Apple is bringing brighter displays, better cameras, improved motion sensors, and support for car crash detection and emergency satellite communication to all of its iPhone 14 series smartphones.

But the gap between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro is wider than ever. Not only do this year’s Pro models feature better cameras and displays, but they have a new design that replaces the front-facing camera notch with a new “dynamic island,” newer, faster processors.

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus

The new iPhone 14 features a 6.1 inch display, an Apple A15 Bionic processor with a 6-core CPU and 5-core graphics. That’s the same processor as last year’s iPhone 13 Pro (which was basically the same as the chip in the entry-level iPhone 13, except that it had one extra GPU core).

Other features include a 12MP primary camera with a larger image sensor for capturing more light (and improving low-light photography), plus a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a 12MP front-facing camera with support for auto-focus.

Thanks to new satellite hardware, you can send messages to emergency services when you’re out of range of the nearest cell tower, and also share your location with contacts. Satellite service launches in November and is free for the first two years, which means it’s likely Apple will charge for the service in the future.

Apple also added support for car crash detection (something Google’s offered for some Pixel phones for years, but which is new to the iPhone family).

The iPhone 14 goes up for pre-order September 9th and should be available starting September 16th. Prices start at $799.

Apple also has a larger iPhone 14 Plus with similar features but a larger 6.7 inch display and an $899 starting price. This model also goes up for pre-order September 9th, but it won’t be available until October 7th.

Both phones have 1200 OLED displays with support for up to 1200 nits brightness. And both will ship without a SIM card slot in the US, offering only an eSIM function.

The new Apple 14 Pro, meanwhile, replaces the notch Apple has been using since the iPhone X with a new “dynamic island.” Basically it’s a hole punch cut-out in the display for the new, smaller FaceTime camera system. But Apple built a new user notification system with animations that allow notifications to look as if they’re expanding from the hole.

The iPhone 14 Pro has a 6.1 inch display, but folks who want a larger screen can opt for the 6.7 inch iPhone 14 Pro Max.

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max

Both phones also have slimmer bezels and brighter displays than previous-gen iPhone Pro devices. The company says to expect 1600 nits brightness under normal conditions and up to 2000 nits peak brightness outdoors.

There’s also an Always On display feature for the first time on an iPhone (again, this is old school for Android devices). Apple says the screen refresh rate can be slowed to as low as 1 Hz and wallpapers can be dimmed to save battery life when the display is in this mode, while still making sure you never miss a notification.

But the biggest differences between the iPhone 14/14 Plus and the iPhone 14 Pro/14 Pro Max are the processors and cameras. The Pro series have a new Apple A16 Bionic chip which is an 8-core processor with 2 Performance and 6 Efficiency cores, 5-core graphics with 50% more memory bandwidth, plus a new Display Engine and improved Image Signal Processor. It’s also Apple’s first 4nm chip.

There are also three rear cameras on the Pro model phones, including a new 48MP primary camera with support for quad-pixel binning (so you get brighter 12MP shots) or shooting 48MP photos in ProRAW mode. There’s also a 12MP telephoto camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and Apple says all three cameras should perform better when taking low-light photos.

Like the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, the new Pro series phones support car crash detection and emergency satellite communication.

The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max go up for pre-order September 9th and should be available starting September 16th. Prices start at $999 and $1099, respectively. Apple will also continue to carry the iPhone SE for $429 and up, along with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, which both now start at $599.

Apple also introduced several other new products today, including three new smartwatches : the new $799 Apple Watch Ultra with a bright display, a rugged design, and GPS plus cellular capabilities, a 2nd-gen Apple Watch SE that starts at $249, and a new Apple Watch Series 8 for $399 and up.

New Apple AirPods Pro with longer battery life, improved active noise-cancellation and support for swipe gesture controls are also up for pre-order today for $249.

iPhone 14 and 14 Plus press release

iPhone 14 Pro & 14 Pro Max press release

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  1. Why are they limiting features (no SIM slot) for US users? Moving around my SIM card has been a great feature ever since I moved away from non-SIM using CDMA phones. We’re going backwards here.

