disappointed.
However, in our custom battery life test — where we set the phone’s screen to 150 cd/sec and task the device to endlessly reload web pages over a cellular connection — the iPhone 14 Pro turned out to be less than an excellent score. This is what we found.
In our testing, the iPhone14 Pro dropped two hours less than the iPhone 13 Pro under the same conditions. We don’t know the battery capacity yet, but there are rumors that Apple has increased the size of the iPhone 14 Pro. 10 hours is the average we’d like to see, so battery life here isn’t bad, but not on the level we saw last year – or on the same level as the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
As per the calculations, I have not had a problem with the battery life of the iPhone14 Pro. It works through hours upon hours of photography, plus long hours of idle and some light use before I have to recharge it. It took two days, which is no small feat. iOS 16 may tamper with our benchmark, so I might test it again when Apple releases some updates to address update battery life issues.
The main disappointment in this area is that Apple stuck with 20W wired charging for the iPhone14 Pro with 15W MagSafe and 7.5W Qi. Apple claims you can get 50% off the charge in 30 minutes, but we’ll test that out for ourselves.
So, while I don’t have firm numbers for you yet, I think the iPhone14 Pro will easily earn a spot on our list of best phone battery life. Be sure to check back in the next few days to see the results of the phone in our test.