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Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max review: Dynamic coolness

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max review: Dynamic coolness

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

The biggest iPhone you can get today, the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max has all the screen you need. Camera performance is great, and the new cutout selfie and TouchID cameras don't feel out of place with the Dynamic Island software feature. If you're wondering whether to get this — or the smaller iPhone 14 Pro — over the iPhone 14, my answer is a resounding yes.

Quick specs

  • A16 Bionic chip with 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
  • 6.7-inch OLED (Pro Max) or 6.1-inch (Pro) display
  • 48MP main f1.78 (24mm), 12MP ultra-wide f2.2 (13mm), and 12MP telephoto 3x, f2.8 (77mm)
  • 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
  • IP68 water and dust resistance

Apart from the difference in screen sizes (6.7-inch OLED display for the Pro Max and 6.1-inch for the 14 Pro), both top-of-the-line models share mostly the same specs. Both screens have dynamic refresh rate, too. The Pro Max reportedly has a larger 4,323mAh battery compared to the Pro's 3,200mAh. These battery capacity figures are unofficial — Apple does not reveal them. Instead, the firm says the Pro Max is good for 29 hours of video playback, while the Pro lasts 23 hours. There's also fast charging with 50% charge in 30 minutes (Pro) or 35 minutes (Pro Max) with a 20W adapter. My own battery test gave me 6hr 58min on the Pro Max with the display, which goes up to 1,000 nits of brightness, and volume set at 100%. While this sounds short, you will easily get a full day's of use.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max come with three cameras vs the two of the iPhone 14. Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

While the iPhone 14 feels like a small step up from the iPhone 13 models specs-wise, the Pro comes with a new A16 processor, and a new 48MP camera system that uses pixel binning to produce 12MP shots. You get up to 6x optical zoom range, improved low-light shots, and a new Action Mode that gives you stable video when you film while walking or running. The Pro takes the best photos I've yet seen on an iPhone, and the Action Mode is super useful for those who love to shoot outdoor video monologues. You will need plenty of light though — it won't work well at night. Other features, such as Cinematic Mode are still there, and work great.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Powered by the new iOS 16, the Pro models also come with features that are unavailable in other iPhone models. One such highlight is Dynamic Island, which turns the new cutout selfie camera into an interactive notification bar. It feels natural, and makes a lot of sense. Also new is the Always-On display, which sets the refresh rate to 1Hz when the phone is locked. Sure, Always-On display has been available in Android phones for some time now, but Apple's take has its own charm. It's not just a passive clock, but the entire screen. I'm not sure how much this affects battery life, but so far the phone has been able to last a full day.

The Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max and the 14 Pro are Apple's best phones yet. If you're still using an iPhone 12/12 Pro or older, it's a great upgrade. Those with the 13 Pro can consider skipping — it's still a solid phone one year in. The 14 Pro does have a better camera and performance, but not enough to upgrade. You will be envious of the new Dynamic Island feature, though. Get it from Shopee, Lazada, Amazon, or Apple with prices starting from S$1,649 (Pro), and S$1,799 (Pro Max).

See Also
Asus ZenWiFi XD5

Note: Review unit provided by Apple.

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