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iPhone 14 Pro Max review

iPhone 14 Pro Max review 

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the best phone to buy because of its innovative dynamic iPhone, powerful cameras, always-on display, and extraordinarily long battery life.

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Not only is the iPhone 14 Pro Max the most powerful phone available today. Thanks to the innovative new dynamic of displaying notifications and current activity, it's a pleasure to use. Plus, Apple's largest Pro model boasts amazing cameras, including a new 48MP main camera, an always-on display, an eye-catching motion mode for videos, and ridiculous battery life. Although it is pricey, it is the best phone that money can buy.

Positives

+ Excellent 48 MP camera

+ Amazing dynamic island

+ Class-leading battery life

+ Always on display

+ Impressive video action mode

cons

Some people may be annoyed by the lack of a SIM card slot.

-Continuously charging only 20W

- A little heavier and thicker

The improvements I was hoping for — and which I didn't know I needed — are in iPhone 14 Pro Max. The biggest improvement is Dynamic Island, which provides live notifications and activities like your music, turn-by-turn instructions, timers, and Face ID animations. Yes, the always-on display is long overdue.

It's genius and, I have to admit, a joy to use.

Suggested video


I also like to record videos with the camera's new motion mode. Other smartphones offer a feature like this, but the iPhone 14 Pro Max's high-quality video and incredibly stable shots give the impression that it's a work of magic. Although some will bemoan the complete absence of a physical SIM card tray, the ease with which you can switch between several phone numbers using this flagship's eSIM feature is also great.

With its A16 Bionic chip, Apple has once again produced the fastest phone available, but that's not really about benchmarks. Instead, focus on the capabilities of this chip, like the always-on display and powerful 48MP camera. The best iPhone and the best phone overall are created when combined with exceptionally extended battery life.

Check out our reviews of the iPhone 14 Pro if you want a smaller phone and the iPhone 14 if you want the new, more economical iPhone.

iPhone 14 Pro Max specifications


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iPhone 14 Pro Max review


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iPhone 14 Pro Max release day is September 16th. It is one of the most affordable flagship phones available, and starts at $1,099, £1,199 or AU$1,899.

Since the initial storage is still 128GB, it doesn't feel particularly professional. However, you can pay $1,199 (£1,309 / AU$2,099) to upgrade to 256GB. It costs $1,399 (£1,529 / AU$2,419) to upgrade to 512GB, and $1,599 (£1,749 / AU$2,769) to get 1TB.

Check out our iPhone 14 deals guide for more information on how to get the best savings.

iPhone 14 Pro Max review: The design


I noticed two things right away when I picked up the iPhone 14 Pro Max for this review. The camera bump is larger, and the first difference is that the notch has been replaced with a pill-shaped cutout (more on the dynamic island below).

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The rear iPhone 14 Pro Max features three larger camera lenses, as well as a flash that takes up a lot of space. In addition, compared to its predecessor, this phone is slightly thicker and heavier: the iPhone 14 Pro Max is smaller and lighter than the iPhone 13 Pro Max, measuring 6.33 x 3.05 x 0.31 inches and weighing 8.47 ounces, respectively.

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iPhone 14 Pro Max is available in midnight purple, silver, gold, and space black. Since it pops the most, I prefer the darker purple, so I tried that out for my review. I still appreciate Apple's use of a matte glass back and color-coordinated brushed steel sides for the Pro phones. With the same IP68 water resistance, the overall design is attractive but perhaps a little too recognizable.

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What is missing? SIM card tray is that. Apple has removed this feature from US models, as it did with the headphone jack, and replaced it with eSIM technology. The good news is that adding a line to the iPhone 14 Pro Max was surprisingly simple, and you can simultaneously have two active numbers (for example, one for your personal number and one for work). The bad news is that not all international carriers support eSIM, so before you leave for another country, make sure your service provider is compatible.

iPhone 14 Pro Max review: Dynamic Island


That's iconic now. Apple found a way to make the iPhone functional and fun, not just reduce it in size and make it smaller. The Dynamic Island is like a little dashboard and houses the TrueDepth camera as well as giving you access to the information you need no matter what app you're using.

