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iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro — the biggest differences between Apple's new phones

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As you will see in this iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro comparison, the differences between Apple’s different phone models couldn’t be greater with this year’s releases. The iPhone 14 Pro feels like a completely different handset instead of simply an enhanced version of the iPhone 14, as previous iPhone pro models have been. But this time around, basically everything is different, including the design, chipset and more.

They may share the same screen size, but the iPhone 14 feels like a very modest upgrade compared to the iPhone 13, while the iPhone 14 Pro features much more dramatic improvements over its predecessor, the iPhone 13 Pro.

In this iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro face-off, we’ll break down the key differences between the two models so that you can make the best purchasing decision for you. There’s a $200 difference between them, so it’s important to consider what separates these phones that share a number, but little else.

This comparison also applies to the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max, which face the same differences as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, but with larger screens.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Specs

iPhone 14iPhone 14 PlusiPhone 14 ProiPhone 14 Pro Max
Screen size6.1-inches6.7-inches6.1-inches6.7-inches
Refresh rate60Hz60Hz1-120Hz1-120Hz
CPUApple A15 BionicApple A15 BionicApple A16 BionicApple A16 Bionic
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB256GB, 512GB, 1TB256GB, 512GB, 1TB
CamerasDual 12MP (Wide, ultrawide)Dual 12MP (Wide, ultrawide)48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom 48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom
Size5.78 x 2.82 x 0.31 inches6.33 x 3.07 x 0.31 inches5.81 x 2.81 x 0.31 inches6.33 x 3.05 x 0.31 inches
Weight6.07 ounces7.16 ounces7.27 ounces8.47 ounces
Dust/Water resistanceIP68IP68IP68IP68
ColorsPurple, blue, midnight, starlight and Product REDPurple, blue, midnight, starlight and Product REDPurple, gold, silver and space blackPurple, gold, silver and space black

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Price and availability

Despite rumors warning of price hikes on some models, Apple kept the prices for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro (and Pro Max) the same as they were for the iPhone 13 lineup. The iPhone 14 starts at $799 for the base version, the iPhone 14 Plus starts at $899, the iPhone 14 Pro at $999, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max at $1,099. All storage options start at 128GB, with the Pro models going up to 1TB.

iPhone 14 preorders begin September 9, with three of the models hitting general availability on September 16. However, the iPhone 14 Plus won’t ship October 7. 

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Design

This is the first area where things diverge between the iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro. The standard iPhone 14 looks basically the same as the iPhone 13 from last year, including the diagonal camera lens layout and slimmer notch. The iPhone 14 Plus looks like a blown up version of that. If you liked the iPhone 13’s design, you’ll be just fine with the iPhone 14’s.

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

But the iPhone 14 Pro turns out to be where Apple spent its time. The design from the back looks similar to the iPhone 13 Pro, though the camera module does appear to be larger thanks to the new 48MP main sensor. (More on that below.) The fun Pro color this year is a beautiful deep purple, a rich violet fit for royalty.

Around front, the notch is gone on the iPhone 14 Pro, replaced with a wide pill-shaped cutout that is the main focus of what Apple calls the Dynamic Island. This feature expands the cutout, taking advantage of the new screen real estate, for alerts and similar notifications. In the keynote, the feature looked slick, seeming to make good use of the space.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Future)

So the iPhone 14 Pro killed the notch, the one that’s been around since the iPhone X arrived in 2017. Five years we’ve had to look at its unsightliness, but now the pill-shaped cutout is much more appealing (if we have to look at a cutout at all, since all-screen phones are far from perfect yet). 

If you’re tired of the same old iPhone design, then the iPhone 14 Pro might strike you as very exciting.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Display

The good news is that there are just two screen sizes this year across the entire iPhone 14 lineup — 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are the smallest models, while the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Max pack in very large displays.

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

All four feature Apple’s Super Retina XDR and use OLEDs as the panel tech. The iPhone 14 has a resolution of 2532 x 1170 (460 ppi) while the iPhone 14 Pro is 2556 x 1179 (460 ppi), so the resolutions are functionally identical. For the larger handsets, the iPhone 14 Plus comes in at 2778 x 1284 (458 ppi) with the iPhone 14 Pro Max at 2796 x 1290 (460 ppi).

For brightness, Apple is touting both Pro and standard models as having crazy bright displays. The iPhone 14 is rated to have a peak HDR brightness of 1,200 nits, while the iPhone 14 Pro is set to have a jaw-dropping peak HDR brightness of 2,000 nits. That’s the brightest we’ve ever seen on a smartphone and twice as bright as the iPhone 13 Pro’s rating. 

An image of the Apple iPhone 14 Pro.

(Image credit: Apple)

An always-on display feature finally comes to the iPhone with the iPhone 14 Pro. This is a low-power mode that lets you see some basic information at glance while your phone screen is off. The iPhone 14 does not get to enjoy this feature (that is basic on essentially every Android phone), as Apple is leaning heavily on the iPhone 14 Pro’s adaptive refresh rate to keep an always-on display from draining the phone’s battery.

