I don’t care about the pill-shaped selfie camera rumours that have been swirling around the iPhone 14 over the last few months.
I’ve not written about it, I haven’t shot a single second of footage about it, and I barely think about it.
The notch concerned me briefly until I got my hands on the iPhone 12 Pro and realised that it didn’t matter. Since then, I’ve harboured zero desire for Apple to do away with it and ‘put us all out of our misery’.
Because of the tech industry’s obsession over that notch, rumours and commentary surrounding the iPhone 14 have been incredibly boring. They’ve centred (literally) on that tiny portion of the screen at the top of the device. But today, we finally have some interesting iPhone 14 news to chew into.
An iPhone 14 rumour worth talking about
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 14 Pro lineup is expected to receive a significant camera upgrade.
There are, apparently, two big changes on the way. The first is the introduction of a voice coil motor which is designed to aid autofocusing within the camera system. The second is a much larger sensor, complete with bigger pixels.
I can’t get too excited about the voice coil motor at this moment in time – mainly because I have no idea what it is. Right now, it’s nothing more than the name of a component – as with anything Apple adds to its devices, it’s the story they build around it that will reveal the voice coil motor’s usefulness and relevance to users.
However, the sensor upgrade is interesting. Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the ultra-wide camera in the iPhone 14 Pro models will increase from 1.0 to 1.4 micrometre pixels. That means the ability to capture more light and, in theory, better low light performance for the phone’s widest lens.
It isn’t clear what this means for the standard zoom lens or the telephoto, but rumours persist about a 48MP sensor that will also aid far better light capture and image detail across the phone’s entire focal length. There may even be a significantly improved front-facing camera with – you guessed it – better low light performance and autofocus.
Why this excites me
I noted recently that I’d be swapping my beloved iPhone 13 mini for the iPhone 14 Pro Max this year.
I know, I know, but please hear me out before you suggest I’m continually changing my mind. The next iPhone I choose as my daily carry will be influenced by two things – battery life and camera capabilities. This is due to an increased role for the device within my vlogging setup.
The iPhone 13 Pro Max has the best battery performance of any phone I’ve tested, and it’s pretty much a dead cert that the iPhone 14 Pro Max will at least match it, if not push the boundaries of battery stamina even further. But when it comes to the camera, these latest rumours appear to suggest that there won’t be anything separating the Pro and Pro Max when it comes to their video capabilities.
Low light performance is incredibly important if you’re looking to use your smartphone as a regular run-and-gun camera setup. Autofocus – particularly on the selfie cam – is also hugely important, and if that lens also receives a significant sensor upgrade, I can see myself relying on it far more to capture off-the-cuff talking-to-camera moments.
But the clincher could be the pricing. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the parts Apple has chosen for the iPhone 14 camera system are far more expensive than the outgoing model – up to a massive 70% in some cases.
We’ve heard rumblings that the iPhone 14 Pro lineup will be more expensive this year, which is both frustrating and, I think, incredibly shortsighted by Apple. We’re heading into a recession, living costs are astronomical, and brands like Nothing continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with budget smartphones. People care far more about covering their heating bills than they do the size of smartphone camera sensor pixels.
If Apple doesn’t separate the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max with some form of tempting camera prowess, I may revert to the former and spend what I save on electricity.
What I’d also like to see
So, I’m not bothered about the pill-shaped selfie cam thing, I have zero interest in shooting 8K video on a smartphone (or any camera right now, to be honest), and I’ve given up all hope on an iPhone 14 mini arriving this month.
But what else would I like from the iPhone 14, beyond these expected camera upgrades?
There are three iPhone 14 upgrades I’d like to see, and all three of them are highly unlikely. The first is USB-C charging; if Apple drops the Lightning connector in favour of the most common charging port on the planet, I’ll eat my shoes.
I’d love to see some improvements to MagSafe, too. As much as I enjoy using this genuinely innovative feature, I often find the magnet strength lacking and, beyond the wallet and charging functionality, Apple hasn’t been particularly inventive when it comes to potential use cases.
Lastly, there’s cinematic mode. I love the premise behind this feature, but at the moment it is glitchy and limited to a 1080p resolution. With these rumoured camera upgrades on the way, will Apple add 4K shooting and better software smarts to its cinematic mode?
Every render I’ve seen of the iPhone 14 thus far looks pretty much identical to the iPhone 13, bar the absence of the dreaded notch. The colours also look like they’re going to be just as utilitarian and strait-laced as before, too.
There has, basically, been very little to get excited about from an aesthetic perspective.
Ming-Chi Kuo’s supply chain analysis has raised my spirits, though. It looks like we’re set for a heavily camera-focused update for the iPhone 14 this year, and as someone who is going to be relying far more heavily on the device in that regard, this could rekindle my love affair with Apple’s smartphone.
Main image courtesy of MacRumors