The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the ‘underground’ star of the Apple Far Out Event – it may not be Apple’s most wanted handset, but it’s certainly the one that impresses the most, especially when compared to the so-so iPhone 14.
While it’s very similar to last year’s iPhone 13 Pro Max (and the 12 Pro Max before that), there are some major upgrades to the camera, screen technology, notch, and functionality that make it the phone that should be the most popular this year. checked out – if they can afford it, ie.
We’ve been hands-on with the iPhone 14 Pro Max to find out if it’s probably worth getting excited about — and worth your hard-earned cash.
iPhone 14 Pro Max price and release date
The iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099, which is $100 less than expected; full price has yet to be announced (we will update this review as soon as possible).
You don’t have to wait too long to own Apple’s new best iPhone – you can pre-order it from launch day, September 7, and get your hands on the iPhone 14 Pro Max from September 16.
iPhone 14 Pro Max design
The iPhone 14 Pro Max will not differ significantly from the 13 Pro Max in design, as mentioned above. However, if you’re looking for something to fit into that expensive case you bought for the 13 Pro Max, you’re out of luck – although the dimensions are pretty much the same, the camera bump on the back is much longer.
Holding the new Pro Max is a very familiar feeling if you’ve used the 12 or 13 Pro Max before – the sharper, squared edges are exactly what your fingers are used to and most people’s thumbs will have to do normal gymnastics to reach across the screen.
The physical mute switch remains (which will be hugely pleasing for many who are afraid of not being able to silence their mobile anytime soon) and there’s no USB-C connector on the bottom, as you might have expected.
Apple is going for Lightning for at least another year, and that will come as a relief to anyone wondering if they should replace their chargers.
The stainless steel band on the outside is still the fingerprint magnet it always has been, as you can see in pictures in our hands, and look – there’s no SIM tray on the side below the volume buttons. How people will do that when they upgrade their handset SIM-free will be interesting, but it got murmurs of misfortune in the room when it was launched.
However, the main change, in terms of design, is not in the chassis, but in the display – so let’s take a look at that.
iPhone 14 Pro screen
The display of the iPhone 14 Pro Max has undergone one big change: the notch is gone and is replaced by one long pill. Or is it really a long pill?
Nope, that’s just software that does the hard work for your eyes – by filling it out for you, Apple’s iOS 16 makes this pill and can use the screen in between to show little notification lights, which is a handy touch.
It’s called the Dynamic Island, which laughed when it was announced, but will likely be converted to the standard Apple language soon.
What’s nice is that it changes and moves depending on what you’re doing – when we played with it you could start music and have the album art on top, leave the timer sitting next to the notch, or just tap it to play to your music.
It’s a really cool feature, and Apple has caused something of a surprise, turning an eyesore into something really useful when navigating the phone.
It takes some getting used to if you’ve been fine with the notch for years (and even more so if you’re coming from an Android phone with only one camera hole), but when it moves dynamically, it seems to make more sense.
We suspect you won’t notice the holes in the screen after a few days of use, but in our early tests of watching a movie or two, it seemed quite overpowering thanks to the screen being wrapped around it, rather than the notch that stood at least on one side.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s screen has the rather 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.
However, it looks nice and is something iPhone users have been clamoring for for years – having to tap or lift the phone to see what time it is can be a pain and also waste battery by waking the phone.
While the always-on screen uses more power — our iPhone demonstrator couldn’t tell us how much — it could even save battery for those who use their phone as a clock.
This new feature is made possible 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 just one refresh per second and still display some content on the screen.
It’s feature richer than we expected, with widgets, wallpapers and the clock all still showing when the phone is locked and off – you’ll have to play around with that a bit to decide if you want to show all the widgets or not.
If you’ve never used an iPhone with an OLED screen – which is possible if you’re coming from one of the older iPhone 11 models – you’ll be very impressed with the clarity and color reproduction, the fluidity and the general expansiveness you get. get with this 6.7-inch screen.
