iPhone 14 Pro models get major camera upgrades and always-on displays | Cult of Mac

iPhone 14 Pro models get major camera upgrades and always-on displays

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The new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max come in four colors -- two of them new (space black and dark purple).
The new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max come in four colors -- two of them new (space black and dark purple).
Photo: Apple

Apple revealed its new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max handsets Wednesday with numerous updates, including massive camera upgrades, always-on displays, an improved A16 chip and the notorious “notch” replaced with a pill-shaped cutout with new “Dynamic Island” interactive functionality.

“iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are the best iPhones we’ve ever created, with a new way to experience iPhone as well as the industry-leading A16 bionic chip, always-on display and powerful new camera technologies,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook during the company’s Far Out event.

New iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max get major camera upgrades, always-on displays A16 processor and more

Rollout of the new iPhones 14 series headlined the event, expected to be the first of two big product releases this fall. Ahead of the event, prognosticators predicted significant changes in the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, and those rumors largely turned out to be accurate. And Apple’s upgrades to the Pro models set them further apart from the non-Pro models than past series ever did.

Both models, for example, include the “notch” camera cutout being replaced with a less-intrusive “pill and hole” setup that ended up being visually combined in an elongated pill. The non-Pro models keep the notch, among other features.

But the end of the notch is just the beginning of the story for the Pro models.

Dynamic Island functionality

Apple added what it calls Dynamic Island functionality to the pill-shaped cutout at the top of the Pro models’ screens. Always active, it shows information from native and third-party apps, in addition to alerts, so you can keep track of things at a glance, no matter what app you’re in.

“So you can keep track of what’s happening from anywhere on iPhone, like following a baseball game without needing to leave the app you’re in or not missing the lift ride while texting friends,” Apple said.

Massive camera upgrades

The rumored 48-megapixel wide-angle camera with enhanced low-light capabilities panned out for the Pro models, alongside 12-megapixel ultrawide and telephoto sensors.

Apple demonstrated the cameras’ impressive low-light performance during the event (see image below).

And it pointed out the iPhone Pro models can shoot 4K HDR footage at 24 fps — the film industry standard.

This image gives you a visual sense of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max upgrades.
This image gives you a visual sense of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max features and upgrades.
Photo: Apple

Always-on, brighter displays

The handsets also got an always-on display that shows the redesigned Lock Screen in iOS 16 whenever the device isn’t in use (though it turns off in your pocket).

The screens are also brighter than before. The new display provides peak HDR brightness of 1600 nits bringing iPhone to the same level as the pro display XDR, Apple said. And peak brightness is now 2000 nits, “twice as bright as before and the highest peak brightness of any smartphone,” the company said.

A16 processor

The two Pro models also get the new Apple A16 processor while the non-Pro models stick with the A15 from 2021. The A16 is a relatively modest update, with increased speed, CPU and GPU enhancements, and other improvements.

The chip packs in 16 billion transistors, however — the most ever in an iPhone.

“This is our first chip built on a state of the art four nanometer process, enabling greater efficiency while delivering even more performance,” Apple said. “In fact, a 16 bionic is the fastest chip ever.”

Some of the biggest upgrades in the Pro models involved the cameras.
Some of the biggest upgrades in the Pro models involved the cameras and their performance in low light.
Photo: Apple

Crash detection and satellite SOS

All four iPhone models feature a safety feature similar to that in the new Apple Watch 8 — car crash detection that senses G forces up to 256G. That will send an emergency SOS in the event you don’t respond to your iPhone’s prompts after the crash.

There’s also emergency SOS via satellite, which makes cellular connections unnecessary for emergency communications. The system shows you where to point the phone to establish a quick connection with a communications satellite.

eSim

Apple’s new eSim tech on all iPhone 14 models eliminate the need for a physical SIM card and tray.

Apple also highlighted sustainability efforts.
Apple also highlighted sustainability efforts.
Photo: Apple

Color selection and pricing

Buyers of either Pro model can choose from four colors. Two are new — space black and purple. The others are silver and gold.

The iPhone 14 Pro will start at $999 and the iPhone 14 Pro Max will start at $1,099, with storage options up to 1TB. You can order them starting on September 9 with availability starting September 16.

The September 7 event’s “Far Out” theme, by the way, turned out to be a reference to satellite communications in the new iOS handsets.

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