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iPhone 14 feature gap between standard and Pro Max version has users fuming

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Apple went all out today at its annual launch event.

Chief executive officer Tim Cook praised the new iterations of the iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch.

“On their own, each is industry leading. Together they provide a magical experience,” he said.

It was, of course, the iPhone 14 that got top billing. However the next-gen of the wildly successful smartphone is leaving some cold with the specification gap between the standard model and the pricier Pro Max version stronger than it’s ever been.

If you want the bells and whistles, the “always on” display and the “dynamic island” interface, you’re going to need to cough up several hundred more dollars. Some online have already called the standard iPhone 14 “underwhelming”.

The new iPhone 14 will feature a better camera compared to older versions.

While an analyst who spoke to news.com.au praised the new range overall but said she was surprised there was one feature Apple hAcesparks’t improved for the launch.

Make no mistake though – Apple is on a roll. The $2.65 trillion company, once again the biggest by market capitalization in the world, is in a sweet spot.

New data has revealed that in the US, iPhones now make up more than half the market leaving its rivals in the dust.

Cook presented the gadget jamboree from the Steve Jobs Theater at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino – in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley.

He introduced a range of new features that will be available on all new iPhones and some of the new Apple Watch products. Many of these were focused around safety, health and fitness.

Phones and watches will now be able to detect if they’ve been involved in a car crash and call the emergency services if the user doesn’t respond. While a deal with satellite firm Globalstar will see iPhone users able to call for assistance even if they’re out of mobile range.

New sensors on the Watch and iPhone will also help women monitor their health better, including ovulation cycles.

And it’s sayonara to the physical SIM card, at least in the US. Apple is now going head long into digital eSIMs ending the need to coax the tiny piece of plastic out of the phone. It can’t be long before that comes to Australia.

New iPhone 14's on display.
Some users aren’t happy with the difference between the standard and fully featured iPhone 14.

iPhone 14 ‘underwhelming’

But if you’re keen on the iPhone 14 and all its whiz-bang new features, you may want to steer clear of standard models. “Go Pro or go home,” seems to be the message from Apple.

“This might be the year to go Pro,” website TechRadar said the day before the launch based on rumors which largely proved to be accurate.

“That’s likely to be a more expensive upgrade. But the pay-off will probably be genuine progress in performance, design and camera while the iPhone 14 looks set to stand relatively still.”

Website Tom’s Guide said similar: “Apple didn’t reinvent the wheel with the iPhone 14’s design. In fact, it looks basically the same as the iPhone 13”.

There’s always a gulf between the standard and souped up models in any new generation of smartphones, in terms of memory and battery for instance. But perhaps never as big a gap as this.

You want a 48MP camera rather than 12MP? GoPro; A15 rather than A16 chip? Go Pro.

What about the “always on” display that shows critical information on a dull screen without you needing to press the phone awake? Go Pro.

And the most talked about new feature of the iPhone 14 – the “dynamic island” that replaces the “notch”. Yep, only on Pro.

If you’re below a 14 Pro you will still get the notch as of now.

Game changer ‘dynamic island’

The dynamic island is being touted as a game changer, giving the user back valuable screen real estate around the pill shaped space; space that was lost with the current notch.

This non-screen sliver is vital for the phone’s hardware containing the selfie camera and the sensor to unlock the phone.

Unlike the notch, however, the dynamic island isn’t just dead space. It will be able to display information including what music you’re playing and who is calling. You can even answer the phone through it.

New iPhone 14 on display showing new features
Along with the iPhone 14, Apple also unveiled the new Apple Watch and Airpods.

In America, the standard iPhone 14 starts at $999 with that, you will get improved battery life and better cameras.

But if you want the dynamic island, bigger camera and faster chip you’ll need to spend upwards of $1099.

Feature Apple missed

Nevertheless Carolina Milanesi, technology analyst at Silicon Valley based consultancy Creative Strategies, told news.com.au Apple were clearly “doing something right” given its increasing market share.

“From an iPhone perspective they have the strongest portfolio they have ever had.”

She said improvements across the board in the display, low light photography and battery life were a boon for consumers.

“The only thing that was on my wish list from a user perspective was more attention around the zoom,” said Milanesi.

“They have some zoom improvements but some of Apple’s competitors have really big zoom and ultra-zoom features.”

The new iPhone 14 and the apple logo in Poland.
The launch party was the first in-person launch since 2019.

Feature Apple missed

Nevertheless Carolina Milanesi, technology analyst at Silicon Valley based consultancy Creative Strategies, told news.com.au Apple were clearly “doing something right” given its increasing market share.

“From an iPhone perspective they have the strongest portfolio they have ever had.”

She said improvements across the board in the display, low light photography and battery life were a boon for consumers.

“The only thing that was on my wish list from a user perspective was more attention around the zoom,” said Milanesi.

“They have some zoom improvements but some of Apple’s competitors have really big zoom and ultra-zoom features.”

While Apple Watches start at $249, if you want the Ultra that’ll strip you of $799.

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