The iPhone 14 Is Here, and So Is Satellite Emergency SOS and the Dynamic Island

Satellite Emergency SOS, dynamic island, more powerful cameras, and no mini option.

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iPhone 14 Pro Photo
Screenshot: Apple

The iPhone 14 is finally here. Wednesday’s Far Out event has revealed tons of new Apple devices and updates but certainly the most anticipated changes involve its latest phone. Apple has delivered a sleek and improved piece of hardware that offers some intriguing new features that you’re going to have fun with, assuming this is the hardware cycle you choose to upgrade on.

The 14 boasts amazing camera upgrades, bigger sizes, enhanced safety features and new, more powerful processing power. It’s a shame about the mini, though (RIP, little buddy). Here’s a quick look at what the new line of phones has to offer.

The Basics, including price and release date

iphone 14 pro color options
Screenshot: Apple
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First: the basics. Apple has launched four new devices for you to choose from. These include the iPhone 14, the 14 Plus, the 14 Pro, and the 14 Pro Max. You’ll also get to choose from two different sizes, depending on which model you opt for: there’s a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus, 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. The bigger screen sizes are designed to allow users better viewing experiences with streaming TV and movies, as well as enhanced gameplay experience. The only 6.7 inch model available on the iPhone 13 was for the Pro Max, so it’s nice to see the standard model also get a bigger version this time around.

The iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus come in five colors: Midnight (black), starlight (gold), blue, purple, and Product RED. The Pro line, meanwhile, comes in four: space black, gold, silver, and deep purple.

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Then there’s the pricing. The iPhone 14 starts at $799, the Plus at $899, the iPhone 14 Pro at $999, and the Pro Max comes in at a starting rate of $1,099. Availability begins soon. You can pre-order phones starting on Sept. 9. The iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, will all be available to ship starting September 16. The 14 Plus will be available starting on Oct. 7.

Behold, an A16 chip

iphone 14 and 14 plus specs
iPhone 14 and 14 Plus specs
Screenshot: Apple
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Now onto the upgrades and features. We can start with the power and storage for the new devices. There’s been much speculation over what kind of processing power the 14 is going to carry. The biggest punch comes with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, which will be running on an upgraded A16 chip, which Apple says is the fastest chip in “any smart phone.” Clearly, the new chip promises faster overall performance than the 13 Pro’s A15 bionic, and offers 16 billion transistors. It’s also the first chip Apple has built on a 4nm process.

The non-Pro iPhone 14, meanwhile, will run on the A15 that powered the 13 Pro. This chip comes with a 6 core CPU, a 5-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine.

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When it comes to storage, the 14 and 14 Plus start with 128GB and can be upgraded to 256GB or 512GB. Meanwhile, the Pro and Pro Max start at 256GB and can be upgraded to 512GB or 1TB.

iPhone 14 Pro specs
iPhone 14 Pro Specs
Screenshot: Apple
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Camera Upgrades

For the typical user, some of the most exciting updates come with the 14's newly improved camera configurations and capabilities.

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The iPhone 14 line will continue to have 12MP cameras. However, the Pro comes with a 48MP main camera that can shoot 8K video. Pros also come with a telephoto camera that can produce a 3x optical zoom. Meanwhile, all devices will have 12MP ultrawide cameras as well as a new front camera that is designed with improved autofocus to help out with your selfie game. In all of the new phones, the tech has also been tweaked to allow for much better low-light photography.

For video recording, meanwhile, the new phones offer an improved “action mode” that includes better stabilization capabilities, which Apple says negates the need to use a gimbal or other physical stabilizers when filming in a quick and jumpy environment.

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New Safety Services

Apple has been working hard to integrate new safety features into its devices, and several updates in the new 14 line offer truly intriguing capabilities.

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The most game-changing is the addition of Satellite to the Emergency SOS feature, which is designed to connect you to emergency services should you ever be stranded in a situation where typical connectivity (WiFi and cell service) is limited or non-existent. This adds expanded connectivity to far flung places (think remote mountain regions). Apple says that the feature can also be used in “less dire” situations, like if you’re out on a hike and want to share your location with your family or friends. This feature will be included free for two years with the iPhone 14 (though, presumably, you’ll have to pay for it after that period). It will be available starting in November.

The 14 also includes new crash detection technology which Apple has also integrated into the new Apple Watch. The feature leverages the phone’s gyroscope, sensors and machine learning to detect if you’ve been in a car crash and automatically calls emergency services to your location while also notifying your emergency contacts.

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Enter the ‘Dynamic Island’

Screenshot: Apple
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For iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, you’re going to get a new “notch” for the homepage. The physical part of this notch takes up 30% less area than notches on previous models, but this notch also has an expandable virtual component. In other words, it can change in shape and size to convey new information to the user. Apple calls this the “Dynamic Island,” because it’s basically a space to share updates and alerts from the device’s apps and services. In essence, it allows you to multi-task more efficiently, keeping a more up-to-date flow of information on what’s happening with your device without having to switch back and forth between apps all the time.

While the 14 line promises a lot of new features, Apple has also decided to let some things go that you might wish were sticking around (such as a slot for physical SIM cards). Indeed, there’s been much speculation about whether the beloved iPhone mini would continue to soldier on or whether Apple planned to stick to its bigger models. Now we know the truth: it turns out that Apple is not interested in renewing the smaller phones. That’s too bad, because the Mini—which launched in earnest alongside the iPhone 12 back in 2020—is pretty damn helpful for people who don’t have massive pockets (most of us). We’ll (maybe) see you in the next product life cycle, little guy.