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iPhone 14 Pro Review : An Island, An Incredible Camera And The Feeling That Something Is Missing | Tech Reviews

iphone 14 pro review
iphone 14 pro review

iPhone 14 Pro Review : An Island, An Incredible Camera And The Feeling That Something Is Missing | Tech Reviews



It ‘s that time of year. Back to school, autumn is approaching and Apple launches new iPhones. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are already in stores and we have already tested them. A few days ago we brought you our first impressions of the iPhone 14 Pro and today it is the turn of the in-depth analysis.

I confess that I really wanted to get my hands on the new ‘pro’ generation. It is a very continuous evolution in many aspects, but groundbreaking in others. For the first time since the iPhone X we have another front with that dynamic island and the camera makes the biggest jump in resolution in years. Let’s see everything that the new iPhone 14 Pro offers to maintain its place on the podium of the best phones of the year.

iPhone 14 Pro data sheet

DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT 147,5 x 71,5 x 7,85 mm
206 g
SCREEN Super Retina XDR 6.1 inches
True Tone, HDR
ProMotion 120 Hz
2,532 x 1,170 px, 460 dpi
2,000 nits, 2,000,000:1 contrast
Always-on display
Dynamic Island
PROCESSOR Apple A16 Bionic
RAM to be confirmed
STORAGE 128/256/512GB/1TB
  • Principal:48MP, f/1.78, 24mm, OIS
  • Ultra angular: 12MP, f/2.2, 13mm
  • Teleophoto: 12MP, f/2.8, 77mm, OIS
FRONTAL CAMERA 12MP, f1.9, autofocus
Gigabit LTE with 4×4 MIMO and LAA
Wi-Fi 802.11ax (6th Gen) with 2×2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5.3
Ultra Wideband Chip
BATTERY Capacity to be confirmed
Fast charge 20W
Wireless charge 15W
stereo sound
PRICE From 1,319 euros


Design: an iPhone 13 Pro with a new notch

If we do not turn on the screen, the iPhone 14 Pro has hardly changed from the previous generation , so we are not going to spend too much time commenting on its design. To give you an idea of ​​how similar they are, during these days there have been many times when I have taken the iPhone 13 Pro thinking it was 14.

Of course, there is a change in the dimensions of the camera module that means that the same case of the 13 Pro is not worth it. The lenses of the iPhone 14 Pro are a bit larger , but where we notice it the most is not in the diameter, but in that they stand out more and the mobile is much more crooked when we leave it on the table.

The novelty of the design appears when we turn on the screen and see the dynamic island. Apple has given it this bombastic name, but it is still a new notch that solves the same problem as always: it is not possible to hide the camera and FaceID sensors under the screen (at least for now). But while the notch was always there static, this new notch is seasoned with a lot of functions and animations that we will see later and that make it make some sense beyond housing sensors.

The dynamic island has a very bombastic name, but it is still a new notch that solves the same problem as always: it is not possible to hide the camera and FaceID sensors under the screen.

If we look only at its shape and size, as I said in the first contact, the dynamic island is a worse solution than the notch in the sense that it “eats” more of the screen, pushing the content down a little. However, it is a bit narrower and, as it is a hole, visually it seems lighter than the classic notch.

The dynamic island vs the notch on the iPhone 13 Pro.

Apple also says that the new iPhone 14 Pro has slightly thinner bezels around the screen than the previous model. If we go to the specs we will see that the iPhone 14 Pro is 1 millimeter higher and the screen-to-body ratio goes from 86 to 87% (according to GSMarena data ). Is it visible to the naked eye? No. The feeling is that the use of the front is the same as that of previous generations.

As you can see, there are few design changes in this new generation, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It is a mobile with a fairly contained size that in the hand is somewhat heavy for its dimensions (206g, 2g more than the iPhone 13 Pro). Its construction is impeccable, although the grip is the part that does not convince me. The straight edges bite into the hand a bit and the matte glass is quite slippery, although the metal of the frame helps it “stick” a bit more to the hand (and fingerprints too). If you carry it with a cover like me, these small drawbacks disappear and it gives much more security on a day-to-day basis.

Screen: a new front brighter than ever

Let’s go with the screen, one of the sections that changes the most in this generation, although not because of the specifications. On paper, we have a panel almost traced to the previous model . Repeat with OLED technology (of course) and a 6.1-inch diagonal. There is a very slight increase in resolution, but you won’t notice it.

