If you haven’t been following the iPhone 14 rumors as obsessively as I have, you may not have heard that there could be a brand new model in this year’s lineup. Yes, Apple is reportedly going to kill the iPhone 13 mini in favor of a new iPhone 14 Max.
And if what we’re hearing is true, the Android competition should be very nervous.
So what is the iPhone 14 Max? While there’s still a rumored iPhone 14 on the way with a 6.1-inch display, Apple is said to be prepping a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max as well. And, yup, that would be the same screen size as the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
And while we’ve only heard one solid iPhone 14 pricing rumor so far, it makes a lot of sense. The iPhone 14 Max could wind up costing $899, which would be $100 more than the iPhone 14.
iPhone 14 Max vs Google Pixel 6 Pro
A iPhone 14 Max at that price would cost the same as the Google Pixel 6 Pro, which also sports a 6.7-inch display. Google’s phone could have some advantages over the iPhone 14 Max, including a 10-120Hz display (compared to possibly just 90Hz for the iPhone) and a telephoto camera with a 3x zoom.
The iPhone 14 and 14 Max will presumably still offer just wide and ultrawide cameras, while the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will continue to go the telephoto route followed by previous Pro models.
On the other hand, the Pixel 6 Pro has some downsides, including battery life. The best result the Pixel 6 Pro could muster in our web surfing battery test over 5G was 7 hours and 55 minutes. The iPhone 13 Pro Max lasted for more than 12 hours, and we’re guessing the iPhone 14 Max will be in the same ballpark.
Apple’s phone should also outperform the Pixel thanks to the new A16 Bionic chip. There are rumors that Apple could stick with the current A15 Bionic for the iPhone 14 lineup while adding more RAM, but even that outperforms the Tensor chip in the Pixel lineup.
iPhone 14 Max vs Galaxy S22 Plus
Ok, so what about the iPhone 14 Max and how it could stack up against the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus? Samsung would have a few advantages here based on the rumors, including a higher refresh display (48-120Hz) and a telephoto zoom camera.
Plus, unless Apple makes an upgrade, the S22 Plus could have the iPhone 14 Max beat on charging speed, as the former goes up to 45W. Apple is reportedly working on a 30W charger, so we’ll have to see.
The problem is that the Galaxy S22 Plus starts at $999, so it would cost $100 more than the iPhone 14 Max's rumored price. In addition, the S22 Plus lasted just about 10 hours on our battery test, so the iPhone 14 Max could blow it away on endurance.
And no matter whether you’re talking about the U.S. Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 version or the Exynos 2200 version for the rest of the world, the S22 Plus will likely fall behind the iPhone 14 Max on performance.
iPhone 14 Max outlook
Assuming an iPhone 14 Max launches this fall at around $899, it could spell trouble for both the Pixel 6 Pro (and eventual Pixel 7 Pro), as well as the Galaxy S22 Plus.
Apple could be at a disadvantage when it comes to the lack of a telephoto zoom and higher screen refresh rate on this rumored model. But shoppers will likely overlook that in order to get a big-screen iPhone at a more attainable price than the historically pricey Pro Max.