Every year Apple release new iPhones and every year people wonder if they’re worth the upgrade. The answer is always dependent on what model you currently have and what you use your phone for.
If you have an iPhone 13, the camera specs and A15 chip are the same as the 14 but if you chose to upgrade to 14 Pro, you will get a huge hardware upgrade in both the cameras and the chip.
However this review won’t get bogged down in all the technical specs. If you are interested in those, Apple have a great guide here where you can compare any model you like.
As a previous iPhone 13 Pro user, I’m going to focus on the two main features that drew me to consider upgrading.
1. Dynamic Island (only on iPhone 14 pro)
Dynamic Island is one of those features I was most excited about, and I have loved it on the iPhone 14 Pro, but not for the reasons I expected.
It’s still early days for Dynamic Island
I thought the Dynamic Island would have a lot of practical applications, clicking on it and quickly toggling things on/off from various apps in use. In practise, this experience hasn’t been realised.
For example, clicking the Dynamic Island while I’m playing an audiobook or podcast should (like in the above video with the music app), drop down key functions (like pause, play etc.). However it doesn’t, for both the native Podcast app and Audible app, it opens up the full app on screen as it would if I just clicked the app from my home screen.
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This tells me Dynamic Island is still in its infancy, so in a few months once developers have spent more time with it, we will see cooler use cases for this new functionality in the iPhone 14 Pro.
The brilliance of Dynamic Island
The truth is, aside from the future use cases that will be rolled out with Dynamic Island as more developers get their hands dirty, what makes me love this feature is the sheer genius of the UX/UI.
As investor Florian Graillot points out, Apple turned a hardware constraint (the notch) into a beautiful software experience. The Dynamic Island both hides the notch and opens up new ways to interact with the device. To put it frankly, it’s beautiful art.
The Dynamic Island brings a design dance to the device that I’ve not seen on any other piece of technology, I get so much pleasure seeing it in motion even while this new feature is still in its infancy.
Want a UX master class?
See how Apple turned an hardware constraint into a smart software feature with the 'dynamic island':
. smart: as it more or less hides the notch
. smart: as it opens new ways to interact with a smartphone pic.twitter.com/uPVqZOvCYg
— Florian Graillot (@FGraillot) September 8, 2022
2. Action Mode (only on iPhone 14 and 14 pro)
For me, the biggest drawcard to upgrade to the iPhone 14 or 14 Pro is Action Mode. My god, this technology is incredible.
Action Mode stabilises shaky camera work, making it seem like you have filmed on a Gimbal. See the difference below, it’s huge.
I was most blown away by Action Mode when I got my seven-year-old daughter to use it. Any parent would know that seven year olds have very little self awareness or skill when filming. They run around and often don’t look at the screen when filming without any thought (or ability) of keeping the phone steady.
So, what better moment to test it than getting my seven year old to run behind my son as he learns to ride a bike for the first time.
Got the new #iphone14pro to review; checkout Action Mode filmed by my 7 year old daughter, running frantically behind my son as he rides by himself for the first time!🥰
Incredible moment & this new Action Mode made my 7 year olds wobbly running look stable & smooth. So good! pic.twitter.com/oxrDCuznx5
— Luke Girgis (@LukeGirgis) October 4, 2022
What was achieved was an incredible result. The Action Mode is brilliant! You would never have guessed how frantically my seven year old was running and how wobbly the camera would have been if we had not activated Action Mode.
This was the moment I fell in love with the iPhone 14 Pro.
The verdict: Should you upgrade?
If you are a parent, creator or otherwise love to film frequently, Action Mode is almost a must have and so my recommendation is to upgrade if you can afford it. Action Mode on the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro is breathtaking.
For UX/UI nerds like me, you’ll love the Dynamic Island and if you are upgrading, it is enough reason to pick the 14 Pro over the 14.
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