Of course, we still have the 120Hz refresh rate that was released last year. The screen goes like a shot, it is fluid and responds quickly to our touches. It’s mostly enjoyable playing games, but it’s also noticeable just navigating through the menus. All animations feel super smooth and light. Of course we have LTPO technology that adjusts the refresh rate depending on the needs of the moment, helping to keep battery consumption from skyrocketing.

When we are using the mobile in full sun, this increase in maximum brightness is quite noticeable.

The main improvement of the iPhone 14 Pro screen focuses on the brightness, which reaches peaks of up to 2,000 nits (in the iPhone 13 Pro, the maximum peak was 1,200 nits). It is not something that you are going to perceive all the time, but when we are using the mobile in full sun, that increase in maximum brightness is quite noticeable. I have appreciated it especially when taking photos at noon, when the sun is at its highest point.

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Nothing to object in terms of sharpness, colorimetry or viewing angles. Yes, we are still in FullHD +, but with 460 density points you will not see the pixel. Apple still won’t let us adjust the calibration, instead it delegates that task to True Tone to adjust it according to lighting conditions and the truth is that it does a great job.

The visual experience maintains a very high level and improves with that maximum brightness push, but where the real news of this generation is in the new functions. We are talking about the dynamic island and the always-on screen. We see them in depth.

The dynamic island: how it affects the display

It was one of the most notable changes according to the leaks and it ended up being confirmed in the presentation. The notch disappeared to make way for a solution that we have been seeing for quite some time on Android: an oval hole on the screen. But Apple does not stop there and justifies it like no other by adding a lot of functions, although we will see this in the software section, here we are going to focus on the position, its size and how it affects us when viewing content.

A curious thing about the island is that it is not actually an oval as it seems, but actually there are two holes: an oval one on the left for the FaceID sensors and a round one on the right for the front camera. Apple unifies everything by “painting” that black oval so that it is well centered and symmetrical. In the photo on the left we have played with Photoshop so that you can see what is behind the island. Normally only the full oval is visible, only when the screen is off and the light falls at a certain angle, we discover the trap.

Without going into the software functions it offers, as I said in the design section, the dynamic island is more annoying than the notch. It’s narrower, but tucks deeper into the screen and pushes content down, wasting a bit of panel real estate. It’s not much and it’s going to change our experience dramatically, but it shows. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a few examples that illustrate the differences quite well.

The island measures 21mm wide, while the notch measures 27mm.
According to our measurements, the island “eats” 2 millimeters more of the screen.

It is clear that the island hinders the screen more, but it is not much and after a while you even stop seeing it. Where it is most noticeable is when playing content in full screen or when playing. I have not had problems with overlapping buttons, but that it looks and bothers more than the notch is undeniable. The advantage of this island is that it catches us at a time when we have already become accustomed to having something on the screen and that is why perhaps it does not bother us so much.

The dynamic island playing and playing videos in full screen.

Always-on display: Always On on steroids

The other great novelty of this generation is the new always-on screen. Once again, Apple implements something that we have been enjoying on Android for years (or suffering, depending on how you look at it), but Apple’s proposal is different. Here we do not have a black screen with a clock floating, but it reduces the brightness of the entire lock screen, but we see it complete, wallpaper included.

Here we do not have a black screen with a clock floating, but it reduces the brightness of the entire lock screen, but we see it complete, wallpaper included.

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The always-on display doesn’t always reduce the brightness to a minimum, but it reduces it as much as possible in each situation so that we can continue to see the screen. That is, it will shine more if we are in a lighted environment and less if it is a darker environment. In addition to reducing brightness, the screen lowers the refresh rate to 1Hz to save battery life.

The first few days using the screen on , it happened to me several times that I thought the screen had stayed on. It’s much brighter than I was used to from other solutions seen on Android (we’ll see how it impacts battery later).

About personalization we will finish quickly: there is not. The on screen has exactly the same design as our lock screen with the same photo, same widgets and so on. There is no option that, for example, only the clock is seen. The only option we have is to activate or deactivate it.

Personally, it is something that I do not use on Android and that I would not use here on a day-to-day basis. I try to keep the notifications fair and not be so aware of the mobile, but with the screen on it is impossible to disconnect.

