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Far Out Review Pt. 2 – iPhone 14 is FINALLY here!

The Far Out event was really only ever going to be about iPhone 14. What did we get?

iPhone 14
image courtesy of Apple & author

It’s finally here

Yesterday, I wrote the first part of my review covering this week’s Far Out event. There was so much to get through, I felt the only way to wade through it all, in any detail, was to break it down.

So, yesterday’s blog was all about AirPods Pro 2, Apple Watch 8 & Apple Watch Ultra. Today, rather than my normal AppleViews blog on a Friday, I thought I’d cover iPhone 14, with a final look at the event.

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14+

The two base models, in this year’s range, are actually the same size as the Pro models. The two screen sizes available are now either a 6.1-inch or 6.7-inch.

The screen is bright – very bright at up to 1200 nits. The screen itself is a Super Retina XDR display. The bodies are built from aero-grade titanium, and are available in four colours – midnight, starlight, purple, and product red.

The lower end 14’s are still using the A15 bionic chip, the same chip as currently used in iPhone 13. It has an improved, supposedly all-day battery life. The camera on these two phones has received some improvements. These have largely been based around the low-light capabilities of the cameras. The camera is always the hot-topic when it comes to a release of a new iPhone, and with fair reason. Over 12 trillion photos are taken each year on iPhone, so the camera is, justifiably, crucial to the success of the phone

The main camera is 12MP, with a much larger sensor, with a f1.5 aperture. The aperture results in a 49% improvement in low light photography.

Prices start at £849 for the 14 and £949 for the 14+. They are available to order today and start shipping 16th September.

iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max

The colours differ with the Pro, stainless-steel range – purple, deep black, gold, and silver. The screen on the pros will crank up to a peek max brightness of2000 nits, so, if you like your movies in HDR, then this screen should satisfy your demands.

Finally, the Pro’s get an Always-On display. These phones will be powered by the new A16 bionic chip, which is built on the 4 nanometer process, allowing it to compute up to 17 trillion processes per second. Those kind of figures simply blow my mind.

The cameras received massive spec bumps on the two Pro phones. They are now 48MP, binned. Simply put, the sensor will gather as much info as possible, select all the best bits, and then decant it down to a standard 12MP image. You can choose to shoot in 48MP, but clearly, with those size images, comes a much bigger file – just beware. The sensor in the 14 Pro’s is 65% larger than the 13 Pro’s. Cinematic Mode now shoots in 4K at either 24 or 30 FPS.

Aside from the camera, and processor, the other big feature, solely found on the Pro’s was Dynamic Island. Oddly named, but I have to say, it looks pretty nifty.

The front of the phone has been totally redesigned. The True depth proximity sensor now sits behind the display for the first time, which has allowed them to re-think the notch. We heard all sorts of rumours as to what may become of it, but no one predicted this.

The island is now a kind of an interactive area, of its own – reminding me of a mini player almost. By tapping it, the area can now display background apps that are running, or to provide you information. Without leaving the app you are in, you can now check what music is playing, or look at some notifications. It’s a brilliant, intuitive use of the space, and shows Apple have not lost their touch.

Prices start at £1099 for the 14 Pro and £1199 for the 14 Pro Max (going all the way up to £1749 if you choose the 1TB model!). They are available to order today and start shipping 16th September.

New iPhone 14 features

So, those are the main differences between the two ranges, but some features announced apply to all 14’s. Improved 5G connectivity is supposedly better integrated, and used throughout iPhone 14 line-up.

The video app has been upgraded with Action Mode, which is now acts much more like a gimbal. Certainly, the shot they showed, was impressive. If it is as good as that in the real world, that will be a super-useful feature. The selfie-camera on the front is now a f1.9 autofocus hybrid system. I must admit, I thought it already did, but hey, not for the first time, it would appear I may have been wrong. The camera also gets Phonic Engine. I am not clear what this is. It seems to be yet another image processing pipeline, but how it differs from what we already have, I am not certain. It apparently benefits every camera though…whatever it is!

Sim cards look like they are now a thing of the past. All models of 14’s in the US will ship without SIM card trays at all. The future is now eSim. I can see the sense of that; SIM cards do seem like old technology, but equally, if you switch between handsets, that will now be a much trickier proposition. What happens in the UK was not mentioned. I assume we will not be far behind.

Crash detection was first mentioned at Far Out in respect to Apple Watch 8. Using those same two sensors – a 3-axis gyroscope and a high g-force accelerometer, this feature is also now in iPhone 14 too.

The last major feature announcement was SOS Emergency. Using satellites that fly hundreds of miles above earth, in areas without cellular coverage, in an emergency, you’ll now be able to reach emergency services.

Using satellites for data, can be slow. To speed up the process, Apple has devised a series of yes-no kind of questions that you simply tap, and respond to rather than type. These key questions should help to action the emergency service you need quicker.

Friends and family will be able to help, too, because of this technology. If you become lost or distressed, they will be able to locate you via the FindMy network, even when you have no cell coverage.

Cost wise, it is not yet clear, in the longer term, who will bear the cost. You, your cell provider, or Apple, but short-term it is free in Canada & the States for the first two years. It launches this November.

Wrapping up

Far Out, certainly delivered. The announcements kept coming thick and fast. My Apple Watch is already ordered, and as I write, I am about to order my pair of AirPods Pro 2.

As for iPhone 14, I am not sure yet. For the longest while, I had said no, it’s not for me. I need a camera, and I had set my mind on buying a Canon, rather than an iPhone. A dedicated camera will always perform better right…and yet…

I have no idea how to set up and use a camera, but of course, I am totally at ease with an iPhone. The fact Cinematic is now 4K and in 24FPS interests me.

I think I will wait for the reviews to start coming in, and make a final decision after that. Getting the files from the phone will still be an issue, and I think a camera will still be the choice.

How about you though? What did you think of the event, and have you been tempted?

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