iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Which is better for you?

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: iMore)

Apple released the iPhone 14 line in September 2022, which consisted of a basic iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. 

Each of these brought improvements to the previous range, although some features such as the Always-On Display, Promotion cameras and the option of 1TB storage were reserved for the larger Pro models. The Dynamic Island was also exclusive to the 14 Pro and Pro Max, which replaced the notch in favor of an interactive area where apps could showcase information on it.

And of course, the iPhone 14 colors -- including the lemony delicious new yellow model -- are quite a bit different from the iPhone 14 Pro colors, which feel more professional (and decidedly less fun): black, gold, silver, and purple.

However, that doesn't mean the Pro models are best for everybody. If you're on a tighter budget or you don't believe you're going to get a lot of use out of the Pro's advanced features, you might be better off with the still-excellent iPhone 14.

If your contract is almost up, or you want to treat yourself this year we've put together this short guide for you to help decide between the four best iPhones so far.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Specifications

The differences between the two models are small, but significant - as this comparison guide lays out for you.

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Header Cell - Column 0 iPhone 14 Pro/Pro MaxiPhone 14/14 Plus
DesignCeramic Shield front, Surgical-grade stainless steelCeramic Shield front, Aerospace-grade aluminum
ColorsDeep Purple, Gold, Space Black, SilverBlue, Purple, Midnight, Starlight, (PRODUCT)RED
ProcessorA16 Bionic A15 Bionic
DisplayiPhone 14 Pro: 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display; iPhone 14 Pro Max: 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR DisplayiPhone 14: 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display; iPhone 14 Plus: 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR Display
Back cameraPro camera system: 48MP Main, Ultra Wide, TelephotoAdvanced dual-camera system 12MP Main Ultra Wide
Front cameraAdvanced dual-camera system 12MP Main Ultra WideAdvanced dual-camera system 12MP Main Ultra Wide
SOS emergencyYesYes
Crash alertYesYes
Dynamic IslandYesNo
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Battery (video-playback)iPhone 14 Pro: up to 23 hours; iPhone 14 Pro Max: up to 29 hoursiPhone 14: up to 20 hours; iPhone 14 Plus: up to 26 hours
Always-On displayYesNo
SizeiPhone 14 Pro: 5.81 by 2.81 by 0.31 inches; iPhone 14 Pro Max: 6.33 by 3.05 by 0.31 inchesiPhone 14: 5.78 by 2.82 by 0.31 inches; iPhone 14 Plus: 6.33 by 3.07 by 0.31 inches
WeightiPhone 14 Pro: 7.27 ounces; iPhone 14 Pro Max: 8.47 ouncesiPhone 14: 6.07 ounces; iPhone 14 Plus: 7.16 ounces
Starting priceiPhone 14 Pro: $999; iPhone 14 Pro Max: $1,099iPhone 14: $699; iPhone 14 Plus: $799

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro share many similarities, such as the overall design – apart from Dynamic Island on the Pro models, that is. There's a Ceramic Shield front, water resistance that goes as deep as six meters for up to 30 minutes, 128GB storage options, and MagSafe charging.

Both models also include the new SOS emergency and crash detection safety features. However, the most significant differences are the display and camera options.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Display

IPhone 14 Pro specs

(Image credit: Apple)

Interestingly, the displays found on these four newest iPhones are the same type, albeit not the same size. Each one has a Super Retina XDR display that uses OLED technology. However, some differences in them do exist between the models. 

For example, the iPhone 14 comes with a 6.1-inch (diagonal) all-screen OLED display with a 2532-by-1170-pixel resolution of 460 PPI (Pixel Per Inch). Contrast this with the 6.1-inch (diagonal) all-screen OLED display on the iPhone 14 Pro, which has a 2556-by-1179-pixel resolution at 460 PPI. 

Meanwhile, there's the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus with a 2778-by-1284-pixel resolution at 458 PPI and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max with a 2796-by-1290-pixel resolution at 460 PPI.

Essentially, you're going to get a great screen on all of these models whichever one you choose.

The iPhone 14 Pro series is the only one with an Always-On display and a Dynamic Island, alongside ProMotion, which allows the display to run at a faster and slower framerate, depending on how you're using the device at any time.

The Dynamic Island is unique to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, where it's at the top of the display, replacing the notch. This is also where the front-facing camera is also housed. Dynamic Island combines hardware and software to create a place where you will find alerts from your favorite apps such as Music, News+, and more. 

The alerts are real-time and interactive, so if you want to skip to a different track in Apple Music for example, it's just a tap away on the Island. 

This is only available on the Pro series for now, with the regular iPhone 14 and 14 Plus still using the notch.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Cameras

iPhone 14 Pro camera

(Image credit: Apple)

One of the most significant differences over the years between the regular iPhone and the iPhone Pro models has been the cameras. That's again on display when looking at the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro.

On the former, you'll find a dual camera system with 12MP Main and Ultra Wide lenses. On the latter, Apple has included a next-generation "Pro" camera system with a 48MP Main, 12MP Ultra Wide, and 12MP Telephoto lens. It also offers second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization.

Apple has always been one to showcase its latest camera efforts in the newest iPhones, and it didn't stop for the iPhone 14 models, the Pro ones in particular. While they're essentially the same compared to the iPhone 13 with iPhone 14, it's a different ball game when it comes to the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max.

There is now a 48MP Main camera, a 12MP Ultra Wide camera, and a 12MP Telephoto lens – but in order to take photos in 48MP, you have to switch the image type to the RAW format, otherwise you'll be getting the same 12MP shots as before.

The front-facing cameras on both series are much more similar though. You'll find a 12MP TrueDepth camera with a Retina Flash and an all-new Photonic Engine across all four models, which means that you'll be able to take better selfies in low-light environments.

When it comes to video, not much has changed here compared to 2021's iPhone 13 line, surprisingly, while the regular iPhone 14 models don't include ProRes video recording, which is only available on Pro devices.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: Which should you buy?

The iPhone 14 line will be the best iPhone for most people, especially for those who have been waiting for the Plus model to make a return. They're less expensive, come in brighter colors, and have many of the same excellent (and new) features found on the Pro models.

However, if you want the latest and greatest in Apple's camera efforts, and you've long been hoping for the notch to disappear, you can't go wrong with the iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's  Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider (opens in new tab)', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.