Sound: good volume without distortion

With the iPhone 13 Pro we already had a very good experience in the audio section and history repeats itself with its successor. Despite being the smallest model, it gives us a clear sound with a powerful volume without distorting. With headphones we also have quality sound, although it is necessary to use Bluetooth or a Lightning adapter if you have one at home, because it is not included in the box.

We repeat with a double speaker, one located on the lower edge, next to the lightning, and the other on the front, just above the dynamic island, in the joint that separates the screen from the metal edge. The lower speaker is somewhat more powerful than the upper one, but it is not as noticeable a difference as in other mobiles where the upper one is barely heard if we cover the other one. This gives us a richer and more balanced stereo effect.

Performance: the bar was already high

Like every year, Apple renews its mobile processor and the brain that gives life to this generation is the Apple A16 Bionic. However, for the first time, the company is including the new chip only in Pro models, leaving the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus with an overclocked Apple A15 . Questionable strategies aside, we tell you how the new A16 chip behaves.

The truth is that we already came from a very high level with last year’s chip, so we have not noticed an abysmal change in performance. Everything moves smoothly, it doesn’t get too hot even after a good while playing and we’re still waiting for lag or some occasional crash to appear.

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We were already coming from a very high level with last year’s chip, so we have not noticed a huge change in performance.

The evolution of this A16 focuses above all on energy efficiency and not so much on raw power, something that we see reflected in the benchmarks if we look at the previous generation. Apple also gave us clues in its keynote, when they compared the performance of the A16 with the A13 and not with the immediately previous model . In short, a rather timid evolution but despite this, it is still far ahead of its competition.

Battery : Maintaining the type

Apple does not give us the capacity data of its batteries, but we already know them in other ways and we know that the iPhone 14 Pro mounts a 3,200 mAh battery, which is 105 mAh more than the previous model. My experience with the iPhone 13 Pro was already good in terms of autonomy, allowing me to get to the end of the day without a problem on days of moderate use. With intensive use, for example on vacation days, I had to go through the plug or pull the power bank towards the end of the afternoon.

The discreet milliamps / hour or the efficiency of the chip are not too noticeable on a day-to-day basis and the iPhone 14 Pro gives us autonomy very similar to that of its predecessor. In the captures you can see the numbers that he gave us on two consecutive days, but in which we made a very different use of the terminal.

Two charging cycles with ‘Always On’ activated, but with very different uses. On the left, a day full of streets and taking photos. On the right a day when we were at home a lot of the time.

On the left, data from a day of heavy use in which I spent much of my time outside taking lots of photos. I left home with my mobile practically at 100% and I had to charge it at 8 in the afternoon. The iPhone 14 Pro gave about 6 hours of active screen and the total cycle was 20 hours between charges.

The capture on the right corresponds to a cycle in which we spent most of the time at home with occasional departures. Usage was more moderate overall and we went to sleep with 31% battery which we were able to stretch out for quite a while the next morning. In total, the active screen time of this cycle reached approximately 7 and a half hours of screen time. Here we managed to spend almost 28 hours without visiting the outlet.

By deactivating Always On we can scratch a little more duration because yes, to no one’s surprise, having the screen on has an impact on the battery, although you will appreciate it so much if you are from here to there because the screen turns off when we carry the mobile in the pocket.

To no one’s surprise, having the screen on has an impact on the battery. It has taken away about 1 hour of autonomy.

When you are going to notice the difference is on a weekday and in an office job where the mobile is usually on the table all the time. On days like this, the screen on has taken about 1 hour of autonomy. It’s quite a lot, but it doesn’t seem like much more than what other Always On modes consume, with the difference that here the screen is literally on.

But although this Always On consumes little compared to other more basic ones, it consumes a lot. Unless it is a function that is very practical for you, the best thing if you want to visit the plug as little as possible is to leave it deactivated.

Speaking of plugs, Apple still hasn’t jumped on the fast-charging bandwagon and this generation supports 20W chargers. They promise us to reach 50% in 30 minutes of charging and in our tests the figure has been quite close to reality using the charger of an iPad Pro (because no, we do not have a charger included). Here the competition is light years away.

Software: iOS 16 at the controls

iOS 16 has already reached all compatible iPhones and, how could it be otherwise, the 14 family has it installed as standard. We have an update that brings us quite a few new features, although the vast majority are small details that do not represent a radical change from what iOS 15 is.

