The iPhone 14 family of phones, AirPods 2 Pro, Apple Watch 8, Apple Watch SE 2, and Apple Watch Ultra were all introduced this week by Apple, in my opinion.
While the Apple Watch Ultra and Pro models of the iPhone 14 had me very excited, I had trouble getting excited about the regular iPhone 14 for one main reason: a much more interesting flagship is on the horizon. I’m referring, of course, to the Pixel 7 that Google has already vaguely announced.
As the successor to one of my favorite smartphones released in the past year, the Pixel 6, the Pixel 7 is sure to be a hit. At Google’s I/O 2022 event, the company teased the look of the phone and its Pro sibling, in addition to the Pixel Watch and Pixel Tablet, in advance of a more formal release.
Despite the fact that Google didn’t announce any of the phone’s specs at the event, I find it more intriguing than the iPhone 14 for a number of reasons. First, because I’ve been having a blast testing the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Both phones use Google’s proprietary Tensor silicon to provide industry-leading camera performance, excellent displays, and some unique features. The phone’s real-time translation, the ability to annotate conversations, and the Magic Eraser are three of my favorite features.
The latter is an option in the camera app that lets you edit photos after they’ve been taken to eliminate distracting elements. On multiple occasions, I’ve used it to save pictures from important occasions like my wedding day and my anniversary. Because it takes advantage of the Tensor chip’s machine learning capabilities, the feature is also unique to Pixel phones.
Now that Google has hinted that it will use its next-generation Tensor 2 silicon to improve the Pixel 7’s camera performance and add yet more exclusive new features, I find it immediately more interesting than the iPhone 14.
The second reason I don’t find the iPhone 14 as appealing as its soon-to-be-released Google competitor is straightforward. That the iPhone 14 is an extremely dull upgrade, to be more specific.
The chassis is virtually identical to that of the iPhone 13, and the device is powered by the same A15 Bionic chip (rather than the new A16 Bionic found within the Pro mode) and has a 6.1-inch screen the same size as that of the iPhone 13. There’s no excuse for this in 2022, when even the cheapest Android phones come equipped with fast refresh screens.
From what I can tell, Apple has only improved the camera in the iPhone 14 since the iPhone 13. Apple has improved the rear camera’s low-light performance by making a number of hardware and software enhancements, and the front camera now features autofocus.
However, if Apple’s claims hold up when we test the iPhone 14 later this year, it will be much appreciated, as low light was a key area where the iPhone 13 fell short of the best camera phones. Unfortunately, this isn’t enough to make me excited about the iPhone 14 in the same way that I am about the Pixel 7.
This is why I think Apple’s iPhone 14 is a boring release that will likely be eclipsed soon.