iPhone 14 Pro Max – Apple with pill

Unlike the regular iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Pro does have some new features on board. Both visible and invisible. But Apple still makes a mistake, you can read more about it in the iPhone 14 Pro Max review.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

Price from € 1329 or € 1479
Colors Purple, Gold, Silver, Black
OS iOS 16
Screen 6.1 inches (2556×1179, 120 hertz) or 6.7 inches amoled (2796×1290, 120 hertz)
Processor hexacore (Apple A16 Bionic)
Storage 128, 256, 512GB, 1TB
Battery 3,200 mAh or 4,323 mAh
Camera 48, 12 and 12 megapixels (rear), 12 megapixels (front)
Connectivity 5G, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC
Format 14.8 x 7.2 x 0.8 cm or 16.1 x 7.8 x 0.8 cm
Weight 206 grams or 240 grams
Other Lightning, esim, no adapter/memory card/audio port
Website www.apple.com/nl 8 Score 80 Rating: 80

  • Pros
  • Camera
  • Screen
  • Accessible
  • Support
  • Negatives
  • Lightning connector
  • Price
  • Little innovative

The iPhone’s Pro series really needed some love from Apple. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 series of previous years were actually so good that there was no justification for choosing a Pro model. Unless you enjoy spending a lot of extra money unnecessarily. With this iPhone 14 Pro, Apple has given that little bit more love to the most expensive smartphone that the smartphone maker offers.

The iPhone 14 Pro comes in two versions, the regular and the larger iPhone 14 Pro Max. The latter is the one we put on the rack. However, differences between the two versions are small. The regular iPhone 14 Pro has a smaller screen and lower battery capacity (due to the limited amount of space).

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Refreshed screen is always on

The biggest innovation is visible in the screen of the smartphone. Of course, the image is slightly brighter and more colorful again. Apple has also placed a screen panel with a variable refresh rate, just like the iPad Pro and many Android smartphones have had for years. Although the screen of the iPhone 13 Pro also has a variable refresh rate, this new screen panel is just that little bit more versatile. The system can increase the refresh rate so that images run more smoothly (for example, when scrolling through web pages, games or menus). Or the refresh rate is lowered to protect the battery. For example, for videos, the clock or the new Always-On screen of iPhone 14 Pro. This allows the iPhone 14 Pro to go back to 1 hertz, while the iPhone 13 Pro’s screen does not dip below 48 hertz. By the way, the maximum refresh rate is 120 hertz, the default rate is 60 hertz.

Because that Always-On display is also a new feature kept for the iPhone 14 Pro. This keeps the screen of the smartphone always on, so you can always see the clock and notifications. That’s pretty nice. Thanks to algorithms, the iPhone recognizes when it is in the pocket or bag, so that the screen still switches off. If you have paired an Apple Watch, the device also notices when you are further away from your iPhone 14 Pro, after which the screen also switches off.

By minimizing the refresh rate, the battery is spared. Because a screen that’s always on… Of course that takes its toll. In practice I noticed that the battery lasts about a day. When I turn off the always-on screen, I get to about a day and a half. This of course depends on your usage.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Apple iPhone 14 Pro

The iPhone 14 Pro always-on display.

Pill-shaped island

The last refresh of the screen is in the notch. Since the iPhone X, a piece has been cut off from the top for the placement of the selfie camera and other sensors. This iPhone 14 Pro is smaller and pill-shaped. Apple calls this a dynamic island. In software, Apple has cleverly processed notifications and function buttons at this hole in the screen. For example, Apple has made the screen notch less unappealing and given some aesthetic functionality. But it is still not a nice solution.

Camera steps down from 12 megapixels

The big selling point for the iPhone Pro is the camera. Of course, the best iPhone also has the best camera – although the best smartphones from Google and Samsung do too. The iPhone 14 Pro is (once again) equipped with three cameras on the back. A wide-angle and zoom lens of 12 megapixels and a primary lens of 48 megapixels instead of 12. By default, photos are still saved in a 12 megapixel resolution. Four pixels are merged into one, with which many details of the high resolution are preserved.

This primary camera in particular excels in all lighting conditions. The other cameras are also good, but fail to impress like the main camera. The differences compared to the iPhone 14 are also quite large in terms of camera. More and more people prefer to buy an expensive smartphone instead of a good (system) camera. The iPhone 14 Pro justifies that, although the techniques of both devices work very differently. In our article on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro cameras you can read how both smartphones take pictures in practice.

In terms of video, the iPhone 14 Pro is a lot better than all competitors. The cinematic mode is particularly impressive.

Other hardware

In fact, we have had all the innovations of the smartphone with the screen and the camera. Of course there are new features in iOS 16, such as the accident detection. Internally, the iPhone 14 Pro has a new chipset, which scores well in the benchmarks and should work slightly more efficiently than its predecessor. But these differences are already minimal in the scores, in practice this is not noticeable at all. The housing of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max has not changed either. In fact, if you want to show off your new smartphone to someone who has the iPhone 13 Pro (Max), then differences are not visible. Unless you have the always-on screen turned on.

It is not a loss that the housing and chipset do not entail any brand and visible changes. Yet Apple refuses to renew some areas and that is getting embarrassing. And I’m talking about the Lightning connector. It does not allow fast charging and other functions are missing. Despite Apple’s marketing department likes to pretend the company is green, even the EU has had to step in to finally get this non-universal charger into the history books to avoid e-waste of unnecessary cables. This is legislation that will come into effect in the autumn of 2024. So if things don’t go well, the iPhone 17 will only be released from this very outdated connection, while in the meantime almost all other electronics can be charged with one USB-c cable.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Apple iPhone 14 Pro
The cameras of the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the iPhone 14.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Alternatives

Weak euro against the dollar, high inflation… Any argument to raise prices is used by Apple as it has been for years. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have therefore received a price increase, while the price of the previous generations was already disproportionately high. Despite the fact that you often try to validate a purchase in your head (I use my smartphone often, it lasts a long time, I talk about it) the price is in no way justifiable. It makes little difference to Apple’s sales, though, and competition will no doubt follow with price. And other things like the dynamic island.

However, it is too high a price for perhaps the best smartphone you can buy right now. It is an accessible smartphone, with smooth performance and a very good camera. In addition, you can use it for years thanks to the good update support policy. The disadvantage remains that you are trapped in an Apple ecosystem and more European regulations and fines are on the way to curb Apple’s greed. That is something that you should take into account if you are considering an iPhone compared to an Android smartphone. Android alternatives mainly come from Samsung. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has lesser software and support, but again has a more versatile camera and a stylus for the enthusiast.

If you have an iPhone X, the iPhone 14 Pro can be a nice upgrade. For actually all generations after that it is a bit of a waste of money. Among other iPhones, there are actually no alternatives to the iPhone 14 Pro. The iPhone 13 Pro is no longer offered by Apple and the regular iPhone 14 is really just not such a good choice.

If you have an iPhone X, the iPhone 14 Pro can be a nice upgrade. For actually all generations after that it is a bit short of money.

Conclusion: buy iPhone 14 Pro Max?

Of course, with the iPhone 14 Pro Max you have a great smartphone. The device is by no means groundbreaking, but there are nice improvements for the main camera and the screen. The innovations are too limited for an upgrade from the 11, 12, or 13 series of the iPhone and iPhone 13 Pro and the price increase also raises concerns. Concerns that could (or better: should) have been prevented with obvious innovation, such as a USB-C connection.


Recent Articles

Related Stories