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An example of these details is that we now have the option to see the battery percentage on iPhones that have a notch or island, something that disappeared with the arrival of the iPhone X five years ago. There are a lot of minor new features in iOS 16 and as a whole it makes Apple’s operating system feel more mature and polished to us.

You can have very different lock screens with the options that iOS 16 allows us.

The great protagonist of the new version is undoubtedly the new lock screen that is more customizable than ever. Apple offers us some predefined options, but we can edit them to our liking by adding widgets, changing the font of the clock and editing the wallpapers with color filters (duotone effect applied in the third proposal).

The great protagonist of iOS 16 is the new lock screen, which is more customizable than ever.

Another novelty of the lock screen is that now the notifications that come to us appear at the bottom and not in the center. It is something that shocked me a bit and that was a bit visually unbalanced, but when interacting with them I understood the objective. If we have the mobile subject with one hand, we can display or open the notifications much easier than if they are on top. A detail that contrasts quite a bit with that iOS mania of putting the ‘Back’ button on the top left, where it is most difficult to reach.

An interesting detail of the lock screen is that, if we put a photo of a person on the screen (and if we don’t have widgets), it will crop the silhouette to put it in front of the clock . It only works with people, if you have a photo of your pet this effect will not be applied.

People yes, cats no. Injustice.

Another novelty that iOS 16 brings and that also has to do with cropping figures (and does not discriminate against cats) is being able to quickly remove the background from photos. Just hold down and we can take the cutout to another app and even create a Telegram sticker (no, WhatsApp doesn’t allow it yet). The clipping usually hits pretty well.

For the rest, iOS 16 brings a lot of improvements to the system apps (which are not few, by the way, although it allows us to hide them if we want) such as iMessage, Mail or Maps. It also brings better privacy, text detection through the camera reaches videos, lets us edit photo metadata or make backup copies with mobile data, among others.

But if there is a novelty of this iPhone 14 Pro that also affects the software, that is undoubtedly the dynamic island. Of course, in this case you will not be able to have it on other iPhones since it is exclusive to the new models. Let’s see everything you can do with it.

The dynamic island in action: a bad solution masterfully justified

If Apple had simply changed the notch for the island, it would not have made much sense, but of course they were not going to leave it that way. And it is that the dynamic island is a lesson in how to turn a problem into a virtue.

Unlike the notch, the island transforms according to the content it is showing us; hence ‘dynamic’. Sometimes it’s a kind of status bar with little icons, sometimes it’s a widget, and it can also be a new way of managing multitasking. Although it has just been launched, there are already a lot of things that we can see and do through the dynamic island and that we can separate into two different blocks: apps and system processes and third-party apps.

Sometimes the island is a kind of status bar with little icons, sometimes it’s a widget, and it can also be a new way to handle multitasking.

Regarding third-party apps, there are still many to adapt and take advantage of this novelty, but things are going. In the time it has taken me to write the review, there have been several apps that have been updated to take advantage of the dynamic island , and the list will continue to grow.

Currently, developers can use the APIs NowPlaying for content playback apps and CallKit for apps that support calls. This has been available from the beginning in apps like Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, YouTube Music, WhatsApp, Instagram or Skype. For now, these would be the two main scenarios where the dynamic island interacts with third-party apps: play content and make or receive calls. Here some examples:

Playing content on Spotify.

When we are playing audio, the island will show us the thumbnail cover of the album or podcast on the left. To the right is an animated sound wave whose color matches the thumbnail. If we make a long press on the island (it is worth pressing anywhere, even near the island, it is not necessary to hit it completely), a kind of widget opens from where we can control the reproduction.

This is perhaps one of the most useful uses since it allows us to stop the music, go forward or backward and even choose if we want to play it on another device through AirPlay. The flaw in my opinion is that the widget should be opened with a simple touch instead of a long one. If I want to open the app, I already have the app icon to do so, while if I click on the island, the logical thing is that I want that widget. It’s not a drama, but at least in my head it makes more sense that way.

The island when we receive a call from Telephone and WhatsApp.
Obsession with details. The voice wave when the interlocutor speaks is green, ours is orange.

Regarding calls, comment that this widget will only open on incoming calls. From here we can accept or hang up and, once accepted, it lets us choose between speaker or headphones if we have them connected. The widget design barely changes if they call us from another app like WhatsApp.

The island’s animations and icons illustrate Apple’s obsession with detail quite well.

