5 ways iPhone 14 Pro is better than I expected

I thought upgrading from the iPhone 13 Pro would be a minor improvement. I was wrong

iPhone 14 Pro in all four colours
(Image credit: Apple)

Because I write a lot of iPhone tutorials for my job, I upgrade annually even if the upgrade isn't hugely exciting – so the launch of the iPhone 14 Pro meant it was time to replace my trusty iPhone 13 Pro. I wasn't expecting it to be much of an upgrade, but I was wrong. 

I still think that the iPhone 13 Pro is a perfectly good phone. But the 14 Pro is better in some significant ways. The impressive and subtler-than-I-expected Always On display is a nice-to-have rather than a must-have, but there are some important differences in the Pro's photography skills.

iPhone 14 Pro photo improvements you'll definitely notice

The most significant difference I've noticed so far is in the sheer speed of the camera: Night Mode and Portrait Mode are both much, much faster. That's particularly important in Portrait: the two things I shoot most frequently, my kids and my greyhound, never stop moving and as a result most of my iPhone 13 Pro portrait shots were wasted. Not now. Being able to get portrait shots of moving subjects is a game changer for me.

The new 48MP sensor is ace too. I'm definitely getting better low-light performance, and if you shoot in RAW then having the full 48MP to play with means some pretty incredible cropping options. But it's the pixel binning that matters most to me, the camera effectively turning four pixels into one super pixel to capture more light. And I've found that the ultrawide camera is better than before in macro mode. 

It's not perfect. The 3x zoom is still very limited compared to some of the best Android phones, such as the Sony Xperia 1 IV or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. I'm experiencing some interface weirdness, which is very un-Apple. And the camera app is still very keen on over sharpening, although you can sort that by switching to a high-end camera app such as Halide. But as these photos demonstrate, in the right hands the iPhone 14 Pro is a truly awesome cameraphone. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).