The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the finest iPhone ever, version 2022, size XL. This year’s novelties include the notch turning into a pill, the introduction of an Always-On display, and a brand-new primary camera. While the 14 Pro offers all of these features, the Max’s larger screen and longer battery life, combined with its status as the “ultimate” model, give it a distinct market advantage.
Nobody liked the Face ID notch, which has been present on phones since the iPhone X. Perhaps its rebirth as a pill is a step toward its ultimate removal. The pill is a Dynamic Island of alerts, blurring the barrier between hardware and software, but not before converting the eye discomfort into a benefit.
Similar in concept is Apple’s Always-On display, a software feature made only now feasible by LTPO panels’ ability to scale down to 1Hz refresh rate.
One of the major advancements this year is a significant improvement in brightness; this one just pertains to hardware.
Apple is again again late to the party, but it has now joined almost every other manufacturer in releasing a camera with a Quad Bayer type sensor. The 48MP main unit’s specifications are unique, thus it appears to be an exclusive design. The front-facing camera now has autofocus, while the Ultra-wide camera has a larger sensor but has the same telephoto lens (and maybe even OIS).
On the hardware front, there is, of course, the required chipset upgrade and not much more. Does the fact that the US versions have a blanked-out SIM card slot that will only accept eSIMs qualify as a hardware change? New features that combine software and hardware include crash detection and emergency satellite communication.
Unboxing of iPhone 14 pro max
Compared to the model from a year ago, not much has changed in the appearance of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The lid of the half-height box, which opens with the help of a few paper tear-off pull tabs, has a color-accurate representation of the phone.
As you lift the lid, you will see the phone inside laying face down and extending its back to you. Although there isn’t a charger included, there is at least a USB-C to Lightning connection. And a sticker from Apple since it’s free promotion.
Is really all they did for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max? The notch became a pill, and there is now a purple colour option. The answer is kind of yes. However, that also misses the point.
For starters, depending on how you look at it, the iPhone’s industrial design has been going through iterative change since at least the 12, or perhaps even the X. We’re suggesting that major interruptions haven’t been Apple’s thing lately and that you’d have been mistaken to anticipate one. Then there’s the reality that there aren’t many design or construction flaws with the iPhone.
We moved from the notch to the pill by correcting what actually needed to be fixed. Since the iPhone X’s release, Apple’s Face ID display cutout has been a frequent target for derision, and reviewers who make their living by writing reviews have repeatedly blasted it. Even while the sales figures don’t suggest it’s a deal-breaker, we’ve been told that common people share these sentiments.
The year the notch will vanish, the technical development that will take its place (cough, under-display fingerprint readers, cough), and any other unconnected event that could have something to do with it are all subjects of continuing rumour. In actuality, this is the sixth generation of iPhones that include Face ID, and nothing like that has occurred yet. However, changes have been made.
We will categorise this year’s development specifically under the adjustments category. For the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, the ever-shrinking Face ID components have been crammed even closer together; according to Apple, the True Depth camera system—which combines Face ID and the front-facing camera—is 31% smaller than before. Additionally, they have split off from the border’s “mainland” and transformed into a “Dynamic Island,” leaving a thin pixel-wide strait above it.
It’s a clever technique to transform a fault into a feature that even makes sense. The “dynamic” aspect actually comes from the iOS implementation of what is a pretty static cutout in the panel. It reads like the second-worst alternative in the first place to cover up a physical flaw that isn’t technically need to be there with a software repair, but we’ll take tiny steps.
Even while we frequently refer to it as a “cutout,” there are actually two of them: one for the selfie camera and one for the Face ID components. Between the two display holes are functioning pixels, however they are only sometimes illuminated to serve as mic or camera indicators.
And while iOS will attempt to portray the two cuts as a single island, you’ll be able to see through its trickery under the proper lighting. There are several shades of darkness visible there, and some internet users have attempted to make a big deal out of it, but we believe you’ll only see it once and then go on.
Another thing to note is that while the pill is smaller in terms of the space that is immediately occupied, it tends to make more of the screen less useful because it sits deeper down into the display. The ‘effective’ horns on the two sides of the cutout are, in fact, higher than they were with the notch of yesteryear, and the strip above it can’t actually serve any purpose. Then there is the issue of very widescreen video material.
Let’s just add in passing that Face ID continues to function as quickly and accurately for authentication as it has for the previous few years. Additionally built-in is the opportunity to configure a disguised look.
In the software portion of our review, we’ll go into greater depth about what the pill provides for the user experience.
However, the functioning of the dynamic island software has a strong hardware component. It comes from the fact that the island region is actionable, which means that you will touch the area around your selfie camera and Face ID components as well as the glass just above them, eventually adding smudges and grime. In our society, that’s less of a problem since we’ve acquired an almost obsessive practise of cleaning cameras before taking images, island or no island. However, it could take you a few bad selfies to get there.
