Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max Preview: One-Punch Phone

iPhone 14 Pro Max Intro

It’s September, or Apple’s month, which means one thing, and one thing only—Apple’s announcing new iPhones sooner than later. This year, Cupertino chose September 7 for its “Far Out” special event, which will be giving us a first look at the iPhone 14 generation as well as the Apple Watch 8 series, and possibly “one more thing”, most likely an AR/VR headset done the Apple way. 
Yet, without the shadow of a doubt, one device will be the undisputed crown jewel of the keynote – the exceptional and feature-packed iPhone 14 Pro Max behemoth. Historically, the Pro Max version of previous iPhone generations have always been the most intriguing and having all the coveted premium features, like the largest displays, the biggest batteries, and the most advanced cameras, coveted despite their larger size. 
The iPhone 14 Pro Max will be no different. It will have the best hardware and feature loadout among all new iPhones, and will be much better differentiated from the rest of the lineup. So, it could be said that if you want the very best of Apple in 2022, you will have to go with the iPhone 14 Pro Max. 

What’s new about the device:

  • Pill cutout instead of a notch 
  • Faster Apple A16 Bionic chipset
  • Always on display with 1-120Hz refresh rate
  • 48MP camera with 8K video recording

Table of Contents:

iPhone 14 Pro Max Specs

The best new iPhone, period

Here’s what will be making the iPhone 14 Pro Max click and tick:

As we already established, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will have much larger camera and faster chipset in comparison with the iPhone 13 Pro Max. We expect that space constraints have forced Apple to go with a slightly smaller battery, but the increased overall efficiency should mean improved battery life across the board. 

iPhone 14 Models

The iPhone 14 Pro Max will be the most advanced new iPhone, but it will not be the only one. 

Apple is also expected to announce the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max (Plus), and iPhone 14 Pro. The differences between the iPhone 14 Pro Max and 14 Pro will mostly be size-related, but the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max (Plus) will be much less advanced, as they are expected to come with last year’s A15 chipset, old-school 60Hz displays, the old 12MP cameras, and so on. 

You can check out our previews and comparisons with all the new devices right here:

iPhone 14 Pro Max Design & Colors

Some notable changes here and there

It’s been a good few years since the last major iPhone design refresh, so it’s only natural to anticipate a redesign. This year, Apple is bidding farewell to the display notch—on the Pro models at least—and substituting that one for an i-shaped punch hole, which has been the go-to design choice on Android phones for years. Nevertheless, Apple will be augmenting that i-shaped notch to its own will and will be displaying as a one whole unit when the screen is one, which would greatly help with the overall symmetry of the module. 

Aside from the contentious new design element, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is just a smidgen narrower than its predecessor, which makes for a taller look and also potentially help with the single-handed usage of the gargantuan new iPhone. The camera island at the back has also grown exponentially due to the larger camera sensor underneath, but that’s just how things are. 

Overall, the general design hasn’t changed much, though: the flat modern design kickstarted by the iPhone 12 generation a few years ago is still alive and kicking, and we don’t actually see Apple change things in another direction anytime soon. If anything, it does not only feel modern, but is also practical, as the flatter sides make it easier to fit more hardware components inside in comparison with a curved frame. 

Colors-wise, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will be up for grabs in: 

  • Graphite 
  • Silver
  • Gold 
  • Dark Purple
That’s a bit narrower selection in comparison with the regular iPhone 14/Max color selection, just so you know. The Sierra Blue color is possibly getting nixed, but we might see such a color, or possibly green, unveiled sometime in early 2023, as are the latest Apple trends.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Display

Out with the old, in with the new, or goodbye, notch! The iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with a dual pill shaped punch holes in the form of an “i”. However, when the display is on, iOS creates the illusion of a complete pill, eliminating the blank space between the two punch holes. It could also be used to house the camera and microphone privacy indicators.

