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iPhone 14 Pro: a first look at the new moving notch, camera, and more

Apple just announced the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. They’re big upgrades to last year’s iPhone 13 Pro handsets with always-on screens, a new pill-shaped cutout that moves and animates, a faster A16 Bionic chip, and even an improved 48-megapixel camera.

The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max look very similar to last year’s 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, until you look more closely at the display. The new pill-shaped cutout means the notch is gone, kind of. It actually moves around and animates, in what Apple calls the Dynamic Island. Notifications and alerts will adapt and move around the pill-shaped notch, and Apple is using this system for live activity widgets and even when you swipe up to move background tasks like music playback to the island.

Greetings from Dynamic Island.

The new Always On Display on the iPhone 14 Pro series.

The Dynamic Island is a big change for the iPhone 14 Pro, and its shape-shifting seems to be a playful way to make better use of the notch real estate. If you can’t lose it, use it, I guess?

Also new to the displays on the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max is an always-on feature. It works by showing widgets of information on the display without it needing to be powered on. You can check out weather, calendar information, and more. It looks great, and wallpapers even darken to match the always-on mode.

It wouldn’t be a new iPhone without new cameras, though. For the first time ever, the iPhone is moving away from a 12-megapixel sensor to a 48-megapixel one. Improvements include advancements in low-light photography, all using a quad-pixel sensor with f/1.78 aperture and 24mm focal length.

The iPhone 14 Pro, with no SIM slot on the right side.

The cameras aren’t quite flush with the rear panel, but sit on a slightly raised pedestal.
Image: Allison Johnson, The Verge

For most photos, the sensor will take 12-megapixel binned photos to maximize light capture. This also allows Apple to crop the sensor in different ways to deliver true 2x zoom at a 48mm focal length.

Also inside the iPhone 14 Pro models is Apple’s upgraded A16 Bionic chip. It’s hard to test the performance in the limited hands-on time we get with these devices, but Apple says it has focused on power efficiency, display, and camera with its new chip. This new chip also helps power the new Dynamic Island system.

All in all, the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max feel every bit as solid as the previous generation, with some interesting improvements under the hood — particularly to the camera — that we’re eager to dive into.

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