The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the “underground” star of the Apple Far Out event. It may not be the most sought after, but it is certainly the one that makes the most impression, especially in the case of the so-so-called iPhone 14.
While it’s very similar to the iPhone 13 Pro Max launched last year (and the 12 Pro Max a year earlier), there are some significant improvements to the camera, screen technology, notch, and functionality that make it the phone that most people she should check This year …
… That is, if they can afford it. We laid our hands on it to find out if it might be worth your excitement (and ultimately your hard-earned cash).
iPhone 14 Pro Max price and release date
The iPhone 14 Pro Max will start at $ 1,099 / £ 1,199 / AU $ 1,899, which is $ 100 less than expected.
However, there’s no slowdown when you’ll be able to hold the devices – iPhone 14 pre-orders are open from launch day September 7, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be obtained from September 16.
IPhone 14 Pro Max design
As mentioned above, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will not be significantly different in appearance from the 13 Pro Max. However, if you’re looking for something to match the expensive case you bought for the 13 Pro Max, you’re out of luck; while the dimensions are almost the same, the camera bulge on the back is much longer.
Holding your new Pro Max is a really familiar feeling if you’ve used a 12 or 13 Pro Max before. The sharper, square edges are exactly where your fingers are used to, and most people’s thumbs will have to do normal gymnastics to reach the screen.
The physical mute switch remains (which will be very enjoyable for many who fear they won’t be able to silence the phone quickly) and there’s no USB-C connector on the bottom as you’d expect.
Apple intends to introduce Lightning for at least one more year, which will bring relief to anyone wondering if they will have to replace their chargers.
The stainless steel strap on the outside is still a fingerprint magnet that has always been, as you can see on our hands in the photos and glance – no SIM pocket on the side under the volume buttons. How people adopt it if they update their phone without a SIM card is going to be interesting, but once booted it gave rise to grunts of dissatisfaction in the room.
The main change in terms of design, however, is not the case, but the screen – so let’s take a look at this.
IPhone 14 Pro screen
The display of the iPhone 14 Pro Max has one huge change: the notch has disappeared, which has been replaced by one long tablet. Is it really one long pill?
No, it’s just software doing the hard work for your eyes – by filling them for you, Apple iOS 16 creates this pill and can use the screen between them to display little notification lights, which is a nice touch.
It’s called Dynamic Island, which laughed when it was announced, but is likely to quickly move to Apple’s standard language in no time.
The cool thing about it is that it changes and moves depending on what you are doing – when we played with it, you could run the music and have the album cover on top, set the clock next to the notch, or just touch it to get to playing music.
It’s a really cool feature, and Apple has surprised by turning the ugly gaze into something really useful as you navigate your phone.
It takes a while to get used to if you’ve been dealing with the notch for years (and even less so if you’re coming from an Android phone with only one camera opening), but when it is dynamically moving it seems to make more sense.
We suspect that in a few days of use you’ll stop seeing holes in the screen, but in our early tests of watching a video or two, this seemed quite common thanks to the screen wrapping around it rather than a notch that was on at least one side.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max screen has a pretty cool new always-on display. Let’s not call it revolutionary or anything because brands like Samsung have been offering this feature for literally years.
It does look nice though, and it’s something iPhone users have been clamoring for for many years – having to touch or pick up the phone to see what time it is can be a hassle as well as waste your battery waking the phone up.
While the always-on display will draw more power – our iPhone demonstrator hasn’t been able to tell us how much – it can actually save battery power for those who use the phone as a clock.
This new feature was enabled by the fact that the OLED display technology used in the phone now has the same capabilities as the Apple Watch, where it can slow down to one refresh per second and still display some content on the screen.
It’s more feature-rich than we expected, with widgets, a wallpaper, and a clock still showing when your phone is locked and powered off – you’ll need to play around a bit to decide if you want to show all your widgets or not.
If you’ve never used an iPhone with an OLED screen before – which is possible if you’re coming from one of the older iPhone 11 models – you’ll be in awe of the clarity and color reproduction, smoothness, and overall space you get with this 6.7-inch display .
However, if you’re upgrading from a 12 or 13 Pro Max … aside, we didn’t notice that much of a difference.
