That time of writing this review, the iPhone 14 Pro has been on sale for around about 7 months, whilst it might be quite late, it gave the company a chance to fix any potential issues with software in updates over the last couple of months and have a real chance to test it out instead of rushing to be one of the first.
Just a disclaimer which I will talk about later on. In the review, I decided to install the iOS 17 beta on this device to see what Apple is looking to bring with its latest version of software later on in the year.
The good news is I didn’t really find any issues whatsoever and as such, even though I was running developer software, this had no input whatsoever in my day-to-day use or my overall opinions on the phone.
My loan device was provided by Vodafone UK along with a SIM card to use to experience their network, and some great news is where I am based, we have just had 5G rolled out using their new OpenRAN technology so was able to test not only what the handset was like but also the network.
Of course network experience will depend area to area, it is also worth pointing out that no one else has had any input or any influence on any of this review.
All opinions are solely based on my experience with the device and no one has seen any of the content before it’s gone live. Everyone gets to see at the same time as it is purely my opinion and my thoughts on my time with the phone without any influence.
iPhones very rarely change their design language over the years, they seem to be ‘if it’s not broke don’t fix it’.
However, there is one big change this year the way you interact with the phone, but I will talk about that in a few minutes.
Looking at the front of the phone, it’s all screen as you would expect with a 6.1 inch display with a 120hz refresh rate that makes it one of the best displays on the market and as a joy for watching videos or playing games as well as browsing your content of course.
The biggest change this year comes in what apple called the dynamic island, which is the replacement for the original notch that was well known through the industry for many years.
The dynamic island is technically a pill-shaped hole up top which houses the front facing camera as well as the sensors for face ID, however, it also can be interactive and display content as you will see in some of my screenshots.
The dynamic island allows you to do things such as tap on it to see what track is playing, to see your countdown timer, to track your Uber, as well as a lot of other options.
It does take a bit of getting used to, but once you embrace the dynamic island you actually find you use it more than you think you would and I much prefer this over the notch cut out which did nothing whatsoever so it is an improvement, but does take a little getting used to.
The actual display itself is fantastic. It offers bright colors, great contrast thanks to what Apple call their Super Retina XDR OLED display, for the techies out there it offers HDR10, Dolby Vision and has a typical brightness of 1000 nits which can go all the way up to 2000 nits if needed.
This means you can use the phone outdoors with no problem whatsoever, It really is a fantastic display.
Looking at the left hand side of the phone, you have your switch up the top which lets you quickly switch between silence and normal mode, this has been on iPhone for years and it’s something many of it’s users still love.
Below that you have the volume up and down keys and below that you have the SIM tray which lets you remove the single nano SIM, however, you do also have the option for eSIM if you want one built-in and to have a physical sim at the same time.
Over on the right hand side so it’s just a single button. This is what you use to open Siri as well as holding on to this with the volume up button to enable you to switch on emergency mode or to turn the phone off completely.
At the top there is nothing to see apart from a single antenna band. There are a few of these dotted around the phone which help improve reception in tricky places, but you’ve seen these on many iPhones in the past so it’s hardly anything new.
Down at the bottom you have the speaker phone slightly trange that the drilled out holes are not the same amount each side considering attention to detail the company is known for.
You have three one side and five the other side but that’s just me being picky.
In the middle you still have the Lightning Port which Apple have stuck with. however, this could be done away with with any future iPhones, but this does at least mean on the iPhone 14 Pro if you have any old Apple lightning cables, they will work perfectly fine on this phone as well as any Lightning accessories such as earpods adapters.
Over on the back you’ve got a nice smooth matte finish, as you can see by the pictures, I have the purple model which is called Deep Purple.
It looks great in the light and is one of my favorite colors Apple have made on an iPhone, but of course color will be very subjective and you can go for a multiple choice of different colors.
A big part of the phone is taken up by the camera module in the top left to house the new camera tech, there’s a big square which has the LED flash, the microphone and three camera sensors.
The main one of these sensors have been increased to 48 megapixel and the other two give you 12 megapixels, but this will be talked about more in the camera section of the review.
The only other thing on the back is the traditional shiny apple logo which does stand out and just adds to that distinctive look of an iPhone.
The software installed on the iPhone 14 Pro out of the box at time of writing this review is iOS 16, however, during this review I was using the beta version of iOS 17, which is what every iPhone from the iPhone XR I believe upwards will be getting later on this year.
It adds a few extra tweaks and upgrades which was great to see and I did really enjoy using this, however, the main way the system works is the same as it has been over the years.
Apple fans will love the upgrade to iOS 17 and using it on the iPhone 14 Pro will just be a simple switch over as a lot of the features still work the same.
You still have the same apps. They’ve just added a few improvements.
Apple finally let you customize the lock screen with widgets as well as customizing the background to allow depth. This means if you have any portrait photos on your phone you can now put this as your wallpaper and have the clock appear behind. It almost like a 3D effect, which is nice to have as long as it doesn’t cut off too much of the clock, but it does at least have some interactivity and some customization of the iPhone which users have been wanting for years.
As I mentioned, iOS 16 is the current version available to everybody but iOS 17 was the version of software that I used on my review model. However, this has had no inputs or reflection on my actual review. I didn’t find any bugs or any issues that would cause it to affect my overall score or my overall view of this device
Performance is one of the key areas you’ll never have to worry about, especially with one of the top of the range iPhones this year.
