iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max | Best Buying Guide 2023

iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max | Best Buying Guide 2023

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  • Post last modified:February 20, 2023
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iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max

Apple held their annual September event and as we expected, the iPhone 14 lineup was released. Of course, the stars of the show were the Pro models because of the new design. For the first time since the release of the iPhone X, Apple is finally transitioning away from the notch. Dynamic Island which is its official name, seems to be growing on everyone and there is no doubt that other manufacturers will copy this design.

Apart from the design changes, these devices now feature the new A16 Bionic Chip unlike the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Plus which feature the A15 from last year. (Click here to read our in-depth review of both of these devices.) The most interesting aspect about the new A16 Bionic chip is that it utilizes a 4nm architecture. This simply translates to high power efficiency while offering incredible performance.

iPhone 14 Pro dynamic island

The Cameras have also received major revamps such as large sensors and also a new photonic engine which drastically improves image quality. In this article, we are going to discuss their design language, the cameras, the A16 Bionic chip along with all the performance upgrades, battery life, the new Dynamic Island and I lastly, I will give you my final thoughts.

• Build – Glass Front, Glass Back, Stainless Steel Frame
• Display –6.1” Super Retina XDR OLED (iPhone 14 Pro), 6.7” Super Retina XDR OLED (iPhone 14 Pro Max)
• Peak Brightness – 2000nits
• Refresh Rate – 120Hz
• OS – IOS 16
• Chipset – A16 Bionic Chip
• RAM – 6GB
• Storage – 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
• Water resistance rating – IP68
• Always On Display – Yes
• 3.5mm Headphone jack – No
• GPU – Apple GPU (5-Core)
• Main Camera – 48 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide)
• Telephoto – 12 MP, f/2.8, 77mm (3X optical zoom)
• Ultra-wide – 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚
• LiDAR Scanner – Yes
• Selfie Camera – 12 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide)
• Security Sensors – FaceID
• Battery Capacity – Li-Ion 3200mAh (iPhone 14 Pro), Li-ion 4323mAh (iPhone 14 Pro Max)
• Fast Charging – Yes (0-50% in 30min)
• MagSafe Wireless Charging – Yes (15W)
• Qi Magnetic Fast Wireless Charging – Yes (7.5W)
• Starting Price – iPhone 14 Pro ($999), iPhone 14 Pro Max ($1099)

Design Language

iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max

Both the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max come with a Glass back, Glass front and a Stainless-steel frame. As far as mobile device build goes, this is as good as it gets. Apple still boasts of their Ceramic shield which provides much better scratch resistance than any Gorilla Glass would. In addition to this, ceramic shield displays tend to be more durable as compared to Gorillas Glass.

By the way, if you were wondering what the difference between the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max is, here is your answer. Both of these devices offer everything equally apart from their size and battery life to some extent. The iPhone 14 Pro comes in at 6.1-inches, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max comes in at 6.7-inches. The battery life in the iPhone 14 Pro Max also tends to be better since it has a larger battery capacity. In simpler terms, the iPhone 14 Pro is just a smaller version of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max on a wooden table

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the Dynamic Island. This is one of the most innovative features added to an iPhone in the last five years design-wise, since the release of the iPhone X. One of the main reasons Apple has been so reluctant to switch to the punch-hole notch like the competition, is mainly due to the FaceID Sensor and the Proximity sensor which make up a huge chunk of the True depth camera System.

This time, Apple managed to put the Proximity sensor behind the display leaving the selfie camera and the FaceID sensor. With the Proximity sensor out of the way, Apple managed to reduce the size of the notch by 30% which is very impressive. As a side note, the Proximity sensor is used to detect objects without any physical contact if anyone was wondering. A good example of how it functions is when taking a call. Once it detects your ear, it automatically turns off the display to prevent accidental clicks.

iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max outdoors

Back to the Dynamic Island now. As Apple described it in their presentation, it fluidly expands into different shapes using uniquely designed animations and transitions. A good explanation of how it works is during a call. When you receive a call, the physical oval shape of the Dynamic Island expands to factor in details such as the caller, the answer button and the ignore button. You really have to see it in action to appreciate its beauty and the amount of craftsmanship Apple poured into this design. Below is a clip of how the dynamic Island works.


iPhone 14 Pro dynamic island

As with any premium iPhone in the market right now, both of these devices feature the Super Retina display XDR. This is Apple’s way of saying that the displays are OLED with an insanely high contrast ratio. It is as sharp as ever and with the new Dynamic Island, the display is now relatively larger. New for this year, is the max brightness level that both of these devices can achieve; 2000nits.

These are some very impressive figures which simply translates to perfect outdoor visibility even under bright sunlight. The irony in this is that Samsung makes displays for most devices in the market including Apple devices, yet their most powerful Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a peak brightness of 1750nits. Don’t get me wrong, it is impressive but considering they manufacture the screens, shouldn’t they have the upper hand of cranking maximum settings in their displays? Anyway, food for thought.

iPhone 14 Pro dynamic island

Both devices support 120Hz refresh rate which is to be expected, but there is a slight change. Apple managed to improve their LTPO technology in order to support dynamic refresh rate of as low as 1Hz which is crazy impressive. Dynamic refresh rate, enables the display to automatically adjust its refresh rate to match that of the content being viewed. For example, when gaming, the display will automatically adjust itself to 120Hz but while reading say an E-Book, the refresh rate can go as low as 1Hz. This has a very positive impact on battery life which led to the rise of Always on display.

