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8 things to know about the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max before you buy one

By Kenny Yeo - 17 Sep 2022

8 things to know about the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max before you buy one

Note: This feature was first published on 14 September 2022.

Say hi to the new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.

I haven’t had much time with the new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max but seeing that the phone is already available to pre-order and that it goes on sale this Friday. I thought I share some quick thoughts about it. And if you want to know more, stay tuned for the full review.


1. It looks and feels just like the iPhone 13 Pro

If not for their colours, I doubt you can tell which is which.

This shouldn’t be surprising. Both have the same design, are made of the same materials (glass and stainless steel), and have the same number of cameras. If you pore over the spec sheets, you’ll find that the iPhone 14 Pro is slightly taller, thicker, and heavier, but you don’t really notice that in your hands. Though some might be disappointed that Apple didn’t do anything to make it look different and special, it, crucially, still feels and looks like a piece of quality gadgetry.

Oh, and if you are thinking of getting Deep Purple, you should know that it's less bright that what the videos and press photos depict. Most times, it looks to me like grey but with a very slight purplish tinge (just look at the photo above).

2. You need new phone cases

Though the buttons are in the same position, Apple moved them very slightly.

Despite being very similar in appearance, you will need new phone cases for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max because the slight size differences are reason enough for old cases not to fit the new phones. Furthermore, Apple has oh-so-slightly moved the positions of the buttons. You won’t notice just by looking, but they are quite obvious if you place an iPhone 14 Pro next to an iPhone 13 Pro and examine them closely.


3. It’s fast

Only this year's "Pro" iPhones are getting the new A16 Bionic chip.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are the only phones to get a new chip, the A16 Bionic. It’s built using a 4nm process; has around 16 billion transistors; and although Apple didn’t say how much faster it was compared to the A15 Bionic, it did say it was 40% faster than the competition. I ran some quick tests and, yes, the A16 Bionic chip is a beast. It's noticeably faster than last year's A15 Bionic and leaps and bounds ahead of Qualcomm's newest flagship chip, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.

iPhone 14 Pro comparison
Model iPhone 14 Pro Max iPhone 14 Pro iPhone 14 Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 5G
1877 1875 1736 1317
5438 5466 4712 3850
3DMark Wild Life Unlimited 12,381 12,434 11,647 10797


4. The always-on display is nice to have

The always-on display in action. Note how important details like the date, time, and song title are slightly brighter.

Only Apple will know why it took so long to implement this technology in their iPhones because many Android phones have had it for years. At any rate, it’s much welcomed because you can now glance at the phone to quickly look up certain information (weather, calendar, messages, and more) without having to power up the phone. That said, I do wonder if it isn’t possible to bring this tech to the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus. It can’t be that complicated, can it?


5. The 48MP main camera takes nice photos

There’s no doubt that the new 48-megapixel main wide camera is one of the biggest updates to the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro Max. The new sensor is 65% larger which means it’ll capture more light – though at the cost of smaller pixels. However, it’s using pixel-binning techniques to get around this problem so the resultant image is still 12 megapixels. Pro users, however, can opt to shoot photos in full 48-megapixel resolution using ProRAW.

In my limited time with the camera thus far, it seems to take really nice photos. That said, I need to test it further to ascertain just how much better the new 48-megapixel camera is. Because in well-lit situations (like the photo below), I don't really see a big jump in photo quality.

Take a look at the sample photo.

Click to see the image in its full resolution.

Click to see the image in its full resolution.


6. The ultra wide camera is also much improved

The ultra wide camera didn’t get much attention which is a pity because this year’s unit is much improved. According to Apple it has a new sensor that’s nearly twice the size and has 100% Focus Pixels. This means it can focus better in low-light scenarios and can capture more light. And together with the new Photonic Engine, Apple claims it can deliver up to three times better low-light photos, which should be very handy when taking macro photos. It seems to me that the jump in quality in the ultra wide camera is more noticeable than that of the main wide camera. 

Take a look at the sample photo below and see how much detail is captured. You can clearly make out the sunburst finish on the dial and the wear on the hands and logo.

Click to see the image in its full resolution.


7. Dynamic Island is clever

Despite the somewhat cheesy name, Dynamic Island is a fun way of obscuring and working around the front-facing camera cutout.

While rumours before the event already told us to expect stuff like the always-on display and improved cameras, it’s fair to say that no one saw Dynamic Island coming. And as it turns out, it’s a very clever way of hiding the pill-shaped notch that houses the front-facing camera. Because it’s fluid and responds to your inputs, it shape-shifts and moves about and draws your attention away from the front-facing cameras – especially if you use your iPhone in Dark Mode. It’s very clever and makes you wonder why no one else thought of it before Apple.


8. The "Pro" iPhones are the ones to have if budget allows

If you are upgrading this year and money is no object, then the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are the ones to get.

Prices of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max start at S$1,649 and S$1,799 respectively and go up to S$2,479 and S$2,629 respectively should you opt for models with 1TB of storage. If these numbers don’t cause you to flinch, then the "Pro" iPhones are, without doubt, the phones you should buy.

Compared to the iPhone 14, which mainly rehashes components from the iPhone 13 Pro, the iPhone 14 Pro, despite looking like last year’s models, has significant and meaningful upgrades. If you demand the absolute best iPhone, then it’s a no-brainer.

Here’s a snapshot of the 2022 iPhones, their prices, storage options, and retail availability details.

Apple iPhone 14 and 14 Pro series in Singapore
  Apple iPhone 14 Apple iPhone 14 Plus Apple iPhone 14 Pro Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
128GB S$1,299 S$1,499 S$1,649 S$1,799
256GB S$1,469 S$1,699 S$1,819 S$1,969
512GB S$1,799 S$1,999 S$2,149 S$2,299
1TB NIL NIL S$2,479 S$2,629
Colours Blue, Purple, Midnight, Starlight, PRODUCT(RED) Deep Purple, Gold, Silver, Space Black 

You can pre-order the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max from the Apple Online Store, Amazon, the Apple Flagship Store on Lazada, or the Apple Official Store on Shopee.


Be sure to check back for my full review of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. In the meantime, for more iPhone 14 coverage, check out the following articles:

  1. Hands-on with the new iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max
  2. What's new with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max
  3. Apple iPhone 14 and 14 Pro series buying guide 
  4. Hands-on with the new iPhone 14 and 14 Plus
  5. Should you get the iPhone 13 instead?
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