In the case of outgoing calls, we will only see the call time icon and the sound wave, but be careful because Apple’s obsession with details is evident here * When our interlocutor speaks, the wave is green and appears on the side left. If we speak, the wave is orange and comes from the right. Nothing random.

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In addition to these two uses, Apple has announced that the dynamic island will soon be able to show us more information thanks to the Live Activities API, such as how long it will take for the delivery of food that we have made or the result of the game of our favorite team.

As we said, the dynamic island also interacts with other system apps. Below you can see the complete list of apps and actions that use the island:

  • Incoming calls
  • AirPods connected
  • Face ID
  • Apple Pay
  • Car keys in wallet
  • AirDrop
  • Unlock Apple Watch
  • Low battery
  • Charging
  • Mute Switch On/Off
  • NFC Interactions
  • AirPlay
  • Concentration mode changes
  • shortcuts
  • Airplane mode/No service
  • SIM card alerts
  • Accessory connection
  • search apps
  • call in progress
  • SharePlay
  • Music/playback apps
  • timer
  • Map Directions
  • voice notes
  • Record screen
  • personal hotspot

As I said in the first impressions, I confirm that the island is more practical as a display of actions than as a space to interact with. It is at the top, so if we use the mobile with one hand it is inconvenient to reach it. Regarding leaving fingerprints on the front camera, I have not noticed that it is very cumbersome. I have had to clean it once, but no more than with the iPhone 13 Pro that did not have an island.

There is a scenario in which the island does seem very practical to me and that is when we have several open apps that are displayed on it. For example, if we have Spotify and a timer, the island is divided into a long pill and a round dot on the right. If we click on the round icon, we can switch between the apps that we have open in the background. This turns the island into a multitasking switcher that can be very useful at specific times.

This is how the island looks when it is showing info from several apps.

The dynamic island took a lot of prominence in the presentation and it is perhaps the most striking novelty for the general public, but if you are considering changing your iPhone only for the dynamic island, my advice is that you do not do it. It is something curious and very well implemented; the tactile response, the animations, the obsession with details… It’s “pleasant”, but it doesn’t mean a noticeable change in the mobile experience and, after a few days, the novelty loses interest. In addition, we know that it will come to future iPhones (rumors say that to the entire range of iPhone 15), so it is a matter of time before you end up testing it and probably by then it will be much more polished and better used.

If you’re considering switching iPhones just for the dynamic island, my advice is don’t do it. It’s very well implemented and it’s “pleasant” to use it, but it doesn’t mean a noticeable change in the mobile experience.

An example of an improvable aspect is that notifications continue to arrive as usual. In fact, as the island is now, the notices cover more of the screen. It would be ideal if the notifications arrived directly on the island and not below it.

I have created a mockup imagining how the notifications could be in the dynamic island and I think it looks much better, in addition to the fact that it does not eat up so much screen. Let’s see if they implement it in future updates. I take this opportunity to apologize to the purists because the font I have used is not the San Francisco, but the Roboto (total sacrilege, the Google font, but do they look alike or not?).

On the left how the notifications now arrive. To the right, as I would like them to arrive.

Although it is not a revolution, it is a masterful way of justifying the change from notch to island. I keep wondering how no Android manufacturer had done anything even remotely similar in all these years (the most curious thing I had seen so far was the bender wallpaper I put on the Galaxy S10+ ). It’s true, Apple is a latecomer to hole-in-the-screen cameras, but it has swept them all away with the software features it has implemented.

Cameras: the biggest photographic leap in an iPhone, but only if you try hard

We come to the photographic section. Take a seat because there is fabric to cut here. Apple made the jump to 12 megapixels with the iPhone 6s and has maintained this resolution ever since. They have increased the size of the sensor, the double lens has arrived, then the triple, they have improved the image processing, they have introduced the portrait mode, the macro mode and much more, but the resolution of the sensor remained unchanged, until now.

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The iPhone 14 Pro comes with a 48-megapixel main sensor and 65% more surface area than the iPhone 13 Pro. By default, the iPhone will shoot HEIC-compressed and 12-megapixel photos . Apple applies the famous pixel binning that we have heard so much about Android smartphone manufacturers and with which four pixels merge into one.

