Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro: Pick on your own size!

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iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro


With the iPhone 14 series, Apple does not only give us some of the best iPhones available, it also deepens the rift between the regular iPhone 14/Plus and their more premium iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max contemporaries. While it might be monstrously complicated for just about anyone to discern the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14 at a glance, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max both scored a notable new design that immediately sets them apart from their regular brethren, and the differences don't simply end here.

There's lots of changes on the inside. The iPhone 14 series marks Apple's first hardware differentiation between the more premium and affordable iPhones: only the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro are powered by the new A16 Bionic chipset, while the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus rely on last year's A15 Bionic instead.

Yet, the differences don't stop here: The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max score a larger main camera sensor that now weighs in at 48MP, a major upgrade over the 12MP camera sensor of old. And with the added interface utility of the Dynamic Island, as well as the Always On lock Display functionality, the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro are on a new level when it comes to differentiation.

But what are the essential differences between the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max in particular? Surely, the much larger display and the better battery life of the larger iPhone are a given, but will you be sacrificing that much if you opt to go for the more compact iPhone 14 Pro?

And as we are deeply into 2023, which means that we are just months to the arrival of the iPhone 15 series. Of course, the most intriguing new devices will be the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max (which might be called the iPhone 15 Ultra, who knows).

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro in a nutshell:
  • 6.7-inch 120Hz OLED display (iPhone 14 Pro Max) vs 6.1-inch 120Hz OLED display(iPhone 14 Pro)
  • Larger battery that lasts longer (iPhone 14 Pro Max)
  • More compact and lightweight design (iPhone 14 Pro)

Read more:

iPhone 14 Pro Max at Walmart

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is available on the major carriers at Walmart. Get it for AT&T from $29.14 a month for 36 installments. Keep in mind that certain colors or storage variants may be out of stock. Currently, the 128GB and the 256GB are available for the device in Gold, Silver, and Space Black. We'd also like to point out that the 256GB variant is slightly more expensive.
$29 14 /mo
Buy at Walmart

iPhone 14 Pro Max, 128GB, at Verizon: save up to $1000

Deal: get up to $1000 off from Verizon with a select trade-in; it could be an old or damaged phone. The offer applies when you set up a new line. You can select one of several available plans that can be combined with this stunning $1000 trade-in discount.
$99 99
$1099 99
Buy at Verizon

iPhone 14 Pro Max 1TB at AT&T: up to $1000 off with trade-in

Massive storage: get the 1TB iPhone 14 Pro Max with up to $1000 off at AT&T with a trade-in and an eligible unlimited plan. Regularly, the phone costs $44.45 per month at AT&T. If you have an AT&T Points Plus Card from Citi, you can earn up to $340 back by meeting all requirements.
$600 12
$1599 99
Buy at AT&T

AT&T iPhone 14 Pro: get at Walmart and save

You can buy the iPhone 14 Pro AT&T-locked from Walmart. Starting at $26.37/month for 36 installments. The sold device comes with 128GB of storage, but the 256GB variant is also available.
$949 32
Buy at Walmart

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro: get up to $1000 off with a trade-in and new line activation

Best deal: Get up to $1000 off with a trade-in and a new line activation. If you don't need to set up a new line, you can snatch up to $800 off your new iPhone 14 Pro with a trade-in and a plan upgrade. A one-time activation fee is required.

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro: Design and Display Quality

That's about the size of it

The only really major difference between the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max is, of course, the actual size of the two phones.

No, really, the only differences that actually matter all stem from the size differences between the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. If you need the more compact size of the iPhone 14 Pro, you will have to sacrifice display real estate and battery life, while splurging on the largest new iPhone means having to get used to its larger and more unwieldy proportions—and it also costs more. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is pushing the limits of manageable due to its expansive dimensios, while the iPhone 14 Pro is definitely hitting that sweet spot for most people with its 6.1-inch display.

Now, if we look past the size differences, we'd see that the two phones are essentially similar in terms of 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. With stainless steel frame and Ceramic Shield glass, the two new iPhones are just as durable as before.

The big difference here is that Apple's super-premium phones introduce a new, i-shaped punch-hole that substitutes the now-standard iPhone notch. This achieves a more futuristic look for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max and introduces something called Dynamic Island.

This is basically Apple accepting the punch-hole design workaround and trying to make it fit into the iPhone's existing design language. The Dynamic Island shows you context-aware alerts, notifications, and ongoing activities, like music playback, incoming calls or AirDrops, and so on by dynamically scaling the area around the punch-holes. We've heard that the upcoming iPhone 15 generation will all use the Dynamic Island punch-hole solution, so this one will be sticking out for at least a few years, until Apple finds a way to put all the frontal sensors underneath the display.

When it comes to iPhone 14 colors, the new iPhones comes in Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple. 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 back in 2022, but we didn't get a new color on the latest iPhone Pro models in early 2023.

Read more: iPhone 14 colors

As we said earlier, the main difference between the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max is in their and screen real estate. The iPhone 14 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch display, similar to its predecessors, while the iPhone 14 Pro still relies on the tried and tested 6.1-inch screen that strikes the perfect balance between usable real estate and compact size of the phone as a whole. 

Both displays use Super Retina XDR ProMotion screens with 1-120Hz refresh rate, which allows for a very smooth and rewarding scrolling experience. The displays themselves offer superb contrast and lovely color reproduction, just like you'd expect from a modern iPhone. Brightness-wise, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max actually have the brightest displays on an iPhone, capable of hitting up to 2,000 nits in certain conditions for limited amount of time, but in your regular day-to-day life you should expect your eyes to be blasted by up to 1,000 nits of brightness or less.

From a quality  standpoint, you will be hard pressed to find better-looking displays elsewhere. Not only can these get super-bright or extra-dim, not only have they the 1-120Hz refresh rate spread, but they also have exceptional color reproduction with deep, vivid colors and awesome contrast and excellent viewing angles.

Display Measurements:

New on an iPhone is the Dynamic Island punch-hole cutout. This one is the evolutionary step over the traditional notch that is used on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, as well as most previous iPhone models. Aside from being a fancy new design element, the punch-hole has scored new functionalities while still facilitating the front camera as well as the Face ID modules. The proximity sensor has been placed underneath the display, which is likely a sign of the things to come and hints that Apple is ultimately striving to achieve an uninterrupted full-screen look. 

The Dynamic Island is used throughout the interface to house various ongoing notifications, like countdown timers, music playback album art, the Face ID unlock animation, and more. It's true that you can make out the Face ID module and front camera cutouts when inspecting the Dynamic Island under bright light, but that's not a big deal. 

Another interesting new feature on both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max is the Always-On display functionality, which makes good use of the slow 1Hz refresh rate. True to its name, the Always-On display keeps the lock screen dimly lit at all times, showcasing your beautiful wallpaper, clock, and lock screen widgets, which are all customizable thanks to iOS 16

Apple already does this functionality on the Apple Watch and it made sense to finally have it on the iPhone. While Cupertino says that the always-on display shouldn't use too much power, turning it off will certainly help you eke out some extra juice out of the battery. 

Read more:

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro: Performance and Software

Hello there, A16 Bionic, you're a bold one!

The top-of-the-line iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max come with the A16 Bionic chipset. Manufactured on a 4nm node, it relies on the tried-and-tested six-core layout consisting of two performance and four efficiency cores. In terms of memory, there's 6GB of LPDDR5 RAM on both devices, which should be giving some performance edge over the regular LPDDR4X on the regular iPhone 14.The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max start at 128GB and also come in 256GB, 512GB, and even a full 1TB of storage.

Benchmark results:

Geekbench 5 SingleHigher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max1884
Apple iPhone 14 Pro1860
Geekbench 5 MultiHigher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max5491
Apple iPhone 14 Pro5486
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max3382
Apple iPhone 14 Pro3375
3DMark Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max2327
Apple iPhone 14 Pro2117

You'll be hard-pressed to find faster and better-performing phones right now. The Apple A15 provides exceptional raw power that is tightly reined in by the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max with efficiency in mind. No lag, no second thoughts, just instantaneous action whatever task you throw at either of them. 

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 Pro 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 have 5G support, but the more intriguing novelty here is the all-new emergency satellite connectivity, a feature that is yet to go live in the US and Canada first. Thanks to it, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max will be able to link up with satellites in orbit and send short rudimentary text messages to emergency services or relatives. Basic Find My functionality will also be available, even with no cellular support in sight. 

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iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro: Camera and Image Quality

There's really no replacement for displacement

Apple is planning a substantial camera paradigm shift that was kickstarted by the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Cupertino has opted for a larger new camera sensor, a massive 1/1.3-inch 48MP one, which uses 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 conditions. ProRAW lets you take full 48MP images, but make sure to take these with good lighting. Yep, gone is the 12MP sensor of old that was used across multiple iPhone generations, of course with substantial updates. However, as the saying goes, "there's no replacement for displacement", and the 48MP new sensor opens up a whole trove of potential upgrade paths for future iPhones down the line. 

But how do the new iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max fare? Well, in terms of overall quality, there aren't any differences between the two phones, and even in comparison with the previous iPhone 13 generation, you might struggle to find any significant differences in image quality. 

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max arrived with the same triple camera system: the 48MP wide-angle camera is joined by a 12MP ultra-wide and a 3X 12MP telephoto lens in order to achieve maximum versatility. There's a new 2X shooting mode, however, which crops the 48MP sensor and achieves a much more usable portrait zoom range in comparison with the longer 3X one. There are improvements to the FaceTime selfie camera, which now has autofocus and a wider, f/1.9 aperture. 

There are many other camera improvements coming with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, like an adaptive True Tone flash, improved computational photography features like Night mode, Smart HDR 4, improved Portrait mode with Portrait Lighting, Photographic Styles, and much more. 

Even though the two new iPhones come with 48MP sensors, there's no sight of 8K video recording, which is good news, as it has allowed Apple to focus on the existing video-shooting capabilities of the two iPhones. There's a new Action mode for smooth video that accommodates shakes, jitters, and strong vibrations, as well as Cinematic mode now being available in 4K@30fps and 4K@24fps, which honestly looks breathtaking.

Video Thumbnail

Read more about the iPhone 14 camera here.

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro: Battery Life and Charging Speeds

Same size, but more efficient

Apple has kept batteries mostly in the same ballpark as the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max as far as capacity is concerned. Paired with the new chip and more efficient display, this should be hitting all the necessary boxes to ensure that the latest and greatest iPhones don't embarrass themselves in comparison with their older peers. So, what's the deal with the iPhone 14 battery?

Officially, Apple says the iPhone 14 Pro lasts up to 23 hours in video playback, up to 20 hours in streamed video playback, and up to 75 hours in audio playback mode, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max scores up to 29 hours in video playback, up to 25 hours in streamed video playback, and up to 95 hours in audio playback. That's mostly similar to the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max in terms of battery life.

Our own tests, which involve automated web surfing, 3D gaming, and video playback over a Wi-Fi network at 200 nits of pre-set screen brightness on both devices, the top-end iPhone delivered the following results:

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max11h
Apple iPhone 14 Pro9h 14 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max19h 5 min
Apple iPhone 14 Pro16h 18 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max8h 39 min
Apple iPhone 14 Pro5h 38 min

Charging-wise, Apple equipped the Phone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max with 20W wired charging, as was the case with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13, respectively. Both feature 15W MagSafe wireless charging, but neither phone has USB Type-C (this is likely coming with the iPhone 15 series later this year). However, next year's iPhone crop will almost certainly make the change over to the USB standard due to legislation.

Ho fast do these charge? Well, given the differences in battery size, one would expect that the smaller iPhone will top up faster, and by a slight margin, that's true along the whole range. A 30-minute charge on either phone will get you more than 50% of battery juice, enough to last you hours upon hours. 

minutesLower is better
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro: 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.

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro: 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 and how large are you willing to go. If you're gunning for the Pro-series themselves, you already know you're in for the best of the best, so the differences between the two phones, aside from their size, are just a few 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 has 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 is a bit more affordable.

Regardless of which one you pick, you will have the best iPhone Apple has in its portfolio... Until next year at least, but rest assured any of those two will happily serve you for many years to come.

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