iPhone 14 reviews say go Pro unless you’re replacing an old phone and looking to save

Ordinary iPhone users won’t be able to get their hands on Apple Inc.’s newest phones until Friday, but early reviewers offered recommendations on Wednesday.

In short, reviews generally state that users should opt for Apple’s AAPL,
Pro models over regular iPhone 14 models if they’re looking to get new phones. The iPhone 14 probably isn’t worth an upgrade for most people, they concluded, except to replace very old devices.

“You should just buy this year’s $999+ iPhone Pros,” Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal wrote in her review.

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“So far, barring some controversial changes and emergency apps, iPhone 14 is the very definition of an incremental upgrade,” Engadget’s Cherlynn Low wrote in a review, though she mentioned that “if you’re coming from an iPhone 11 or older, you’ll still be happy.

Stern acknowledged that inflationary pressures make iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max sticker prices look like splurges, but wrote that the company’s “high-end phones do more to justify their $200” price increase over base models, especially this year.

While Stern didn’t see any big changes to the iPhone 14’s screen from its predecessor, she did notice a significant upgrade to the screens of the new Pro models.

Apple’s Pro devices have an always-on display and remove the notch that sits at the top of older displays. The company has replaced the notch with a new “dynamic island”, which will change shape depending on the types of actions taken by the user.

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Stern called the Dynamic Island “the best iPhone multitasking addition in recent memory” because it helps users adjust music while using other apps or manage recordings while taking notes.

The Verge was a little less expansive. “It’s a cool concept, but like all early versions of anything, Apple made some choices that really work and some that… well, this is the first version,” wrote the review Nilay Patel.

Some “island” effects are nice, like being able to see things like call information and timers onscreen. But others are more debatable in his eyes.

“So at this second, the trade-off between how perceptible the island is and how useful it’s a bit unbalanced – it doesn’t do enough to still be awkward,” he wrote.

Read: Apple’s iOS 16 software update brings deletion of messages and custom screens, without having to buy an iPhone 14

Critics also weighed in on the iPhone 14 Pro’s improved camera.

“The cameras here are exceptional, making it easy to work in low-light situations and triumphing in brighter conditions,” wrote Forbes senior contributor David Phelan. “I found the cameras to be well managed, producing terrific images.”

Engadget’s Low saw only “minor” camera improvements when comparing it to the iPhone 13 Pro.

“In fact, most photos I’ve taken with the iPhone 14 Pro and 13 Pro are basically indistinguishable,” she wrote. “Sometimes the images from the new phone were brighter, sometimes they weren’t.”

Granted, most users won’t be leaving last year’s iPhone 13 Pro, but rather older phones, which means the differences will be more pronounced.

“Despite Apple and mobile carriers’ dream that you buy a phone more often than you wash your jeans, chances are you’re upgrading a phone that’s already two or three years old,” he said. joked Stern of the Journal.

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While reviewers were impressed with some of the new Pro features, they were less blown away by what they saw on the base iPhone 14. (Its larger counterpart, the iPhone 14 Plus, comes out in late October, so reviewers have been content to discuss the 14 in their writing.)

“With its latest phones, Apple chose to ditch the physical SIM card slot, but continued to avoid embracing USB-C, and on non-Pro models there’s still the notch “, wrote Low. “At the same time, the iPhone 14 looks almost identical to its predecessor – at least on the outside.”

Allison Johnson of The Verge dubbed the iPhone 14 “the iPhone 13S,” in a nod to how Apple used the “S” distinction for more incremental upgrades before moving on to the next model number. Johnson noted that aside from some camera upgrades and emergency features, the iPhone 14 is “really almost identical to the iPhone 13.”

On that note, the Journal’s Stern pointed out that when Apple launched its newer phones, it also reduced the price of older ones like the iPhone 13.

“Given the $799 iPhone 14 isn’t significantly better than the $699 iPhone 13, I can understand why some might just want to save $100,” she wrote, though she also asked “can you put a price on life?” It was a nod to the new car crash detection and emergency SOS features on the iPhone 14, which she certainly could not test.

Apple shares were trading slightly higher on Wednesday afternoon. The stock has fallen 13.2% so far this year, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
— which counts Apple as a component — fell 14.4% and the S&P 500 SPX index,
fell 17.5%.

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