iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Which is better for you?

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro montage with both phones side by side on a colored background.
(Image credit: iMore)

In September 2022, Apple released the iPhone 14 line. It consisted of the basic iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Each of the phones brought improvements compared to the previous range. Notably, some features like an Always-On Display, ProMotion cameras, and the choice of 1TB storage were reserved for the larger Pro models. The Dynamic Island was also exclusive to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models. The interactive area on screen replaced the notch, allowing some apps to showcase information.

The iPhone 14 colors -- including the lemony deliciousness of the new yellow model -- are quite different from the more professional (and less fun) iPhone 14 Pro colors of black, gold, silver, and purple.

While the Pro models may offer the most features, that doesn't mean they're the best for everybody. If you're on a tighter budget or don't expect to get much use out of the Pro's advanced features, you may be better off with the still-excellent iPhone 14.

If you're looking to treat yourself or renew a contract, here's our short guide to help you decide between some of the best iPhones so far.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Specifications

The differences between the two iPhone 14 models are small, but significant. Here's a quick overview of the contrasts.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 iPhone 14 Pro/Pro MaxiPhone 14/14 Plus
DesignCeramic Shield front, Surgical-grade stainless steelCeramic Shield front, Aerospace-grade aluminum
ColorsDeep Purple, Gold, Space Black, SilverBlue, Purple, Midnight, Starlight, (PRODUCT)RED
ProcessorA16 Bionic A15 Bionic
DisplayiPhone 14 Pro: 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display; iPhone 14 Pro Max: 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR DisplayiPhone 14: 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display; iPhone 14 Plus: 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR Display
Back cameraPro camera system: 48MP Main, Ultra Wide, TelephotoAdvanced dual-camera system 12MP Main Ultra Wide
Front cameraAdvanced dual-camera system 12MP Main Ultra WideAdvanced dual-camera system 12MP Main Ultra Wide
SOS emergencyYesYes
Crash alertYesYes
Dynamic IslandYesNo
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Battery (video-playback)iPhone 14 Pro: up to 23 hours; iPhone 14 Pro Max: up to 29 hoursiPhone 14: up to 20 hours; iPhone 14 Plus: up to 26 hours
Always-On displayYesNo
SizeiPhone 14 Pro: 5.81 by 2.81 by 0.31 inches; iPhone 14 Pro Max: 6.33 by 3.05 by 0.31 inchesiPhone 14: 5.78 by 2.82 by 0.31 inches; iPhone 14 Plus: 6.33 by 3.07 by 0.31 inches
WeightiPhone 14 Pro: 7.27 ounces; iPhone 14 Pro Max: 8.47 ouncesiPhone 14: 6.07 ounces; iPhone 14 Plus: 7.16 ounces
Starting priceiPhone 14 Pro: $999; iPhone 14 Pro Max: $1,099iPhone 14: $699; iPhone 14 Plus: $799

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are very similar in many ways. Their overall design looks the same at first, till you notice the Dynamic Island on the Pro model. There's a Ceramic Shield front, water resistance that goes as deep as six meters for up to 30 minutes, 128GB storage options, and MagSafe charging.

Both models also include the new SOS emergency and crash detection safety features. However, both the display and cameras do differ between the models.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Display

IPhone 14 Pro specs listed on a black background.

(Image credit: Apple)

The displays found on the four newest iPhones are the same type, albeit not at the same size. Each one has a Super Retina XDR display that uses OLED technology. However, some differences exist between them to explain the different denominations and price tags.

The iPhone 14 comes with a 6.1-inch (diagonal) all-screen OLED display with a 2532-by-1170-pixel resolution of 460 PPI (Pixel Per Inch). In comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro's 6.1-inch (diagonal) all-screen OLED display has  2556-by-1179-pixel resolution at 460 PPI.

The 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus goes further still with a 2778-by-1284-pixel resolution at 458 PPI while the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max offers a 2796-by-1290-pixel resolution at 460 PPI.

Whichever one you choose, you're gaining a great screen thanks to the core elements being excellent.

The iPhone 14 Pro series is the only one that has an Always-On display along with Dynamic Island support. There's also ProMotion which ensures the display can run at a faster or slower framerate, depending on how you're using it at the time. A low frame rate is used when the Always-On display is active but you're not using the phone, while a higher one is implemented during use. It's all in a bid to keep battery life high.

The Dynamic Island is unique to the iPhone 14 Pro, where it's at the top of the display, replacing the notch. It's where the front-facing camera is housed. It combines hardware and software to create a place where you can see alerts from your favorite apps such as Music, News+, and many more. 

Such alerts are real-time and interactive. For instance, if you wish to skip a track on Apple Music, you can do so via the island.

This is only available on the Pro series for now, with the regular iPhone 14 and 14 Plus still using the notch.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Cameras

iPhone 14 Pro camera

(Image credit: Apple)

One of the most significant differences over the years between the regular iPhone and the iPhone Pro models has been the cameras. That remains the case with the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro.

On the iPhone 14, you get a dual camera system with 12MP Main and Ultra Wide lenses. On the iPhone 14 Pro, Apple has included a next-generation "Pro" camera system with a 48MP Main, 12MP Ultra Wide, and 12MP Telephoto lens. It also has second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization.

In order to take photos in 48MP, you have to switch the image type to the RAW format, otherwise you'll be getting the same 12MP shots as before.

The front-facing cameras on both series are  more similar though. You'll find a 12MP TrueDepth camera with a Retina Flash and an all-new Photonic Engine across all the models, which means you can take better selfies in low-light environments.

For video, not much has changed compared to the iPhone 13 line. Regular iPhone 14 models don't have ProRes video recording, which is only available on Pro devices.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Which should you buy?

For most people, anything from the iPhone 14 line will be the best iPhone. An attractive choice, the iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus proves less expensive, comes in brighter colors, and has many of the same great features found on the Pro models.

However, if you want the latest and greatest in Apple's camera efforts, and you've long been hoping for the notch to disappear, you can't go wrong with the iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.