Apple iPhone 14 test: The smartphone is still in control, but not unexpected

The iPhone 14’s photo module is very similar to the iPhone 13, with the two modules aligned diagonally. We still regret the lack of a third focal length, which helps differentiate it from the previous model (it’s reserved for the Pro model, which is much more expensive). We note that Apple promises to integrate a sensor with a still fixed 12-megapixel resolution on the wide-angle module, but its announced pixels are 1.9 microns, compared to 1.7 microns last year. The associated optics open at f/1.5 instead of f/1.6. In short, the small changes offer hope for better low-light management.

On the other hand, in the face of competing smartphones over 1000 euros, it should be remembered that the iPhone 14 lacks versatility: its rival’s telephoto lens is reserved for Apple’s Pro models.

Wide-angle module: 12 Mpx, f/1.5, eq. 26mm

The iPhone generally shines with its wide-angle use, and it’s clear that it’s always been a success for them. It must be said that the iPhone 14 wins here in the face of the Galaxy S22, which tends to offer noisy shots. Accents are more pronounced, increasing the readability of small elements. Colorimetry also improves accuracy. If we compare the photos from this new iPhone to those from the iPhone 13, we see slightly more contrast, but no more.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ (f/1.8, ISO 64, 1/180 sec, 23mm eq.)

iPhone 14 (f/1.5, ISO 40, 1/187 sec, 26mm eq.)

This pixel binding Operated by the Galaxy S22+, it shows effectiveness against the iPhone 14. Better exposure, better contrast and better sharpness. The results were correct, of course, but behind the market. We also noticed that the smartphone performed a little better than its predecessor, especially in delivering less saturated images.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ (f/1.8, ISO 200, 1/4 sec, 23mm eq.)

iPhone 14 (f/1.5, ISO 640, 1/30 s, 23 mm eq.)

Ultra wide-angle module: 12 Mpx, f/2.2, eq. 13mm

Daytime photos from the iPhone 14’s ultra-wide are satisfactory to say the least. Despite some inaccuracies in chromaticity, they have a high level of detail and enough microscopic contrast to reveal the finest elements. In contrast, the Galaxy S22’s photos (captured natively at 12 Mpx) show less sharpness and are processed in favor of color brilliance and accuracy.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ (f/2.2, ISO 80, 1/100 sec, 13mm eq.)

iPhone 14 (f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/199 sec, 13mm eq.)

The trend at night is quite different, the Samsung-operated processing makes it possible to find more details. Apple’s photos are noticeably noisy, and to get rid of the noise, you have to go through night mode that requires long exposures…and add motion blur.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ (f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/100 sec, 13mm eq.)

iPhone 14 (f/2.4, ISO 3200, 1/30s, 13mm eq.)

Front and Video Modules

Like the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 benefits from a new front-facing camera, dubbed TrueDepth as always, and keeping 12 Mpx defined. However, the sensor is tied to an optical opening of f/1.9 instead of f/2.2, and gets a very useful autofocus. Images are well-exposed and very detailed, and portrait mode retains its usual precision, but there are some hiccups on messy hair. As for selfies, Apple isn’t competing for megapixels, but instead lets you get some of the most natural-looking images on the market, with interesting lighting effects added.

For video, the iPhone 14 shoots up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision) at 60 fps. A mode that doesn’t happen alone, as the smartphone takes advantage of the Cinema mode (4K at 30 fps) that allows you to create a depth-of-field effect and was enabled last year, but also works in Action Mode. This stabilization promises to use the entire main sensor of the smartphone for action-cam-inspired stabilization. We must admit that the effect is convincing. Note that you’ll need a properly lit scene for this mode to work, and recording at 60 fps is capped at 2.8K.

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