Review: Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max big, powerful, and nearly Awesome

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For the last few years, buying Apple’s top-tier iPhone has meant needing to get the Pro equivalent. If you want the nicest cameras, display, and battery life, it’s the Pro iPhone you require. That’s no different this year, with 2022’s best iPhones being the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Apple’s new 48MP camera, always-on screen, and Dynamic Island are incredibly welcome additions to the latest Pro iPhones — something we highlight extensively in our iPhone 14 Pro review. The iPhone 14 Pro Max retains all of the 14 Pro’s excellence while also going a step further, adding a more immersive display and much longer battery life. Those things do come at a cost, but if you can stomach the higher price and added heft, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the epitome of a flagship smartphone. It’s big, premium, powerful, and complete overkill in all the best ways.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s design looks very similar to last year’s 13 Pro Max, which is to say, it looks a lot like the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple’s stuck with the same general design language for the last couple of years, and while that may not make the iPhone 14 Pro Max a visual breakthrough, this tried-and-true design offers very little to complain about.

The stainless steel frame is luxurious, the frosted glass back looks and feels incredible, and small details — like the buttons and haptic feedback — are as exquisite as you’d expect. Most smartphones today have a nice fit-and-finish, but the iPhone 14 Pro Max still feels like a step above.

There is one design characteristic unique to the Pro Max equivalent of the iPhone 14, and that’s its size. Measuring 160.7mm tall and weighing a hefty 240 grams, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is one of the most substantial phones you can buy. As someone who generally prefers smaller phones and has spent the past year using an iPhone 13 Pro, making the jump to the iPhone 14 Pro Max initially seemed quite intimidating.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max still feels like a step above.

After living with the phone for over a week as my go-to handset, I’m happy to say that the transition hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I imagined. Yes, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is still a very tall and very heavy smartphone. For some people, it’ll always be just too big to comfortably use. But, I’m personally at a point where I’m used to its weight and have found ways to maneuver it with one hand.

There are two main benefits you get for putting up with the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s gargantuan size, the first of which is an expansive 6.7-inch display. That display is an OLED one and has a resolution of 2796 x 1290 — working out to the same 460ppi pixel density of the smaller iPhone 14 Pro.

Like the iPhone 14 Pro, the quality of the 14 Pro Max’s screen is excellent. Colors are vivid and beautiful, text is easy to read, and the screen is now brighter than ever. You can expect 1000 nits of typical max brightness, but in direct sunlight where more light is demanded, the iPhone 14 Pro Max can go all the way up to 2000 nits of brightness. Even on the sunniest of days, you shouldn’t ever have a problem seeing the phone outdoors.


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