IPhone 14 Pro Max camera
The iPhone 14 Pro Max camera update mainly focuses on one element: the 48MP sensor. This enhanced technology means you can have a wider range of shooting styles, take higher resolution photos, or get better low light experiences.
The combination of more pixels can manifest in a number of ways, but one of the most impressive will probably be (as we can’t test it right now) the ability to combine 48MP into a single 12MP image, smoothing out pixels for high definition photos in low light.
Apple claims twice as much low-light images in its testing, and while we haven’t seen the same in the bright test area, the on-board processing feels smart.
As you can imagine in our early tests, the camera is smart and snappy with images focused in an instant and switching between video and photography is really fast. There is no reason to expect this not to happen, given the improved internals, but it is good to note nonetheless.
At full resolution and zoom, the images are really clear, which Apple has probably achieved by combining improved pixels and computational photography from the new A16 chipset.
The overall effect is hefty, and now there’s the 2x optical zoom too, where the phone cuts out of the 3x sensor to give you a center between the 1x and 3x zoom lens. The sensor is the largest Apple has ever put on a phone and the 1.9 micron size of the 48MP Snapper will allow it plot lights.
One thing you’ll notice when using the new iPhone 14 Pro Max, at least in the beginning, is the larger protrusion of the camera bulge on the back. This is how the new 48MP sensor is turned on here, and why Apple has likely jumped: if you have a higher resolution sensor in the same size as usual, the pixels become smaller, they may capture less light, etc.
So you need someone like Sony (who reportedly made this sensor) to create a larger sensor and let the larger pixels capture all that beautiful light. Yes, it does make the phone on the back even thicker, but in our opinion it’s worth the better snaps.
There’s also a new action mode like Cinema mode (but not that easy to toggle) which will allow you to have smoother videos when launching – another one that will require a good monitoring test, but looks much smoother thanks to the 14 Pro Max’s onboard flair.
IPhone 14 Pro Max battery
We can’t easily test an iPhone 14 Pro Max battery without going through our usual suite of tests – there’s no way to see if it will last as well as expected, or whether it will fit the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
It was clear that the jump from the 12 Pro to the 13 Pro was significantly improved, and if the claims of the enhanced performance of the A16 chip are true, it means the 14 Pro Max will be able to last even longer on the battery, thanks to the better low-power modes.
One thing that can make a difference is the amount of information forever on the display: you can only show the time or have full wallpaper and widgets that “bore” when you turn on your phone.
This can affect the overall life of the PSU, but if the rumors of a larger package inside (and the increased thickness of the 14 Pro Max versus the 13 Pro Max certainly suggest it) are true, you may find even longer time between charges.
Notch turns aside, the biggest talking point in our eyes is the speed at which the iPhone 14 Pro Max can run. It’s obvious Apple would like to make sure the Pro models are the most powerful in the world to justify the extra cost, but it’s clear that this is a step up.
Again, it’s hard to really understand how powerful this phone is without running benchmarks and – more importantly – trying it out in real life, but we don’t see many apps that really strain the internal power of this device.
Apple has made a big deal on the scene regarding the increased power of the iPhone 14 Pro, even though (apparently) it’s not quite the leap in the silicon efficiency that the iPhone 15 will offer, and it’s hard to say in the palm of your hand that many people would. ever slow down this phone.
Rumors of more powerful RAM seem to confirm, with a strong ability to open and close applications, take pictures, and perform heavy tasks with ease.
It was especially clear that every heavy application we opened, whether we were shooting 4K video at 60fps or quickly putting together something in GarageBand, was very quick to save and open … a very good sign.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the largest, boldest, and most impressive phone in Apple’s new iPhone line, and is therefore also the most expensive.
The new Dynamic Island is a really cool change and something we think users will like and get used to quickly – although this pill shape does seem to get in the way for some apps.
The camera improvements are the same as the iPhone Pro Max series, but we’re sure to be delighted with the low-light performance – as well as the new Action Mode.
In the palm of your hand, it certainly doesn’t seem that much different from the phones it was before, but it doesn’t seem to have been a problem for Apple fans in years gone by – but that doesn’t stop us from thinking that the iPhone 15 must be a big step forward to keep the pace of the iPhone.