Apple iPhone 14 Pro review: The Mercedes-Benz of phones

We’re living in interesting times when it comes to our phones. 

On the one hand, we all know the cameras on phones are outstanding, better than the digital cameras of a few years ago by far. Modern phones are also faster and last much longer than just a few years ago as well. Many of us have a good quality phone nowadays.

This creates a predicament for companies like Apple that release new products on a regular basis. Since the iPhone in general is already so stellar, when a new model comes out, it’s sometimes hard to know if it is significantly better than the last model.

I will attest to the fact that the Apple iPhone 14 Pro I’ve been using for a few weeks is like the Mercedes-Benz of phones. It has an elegant look, feels like a high-quality of machinery in your hand, and just feels noticeably more solid, robust, and durable than models from a while back. I also noticed, in real-world tests (using Facebook often, watching Netflix videos, and texting like a crazed banshee all day) that the iPhone 14 Pro definitely will last solid two days or more.

That’s hard to quantify, of course. During the day, most of us charge up a little where and there, dropping the phone on a wireless charger at work and connecting up in the car. I decided to intentionally not do that while I was testing the phone, and was surprised how the battery just kept chugging along. There’s no question it will last all day, though.

So, about the build quality. I could throw some specs at you about the “surgical-grade stainless steel” and the “Ceramic Shield” construction. I will say, I didn’t ever drop the phone but I do know this model feels noticeably more solid than the previous iPhone I’ve tested.

The two most important new features on the iPhone 14 Pro have to do with the display. The Dynamic Island is interesting. It’s basically the new “notch” at the top that has to be there because of the front-facing camera but is now a secondary display. You can glance at this area to see which podcast is playing, keep tabs on your current call, and other little perks. I’m fine with this change, although I had a little trouble seeing the tiny little album covers. I also wondered if the area is too small to really help that much with minor tips and tasks.

The second big change is the lock screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro, the screen now dims instead of going completely dark. I like it. I didn’t think I would. It took me a bit to adjust to the fact that the iPhone 14 Pro now can serve as a very expensive clock radio at night, showing you the time on a dim display. The feature is automated so if you place the phone face down it will go completely dark. It’s now easier to see the time, temp, and date at a glance.

At 48-megapixels, the camera on the back of the iPhone 14 Pro will knock your socks right off. I recorded some 4K 24 frames-per-second videos and snapped a boatload of pictures. The cinematic quality of the video recording is impressive, and I noticed my photos had an extra clarity and color that surprised me. A tiny little number three pops up when you take photos, which is a whole other level of zoom and came in handy at a concert.

The 6.1-inch model I tested costs $999 if you buy it outright. The Max version with a 6.7-inch display costs $100 more. This is the best iPhone ever made, of course. If you want to use a car analogy, it’s like a Mercedes-Benz because it means you have the best of the best. Some of us might choose to keep an old phone, but you miss out on the high quality construction, the extra powerful camera, the new Dynamic Island, the always-on display, and a few other perks.

Do I recommend it? For sure. This might be the best gadget ever made, period. We all use our phones constantly, might as well invest in the best product you can get your hands on.