If we want to squeeze the full potential of the camera, we must activate the Pro Raw mode, where in turn we can have photos in 12 or 48 megapixels. Later we will dedicate a special section to see what all this means and the differences between shooting in HEIC or ProRaw with the new sensor, but I already tell you that on a day-to-day basis it is logical to shoot in HEIC; It will give us outstanding quality and much more manageable files. For this reason, we are going to focus the camera analysis on 12-megapixel HEIC images, which in the end is the setting that we are going to use in most cases.

The arrival of this new larger sensor also brings us another novelty. This is the new 2x zoom mode that crops the central 12-megapixel portion of the main sensor to give us a lossless zoom. Of course we keep the 3x telephoto lens and the ultra wide angle, but in these sensors we have fewer improvements. Finally, before getting into the matter, mention that the selfie camera launches autofocus. Let’s see how the iPhone 14 Pro cameras look:

  • Sensor principal: 48MP, f/1.78, 24 mm OIS, Focus Pixels.
  • Ultra angular: 12MP, f/2.2, 13mm.
  • Teleobjetivo: 12MP, f/2.8, 77mm, OIS, zoom óptico 3x.
  • Camera selfie: 12MP, f1.9, AF.
  • Video: 4K @24/25/30/60fps, 1080p @25/30/90fps, 4K HDR cine mode @30fps, macro video, slow motion, time-lapse, ProRes video, action mode.

Camera app

We are not going to stop to review each and every one of the camera app’s tools because we continue to have the same interface that we already knew, although with some additions. The first thing we noticed was that the 2x that we talked about above has appeared on the zoom buttons. If we activate ProRaw in Settings, we will also have the corresponding button to be able to activate and deactivate it as it suits us in each shot, and the same happens with ProRes in the case of recording videos.

As Apple introduces more new features, these new buttons are coming to the camera app, which without being overloaded, undoubtedly has many more options than it had a few years ago. However, we still don’t understand why there is no shortcut that takes us to the camera settings directly from the app instead of forcing us to go out, open Settings and navigate to the Camera section.

The camera settings have also been gaining new options over the years and today we have a good collection of options to configure to our liking. I recommend spending some time leaving the recording formats and qualities as we use them most often, as this will save us a lot of time when shooting. By the way, both ProRaw for photos and ProRes for videos are disabled by default, and the same goes for macro mode.

Main Camera

From the iPhone 12 Pro to the iPhone 13 Pro we hardly had any changes, but in this generation the primary sensor is completely renewed. It gets bigger and quadruples the resolution of the previous one. The lens is also renewed and now the focal length is 24 millimeters. Let’s see what all this translates into.

We came from an already high level in terms of colorimetry and detail that is maintained in this generation. If we take out the magnifying glass, the detail is very fine in the center and it seems that Apple has softened the sharpening so that it is not so artificial. At the edges it looks a little more aggressive, but manages to preserve a lot of detail in a critical area.

Sticking only to basic shooting (12 megapixels and HEIC format), the feeling when jumping from an iPhone 13 Pro to 14 is that the changes are more noticeable on paper than on photos. The 24-millimeter focal length of the iPhone 14 Pro gives us a more open frame , capturing more “air” around the building than the 13 Pro. It’s not something that changes the experience dramatically, but that extra width is appreciated when photographing landscapes or architecture.

We do see a difference in the detail of the central area, much richer and more natural in the new model, but we have to get finicky and take out the magnifying glass to see it clearly.

Very good also in shorter shots. The size of the sensor gives us a more intense bokeh. There are times when it is not worth activating portrait mode, especially with objects, because we already have a natural blur.

The exposure adjustment when it detects a face is brutal.

In people photography, the processing gives total priority to the exposure and the detail of the faces, it does not matter if for that you have to sacrifice a bit of naturalness. There was quite a bit of backlighting here, but as soon as he spotted a face, he gave the subject all the limelight. The photos were taken one after the other, hardly moving, but the exposure is totally different depending on whether there is a face or not.

It holds up pretty well in night photography before having to shoot night mode. In fact, I’d say I’ve been triggered less often than I usually am with the 13 Pro. We’ve got noise and quite a bit of detail loss, especially in the water, but it managed to salvage quite a bit of light while respecting the white balance.

The night mode is quite aggressive and tends to alter the white balance, especially in fairly dark scenes like this one. With the street lamps, it gives us very yellowish and artificial photos, but much more detailed than in a normal shot. It compensates activating it if the lighting is so poor.