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For example, if you open Apple Music or Spotify and swipe back to the home screen, album art will be shown on the left side and a small animation will be shown on the right. In addition, a larger window showing track progress and playback options will appear if you press and hold on the Dynamic Island. Alternatively, you can simply press once to open the app.

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Many additional applications take advantage of Dynamic Island. There, you can view a number of different things, such as the status of the timer, the next step in Maps, the status of incoming and outgoing calls, and more. Two simultaneous live events can be shown on the island.

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Apple will release a Live Activities API to developers later this year so they can add more Dynamic Island features like sports scores, food delivery status, rideshare information, and more. I can't wait until I don't need to constantly open the app to check the location of my DoorDash delivery or Uber ride.

Dynamic Island can be used for a variety of tasks, including Face ID, and the animations are smooth without being obtrusive. Simply put, this is a game-changing feature that should convince you to choose the iPhone 14 Pro Max over the standard iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus.

iPhone 14 Pro Max always-on display review and screen benchmark
There's no doubt that Apple lags behind Android phones when it comes to the new iPhone 14 Pro's always-on display, but if you're willing to take the effort to set it up, Apple's app offers a richer experience.

Apple created AOD to essentially mimic the lock screen (in color), but with a significantly lower brightness level, given that the iPhone 14 Pro Max screen can have a refresh rate of up to 1 Hz. As a result, you can still see lock screen widgets, such as weather, calendar, and activity ring, as well as notifications.

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The iPhone 14 Pro Max's always-on display is programmed to turn off if you put the device in your pocket or face down on a table. I've personally found an always-on display useful for simply displaying the time without having to turn the screen on completely because my dogs usually interpret this as permission to go outdoors at any time of the night.

I suppose I prefer the simplicity of the Pixel 6 and Galaxy S22 Ultra's always-on displays, which only show minimal information, such as the clock, battery life, and notifications. But I appreciate that the iPhone 14 Pro Max has additional customization options.

On the other hand, the iPhone 14 Pro Max's Super Retina XDR display is incredibly gorgeous and colorful. In fact, this panel is rated for brightness levels up to 1,600 nits with HDR content and 2,000 nits in direct sunlight.

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Water droplets hitting the pool below and producing a fizzy cloud of bubbles caught my attention when I zoomed in on a video of a fountain on this canvas. And when I played the air-shooting game AirTwister, which had smooth animations to match the 120Hz ProMotion display, I was completely immersed in lush paradise.

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The iPhone 14 Pro Max achieved up to 1,565 nits with HDR content during our lab tests, which is very close to Apple's claim. Additionally, this panel scored 83.2% of the DCI-P3 color space and 117.5% of the sRGB color gamut. When 0 is perfect, the Delta-E's color read accuracy was 0.26.

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The iPhone 13 Pro Max achieved a maximum of 1040 nits during testing and achieved scores of 109.3% and 77.4% in the sRGB and DCI-P3 tests, respectively. Overall, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has a better screen than the iPhone 13 Pro Max, while it has a slightly lower Delta-E rating (0.21).

The Galaxy S22 Ultra scored 137.5% and 97.4% on the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts, respectively, and reached 1,359 nits with HDR content. The Delta-E score was also 0.25. The result is a more vibrant but slightly darker Samsung panel.

Camera review on the iPhone 14 Pro Max


With the inclusion of a 48MP main wide sensor for the first time in the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple has changed the status quo with its cameras. For improved light capture in 12MP images, the sensor groups all four pixels into a pixel quadrant by default. If you want the most detail, you can shoot at 48MP in Pro RAW mode, which is perfect for cropping.

