13 critical details revealed at Apple’s iPhone 14 launch event

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What are the big takeaways from the iPhone 14 event? We’re here on the ground at the Steve Jobs theatre in Apple Park, Cupertino, with what you need to know:

What new iPhone 14 models will we get?

There are 4 new models to choose from now that the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro come in two screen sizes – 6.1 inches (standard) and 6.7 inches (Max). So now there’s the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

What are the colour choices?

The iPhone 14, including standard and larger ‘Plus’ size come in midnight, blue, starlight, purple and (PRODUCT)RED finishes. The iPhone 14 Pro gets the new Deep Purple colour, new Space Black along with silver and gold.

Has the ‘notch’ at the top of the screen changed?

Both new versions of the iPhone 14 still have a camera ‘notch’ at the top of their displays. While the iPhone 14’s notch looks the same as the iPhone 13, the iPhone 14 Pro has new ‘lozenge’ shaped camera cut-out which is positioned slightly beneath the top edge of the screen, and is a bit smaller. This new shape works with a brand new Dynamic Island feature that centralises notifications around the camera cut outs.

Will there be a price increase?

[Updated] While the iPhone 14’s price stays the same as last year for the US market, in Australia the 128GB model is $170 dearer than the same iPhone 13. And since the new 6.7 inch Plus model is new, there’s no direct comparison, however it is $180 more than the base iPhone 14. The iPhone 14 Pro models have seen a price increase over the iPhone 13 Pro models, and this is not surprising given their new chip and advanced features. The Pros start at $1749. Here’s are all of the Australian prices:

  • iPhone 14 will be available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB models, and starts from A$1399 inc GST
  • iPhone 14 Plus will be available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB models, and starts from A$1579 inc GST
  • iPhone 14 Pro will be available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB models, and starts from A$1749 inc GST
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max will be available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB models, and starts from A$1899 inc GST

When will we get them?

You’ll be able to pre-order the iPhone 14 now with the iPhone 14 available on Sept 16th, while the iPhone 14 Plus will be out on Oct 7th. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will be available on September 16th.

iPhone 14 feature summary
iPhone 14 Pro feature summary

What were the big surprises?

Health and safety were the big themes of the event, with features across Apple Watch and iPhone to help protect you. A big one was Crash Detection, which uses the phone’s speaker, barometric pressure sensor and accelerometer to detect if you’re been in a crash. The speaker can listen for the sound of a crash, the barometric sensor can tell if the Airbag has gone off, and the accelerometer can detect rapid deceleration. It will ask if you need help, call emergency services and let your contacts know.

Next, if you find yourself lost in the woods, adrift on a boat or hanging upside-down on a mountain cliff face without phone reception, US and Canadian iPhone 14 Pros can relay an SOS message via overhead satellites. We’re not sure if or when this feature will come to Australia, however it will welcome if it does. Keep in mind that if you bring your Australian iPhone to the US or Canada the feature will work, so the satellite detection depends on where the phone is being used, not where you bought it.

What was missing?

We were expecting to see an improved 90Hz display on the iPhone 14 standard and Plus models, and there was no mention of 8K video recording on the iPhone 14 Pros.

Does the regular iPhone 14 use the same chip as the older iPhone 13?

Likely due to chip shortages, the standard iPhone 14 gets the same A15 Bionic chip as used in the iPhone 13 Pro. It doesn’t appear that there have been any hardware or RAM tweaks to increase the performance.

Will the iPhone 14 Pro get a brand new chip?

The more expensive iPhone 14 Pro gets a completely new A16 Bionic chip. This looks to be considerably more powerful than the older iPhone 13 Pro, and will provide even better AI capabilities for low light photography, portrait modes, along with impressive gaming performance. 

Will there be an iPhone 14 mini?

There is no ‘mini’ size offered this year. This could be due to issues with the small size constraining battery life too much, or it just wasn’t popular enough and Apple is content to simply offer the iPhone SE as its compact model offering.

What are the standout features of the new iPhone 14 Pro?

48 megapixel main camera with Quad Pixel technology, a 2 x brighter ‘always on’ display with 2000 NIT peak brightness, lozenge-shaped FaceTime camera with Dynamic Island notification feature, Photonic Engine with 2 x low light performance, Action Mode with improved image stabilisation, Cinematic mode now supports 4K at 30 fps recording

What are the standout features of the standard iPhone 14?

The new 6.7 inch size on the iPhone Plus, selfie cameras get auto-focus, improved low light photo performance, crash detection feature

Is it worth upgrading from the iPhone 13?

The iPhone 14 Pro is the real show stopper, and the biggest step up in terms of capabilities over the previous year’s model. It’s also more expensive. The standard iPhone 14 doesn’t see as large a jump, and, given how good the iPhone 13 already is, there’s not a lot to be gained by upgrading unless you’re coming from a much older iPhone.

What other new products were announced at Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event?

  • The Apple Watch 8 including a new, lower cost SE model and new ‘Ultra’ model that’s designed for hard core explorers, adventures and athletes. The Apple Watch 8 gets the new Crash Detection feature as well as a temperature sensor to help women retrospectively detect ovulation
  • Updated AirPods Pro 2 earbuds with personalised spatial sound that uses your phone’s camera to photograph your unique head and ear shape, 2 x improved noise cancellation and a better charging case that can be located with the Find My app and can work with an Apple Watch or Mag Safe wireless charger

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Valens Quinn attended Apple’s Far Out event in California as a guest of Apple Australia.