The iPhone 14 launch appears just a few weeks away now that we've learned that the next Apple event could happen as soon as Sept. 7. And based on all the rumors we've heard, there should be four models coming out this year: iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.
I've been using the iPhone 12 Pro Max for a couple of years, as I actually skipped over the iPhone 13 series last year. I've generally found my current phone offers good enough cameras and long battery life. Performance also has held up well, with the exception of having to force quit some apps at times.
Now that the iPhone 14 is almost here, I'm pretty confident I know which model I'm getting. And as tempting as it is, I don't think it will be the new iPhone 14 Max.
Based on everything we know so far, and our own extensive iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro Max preview, my money is on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Here's why.
iPhone 14 Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max
The iPhone 14 Max (or iPhone 14 Plus, if that's what the new phone winds up being called) does look very good on paper based on current rumors and leaks. The iPhone 14 Max is expected to give users a 6.7-inch display for much less than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. We're talking about $899 versus potentially as much as $1,199 for Pro model.
That's a huge price difference, but when you add up all the upgrades, you'll see why I plan on going the Pro Max route.
For one, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will likely continue to exclusively offer a telephoto lens. Yes, the current 5x digital zoom on the regular iPhones is okay, but I really like having the flexibility of 3x optical zoom and 15x digital zoom on the Pro iPhones. And I don't expect that disparity to change of the iPhone 14 series.
I consider the 120Hz ProMotion display on the iPhone to be nice to have but not a must. But now that I've experienced the fluid motion and smooth scrolling I'd prefer not to go backward to a 90Hz or 60Hz panel. The iPhone 14 Max is not tipped to feature a 120Hz screen.
Another reason I'd prefer to go for the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the rumored always-on display. As someone who spends way too much time on his phone, I'd like to see if having access to widgets and notifications via an always-on display will make me a bit less likely to fall down the TikTok rabbit hole once I unlock my phone.
I'm most excited about the new 48MP camera supposedly coming to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. This will reportedly deliver better detail and brighter images via a bigger sensor along with 8K video captures. I like to have the best camera phone with me at all times, and going with the regular iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Max won't accomplish that.
The trade-off, I'm hearing, is that the camera bump on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will be even bigger this time around. And my iPhone 12 Pro Max is already pretty big. So if you're looking for a sleeker big screen phone, the iPhone 14 Max may be the ticket.
So what about performance? Rumor has it that the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will get the new A16 Bionic chip and that the iPhone 14 and 14 Max will feature the older A15 Bionic chip. This isn't a huge deal, as the current iPhone is the fastest phone around based on our iPhone 13 benchmarks.
But if I'm going to be spending that much for a flagship phone, I want it to be as future-proof as possible.
If the iPhone 14 price hike rumor proves true, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will be borderline obscenely expensive at $1,199. That would be the same price as the new MacBook Air M2. But when I think about everything I use my phone for — taking photos for work and play, checking email and Slack, listening to music, playing games, keeping on top of household projects, etc — I'll want the very best that Apple has to offer.
So for me it will be an easy but painful call to splurge for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. If you're not sure what you might upgrade to, check out our iPhone 14 hub and iPhone 14 Pro hub for all the latest rumors and leaks.