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iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro: Biggest upgrades

iphone 14 pro vs iphone 13 pro
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 14 Pro is the successor to the iPhone 13 Pro, and brings with it some exciting new upgrades. The new Pro iPhones will continue features from last year's models — including 120Hz displays and telephoto cameras — but there is a lot more in store for buyers of the new Pro models. So now is the time to compare the iPhone 14 Pro vs the iPhone 13 Pro.

While not much has changed with the iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Pro has gained a good range of interesting new features, including the all new Dynamic Island, an Always-On display, and the A16 Bionic chip. 

Whether you're looking to upgrade your iPhone 13 Pro, are wondering which model to go for once both are available to buy or want to know if Apple will maintain its grip on our best phones list, iPhone 14 Pro vs the iPhone 13 Pro guide should help you figure it out.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro price

At $999/£949 and $1,099/£1,049 respectively, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are already pretty expensive phones. But unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, the iPhone 14 Pro models won't be getting any cheaper. 

Indeed, for U.K. buyers, they're actually getting more expensive. The iPhone 14 Pro will start at $999/£1,099, which is around £150 more than the previous model cost for U.K. customers, although it is priced the same as its predecessor in the U.S. Similarly, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will start at $1,099/£1,199, again showing a mark up in UK pricing.

Apple's likely to stop selling the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max once the iPhone 14 launches, since that's what happened to both the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro in previous years. You'll likely be able to find iPhone 13 Pro handsets at third-party retailers and cell carriers for a little while after they're discontinued though. If price is a primary driver for you, it might be worth picking up an iPhone 13 Pro model now, before they all sell out.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro design

iPhone 14 Pro dynamic island

Where once there was a notch, the iPhone 14 Pro models will now feature the Dynamic Island. (Image credit: Apple)

One of the most obvious changes from the iPhone 13 Pro is the display notch has been replaced by the Dynamic Island. It's essentially an interactive box around the pill-shaped Face ID and front camera cut-out that changes size and form based on different notifications, alerts and activities.

While the iPhone 13 series reduced the size of the Face ID notch for the first time since its introduction on the iPhone X, the iPhone 14 Pro's new variable-sized island will give back more screen real estate to actual pixels, making it less obstructive when using an app in fullscreen mode.

iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 13 Pro Max. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We had thought there would be a more obvious new look for the back of the iPhone 14 Pro too. But it now looks like it'll be basically the same as the iPhone 13 Pro, with the now-familiar triple lens camera mount.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

A photo of the iPhone 14 Pro Max (Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 Pro still has a Lightning port rather than a USB-C port for power and data transfer too. That may change next year though, due to changes in the law in the EU and demand for similar legislation in the U.S

And on the side of the shell you'll notice a distinct absence of a SIM tray — this is because Apple have decided to restrict the iPhone 14 Pro to eSIMs in the U.S., which has numerous benefits. 

Firstly, the removal of the SIM tray gives designers more space to work with internally, allowing more features to be added. Secondly, it's one less point of failure to consider when waterproofing. Finally, eSIMs give users more flexibility with network carriers, allowing multiple SIMs to be added without taking up extra space and also making it easier to switch network provider, which comes in especially handy when travelling.

In regions where eSIMs are already commonplace, such as the U.K., this move likely won't be an issue, as many carriers offer eSIMs already to both new and existing customers. In regions where eSIMs are not as widely used, however, it could cause headaches and restrict consumer choice.

For colors, you'll initially be able to select the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max in Space Black, Silver, Gold or Deep Purple. All feature a matt glass textured back. We'll probably see another color option arriving in mid-2024, similar to Apple's color releases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro display

Once again, the iPhone Pro models for 2022 feature a 6.1-inch display, and the Pro Max version sports a 6.7-inch display. You're actually getting more screen on the iPhone 14 models, however, as despite having the same measurements in inches, the bezels are smaller. 

iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max introduced ProMotion adaptive 120Hz displays to the iPhone for the first time, allowing for a display that's both smoother and more power efficient. 

Apple have given the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max the same capability, and then some. While the new iPhone Pro models can still reach refresh rates of up to 120Hz, they can also scale back down to 1Hz, as opposed to the 10Hz minimum of the iPhone 13 Pro models. This lower minimum refresh rate will make the iPhone 14 Pro models more power efficient as they operate more slowly than their predecessors when required.

This new display also enables the Always-On display, which you may have encountered in Apple Watches. This will let you see widgets like those you can add to your lock screen in iOS 16 on your phone even when it's locked, allowing for convenient updates at a glance and in full colour, without a huge detriment to battery life.

What's more, while the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max models featured a rated peak brightness of 1,200 nits, the iPhone 14 Pro modes offer 1,600 nits, with up to 2,000 nits of peak brightness for outdoor use. This means the new phones will perform even better in challenging bright lighting conditions.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro cameras

The iPhone 13 Pro used 12MP sensors for all four of its cameras. But the iPhone 14 Pro comes with a 48MP sensor on the main camera, for higher resolution images. 

