iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro: Main differences to expect


It’s shaping up to be quite a good year for Apple, as the iPhone 14-series is positioning itself to be another paradigm shift for the iPhone lineup. No longer will we have an iPhone mini; instead, Apple will introduce a large version of its 6.1-inch regular iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 14 Max. Yet, the crown jewels will be the two different-sized flavors of essentially the same phone: the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro.

And this year, they will have something more going for themselves in comparison with previous generations in the form of a slew of unique features and aspects that wouldn’t be found on the cheaper versions.

This year will mark Apple’s first hardware differentiation between the more premium and affordable iPhones. Only the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro will be powered by the new A16 Bionic chipset, with the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max relying on last year’s A15 Bionic instead. There’s also a majorly redesigned notch in tow, now in an i-shape, as well as an always-on display functionality hinted, and let’s not forget the new main 48MP camera sensor that holds the promise for much better light sensitivity and dynamic resolve.
But how do these two compare?

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro in a nutshell:

  • 6/7-inch 120Hz OLED (iPhone 14 Pro Max) vs 6.1-inch 120Hz OLED (iPhone 14 Pro)
  • Larger battery (iPhone 14 Pro Max)
  • More compact design (iPhone 14 Pro)

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

Size matters, really

The only major difference between the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max is expected to be the size of the two phones. No, really, this is the only real difference to expect, with the iPhone 14 Pro Max pushing the limits of manageable due to its large size, and the iPhone 14 Pro likely hitting that sweet spot for most people.

Now if we look past the size differences, we’d see that the two phones are essentially similar in terms of external design. Both follow the iPhone 12 design language that re-introduced flat frames to the iPhone, and now in its third iteration, this design is expected to shine the most. There are rumors about a titanium body, but let’s be real, such rumors have circulated for years to never materialize, so it would be safer to assume that a stainless steel frame to be making the rounds for yet another year.

The big difference here is that Apple’s super-premium phones will introduce a new, i-shaped notch that will substitute the now standard iPhone notch. This would achieve a more futuristic look for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro and holds the promise for a more functional status bar with additional indicator and icons, here’s to hoping.

Both the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro are rumored to come with thinner bezels than their direct predecessors, which would match nicely with the refreshed and more futuristic design. The iPhone 12 started the bezel-minimization trend, which continued with the iPhone 13, and it appears that the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro could have the narrowest bezels ever on an iPhone.

When it comes to the colors that the two top iPhones will be available in, recent rumors are calling for quite the snazzy selection of Graphite, Silver, Gold, and Purple hues. The Pacific Blue color of the iPhone 12 and Sierra Blue found on the 13 Pro-series are the notable omissions here, but rest assured Apple will most likely refresh the color lineup in early 2023. Judging from previous years, Apple tends to add a new color to its latest iPhones a couple months afterwards. We got Alpine Green for the iPhone 13 Pro-series earlier in 2022, so here’s to hoping Apple would add another green or blue color to the upcoming lineup in early 2023.

As we said earlier, the main difference between the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max would be their size, and respectively, screen real estate. The iPhone 14 Pro Max would feature a 6.7-inch display, similar to its predecessors, while the iPhone 14 Pro would still rely on the tried and tested 6.1-inch screen that should be just fine  in terms of size for most folk. Both displays will be 120Hz LTPO OLED ProMotion screens, meaning superb contrast, color reproduction, and smooth motion. Brightness-wise, Apple tends to up things a bit every year, so we definitely expect even brighter screens in 2022.

And that i-shaped notch is really something else, especially compared with the traditional one that will still be used on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max. Regardless of the striking new look, the new notch will still be as functional as before. It would facilitate the front camera as well as the Face ID module and proximity sensor. The reclaimed space isn’t that much to warrant a whole new

Another important distinct point between the more premium and more affordable iPhones will be their always-on display, which is rumored to make an appearance on the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. They would allow for a clockface and other useful information to be displayed on the screen at all times. Apple already does this functionality on the Apple Watch and it makes sense to finally have it on the iPhone. While this functionality doesn’t necessarily require an LTPO display (many Android phones have had it in the past), Apple will likely decide to only use this new feature on the Pro/Max versions to further differentiate the premium from the more affordable lot.

As mentioned, Face ID will remain the main biometric of choice on the iPhone 14 family. Both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will come with the functionality on deck despite the differences in the notch design.

Performance and Software

Hello there, A16 Bionic, you’re a bold one

The main difference between the iPhone 14 Pro-series and the iPhone 14/iPhone 14 Max is that the former will be outfitted with the all-new Apple A16 Bionic chip, while the latter will still use last year’s Apple A15 chipset. Surely, this will be the first time that Apple differentiates its more premium models with a faster chipset while the affordable bunch will be using last-year’s processor.

