чт. мар. 30th, 2023

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple’s largest, most powerful phone of the new family that was introduced recently. The company launches the device with the idea that it can be used for everything.

Its younger brother, the iPhone 14 Pro, is a few hundred BGN cheaper, but in our opinion, the difference is not big enough to justify its choice. The screen here is bigger, the battery is more durable.

As for the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, here we have a more powerful processor, Dynamic Island and an always-on display. Improvements to the main camera, the new Photonic Engine, and more, which we’ll look at now, set the flagship apart from cheaper options.

The design of the device is certainly not revolutionary

The basic appearance of the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the same as that of the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro Max. In other words, you’ve seen it before. Very little differentiates the new device from its predecessors apart from the color options.

New is the dynamic island at the top of the display and the size of the rear camera module.

The difference in size and weight compared to last year’s version is within statistical error. A big and heavy device, but Pro Max buyers should be used to those sizes and weights by now.

However, Apple continues to be the market leader in terms of materials and build quality. The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a stainless steel frame (as opposed to aluminum on the standard iPhone 14). The screen is protected by the company’s own ceramic shield. Apple claims its Shield is stronger than competing glasses, but that’s not something we can actually verify.

The case has an IP68 rating for protection against dust and shallow immersion in water for up to 30 minutes.

The phone has the same flat side edges as the last two Pro Max models. The buttons are scattered around the frame. Phones with flat edges are less comfortable to hold than those with rounded bezels – for sure. On the other hand, the feel of this steel can hardly be described and compared to another.

If you have last year’s version, you won’t be able to use your old case. The rear camera module is significantly larger and in the way.

A bright and fast screen that is always on

The iPhone 14 Pro Max retains many of the core display metrics of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but there are also a few notable improvements. For starters, we can see shorter bezels around the outer edge of the screen. It has the same diagonal of 6.7 inches and has the same functions – Haptic Touch, True Tone color and HDR.

Apple upped the resolution a bit, making the pixel density 460ppi. The eyes don’t make much of a difference, but the picture is certainly very clear and sharp.

Contrast remains two million to one, and typical maximum brightness reaches 1,000 nits. However, the peak brightness of the iPhone 14 Pro Max improves compared to its predecessors – up to 1600 nits. The new outdoor peak brightness is 2000 nits when the phone is exposed to direct sunlight. We certainly notice a difference here – a significant and positive one.

The notch? We are definitely making progress. Dynamic Island did not disappoint.

iPhone 14 and 14 Plus users are certainly missing out. The new Dynamic Island further enhances the effect of the smaller notch at the front. It somewhat alleviates the disappointment of expecting that there won’t be one up front. But because of Face ID and the front-facing camera being used, it doesn’t seem like anything else is possible at the moment.

I like how the notifications are integrated into the island, some live activities are shown. It certainly creates a sense of interactivity. Overall it reduces the load and distraction from notifications, it is more compact, no unnecessary things are displayed. Attention is paid to the more important things – like timers, music controls and more.

A number of apps developed by Apple and third parties have supported Dynamic Island since the beginning. And from here on, the functionality will only expand. It works when charging the phone, when using NFC (for example for payment), when connecting accessories. I like how they figured out the integration with Apple Maps. As a criticism, I think we need an improvement to the gesture handling in the island. Time will tell how iconic this innovation will be.

What about the always-on screen?

We finally saw that too. Here the implementation is by keeping active in parts of the display. They display the basic data for the date, time, weather, or any other widget of your choice. On Android, the approach is more dark. Here, the entire screen remains lit, but the parts without content have very low brightness. The refresh rate is reduced to 1 hertz thanks to the new Display Engine. So the battery is not used up too much.

I’m happy because I can turn to the smartphone and see what time it is without picking it up, unlocking it and being distracted. There is also an option for certain settings.

Impressive battery life

Last year’s iPhone 13 Pro Max blew us away with its battery life. The 4,352 mAh battery was impressive. Somewhat surprisingly, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has, albeit minimally, a smaller battery – 4323 mAh. However, the increased efficiency of the new A16 Bionic processor is the key to the puzzle.

When streaming video, the iPhone 14 Pro Max lasted 19 hours—an improvement of 1 hour. This at maximum brightness and watching YouTube over Wi-Fi.

Another thing I wished it had was faster charging. Unfortunately, once again we have to settle for only 20 watts. Of course, the charger is not in the box. 50% of the battery is charged in 37 minutes. A full charge takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. The competition certainly stands out here.

Wireless charging is up to 15 watts, with a MagSafe compatible charger. With a regular Qi-based charger, we drop to 7.5 watts.

