iPhone 14 Pro Max Review – Biggest Display Yet On An iPhone

The iPhone 14 Pro Max represents the pinnacle of Apple’s smartphone technology with its expansive 6.7-inch display and powerful A16 Bionic chip. As the successor to the popular iPhone 13 Pro Max, the latest iPhone 14 Pro Max introduces notable upgrades like an always-on display, 48MP camera, and Dynamic Island.

In this comprehensive review, we’ll examine the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s design, display quality, performance, camera capabilities, battery life, iOS 16 software features, and how it compares to other leading smartphones. We’ll provide detailed insights to help you determine if the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the best choice for your needs and budget.

Introduction

The iPhone 14 Pro Max sports the largest display ever introduced on an iPhone, stretching 6.7 inches diagonally. This spacious OLED display flaunts excellent brightness, contrast, and clarity while the new Dynamic Island houses the front camera and Face ID components in a novel way.

Powered by the latest A16 Bionic processor, the iPhone 14 Pro Max promises blazing fast performance whether gaming, editing videos, or juggling multiple apps. The rear camera system receives a major upgrade with a 48MP main sensor enabling pixel-binning for detailed 12MP shots.

Other highlights include an always-on display, crash detection capabilities, Emergency SOS via satellite, and iOS 16 software enhancements. However, the iPhone 14 Pro Max also carries a steep $1,099 starting price.

Below we dive into every aspect of the iPhone 14 Pro Max experience to give you the complete picture.

Design and Build Quality

The iPhone 14 Pro Max retains the same premium stainless steel and glass design as its predecessor resulting in an IP68 water and dust resistance rating. It weighs a substantial 240 grams with a thickness of 7.85mm.

The new Deep Purple color option joins Silver, Gold, and Space Black. The matte back finish resists fingerprints fairly well. While the overall look remains familiar, the display notch is replaced by a pill-shaped cutout housing the front camera and Face ID technology.

Pros:

  • Premium build quality and finish
  • IP68 water and dust resistance
  • Familiar, elegant design

Cons:

  • Heavy and bulky dimensions
  • Prone to fingerprints without a case
  • Lacks MicroSD card slot for storage expansion

Display Technology

The iPhone 14 Pro Max flaunts a 6.7-inch flexible OLED display with a resolution of 1284 x 2778 pixels and 458 pixels per inch density. This Super Retina XDR panel delivers excellent brightness, contrast, and vivid colors.

Apple claims a peak HDR brightness of 1600 nits for outstanding legibility in sunlight. The variable refresh rate ranges from 1 to 120Hz for fluid scrolling and animations. This time around, the display stays always-on to conveniently glance at the time, widgets, and notifications.

Pros:

  • Expansive 6.7-inch OLED panel
  • Superb max brightness of ~1600 nits
  • Fluid 120Hz variable refresh rate
  • Always-on display

Cons:

  • Large screen demands two-handed use
  • Curved edges may cause glare and touches

Performance

Powering the iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple’s latest A16 Bionic chip based on a 4nm manufacturing process. This 6-core CPU and 5-core GPU deliver approximately 15% faster processing speeds than the A15 Bionic powering the iPhone 13 series.

The 14 Pro Max handles demanding tasks like 4K video editing, 3D gaming, augmented reality apps, and multitasking with ease. The standard 6GB RAM capacity is generous for iOS but lower than Android flagships. Storage options include 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB.

Pros:

  • Cutting-edge A16 Bionic chip
  • Blazing fast performance
  • Generous 6GB RAM
  • Up to 1TB internal storage

Cons:

  • Smaller RAM versus Android flagships
  • No MicroSD card slot

Camera Performance

The rear camera system on the 14 Pro Max receives a major megapixel bump to 48MP for the primary sensor. This enables pixel-binning down to 12MP for improved low light shots. The sensor-shift optical image stabilization provides steadier images and video.

The 12MP ultra-wide and 12MP 3x telephoto lenses are carried over from before. Photographic styles like vibrant, contrasty, and warm help dial in your ideal image characteristics. Video capture is possible in 4K at 24, 25, 30 or 60 fps and ProRes at up to 4K 30 fps (256GB model required).

Pros:

  • 48MP main camera with pixel-binning
  • Sensor-shift optical image stabilization
  • 12MP ultra-wide and 3x telephoto lenses
  • Photographic styles for creative control
  • Up to 4K 60fps + ProRes video

Cons:

  • No periscope lens for greater optical zoom
  • 4K 60fps limited to 256GB model

Battery Life

Due to the larger screen and power-hungry processor, battery life remains a key concern for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The built-in battery capacity gets a slight bump to 4,323 mAh over the 13 Pro Max’s 4,352 mAh.

Apple claims the same 20 hours of video playback stamina. The always-on display will cause a noticeable dent in runtime. While better than average, the Pro Max cannot match the endurance of top Android phones. Fast charging up to 50% in 30 minutes helps offset this limitation.

Pros:

  • Slightly larger 4,323 mAh battery
  • Capable of 20 hours video playback (claimed)
  • 50% charge in 30 minutes with fast charger

Cons:

  • Always-on display reduces battery runtime
  • Fails to match endurance of top Androids
  • No charger included in box

Software, Features & Apps

The iPhone 14 Pro Max comes pre-installed with iOS 16 offering a range of enhancements. The Dynamic Island adaptively morphs to show alerts, notifications, and ongoing background activities.

