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iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro — get ready for the biggest differences in years

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro renders
(Image credit: Apple/Tom's Guide/Shutterstock)

What do we know about the iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro comparison? We're pretty that when people go to shop for the new iPhone 14 this year, they could be in for a pretty big shock. And I’m not talking about the price. 

For starters, Apple is rumored to kill the mini model altogether for the iPhone 14 lineup. Instead, the 5.4-inch mini will reportedly be replaced by a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max. (We think the iPhone 14 Max could really shake up the smartphone landscape). So there would be two iPhone 14 models with 6.1-inch displays and two with 6.7-inch panels.

But this isn’t actually the biggest news based on the iPhone 14 rumors and leaks I’ve seen so far. As you’d expect, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are tipped once again to feature 120Hz ProMotion displays, which could be limited to the Pro series. And the same thing will likely apply to the telephoto lens for a true optical zoom.

But there’s a lot more differences we’ve heard between the iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro. And they could put the Pro in its own league — for better or for worse. 

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: No notch for Pro

iPhone 14 Pro front and back in white

(Image credit: the Hacker 34)

The iPhone 14 Pro is tipped to kill the notch, but don't expect a similar look to the best Android phones.  Instead, Apple will reportedly replace the notch with two cut outs towards the top of the display: a pill-shaped cut-out for Face ID and a smaller punch-hole for the front camera.

We've seen a number of renders and mockups that show what the iPhone 14 Pro could look like, and it's clear that some don't like the dual punch-hole approach. Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max are expected to stick with the same notch as the iPhone 13 series. 

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: A16 Bionic goes Pro 

This is a rumor that we didn't believe at first, but it could happen. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 14 Pro series could exclusively get Apple's new A16 Bionic chip, which will reportedly use a new 4nm process.

The regular iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max would be powered by the current A15 Bionic chip but possibly feature more RAM, going from 4GB to 6GB. The iPhone 14 Pro would use the same amount of RAM but a more advanced LPDDR5 memory that would "be up to one and a half times faster and up to 30 percent more power efficient."

To be fair, the iPhone 13 benchmarks show that Apple already had the fastest chip in a phone and probably will for some time. But the iPhone 14 Pro series could get a serious performance boost. 

We have listed the key differences to expect between the A16 Bionic vs A15 Bionic —and what it could potentially mean for the iPhone 14.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: 48MP camera?

iPhone 14 Pro camera

(Image credit: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/iphone-x,review-4800.html)

This rumor appears to be in limbo but we've seen previous reports that Apple could swap the 12MP main camera in the iPhone 14 Pro for a sharper 48MP shooter. The iPhone 13 Pro's image quality is already stellar, but giving users more megapixels to play with would enable more cropping flexibility with photos, not to mention the potential benefits to low-light and HDR performance.

A leaker on Weibo has shot down the 48MP camera rumor for the iPhone 14 Pro, saying that it will used the same IMX703 sensors at the iPhone 13 Pro models. So a 12MP camera with a 1/1.67-inch sensor size and 1.9 μm pixels. We'll have to see how the rumors evolve, but for now I would say a sharper Pro camera is just a possibility.

Apple is rumored to be working on a periscope zoom for the iPhone, but that's tipped for 2023. 

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: Always-on display for Pro

Building on the ProMotion display, one report points to the iPhone 14 Pro series possibly offering an always-on display. This would enable users to quickly look at the time, notifications or widgets without fully powering on the phone. This would be made possible by the iPhone 14 Pro series 1-120Hz refresh rate. So in always-on mode, the refresh rate of the panel would scale down. 

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: USB-C for Pro only?

iPhone USB-C port

(Image credit: Ken Pillonel / YouTube)

Here's an iPhone 14 rumor that's looking less likely as we get closer to launch. Earlier rumors suggested that the iPhone 14 Pro will offer USB-C connectivity. This would enable the iPhone 14 Pro to deliver faster transfer speeds when working with external peripherals — important for creative pros — as well as presumably enable faster charging. 

Right now the iPhone 13 supports 20W charging, but Apple is reportedly working on a faster 30W Gallium Nitride charger. It's not known whether this would be reserved for the iPhone 14 Pro if it comes out this year. There's also the recent leaks of a dual-port 35W charger.

Apple has been in hot water with the European Union for a while on not adopting USB-C in its phones. However, the most recent intel is that Apple is testing USB-C connectivity for 2023 iPhones, so we'd be talking about the iPhone 15 lineup. 

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: All the other differences

Assuming Apple keeps the existing iPhone regular vs Pro differences intact, the iPhone 14 Pro series would continue to exclusively offer a 120Hz ProMotion display, which results in smoother scrolling and animations. And we're also anticipating that the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will feature a 3x optical zoom, while the regular iPhone 14 series would offer only digital zoom. 

Last but not least, the iPhone 14 Pro series could go up to 2TB of storage, even if that might seem like overkill for a phone. 