Then there is the new colour; for those who wish to flaunt their new iPhone, a new hue is required each year. Deep Purple is the 2022 hero colorway, and it can be seen on our 14 Pro Max, which is seen above next to Sierra Blue, the unusual choice from the previous year.q
Technically speaking, Space Black replaces the Graphite of previous iterations in the “black” form. While you may casually refer to both as just “black,” the iPhone 13 Pro from 2022 is darker despite the fact that we don’t currently have an iPhone 13 Pro in that hue for direct comparisons.
The Gold and Silver choices are still available.
The surfaces of the iPhone 14 Pros, regardless of colorway, have the same finishes that you can touch and see, which set them apart from other iPhones. The iPhone 13 Pro devices in use around the office are still flawless a year later, proving how durable the flat stainless steel frame is. It’s also attractive, but the high-gloss finish means that the instant it comes into touch with flesh, it is coated in smudges; wiping it clean is simple, but maintaining cleanliness is difficult.
Let’s take a brief tour while keeping our attention on the frame even if not much has changed. Because of its positioning and large size, the power button on the right is simple to use with either a left index finger or a right thumb. This holds true for both the Pro and Pro Max.
The volume buttons are located on the other side and are bigger than those on most other phones. Not that you’d expect much less from an iPhone, but all three buttons have a comforting click action.
The mute switch, a standard for managing iPhone alerts, is also located on the left. Additionally, the tray accepts a single nano SIM card, and our European devices feature SIM card slots on this side. The SIM tray is absent from US models, despite the slot area inside being empty. This is to be anticipated, as it would seem odd to have distinct internal designs for various markets.
The Lightning connection may be found on the bottom of iPhones, and it is surrounded by dotted cutouts for the bottom speaker and the main microphone.
You’ll see that for these photos, we made sure to display the frame in its best light, which wasn’t an easy effort. Contrarily, the satin-finished frame of the iPhone 14 virtually repels fingerprints. Being made of metal like other common Android devices, one may claim that it isn’t as high-end.
However, the non-shiny Pro’s back has a serious smudge buildup problem. In contrast, the Pros’ matte frosted finish leaves only the mirror-like Apple logo as a fingerprint magnet. That panel is undoubtedly one of the slicker ones you can get, but that is the standard trade-off.
All things considered, whether you have an iPhone Pro or not, you’re probably going to put a cover on it, so none of this will really matter.
Of course, the iPhones are durable in and of themselves. The screen of the 14s is protected by Ceramic Shield, however the rear is not. If you trust Apple, the specialised toughened glass from Corning is still “tougher than any smartphone glass.” It is unknown to mere mortals how much superior (if at all) it is than the Gorilla Glass-branded substitute seen on non-iPhones.
The 14 series receives an IP68 classification, as is typical for Apple’s mobile devices. However, the iPhones increase that to 6m since we prefer the added piece of mind. Your standard IP68 indicates water resistance for up to 30 minutes under 1.5m of water. However, the ingress protection gradually deteriorates with usage, and intentionally submerging your phone in water is never a smart idea. Salt water is also hazardous for your phone regardless of its IP rating.
You might have noticed from looking at the rear of the iPhone 14 Pro Max that the camera assembly’s footprint has increased from what was already a sizable island last year. It resembles a caricature of a smartphone camera, especially on the smaller 14 Pro. On the Max, it appears more… rational.
In addition to taking up more space on the rear, the three rings now protrude somewhat farther. The new 48MP unit has dictated the additional height, and the rest have merely been expanded to fit. Nice camera modules do consume significant room. Naturally, dirt and pocket lint will accumulate in the gap between the camera rings, and cleaning it isn’t exactly simple either.
You better not regularly type on your phone when it’s laying on a table if you intend to use your iPhone 14 Pro without a cover. Any amount of zealous key pressing on the right side of the keyboard will cause the feared wobble due to the protruding camera component. Isn’t it time we stopped emphasising that? Does anybody even give a damn? anyone ever?
Both of the new iPhone Pro models feel roughly the same as the ones from the previous year, despite the little variances in their proportions. The Pro Max is large and heavy enough to justify its price (well, not necessarily against other phones, but compared to the 14 Pro at least). Weighing in at 240g, the Max can more than live up to its moniker because we couldn’t think of anything heavier than large foldables.
However, similar to the smaller model, that’s more of a density issue than a question of sheer size – bigger competitors do exist. The most visible difference is that the Galaxy S22 Ultra measures 160.7×77.6×7.9mm, the same width as the 14 Pro Max, but is 2.6mm higher and a full mil thicker. However, the 14 Pro Max is undoubtedly a large phone, and as such, should be handled with both hands and deep pockets (in more than one way, sadly).
Apple has long been known for producing screens that are among the best in the industry, notably for its iPhone models. The 14 Pro Max is no exception. The Super Retina XDR OLED display boasts a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, a 6.7-inch diagonal (the small print states 6.69″), and a 460ppi pixel density thanks to its 1290x2796px resolution. The DolbyVision and HDR10 standards are also supported.