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The 48MP camera also enables a new 2x zoom option, joining the 12MP 3x telephoto lens, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra's 10x dual optical arrangement provides even higher magnification.

iPhone Pro Max also has a new camera with nearly twice the ultra-wide resolution, a 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera with autofocus and a faster f/1.9 aperture for improved low-light photography. Better low-light performance is actually a common trend on this phone, as each camera houses an optical engine powered by the A16 Bionic chip that aims to deliver brighter, more vibrant photos.

You must first enable Apple ProRaw and set the ProRaw resolution to 48MP in the Settings app before you can take 48MP photos. It might be easiest to turn this on in the camera app at first, but once it's up and running you can switch between RAW and normal photos.

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I was able to zoom in much further without losing information when I took a 48MP photo of the area around the fire pit. The bricks and lights on top of the circular wall have more detail. Just keep in mind that to get the best effects, you'll need to edit the photos later.

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The iPhone 14 Pro, which I tested against other flagship phones, is, in my opinion, the best photography phone money can buy. Starting with this image of lilies, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra makes the purple and yellow more prominent, but the iPhone 14 Pro Max has finer details in the petals. This is very close

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Regarding this photo of a pepper, the S22 Ultra's colors are a bit oversaturated, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max's contrast and depth are improved while zoomed in. In this case, Apple has the advantage.

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In this shot of Halloween decorations, the iPhone 14 Pro Max comes out on top in my opinion because of its richer orange, white, and sunflower colors; The S22 Ultra's image also has a bit more haze. The skeletons hanging on the wall can be seen more clearly in the shadows on the Samsung phone because it does a better job of lighting the background.

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The iPhone 14 Pro Max effectively blurs the background while capturing great detail in my face, shirt, and shorts in this photo of me taken near the Manasquan Reservoir. The Google Pixel 6 reduces the luminosity on my face and provides a more realistic blue in my shirt.

In the night mode comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro Max comes out on top. On the iPhone, the fire pit's stone wall, green couches, and ambient lights are all sharper and more vibrant.

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One feature where the Galaxy S22 Ultra continues to excel is Zoom. This repulsive silver-orange patch can be seen in greater detail at 15x magnification, and the tree's bark is even more distinct. In addition, the maximum zoom of the Pro Max is this, while the maximum zoom of the S22 Ultra is 30x and even 100x (with some shake).

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Last but not least, the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro Max take eye-catching selfies. I chose the iPhone because it captures my face, hair, and clothes in greater detail. My face is smoothed out by the S22 Ultra, and the image is a bit fuzzy.

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iPhone 14 Pro Max review: video

Video captured on the iPhone 14 Pro Max saw two significant improvements. The first is Motion mode, and the second is Cinema mode with enhanced 4K resolution.

When shooting, you can make the action easier by simply toggling a button in the camera app. This is especially useful when the photographer and subject are moving. It first took film of me running slightly downhill on a trail to test the motion position.

When motion mode isn't on, the camera shakes so violently that it makes you dizzy, but when it's on, my ascent will feel silky smooth, as if I'm using a gimbal. Just keep in mind that the resolution is limited to 2.8K because Apple trimmed the video to make the effect work.

Both phones delivered equally smooth shots when running up a hill when compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra's Super Steady Mode and the iPhone 14 Pro Max's Action mode. The iPhone's downward shots looked steadier than the Samsung's, which are shaky but have a brighter clip.

My video of the fountain is testament to the exceptional overall video recording quality of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Despite some lens flare, the flowing water and lush algae look like they were captured by a professional-level camera. In addition, Apple has improved the smoothness of switching between zoom levels when recording video.

Unfortunately, you have to buy an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max with at least 256GB of storage if you want to record 4K ProRes video. You'll be limited to 1080p HD video at 30fps if not.

iPhone 14 Pro Max performance review

The A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple's first 4nm chip, and it's once again the fastest chip in a phone. Although the clock speed is 10% slower than A15 Bionic, the CPU provides 50% more memory bandwidth, which improves gameplay.

