The largest Pro-sized iPhone is the iPhone 14 Pro Max, so if having plenty of battery life left over at the end of the day matters to you, go with that model.
Apple used to distinguish the Pro Max from the Pro by adding features, such as better cameras or stronger stabilization capabilities. This time around, that is not the case.
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is essentially an iPhone 14 Pro with a larger, better gaming screen and a battery life that is noticeably longer.
If you want a large display, I’d say this is the only iPhone to suggest, but now that the more reasonably priced iPhone 14 Plus is available, I’m not so sure.
Design and Screen
- A delight is the big 6.7-inch display.
- On Dynamic Island, the notch is used (finally)
- Boxy architecture might feel heavy.
The screen is the first of the two primary benefits of choosing the iPhone 14 Pro Max over the standard 14 Pro.
The iPhone 14 Pro’s tiny 6.1-inch OLED screen on the Max is substantially smaller than the Max’s much larger 6.7-inch display. A larger display is, in my opinion, significantly superior if you spend a lot of time on your phone playing games or creating or consuming content. Games have far more room to feel immersive thanks to the wide canvas, which also makes Netflix or Disney TV shows, especially when offered in HDR, seem fantastic.
Like the 12 and 13 Pro Max models before it, the Apple 14 Pro Max maintains a nearly jewel-like design aesthetic. The three colors, together with a very garish gold, are understated and tasteful, in contrast to the highly polished (and exceedingly fingerprint-prone) stainless steel sides. Nonetheless, the options here, particularly the new Deep Purple, do have a more “professional” air to them. I personally prefer the more playful colors you’d see in the iPhone 14 series.
This time around, the new Dynamic Island is the most noticeable visual alteration. This was given a lot of attention during the phone’s introduction, and despite its questionable name, it feels like a legitimate improvement over the despised notch. I’ll be quite shocked if in 2023 there aren’t a few Android phones with a capability like this.
While still concealing the array of front cameras and Face ID sensors, Dynamic Island takes the notch that has been present on iPhones since the iPhone X, splits it from the top bezel, and adds some ingenious software around it to turn it into a new small interactive area.
The Dynamic Island largely represents a step forward. It’s fantastic to have music control or timed notifications available in any program, and iOS 16.1’s Live Activities feature extends this functionality to third-party apps. I believe we’ll start to notice the advantages of the move in about a year.
The remainder of the screen is equally impressive. The major improvement is in brightness, which applies to both HDR consumption and outdoor use on sunny days. This is the brightest outside screen I’ve ever used, effortlessly blocking direct sunlight.
The display is covered in more detail in my review of the iPhone 14 Pro, but it truly meets all the requirements. When compared to the 60Hz iPhone 14, the smooth adaptive 120Hz Pro Motion display makes everything from playing games to scrolling up and down a webpage feel much smoother.
For the 14 Pro series, Apple has permitted the screen to run at 1Hz, enabling an Always-On feature that keeps the screen always visible even when the room is dark. The Apple 14 Pro Max slows down the entire screen so that it only refreshes once every second, in contrast to other Android phones that do this by selectively highlighting specific elements of the display, typically the clock.
As I’ve been using it for over a month, I’ve found the Always-On display to be both tremendously helpful and a little inconvenient. Once activated, you have very limited control over it in terms of customization. For example, you can’t change the brightness and whatever is on the Lock Screen will be mirrored. This will always be noticeable if your wallpaper is vibrant.
When the phone is on a table, I occasionally find it to be overly bright, which distracts from the task at hand. But, there are occasions when it can be useful to always be able to see the time and other alerts, particularly when working at a desk. The function may be disabled if it really irritates you, and it automatically shuts off when the phone is in sleep mode so it won’t be a distraction at night on a nightstand.
The constant use of the screen has an impact on battery life as well, but I observed this on the Pro Max far less so than the smaller Pro.
the same 48-megapixel primary sensor as the iPhone 14 Pro, a better selfie camera, and a telephoto zoom that is still not as good as Samsung’s rivalry.
a better selfie camera, the same 48-megapixel primary sensor as the Apple iPhone 14 Pro, and a telephoto zoom that is still inferior to Samsung’s rivals.
The iPhone 6, like earlier models, is quick and simple to use for taking pictures and consistently produces high-quality images. The front camera’s inclusion of auto-focus makes for excellent selfies.
While the differences between the 13 Pro Max and the 14 Pro Max can be difficult to distinguish in broad daylight, the latter does provide more creative freedom thanks to a few more pro-targeted features and enhanced low-light capabilities.
For the most part, you’ll still be producing 12-megapixel photographs because it uses the pixel-binning technology used by Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the first time Apple has upgraded a phone’s 12-megapixel sensor to a 48-megapixel one. In the sensor, this turns four pixels into one, thereby increasing the pixel size without producing enormous image sizes.
Using the Pro Raw option will let you use the entire megapixel count if you so choose. Large (typically 80MB or more) photos in the RAW format will be produced as a result, enabling more complex and efficient editing in programs like Lightroom.
After a month of shooting with both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, I’ve come to the conclusion that I shoot at 12 megapixels the majority of the time since the quality and detail are amazing and it’s just a little bit quicker to take and share. Although it can produce some genuinely stunning images that go way beyond what I would anticipate from a phone, having the ability to switch when I know there is a shot I will want to spend a bit more time editing and refining is quite pleasant.
This does not affect the fact that the iPhone is a superb daylight photographer. The differences between a photo taken with the 13 Pro Max and one taken with the 14 Pro Max are negligible until you zoom in, but if you’re coming from an older smartphone, the differences are much more evident.
