Apple iPhone 14 test: the smartphone is still under control, but without surprises

The iPhone 14 has a photo unit very similar to the iPhone 13, with two modules arranged diagonally. We still regret the lack of a third focal length to help differentiate it from the previous model (that’s reserved for the Pro models, at a higher price). Note that Apple promises to integrate a sensor on the wide-angle module side that is still fixed at 12 megapixels, but whose pixels are announced at 1.9 μm versus last year’s 1.7 μm. The associated optics open at f/1.5 instead of f/1.6. In short, small changes that promise better low-light control.

On the other hand, when faced with smartphones above 1000 € that compete with it, it is necessary to remember that the iPhone 14 is not versatile: the telephoto lenses of its competitors are reserved for Apple’s Pro models.

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

The iPhone generally shines in the wide-angle exercise, and it’s clear that it always succeeds for them. It has to be said that the iPhone 14 wins here when faced with the Galaxy S22, which tends to take noisy shots. The accent is slightly more prominent and makes small elements readable. Colorimetry also gains precision. If we compare the shots of this new iPhone with the shots of the iPhone 13, we see a little higher contrast, but not much.

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.)

the pixel binding It shows its effectiveness against the iPhone 14 powered by the Galaxy S22+. The exposure is better, the contrast is higher and the sharpness is higher. The result is certainly correct, but behind the tenors of the market. At the same time, we note that the smartphone works a little better than its predecessor, in particular, it is able to provide less saturated images.

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

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

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

The ultra-wide angle of the iPhone 14 makes for satisfactory daytime shots, to say the least. Despite some inaccuracies in terms of colorimetry, they have a high level of detail, enough micro-contrast to reveal the finest elements. By comparison, the Galaxy S22’s shots (shot at 12 Mpx) show less sharpness and a treatment that favors the vibrancy of colors with their 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.)

At night, the trend is completely different, where Samsung-controlled processing allows for more detailed information. Apple’s photo suffers from sharp noise, and to get rid of it you need to go through night mode, which requires long exposures… and increases 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 module

The iPhone 14, like the iPhone 14 Pro Max, benefits from a new front-facing camera called TrueDepth, as always, retaining the 12 Mpx definition. The sensor is again paired with an optical aperture of f/1.9 instead of f/2.2, and gets very useful autofocus. Images are well-exposed, highly detailed, and portrait mode maintains its usual accuracy with some hiccups in messy hair. When it comes to selfies, Apple isn’t in the megapixel race, but with the added bonus of interesting lighting effects, it allows you to achieve some of the most natural photos on the market.

On the video side, the iPhone shoots up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision) movies at 60 frames per second. This mode does not happen alone, because the smartphone uses the Cinematic mode (4K at 30 frames), which allows you to create a depth of field effect and was launched last year, as well as the Action mode. This stabilization promises to use the entire main sensor of the smartphone for stabilization inspired by action cameras. And we have to admit, the effect is convincing. Be warned, you need a properly lit scene for the mode to work, and recording is limited to 2.8K at 60fps.

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