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iPhone 14 Pro Max Review

With a satirical edge and undertones of technology, gadgets and accessories, I aim to make my writing both informative and entertaining.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has arrived.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has arrived.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max Is a Significant Upgrade

The undisputed "underground" star from Apple's 2022 Far Out event was the iPhone 14 Pro Max. It may not be the most sought-after iPhone, but it is surely the most impressive, especially compared to the mediocre iPhone 14.

While extremely comparable to the iPhone 13 Pro Max released in 2021 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max released the year before, there are significant improvements to the camera, screen technology, notch, and functionality that make this the phone that the majority of people should check out this year.

Price and Availability

The starting price for the iPhone 14 Pro Max is $1,099, which is $100 less than anticipated. Preorders for the iPhone 14 will be available on launch day, September 7, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max will be available on September 16. There will be no delay in obtaining the handsets.

Design

The design of the iPhone 14 Pro Max will not alter considerably from that of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. However, if you're searching for a case that would suit your pricey 13 Pro Max case, you're out of luck; while the proportions are similar, the camera bump on the back is significantly longer.

If you've already used the 12 or 13 Pro Max, the new Pro Max feels very familiar in your hands. The sharper, squared-off edges are precisely where your fingers are accustomed to being, and the majority of people's thumbs will need to execute the usual gymnastics to reach across the display.

As you would have anticipated, there is no USB-C port at the bottom of the device, and the physical mute switch remains. This will be a major relief to those who worry not being able to rapidly silent their mobile device.

Apple will continue to use Lightning for at least another year, which will be a relief to many who were concerned about having to purchase new chargers.

As you can see in our hands-on photographs, the stainless steel band around the exterior is still a fingerprint magnet, and there is no SIM tray below the volume controls. It will be fascinating to see how people react if they decide to upgrade their SIM-free device, although when it was introduced there were murmurs of discontent.

The most significant modification in terms of design is not the chassis, but the screen.

The "Dynamic Island" morphs and moves based on what you're doing.

The "Dynamic Island" morphs and moves based on what you're doing.

Display

The display of the iPhone 14 Pro Max has undergone a significant change: the notch has been replaced by a lengthy pill. Apple's iOS 16 is making this pill for your eyes—by filling it in for you—and can use the screen in between to display small notification lights, which is a nice touch.

The "Dynamic Island"

It's called the Dynamic Island, which elicited a chuckle when it was revealed but will likely become normal Apple lingo in no time.

It morphs and moves based on what you're doing; when we tested it, you could start music and have the album cover in the top, have the timer sit next to the notch, or simply press it to access your playing music.

It is a very cool feature, and Apple has sprung a bit of a surprise by transforming an ugliness into something incredibly useful for navigating the phone.

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It takes some getting used to if you've been accustomed to the notch for years (and even more so if you're coming from an Android phone with a single camera hole), but it makes more sense when it moves dynamically.

Always-On Screen

The screen of the iPhone 14 Pro Max sports the really nice new always-on display. Let's not call it groundbreaking, as Samsung has offered this capability for literally years.

However, it looks good and is a feature that iPhone users have been begging for for years—having to tap or lift the phone to view the clock is inconvenient and wastes battery by waking the phone.

While the always-on display would consume more power—our iPhone demonstrator was unable to tell us by how much—individuals who use their phone as a clock may actually save battery life.

This new function is enabled by the fact that the OLED display technology utilized in the phone now has the same capabilities as the Apple Watch, where it can display content at a refresh rate of one per second.

It's more feature-rich than we anticipated, with widgets, wallpaper, and the clock being visible even when the phone is locked and off; you'll need to experiment to determine whether you want to display all widgets.

If you've never used an iPhone with an OLED screen before, which is possible if you're coming from one of the older iPhone 11 models, you'll be blown away by this 6.7-inch display's clarity, color reproduction, fluidity, and general expanse.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max's biggest update was the the 48MP camera sensor.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max's biggest update was the the 48MP camera sensor.

Camera: the 48MP Sensor

The update to the camera that comes with the iPhone 14 Pro Max is mostly focused on one component: the 48MP sensor. Because of this upgraded technology, you now have access to a greater variety of photographic styles, you can take images with a higher resolution, and you can take better pictures in low light.

The camera is intuitive and quick, focussing the shots in less than a second and allowing for a rather seamless transition between taking photographs and recording video. In light of the fact that the internals have been improved, there is no reason to anticipate that this will not be the case; yet, it is still beneficial to notice.

It is likely that Apple was able to reach the level of image clarity that it has by combining the improved pixels and computational photography that the new A16 chipset offers. This was done while seeing the images at full resolution and when zoomed in.

The effect as a whole is powerful, and in addition, there is now a 2x optical zoom. With this feature, the phone crops in from the 3x sensor to provide you with a zoom level that is somewhere in the center of the 1x and 3x zoom lens. The sensor is the largest that Apple has ever installed in a mobile device, and at 1.9 microns in size, the 48MP snapper will be able to take in a great deal of light.

When you first start using the brand new iPhone 14 Pro Max, one of the things that will stand out to you is the increased protrusion of the camera bump located on the back of the device. That is how the new 48MP sensor is enabled here, and that is likely why Apple has jumped: if you have a higher-MP sensor in the same footprint as normal, the pixels get smaller, may collect less light, and other things like that. Apple has certainly jumped because of this.

There is also a new Action Mode, which is similar to Cinematic Mode (but not as easy to toggle), and it will allow you to have smoother videos when you run. This is another one that is going to need a good test in order to monitor, but it does look a lot smoother because of the onboard smarts of the 14 Pro Max.

The 14 Pro Max will be able to stay longer on battery thanks to improved low power modes.

The 14 Pro Max will be able to stay longer on battery thanks to improved low power modes.

Battery

Without putting the iPhone 14 Pro Max battery through our standard battery testing, it is impossible to determine if it will perform as well as planned or match the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

It was evident that the jump from the 12 Pro to the 13 Pro was substantial, and if the boasts of the A16 chip's increased efficiency are true, the 14 Pro Max will be able to stay longer on battery thanks to improved low power modes.

One factor that could make a difference is the amount of information on the always-on display: you can show simply the clock, or have a full wallpaper and widgets that 'dull' in and out when the phone is turned on.

A16 Chipset

The iPhone 14 Pro Max's performance speed is, in our opinion, the major talking point. It's natural that Apple would want the Pro versions to be the most powerful in the world to justify the higher price, but it's also obvious that this is an improvement.

Apple made a big show on stage about the increased power of the iPhone 14 Pro range, even if (as rumored) it's not nearly the leap in silicon capability that the iPhone 15 would deliver, and in the hand, it's difficult to imagine many people ever slowing this phone down.

The rumors of a more powerful RAM appear to be true, with the ability to open and dismiss applications, take images, and perform intensive activities with relative ease.

The A16 chipset does wonders for iPhone 14 Pro Max's performance speed.

The A16 chipset does wonders for iPhone 14 Pro Max's performance speed.

Early Verdict

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple's largest, most audacious, and most spectacular new iPhone; as such, it also commands Apple's highest price tag.

We think the new Dynamic Island is a great improvement, one that users will embrace and adapt to quickly, despite the fact that the pill shape may be awkward for some apps at first.

The camera upgrades are standard for the iPhone Pro Max line, but we may be blown away by the low light performance and the new Action Mode.

Even while this hasn't seemed to be an issue for Apple fans in the past, we still think the iPhone 15 needs to be a major improvement over its predecessors in order to maintain the brand's current level of success.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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