Additional highlights include a customizable always-on display, ability to unsend and edit iMessages, improved dictation via server-side processing, and a redesigned Home app with widgets and smart home automation improvements. Apple Pay Later lets you split purchases over four interest-free payments.

Popular apps exclusive to iOS include FaceTime, iMessage, Apple Music, Apple TV, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and hundreds more. Apps like TikTok, Instagram, Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, Uber, and WhatsApp are also available.

Pros:

  • Latest iOS 16 software
  • Dynamic Island multitasks gracefully
  • Apple Pay Later convenience
  • Seamless ecosystem integration
  • Access to exclusive and popular apps

Cons:

  • iOS restricts deeper customization
  • Some features limited versus Android

Special Features

Some unique capabilities help the iPhone 14 Pro Max stand out from the Android competition. The new Crash Detection feature can automatically dial emergency services if it detects a severe car crash.

Satellite connectivity lets you send SOS messages in remote areas lacking cellular coverage. The LiDAR scanner enables immersive augmented reality apps. Apple’s tight control over hardware and software allows for a highly optimized experience versus the fragmented Android landscape.

Pros:

  • Crash Detection can be a lifesaver
  • Satellite SOS messaging offers peace of mind
  • LiDAR scanner for advanced AR apps
  • Tight hardware and software integration

Cons:

  • Crash Detection limited to US and Canada
  • Satellite SOS has slow message transfer

How Does It Compare?

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 14 Pro Max refines its predecessor with a smoother display, improved camera, always-on screen, Crash Detection, and Satellite connectivity. Performance sees a modest bump from the A16 Bionic chip. However, the overall form factor and primary features remain similar.

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung’s S22 Ultra also boasts a giant 6.8-inch QHD+ display with S-Pen support. Its quad camera system offers greater optical zoom reach and 108MP resolution. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 matches Apple’s A16 for speed. However, iOS offers a more seamless software experience than Android.

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs Google Pixel 7 Pro

Google’s latest flagship touts its advanced Tensor G2 processor enabling nifty AI features. Its 50MP camera captures stunning photos with up to 30x digital zoom. The Pixel 7 Pro offers incredible value priced several hundred below the 14 Pro Max. However, its display and build quality are not quite on par.

Should You Buy the iPhone 14 Pro Max?

The iPhone 14 Pro Max shines in several areas from its gorgeous OLED display to blazing A16 Bionic performance and stellar rear cameras. iOS 16 brings helpful enhancements like always-on screen, Dynamic Island, Crash Detection, and Satellite connectivity.

However, the virtually unchanged design, limited battery life, and lofty $1099+ pricing prevent it from being a revolutionary upgrade. The regular iPhone 14 Pro boasts the same features in a more pocketable size for $200 less.

Ultimately, the iPhone 14 Pro Max stands out as Apple’s most advanced iPhone ever packing the largest and best display we’ve seen yet. For heavy multimedia users who want maximum screen real estate, it may justify its premium price. But more budget-conscious buyers can likely skip this generation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is the iPhone 14 Pro Max camera better than the iPhone 13 Pro Max?

A: The iPhone 14 Pro Max upgrades to a 48MP main camera enabling pixel-binning down to 12MP for improved detail and low light performance. This also allows features like 2x zoom with no loss in quality. The sensor-shift OIS provides steadier images and video.

Q: What storage capacity should I choose for the iPhone 14 Pro Max?

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A: 128GB is sufficient for light users. 256GB offers a better balance for most as you’ll capture higher resolution photos/video. 512GB or 1TB are recommended if you store tons of games, media, or shoot lots of 4K video.

Q: Does the iPhone 14 Pro Max have a fingerprint scanner?

A: No, the iPhone 14 Pro Max relies on Face ID facial recognition instead of a fingerprint scanner. Face ID works fairly quickly but isn’t ideal wearing masks.

Q: Can I use the Apple Pencil with the iPhone 14 Pro Max?

A: Unfortunately the iPhone 14 Pro Max does not currently support the Apple Pencil or any other stylus. You’ll need an iPad to take advantage of the Apple Pencil.

Q: How long will the iPhone 14 Pro Max get software updates?

A: Historically, iPhones get about 5 years of major iOS updates. So you can expect the iPhone 14 Pro Max to be updated through iOS 21 likely releasing in 2027.

Q: Is the iPhone 14 Pro Max worth $1,099?

A: The iPhone 14 Pro Max justifies its price for power users needing top-tier performance in a phone with a huge, stunning display. However, most buyers don’t necessarily require its overkill specs and can save significantly opting for the regular iPhone 14 Pro.

Conclusion

The iPhone 14 Pro Max flaunts an even more expansive display together with Apple’s latest A16 Bionic processor making it the most advanced iPhone available. But its familiar design, questionable battery life gains, and extremely high cost limit its overall appeal.

For the majority of buyers, the regular iPhone 14 Pro with its $200 discount offers a more sensible blend of premium features in a still easily pocketable size. But heavy multimedia users who prioritize large screen real estate will find the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 6.7-inches of OLED goodness enticing.

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