CUPERTINO, Calif.—Today, Apple revealed its 2022 flagship iPhone lineup, including the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. While there were few surprises after months of accurate leaks, and the fundamental design hasn’t changed yearly, there are some interesting new things to see—particularly with the Pro phones.
We spent a few minutes handling the new devices and taking photos at a showroom within Apple’s Steve Jobs Theater. While we only had a few moments with each device, we walked away with the impression that at least as much as things change, they ultimately stay the same. The phones feel the same in your hands and offer most of the same features as other recent flagship iPhones.
To that point, here are our photos of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. The 6.7-inch Plus phone replaces the 5.4-inch mini in the iPhone 14 lineup, while the iPhone 14 has pretty much the same dimensions as the iPhone 13.
The biggest visible change, then, is on the Pro models, seen below. The notch is gone, replaced by a camera cutout near the top of the screen that is made to look like a UI element—with functionality and everything—thanks to the iOS software and the true-black, per-pixel illumination OLED screen tech.
We were impressed by the new cutout. Going in, there was a certain degree of skepticism—it didn’t seem like a cutout was any better than a notch. But Apple has made some clever software choices to turn a weakness into a feature—and the company did it in a way that few Android phone makers could do to counter it in exactly the same way.
The animations are snappy, the shapes are clever, the functionality is useful, and the pill at the top feels a bit like the swipe-up indicator at the bottom of the phone—an ever-present UI element.
It’s not enough of an upgrade to the iPhone 13 Pro—or even maybe a couple of generations before that, either. But it’s a flashy, clever way to address a long-standing thorn in the modern smartphone design’s side.
Otherwise, though, it was business as usual with these phones, in our brief experience. The two biggest new additions besides the Pro’s notch redesign—improved cameras and satellite functionality—weren’t something we could appropriately test in this venue. Those will have to wait for our reviews in the coming weeks.