As a ProMotion panel, it can dynamically vary its maximum refresh rate from 120Hz to as low as 1Hz for the recently launched Always-On display function, depending on the use case.
When it comes to brightness, the 14 Pros are at the top. According to Apple, the Pro Max’s display should be able to shine as brightly as 2000nits outside but just 1000nits should be visible in less harsh settings. The HDR application peak is stated to be 1600 nits.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the next brightest phone (excluding the 14 Pro non-Max, of course), and it is around 500 nits less bright. We don’t measure the HDR brightness values, but in our simulated outdoor situation with the adaptive brightness set on, we obtained 1760nits.
On the 14 Pro Max, we measured 828nits when the brightness was manually adjusted. This doesn’t seem all that amazing, but phones often don’t allow you have that brightness outside of auto modes under bright ambient lighting. If you turn on the Extra Brightness toggle in the settings, Galaxies do offer you 800-ish nits starting with the S22 series, but that’s about it. Since the 13 Pros can go above 1000 nits, a manual brightness cap was definitely warranted, and it’s even more understandable on the 14 Pros, which are even brighter. Up until last year, iPhones would let you use as many nits as they could produce without restricting things to adaptive brightness mode.
As usual, this iPhone receives great marks for colour accuracy as well; while using sRGB colour swatches, we obtained an average dE2000 of 0.8. The 14 Pro Max doesn’t offer several colour settings since it’s not Apple’s style to give customers alternatives, but it can switch between sRGB for everyday use and Display P3 (Apple’s equivalent of DCI-P3) for wide-gamut situations.
The battery inside the iPhone 14 Pro Max is 4,323mAh, which is the same as last year’s model but down 29mAh. This is around 35% more than the 14 Pro non-Max and has the same capacity as the 14 Plus. Comparing battery sizes across different Android smartphones is often useless, although the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s cell is rated at 5,000mAh for some context.
In our tests, the iPhone 14 Pro Max performed usually better with the screen on than its predecessor. Three and a half hours longer than the 13 Pro Max, we measured 23:39 hours of Wi-Fi web surfing and 24:38 hours of offline video playing (a less significant 30-ish minutes increase). While standby performance somewhat declined, we timed essentially equal call lifetime this year at 27:23h (27:26h on the 13 Pro Max). The sum of all of those results in a 121-hour endurance rating.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max retail packaging does not include a charger, although certain carriers do include one of Apple’s 20W devices. That is the one we tried with because it does seem to be the best choice if you don’t have access to any other USB Power-Delivery adapter for your iPhone.
At the 30-minute point, we saw a slight improvement in the status of charge compared to the 13 Pro Max (48% vs. 42%), although the new model took a little longer to reach 100%. (1:52h vs. 1:46h, neither is great). A Galaxy S22 Ultra charges much more quickly to 100% (1:03h) and displays a more reassuring 60% halfway through the process with its standard 25W charger. In contrast, the Pixel 6 Pro from a year ago has the same same specs as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The conclusion is that the iPhone 14 Pro Max is not the best option if you want truly rapid charging, and for once, a Samsung may claim victory in terms of charging speed.
Despite not being included in the WPC’s database, the iPhone 14 Pro Max enables wireless charging up to 7.5W with universal Qi-compliant charging pads. Apple would rather you use their MagSafe magnetically attached attachment, which should have a 15W maximum output ($39/€49 for the puck with the cable and you still need a power adapter).
The Optimised Battery Charging option in settings should be useful if you want to obtain the longest battery life possible out of your iPhone. It enables the iPhone to customise its charging curves to match your charging habits, which are mostly connected to nighttime charging and sleep schedules, therefore reducing the amount of time the battery is at 100%. Up to 80%, it will charge rapidly (well, iPhone-quickly) and won’t complete until shortly before it anticipates you’ll need the phone.
The 14 Pro Max includes the standard hybrid stereo speaker setup used on iPhones: the earpiece joins the bottom-mounted dedicated speaker to form a stereo pair. In portrait orientation, the right channel is sent to the earpiece; in landscape orientation, the output is changed to correspond to the phone’s orientation. In either event, a little portion of the “opposite” channel will still be broadcast by each speaker, only at a considerably reduced level.
In our testing, the 14 Pro Max received a loudness rating of “Very Good,” which is an improvement over the 14 Pro’s “Good.” On the other hand, the 14 Pro Max is once again fantastic in terms of perceived sound quality. Clean voices, a noticeable low-end thud, and sparkling treble are all there. For instance, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is in no way as excellent.
Apple’s iOS 16 comes preinstalled on every new iPhone. As usual, it isn’t a game-changing upgrade over iOS 15, but it does, among other things, provide improvements to the lockscreen, notification management, the Messaging app, and the privacy settings. Additionally, in classic Apple style, some features were postponed until later.
Now let’s examine more closely at iOS 16 on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Its user experience is still built on homescreens with widgets and apps, an App Library for your less-used apps, and control and notification centres.