The majority of the time, detail in hair, plants, and even the woolen threads on a sweater are captured effectively. Yet there is undoubtedly more processing sharpening than before in some situations. Smart HDR effectively balances out the dynamic range, handling more challenging lighting situations with ease and reliably producing excellent photographs with the correct color. Without using the dedicated portrait mode, you may achieve the silky hazy background with the foreground in focus thanks to the larger sensor’s more realistic bokeh effect.
I still favor shots taken with the Google Pixel 7 Pro when taking pictures of people. Different skin tones are handled by Google better, and they frequently appear far more realistic.
These more expensive phones shine in more demanding circumstances, and the 14 Pro Max performs exceptionally in dim lighting. It doesn’t need to enter Night Mode as frequently as the previous iPhones, and when it does, it does so with less time and light needed to create results that are usable. Nighttime photography is generally quite good: fine detail is preserved without noise, colors are slightly brighter without appearing garish, and skies retain the rich hues of the night sky. The 12MP ultrawide camera offers greater versatility and performs better at night as well.
The 12MP telephoto camera hasn’t been altered, and while the zoom is comparable to phones without a periscope setup, it falls far short of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra once you go above the 3x range. In order to crop in, Apple’s new 2x zoom option uses the middle 12-megapixels of the 48-megapixel image.
Although there haven’t been any significant improvements made to the videography experience here, the phone continues to hold the top spot as the best video-capturing phone available. The gimmicky Cinematic Mode now supports 4K, and a new Action Mode stabilizes video while you’re moving swiftly at the expense of low-light performance.
- A16 Bionic chipset has excellent performance.
- 6GB RAM; 1TB maximum storage
- America has no SIM card slots.
The complete removal of the SIM card in the USA, forcing consumers to use eSIM, is one of the most unexpected features of the iPhone 14 line. It appears that all significant carriers are supported, and converting from a real card to a virtual one is an easy process.
My UK evaluation unit has a SIM slot, just like all previous iPhones, and I don’t think the technology is quite as sophisticated over there. Some do not support it, though Vodafone, the network I tested the phone on, does. For instance, the well-known UK network Three does not now support eSIM.
This feels like a development that will penetrate the high-end phone market in the upcoming years, much like the removal of the headphone port and the charging cord from the box.
The Wave 5G technology that US models benefit from is not present in these products because it is not supported by any networks in the UK. The sub-6GHz version of 5G will still be available to UK users.
Emergency SOS, a satellite service that enables you to contact emergency services even when there is no phone network connectivity, is another US (and Canada) exclusive feature, at least for the time being. It’s difficult to rate this without using it, but it will be useful for travelers in remote areas without cellular service. The phone may notify certain persons if it senses you’ve been in an accident using the Vehicle Collision Detection safety feature, albeit it does seem to have been activated by riders on rollercoasters.
The A16 Bionic chipset, another extremely quick piece of Apple silicon, is located inside the phone. Storage options range from 128GB to 1TB, and it has 6GB of RAM. You should pick one of the greater storage options if taking lots of RAW photographs and filming a Pro Res video is on your to-do list.
Performance is top-notch, just like it has always been with iPhones. The focus on the neural learning cores will keep AI portions of the software quick for the next few years, but I haven’t noticed any overt real-world advantages of the new CPU in my daily use. Given the variety of games offered on Apple Arcade and the outstanding GPU performance, it’s a terrific option for gamers.
The powerful Wi-Fi, loudspeakers (the omission of WiFi 6E is strange considering it’s available on the latest iPad Pro versions), and excellent screen all improve gaming.
Battery Life There are wired, Qi, and MagSafe charging options.
charging rates and longevity comparable to 13 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Pro may not have the best new iPhone battery life—that honor belongs to the iPhone 14 Plus—but it is a durable phone that easily outperforms Android devices.
After it was released, I actively utilized the iPhone 13 Pro Max for several months, and I adored how long it could go without recharging. After a hectic day, I would frequently still have 30% of the battery left, and there were numerous occasions when I could go two calmer days without using the charger.
After using the iPhone 14 Pro Max for ten days, I can say that at least with the display always on, the battery life is comparable to but not quite on par with the 13 Pro. The battery can match that of its predecessor if that option is disabled.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max drains faster than the 13 Pro in daily use, but it lasts longer when doing a single operation. This is probably because the brighter screen uses more energy. On the newer model, streaming looping video lasted about 90 minutes longer, which is a benefit of the more effective processor.
Your usage patterns and how hard you push the iPhone 14 Pro Max will determine how long it will survive for you. It’s a two-day phone if you lower the brightness, restrict some screen features, and stay away from demanding activities like video games. You’ll be reviving before you go to bed if you stream a lot of HDR video, take RAW images, and utilize 5G.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max can be charged in a variety of ways. The two wireless options are MagSafe and Qi, while the wired solution is the Lightning port. With USB-C likely taking its place in 2023, it is hoped that this will be the last year for the old, sluggish port.
This time around, I haven’t noticed any faster charging, with a 50% charge taking about 30 minutes (just as Apple claims) and a full charge requiring between 92 and 100 minutes. This is in line with my tests with the 13 Pro Max.
The powerful, large-screen iPhone 14 Pro has a great camera and a long battery life. It’s not a huge improvement over the 13 Pro Max, but if you want the largest display and the most functionality, this is the iPhone to have.
Nevertheless, there are a few straightforward adjustments that could make it even better. The huge size is mismatched by the boxy, angular style, and a modern phone feels out of place with a Lightning port. It charges quite slowly, but it also takes longer than it should to upload large video files over a cable. The telephoto zoom is unquestionably the next significant advancement in cameras.
With all of that being said, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is one of the best phones you can have right now, even with its expensive starting price (particularly in Europe).