Apple announced the iPhone 14 along with the new Plus, Pro and Pro Max models on September 7, 2022. With new satellite connectivity features on each model and a redesign of the notch on the iPhone 14 Pro, there are some big changes this time around. .
No more SIM card slot (in US)
Apple has made headlines in the past when it decided to ditch features like optical drives, headphone jacks, and USB-A ports. The company is at it again with US versions of the iPhone 14, which lack a physical SIM card slot. You’ll need to rely on an eSIM to connect your iPhone 14 or 14 Pro to a cellular network.
eSIM stands for “embedded SIM” and allows you to choose and change carriers without removing the physical SIM card. This feature is not new and has appeared in many Apple smartphone models in the past, starting with the iPhone XS. This is the first time customers in the US are required to use it.
Instead of turning off the physical SIM card, carriers can be switched on the fly using a preference in iOS Settings. The iPhone 14 can store up to six, while the iPhone 14 Pro can store up to 8. International models of the iPhone 14 series will still support a physical SIM card slot (for now)
This step shouldn’t cause too much of a problem if you’re with a major carrier, but anyone using a carrier on a smaller budget should check to see if their carrier supports eSIM before purchasing. The decision to remove the SIM card slot means one less point to worry about when it comes to water and dust protection and should accelerate eSIM adoption among mobile operators worldwide.
New satellite connection
Both new iPhone models in 2022 have a new feature called Emergency SOS via Satellite. As the name suggests, this allows the iPhone to connect to a satellite network in an emergency in areas where cellular coverage is lacking. The service will be available in the US and Canada from November.
Satellite communications use text messages to connect to SOS services, even those that only accept voice calls thanks to Apple’s “relay centers” that relay text messages. Apple also supports non-emergency use, such as letting friends and family know you’re okay when you’re out of range of cellular networks.
Apple has promised two years of “free” coverage for the service, without saying how much the feature will cost when it expires. Apple may charge an additional fee or move the service to its paid iCloud+ tier, which already offers features like Hide My Email and iCloud Private Relay, when you buy additional iCloud storage.
No iPhone mini for 2022
The iPhone 14 now comes standard with a 6.1″ display, and for those who prefer a larger screen, an optional 6.7″ iPhone 14 Plus model is available. Unfortunately, it seems that Apple is no longer catering to those who like smaller devices, as the 5.4″ iPhone 13 mini will not be updated in 2022.
As a consolation, you can still buy last year’s iPhone 13 mini on Apple’s website, although at just $200 cheaper than the $799 iPhone 14, it could be a tough sell given its poorer battery life (it’s said to be three hours less than the iPhone 14 ).
It’s unclear whether Apple will make a new iPhone mini next year or not, so it’s too early to say that the smaller iPhone models have been dropped entirely. Apple may instead opt for an alternating Plus and mini cycle, which could work well since most people don’t upgrade their iPhone every year anyway.
Crash detection on all models
Thanks to an improved “high dynamic range” gyroscope and a new “high-g” accelerometer, Apple is introducing a feature called Crash Detection on all iPhone 14 (and Pro) models. It works like Fall Detection on the Apple Watch, where the iPhone can detect when you’ve been involved in a traffic accident and offer to call 911 for you.
If you don’t answer the request, the iPhone will still call for help and Siri will provide information about your location.
This feature relies on data collected by on-board sensors, including sudden changes in speed, sudden changes in direction, loud sound levels and changes in cabin pressure due to airbag deployment.
Better notch (iPhone 14 Pro)
Apple has revamped the divisive notch on the iPhone 14 Pro, complete with a silly new name. Now known as Dynamic Island, the redesign looks more like the pill-shaped cutouts on competing Android devices. It includes a front-facing FaceTime camera, an ambient light sensor, and the sensors needed to unlock the phone with FaceID.
But Apple went one step further and managed to cleverly integrate dead space into iOS to make the area useful again. The array of sensors now intertwines with notifications, alerts, Now Playing controls, turn-by-turn instructions, and more. Touching and holding Dynamic Island reveals things like playback controls and other information, complete with neat animation.
To make this work, Apple was able to shrink the TrueDepth camera system used for Face ID by 31%, with the proximity sensor now behind the display to further save space. Expect this feature to find its way into base iPhone models in future revisions.
Brighter, always-on display (iPhone 14 Pro)
The iPhone 14 Pro comes with the new lock screen widgets that are prominent in iOS 16 and has an always-on display. The feature was first spotted in the iOS 16 beta, which sparked rumors that Apple may introduce it to the iPhone 13 Pro. This may still be technically possible, but so far Apple has only mentioned the feature as an iPhone 14 Pro exclusive.
The display uses a proximity sensor to detect when the iPhone is face down or in a pocket, turning off the display to save battery. Apple hasn’t said whether or not this feature can be completely turned off, but if it’s anything like the Apple Watch’s always-on display implementation, there will be a toggle in Settings.
In addition, the display can now reach a brightness of 2,000 nits in bright daylight (double the brightness of the iPhone 13 Pro) or 1,600 nits in HDR photos and videos (up from 1,200 nits in last year’s model).
Improved camera and flash (iPhone 14 Pro)
While it’s not as immediately apparent as features like Dynamic Island and the always-on display, perhaps the biggest improvement to the iPhone 14 Pro (thanks to the A16 Bionic system on a chip that powers the device) is the camera system. The iPhone’s main camera now uses a massive 48-megapixel sensor, up from the 12-megapixel sensor that appeared on the iPhone 13 Pro.
The four-fold increase in resolution is made possible by a 65% larger sensor that lets in more light with every shot for even better low-light performance. There’s also a new 2x telephoto option with an effective focal length of 48mm, which complements the existing 3x telephoto and 0.5x ultra-wide. Two-fold zoom is possible with the “middle 12-megapixel” 48-megapixel sensor for 4K photos without digital zoom.
Based on the movie mode introduced with the iPhone 13 Pro, there is the ability to shoot in 4K HDR at 24 (or 30) frames per second, up from the previous 1080p. Action Mode is a new option for smooth handheld video shooting that stabilizes shots while shooting without the need for a gimbal.
Finally, a redesigned TrueTone flash has been added with 9 LEDs that can adjust the pattern and intensity depending on the selected focal length and composition.
Although the iPhone 14 Pro gets most of the upgrades here, Apple has promised a new “advanced” dual-camera system with better low-light performance on the base model this time around.
It comes with iOS 16
The new iPhone 14 is available on September 16 starting at $799, with the iPhone 14 Plus available on October 7 starting at $899. The iPhone 14 Pro (starting at $999) and Pro Max (starting at $1,099) are also available on September 16.
iOS 16 will be released on September 12. See if your old device can run Apple’s latest software update.