Ultra angular

We move on to the ultra-wide sensor and here we find a slight improvement in detail, especially in the corners where more definition is usually lost. The size of the sensor, also slightly larger than the previous one, helps to capture more definition in very homogeneous textures such as sand in the foreground.

Very good also at the level of exposure and colorimetry in this almost backlit scene. Sometimes the HDR is a bit aggressive and tends to saturate the greens, but it exposes the sky very well and preserves a lot of detail in the foreground.

At night, the wide angle is still the lens that suffers the most, but with good lighting we can achieve more than decent results.

Ultra-wide without night mode vs with night mode

In general, I tend to avoid ultra wide angle for night shots and I think the images above illustrate this quite well. The photos come out much darker and you don’t have to enlarge them to see that there is noise and lack of sharpness. Here it is time to shoot in night mode if we want a fairly acceptable shot.

The ultra wide angle camera improves and therefore also improves the macro , since this is the lens responsible for capturing in this mode. It is disabled by default, but once we activate it in Settings it will automatically come into play when we get too close to an object. We can turn it off if we want.

Sometimes it is difficult to focus and it is easy for us to cast a shadow with the camera when we get so close, but it is part of the game of this shooting mode and the final result is sharper. It is a fun way with which we can get very striking images, but at least for me its use is still anecdotal. It’s nice to have, but it’s not going to change the experience much.

3x telephoto and 2x zoom

You have to differentiate the 3x telephoto lens and the 2x zoom. The first one has its own lens, with a focal length of 77 millimeters , while the second one is a cutout of the main lens, which would be equivalent to 48 millimeters . Let’s see the differences.

Zoom 2x

The 2x zoom has gone a bit unnoticed, but for me it is one of the most interesting features of the new sensor. The telephoto lens is the lens I use the most along with the main lens and with the arrival of 2x the camera experience becomes more versatile. Versatility is always welcome, especially when you get such a good result.

2x vs 3x

By putting it next to the 3x telephoto lens we see brighter images, but during the day both perform very well, it is when night falls that the difference widens.

2x vs 3x

The main sensor not only has more resolution, it is also larger and captures more light. The 2x starts with plenty of advantage and in this scene it can be seen quite well; sweeps away the telephoto in brightness and detail.

3x telephoto

The telephoto also behaves very well and does not shrink when the light falls. Yes, we sacrifice a bit of quality, but it gives us a lot of play with those 77 millimeters.

Portrait Mode

1x portrait

Portrait mode also gives us more play because it now allows us to shoot at 1x, 2x or 3x. Shooting with 1x gives us sharp and bright images. The cutout of the figure is good, although sometimes it tends to go overboard with the amount of blur in close-up shots. Nothing we can’t fix from the editor.

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Portrait mode is somewhat demanding in the sense that it sometimes takes a while to activate. The message that tells us to move away (or to get closer) appears quite a few times and, although less, there are also bugs in which it appeared activated, but the photo does not save the portrait.

1x portrait

1x is not always the most flattering mode for a portrait. The main lens is more angular and it will deform the subject a bit. When photographing people, if we get too close, sometimes we come out just okay. Best for more general shots like this.

2x portrait
Portrait 3x

Close-ups of people is where portrait mode shines. Very well when it comes to representing the detail of the skin and the cutout, except for a few mistakes, it is quite well tuned. A pity that I lose so much when we take photos of objects.

The portrait of objects is still a pending subject.

Yes, object portraiture still leaves a lot to be desired . He always goes overboard with the amount of blur and the clipping is very improvable. It seems that it is still the unfinished business of the iPhone.

Frontal camera

We do not forget the selfie camera, which in this generation improves by adding autofocus. The truth is that in the photos I have not noticed an abysmal difference in terms of focus. The images are very sharp, but before too. We have very good detail, wide dynamic range and the processing of the faces is as careful as that of the rear camera. Very good here.

In portrait mode we have a slightly lower result than the rear, but it holds up very well and above all respects both the treatment of the skin and the HDR. It is the cut where it usually sneaks in, but by lowering the blur a bit we usually get a more natural effect and less “glue”.

Night mode is our friend in selfies. It activates automatically and I recommend leaving it on because otherwise we have dark photos, with a lot of noise and loss of definition. At night, I have noticed that the autofocus has some difficulty focusing on our face, although only in darker settings.

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