As usual with iPhones, we expect these displays to be beautiful with gorgeous colors when we finally get the chance to test the new phones.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Cameras

Like every year, Apple upgraded the cameras on both the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro. The iPhone 14 (and iPhone 14 Plus) gets a larger main 12MP sensor with larger pixels (1.9 microns), a faster f/1.5 aperture, and a touted 49% improvement in low-light performance. Sensor-shift image stabilization comes as standard.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro camera setup

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The 12MP front-facing camera on all four iPhone 14 models got a serious boost with an enhanced hybrid focus system, partially powered by the new autofocus capability. That should ensure clearer selfies. Apple also introduced the Photonic Engine across the iPhone 14 lineup, which uses AI to improve low-light photography across all three cameras.

Video also sees a bump thanks to Action mode, Apple’s latest tech. While perhaps not as impressive on the surface as the Cinematic mode addition from last year, Action mode looks like it’ll massively upgrade video stabilization, with Apple claiming you don’t need a gimbal. That might be a stretch, so we’ll have to see how Action mode performs in real life, but it seems like a cool concept.

an image of the iPhone 14 Pro cameras

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 14 Pro gets all of these software features, but with a new 48MP main sensor that’s also 65% larger than the iPhone 13 Pro’s sensor. It can do 2x optical zoom on its own, but in tandem with the 12MP 3x telephoto lens, you can get up to 6x optical zoom or 15x digital zoom. That’s impressive, although less so when you consider the Galaxy S22 Ultra and its max 100x digital zoom.

The 12MP ultrawide camera on the iPhone 14 Pro is also better than the iPhone 13 Pro’s, letting in three times more light than before. Even the flash has seen an improvement. And for pro photographers, the iPhone 14 Pro can capture a huge 48MP RAW image, unlocking a ton of potential for later edits.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Performance

Yet another area where the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro diverge comes down to the chipset. The iPhone 14 sticks with the A15 Bionic from last year, though it uses the more advanced version found in the iPhone 13 Pro — the one with a 5-core GPU. It’s still a powerful chip by today’s standards, outpacing even the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 from Qualcomm, although not by much.

iPhone 14 at Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple via YouTube)

The iPhone 14 Pro, meanwhile, gets the new A16 Bionic with a hexa-core CPU, penta-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine, all built on a 4nm process. Apple so far has not divulged how much RAM the iPhone 14 Pro has, but we’re willing to bet it’s 6GB, likely of the faster LPDDR5 variant. 

iPhone 14 Pro at Apple Event

(Image credit: Apple via YouTube)

As usual with Apple silicon, expect the A16 Bionic to be a powerful chip. We don’t have any inkling of how well it performs yet, but rest assured we’ll be putting it to the test once we get our hands on review units.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Battery life and charging

We don’t know a lot about the batteries on the four iPhone models — Apple never shares capacities — so we can only go based on what Apple has said and our experience with the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

With that in mind, we expect great things from the battery life of the new handsets. The iPhone 13 Pro Max was an endurance champ last year in our custom battery life test. This is where we task a phone to endlessly reload web pages over a cellular connection until it dies. The iPhone 13 Pro Max went for a very impressive 12 hours, 16 minutes; the iPhone 13 Pro lasted for 11 hours, 42 minutes; and the iPhone 13 managed a respectable 10 hours, 33 minutes.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

(Image credit: Future)

For the iPhone 14 Plus, Apple claims it has the best battery life of any iPhone yet, meaning it could outlast the iPhone 13 Pro Max when we get the device into our lab for testing. The flagship iPhone from last year set a very high bar, one that many Android flagships have trouble reaching, so we’re excited to see what the newest iPhone can do.

Here’s what Apple says about battery performance for its new phones:

  • iPhone 14 - Up to 20 hours of video playback
  • iPhone 14 Plus - Up to 26 hours of video playback
  • iPhone 14 Pro - Up to 23 hours of video playback
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max - Up to 29 hours of video playback

Those numbers mean a whole lot of nothing in the context of real world use, so we’ll have to get our hands on the four devices to see how well they do, both in our lab and actual usage.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Software

Here’s an area where the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are basically the same. They each run iOS 16, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. This comes with features such as the new lock screen, where you can customize to match your style (and create multiple to switch between, such as with Focus modes). 

iPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

You can also edit and undo send messages in iMessage, use the iCloud Shared Photo Library to share photos with family members, and other improvements. iOS 16 arrives for  all compatible iPhones on September 12, so your new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max will have the latest version right out of the box.

Check out our iOS 16 hands-on review if you want to learn more about the software update coming to Apple’s phones next week.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Outlook

We said at the outset of our iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro comparison that there has never been more differences between the Pro and regular iPhone models than what you’ll find in the iPhone 14 lineup.Apple seems to have held back on the iPhone 14, making minimal to moderate upgrades over the iPhone 13 while pushing the boat out on the iPhone 14 Pro.

The focus with this round of updates appears to be on the iPhone 14 Pro, from its flashy new design to its upgraded cameras and powerful A16 Bionic chipset. For an extra $200 between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, you get much better performance, stronger telephoto capabilities, a brighter display, and enhanced photography prowess. The same holds true for the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, though the Plus has some appeal for bargain hunters who want a big-screen iPhone for less than $1,000..

We’ll be reviewing all four models in the coming days and weeks, so keep it locked here so you can stay on top of the latest iPhone 14 happenings. 

Next: You can also look at our quick guide to: iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max — reasons to buy and skip.

Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over five years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.

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