Apple have decided to be slightly different in the way they approach things this is because the iPhone 14 Standard and the 14 Plus run the last year’s A15 Bionic processor, whereas the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have been upgraded to the new A16 processor.
Whether you’ll see a dramatic improvement between the models on the mobile device is yet to be seen because the phones are so overpowered these days, they’re not going to replace a computer and for a mobile device both can easily handle heavy tasks.
When it comes to the battery you get a 3200mAh non-removable cell which on paper might seem quite low in numbers considering some of the competition have even up to 5000mAh capacity batteries, but Apple do a great job with optimizing, especially as they make all the hardware and software themselves so they can get the best out of every bit possible.
I was easily able to get through a full day even with quite heavy use and the screen doing some 120hz gaming and watching plenty of videos back on various streaming services.
Storage wise you get an option of 128 256 or 512 GB which is non-expandable.
Of course you do also have the option of iCloud storage to expand the memory if needed, but as is most common these days no actual expandable storage but Apple have never had that so this is is not anything new.
All the models come with 6GB of RAM which is plenty enough when it comes to heavy multitasking and playing graphic heavy games, again due to Apple’s optimization of their software and hardware.
On the networking side, you get all the usual things you would expect from a flagship smartphone such as Bluetooth 5.3 NFC for contactless payments Wi-Fi including Wi-Fi. 6. For faster performance, you also get 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G which I was able to experience in my time with this phone. 5G speeds were great, often getting me in certain locations around 400 megabits per second, which considering this as a wireless connection was fantastic and allowed me to do a lot of my work on the move and not be tied down to a wired connection in an office or where there was Wi-Fi.
Cameras on an iPhone have been something they standing out for for many years and this year is no different especially with their Pro and Pro Max models.
The main camera has dual pixels technology, this means you get 12 megapixel photos but with much more detail than before.
You can however get the full 48 megapixel if you switch on the RAW option in the settings.
This obviously takes up much more storage. So if you are into your RAWphotography, maybe look at getting the higher option for storage or at least opt for iCloud storage.
The other cameras are both 12 megapixels, one of them is a ultra wide, again with dual pixels and the other option is a telephoto which allows three times optical zoom.
Whilst this is a lot less zoomthan you get on something from the competition such as the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, for most people 3x zoom will be plenty enough and let you get that little bit closer to your subject where you can’t move yourself.
The cameras as you expect off a fantastic quality in all lighting conditions, as you’ll see by some of my sample photos, some of them are in daylight and some of them were in very cloudy conditions. But the phone does a lot of the work itself in a split second and gives you overall fantastic photos 99% of the time.
The front facing camera is also very good offering 12 megapixels and 4K video recording housed in the dynamic island.
As mentioned before, the quality is fantastic as it has been for many years and it’s great for anyone who likes to video blog on the move or do lots of video calls. You’re not be let down by the quality of any of the cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro.
Main video on the back camera is up to 4K resolution at 60 frames a second and as mentioned before, you’re not be let down by the quality of this camera. It is absolutely fantastic for video recording easily one of the best on the market
It’s been a little while since the iPhone 14 series was launched, so I’ve been able to look at public opinion and gain their thoughts as well as give my own after having some of my hands on time with it.
And actually it seems that the 14 Pro would be the most popular model even beating the iPhone 14 Pro Max with its larger screen.
This is because more people are looking for more portable phones these days and with the14 Pro there is very little compromise over the Max, screen size and battery size being the only two.
I really enjoyed my time with the iPhone 14 Pro.
I do normally like larger phones, especially for consuming media such as watching back Netflix or other video content, however, having a slightly smaller phone in my pocket did have his advantages and I found myself enjoying it more than I thought I would.
It will really come down to if you prefer a bigger phone or not.
If you do then the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the clear winner for you with its larger display, however, if you want all the same features such as all the camera tech in a smaller phone then the iPhone 14 Pro is definitely the one for you.
It offers a fantastic option of technology and size for most people and comes in at a bit cheaper than the Max model.
Another question to ask yourself is do you actually need a Pro phone?
Many people out there will do perfectly fine with just the iPhone 14 or 14 Plus, however, that does have the older processor remember and only two of the cameras plus different build quality, but also comes in at quite a bit less to pay.
Overall though I would say that in this size the iPhone 14 Pro is the best phone they’ve ever made.
It offers fantastic set of cameras, both front-facing and rear facing, plenty of storage options, a great screen at 120hz refresh rate which is great for gaming and a smooth user interface which Apple uses will have grown to love over the years and it just gets better and better over time.
A big thanks once again for Vodafone for supplying the iPhone 14 Pro for me to do this review. You can order one right now online using this link over the phone or in one of their retail stores.
iPhone 14 Pro
The latest smartphones from Apple will be available with Vodafone EVO, the flexible mobile offering that now offers customers an unbeatable price for their current phone when they trade-in. Vodafone EVO customers can decide how much they want to pay upfront for their new device, as well as choose the length of their iPhone 14 contract – anything from 3 to 36 months interest free. Vodafone EVO customers can also take advantage of flexible upgrades, allowing them to get a new phone from 3 months into their plan, as well as choosing to trade-in their old smartphone to make their next handset more affordable. For more information on Vodafone EVO – please click here.