Apple has unveiled its latest smartphone line-up, led by the iPhone 14. With the inevitable improvements, it will be interesting to see how the phone compares to last year’s flagship, the iPhone 13 Pro.
There are some surprising similarities between these two phones, separated by a year and a significant amount of money. But has Apple made any progress with its mainstream iPhone 14, or would you be better off simply finding a low-cost iPhone 13 Pro?
We’re not ready to give the iPhone 14 a final verdict, but here’s how it compares in terms of specs to last year’s Pro model.
The base iPhone 14 is very similar to last year’s iPhone 13. Apple is not trying to reinvent the wheel here.
It has the same flat aluminum rim as the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 families and the same flat glass front and back.
This design is particularly similar to that of the iPhone 13 Pro. The dimensions and shapes of the two phones are comparable, with the iPhone 13 Pro measuring 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.7mm and the iPhone 14 adding only 0.1mm to the thickness.
The main distinction is the use of more premium and durable stainless steel for the iPhone 13 Pro’s rim. This also makes the iPhone 13 Pro 204g heavier than the iPhone 14, which weighs 172g.
The iPhone 13 Pro has a larger camera module, with three lenses instead of the iPhone 14’s two.
Both of these phones have 6.1-inch OLED displays with resolutions of 1170 x 2532. They are very similar but not identical.
The main distinction is the refresh rate, with the iPhone 14 remaining at 60Hz and the iPhone 13 Pro adopting Apple’s 120Hz “Pro Motion” standard. It’s twice as smooth, which you’ll notice when scrolling through web content and photos.
In high brightness mode, the iPhone 13 Pro also gets brighter, up to 1000 nits (HBM). In comparison, the iPhone 14 can only reach 800 nits. In limited situations, both can achieve 1200 nits of peak brightness.
We know how these two camera systems will compare because the iPhone 14 unit borrows a little from the iPhone 13 and a lot from the iPhone 13 Pro.
Apple equips the iPhone 14 with a dual-camera system instead of the iPhone 13 Pro’s triple 12-megapixel system. However, the main sensor is very similar.
They have the same pixel count and size, as evidenced by their pixel sizes of 1.9m. Both benefit from the sensor-shift stabilization system found on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, so that we can expect similar low-light performance.
Another thing the two phones have in common is that they both use the same A15 Bionic chip, which has the same image processing power.
Apple, however, has reserved its new Photonic Engine for the iPhone 14. This hardware-software hybrid system, which employs Deep Fusion earlier in the photographic process, improves low-light performance by at least 2x across both iPhone 14 cameras, suggesting that it outperforms the iPhone 13 Pro in low-light conditions.
The older but more premium iPhone 13 Pro has a dedicated 3x telephoto camera, allowing it to capture more detailed zoomed shots than the iPhone 14, which relies on cropping in.
However, there is one area where the iPhone 14 appears to outperform its older Pro sibling: the front camera. While both are 12-megapixel cameras, the iPhone 14 has a larger f/1.9 aperture and a proper autofocus system rather than the 13 Pro’s fixed focus.
Both handsets are powered by the same A15 Bionic chip, as mentioned in the camera section. The iPhone 14 represents a minor upgrade from the iPhone 13’s A15 with a 4-core GPU to the iPhone 13 Pro’s A15 with a 5-core GPU.
This is not to say that the two phones will perform identically. While both handsets may have 6GB of RAM, the iPhone 14 uses slower LPDDR4X memory than the iPhone 13 Pro’s LPDDR5 memory.
Another spec advantage for the iPhone 13 Pro is the option of 1TB of internal storage, whereas the iPhone 14 only has 512GB.
Overall, the two devices are likely to be very close in terms of performance.
The comparisons show no significant difference between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 Pro. Both are very similar.
The iPhone 13 Pro, on the other hand, needs a few new cameras features to which the iPhone 14 has access, despite having hardware comparable to or even better.
There won’t be any brand-new iPhone 13 Pro phones on sale after the release of the iPhone 14 Pro because Apple hardware is known for maintaining its price. However, there’s a good chance you’ll get a good deal, which could lessen the benefit of the iPhone 14’s lower price. Check our iPhone 13 Pro deals.
The iPhone 13 Pro would be the better purchase if you can find one. But if you want to use new camera features, iPhone 14 is a better choice.