The iPhone 13 Pro models feature a wider maximum aperture of f/1.5 on the main camera versus f/1.78 on the iPhone 14 Pro, meaning the older models are theoretically capable of producing brighter images. However, with a much larger sensor, upgraded image stabilization and Apple's new Photonic Engine image processor, the iPhone 14 Pro should produce cleaner, more detailed images in low light. 

The new quad pixel sensor also allows a 2x telephoto zoom mode, meaning you'll have more flexibility with your zooming and framing.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

The iPhone 14 Pro camera looks similar to the iPhone 13 Pro, but there have been big changes under the hood. (Image credit: Future)

While ProRAW photos were available to iPhone 13 Pro users, thanks to its huge sensor, the iPhone 14 Pro offers ProRAW files in uncompressed 48-megapixels, which means they'll be huge and absolutely packed full of image data to manipulate. If you're a fan of having ultimate control over your images in post-production, then the iPhone 14 Pro has the camera for you. 

In terms of video, there's no 8K as rumored, but the iPhone 14 Pro can shoot 4K at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps and 60 fps, just as you'd find on the iPhone 13 Pro. The difference between the two is that 4K/24 fps is now available in Cinematic mode on the iPhone 14 Pro. 

Apple touts this as a professional feature, given 24 fps is a widely used frame rate by filmmakers looking to craft cinematic video. However, this isn't really as big of a deal as they're making out. Pro cinematographers still probably won't be using their iPhone over their Arri, and the iPhone 13 Pro still shoots at 4K/24 fps in normal video modes. It does give users of the iPhone 14 Pro some extra creative freedom when crafting stylized, cinematic feeling video, though.

iPhone 13 Pro Max camera green

(Image credit: Future)

Meanwhile on the front, the iPhone 14 Pro has a slightly upgraded selfie camera, with a brighter maximum aperture of f/1.9 versus f/2.2 on the iPhone 13 Pro. It'll also use the new Photonic Engine image processor to make for brighter and sharper selfies.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro chip and performance 

The new A16 Bionic chipset will be running the show inside the iPhone 14 Pro, an upgrade on the iPhone 13 Pro's A15 Bionic. This new silicon isn't a chip that the regular iPhone 14 won't get. The lower model phones will instead use a modified A15 Bionic chip. 

It's the same chip found in the iPhone 13 Pro models, which features a 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU and a 16-core neural processor. This makes the gap between the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro larger than previous years, but performance-wise means that the lower tier iPhone 14 models should be comparable to the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max (without all the bells and whistles like high refresh rates and Pro camera technology, though).

An A16 Bionic SoC Diagram on a black background

The iPhone 14 Pro models will feature the new A16 Bionic chip. (Image credit: Apple)

Built on a 4-nanometer architecture, the A16 chip offers more transistors than the 5-nanometer design of the A15 Bionic. This essentially means it can use more transistors in the same amount of space, increasing performance and efficiency over its predecessor. In fact, Apple claims that the A16 uses 20% less power than the A15, which will improve battery life, and that it is up to 40% more powerful than the rivals; think the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

We don't yet have any official performance figures comparing the A16 to the A15, however alleged benchmarks for this new chip published before the iPhone 14 range reveal showed around a 5% total increase in performance compared to the iPhone 13 Pro, possibly due to Apple moving to faster LPDDR5 RAM, which has yet been confirmed by Apple. The new A16 Bionic chip also benefits the iPhone 14 Pro camera too, featuring a new advanced image processor.

The iPhone 14 Pro will offer the same storage capacities as the iPhone 13 Pro: 128GB as standard, with the option to upgrade to 256GB, 512GB or 1TB. 

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro battery

Currently, we don't know any more about the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max battery life than Apple tell us, as we've yet to properly test the new models. Apple said the iPhone 14 Pro Max offers all-day battery life, which translates to 25 hours of video playback. This is great, as it's the same as the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which sits on our best phone battery life list.

There isn't any upgrade to the 20W charging found on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, however, which we were hoping for but weren't optimistic we'd see.

iPhone 13 Pro Max charging with MagSafe battery pack

(Image credit: Future)

That sounds like bad news for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but hopefully it won't be. For one, the battery life of the iPhone 13 Pro Max was already excellent so it's not like the iPhone 14 has inherited a terrible power unit. And it remains to be seen whether in real-life testing we'll see improvements with the new models.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro outlook

The update from iPhone 13 Pro to iPhone 14 Pro is actually pretty dramatic. In previous years, we've seen incremental changes. 

With the iPhone 14 Pro, however, Apple have been generous (or at least as generous as it can be when the phones cost as much as they do) with the upgrades. The new Dynamic Island, 48MP camera, improved chipset and always-on display certainly set the iPhone 14 Pro apart from its predecessor, and aside from a price increase in some regions, there doesn't look to be any drawbacks versus the outgoing models.

iPhone 14 Pro in deep purple

(Image credit: Apple)

In the current economy, though, a price hike really won't be appealing to many people, especially given the already high pricing of the iPhone 13 Pro models. Whether or not the features will justify this hike to most buyers remains to be seen.

For now, make sure you keep up to date with our iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro hubs for the latest info, and re-read our iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max reviews to get an idea of those models' strengths and weaknesses.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

With contributions from