Don’t let the delays scare you — the iPhone 14 Pro is still worth it

Apple usually doesn’t admit upfront that there are longer wait times than usual or product shipment delays, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday. Apple issued a press release acknowledging the fact that recent COVID–19 restrictions are affecting one of its key factories in China.

As the holiday season begins to ramp up, Apple acknowledges the fact that there may be longer wait times and delays for customers to get their hands on new iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max devices, in particular. Despite this fact, I think the phones are still worth the wait — and here’s why.

Dynamic Island changes the game

The iPhone 14 Pro Max and its Dynamic Island.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

One of the coolest features of the iPhone 14 Pro lineup is the Dynamic Island, which, truthfully, no one really saw coming. The Dynamic Island is a hole-and-pill-shaped cutout that houses the front-facing selfie camera as well as the Face ID sensors, and it’s the replacement for the notch that has been around since the iPhone X. However, unlike the notch’s waste of space, the Dynamic Island makes use of its allotted space by showing off a seamless integration of both hardware and software. It’s something that just feels so whimsical and totally Apple.

Though the Dynamic Island was a bit limited on launch, this was due to limitations of iOS 16 itself; the Live Activities API was not made available until iOS 16.1. At first, the Dynamic Island mainly worked with native iOS apps like Music and timers. But now that more developers are able to take advantage of it, the Dynamic Island is one of the best features of the iPhone 14 Pro. Though Live Activities are technically just a new notification type and will work with other iPhone models with iOS 16, they can also show up specifically in the Dynamic Island if you have the 14 Pro models.

The Pixel Pals app on an iPhone 14 Pro Max. A digital cat is chasing a red ball on top of the Dynamic Island.
Look at my little guy chasing his ball Joe Maring/Digital Trends

For example, Christian Selig, the maker of the popular Reddit app, Apollo, made Pixel Pals — an app that places an adorable Tamagotchi-like pixel pet in your Dynamic Island. It offers no real functionality, but it’s cute and fun. However, there are plenty of other apps that offer more practical uses of the Dynamic Island space — such as Flighty for tracking flight itineraries, CARROT Weather’s precipitation tracking, various recipe apps and cooking timers, and more.

As more apps add support for both Live Activities and Dynamic Island, you’ll wonder how you did without. Seriously, the Dynamic Island feature is one of the best things about the iPhone 14 Pro, and worth the wait.

The first iPhone with an always-on display

iPhone 14 Pro showing the Moon always-on screen, held in a man's hand.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I had been wanting an always-on display (AOD) on the iPhone for several years. Ever since I had an Android device that did AOD, I was wondering when Apple would finally add that to the iPhone, especially when they added it to the Apple Watch Series 5 and beyond.

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are currently the only iPhones with AOD, and I personally am a fan of how it’s done. When the AOD is on, it dims the wallpaper to the lowest setting, so while you can still see your wallpaper, it shouldn’t be overly distracting. You will also see the date and time, any widgets that you have put on your lock screen, and any notifications that may be waiting. I like it because it gives me the information I need at a glance when it’s on the stand I have at my desk, eliminating the need to tap the screen.

Though some people may prefer how Android handles the always-on display (much more minimal), I personally like the way Apple does it. For me, the AOD is definitely a feature that I’ve been waiting for, so even if I did not have my iPhone 14 Pro already, I wouldn’t mind the wait to get my hands on it.

The 48MP camera is superb

The rear cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

If you prefer to take your photos with just your mobile phone, then the iPhone 14 Pro is a huge leap from previous generations with the new 48MP main camera. The 48MP shooter is done through a pixel-binning system, where four sub-pixels make up a single, larger pixel.

When you take normal photos, the metadata will continue to show “12MP.” However, serious photographers may want to shoot in Apple’s ProRAW format, which can be done in full 48MP resolution for the absolute best results and control in the post-editing process. The telephoto lens also brought back the 2x optical zoom from before (the iPhone 13 Pro only had 1x or 3x), which results in better Portrait mode photos.

Though most people may not use the advanced ProRAW format or ProRes video, such capabilities are nice to have, just in case. Plus, Apple added extras like the new Action Mode, which adds gimbal-like stabilization to videos, and Cinematic Mode can now shoot in 4K resolution (at 24fps or 30fps, your choice).

Regardless, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are both exceptional cameras, and if that’s what you’re looking for in your next smartphone, it’s worth the wait.

Delays are annoying, but some things are worth waiting for

The iPhone 14 Pro Max next to a green pepper.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

I get it — any product delays are annoying to deal with, especially since the holiday season always seems to sneak up on us. I’ve had my iPhone 14 Pro since launch, and it’s easily one of the best iPhones to date.

Even with the COVID–19 situation affecting one of the key factories in China and Apple publicly acknowledging there may be longer wait times, I think the iPhone 14 Pro is worth it. There are so many significant upgrades to it this year that can really change the game, especially the ones I’ve mentioned above.

If you’re asking for an iPhone 14 Pro this year, or planning to gift it to someone else, be prepared for a longer-than-usual wait. But let me tell you — it’s worth it, especially if you’re upgrading from an older iPhone.

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