CUPERTINO (California), Sept 8 — As always happens, the lines for the iPhone demonstration booths at this year’s Apple Event were long.

Was the excitement warranted? Here’s what I find notable about the new iPhones after some time getting to try the devices.

1. They don’t look any different from last year’s models besides the iPhone 14 Plus

Apple still maintained the same design and form factor so you’re not getting anything radically different size-wise... except for the new, larger iPhone 14 Plus.

Why is the Plus a big deal? In the past you’d need to pay more of a premium for a larger screen that was exclusively for the “Max” models.

Though I think the iPhone 14 form factor is fine for most hands, the larger screen makes it ideal for those with larger hands, poorer eyesight or just want a large screen that is not as big as an iPad’s.

For the iPhone Pro models, they seem slightly heavier perhaps due to the new camera modules or other tweaks overall. Whatever difference you might see is more software than hardware.

Slap an opaque case over the new iPhone Pro models and you probably won’t be able to tell them apart from last year’s.

2. The Dynamic Island has a terrible name and needs to be a bit more intuitive

Not sure why but there were sniggers at the name of the new dynamic top bar on the interface of the iPhone 14 Pro models.

I don’t think I could have figured it out quite as easily without the demo from an Apple staffer as my first impression from the keynote was that the Island would immediately appear/be visible.

It’s like “well we don’t have a notch now but we’re just going to use up that space in a different way so you will forget about the front camera.”

3. The screen on the iPhone Pro is slightly better but it’s not quite as obvious a step up from last year’s

The iPhone 14 Pro displays are buttery smooth and the brightest it has ever made, even brighter than Samsung’s though hilariously Samsung is making the displays for the new iPhones.

As for the Always-On feature, having the refresh rate lower to 1Hz while it’s not being used is a nifty feature that manages to give you a bright screen when you’re actually using it, and letting the phone conserve battery while still allowing you to see the display whenever.

You can’t deny the cool look that is the contrast between the display in use and while at rest, which is a cool effect and hey, if you’ve got the best processor on the phone why not use it to do cool things?

4. The iPhone 14 Plus is fairly nice in the hand

If you’ve been waiting for a (less expensive) larger iPhone without needing Pro-level features then the slightly larger price tag might be worth it.

I found it no harder to hold than the 13 Pro Max, usually the model I like using the most because I have fairly large hands.

I’d argue if you wanted good specs and a large screen there are still last year’s iPhone 13 Pro models that you can probably get secondhand or from resellers with extra stock.

Still, the new models do come with additional sensors for the Crash Detection feature that, in a country where road accidents are one of the leading causes of deaths, the additional ringgit might be worth it.

5. Best colours? Think pastels and depth

I was in love with the pink on the iPhone 13 line and the new “star” colour on the iPhone 14 has to be the sweet pastel purple shade. As for the iPhone 14 Pro phones, deep purple is an interesting shade of purple though I think it would be nicer if they chose a shade that was actually “deep.” It’s more a muted dusky purple but I think the Pro colours are less flashy.

Space Black is the shade that might also sell very well as it’s such a classy dark tone that will suit those who will slap a case on their phones anyway.

Overall the phones seem to be pretty solid but I’m hoping to see more exciting feature refreshes and more than minor hardware tweaks and am most looking forward to trying out the Action Camera feature that might replace the use of gimbals. Or just be a way to help shaky hands keep videoing smooth.