Raw power combined with intelligent energy consumption

The A16 Bionic isn’t a huge leap over last year’s A15 Bionic, but it has a lot to offer. The change from 5nm to 4nm manufacturing process increases the number of transistors. We still have six cores – two for performance, four for efficiency. To this we add a 5-core GPU and the 16-core Neural Engine (7% faster). GPU memory bandwidth is 50% higher. The combination of all the improvements makes a difference in usage, even though the RAM is still 6GB. However, it is already LPDDR5. The A16 Bionic also features a new ISP that powers the camera’s Photonic Engine. There is a new Display Engine to manage the always-on display feature.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max benchmark results

During testing, the A16 showed a significant improvement in benchmark results compared to the A15 and other competitors. For example, its single-core Geekbench 5 score jumped from 1721 to 1874, and its multi-core Geekbench 5 score improved from 4629 to 5445 compared to the A15-powered 13 Pro Max.

Other A16 scores include a score of 1,045 points on the Geekbench ML test, 54.48 fps on the GFXBench Aztec Ruins test, and 3,377 points on the 3DMark Wildlife Extreme test.

We couldn’t do a test with AnTuTu for some reason and we didn’t have time to debug.

The only chance the iPhone will lose in the performance battle is the arrival of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. However, the first generation was unable to surpass the A15.

In practical terms, the iPhone 14 Pro Max performs flawlessly. Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 16, performs beautifully on the phone. Also, gaming is an absolute joy on the device. Even with the more demanding Genshin Impact we had no problems. Whatever games we played ran smoothly on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Not a single stutter, stutter or frame drop.

It’s the most connected iPhone yet

iPhone 14 Pro Max is Apple’s most connected product to date. Thanks to some new specs and capabilities, it’s a solid wireless improvement over last year’s iPhone.

For starters, the iPhone 14 Pro Max switches from the older Qualcomm X60 modem to the new X65. This modem increases the (theoretical) maximum download speed of 5G from 7.5 Gbps to 10 Gbps. It also improves MIMO performance, energy efficiency and remains software upgradeable.

Apple is keeping the Wi-Fi radio in version 6, not 6E. The latter would help make the phone more robust in the future. However, Wi-Fi performance was excellent during testing. We were able to detect a maximum download speed of 435Mbps from a 1-gigabit connection.

The iPhone 14’s Bluetooth radio makes a big leap from version 5.0 to 5.3. This means the phone can transmit at lower power levels and should be better at maintaining a continuous connection with Bluetooth accessories. Many codecs are supported. The headphones we tested worked up to 10 meters away.

One note about iPhone 14 Pro Max sound

The built-in stereo speakers are one in the earpiece and a second pointing downwards at the bottom edge. At about 50% volume, music and videos are heard perfectly, with balanced highs and lows. With the volume turned all the way up, there is distortion across the spectrum, which is to be expected.

As for calls, the sound is crystal clear. We couldn’t detect any noise or interruption. The handset is quite loud, even for a conversation in a busy place.

The progress in the cameras is the most significant

Apple is clearly investing heavily in improved iPhone cameras this year – with new sensors, new lenses and new algorithms.

The main 48-megapixel camera is the star of the show. This sensor is 65% larger than the iPhone 13 Pro and uses redesigned optical image stabilization. With it, the sensor can be shifted for better capture in a dynamic environment.

Although it has 48 megapixels, the camera reduces them by a factor of four to get 12MP final images – by default. This approach allows the sensor to capture more light, which helps with photos taken at night. The other cameras carry over their 12MP resolutions from last year, but get faster lenses. iPhone 14 Pro Max offers 0.5x, 1x, 2x and 3x optical zoom and digital beyond optics.

We certainly get brighter colors with better dynamic range. The regular daylight photos I took with the phone look great, with sharp focus, plenty of contrast, and rich detail. Apple has cooled down the white balance a bit, which is good.

Night shots are pretty good too, the difference is really significant.

The selfie camera that Apple redesigned for the iPhone 14 Pro Max is another winner. This 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera has an f/1.9 aperture and lets in significantly more light. It now uses the infrared dots from the Face ID camera to assist autofocus, resulting in much cleaner selfies.

Apple has not forgotten to upgrade the video experience in the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Cinematic mode (video with a sharp focus on the subject and a blurred background) now supports shooting in 4K24 and 4K30. You can even change the focus point after shooting if you want.

The real novelty, however, is the Action mode, which downscales video from 4K to 2.8K. This smooths out action shots that might otherwise be shaky or jumpy. The effect is real. Despite the lower resolution, those captured in Action mode look pretty good.

What is the conclusion?

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max is definitely among the best camera phones when it comes to photos and videos. This year’s Pro models really stand out from the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, which have fewer cameras, less display innovation, and older processors. Despite its large size and high price, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is truly one of the best choices right now. I can’t point out a serious drawback, if we exclude the high price. But it’s not like we don’t get plenty of opportunities in return either.

By Kalcho Post

Website Administrator

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