review: iPhone 14 Pro
Dynamic Island is a pretty big deal, camera is highly capable
Apple’s new line of iPhones includes a number of models: here I am specifically talking about the iPhone 14 Pro—a 6.1-inch (“typical modern phone size”) smartphone with all the features that iPhone users have gotten used to. And for some people, it didn’t seem to have much more than that. Well I can tell you that is not true.
The “notch” at the top of the screen (seen on the phones since the iPhone X) is now gone and has been partly replaced by the “dynamic island.” While at first it might seem like the dark area that houses the front-facing camera has just been moved down a little, it soon becomes clear that the dynamic island is a useful status bar that lets you know what the phone is doing while you use it. For example, if you are playing a podcast while browsing other apps, the dynamic island displays the logo for the show you are playing on the left and a little wave pattern graphic to indicate sound on the right. It doesn’t get in the way of what you are doing but it makes it easier to see what else the phone is up to.
No longer needing to be pushed into the status bar, live indicators like the green light for when the camera is on also have been moved into the dynamic island. While the status bar still shows always-running indicators like Internet connection and battery power, info about specific tasks that can be turned on and off generally now show up in the dynamic island.
This makes it easier to track down what the phone is doing quickly—instead of a pull-down menu or a side button press to bring up the lock screen, a quick tap on the dynamic island gets the user to that app that is playing audio—or whatever the phone is up to at the moment.
The camera is very impressive. I have a bunch of old digital cameras that I really like and I won’t stop using them but this new iPhone is easily the most technically advanced video device I own now and I would say that the photo quality is ready to give a dSLR from several years ago serious competition. The cameras have been very good for a while on iPhones but this year’s hardware and software upgrades probably make this series the best so far.
Maybe a few other features (“always-on display” and things like that) are fairly incremental updates, but this is an excellent phone and whether it is essential probably depends on the utility the user would get from the dynamic island and camera upgrades.
Disclosure: Through personal holdings that I control and through investment LLCs in which I am a partner, I buy, hold, and sell stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, not limited to but including some of those discussed in this newsletter.