In 2022, Apple will be doing something for the first time: Cupertinians will be releasing a more affordable version of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, called the iPhone 14 Max. This indicates a major shift in Apple’s device policy and a move away from small phones, as there will be no iPhone 14 mini. The iPhone 14 Max is expected to have the same size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but differ in a few key areas, namely camera count and chipset generation.
So, which one will prove to be the go-to large iPhone in late 2022? Would the iPhone 14 Pro Max retain the crown, or could it be the iPhone 14 Max that would steal its thunder? Let’s break down all the differences and come up with an expectation, shall we?
- Triple camera (iPhone 14 Pro Max) vs dual camera (iPhone 14 Max)
- 120Hz OLED (iPhone 14 Pro Max) vs 60Hz OLED (iPhone 14 Max)
- i-shaped notch ( iPhone 14 Pro Max) vs traditional notch (iPhone 14 Max)
- Apple A16 Bionic (IPhone 14 Pro Max) vs Apple A15 Bionic (iPhone 14 Max)
- Always-on display (iPhone 14 Pro Max)
- 1TB storage option (iPhone 14 Pro Max)
Table of Contents:
Design and Display Quality
Same size, but many differences to expect
The big differences here will be found in the camera and display departments. True to its nature, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will retain the triple camera setup that got introduced with the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Meanwhile, Apple’s super-premium phone will introduce a new, i-shaped notch that will substitute the regular iPhone notch. This would achieve a more futuristic look for the iPhone 14 Pro Max and probably allow iOS to display more status bar icons up there thanks to the newly-reclaimed screen real estate.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Max is certainly remaining a more traditional iPhone device: with a dual camera setup and a traditional notch. Basically, it will be a larger iPhone 14 for all those large display enjoyers.
In terms of display, both phones will come with similarly sized, 6.7-inch OLED displays. The main difference will be in the refresh rate of the two different screens. The more affordable phone will arrive with a 60Hz display with a more traditional notch, while the premium model would boast a 120Hz LTPO screen with a new, i-shaped notch. It would facilitate the front camera as well as the Face ID module and allow for some reclamation of screen real estate, that could be used to show more status bar elements.
Another important distinct point between the two phones will be always-on display, which is rumored to make an appearance on the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. They would allow for a clockface and other useful information to be displayed on the screen at all times. Apple already does this functionality on the Apple Watch and it makes sense to finally have it on the iPhone. While this functionality doesn’t necessarily require an LTPO display (many Android phones have had it in the past), Apple will likely decide to only use this new feature on the Pro/Max versions to further differentiate the premium from the more affordable lot.
Performance and Software
New chip for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but a well-known unit in the iPhone 14 Max
The main difference between the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Max will be the chipset powering each phone. The iPhone 14 Pro Max will get a newer generation Apple A16 Bionic chipset, while the iPhone 14 Max will use last year’s Apple A15 Bionic chip. This will be the first time that Apple differentiates its more premium models with the newer chipset and the affordable bunch with last-year’s processor.
Mind you, the Apple A15 is still the best all around mobile chip, so there’s nothing wrong with reusing it another year. Still, many could be irked by Apple’s decision as the company has always used its newest chipset across all of its contemporary devices.
Speaking of the Apple A16 Bionic, it’s expected to be manufactured on a 5nm node by TMSC and offer some efficiency gains in comparison to the A15 Bionic. The latter was used to power the full iPhone 13 lineup, and seemingly, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 114 Max. In case you need a refresher as to how the Apple chip performs, check out the benchmarks right below.
In terms of memory, we expect 6 or 8GB of RAM to make an appearance on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and 4 or 6GB of RAM on the iPhone 14 Max. The more premium model will most certainly start at 128GB and also offer 256GB, 512GB, or even a full 1TB of storage.
When it comes to software updates, iPhones are famous for their five- to six-year software update policy. Having this in mind means that both the iPhone 14 Max and iPhone 14 Pro Max will certainly be up-to-date until 2027 or 2028, which is the best the mobile industry currently has to offer.
Both phones will have 5G support, and there are even rumors that we might see satellite calling on the iPhone 14 series.
Triple versus double, the difference is clear
For the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple is considering a significant camera update. Apple is expected to introduce a new and considerably larger primary camera sensor, a gigantic 1/1.3-inch 48MP main sensor, but only the top-tier iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max flagships are likely to have this it. Even if it scores such a large sensor, the iPhone Pro family will likely use pixel-binning to merge four pixels into one and eventually output 12MP images, as it does now, but with superior dynamic range and better light sensitivity during low-light conditions. Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Max will probably retain the 12MP sensor used in most previous iPhones.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is set to arrive with a tirple camera system, similarly to all of its predecessors: the 48MP wide-angle camera is joined by a ultra-wide and a telephoto lens in order to achieve maximum versatility. The ultra-wide and telephoto cameras will still clock in at 12MP.
There’s most likely be a LiDAR sensor at the back of the iPhone 14 Pro Max as well, allowing for depth-sensing capabilities of the phone.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Max will use the same camera setup found on the iPhone 14. A 12MP main wide-angle camera will be joined by a 12MP utlra-wide one, possibly achieving the same overall image quality of the iPhone 13.
Battery Life and Charging
Best battery on any iPhone ever
Paired with the more efficient chipset, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will likely break its predecessor’s battery endurance record, while the iPhone 14 Max could achieve battery life similar to the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
In terms of charging, Apple will likely adorn the iPhone 14 Pro Max with 27W wired charging and the iPhone 14 Max with 20W wired charging, as that’s what the charging situation looked like on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13, respectively. Both will have 15W MagSafe wireless charging, but USB Type-C on either device is probably still out of the question in 2022, but next year’s iPhone crop will likely finally do the switch to the USB standard.
And here’s how the specs of the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Max mostly differ. You can also check out our iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Max dedicated specs comparison.
As seen in the table above, the differences are mostly found in the camera and performance section, which kind of justifies the higher price of the iPhone 14 Pro Max versus the iPhone 14 Max.
Summary and Final Verdict
So, as established in this preliminary comparison, the main differences between the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Max will be a few distinct features in favor of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Its high-refresh display, faster chipset, more storage, and additional telephoto camera will be the main selling point against the similar, but more affordable iPhone 14 Max.
But how do these differences translate to the potential price tags of the iPhone 14 Max and the iPhone 14 Pro Max?
We expect the iPhone 14 Pro Max to start at $899 for the 128GB version, while the range-topping iPhone 14 Pro Max will likely start at $1,199 for the 128GB version. Those prices are a $100 increase over the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the iPhone 13, which start at $1,099 and $799, respectively.
The price increase for the iPhone 14 Pro Max could be justified by all the new features that will be included, but don’t be so quick to disregard the iPhone 14 Max as well. Due to its large size and fairly affordable price in comparison with the Pro Max version, it could be the potential bestseller among all iPhone 14 models.
With either phone, it’s certain that large phone lovers will be having a field day with Apple’s upcoming large iPhones. As we know more, so will you, but for the time being, Apple’s largest upcoming phones are shaping up to be major winners.