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Hands on with 'iPhone 14' dummy units

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Just as we have in years past, we've gotten our hands on dummy units of all four of the iPhone 14 models to see how they line up with what the rumor mill is saying.

In 2021, we took a look at a set of dummy units that purported to be of the unannounced iPhone 13 line. By the fall, we found that they were nearly spot-on, including the new sizes of the camera bump and updated layout.

Coming from the same source, we expect these dummies to be similarly as accurate.

Sourcing dummy units

Dummy units for upcoming iPhones typically surface a few months ahead of an official announcement. They're based on trusted schematics that are leaked often by case manufacturers.

An iPhone 14 dummy unit
An iPhone 14 dummy unit

In preparation for new iPhones, case manufacturers will stake an incredible amount of money on new inventory, all based on these types of schematics. Because of their provenance, these dummy units can reveal information about the exterior of the new iPhones.

They won't give any insight into display technology, materials, finish colors, or internal components.

Here are the models we expect Apple to introduce

Just as with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups, Apple is set to reveal four new iPhone models for the 14 series. What differs though is that there will no longer be a mini variant.

Purported iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max
Purported iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max

Instead, we will see two roughly 6.1-inch devices and two roughly 6.7-inch devices. Two "pro" and two "non-pro."

Purported iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max
Purported iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max

Following its existing naming system, that means we could see a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. Those are the four dummy models we received.

Compared to the iPhone 13 lineup

When we compare the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14 dummy there's no discernable discrepancy between the two. By app appearances, the only physical external difference is the elimination of the mini model and replacing it with the plus-sized version.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 14 dummy
iPhone 13 vs iPhone 14 dummy

This could be particularly disappointing as recent rumors have pegged the A16 Bionic to be exclusive to the pro models. With little to no exterior changes and no new silicon, the iPhone 14 could be a very boring update.

iPhone 13 Pro camera bump versus the rumored iPhone 14 Pro
iPhone 13 Pro camera bump versus the rumored iPhone 14 Pro

The pro models though look poised to be larger upgrades. For example, when placed side by side, we can see the camera bump is once more increasing in size.

Measuring the iPhone 14 Pro camera bump
Measuring the iPhone 14 Pro camera bump

Pulling out a ruler reveals that the bump will be expanding from 35mm square to roughly 40mm square. This small increase is to help accommodate a new rumored higher-resolution wide-angle sensor.

This could prove to be an issue for some MagSafe accessories. MagSafe Duo already hits the camera bump on the iPhone 13 Pro and with a case, Apple's official MagSafe Wallet also just touches the edge. Increasing the size would break compatibility with both of these accessories on the iPhone 14 Pro.

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro dummies
iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro dummies

Based on talks with case manufacturers, they've told us that Apple may relocate the MagSafe module by moving it down just slightly allowing it to retain compatibility with the increasing number of MagSafe accessories on the market.

Another change appears to be with the display. It's very hard to see with these non-functioning dummies, but the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max have Apple's existing notch for the True Depth camera system while the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max don't.

The pill cutout on iPhone 14 Pro
The pill cutout on iPhone 14 Pro

On the pro models, you can see a new cutout pill shape within the display. Under bright light, this becomes clear and could point to a substantial differentiator between the pro and non-pro models.

While not necessarily backed up by these dummy models, rumors have claimed that Apple will adopt an always-on display for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This is likely due to the ProMotion display's ability to drop down to a low refresh rate, similar to Apple Watch.

iOS 16 widgets on our iPhone 13 Pro
iOS 16 widgets on our iPhone 13 Pro

With our first look at iOS 16, Apple introduced widgets which would look great on an always-on display.

Coming later in 2022

Otherwise, the iPhone 14 Pro models appear to retain the same shape and size as the current-generation models. We'll be keeping our ears to ground for other rumors of Apple's upcoming iPhones.

We expect the iPhone 14 lineup to be announced this September with a release shortly thereafter — but the supply chain is still pretty bad, so this is in flux. Stay tuned to AppleInsider for more rumors as we approach an official announcement.

If you haven't already, check out our exclusive renders of what we expect the iPhone 14 to look like.