- Triple camera (iPhone 14 Pro Max) vs dual camera (iPhone 14 Plus)
- 1-120Hz ProMotion XDR OLED (iPhone 14 Pro Max) vs 60Hz OLED (iPhone 14 Plus)
- i-shaped notch w/ Dynamic Island ( iPhone 14 Pro Max) vs traditional notch (iPhone 14 Plus)
- Apple A16 Bionic (IPhone 14 Pro Max) vs Apple A15 Bionic w/ 5-core GPU (iPhone 14 Plus)
- Always-On display (iPhone 14 Pro Max) vs N/A
- 1TB storage option (iPhone 14 Pro Max) vs N/A
Table of Contents:
Design and Display Quality
Same size, but many differences to expect
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is available in Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple. The phone utilizes Ceramic Shield front glass and textured matt glass at the back, with stainless steel design. Meanwhile, we have the iPhone 14 Plus, which is available in Midnight, Purple, Starlight, Product (RED), and Blue, and is made of Ceramic Shield front, Glass back, and aluminum design. Both phones are IP68-certified.
In terms of display, both phones come with similarly sized, 6.7-inch OLED displays. The main difference is the 1-120Hz refresh rate of the two different screens. The iPhone 14 Plus will arrive with a 60Hz display with a more traditional notch, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max boasts an improved 120Hz ProMotion XDR Super Retina screen with a new i-shaped notch.
Another important distinct point between the two phones is Always-On display, which will be making an appearance on the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. They would allow for the lock screen’s clock, widgets, and the subject of your lock screen to be visible at all times. Apple already does this functionality on the Apple Watch and it makes sense to finally have it on the iPhone. The iPhone 14 Plus doesn’t have an answer to this functionality.
As mentioned, Face ID remains the main biometric of choice on the iPhone 14 family. Both the iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max will come with the functionality on deck despite the differences in the notch design.
Performance and Software
New chip for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but a well-known unit in the iPhone 14 Plus
Another major difference between the the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Plus will be the chipset powering each phone. The iPhone 14 Pro Max gets the newer generation silicon, the 4nm Apple A16 Bionic chipset, while the iPhone 14 Plus relies on iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max’s chip from last year, the 5nm Apple A15 Bionic chip with 5-core GPU. This will be the first time that Apple differentiates its more premium models with a newer chipset and throws a bone to the the affordable models with its older processor.
Speaking of the Apple A16 Bionic, it’s manufactured on a 4nm node and thus offers some efficiency gains in comparison to the A15 Bionic, which relies on an older 5nm manufacturing process. Apple doesn’t really give a performance difference between the two chips, only gives a rough ballpark as to how the Apple A16 is 40% faster than the competition.
In terms of memory, Apple doesn’t explicitly say this, but we suppose that both phones come with 6GB of RAM. The difference, however, could very well be that the iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with the much faster LPDDR5 type of RAM, while the iPhone 14 Plus relies on the slightly slower LPDDR4X RAM, courtesy of the A15 Bionic chip. Overall, this should boost performance.
Both iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Plus start at 128GB storage, but are also available with 256 and 512GB of native storage. This is where the iPhone 14 Plus hands the towel, but true to its nature, the iPhone 14 Pro Max gives us a 1TB option, more than enough for even the heaviest of power users.
The iPhone 14 family now also supports Satellite SOS connectivity, allowing iPhone users to connect while in areas hat are outside regular cell coverage. With this new connectivity feature, the iPhone 14 will communicate with a satellite hundreds of miles above and allow you to report emergency. Sadly, standard texting and other types of data throughput are not supported due to the limited bandwidth. Still, you can send simple short messages and hopefully get emergency services to help you out. You can also share your location to your family via Find My even though you are out and about in the wilderness.
Triple versus double, the difference is clear
For the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple is considering a significant camera update. Apple introduced a new, considerably larger 48MP primary camera sensor, but only the top-tier iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max flagships have this one. While future iPhone Pro Max users will be able to take 48 ProRAW images, in regular photo mode the iPhone 14 Pro Max is taking 12MP photos, which make use of quad pixel-binning. This technology allows the data from four camera sensor pixels to be merged into a large 2.44 µm one, resulting in a superior dynamic range and better light sensitivity during low-light conditions. The latter is further aided by Apple’s new Photonic Engine, a term depicting an enhanced new image pipeline that dramatically improves low-light photos.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Max will use the same camera setup found on the iPhone 14. A 12MP main wide-angle camera is joined by a 12MP ultra-wide one, with the same Photonic Engine and other machine-learning goodies, like Smart HDR 4, Deep Fusion, Photographic Styles, and more. Overall image quality should be close to that of the iPhone 13.
While no 8K video recording has been scored on either device, the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Plus now support Cinematic mode in up to 4K HDR 30fps, a big leap over last year’s pretty limited Cinematic Mode of 1080p at up to 30fps on the iPhone 13-series. There are many other novelties in terms of video on both phones, including Action Mode, which can shoot at up to 2880 x 2160 at 60fps, as well as much improved Pro-level workflows for video.
Finally, both devices share a new 12MP FaceTime selfie camera with autofocus and fast, f/1.9 aperture. If anything, it also support Cinematic mode at up to 4K HDR @30fps,
Battery Life and Charging
Best battery on any iPhone ever
When we talk about the iPhone 14 Max and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, we can safely expect that Apple’s two behemoths will be battery champions. After all, they both have the largest batteries among all new iPhones.
Apple gives some rough official battery life figures, namely up to 26 hours of video playback, 20 hours of streamed video playback, and up to 100 hours of audio playback for the iPhone 14 Plus, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max gets up to 29 hours in video playback, up to 25 hours in streamed video playback, and up to 95 hours in audio playback.
In terms of charging, Apple has adorned the iPhone 14 Pro Max with 27W wired charging and the iPhone 14 Plus with 20W wired charging, as that’s what the charging situation looked like on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 13, respectively. Both have 15W MagSafe wireless charging, but USB Type-C on either device is 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 Plus mostly differ. You can also check out our iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Plus dedicated specs comparison.
As seen in the table above, the differences are mostly found in the camera, display, and performance section, which kind of justifies the higher price of the iPhone 14 Pro Max versus the iPhone 14 Plus.
Summary and Final Verdict
So, as established in this preliminary comparison, the main differences between the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Plus will be a lot of improvements in favor of the more premium iPhone 14 Pro Max. Its high-refresh display, faster chipset, more storage, and additional telephoto camera are the main selling point against the similarly sized, but more affordable iPhone 14 Plus an.
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 Plus 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, especially if you don’t really like the new Dynamic Island and are unconvinced by the promising 48MP camera.
Still, if you really want the best of the best, there’s no way around it—you have to go with the iPhone 14 Pro Max.