Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max Initial Review

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max Initial Review

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max Initial Review

766 429 Avinash Sharma

Finally, the powerhouse iPhone 14 Pro Max is available. And I’m not just saying it because of the bigger lenses. This large-screen flagship features a new 48MP camera, an always-on display, and a new A16 Bionic chipset that should once again outperform the Android competition.

But during my test of iPhone 14 Pro Max I was most intrigued by the new Dynamic Island feature, Apple’s replacement for the notch. This pill-shaped cutout morphs depending on what you’re doing, showing everything from music playing in the background to countdown timers. 

But Before we go dig deep into the review of 14 pro max, lets see the full list of Specifications.

Specifications of iPhone 14 pro max

Screen size6.7-inches
Refresh rate1-120Hz
CPUApple A16 Bionic
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Cameras 48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom
Size6.33 x 3.05 x 0.31 inches
Weight8.47 ounces
Dust/Water resistance IP68
ColorsPurple, gold, silver and space black
Rated battery life29 hours video playback
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iPhone 14 Pro Max Design

The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max features a surgical-grade stainless steel frame, glass rear and it delivers a solid and super-premium build quality. There’s also a refreshed design, just like its smaller sibling, the iPhone 14 Pro. 

The flat edges – first reintroduced in the iPhone 12 – remain and while the glossy finish of the 14 Pro Max’s frame is a fingerprint fiend, it adds to the premium appeal of this device. The left edge houses the silence toggle and volume buttons, while the right edge has the power button and SIM tray – or a frosted section in its place f or US models that have switched to eSIM only.

On the bottom, you’ll find – perhaps disappointingly – the Lightning port and not a USB-C port, while speakers are positioned either side. There’s also a speaker at the top of the display but it’s not on top of the notch anymore. That’s because the iPhone 14 Pro Max has said bye bye to the trusty notch we’ve seen grace the front of Face ID iPhones since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017.

Apple is replacing the notch with Dynamic Island, a large pill-shaped cutout for Face ID and the front camera. It’s a flexible cut out that utilises space that would otherwise be wasted by bringing in data from certain applications, such as the Apple Music app and Clock.

You can tap on the Dynamic Island once to expand the information, and tapping it again will open the app Dynamic Island is showing. Dynamic Island also splits into two if you open two apps, like Apple Music and set a timer for example.  

However, while the front of the iPhone 14 Pro Max is quite different from its predecessor, the rear sticks to its roots. The frosted glass panel features a large and prominent camera housing in the top left corner, with three lenses and the LiDAR sensor. The edges of the housing blend into the rear too, making for a smooth and seamless transition.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Display

I’m not joking when I say the iPhone 14 Pro Max has the best display on any phone I’ve seen so far. And this 6.7-inch panel is super bright, with a rated brightness of 1,600 nits. Outdoors the Pro Max is rated up to a whopping 2,000 nits.

Up close, I really appreciated the rich colors and detail as I watched a recorded video in the new Action mode. It’s like having a mini movie theater in your pocket. 

It gets better. The iPhone 14 Pro Max has an always-on display that shows your widgets and notifications in a low power state but still in color. This is much better than anything Android phones have tried. And because the display scales down to 1Hz, it should use very little power. 

iPhone 14 Pro Max Cameras

The camera department has always been an area of focus for the iPhone Pro models, and this year is no different. While it’s no longer the only differentiating factor of the Pro models, there’s still plenty to talk about here, with the 14 Pro Max seeing an upgraded main camera sensor and upgraded ultra wide sensor.

Like the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has a triple rear camera comprised of a main sensor, ultra wide-angle sensor and a telephoto sensor. The main lens is now a 48-megapixel f/1.78 sensor though, which uses pixel binning technology, whereby the sensors use the extra resolution to capture more detail before producing a 12-megapixel end image. 

It’s said the iPhone 14 Pro Max – along with the iPhone 14 Pro – will therefore offer much better low-light shots. There’s also a Photonic Engine on board, which is also said to help improve low-light photography.

Elsewhere, the 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor has a wider aperture than previously too, at f/1.8 compared to f/2.2, and there’s a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor again too – though this remains the same as the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Several features move over from the iPhone 13 Pro too, including Cinematic Mode and Photographic Styles, as well as more standard features like Night mode and Portrait mode with Depth Control. New features have been launched on the iPhone 14 Pro too, including an Action Mode for video, and Cinematic Mode in 4K up to 30fps.

On the front, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has a 12-megapixel sensor like the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but there’s a wider aperture than previously at f/1.9, which should allow for better low-light shots, and there’s autofocus on board this time too.

Though testing the camera capabilities wasn’t possible during our brief amount of time with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, this is an area we are expecting it to perform well in. The resolution increase is substantial for iPhone, with 12-megapixels being the maximum up until now, so it will be interesting to see how much of a difference the new sensor and technology makes when we test it out in full.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Performance

The iPhone 14 Pro Max features a new A16 Bionic chip using a 4nm process, and Apple claims that its 6-core CPU is up to 40% faster than the competition. There’s also an accelerated 5-core GPU with 50 percent more memory bandwidth.

What’s the point of all this power? The CPU, GPU, Neural Engine, and image signal processor are designed to work together to support the new camera hardware and perform up to 4 trillion operations per photo.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Battery life and Charging

We can’t easily test the iPhone 14 Pro Max battery without running it through our usual suite of tests – there’s no way to know if it’s going to 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 markedly improved, and if the claims of enhanced efficiency of the A16 chip are true, that means the 14 Pro Max will be able to last even longer on battery, thanks to better low power modes.

One of the things that might make a difference here is the amount of information on the always-on display: you can show just the time, or have a full wallpaper and widgets that ‘dull’ in and out when you turn on the phone.

That could affect the overall longetivity of the power pack, but if the rumors of the larger pack inside (and the increased thickness of the 14 Pro Max over the 13 Pro Max certainly suggests that) are true, then you could find even longer time between charges.

Final Words

In Apple’s latest iPhone lineup, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the largest, boldest, and most spectacular phone. It is also the most expensive.

Although that pill form does feel like it gets in the way for some apps, the new Dynamic Island is a genuinely cool update that we believe consumers will like and adapt to fast.

The iPhone Pro Max range’s camera improvements are standard, but it’s likely that the low light performance and new Action Mode will really impress us.