In terms of display tech, the XDR OLED ProMotion display on the iPhone 14 Pro Max is mostly similar to last year’s iPhone 13 Pro Max… with a few very notable differences. First up, the new phone has a slightly wider refresh rate span: 1-120Hz on the iPhone 14 Pro Max versus the “measly” 10-120Hz we had on the iPhone 13 Pro Max. While such a difference might not sound particularly big, the display should generally be more efficient and also unlocks a rather nifty new functionality (which has been on Android for years).

See, having a 1Hz refresh rate option allows the iPhone 14 Pro Max to go into an always-on state that keeps aspects of the lock screen, including the clock face and a few other widgets, visible at all times. That’s similar to the Apple Watch 7, which has a similar display and, ergo, a similar functionality on deck. As we already mentioned, this feature is well-known to Android die-hards, but now is Apple’s turn to adopt it. 

Circling back on some other display details, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has an ever so-slightly-taller 20:9 screen aspect ratio, unlike the 19.5:9 aspect ratio we have on most previous iPhones. 

As far as overall display properties, like maximum and minimum brightness, color accuracy, viewing angles, and more, we will be conducting our benchmark measurements as soon as possible. Yet, judging from most previous iPhones, the iPhone 14 Pro Max would most likely be another remarkable display champ. 

iPhone 14 Pro Max Camera

The best iPhone camera
For the first time on an iPhone, Apple is kind of joining the megapixel wars with a rather ambitious 48MP camera on the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro, which could further solidify Apple’s dominant position when it comes to camera performance. Surely, there have been many other phones with more impressive camera hardware, but few have matched the overall value of the iPhone camera. The iPhone 14 camera will be building upon that legacy. 
The iPhone 14 Pro Max will be using 48MP high-res camera, but it’s almost certain that Apple will resort to quad-pixel binning in order to still output more manageable 12MP images. Fortunately, quad-pixel binning greatly improves low-light image quality at the expense of spatial resolution, which basically means that you’re sacrificing the full 48MP of resolution but get much better light sensitivity, which is crucial in less-than-ideal lighting conditions.

Meanwhile, in bright daylight conditions when pixel-binning isn’t needed, the iPhone will likely automatically switch to the full 48MP high-res mode, or you might have a toggle that manually enables and disables this.

Rumors have it we might see improvements to the ultra-wide angle camera, as well as get faster aperture and autofocus. This means that the 3X telephoto might not get a hardware update this year. 

With this in mind, here are your rumored iPhone 14 Pro camera specs:

  • 48MP main camera
  • 12MP ultra-wide
  • 12MP 3X telephoto
  • 12MP front cam with AF

iPhone 14 Pro Max Performance & Benchmarks

Top contender for the fastest phone of the year

Historically, Apple’s latest chipsets have been surpassing its closest competitors, and despite the lack of concrete information, we genuinely expect this trend to stick. The mysterious Apple A16 Bionic chip has been heavily rumored to bring big performance gains to the iPhone Pro range, mostly derived from the perceived jump to a 3nm manufacturing process, but lately, we’ve been hearing conflicting rumors that the A16 Bionic will indeed stay on the 5nm node that the A15 Bionic is built as well. 

Not without improvements, though, as the A16 Bionic is expected to theoretically score up to a 15% performance gain as well as 30% power reduction, and a logic density gain of up to 70% over the current 5nm process (in ideal conditions).

Additionally, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will come with 6GB of RAM just like its predecessor, but Apple will be bumping the memory’s overall performance by employing LPDDR5 RAM instead of LPDDR4X.

Storage-wise, we will be getting 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and a 1TB storage versions on deck. 

iPhone 14 Pro Max Connectivity 

Qualcomm has been chosen as the 5G modem supplier for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, with its Snapdragon X65 modem reportedly making the cut. It will likely be a year or two before Apple is capable of coming up with its own in-house 5G modem, and until then, Qualcomm could very well be in charge of the sub-6GHz and mmWave connectivity on iPhones. 

There have been rumors that the iPhone 14 Pro/Pro Max will also support newer Wi-Fi standards like Wi-Fi 6E, but this will be confirmed later on. 

