Released on September 7, 2022, the all-new Apple iPhone 14 Pro is already drawing eyeballs with many tech-lovers glued to the checkout counters waiting for the latest gizmo to open for pre-orders on September 9. Our contributor Riaan Jacob George at Travel + Leisure India & South Asia gets early access to the coveted phone and gives us the lowdown on what makes the Apple iPhone 14 Pro a travel essential.

It’s not everyday that you get invited to the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California. But when the invite does come, it is definitely worth writing home about — quite literally.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

It’s a sunny morning here in Cupertino and I can’t contain my excitement as I enter the Steve Jobs Theater for Apple’s annual September event where the major product lineup for the year is customarily announced. Today, I get my hands on one of the first pieces of the new iPhone 14 Pro, as an exclusive hands-on preview. To the untrained eye, the iPhone 14 Pro may not be significantly different from its predecessor, the iPhone 13 Pro. But it does pack in a lot of punch in terms of new specs! So I ask: could the new Apple iPhone 14 Pro be the quintessential travel content device? The answer is a thumping yes. And here’s why:

Review of the new Apple iPhone 14 Pro


Apple iPhone 14 camera

Travel content, for me, boils down to camera quality and there’s no beating the Cupertino giants at this game. As a travel creator I’ve been using iPhone cameras for years now — for photo and video, both. This same love continues with Apple iPhone 14 Pro.

The most noteworthy talking point, for me, is the huge improvement in lowlight photography. It is perfect for those sunset shots, nighttime portraits of travel mates and the inevitable midnight skyline clicks. The iPhone 14 Pro boasts a 48 megapixel main camera with highly astute technology that renders travel photographs with utmost precision. I love experimenting with lowlight photography during my travels. In fact, the new front camera setup also promises some impressive lowlight capabilities. And finally, there’s every traveller’s favourite feature — the Ultra Wide lens. The new 12 megapixel Ultra Wide lens (which I got a chance to try and test) delivers resolutely sharper, more detailed images.

video feature

But I need to take a minute to talk about a video feature, something that I am most excited about — the Action Mode. For me, stabilisation is key. Oddly, that is something that I have battled with quite often when shooting with my phone. The new Action Mode in the Apple iPhone 14 Pro, which can be toggled on and off, is specially designed for action and motion videos. It significantly improves the stability and minimises shakes and unsteady motion. This also eliminates the need for you to carry an extra gadget like a gimbal. And for those who shoot videos in Cinematic Mode, it now comes in options of 4K at 30fps and 4k at 24fps.

From a technical standpoint, the phone comes with the new Photonic Engine technology which promises night photography with an unprecedented level of detail and sharpness.


Apple iPhone 14

For everyone who has speculated about the famous notch on the top of the screen, the interestingly-named Dynamic Island has got me raving. With multitasking at the core, the display strip at the top is now animated and adapts in real time. For instance, you can see the status of your maps and journey, while playing your music at the same time. Both can be controlled and viewed at once through the Dynamic Island display.

The Always-on Display is a first, and I think that when customised with appropriate indications and notifications, could be highly practical to use during travels. I see myself using this feature extensively to check temperature, multiple time zones and track my activity.

Always-on Display

Speaking of first impressions of the Apple iPhone 14 Pro, I notice how sharp and improved the display appears. The 6.1 inch Super Retina XDR display is easily one of the best in the market and makes shooting and editing travel content, as well as viewing movies or shows on-the-go, an incredible experience. I personally look for outdoor brightness in all my devices, and this phone boasts twice as much brightness as its predecessor. This makes the phone perfect for shooting videos and photos in sunny conditions.


Emergency SOS via satellite

While I have not tried this feature, the newly-introduced Emergency SOS via satellite is a reassuring safety feature to have, especially for those who go on expeditions outside network coverage area. This feature enables you to send SOS messages in the event of an emergency and in the absence of network. For now, this feature will only be available to users in the USA and Canada, with no clarity on if and when it is slated to come to Malaysia.

Moreover, the iPhone 14 Pro’s 5G capabilities ensure that streaming, downloading and work on-the-go are as quick as possible.

While the list of features are endless, I have attempted to highlight a few that could appeal to amateur or professional travellers or content creators. This, however, is just a small snippet of all the information I could gather during my short first-hand experience of the new Apple iPhone 14 Pro. Nonetheless, I’m already in line for the pre-orders to kickstart.

This story first appeared on Travel + Leisure India & South Asia

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