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’s camera upgrade is mostly centered around one element: the 48MP sensor. This improved technology means you can have a wider range of photography styles, capture higher resolution photos, or get enhanced low-light capabilities.
The combination of the more pixels can manifest itself in a number of ways, but one of the most impressive will probably be (as we can’t really test it right now) the ability to combine the 48 MP into one 12 MP image, with the pixels are smeared together for high-resolution images in low light.
Apple claims twice as good low-light images in testing, and while we couldn’t see the same in the bright test area, the onboard processing seems smart.
As you can imagine in our early testing, the camera is smart and snappy, with images focusing in the blink of an eye and switching between video and photography quite fast indeed. There’s no reason to expect it not, given the upgraded internals, but it’s good to see nonetheless.
At full resolution and zoomed in, there’s real clarity in the images that Apple probably achieved by merging the improved pixels and computational photography of the new A16 chipset.
The overall effect is strong and there’s now a 2x optical zoom too, with the phone joining the 3x sensor to give you a middle ground between the 1x and 3x zoom. The sensor is the largest Apple has ever put in a phone, and the 1.9 micron size of the 48MP snapper allows a lot of light.
One thing you’ll notice when using the new iPhone 14 Pro Max, at least initially, is the larger projection of the camera bump on the back. That’s how the new 48MP sensor is enabled here, and why Apple probably jumped: if you have a bigger sensor, the pixels get smaller, they can capture less light, etc.
So you need someone like Sony (which is said to be the one who made this sensor) to make a bigger sensor and allow bigger pixels to capture all that beautiful light. Yes, it makes the phone look even thicker on the back, but we think it’s worth it for better shots.
There’s also a new action mode, like Movie mode (but not so easy to switch) that lets you shoot smoother videos when you run – another that needs a good test to check, but looks a lot smoother thanks to the smarts aboard the 14 Pro Max.
iPhone 14 Pro Max battery
We can’t easily test the iPhone 14 Pro Max battery without going through our usual battery of tests — there’s no way to know if it will hold up as well as expected or match the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
What was clear was that the jump from the 12 Pro to the 13 Pro was significantly improved, and if the claims about improved efficiency of the A16 chip are true, it means the 14 Pro Max can last even longer on battery power, thanks to better power saving modes.
One of the things that can make a difference here is the amount of information on the always-on display: you can just show the time, or have a full wallpaper and widgets that ‘boring’ in and out when you turn the phone on .
That could affect the overall longevity of the powerpack, but if the rumors about the bigger pack inside (and the 14 Pro Max’s increased thickness over the 13 Pro Max certainly suggest that) then you could be even longer. time between charges.
The notch changes aside, the biggest talking point in our eyes is the speed at which the iPhone 14 Pro Max can run. Obviously, Apple wants to make sure the Pro models are the most powerful in the world, to justify the extra cost, but clearly 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 in real life, but we can’t see many uses that would really strain the inner power of this device.
Apple made a big deal on stage about the improved power of the iPhone 14 Pro range, even if (as rumored) it’s not quite the leap in silicon skill that the iPhone 15 will offer, and in hand it’s hard to tell. that many people would slow down this phone someday.
The rumors of more powerful RAM seem to be confirmed, with a strong ability to open and close apps, take photos and perform heavy tasks with ease.
What was especially apparent was that every heavy app we opened, whether it was recording 4K 60fps video or quickly putting something together in GarageBand, could be saved and opened very quickly… a very good sign.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the biggest, boldest and most impressive phone in Apple’s new iPhone lineup, and 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 that pill form gets in the way for some apps.
The camera improvements are normal for the iPhone Pro Max range, but it’s certainly possible that we’ll be amazed at the low-light performance – as well as the new action mode.
In the hand it certainly doesn’t feel all that different from the phones that have been before it, but that doesn’t seem to have been a problem for Apple fans in recent years – but it doesn’t stop us from thinking that the iPhone 15 should be a great leap forward to maintain the iPhone’s momentum.