    I wonder how well the non-US models work with US carriers and how easy they are to get. Otherwise, my next upgrade may be a Pixel or Samsung Galaxy.

    1. Sarcasm: What do you mean backwards? The future is corporate dominance and control over your personal devices. This is very much a forward thinking moving on Apple’s part! Unless you want to push through legislation banning mobile telephone carriers from selling phones to their customers, so that everyone has to bring their own device, in which case, what is wrong with you, you communist?

      Real sentiment: I can’t believe I didn’t think of banning mobile telephone carriers from selling phones to their customers earlier.

  2. I already voiced my opinion on the satellite service in my response to Grant, so here are some other doubts.

    You mention eSIM only phones for North America. Does this mean they’ll have a physically different phone in other parts of the world? Because generally they use the same SKUs worldwide, don’t they? It’s one of the way they maximize their profits. And what regions would not get eSIM?

    It’s nice to see them adopt “Android” features, and it’s REALLY nice to see that the non-pro models are relatively affordable and below the 1000 dollar mark. Hopefully Android manufacturers will follow suit all things considered

  3. The emergency Satellite messaging service is a neat addition. However, I doubt many people who actively need that service will be attracted to using it.

    If you find yourself off-grid often for recreation or work, you likely want something that isn’t a delicate computer sandwiched between two sheets of glass. And that’s saying nothing of its battery life. I’m not sure I want to rely on something that needs to be plugged into a charger every 20 hours.

    Garmin and several other companies make much more durable devices for this purpose, and they usually have a battery life measured in days.

    However, it is a neat feature for people who don’t actively need that kind of service.

    1. I think it’s a great addition because, if you think about it, it can be more useful than you make it out to be.

      I agree one hundred percent that people who regularly do the trails on the North American West Coast or go mountain climbing or anything like that are better off getting something more specialized. But this is something which they already have so in lesser cases, or the people who don’t do the extreme versions or as regularly can still benefit. Like someone who decides to do an easy 1 week trail on the west coast and then has a mishap.

      But even if someone isn’t going out into the wild it can still be of benefit. If you’re travelling cross-country it is quite easy to find yourself in a cellular dead zone (especially if the region is mountainous) so it could be useful if something happened and the nearest town/farm is too far, or you’re too hurt to go to it or you have no idea where it is because without data your maps are close to useless.

      It could also be useful in the city under certain circumstances. Blackouts can knock out cell towers (depending on the carriers infrastructure) so this can be good then, as it can also be in case of natural disasters. Cell service often goes down when there’s a big earthquake (the kind where some buildings actually collapse) so it can also be a life saver in those situations.

      Now, one doubt I have is if it’s 2 years free with the purchase of a cell phone or 2 years free from the moment the service launches. If it’s the first then it’s very useful for many people in the US and such since they upgrade often due to being on a plan. If it’s the second… I can see many people cancelling their subscription if it’s more than a dollar or two a month (and even then they might cancel it since it’s something they’ll likely never use, but will regret it if they end up needing it).
      Also, if it’s 2 years with a phone purchase, it could be another incentive for iphone users to upgrade regularly.

      1. I posted that comment under the assumption that this service is going to be free for 2 years globally, and that’s it. I very much doubt Apple is going to offer this service free for a 2 year period per-user.

        If they did offer a 2 year trial period after every new phone purchase, I could totally see this being an enormous value-add for iPhone users.

        However, I kinda doubt that will happen. These kinds of services cost about $15/mo, even for only SOS features (no text messaging). I don’t see Apple undercutting the entire industry (considering they’re most likely just paying Iridium to piggyback on their network). So my guess is that Apple is going to charge for this service.

        I don’t think any satellite communication companies are going to let Apple sell a white-label version of their services, and bully them into a race-to-the-bottom by subsidizing the cost of their service.

        Or maybe that’s exactly what a company like Iridium wants. Maybe they are hearing a death knell with the pending launch of Starlink’s marine-based service, and they know their days are numbered, and their low-bandwidth overpriced network is going to be worthless soon? I’m not sure, it will be interesting to see how Apple sells this, and how it compares to existing services.