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I got Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro, but I don’t really need it

Updated Nov 16th, 2022 10:11AM EST
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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In the weeks leading up to Apple’s September event, I knew this would be the year I finally upgraded my iPhone. I was more excited about the iPhone 14 Pro than any previous Pro models. And I knew I had to get it as soon as possible, worrying that mine wouldn’t ship on the release date.

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It all turned out the way I wanted. I purchased the Deep Purple iPhone 14 Pro, complete with the Dynamic Island, new always-on display, excellent battery life, and a significantly upgraded camera system. Nearly one month later, I can admit the truth. I don’t really need the new Pro. Let me rephrase that so it reflects my thought process: I might not need any iPhone Pro that Apple releases in the future.

The iPhone 14 Pro is a big upgrade

I came to this conclusion right after I switched to the iPhone 14 Pro. I don’t regret the upgrade, and I won’t be returning my phone.

Also, I felt the upgrade immediately, as I jumped from the iPhone X to the new iPhone 14 Pro. The X was a Pro of its own, offering the best possible experience of the 2017 iPhone generation. Just like the iPhone 14 Pro gives you the best possible 2022 iPhone experience.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Front
iPhone 14 Pro display view. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

While I have used the iPhone Pro models between the X and the 14 Pro briefly, it’s only when you upgrade your daily driver that you’ll notice the significant changes. Especially if you come from the iPhone 11 or an older model. The speed, the screen quality, and the camera experience are all there to take advantage of.

But the more I used the iPhone 14 Pro and looked at all the novelties, the more I realized the somewhat sad truth. I could have gotten the iPhone 14, which is really an iPhone 13 Pro variant without a 120Hz screen and triple-lens camera. And I wouldn’t have missed anything important.

The point here isn’t that I’m looking to save money by going for a regular model. It’s that regular iPhones are so good right now, you wouldn’t feel the difference during everyday iPhone use. I could have easily gotten the iPhone 13 mini, the one that got away, and never skipped a beat.

All the Pro features I could do without

The iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island notch is a welcome novelty but one I’d like to turn off if Apple ever lets me do it. I have no problem with the shape of the notch whatsoever. More importantly, I would take any cutout so I have Apple’s secure Face ID system.

I don’t use the always-on display, and I’ve already explained why. First, Face ID makes it so easy to get into the phone that I don’t care about glancing at the screen. Secondly, disabling it bumps battery life, which is a lot more important.

As for that fantastic 48-megapixel camera, you need to take RAW photos to take advantage of it. I’ve only tested it for work-related purposes. That is, I haven’t taken any 48-megapixel images of my own. Of course, I’ve already explained that most photos you’ll take will be 12-megapixel images because of how the camera system works.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Back
iPhone 14 Pro’s triple-lens camera. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Still, I’m confident the iPhone 14’s dual-camera system would have gotten the job done.

There’s also the 120Hz display that’s brighter and smoother than before. Jumping from iPhone 12 or older to the iPhone 14 Pro will give you a first taste of the new OLED panel featuring support for dynamic refresh. But I can’t say I’ve noticed (or cared) about the 120Hz refresh. On the contrary, I’m tempted to go to a 60Hz dynamic refresh. This will also help conserve battery life.

Don’t forget to check our in-depth iPhone 14 Pro review to learn everything about it.

The iPhone 14 is still a flagship

Finally, the handset feels incredibly fast, and that A16 Bionic chip will pay for itself years down the road when this iPhone 14 Pro will still be able to run whatever iOS throws at it. And I do plan to hang on to the iPhone 14 Pro for a few years. Or, at the very least, to pass it on to someone else in the family.

But I’ve hardly been able to experience the true power of the A16 Bionic. The A15 in the iPhone 14 would do just as fine. Make no mistake, the iPhone 14 is still a flagship device. Even with an older chip.

iPhone 14 Display
Apple iPhone 14. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Like me, plenty of people might buy the iPhone 14 Pro (or Pro Max) this year without necessarily needing it. Again, I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy the iPhone 14 Pro with all of this. I’m just appreciating how far the iPhone has come for me to realize the “simple” iPhone 14 would serve all my iPhone needs.

The iPhone is reaching a familiar stage, one that we’ve witnessed on iPad and MacBook. The regular iPad, the iPad Air, and the MacBook Air are incredible devices that you don’t have to go looking for the Pros unless you have the actual needs of a professional user.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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