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: Bottom line

When you think about it, Apple really needs to convince shoppers that the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will be worth the premium, especially if there's going to be a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max. I can see plenty of would-be upgraders saying "why do I need a Pro when the iPhone 14 Max is good enough?"

Well, Apple can answer with only the iPhone 14 Pros offer a new powerful processor, a full-screen design with no notch, a sharper camera and more storage. And that's on top of the ProMotion display and telephoto zoom. In other words, the new iPhone 14 Pros could really, really feel Pro. 

Next: We also list 6 reasons the iPhone 14 can hold its own against the iPhone 14 Pro. And you can also check out our preview of iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro for all the upgrades expected.

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.

  • Thesecondflood
    Wait, you don't want Apple to offer USB-C technology? That makes no sense at all. I can understand that you are probably blind to all other technologies, other then Apple, but USB-C is better on so many levels.
    Reply
  • Ghfghhb
    Thesecondflood said:
    Wait, you don't want Apple to offer USB-C technology? That makes no sense at all. I can understand that you are probably blind to all other technologies, other then Apple, but USB-C is better on so many levels.

    I registered to also comment about this. USB C on the iPhone 14 pro series would be awesome... no idea why the author of this article is opposed to it.
    Reply
  • FoolishlyPowerful
    Thesecondflood said:
    Wait, you don't want Apple to offer USB-C technology? That makes no sense at all. I can understand that you are probably blind to all other technologies, other then Apple, but USB-C is better on so many levels.
    The author did not bring their wording A-game. I believe they meant to say "We hope USB-C isn't EXCLUSIVE to the 14 Pro" not "We hope USB-C doesn't come to iPhone at all" since the article discusses how Apple may keep Lightning on the lower models and USB-C to the Pro models.
    Reply
  • Carissik
    What about Touch ID? Nobody talks about it, and it seems off the table, but I know a few ppl holding off from buying the new phones, waiting for the TouchID to make a comeback in Pro models…
    Reply
  • Thesecondflood
    Ghfghhb said:
    I registered to also comment about this. USB C on the iPhone 14 pro series would be awesome... no idea why the author of this article is opposed to it.

    Yeah, I don't understand why they wouldn't want both types of devices to share the same charger port technology. I have run into so many people over the years that only use Android or the iPhone and their views on this cater more to their preferred device types. So I read into this article that they don't want to use USB-C on their, iPhone, because that is the technology they prefer. Where as a guy like me who uses both technologies, I want both types to use one standard and that is it. I can still remember back in the day when every time I purchased a new phone, I had to buy yet another vehicle cell phone charger, because everyone used a different type of port.
    Reply
  • Thesecondflood
    FoolishlyPowerful said:
    The author did not bring their wording A-game. I believe they meant to say "We hope USB-C isn't EXCLUSIVE to the 14 Pro" not "We hope USB-C doesn't come to iPhone at all" since the article discusses how Apple may keep Lightning on the lower models and USB-C to the Pro models.

    I wish they would clarify what they meant.
    Reply
  • Thesecondflood
    Carissik said:
    What about Touch ID? Nobody talks about it, and it seems off the table, but I know a few ppl holding off from buying the new phones, waiting for the TouchID to make a comeback in Pro models…

    I support Touch ID. I don't know why it isn't put into every new phone. But the cell phone manufacturers are getting more and more greedy. When I purchase my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, it didn't ever come with a charger. I can buy a $20 phone and it comes with a charger, but Samsung no longer wants to add one to their $1500 phones. That's crazy! I ended up filling BBB complaint and Samsung then gave me gift cards to allow me to buy a charger.
    Reply
  • Mark Spoonauer
    Thesecondflood said:
    Wait, you don't want Apple to offer USB-C technology? That makes no sense at all. I can understand that you are probably blind to all other technologies, other then Apple, but USB-C is better on so many levels.

    Apologies, I meant that it would be bad if only the Pro got USB-C. I want both the regular models and Pros to have it. Piece is updated to reflect that.
    Reply
  • varase
    Heh ... that would be hilarious.

    Apple puts USB-C only on the Pro models, and sells only the more expensive Pro models in the EU.

    The EU can then deal with all the smuggled in cheaper non-pro models with the oh so despised lightning port.

    Just watching the EC busybodies go apoplectic attempting to force a foreign corporation to stop manufacturing cheaper lightning port models outside the EU simply because of the interface port selection would be worth the show: I'd buy a ticket.

    Really, the only ones who really need USB-C are pros transferring large video files out of the phone.
    Reply
  • Mark Spoonauer
    Thesecondflood said:
    Wait, you don't want Apple to offer USB-C technology? That makes no sense at all. I can understand that you are probably blind to all other technologies, other then Apple, but USB-C is better on so many levels.

    Sorry I meant to say it would be bad if only the Pro got USB-C. I want it to come to both models. I updated the article to reflect this. thanks
    Reply