6 things you need to know about the new iPhone 14 series

Apple has taken the covers off its latest iPhone series, with four new handsets introduced during its ‘Far Out’ launch event on September 7.

Annual smartphone launches tend to see iterative upgrades over the previous generation from 12 months ago, and the quartet of iPhone 14 models is no different. 

This isn’t a complete overhaul of Apple’s iconic iPhone line, instead, it’s keeping with the same formula with adding a few new features.

So what has changed, and is it enough to make you consider an upgrade? Here’s everything you need to know about the new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

1. Four phones, two sizes

Another year, another four new iPhones to choose from. The four are divided into two groups. 

First up there’s;

  • iPhone 14 – with a 6.1-inch display, two rear cameras, and the lowest price tag of the quartet
  • iPhone 14 Plus – with a 6.7-inch display and all the features as the 14

And for those who want more features, and have more to spend, there are;

  • iPhone 14 Pro – with a 6.1-inch display, new chipset, three rear cameras, and the new ‘Display Island’ (more on that in a bit)
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max – with a 6.7-inch display and all the features as the 14 Pro

2. Crash Detection

One of the major new features Apple announced is Car Crash Detection. 

All four new iPhone 14 models come with a high G-force accelerometer which can detect G-forces up to 256G, and along with the barometer (which can detect a sudden change in air pressure) the handsets can tell when you’ve been in a car crash.

Apple has spent years researching, gathering crash data, and trialing the new system, with the features trained in the four main crash scenarios; front impact, side impact, rear-end collision, and rollover. 

In the event of a car crash, the new iPhone will automatically dial the emergency services – but it gives you a short while to respond before doing so. This allows you to cancel a false trigger, or decline emergency assistance if your collision is minor and doesn’t require specialist help.

3. Dynamic Island

If you have an iPhone from any of the more recent series of handsets (X, 11, 12, 13), you’ll be familiar with the ‘notch’ which cuts in at the top of the display, housing the front-facing camera, plus sensors for the biometric Face ID unlock system. 

This notch remains on the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, but if you opt for either of the pricier Pro models you’ll get the new ‘Dynamic Island’ instead.

In essence, it’s a smaller notch at the top of the screen, as Apple has been able to cram the selfie camera and various sensors into a smaller space. This means more screen real estate along the top of the display, which Apple is using to its advantage.

The island can expand to show pertinent information, including confirmation of switching to silent mode, connecting AirPods, charging status, new notifications, and more.

If you’re listening to music and navigate to a different app, the Dynamic Island will show music playback is still going in the background, and tapping it will expand the area giving you quick controls such as play/pause and skip – without you having to leave the app you’re in. 

There’s already plenty of integration with Dynamic Island, but it will likely become more powerful as app developers get to grips with the new feature.

4. Satellite SOS

Apple’s Emergency SOS feature has been available on iPhones for a while now, allowing you to dial emergency services quickly and easily – so long as you have a mobile signal.

With iPhone 14, even if you find yourself in danger off-grid, you’ll still be able to contact help thanks to Emergency SOS via satellite.

As the name suggests, instead of using traditional phone masts, the new iPhones can connect to satellites, allowing you to send and receive text messages. 

Connecting to a satellite does require the help of an app, which will tell you which way to point your iPhone to make a connection. 

Once connected, it can take anywhere between 15 seconds and a few minutes to send a message – depending on weather conditions. 

It’s a service many of us will hardly ever use, if at all, but for those who enjoy adventuring off the beaten track, it could be a vital feature. 

There are a couple of caveats, however. The service is initially only rolling out for those in the US and Canada, and while you’ll get the first two years free, there will be a subscription cost (pricing currently unknown) after then. 

5. Always-on display

This is another new feature reserved for the premium iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max models, allowing you to display key information on-screen even when your phone is locked and just sitting on the side.

It means you will be able to see things like the time, date, notifications, and other options which you can customize, without having to tap to wake the screen. 

The always-on display is in a low-power mode, which means it shouldn’t drain too much power from the battery. If you place your iPhone face down, or into a pocket or bag, the always-on display will go dark to preserve battery life.

6. Improved cameras

As with every iPhone iteration, Apple has worked on improving its camera offering for its latest handsets, with claims of greatly enhanced low-light photography.

On the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, which pack a 12MP main camera and a 12MP ultra-wide camera, Apple says low-light photos are up to 2.5x better on the former and 2x better on the latter. 

The main camera has a larger sensor and larger pixels than its predecessor in the iPhone 13, which leads to better motion freezing (i.e. less blur when snapping motion objects) and a faster focus thanks to a new hybrid system.

For those of you who like shooting video on your iPhone, the new Action Mode helps you capture smoother video, with support for Dolby Vision HDR.

There are even more photography enhancements on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, with a 48MP main camera leading the trio of rear-mounted snappers. The sensor is 65% larger than the one found on the iPhone 13 Pro, and it allows you to crop photos and still have a high-quality image. 

There is a range of shooting modes too, including macro, ultra-wide, 2x telephoto, and 3x telephoto, giving you plenty of options, plus low-light photography has been enhanced with a 2x improvement on the main and telephoto cameras, and a 3x improvement on the 12MP ultrawide camera. 

Video-wise, the Pro duo also gets Action Mode, plus the ability to shoot in 4K HDR at 24fps – the cinematic standard of video recording.

Content credit: SAGA

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