To Pro or not to Pro? Will the iPhone 14 Pro be worth the extra cash this year?

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Exploded
(Image credit: Front Page Tech)

We're getting very close to the arrival of the iPhone 14 series. Most likely being officially revealed by Apple on Wednesday, September 7, the next great smartphone series should include the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max, and new this year, the iPhone 14 Max. 

Once again, the more expensive iPhone Pro models should be the ones that introduce the newest features to the lineup. Each new iPhone should make our list of the best iPhones of the year once they're released. 

If you're like me, perhaps you own an iPhone 13 Pro (or iPhone 13 Pro Max) and are wondering whether an upgrade is necessary this time. Current iPhone 12 Pro/Pro Max users might be asking the same question. Ultimately, I'll probably decide to upgrade since I cover Apple for a living. The choice might be a lot less clear for others, however. As we get closer to the iPhone 14 announcement, there are some things to consider before buying.

What's changing

Before moving further, understand any of the new features mentioned below are only rumored to be coming to the iPhone 14 Pro series. Before Apple announces the latest handsets, things could change. With that being said, I've been covering Apple for over 10 years across various publications. During this time, I have noticed iPhone rumors have nearly always solidified by August 15 of each year. This understanding means what we think we (and other publications) know about the iPhone 14 series is probably correct. 

Be sure to check out our ever-changing iPhone 14 rumors page for the latest information. We'll adjust our forecasts there first, as necessary. 

This year's iPhone 14 Pro lineup should include the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. These sizes are unchanged from the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro series. But the actual screen size could be slightly bigger on each. Technically, the screen size differences between this year and next could be: 

  • iPhone 13 Pro - 6.06"
  • iPhone 14 Pro - 6.12"
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max - 6.68"
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max - 6.69"

Leaked images of the new iPhone 14 camera cutout design

(Image credit: @SaranByte/Twitter)

It looks like Apple has also decided to remove the so-called notch from the new iPhones. Instead, they'll include a pill-shaped camera cutout, perhaps like the ones above.

The new Pro models should also include an A16 chip and Qualcomm X65 modem. In addition, both models will have at least 6GB of RAM (LPDDR5). The current models include 4GB of RAM. Beyond this, the iPhone 14 Pro should receive significant camera updates. According to reputable sources, we could see a 48MP wide lens for the first time. In addition, the front-facing camera (the one in the new pill-shaped camera cutout) could come with improved focus and better aperture. 

The iPhone 14 Pro should also launch with an always-on display mode like the ones found on Android devices and Apple Watch. For all of these changes, Apple's expected to increase the price of the iPhone 14 Pro by as much as $100. 

The unknown

On announcement day, Apple always reveals something about the new iPhones everyone tends to miss. This could be an unexpected color, camera feature, accessory, or more, such as MagSafe with the iPhone 12 series or the cinematic mode on the iPhone 13. Obviously, it's anyone's guess what the surprise will be this time around. Regardless, it probably won't be something big enough to sway would-be buyers one way or another. 

Should you buy an iPhone 14 Pro?

If upgrading from an iPhone 11 Pro or earlier, the iPhone 14 Pro will pack enough new features to make the upgrade worth it. If you're coming from an iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro, it might be better to hold out and wait for the iPhone 15 Pro in 2023. 

Consider this: The rumored iPhone 14 upgrades don't sound all that exciting unless you're primarily focused on getting a smartphone with a better camera system. Does the pill-shaped camera cutout look better than the heavily criticized notch? Is a 0.06-inch or 0.02-inch increase in display size worth the price of admission worth it? I think not. 

Why the iPhone 15 Pro might be better

One final point worth considering before deciding is the iPhone 15 Pro. Early rumors about next year's iPhone Pro suggest this will be the one that disrupts the industry just like the iPhone X or iPhone 4 did before it. The 2023 iPhone could include a new design, game-changing periscope camera, a new form of Touch ID under the display, a different port besides Lightning, and more. Now, that sounds like a BIG update worth waiting for!

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.