Mind you, the Apple A15 is still the best all-around mobile chip, so there’s nothing wrong with reusing it another year. Still, many could be irked by Apple’s decision as the company has always used its newest chipset across all of its contemporary devices.

Speaking of the Apple A16 Bionic, it’s expected to be manufactured on a 5nm node by TMSC and offer some efficiency gains in comparison to the A15 Bionic. The latter was used to power the full iPhone 13 lineup, and seemingly, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 114 Max. In case you need a refresher as to how the Apple chip performs, check out the benchmarks right below.

In terms of memory, we expect 6 or 8GB of RAM to make an appearance on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro. We got 6GB in last year’s iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, so a b ump to 8GB would be nice, but Apple will most probably still go for 6GB of RAM. Speaking of native storage, the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max will most certainly start at 128GB and also offer 256GB, 512GB, or even a full 1TB of storage.

When it comes to software updates, iPhones are famous for their five- to six-year software update policy. Having this in mind means that both the iPhone 14 Max and iPhone 14 Pro Max will certainly be up-to-date until 2027 or 2028, which is the best the mobile industry currently has to offer.

Both phones will have 5G support, and there are even rumors that we might see satellite calling on the iPhone 14 series, and if any two phones will get that, it’s the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max that are at the forefront.


The triple super-camera

Apple is planning a substantial camera improvement for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Cupertino is likely to release a new, much larger primary camera sensor, a massive 1/1.3-inch 48MP main sensor. Even with such a huge sensor, the iPhone Pro family will very certainly employ pixel-binning to blend four pixels into one and eventually deliver 12MP photographs, as it does now, but with enhanced dynamic range and light sensitivity in low-light circumstances.

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are set to arrive with a tirple camera system, similarly to their predecessors: the 48MP wide-angle camera is likely joined by a 12MP ultra-wide and a 3.3x 12MP telephoto lens in order to achieve maximum versatility. The will certainly be a LiDAR sensor on the rear, allowing the phone to detect depth.

Because of the 48MP sensor, the next iPhone 14 Pro Max should be able to shoot 8K video with the primary camera. At the moment, iPhones can only record 4K video at 60 frames per second. We’re not sure if 8K will arrive this year, since insiders say it might not. This appears to be the highest video recording capability of the iPhone 14 Max as well.

Battery Life and Charging

Same size, but more efficient

Let’s get it out of the way – we don’t know what the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max battery capacities will be. Usually, these get revealed only after the iPhones go on sale and a disassembly reveals the sizes, but judging from the overall sizes of the phones, the new iPhones should have batteries that are just as big, or just slightly smaller than their predecessors. This means that a battery in the ballpark of 4,352mAh for the iPhone 14 Pro Max and a 3,095mAh one for the iPhone 14 Pro could make the cut. That is, of course, to happen only if some larger hardware component inside doesn’t take away too much extra space.

When combined with the more efficient processor, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will most certainly beat its predecessor’s battery endurance record, while the iPhone 14 Pro may attain battery life comparable to the iPhone 13 Pro.

Charging-wise, Apple will very certainly equip the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max with 27W wired charging and the iPhone 14 Max with 20W wired charging, as was the case with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13, respectively. Both will feature 15W MagSafe wireless charging, but neither phone will have USB Type-C in 2022. However, next year’s iPhone crop will almost certainly make the changeover to the USB standard due to legislation.

Specs Comparison

And here’s how the specs of the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro mostly differ. You can also check out our iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro dedicated specs comparison.

As seen in the table above, the differences are mostly found in the size, display, and battery departments. There could be surprises, of course, but generally, we expect the specs of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max to look 95% like the ones above. 

Summary and Final Verdict

So, which should you get, the iPhone 14 Pro Max or the iPhone 14 Pro?

It all boils down to your size preferences. If you’re gunning for the Pro-series, you already know you’re in for the best of the best, so the differences between the two phones, aside from their size, are few but key ones.

If you want the best possible battery life and the most screen real estate, the the iPhone 14 Pro Max should be your top pick. Honestly speaking, you are unlikely to get disappointed, provided that you can handle its extra size and weight. The price should also be of consideration – the Pro Max version is always more expensive by at least $100. This year, that would mean you could have to pay $1,199 for the entry-level iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could be a tough nut to swallow.

Meanwhile, if you don’t really need the larger battery and display and would gladly rather have a more compact phone, it’s hard to stay away from the much more sensible iPhone 14 Pro. The reality of the situation is that you’re unlikely to miss on anything with the smaller phone: after all, it will have all the new features that the Pro Max boasts, but in a more manageable size, thank you very much. And, as an added bonus, it will be more affordable by a $100 at least.

Regardless of which one you pick, you will have the best iPhone Apple has in its portfolio… for a year at least, but rest assured each will happily serve you for more than half a decade.

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