The lockscreen on iOS 16 is the first feature that has been updated, while it still adheres to the same logic: it is integrated with the Notification Center and displays notifications (privacy settings are available), as well as quick access to the flashlight and camera. There is also an Always-on option for the first time ever, however it is only accessible on the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. If you choose secure unlock, the lockscreen can be bypassed using Face ID or a PIN.
By selecting from a variety of interesting backgrounds and including a row of widgets, you can personalise your lockscreen (up to four). Widgets can only be arranged in one row. The cool part is that you can create a few alternative lockscreens and switch between them whenever you want (tap and hold, then swipe). In this manner, you may quickly alter the notification center’s appearance to suit your mood or job.
The alerts now roll up from the bottom of the screen, which is another modification in this area. It is more practical to look through them. There are several options for notification presentation, including stack, list, and simple count.
Additionally, you have the option to modify both the lockscreen and the homescreen simultaneously.
Typically, your apps fill the homescreen(s) and widgets. The leftmost screen is the Today page, while the rightmost screen is the App Library.
You can conceal particular homescreens; for example, you might conceal a page of games while at work or a page of work/school applications while on vacation. However, you cannot reject Today and the App Library.
The Focus mode in Apple iOS 16 has been updated, and you can now specify a Focus mode for any lockscreen preset you make. Additionally, changing lockscreens now affects the Focus mode in addition to all other means of switching between Focuses.
There are several Focus modes, all of which are very customisable, including Work, Personal, Driving, Gaming, and Do Not Disturb. Naturally, you may also develop and automate your own.
Focus filters, another new feature of iOS 16, are now included and can have an impact on various apps. A dedicated API is also made accessible to developers. These filters allow programmes like mail and messaging clients to automatically filter their information according to user-defined criteria while in Focus mode.
Widgets may cohabit alongside app icons on any of the homescreens as well as the Today page. The three widget sizes that iOS supports are 2×2, 4×2, and 4×4. Widgets can be stacked on top of one another and optionally rotate automatically if they are the same size.
The App Library is a homescreen window that is always to the right of your homescreen. Upon installation, apps are instantly added to the App Library. Additionally, the sorting is automated; you cannot change the categories or transfer apps across categories. The App Store tags that the developer provided when uploading the apps determine how the apps are sorted.
Satellite or emergency concetivity
The new Emergency SOS via satellite capability is supported by every new iPhone 14 model. To deliver a message to a satellite without using cumbersome antennas, brand-new unique hardware and specialised software have to be created. Although it only supports text messages and will largely be used in emergencies, this service does allow for two-way contact, so you will be informed when help is on the way. Your location may also be shared with pals via the Find My app so they can keep an eye on you.
You can create bespoke messages to describe your predicament, but when time is of the essence, a few of well crafted questions will allow you to quickly send out a thorough SOS. A message can be sent in around 15 seconds from a site with a clear view of the sky, but if there are trees in the way, it can take longer. For consumers in the US and Canada, the satellite service will debut in November, and purchasers of the iPhone 14 receive a complimentary 2-year membership.
All iPhone 14 models have access to crash detection as well, owing to a new accelerometer that can detect up to 256G. The phone will automatically summon emergency services if such an emergency arises. Call After Serious Crash is a setting under the Emergency SOS menu that controls this. There are no further settings; you can just turn it on or off.
Dynamic Island and always-on Display
Always-on Display and Dynamic Island are two iOS 16 features that are only available on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Firstly, let’s talk about the Always-on Display. It has no settings; you can just turn it on or off. Your lockscreen is kept constantly on but is dimmed to a certain extent. This includes the wallpaper, widgets, and everything else. The AOD does sound even if it is not explicitly indicated when the phone is in a pocket, face down, in a bag, or after a certain amount of time has passed while you are not near the phone.
It should be noted that the AOD’s brightness varies depending on the ambient light. In really dark settings, it can be extremely faint; however, when using the phone in strong sunlight, it is brighter. And various effects on battery life should result from this.
Apple refers to the new i-shaped cutout as The Island, and the Dynamic Island refers to the animations that the creator created to make it appealing and less offensive.
The Dynamic Island is essentially a pill-shaped notch since Apple has blacked the centre portion for aesthetic reasons. There are just the microphone and camera indications can be seen.
Black backgrounds are used only in the island animations.
Three Island modes are available. Standard form: a dormant island or only a microphone and camera indication.
The active form is a longer, pill-shaped notch containing information for specific events, alerts, and notifications on both the left and right sides. If you open another app that is compatible and can be reduced here, such as the Timer, this long pill can also split in half to form an i-shaped one.
By tapping and holding on the little animation, a third form that grows into a pop-up balloon may be accessed. However, a tap will launch the corresponding app instead. We believe that these motions should have been reversed or at the very least customizable, but as always, Apple is right.
As a result, the Dynamic Island integrates a variety of features, beginning with the Face ID animation, charging animation, music information (from services like Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, and Soundcloud), call information (from services like Phone, WhatsApp, Skype, Instagram, and Google), timers, etc. You receive a cute animation that shortens the island and adds a little symbol to the left side if you launch a second programme that requires the Dynamic Island.
Calls, AirPods and Watch connections, Battery and Charging, Focus adjustments, AirDrop, Face ID, AirPlay, NFC events, SIM alerts, and Silencer on/off are among the available system notifications.
At first, the Dynamic Island only offers a limited set of activities, but Apple plans to expand it with the future Live Activities feature. This will enable the presentation of several real-time alerts, including voting results and sports results.
The Dynamic Island is not the disco dance Apple claimed it would be at the event when it makes its debut. We do enjoy that it has all of the vintage bubbles, such as Phone, Navigation, Music, and Alarms, which often resided in the left horn. And we have to give it to Apple since it has the ability to turn something as ugly as this cutout into a feature that, by the end of the year, will be on many Android launchers.
Currently in its early phases, The Dynamic Island need additional effort from the developer community as well as Apple. However, we are confident that it will eventually arrive because Apple now wants everyone to notice the notch rather than dismissing it.
As we can now see, there are two drawbacks: light conditions expose the cameras, sensors, and display component in between, shattering the illusion of the Island. Second, it rests a little lower than the previous notch, which in some ways means it takes up even more screen real estate than the prior notch.
Benchmarks and Performance
The new iPhone 14 Pro smartphones are powered by the Apple A16 Bionic processor. With 16 billion transistors, increased from the A15 chip’s 15 billion, it is produced using the TSMC 4nm manufacturing technology.
There are two performance Everest cores running at 3.46GHz and four efficiency Sawtooth cores operating at 2.02GHz in its standard six-core CPU arrangement. The CPU’s two highly effective cores use 20% less power than those in the A15, and it is said to be 40% quicker overall than the competition.
A 50% increase in memory bandwidth is provided by the upgraded 5-core Apple GPU.
The 16-core Neural Engine that the A16 utilises can do 17 trillion operations per second.
The Qualcomm X65 5G modem is what the A16 utilises for cellular communications.
With much more sophisticated computation photography capabilities and up to 4 million operations for each high-resolution shot produced, the ISP has also made some progress.
The Always on Display was made feasible by a new Display Engine, a specific feature that was created by optimising the display’s attributes to save battery life (1Hz refresh rate, brightness, colour settings). Additionally, it enabled greater peak brightness of up to 2,000 nits. Another significant responsibility for the Display Engine is the antialiasing work surrounding the Dynamic Island.
Of course, conventional hardware might have completed any of the aforementioned tasks. However, having the Engine operate separately from the other components, including the GPU, allowed for far better resource allocation and significantly reduced battery use.
Although 6GB of RAM is still used in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, LPDDR5 delivers 50% more bandwidth than A15.
In fact, the CPU performance has improved by 14% in the multi-core test and by 8% in the single-core GeekBench run. It’s hardly a revolutionary advancement, but it’s about what to anticipate for YoY improvements.
The new phone’materializes’ in AnTuTu, where it scored in the mid 160Ks vs. 103K on our iPhone 13 Pro we had for comparison, demonstrating the 50% larger memory bandwidth Apple claimed for the A16.
The 12% improvement is within the range of expected yearly improvements, thus the total Antutu score isn’t much different.
Graphics benchmarks show the impact that a slight change in display resolution may have on frame rate; the Pro Max’s increased resolution couldn’t quite equal the Pro’s results in GFXBench’s onscreen testing. However, the bigger phone does possess a little bit more raw power as seen by the often higher outcomes in offscreen runs.
The 14 Pro Max delivered fairly outstanding results in terms of stability under prolonged load, outperforming those we obtained on the smaller model. The 14 Pro Max throttled slightly to 92% on a 30-minute APSI Bench continuous CPU test (compared to the still respectable 84% on the Pro), while the result of the 3DMark Wild Life stress test was 83% (75% on the 14 Pro).
In conclusion, the iPhone 14 Pro Max boasts a very strong processor that provides performance that is unmatched for smartphones and is stable under constant demand.
The three rear cameras and one front camera on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are similar. Despite the fact that their logic and operation closely resemble those of the iPhone 13 Pro pair, all of them—aside from the telephoto camera—have been enhanced in different ways.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has seen the most significant change to its main camera. This is the first iPhone to employ a 48MP 1/1.28″ sensor with a Quad-Bayer colour filter. Before binning, the camera’s pixels were 1.22 mm; after binning, they were 2.44 mm. With it is a 24mm f/1.78 lens. Additionally, full-focus pixels and second-generation sensor-shift stabilisation are available.
By cutting from the centre and using AI-assisted up-scaling, the high-resolution primary sensor allows the camera app to introduce a new intermediary zooming step of 2x. In addition to the regular 12MP RAW mode, high-res 48MP RAW photography is also an option.
The ultrawide camera also has a new 12MP sensor. It’s a 1/2.55 “unit with big 1.4 m pixels, which could provide crisper, more detailed photographs as well as improve on macro shots. The lens now has an f/2.2 aperture and a focal length similar to 14mm. For this camera, dual-pixel PDAF is available.
There have been no upgrades to the telephoto camera; it is still a 12MP 1/3.5-inch model “77mm f/2.8 OIS lens imager with a 3x optical zoom enhancement over the primary camera.
Again using a 12MP 1/3.6″ sensor, the selfie camera now has a brighter f/1.9 aperture on its 23mm lens and enables autofocus. There is also OIS, which Apple did not announce at the presentation but which has since been discovered in a number of breakdown videos. One has to question why Apple didn’t make a huge deal out of this as it has to be a first for a selfie camera, at least in western countries.
Each camera can capture video in up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second with cinematic stabilisation and expanded dynamic range. On all cameras and in all shooting modes, Dolby Vision HDR capture is possible. The Cinematic Mode now supports up to 4K HDR recording at 30fps and is compatible with the main, telephoto, and selfie cameras.
New stabilisation choices include Action mode and Enhanced Stabilization, both of which are settings.
A little cropping and more stabilisation are applied to the clip. Electronic stabilisation has always been required for all of Apple’s cameras, and it still is. Should you require it, this additional option appears to be a slight improvement over the default EIS.
Action mode is a feature that many Android phones are fairly accustomed to, but it has now found its it to the iPhones – only available on the 14 Pro series, of course. It heavily crops films to create stability akin to an action camera and stores them in 2.8K resolution, or 2,816×1,584px. Although it may be utilised with the primary and telephoto cameras as well, it works best with the ultrawide camera at 60 frames per second.
The new LED flash must be mentioned last. It now has a 3×3 grid made up of 9 LEDs. They can all be individually fired and modified. Despite being a true-tone flash with slow-sync, it may now fire in a certain pattern because of the altered configuration.
features of the camera app
Since iOS 13 and the iPhone 11, the viewfinder has mostly remained same. However, you can now see beyond the viewfinder since the three cameras’ excellent calibration allows you to see what will be cut off in real-time.
All archival features (Smart HDR, Night Mode, and Deep Fusion) are included in Apple’s picture processing, but the Photonic Engine is the main attraction.
Only the iPhone 14 Pro pair with the Apple A16 processor supports the new Photonic Engine for the iPhone camera. It offers a 2x improvement over Deep Fusion in medium- to low-light situations.
When lighting conditions are poor but it’s not quite dark, Deep Fusion activates in place of Smart HDR and Night Mode. Before pressing the shutter, after pressing it, and in one long exposure photo, Deep Fusion employs frames. The best frames will be chosen by the neural engine, which will then produce a detailed, crisp, and more realistic-looking HDR image. The machine learning approach used by the neural processor examines the image being captured and applies different processing techniques depending on what is in the frame, such as the sky, greenery, or skin tones. Structure and colour tones, however, are based on ratios discovered by the Apple CPU’s Neural unit.
When a low-light scenario appears, the Night Mode indicator appears automatically, and you can see the suggested seconds next to the icon. Longer exposures are an option, as is completely turning off Night Mode.
There is also a macro mode option. It’s a feature that is only available on the most recent Pro versions and is made possible by the ultrawide camera’s ability to autofocus.
As usual, all cameras communicate with one another, so when you move between them, they already have the right exposure and tone mapping settings. Videos and static images both fall under this.
Unless we add the new 2x toggle between 1x and 3x, the camera interface has remained mostly identical. In the event that you are close enough to take a macro shot, the toggle displays automatically.
You may access a few options, including flash, night mode, live photos, picture aspects, exposure correction, and filters, by swiping upward between modes. The resolution and frame rate in video mode may both be adjusted from the viewfinder.
All three cameras—the primary, telephoto, and selfie—support portrait mode.
All cameras are supported by RAW capture, and the primary camera can shoot in 48MP. In fact, this is the only way to acquire 48MP photographs from the iPhone 14 Pros.
Photographic Styles is a function that automatically changes a picture, one component at a time (applying different corrections to the subject and background, for example). Standard, Rich Contrast, Vibrant, Warm, and Cool are your options. You may adjust each of these options to your preferences and make your favourite the default. It is similar to filters but is more durable.
Cinematic Mode is available and now supports 4K HDR at both 24 and 30 frames per second. Although it uses automated rack focus, the phone also saves a depth map with the video so you may manually adjust the focus point after the fact. These films may be edited using the iMovie and Clips programmes.
Finally, there is Action mode, which can be used with any back camera at any resolution and frame rate. It is designed to be used with the ultrawide camera at 2.8K@60fps. It significantly crops the 4K stabilised video to resemble the output from an action camera.
DAYLIGHT PHOTOS QUALITY
The iPhone 14 Pro Max saves 12MP photographs, as was to be expected, and in theory, these images are identical to those that iPhones have been taking for the previous few years. It also implies clear details with high contrast and precise colour representation. Even with Smart HDR enabled, Apple’s approach to HDR processing has always been to give a respectable dynamic range without the images being obviously HDR, and the same is true in this instance.
The foliage representation is one aspect of the game that we don’t particularly like because it doesn’t appear natural. We’ve seen interpretations of such rich textures with far less processing, even though the leaves in a tree’s crown would definitely exceed the resolution of a 12MP photograph.
If you shoot in RAW at 48MP and then downscale the photographs to 12MP in post-production, you’ll likely achieve better results. Thanks to the superb amount of detail and its organic rendition, we’d go ahead and describe these outcomes as class-leading. The colours are stunning, there is no noise, and the contrast and dynamic range are perfect. It begs the question of why Apple chose the default processing when a superior one is obviously available.
Okay, but there, we made a mistake. There is no 48MP JPEG or HEIF mode; the 48MP RAW files are your only choice if you wish to obtain images at the sensor’s maximum resolution. Again, these 48MP photos are the finest we’ve seen from a Quad Bayer-type sensor in its “native” resolution without any additional processing other than a format change to JPEG.
This excellent performance is certainly the reason why the iPhone 14 Pro Max can produce beautiful images at 2x magnification – after all, they are supplied from the primary 48MP camera. Detail is superb, comparable to specialist 2x cameras, although global characteristics stay unchanged from photographs recorded at the native field of view.
Of course, there is an independent telephoto camera, which is used by the 3x zoom level in the viewfinder. These images, too, do not disappoint; they are detailed and crisp, with a natural appearance and attractive interpretation. Colors are realistic, contrast is strong, and the dynamic range is large enough for Apple.
The updated ultrawide camera has a bigger sensor and a different lens, and it’s a winning combination. The excellent distortion correction and crisp corners are only the beginning, while colour reproduction, contrast, and dynamic range complement the other modules well. Even while the vegetation isn’t perfect and may have some of the overprocessing we discussed on the primary camera, these are some of the nicer ultrawide photos you can obtain.
The Ultra-wide camera can focus down to 4cm, making it perfect for closeups. Apple uses it for its auto macro mode (the ‘Macro Control’ toggle in the camera settings), which switches to the Ultra-wide camera if you try to take a photo with the primary module and get too close for it to focus. In such case, you’ll receive a shot from the Ultra-wide, but with a field of vision that matches that of the main camera, which can only be achieved by up-scaling.
These are excellent, far superior to the phoney macro cameras seen on less expensive gadgets. Depending on what you want to do with them, the smaller field of vision may be more essential than the absolute per-pixel detail, which suffers as a result of the upscale.
However, you can always utilise the ultrawide for closeups in its original FoV by switching to it. You’d be able to see more detail this way.
You might argue that Apple popularised ‘Portrait’ mode, even if earlier attempts at false bokeh existed prior to the release of the iPhone 7 Plus. Years later, with two back cameras, the iPhone 14 Pro can capture portraits at three different zoom settings (plus the front-facing one). The new iPhone Pro edition this year has 2x portraiture in addition to 1x and 3x, and the 48mm equivalent focal length is ideal for such photographs.
And they do! Let’s start with the 1x photos. The subjects are extremely detailed, vivid, and well-exposed. Meanwhile, the backdrop is expertly softened, and HDR is used sparingly. The depth map is precise, and the separation is generally good, however complicated backdrops and light circumstances provide a difficulty.
In portrait mode, the subject has superb clarity and definition, translating the detail we saw in standard 2x zoom photographs beautifully. Subject separation is excellent, while the background blur appears to be natural. We can understand why this is the standard zoom level for portraits: not only is the image quality excellent, but the perspective is pleasing to the faces and you also get adequate coverage for some context.
The subject is exceptionally clear and defined in portrait mode, beautifully conveying the detail we noticed in ordinary 2x zoom pictures. Excellent subject separation with a natural-looking background blur. We can see why this is the typical zoom level for portraits: in addition to having good image quality, the perspective also flatters the faces and provides enough coverage for some context.
For genuine “portrait” perspective, on the other hand, the 3x zoom level is your best bet, and it helps that subject separation is still superb. However, because indoor scenes do tend to be on the noisy side, it is best used outside in good lighting.
Selfie camera Quality
While the sensor size and the field of view of the selfie camera were left unchanged, Apple added OIS and autofocus this year. The camera still has two FoV settings in the viewfinder: the full 12MP mode, which has a 23mm equivalent FoV, and the slightly zoomed-in 7MP crop, which is equivalent to a 30mm FoV.
When holding the phone in portrait mode, selfies are cropped to 7MP to create a more compact frame, but when holding it horizontally, the phone automatically switches to the wider 12MP mode, giving you a better view of the scenario. By touching on the arrows next to the shutter button, you can manually move between those two settings as well.
Selfies taken on the iPhone have always been popular, and the new hardware doesn’t change that. The 14 Pro Max takes photographs that are nicely detailed and have well-contained noise, while having a little too much micro-contrast. The colours are precise and have a large dynamic range.
low-light or Night mode photos quality
The same as previously, Apple’s Night Mode automatically activates in dimly lit environments and typically selects a 1 second exposure for the primary camera and a 2 second exposure for the secondary cameras. For any particular situation, you can select either the Auto or the Max exposure (both already set for you with no intermediate settings), or you can turn off the Night Mode. Until you re-enable it or restart the camera app, it will remain disabled.
The first batch of images we present to you below were taken automatically, with the system selecting a 1s exposure period for the most, if not all, of them. Where it didn’t, we set it to the Max setting, which in those circumstances is once again 1s. Great images are the outcome, which is to be anticipated. Due to the Night mode, we are receiving an exposure that is spot on yet somewhat overexposed. Shadows are lightly brightened without going overboard, while highlights are kept in check.
In scenarios with better lighting, turning off Night Mode won’t make much of a difference, but poor lighting will make images much darker, especially inside.
The 2x zoomed Night Mode images are excellent. Low noise and superb detail are displayed, and the rendering style is quite natural. Additionally excellent are colour reproduction and dynamic range.
Once more, disabling Night mode will result in darker exposures, which might be problematic in very dark scenarios, but the changes may not even be noticeable in well-lit environments. The shadows and level of depth and sharpness increase with scene darkness.
When taking Night Mode pictures at night, the phone employs the 3x telephoto lens. These also worked out well. The shots have outstanding detail and natural clarity; noise levels are remarkably low for a telephoto lens, indicating that the images have been cleaned quite skillfully.
The 3x zoomed images have excellent colour fidelity and great contrast.
In really dark circumstances, you can wind up obtaining your photographs from the primary camera if you turn off Night Mode for your 3x zoom action. Since only the third image below is from the primary camera, it appears that the different selection of situations here is better suited to the telephoto lens. We had several of those in our 14 Pro review. But the truth is, you probably wouldn’t care because the 3x digitally zoomed shots from the primary camera are also outstanding owing to the 48MP sensor and the AI-assisted zoom. In reality, you wouldn’t be able to identify which camera took the 3x zoom picture, and you’ll probably appreciate the outcome either way.
However, if not extremely dramatic, there are probably variations between the Night mode and no Night mode images. Without Night mode, we’re noticing more noise and generally darker exposures.
The ultrawide camera’s Night Mode produces quality images in low light. It normally selects an exposure length of 2-3 seconds, which produces acceptable exposure, a beautifully wide dynamic range, and outstanding colour saturation. The degree of detail you may expect will depend on how well-lit the scene is.
You would be viewing under-exposed and noisy Ultra-wide photographs without Night Mode activity, and colour saturation would frequently suffer as well. If the phone is unwilling to do so on its own, we advise against turning off Night mode on the Ultra-wide and instead could deliberately turn it on.
All four cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro Max can capture video at up to 4K60 resolution. If you want a more cinematic motion appearance, 4K24 is also accessible everywhere. On all four cameras, movies are digitally stabilised, and all save the ultrawide are capable of optical stabilisation, which Apple refers to as “cinematic video stabilisation.” Thanks to Smart HDR, all modes—including the 4K60—have increased dynamic range. The slow-mo settings have a 1080p and 240fps upper limit.
In order to give even more stabilised footage, there is a new option called “Enhanced stabilisation” that improves on the standard EIS. Apart from the slight crop that was promised, we honestly did not see any difference between the shots we took with and without this new option.
Even if you don’t think any of the improvements in the best iPhone ever are revolutionary or important to your usage, they are all present and do add up. The new features include the brightest screen by a wide margin, AoD, a remedy for notch pain, a camera system with general enhancements and excellent full-res photographs, and emergency hardware/software features.
These are in addition to Pro Max mainstays like long-lasting batteries, excellent speakers, and a sturdy and upscale build quality. Other well-known justifications for the iPhone, including the Pro Max, include having the strongest chipset in the industry and at least five years of support for the software you’ve used for years and probably both love and despise.
On at least two levels, the price rise in RoW markets (i.e., countries outside of the US) is a bitter pill to chew. We’re not sure which is the more hurtful feeling: the fact that more money is leaving your pocket, or the realisation that you’re paying for a portion of the iPhones of US consumers.
In any event, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is unquestionably a fantastic phone with minimal drawbacks. And if there are potential drawbacks, those are part of life and aren’t unique to this generation or size. In the end, you can’t go wrong with this one if it’s time for an update and the pricing is appropriate for you.
- superior durability, water resistance, and design.
- OLED display with 2000 nits of brightness, 120 Hz, AOD, and Dolby Vision.
- Outstanding performance and stability.
- exceptional battery life.
- Excellent picture and video quality on all four cameras.
- High-quality action mode and the best smartphone video stabilisation currently available.
- outstanding stereo speakers.
- Face ID, SOS assistance via satellite, crash detection, and a LiDAR scanner.
- iOS upgrades for at least five years are included with every iPhone.
- Dynamic Island is either loved or despised.
- larger and heavier than the average.
- Slow charging and no charger in the box.
- iOS limitations by Apple might turn off newcomers to the ecosystem.