Excellent battery life; longest of all iPhones (for now)
Dynamic Island is a big step forward for the iPhone interface
Always-on display, finally
48MP camera shines in ProRAW format
May be too big for some users
Camera array protrudes farther out than previously
Photos are a bit over-processed
Some features require software updates and are not yet available
You get more iPhone for your money with the iPhone 14 Pro Max–specifically, you get a lot more battery and a lot more display. And for many users, that’s well worth the extra cost and the modified day-to-day handling maneuvers.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the latest big phone from Apple. It’s almost the same phone as its smaller sibling, the iPhone 14 Pro–it has the same camera system, same processor, and Dynamic Island. The major differences are the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s bigger design, display, and battery.
Our iPhone 14 Pro review covers the performance, camera, the Dynamic Island, and more, so for the big picture (pun not intended), read that review first. This review focuses on the size and battery life, the major differences that separate the two phones.
As big as it’s always been
The first iPhone with a 6.7-inch screen was the iPhone 12 Pro Max in 2020. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the about same size as the 12 Pro Max, as well as the iPhone 13 Pro Max it replaces. It’s 6.3 inches (161mm) tall, 3.1 inches (78mm) wide, and 0.3 inches (8mm) deep. The iPhone 14 Pro Max is as heavy as the 13 Pro Max, weighing 8.47 ounces (240 grams). It’s a hefty phone that feels substantial in the hand, which some people (like me) prefer. Pockets need to be on the deeper side to fit this phone securely.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is difficult to use with one hand, even if your hands are large. Reaching for the far end of the keyboard with your thumb is a stretch and reaching for the upper opposite corner with your thumb is impossible for most people. This is a phone you will sometimes have to use with two hands—and the Dynamic Island only strengthens that case. Keep in mind that if you do put a case on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the case could make the phone even bigger. See: Best iPhone cases.
The camera array on the back of the iPhone 14 Pro Max is about as large as it was, slightly shifted down and to the right compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. However, it looks and feels much bigger since the lenses are raised more. This is a very aggressive camera bump and the kind of phone that actually benefits from having a case.
The volume and power buttons and the ring/silent switch have also shifted slightly, too. All that shifting around means that some iPhone 13 Pro Max cases will not fit properly on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, especially cases with a tight camera cutout. So if you’re in the market for a case, make sure to get one that is specifically for the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
iPhone 14 Pro Max: Battery
One of the reasons why you want a phone as big as the Pro Max is because it includes a big battery, the biggest of the iPhone lineup. The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a battery rated at 4323 milliamp hours (mAh), which is actually lower than the 4352 mAh of the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
But that difference between the newer and older Pro Max phones doesn’t mean anything. The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s battery lasted 12 hours and 40 minutes–about an hour longer than the iPhone 13 Pro Max–when we ran the Geekbench 4 battery test. And the iPhone 14 Pro Max lasted 3 hours and 43 minutes longer than the iPhone 14 Pro–that’s 30 percent more battery life from a battery that is 35 percent larger than the smaller iPhone 14 Pro.
The Geekbench 4 battery test is very strenuous, performing a combination of CPU- and GPU-intensive tasks, which is why our results don’t match Apple’s ratings of 29 hours for on-board video playback, 25 hours of streaming video playback, and 95 hours of audio playback. We set the iPhone to 200 nits of brightness and turned off auto brightness and True Tone. This doesn’t take into account the Always-On display, which only comes on when the screen dims. Add that into the equation and you’re getting about the same battery life as the iPhone 13 Pro—which isn’t a bad thing.
However, if battery life is your main reason for choosing a large iPhone, Apple does have another iPhone coming soon, the iPhone 14 Plus, which could beat the 14 Pro Max. The 14 Plus is a 6.7-inch phone and reportedly has the same 4,325 mAh battery as the Pro Max. But the 14 Plus lacks features such as ProMotion and the Always-On display, and it also has lower brightness ratings. These factors could affect how the 14 Plus battery performs, and we’ll be sure to test the battery when it is released and see how it compares to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has the same fast-charging with the bundled USB-C to Lightning cable and a 20W charger. Apple’s 20W USB-C Power Adapter is $19/£19 and works fine, but we recommend going with a third-party adapter because you can find one that’s cheaper and/or smaller and/or has additional ports. The iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with MagSafe, the magnetic connector built into the back of the phone. But Apple doesn’t include a MagSafe charger cable. You can buy one from Apple for $39/ £45. We have a separate iPhone power adapter guide that can help you find a good one.
Bigger is better if that’s what you want
You get more iPhone for your money with the iPhone 14 Pro Max–specifically, you get a lot more battery and a lot more display. And for many users, that’s well worth the extra cost and the need to modify your day-to-day handling to accommodate a large phone. For everything else about the phone, read our in-depth review of the iPhone 14 Pro. We also have a guide to help you choose which iPhone to buy and our iPhone 14 review.