The question remains the same for every new iPhone released. How much of an upgrade is the latest iteration? With the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, two changes are noticeable — the Dynamic Island that replaces the notch and the 48MP main camera. The other new features are all under the hood. But even then, are these upgrades enough for Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max and non-iPhone owners alike to switch? Below, we tackle what’s new with Apple’s latest smartphone to help you answer that question.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max Comparison Chart
Design and Display
Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max replaces the 13 Pro Max’s notch with the Dynamic Island while also coming in fewer color variations than its predecessor.
If you’re coming from an iPhone 13 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will feel familiar. The latest iteration has the same flat edge design and stainless steel and glass construction as its predecessor. While the materials make the phone durable, it also adds to the weight. Both the iPhone 13 Pro Max and 14 Pro Max are heavy devices.
In terms of size, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is narrower than the 13 Pro Max. However, the difference is so minuscule it’s barely perceptible.
Display-wise, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is also a bit of a deja vu. You’re still getting a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with Pro Motion, Haptic Touch, and TrueTone. With the HDR, the 14 Pro Max’s display has a higher peak brightness, but in typical use, it’s the same as the 13 Pro Max.
What the latest iPhone Pro iteration offers as new is the presence of Always-On mode. It’s not a ground-breaking update, considering Android phones have long had this feature. For an iPhone, however, it should make it easier to see notifications without turning on the phone.
As for the iPhone 14 Pro Max colors, the choices are fewer. You still get the gold, silver, and graphite from the 13 Pro Max, along with a new purple shade. But the green and blue variants have been ditched, like in the Apple Watch Series 8.
Dynamic Island vs Notch
But perhaps the most noticeable change is the pill-shaped cutout near the top of the 14 Pro Max’s display. Branded Dynamic Island by Apple, it replaces the notch on the iPhone’s Pro Series. Yes, the black empty space that juts outs from the top is still found on the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus. You’ll have to go Pro if you can’t wait to get rid of the notch.
Like the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s notch, Dynamic Island houses the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s camera array needed for Face ID. Unlike the notch, however, it takes up less space. The oblong cutout interacts with the user, serving as a status and notification bar. Animations pop out or surround Dynamic Island, making it more useful than expected.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with a 48MP main camera, an upgrade from the 13 Pro Max’s 12MP.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Apple seems to adhere to this maxim when it comes to the iPhone’s camera system. With the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you get the same array, featuring main, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses, found on the 13 Pro Max. The big change is that the 14 Pro Max uses a 48MP sensor for its main camera, an upgrade from the 12MP of its predecessor.
Apple shares that the new sensor should deliver better photos. Combined with the new Photonic Engine, improvements in quality will be best seen in low-light photography. It also provides optical-grade 2X zoom for cleaner, more detailed photos.
By default, the 14 Pro Max’s main camera shoots at 12MP by pixel binning. If you want to take photos in full 48MP resolution, you’ll have to enable ProRAW. However, shooting in ProRAW creates larger files that will eat your phone’s storage, so keep that in mind.
As for video recording, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has two noteworthy improvements. First, you can shoot Cinematic Mode in 4K HDR up to 30 fps, a welcome change from the 13 Pro Max’s 1080p at 30 fps. Second, the 14 Pro Max has access to Action Mode, a more advanced video stabilization feature that corrects unintended movements while shooting.
Apple equips the iPhone 14 Pro Max with an A16 chipset, making it faster and more efficient than its predecessor.
Apple equips the iPhone 14 Pro Max with an A16 Bionic Chip, an upgrade from last year’s. But while it has the same 6-core CPU, two performance cores, and four efficiency cores as the A15 chipset, it jumps to a 4-nanometer technology. In contrast, the 13 Pro Max runs on a 5-nanometer process. However, the latest iPhone iteration is sticking to the 6GB of RAM like its predecessor.
With these specs, expect the 14 Pro Max to be more efficient. Apple shares that the new chipset uses 20% less power. And even though the A16 features a 5-core GPU like the A15, the bandwidth has been increased by 50%.
There are no changes in capacity, too. Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max and 13 Pro Max are available in the same storage configurations: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. Plus, there’s parity when it comes to software, as the 13 Pro Max can be updated to the iOS 16 the 14 Pro Max runs on.
Safety Features and Battery Life
While the iPhone 14 Pro Max has the same battery as the 13 Pro Max, the latest iteration is more power efficient. Plus, it comes with new safety features.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max adds some vital safety features exclusive to it. Chief among them is crash detection. Like the Apple Watch Series 8, the iPhone 14 Pro Max gets upgraded sensors. These allow the phone to detect extreme acceleration and deceleration, collision sound levels, and even changes in a car’s orientation. The iPhone 14 Pro will automatically notify 911 and your emergency contacts when it detects a crash.
In addition, the phone now offers satellite connectivity for Emergency SOS. This should come in handy for contingencies while you’re off the grid and have no access to cellular signal.
As for battery life, there aren’t noticeable improvements. The iPhone 14 Pro Max even comes with a smaller 4,323 mAh capacity than the 13 Pro Max’s 4,352 mAh capacity. However, Apple shares that with the A16 chipset, the new iPhone should be more power efficient. The 14 Pro Max is listed to last 29 hours of video playback, which is an hour longer than its predecessor.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is a great phone but with modest upgrades that aren’t a huge step up from the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
With the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple moves towards a new display aesthetic, with Dynamic Island and Always-On Mode as its main draws. The new pill-shaped cutout isn’t a static hardware component, interacting with the user through status and notification animations. For users tired of the notch, this should be a welcome change.
Under the hood, however, the iPhone 14 Pro Max offers modest upgrades. Although the camera system remains one of the best in the market, there aren’t noticeable changes to what the iPhone 13 Pro Max already delivers. New vital safety features make the latest iPhone an ideal companion for off-the-grid activities or while driving. Hopefully, you won’t find the need for these services.
Even the 14 Pro Max’s battery life isn’t considerably augmented from the 13 Pro Max. Yes, the new phone is more power efficient, but the extra hour is negligible in actual usage comparisons. That isn’t to say you should stick with the 13 Pro Max if you already own one.
As we said, Dynamic Island is a highlight feature that changes how you interact with your iPhone. First-time iPhone buyers may also be inclined to get the latest model, so long as they are willing to shell for its price. Nonetheless, the 13 Pro Max remains a solid flagship option that may not necessitate an upgrade nor disappoint first-time buyers looking for a more affordable iPhone.
Yes. The Apple iPhone Pro Max comes with dual eSIM support.
Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with an IP68 rating. This means it is water resistant to a depth of 6 meters for up to 30 minutes.
The Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max has a display resolution of 2778 x 1284 pixels at 458 ppi.
No. The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s Slo-Mo feature records videos at 1080p at 120 fps.