5 great iPhone 14 Pro upgrades Apple could bring

An iPhone 13 Pro Max in someone's hand, with the screen on, in front of some foliage
An iPhone 13 Pro Max (Image credit: TechRadar)

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are still a good few months away at the time of writing, with a September launch looking likely, and the wait is feeling long because leaks and rumors suggest there’s a lot to look forward to.

(Of course, don't forget that today is WWDC 2022 - while it's not going to show off new iPhone hardware, we'll get lots of hints on it from the new iOS 16 software, and we've got our WWDC live blog for you to follow along with to get the info as it happens).

This sounds like it’s going to be an odd year for the iPhone, with the Pro models getting even more upgrades than usual, while the standard iPhone 14 might barely be an upgrade on the iPhone 13.

So it’s the Pro models we’re looking at here, and we’ve detailed the best upgrades that we’ve heard about so far. 

None of these things are - obviously - confirmed just yet, but based on our trekking through the rumor jungles, we've got a pretty good idea that they will appear.

1. No more notch

A close-up of the notch on an iPhone 13 Pro Max

An iPhone 13 Pro Max (Image credit: TechRadar)

Perhaps the biggest change for the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max is that Apple is reportedly getting rid of the notch.

This is something we’ve been wanting for years, basically since the notch debuted on the iPhone X, and it looks very likely that this will be the year it’s removed, as numerous leaks suggest as much.

Apple’s alternative may not please everyone, as it looks likely that the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will instead have two cut-outs in the screen. One small punch-hole one, and one larger one.

This is an imperfect solution and will mean the screen remains more interrupted than on most Android phones, but it’s likely necessary for Apple to house all the Face ID components - but the aesthetics may cause it to plummet down our list of the best iPhones if it looks too ugle.

2. A 48MP camera

A close-up of the cameras on an iPhone 13 Pro

An iPhone 13 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)

Apple doesn’t upgrade the cameras on its phones every year, at least not in any significant way, but this year we could be in for big changes, with rumors pointing to a 48MP main sensor in place of the 12MP one used on the iPhone 13 line.

That might mean a big upgrade to the already impressive photography prowess of Apple’s top iPhones, and will reportedly also allow for 8K video recording – up from 4K on current models.

It remains to be seen how much difference this change in lens – if it happens – will actually make, but we’d expect a noticeable improvement as other brands (such as Sony) have managed to use this information to improve the performance.

It's not just Apple that's looking at this 48MP sensor - word is that Sony is too for its high-end camera phones.

3. Much more power

This is perhaps the most obvious and expected upgrade, but the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will of course almost certainly be more powerful than the iPhone 13 Pro line, thanks to a new A16 Bionic chipset.

There’s a chance that these phones could also get a RAM boost, moving from 6GB to 8GB, though only one source has mentioned that, with most disagreeing.

Interestingly, the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max might stick with the current chipset, so while a new chipset isn’t the most exciting or unexpected upgrade, it’s one that you might need to buy a Pro model to get this year.

4. An always-on display

The iPhone 13 Pro Max lying on a table, face up, showing the home screen

An iPhone 13 Pro Max (Image credit: Future)

Many Android phones offer always-on displays, and this feature – which can display the time and notification icons even when the screen is off – could be coming to the iPhone 14 Pro line as well.

That’s according to a reputable source, who claims that the feature may be enabled as part of iOS 16, but probably only for phones that can drop their refresh rate down to 1Hz. 

No current iPhone has this battery-saving feature, but the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max apparently will, allowing them to also make use of an always-on display.

When we first tested this on Samsung phones many moons ago, we noted that the battery will lose about 1% more per hour with the always-on display activated. But because you can see info like the time (which most people pick up their phones to check) the lack of needing to fire up one's phone will actually save battery over the course of the day.

5. A bigger battery

We’re always hoping for bigger batteries in phones – or at least better battery life one way or another – and it looks like the iPhone 14 Pro line might deliver, as one source claims the batteries will be larger this year.

This is a key battleground for Apple, and one that it could struggle with if the extra technology above is more power-hungry (or large) than previously thought. 

However, after the iPhone 13 Pro Max's impressive battery life showed us that Apple can make an iPhone with decent power management, the iPhone 14 Pro needs to follow suit - and with the recent advancements in battery technology, that looks pretty likely.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.