The iPhone 14 Pro is made of the wrong stuff; the Pixel 7 proves that to me

Google Pixel 7 Pro hands on camera Snow
(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

At the Google Pixel 7 launch, the company talked about all kinds of cool stuff – machine learning, fancy pictures, fancy new cameras – but one thing jumped out at me more than others, because it's exactly what I've been wanting for a few years.

I love the gorgeous, shiny, stainless steel design of the iPhone 14 Pro (and the other Pro models before it), but I don't love the weight. I'm in the very fortunate position of being able to test the assorted new versions of iPhones when they come out and being a sucker for both fancy camera tech and fancy screen tech, I always end up with the Pros by default.

But over the last few years, when I test the Pro and regular versions in my hand side by side, I just as predictably end up lamenting the fact that I can’t just chill out and take the non-Pro version instead, and the reason is the weight.

Let’s look at the latest versions. The iPhone 14 weighs 172g / 6.07 oz. The iPhone 14 Pro weighs 206g / 7.27 oz. 34g doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s a 20% increase in weight, and you can really feel it.

The regular iPhone can be easily shifted in my hand to reach every part of its 6.1-inch screen, but I have to be much more careful with the Pro models, which feel with some mishandling much more likely to tip out of your grip and hit the floor.

It’s more fatiguing in the hand when reading over a long period; it’s heavier to hold steady for a photo or video; it’s heavier in the pocket. You feel the difference, you absolutely do.

As I mentioned, I love the look of the stainless steel. The shining, pristine finish is gorgeous and gives the Pro iPhones a look more like jewelry than technology. The gold band around the edge of an iPhone 14 Pro is closer to a high-end bangle than it is a MacBook Air.

Apple iPhone Pro finishes

(Image credit: Apple)

But on balance, I’ve decided that I’d be happier if Apple lowered the quality of the finish and used aluminum across the whole range of iPhones, so we could have the same lightness in the Pro models as the regular ones.

Except… the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro have proven that we don’t have to choose! Google introduced a polished aluminum finish on its new phones that mimics the shininess of the iPhone 14 Pro (or, if you want get retro, the shininess of the back of an iPod) – I’ve seen it, and it’s beautiful.

We could have the more premium-feeling, gleaming finish of stainless steel, but without the lightweight benefits of aluminum. I cannot tell you much I’m hoping that Apple will introduce this on the next iPhone so I can have the best of both worlds… although I won’t hold my breath.

Google Pixel 7 Pro hands on ports Snow

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Apple is always at the forefront of material development and especially in what can be done with aluminum. There is surely no aluminum process that has not been offered to or considered by Apple… and it has chosen not to use polished aluminum in its just-released phones.

But I hope I’m wrong because the change in weight from the iPhone 14 to the iPhone 14 Pro really does make a major difference, and if Apple could offer me a Pro model that features all of the upsides and not even the one downside (other than price) then I’d… well, I already chose the Pro each time, don’t I? But I’d choose it without whining about it, and that would make a lot of people around me happy.

Matt Bolton
Managing Editor, Entertainment

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, meaning he's in charge of persuading our team of writers and reviewers to watch the latest TV shows and movies on gorgeous TVs and listen to fantastic speakers and headphones. It's a tough task, as you can imagine. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at, and before that he edited T3 magazine. During his career, he's also contributed to places as varied as Creative Bloq, PC Gamer, PetsRadar, MacLife, and Edge. TV and movie nerdism is his speciality, and he goes to the cinema three times a week. He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule.