iPhone 14 Pro Max Review | Enviable Battery and Performance

Apple launched its new smartphone lineup in September 2022 and brought four new models to market. Chief among them — and most advanced — is the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which stands out for its larger screen and advanced camera features that are common to the “Pro” series.

The device has basically the same aesthetics as the last generation, that is, the set of three rear cameras is in exactly the same position, with a slight difference: the frame that houses the sensors is now closer to the edges of the phone.

Despite the similarities, the iPhone 14 Pro Max inaugurates — alongside the iPhone 14 Pro — a change that has long been desired by fans of the brand: the traditional notch design was put aside to make way for a pill-shaped notch.

In addition, this cut is better used now, with the presence of Dynamic Island. But I will talk more about this later on. Another positive point is that the cameras now have a higher image resolution, finally leaving behind the 12 MP era in Apple.

Now, without further ado, let’s get to know more about Apple’s most advanced smartphone in 2022:

iPhone 14 Pro Max Pros & Cons:

Pros

  • Great performance without lags or crashes
  • Great quality cameras
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Dynamic Island makes more use of the notch in pill form

Cons

  • Few visual changes from the predecessor
  • Well-jumped camera set

Design and Construction

In this aspect, the changes implemented by Apple are quite timid: the iPhone 14 Pro Max has exactly the same visual identity as its direct predecessor, with a square camera module, the popular “cooktop”, which houses its trio of rear cameras and the LiDAR sensor.

The entire finish is very premium, as is already expected in the Cupertino Giant’s phones. It has sides made of metal, while the back is finished in glass.

iPhone 14 Pro Max
iPhone 14 Pro Max has a very sophisticated look, but is quite heavy and has very protruding cameras

On the front, Apple uses a Super Retina XDR OLED display with a Ceramic Shield panel, the same protective material that has been present in previous models since the iPhone 12 lineup. It is an alternative to Gorilla Glass that is seen on Android devices.

Regarding ergonomics, it is important to make one point clear: the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a very heavy cell phone, weighing in at 240 grams. As a comparison, it weighs even more than the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max. But for anyone starting from an iPhone 13 Pro Max, it’s exactly the same thing.

Screen

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a resolution of 1290 x 2796 pixels. The panel type is Super Retina XDR OLED and, in practice, this offers very intense images with a very deep black that increases contrast.

The display is great and allows you to watch movies and series with a lot of quality. Likewise, the photos displayed on the smartphone have very vivid colors.

An interesting novelty is that, from this generation, the use of the display is greater, thanks to the reduction of the notch, which is now displayed in a pill form, instead of the traditional elongated format that we have known since the iPhone X. That way, there is more space for the notifications and settings icons in the status bar.

The 120 Hz refresh rate offers smooth navigation on any screen and is great for games that allow you to enjoy a higher frame rate, as long as it’s supported, of course.

Configuration and performance

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is equipped with a new generation chip from Apple, the A16 Bionic. This component has six cores, two of them with a performance frequency of 3.46 GHz and four efficiencies with a speed of 2.02 GHz. Allied with this, the phone has 6 GB of RAM and has options of up to 1 TB of storage.

I tested the drive with 256 GB, which is enough to store a lot of files and many applications. As for performance, it delivers exactly what you’d expect from an Apple flagship. The smartphone has an excellent performance to run any app available on the App Store without any kind of slowdown or crash.

To analyze its gaming performance, I tested Call of Duty: Mobile and League of Legends: Wild Rift with all graphics settings and maximum framerates available in each title. In both cases, I had a very satisfying experience, with very fluid gameplay.

I also did some standard performance tests. For this, I first used the 3D Mark app, and it scored 2,799 points in the Wild Life Extreme Unlimited analysis and 12,363 points in the Wild Life Unlimited analysis. As a comparison, the Galaxy S22 Ultra scored 2,292 and 10,037 respectively in the same tests.

Then I took the Geekbench 5 test and it scored 1,883 points in the single-core test and 5,446 in the multi-core test. Graphics performance, in turn, was 15,528 in the “Compute” test of the same app.

“The performance of the iPhone 14 Pro Max shows why Apple cell phones are the benchmark in performance. It performs almost any function or task quite fluidly and without showing any difficulty.”

Usability

The iPhone 14 Pro Max arrived in stores with iOS 16 installed from the factory. This is the latest version of Apple’s operating system and has some very interesting features, in addition to what was already known before.

One of the most interesting features is the Dynamic Island — or Dynamic Island, in translation. This feature expands the pill-shaped notch during certain tasks to give the user faster control. In media playback, for example, just keep the island pressed to have access to the controls to pause, rewind or fast forward, for example.

It also works during calls and makes a small animation when the smartphone is connected to the charger, to indicate that it is already receiving a charge.

Another cool feature is the ability to send photo clippings to other apps like image editors or messengers. That way, you can crop just a highlighted portion of an image to upload. If you use Telegram, this even allows you to create quick stickers with your photos saved on your iPhone.

Cameras

The iPhone 14 Pro Max arrives with a major breakthrough in terms of cameras: Apple has finally given up the 12-inch main sensor and now has a trio led by a 48MP lens, aided by a 12MP ultrawide and a 12MP telephoto lens. PM

In practice, however, the result is very similar to that of the previous generation. The biggest difference is noticed when the image is closer or viewed on larger screens — such as notebooks or tablets, for example.

Anyway, the camera’s “normal” mode delivers excellent quality, with very sharp images and a good color balance. This works just as well on the main camera as it does on the ultrawide.

