iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Max: what are the differences and how to choose?

Are you hesitating between an iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro Max? In this complete comparison, we compare point by point what can tip the scales according to your needs and desires.

Apple has just launched four iPhone 14s (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max). This year, Apple seems to have drawn a final line on the mini variant. Instead, we have two screen sizes (6.1″ or 6.7″), and two main categories (and target customers), Pro models and those that are not.

Obviously, between a “small” iPhone 14 (6.1″) and a gigantic iPhone 14 Pro Max (6.7″), there are a lot of differences, and you can quickly find yourself lost, especially when you hesitate between a contained price and a small format, or the ultimate of all that Apple can offer in 2022 if we are ready to pay the price.

That’s why we suggest you explore in detail what could make you choose an iPhone 14 or rather an iPhone 14 Pro Max. 

The gap is widening between the Pro models and those that are not. In addition to the differences in design and at the level of the photo sensors on which we will come back, the two categories are differentiated by different chips (A15 Bionic, the same chip as that of the iPhone 13 on the classic iPhone 14, and A16 Bionic on the Pro models ).

The iPhone 14 also has a less efficient screen (60Hz) which does not deliver the new advanced features available on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max such as Always On mode and the 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate. Not to mention the new animations around the punch that replaces the Face ID sensor assembly on the Pro variants.

The standard models also a priori have a little less RAM. But let’s stress upfront that users are unlikely to notice any difference in performance between these two iterations (they are both extremely powerful devices). Finally, the two smartphones benefit from common technologies.

For example, emergency satellite connectivity (available from November in the United States and Canada). The two smartphones are also among the most enduring on the market in terms of autonomy.

What are the design differences between an iPhone 14 and an iPhone 14 Pro Max?

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus colors

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus: the colors. © Apple

The design differences between the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 14 Pro Max are obvious this year. Besides the different colorways – Blue, Purple, Midnight, Comet, and (PRODUCT) RED for the iPhone 14 and Dark Purple, Gold, Silver, and Infinite Black on the Pro variants – the chassis material is totally different.

On the one hand, on the iPhone 14, Apple offers anodized Aluminum, which is relatively solid but which marks scratches and tends to discolor in places over time. On the other, the iPhone 14 Pro Max benefit from a much stronger and more durable stainless steel chassis. With a more premium glossy finish rather than anodized.

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max colors

iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max: the colors. © Apple

Beyond that, we immediately notice that there are only two photo sensors on the back of the iPhone 14 in addition to a microphone and a flash, compared to three + a ToF/TrueDepth sensors on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

iPhone 14 vs iPhone Pro Max: what changes on the screen side?

The screen is really what makes the iPhone Pro Max so interesting. Apple has indeed integrated a new Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion 1-120 Hz adaptive refresh technology. This allows both to deliver smoother animations while saving battery life to extend battery life.

The screen of the iPhone 14 Pro Max also delivers the Always On functionality which remains exclusive to the Pro models.

In addition, Apple has revised its Face ID facial recognition system to integrate it into an elongated punch. However, the firm did not stop there, and made this elongated black pill a design element with which we can interact in a useful way, fully integrated into the iOS 16 user experience.

For example, play music, and an animation will appear in this enclave. Tap on it and more information will be displayed following a stylish animation. The classic iPhone 14s inherits the same Face ID notch from previous generations.

Finally, note that the screen of the iPhone 14 Pro Max is particularly bright with a peak brightness of 2000 nits, which is unheard of on a smartphone. Enough to make the Pro model more readable in direct sunlight than a classic iPhone 14.

Will an iPhone 14 Pro Max be better for photos and videos than a classic iPhone 14?

Apple has improved the photo sensors (and capabilities) of both models, but it is the iPhone 14 Pro Max that benefits from the most improvements in the range. The main sensor increases to 48 Mp against 12 Mp on the previous generation, all with a 7-component lens system.

The other sensors are wider to capture more light. New technologies (also present on the classic iPhone 14) also improve the still image and video capture – this is the example of the new Photonic Engine in particular.

iPhone 14 Pro Max Photo sensors

But an iPhone 14 also holds up quite well. The main sensor remains a 12 Mp chip, but Apple adds optical image stabilization by moving the sensor (Sensor-Shift) and a 7-component lens system.

What delivers for example the video mode Action Mode is common to the range and allows to stabilize the videos in an impressive way, without resorting to a gimbal. The selfie sensor is also improved on both models with a better aperture and autofocus for the first time.

In fact, what will mainly tip the balance from this point of view between an iPhone 14, and an iPhone 14 Pro Max on the photo and video side, is less rendering (it will be possible to produce beautiful images with both smartphones).

But more the compatibility of the sensors of the Pro models with the advanced formats Apple ProRAW – which allows you to edit your images on the computer after the shot. If you really need that extra, then the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a must.

Between an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro Max, which one has the best autonomy?

This year, Apple is announcing particularly excellent autonomy figures whether we are talking about the classic iPhone 14 or the iPhone 14 Pro Max. But it is clear that the iPhone 14 Pro Max will take you a little further than the classic iPhone 14.

Apple announces indeed up to 29 hours of video playback, 25 hours of continuous video playback, and 95 hours of audio playback. The iPhone 14 delivers, according to Apple, up to 20 hours of video playback, 16 hours of continuous video playback, and up to 80 hours of audio playback.

Both smartphones are equipped with 20W fast charging (50% in 30 minutes) and are MagSafe compatible.

What is the price difference between an iPhone 14 and an iPhone 14 Pro Max?

Last but not least: the price! Here is the price of the different iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro Max variants:

  • iPhone 14  128 GB: €1,019
  • iPhone 14  256 GB: €1,149
  • iPhone 14  512 GB: €1,409
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max  128 GB: €1,479
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max  256 GB: €1,609
  • iPhone 14 ProMax   512 GB: €1,869
  • iPhone 14 Pro Max  1TB: €2,129

Buying the Pro variant will therefore cost you between just over €400 and €700 more, depending on the internal storage option you choose.

Conclusion: should you buy an iPhone 14 or an iPhone 14 Pro Max instead?

The iPhone 14s is so different from the iPhone 14 Pro Max that it’s hard to recommend one or the other without taking into account what you plan to do with your smartphone. An iPhone 14 is perfect for the greatest number: it takes magnificent photos and videos, with the latest technologies available.

It also has an AMOLED screen of extreme quality, and a particularly good autonomy for its category – in addition to new features such as emergency satellite connectivity. But the iPhone 14 Pro Max models go much further, even if not everyone will necessarily see all the advantages.

They offer the first 48 Mp photo sensor on iPhone with improved lens systems, and the ProRAW format is essential for image professionals. We must also mention its screen, the brightest on the market, and its new design feature, the Dynamic Island, fully integrated into iOS to better remove the FaceID notch.

In addition to this, the autonomy is significantly better, as well as the materials of the chassis. Of course, all this has a price. And it’s up to you to see if all these qualities deserve the payment of a premium of several hundred euros.

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