And as far as hardware connectivity goes, the iPhone 14 Pro Max still comes with a Lighting port at the bottom. While the iPhone 15 will most certainly switch to USB Type-C so as to conform to strict legislation in some key markets.

iPhone 14 Pro Max iOS version

The iPhone 14 Pro Max will come with iOS 16. The latest version of the OS comes with mostly quality-of-life enhancements, but also brings a rather intriguing lock screen customization that allows you to personalize the looks and functionality of your lock screen. Most of the changes have been introduced with the always-on display functionality in mind. 

iOS 16 also brings the following features:
  • More filters for Focus Mode;
  • Edit and Undo Send, Mark as Unread in iMessage;
  • SharePlay in iMessage;
  • Improved voice dictation with an on-screen keyboard;
  • Quick Actions with text captured from the camera;
  • Photos – lift subject from background with Siri Knowledge;
  • Share digital keys in Wallet;
  • more.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max should technically get at least 5 years of software support, which means that you would be able to rely on it well until 2027, and probably even longer in the best case scenario.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Battery

Another battery champ incoming?

It’s hard to ignore the fact that the iPhone 13 Pro Max is one of the longest-lasting phones available right now, setting a new bar for all future large iPhones, but also propping up a new yardstick for the Android flagships to follow.

Rumored to actually have a slightly smaller battery than the iPhone 13 Pro Max (4,323mAh vs 4,352mAh). we still expect that the iPhone 14 Pro Max battery will have better endurance life due to the more efficient A16 Bionic chipset and OLED display. Still, we are talking about small steps, not big leaps, so adjust your expectations accordingly. Even if the iPhone 14 Pro Max gravitates around the superb iPhone 13 Pro Max endurance, all shall be well. 

Charging is rumored to jump to 30W, which would improve the charging speeds in comparison with the previous generation. Yet again, however, and this is a trend that will be sticking on, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will be skipping the charger in the box, so you will have to supply your own charger.

MagSafe wireless charging is staying, with a maximum support of up to 15W wireless charging. Of course, you can use it to attach different MagSafe accessories to your iPhone. 

iPhone 14 Pro Max Audio Quality and Haptics

With a dual stereo speakers on board, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will most certainly retain a bottom firing main speaker and a top speaker sidekick. Last year’s iPhone 13 brought lots of quality improvements to the iPhone lineup, and those will be transferring to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, so we don’t really expect anything too groundbreaking here. 

Haptics are traditionally a strong aspect of the iPhone, so we expect one of the best Taptic Engine vibrators to be making a comeback here as well!

iPhone 14 Pro Max Competitors

When it comes to iPhone 14 Pro Max competitors, it’s hard to think outside of the box — if you’re considering the largest iPhone, you are likely already in the ecosystem, so getting a non-iPhone is hard to justify.

However, if you’re looking for a way out of Apple’s semi-walled garden, there are a few Android alternatives that you should be considering. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is one, with an S Pen stylus and a 10X periscope camera on board. 

Additionally, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is a foldable alternative that yet has no analogue in the Apple ecosystem and has multiple party tricks, including dual displays and a hidden selfie camera.

If you’re willing to wait a bit, the Pixel 7 Pro could be another alternative, but given the Pixel 6 Pro’s not-so-pristine bug and quality control record, we’d be wary to recommend a Pixel over an iPhone. 

iPhone 14 Pro Max Summary and final verdict

There you have it, Apple’s best new iPhone!

It has all the latest bells and whistles, and no other iPhone comes close. It improves some core aspects of the smartphone experience, like the camera, the performance, and display utility, making it a safe, albeit not that exciting buy, especially when considering new phone categories, like foldables. 

Surely, this all boils down to a pretty penny — Apple is likely raising prices a bit, between $50 and $100, so the base iPhone 14 Pro Max, with 128GB of storage on deck, could carry a $1,149 price tag. 

Is that a hard pill to swallow? Surely, but considering what you get for your money, the price could be well justified… or not! It all comes down to you and your specific use cases. Regardless, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is shaping up to be an excellent choice for those who want a reliable device in their pockets. 

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