Always On Display on iPhone devices was long overdue and it was about damn time they introduced it. Samsung consumers have been enjoying this feature since the release of the Samsung Galaxy S7 series. Either way better late than ever. With the refresh rate being able to go to as low as 1Hz, Always on Display won’t have a negative impact on battery life as most would think.

New for this year, is the Display Engine. The display engine has 3 core functions; to enable low dynamic refresh rate of up to 1Hz, to enable always on display and last but not least to offer advanced anti-aliasing capabilities. The idea of Anti-Aliasing is to remove jagged edges in digital images. This feature has been applied incredibly in the animations and transitions in the Dynamic Island.


iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max

For the first time in an iPhone, Apple upgraded the main camera to feature a 48MP sensor. They achieved this by using a quad pixel sensor. A quad pixel sensor is basically made up of four pixels within one main pixel. In addition to this, the main sensor is now 65% larger than the one in the iPhone 13 Pro series. All this results in better image quality more so in low light environment. The Ultra-Wide lens has also been increased in size with more focus pixels. Apart from better low light photos, this Ultra-Wide lens is now sharper than ever producing very detailed Macro photos. If you love Macro photography, this new upgrade will definitely impress you.

In addition to the three physical lenses; Ultra-Wide, Wide and the Telephoto lens, Apple Managed to squeeze in a 2X Telephoto camera without adding another physical lens. Let me explain. Since Apple upgraded the main camera to 48MP, this wide lens can also take 2X 12MP images and videos in full resolution with no digital zoom. This expands your zoom options to 0.5X, 1X, 2X and 3X. So there you have it.

iPhone 14 Pro camera layout

All these hardware upgrades are cool but without the right software engineering it is all in vain. With the use of the CPU, GPU, Neural engine and ISP, the A16 is able to process up to 4 trillion operations per photo. In addition to this, Apple introduced the Photonic Engine. The Photonic engine is basically an image pipeline that uses hardware, machine learning and software to improve the overall image quality. According to statistics from Apple, all these cameras boast of low light photography improvement of up to 3X (Ultra-Wide), 2X (Wide) and 2X (Telephoto).

Apple has also improved something that we almost never hear of during releases; the Flash. With these phones, the flash now consists of a new array of 9 LEDs which control pattern and intensity while being twice as bright as compared to their predecessors. This redesign brings a new adaptive behavior based on the focal length of the photo.

iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max on a yellow background

Cinematic mode is a feature that most people have appreciated since its release, but with it came a huge disadvantage. It could only shoot videos up to 1080P 30FPS. This year however, Apple has unlocked shooting videos up to 4K 30FPS which is very impressive. As a side note, you can also shoot in the Film Standard 4K 24FPS.

Other features such as the new action mode and the 2nd generation sensor shift OIS are still present in both of these devices.


A16 bionic chip

As you would expect from Apple, the A16 Bionic chip produces exceptional performance while being incredibly efficient. Although it may seem like bragging when Apple says it, this chip is way ahead of its time when compared to other mobile chipsets in the market. The latest and greatest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is still struggling with the A14 in terms of performance and efficiency.

In order to enable Always on display to work as efficiently as possible, the A16 uses multiple coprocessors to refresh the display using minimal power so that time widget and live activities are always available. Live activities isa feature that shows regularly updated information. This includes you uber cab information or even live scores on sports events. Apple might be late in the always on display, but in my opinion, they have implemented it the best.

Someone holding the iPhone 14 Pro max

The A16 still features 2 high performance cores and 4 high efficiency cores. For most daily tasks such as messaging, the high efficiency cores mostly take care of business. But where intensive processing is needed, the high-performance cores come into play. Speaking of the high-performance cores, Apple claims that they use 20% less power as compared to the iPhone 13 series while still offering best in class performance. The 5 core GPU has 50% more bandwidth which is a huge plus for graphic intensive tasks such as gaming.

Battery life

iPhone 14 Pro on a black background

The battery life in both of these devices is amazing. Apple claims the iPhone 14 Pro can last up to 23hours while the iPhone 14 Pro max can last up to 29hours. These figures are obviously insanely high but this varies with usage. While it is possible to attain the above figures, the task being carried out really matters. For example, when gaming for hours on end, don’t expect anything close to these values. But with more ‘normal’ usage, you can always clock in close to these figures.

MagSafe is still available offering you up to 15W of fast wireless charging which is quite impressive. What I love about MagSafe is how Apple is integrating it slowly to other Apple devices. For example, you can now charge the recently released Air Pods Pro 2nd generation wirelessly via MagSafe.

Dynamic Island

Most people were expecting 30W fast charging but Apple didn’t announce it. According to various trusted sources, you can unofficially get maximum wattage of up to 23W in the iPhone 14 Pro and up to 27W in the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple has been notorious for limiting the charging speeds of their devices for reasons unknown to the general public. The likes of Xiaomi offer charging speeds of up to 67W in their premium devices while iPhone devices barely make it past 20W officially. This is one area that Apple should really pull up their socks.

Final thoughts

iPhone 14 Pro dynamic Island

Both the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max qualify as one of the best mobile devices of the year. The Dynamic Island being the star of the show, I see more people getting either of these devices solely for this feature. But are these phones worth the money? If you have either the iPhone 13 or even the iPhone 12 Pro models, it isn’t worth the upgrade. I’d suggest waiting for the iPhone 15 because there are rumors suggesting that we might finally get an infinity display with an under-display camera. Whether this is true or not, remains a mystery that only time will tell. Either way, if you have some spare change, I’d say go for it.

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