Apple is finally giving the iPhone 14 Pro the upgrades we’ve been wanting for years

Apple iPhone 14 Pro display
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple just held its ‘Far Out’ September event, which introduced us to a whole slew of brand new products, including the Apple Watch Series 8, SE, and Ultra; as well as the AirPods Pro 2, iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, and the big showstopper: iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Though many people may be talking about the Apple Watch Ultra (did not see that name coming, to be fair), I am excited for the future of iPhone, especially in the Pro lineup.

What's the point of the iPhone 14?

Apple iPhone 14 colors

(Image credit: Apple)

After Apple finished going over the iPhone segment of the keynote, it revealed the current lineup of iPhone models that are currently on sale, including the brand new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro next week. At this time, Apple will still be selling: iPhone SE (2022), iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, and iPhone 12. Personally, I find it a little odd that the iPhone 12 is still hanging on when you can buy an iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 mini, but then let’s talk about the iPhone 14.

The standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus still use the A15 Bionic that is in the iPhone 13 lineup, as the A16 is exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro models. I know that for most people, the A15 should still be fine, but I personally find it a little pointless. If someone is trying to decide between an iPhone 13 and an iPhone 14, aside from the A15, the iPhone 14 only barely beats the 13 by having the Photonic Engine and Action mode for the camera, Emergency SOS via satellite, one more hour of battery life, and Crash Detection.

Yes, the iPhone 14-specific features are enticing, but since Apple kept the iPhone 13 up for sale, if someone just wanted a new iPhone after several years of not upgrading, and wanted to save some money, they could just pick up an iPhone 13 and be content. I honestly don’t see the iPhone 14 being that much of an improvement over the iPhone 13 — compared to the iPhone 14 Pro, the iPhone 14 is pretty much a letdown.

Finally, the iPhone 14 Pro has a great color on launch

iPhone 14 Pro colors

(Image credit: Apple)

When Apple launched the iPhone 12 Pro, I loved the Pacific Blue offering that it came in. The iPhone 13 Pro, however, was a little disappointing with the lighter Sierra Blue — it will never be as good as Pacific Blue, let’s face the facts. Then Apple released the Alpine Green midway through the iPhone 13 cycle, and honestly, I love that color and really wish it came out on launch because I would have bought it immediately. But all is forgiven because I am itching for that new Deep Purple color on the 14 Pro series.

One of my biggest qualms with Apple in the past years is that the “pro” devices never seemed to get fun colors. It seems that Apple is finally heeding the call and giving us some fun, more unorthodox colors for the iPhone 14 Pro. While it may not be the pink iPhone that I’m still dreaming of, purple is one of my top color choices (same with green, so I’m a little biased) and I am eager to get my hands on a purple iPhone 14 Pro. Plus, it’s a very nice purple — not overly bright and obnoxious, but not too pale. For me, it’s a perfect middle ground between fun and professional. Apple nailed it.

It’s about time we got an Always-On display and got rid of the stupid notch

Apple iPhone 14 Pro incoming call

(Image credit: Apple)

Android devices have had an always-on display for some time, and it was a feature that I’ve always wanted for the iPhone. I love having an always-on display because sometimes I just want to take a quick glance at my phone to check the time or see what notifications are waiting for me, but I don’t want to have to tap the screen or wake it up every time to do so. Plus, with so much emphasis on customizing the Lock Screen in iOS 16, having an Always-On display just seemed like the next logical step for Apple.

Even more exciting than the AOD is the Dynamic Island, which is replacing the notch on the iPhone 14 Pro (unfortunate that the iPhone 14 still has it). The Dynamic Island is a pill-shaped area near the top middle of the display that holds the TrueDepth camera, but it is also dynamic with software to give users a truly unique experience. In short, it blends hardware and software to provide a new way to see your notifications, alerts, and activities. It has an always-active state, but the size and shape of it can change depending on what comes in on your device thanks to a tap-and-hold process.

Honestly, I was never a big fan of the notch, and I thought it wasted a lot of space. So I’m eager to see the Dynamic Island in action, because instead of remaining static like the notch, it will actively change depending on your activity, which I think is super exciting. It’s a great use of the space — the notch never did anything useful, to say the least.

Finally, going big with the iPhone 14 Pro camera at 48 megapixels

iPhone 14 Pro camera low light

(Image credit: Apple)

One of the main reasons I upgrade my iPhone every year is because I use it as my primary camera. For almost a decade, Apple has kept the iPhone camera at a mere 12 megapixels, but that’s finally changing with the iPhone 14 Pro. With the iPhone 14 Pro, we are making the jump from 12 megapixels all the way up to 48 megapixels — that’s quite a big leap!

Not only will the iPhone 14 Pro have a 48-megapixel Main camera, but all three lenses have larger sensors (ƒ/1.78 aperture for Main, ƒ/2.2 for Ultra Wide, and ƒ/2.8 for Telephoto), improved sensor-shift optical image stabilization, 3x optical zoom in and 2x optical zoom out for 6x optical zoom range and digital zoom up to 15x, Photonic Engine, and more. Again, one of the reasons I always get the higher-end iPhones is because I use it as my primary camera, so I love seeing all of these huge camera upgrades. Even Apple’s ProRAW photo format is getting improvements, which I can’t wait to test out. And though I’m still trying to master the perfect selfie at Disneyland, the new autofocus on the TrueDepth camera is something I am also looking forward to.

Apple has been lagging behind Android competitors for some time now in terms of the iPhone camera, so I’m very happy and excited to see the iPhone 14 Pro make the necessary advancements to catch up to the rest of the competition. And as someone who just finds an iPhone too convenient to use for photographing everything, these upgrades are definitely welcome.

Excited to see what the future holds

While many may think the Apple Watch Ultra is the real star of the ‘Far Out’ event, I disagree. The iPhone is Apple’s most popular product for a reason, and though the standard iPhone 14 was a little lackluster, the iPhone 14 Pro is the winner for best iPhone for me. We’re finally getting some fun colors, an Always-On display, a very fun and unique Dynamic Island (that no one was expecting), and huge camera upgrades.

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro will be available to preorder starting Friday, Sept. 9 at 5 am PDT. The public launch will be Sept. 16.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.