The front camera, on the other hand, manages to work well with the main plan, that is, the person in focus. Already the background loses a little sharpness, even when portrait mode is off. This is not a problem, however, as the intention is to highlight the user.

portrait mode

Portrait mode works excellently with both the front and rear cameras. In both cases, the cut is perfect and manages to give a lot of prominence to the person.

I didn’t find the level of a blur as exaggerated, as it happens in some models. Instead, Apple bets on something more moderate so as not to lose as much background information.

Zoom Mode

The photos taken with zoom were the ones that surprised me most positively. That’s because there is no loss of quality when the image is taken with the maximum level of approximation, without noise or grains.

In this comparison below, I show some photos taken in the same location and position. The first is with the ultrawide camera, the second is done with the “regular” camera, and then comes the examples with 2x, 3x, and 15x zoom, respectively.

night mode

The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s camera night mode, for me, has its ups and downs. I’ll start by explaining the rear camera. It manages to do a good job of brightening the image and capturing as much information as possible without losing too much quality.

A negative point, however, is that the sky is too bright in some scenarios and barely gives the impression of being a photo taken at night. At other times, it takes on a brownish tone instead of the natural dark blue.

For selfies, the “bittersweet” feeling is even greater. That’s because some photos I took were quite “grainy”, with a very weak resolution and with very “dead” colors. Only the occasional photo taken with the front camera at night had a good result and definition.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max camera set follows the same quality that Apple is known for, now with the novelty of the camera with higher resolution. But what surprised me the most was the quality of the image with zoom, which even at the maximum level does not lose definition and is very sharp.

Video recording

The iPhone 14 Pro Max offers a lot of stabilization with both the rear and front cameras. The app allows you to shoot in 4K or HD with a frame rate from 24 to 60 fps.

Sound system

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a stereo sound system, with a main audio output on the bottom of the device and another on the speaker itself. This results in a very high volume, but the quality is a little compromised at levels closer to the maximum.

In these cases, the sound is a little muddy, but nothing that deviates from the standard on smartphones with two or more sound outputs. Overall, you can even have a good experience when listening to music and, if the intention is to watch movies or series, the maximum audio does the trick.

It is important to remember that the iPhone does not have a headphone jack, as do many Android flagships. In this way, it is only possible to connect speakers or headphones via Bluetooth.

battery and charging

The iPhone 14 Pro Max had a slight “downgrade” in terms of battery capacity compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max — it went from 4352 mAh to 4323 mAh. In practice, it doesn’t make much of a difference in the end.

In our standard test, for example, both consumed just 9% of their charge in a three-hour Netflix streaming session with brightness set to half. This indicates that they can be around 33 hours long in this scenario.

In everyday life, the iPhone 14 Pro Max can easily reach a day of autonomy, as long as moderate use is made. Here, I used Wi-Fi all the time and used social media a lot, watched Reels, and played a few games of CoD and League of Legends and it arrived comfortably at the end of the day on a single charge.

It is important to point out, however, that the unit I tested did not have a SIM Card slot and only supported e-SIM. So the fact that I didn’t turn on the mobile network might have had a little impact on battery life. Still, I believe the difference wouldn’t have been that big.

As for charging, this model doesn’t include the charger in the kit, so I used a 65W adapter with its standard Lightning cable, and the phone took about an hour and a half to charge from 15 to 100%.

direct competitors

The main competitor of the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the Galaxy S22 Ultra, launched by Samsung at the beginning of the year. I won’t get caught up in specifications, after all, they are two models with different operating systems and therefore optimized to work well with the hardware you have.

The point is that the two phones are a benchmark when it comes to flagship-worthy performance: both can perform their tasks and functions with great stability and without suffering from lags or slowdowns.

The set of cameras of the two offers good performance, but Samsung stands out for bringing a much higher zoom level, despite losing a little in quality when it is at maximum. Anyway, if you compare the two at 15x level, the result is basically the same.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is currently the main competitor for the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Regarding the battery, on a day-to-day basis, both can reach a day of use on a single charge in moderate use. The iPhone 14 Pro Max did better in our standard test, but in practice, the performance is well-balanced.

It is also important to note that the S22 Ultra is the “interim” competitor to the 14 Pro Max. That’s because the real competitor will be his successor, which should be announced next year.

The current price range for the S22 Ultra is between $1,199 and $1,299 (INR 86,000 and INR 1,00,999) for the version with 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. The iPhone 14 Pro Max arrives in India costing around INR 1,39,900 ($1,099 Appx.) for the simplest model, with 128 GB of storage, INR 1,49,900 ($1,199) for the 256 GB model, and up to INR 1,89,900 ($1,599) for the 1 TB model.

Price aside, the decision between one or the other is more in relation to the ecosystem, that is, whether you are more used to Samsung’s One UI or to iOS and Apple’s other systems.

iPhone 14 Pro Max: few visual improvements, but good performance changes

The visual advancement of the iPhone 14 Pro Max is quite shy over its predecessor and, in fact, only the pill-shaped notch that brings the new Dynamic Island draws attention, but the improvement in the trio of cameras is very welcome in the New model.

The performance remains very worthy of an Apple flagship, but it is difficult to notice so much difference in practice between the A15 Bionic chip of the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the A16 Bionic of its successor. Even the amount of memory and storage is still the same.

The battery has had a slight downgrade, but the day-to-day performance ends up being the same, so you shouldn’t notice any difference if you switch from one to the other.

The price is still a little scary, after all the simplest model costs around $1,099 (INR 1,39,900). But if you’re a loyal Apple fan and you’re thinking about swapping your iPhone 13 Pro Max for the new model, you won’t regret it. Despite the simple evolution, the new features and the higher resolution camera may justify the upgrade.

If these aren’t features that catch your eye, however, there’s no point in upgrading unless you really want the “iPhone of the year”.

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