I found the iPhone 14 Pro Max to be very fast during my testing, whether I was switching between several apps or playing games like Asphalt 9 Legends. Even with so many other vehicles on TV vying for the top spot, racing on the Himalayan circuit was smooth.

iPhone 14 Pro Max scored 1,882 for single-core performance on Geekbench 5 and 5,333 for multi-core performance. That significantly beats the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and its Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip (1,328 / 3,831) as well as the iPhone 13 Pro Max (1,720 / 4,549). As a result of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU (1,249 / 3,392), the S22 Ultra lagged further.

Geekbench results


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In the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited benchmark, the iPhone 14 Pro Max scored 12,363, or 74 frames per second. The Galaxy S22 Ultra scored 9499 and has 56.87 fps. This is a significant improvement in graphics performance compared to the 11,418 and 68.37 frames per second achieved by the iPhone 13 Pro Max last year.

3DMark results


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Oddly enough, the iPhone 14 Pro Max performed slightly worse on our video editing test, which necessitated downsizing 4K video to 1080p in Adobe Premiere Rush. Compared to 25 seconds for the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the new iPhone took 30 seconds. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 required 45 seconds, compared to the Galaxy S22 Ultra's 47.

iPhone 14 Pro Max charge and battery life review


The iPhone 14 Pro Max had very long battery life in Tom's Guide's battery test, in part because of its more efficient processor. We're talking about 14 hours and 42 minutes on average. This allows the iPhone 14 Pro Max to climb near the top of the ranking of phones with the best battery life.

According to personal experience, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has held up fairly well. The phone battery only drains to 60% after charging it about 90% and then using it from 1 to 6 pm. To install apps, listen to music, and take photos and videos.

There are phones that charge faster than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which is a shame because it only supports 20W charging. We were only able to charge a depleted iPhone 14 Pro Max to 42% in 30 minutes despite Apple claiming that you can charge up to 50%. We will retest this product and update this review. In contrast, the Galaxy S22 Ultra reached 58% with a 25W charger in 30 minutes, and the OnePlus 10 Pro reached 93% and achieved 55% with a 65W charger in 15 minutes.

iPhone 14 Pro Max review: Satellite-based emergency alerts and crash detection


Apple will introduce two significant security upgrades for the iPhone 14 Pro Max later this fall. First, there's Emergency Satellite SOS, which combines new antennas and software to connect to satellites when no cellular or Wi-Fi signal is available. After that, emergency services will come to your place to help you.

The iPhone 14's updated accelerometer and gyroscope are used in a second safety feature, collision detection, to determine if you've been involved in a car accident. In the event of a malfunction, your iPhone will automatically alert emergency services and any designated emergency contacts.

iOS 16 review on iPhone 14 Pro Max


There are many positive aspects to iOS 16, which is the default operating system for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. You can add widgets, images, and other items to the lock screen, and anything you decide will also appear on the always-on display. Other notable features include the ability to edit and unsend texts, passkeys, a new fitness app, and (finally) a battery gauge.

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iCloud Shared Photo Library will make it easier to share photos with family members later this year. In addition, direct activities from developers will improve Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro by displaying information such as sports scores and the status of your food order or ride share in real time. See our iOS 16 review and how to use iOS 16 guide for additional information.

Verdict on iPhone 14 Pro Max review


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iPhone 14 Pro Max is the best large-screen phone available right now, and it justifies the premium cost by offering a great display with always-on features, the best cameras in a phone, and exceptionally long battery life. Dynamic Island is undoubtedly my favorite feature because it saves you time from having to switch between multiple apps just to get important information. As more developers join the platform, it will grow even better.

You'll appreciate the new motion mode for smoother shots and a sharper cinematic option if you like to shoot videos. The always-on display also works well, despite the fact that you have to put some effort into configuring the functions.

I have a few issues with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, including its weight and the fact that it doesn't offer faster charging like its other competitors. While I personally don't need a SIM tray, some travelers abroad may be upset that they can't insert a new SIM card right on arrival because some carriers don't enable eSIM capabilities yet.

Overall, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a beast of a phone that's incredibly powerful and fun to use. Simply put, it's the best phone money can buy.

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