Entertainment iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: the pure power playoff
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max: the pure power playoff
Power users, those with more free cash, and fans of super-sized displays have been turning to Apple’s larger, Max phones for years.
2021’s iPhone 13 Pro Max was one of the manufacturer’s best iPhones yet; with a phenomenal camera and superb battery life, combined with peerless power and a super-fluid display. Now the iPhone 14 Pro Max is here, pushing in the areas like performance and photography.
So which of these two Apple super-sizers is the best buy? Here are our thoughts on how this most luxurious of upgrades stacks up against its predecessor, based on the specs.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max price and availability
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is on sale from September 16 2022. Prices start at $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899 for 128GB of storage, moving up to $1,199 / £1,309 / AU$2,099 for 256GB, $1,399 / £1,529 / AU$2,419 for 512GB, and topping out at $1,599 / £1,749 / AU$2,769 for the 1TB model.
When the iPhone 13 Pro Max released on September 24 2021, it cost $1,099 / £1,049 / AU$1,699 for the 128GB model, while $1,199 / £1,149 / AU$1,869 got you 256GB, and $1,399 / £1,349 / AU$2,219 secured you the 512GB model. When it arrived, 13 Pro Max was also one of the first iPhones to offer 1TB of storage, for $1,599 / £1,549 / AU$2,569.
When compared the launch prices of both Pro Maxes, it’s as you were in the US, but prospective UK and Australian buyers have been handed a nasty price bump.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is looking like better value for some than for others, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max will undoubtedly only look like better value going forward as it receives those inevitable discounts.
If you already have you heart set on an iPhone 14 Pro Max at this point, check out our rundown of iPhone 14 deals for the best offers on Apple’s newest top device.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max design
The iPhone 13 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro Max share much the same silhouette, with both having the flat surfaces and sharp right-angled corners of the iPhone 12 Pro Max before them.
It had been predicted in some quarters that for the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s frame, Apple would switch from the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s stainless steel finish to a tougher titanium alloy. That hasn’t proven to be the case, however, with very similar polished frames on both.
These are two hefty devices, with the iPhone 13 Pro Max measuring 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65mm and weighing 238g, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max measures a similar 160.7 x 77.6 x 7.85mm and weighs 240g. As you can see, the newer Pro Max is fractionally shorter and narrower, but also a tad thicker and heavier.
In terms of colors, the iPhone 13 Pro Max comes in Graphite, Gold, Silver and Sierra Blue. Apple has changed things up with a new Deep Purple shade for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, alongside Gold, Silver, and Space Black.
But the main design difference here relates to the display’s notch. While the iPhone 13 Pro Max has Apple’s familiar ‘widow’s peak’ notch, eating into the top edge of the screen, the iPhone 14 Pro Max really mixes things up.
This time around the front camera and Face ID system are stashed behind a punch-hole cutout that Apple’s dubbed the ‘Dynamic Island’, while the proximity sensor is located behind the display. It takes up 30% less space as result, while the screen flows around and between the visible elements.
Apple has also implemented a new UI for the Dynamic Island that provides various context-sensitive notification animations that grow and shrink, according to the task. Meanwhile, the bezels around the iPhone 14 Pro Max display have been reduced.
Another design difference is an even larger camera module for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, even though the basic look is much the same. The reason for this will become clear when we come to discuss the camera system itself.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max display
Both of these phones have 6.7-inch OLED displays with 2778 x 1284 resolutions, and can hit a maximum 120Hz refresh rate, thanks to LTPO technology (these panels are better equipped for handling dynamic refresh rates).
But while the iPhone 13 Pro Max can drop to 10Hz in certain conditions, the iPhone 14 Pro Max can go all the way down to 1Hz. This enables the newer phone’s always-on display functionality, which constantly displays basic information such as time, widgets, and Live Activities on the lock screen, while only placing minor strain on the battery.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s display is also capable of going much brighter than that of the iPhone 13 Pro Max; to the tune of a huge 2,000 nits in peak outdoor conditions – which is twice the brightness of the iPhone 13 Pro Max.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max cameras
The iPhone 13 Pro Max continues to offer one of the very best camera experiences available in a phone today. Its triple camera setup gives you a large 12MP main sensor with an f/1.5 aperture and sensor shift stabilization, as well as a 3x telephoto camera and a 12MP ultra-wide.
In the iPhone 14 Pro Max, however, Apple appears to have one-upped itself in impressive fashion. That’s thanks to an all-new 48MP main sensor that uses 4-in-1 pixel binning techniques to create larger effective 2.44µm pixels (vs 1.9µm pixels in the iPhone 13 Pro Max).
What’s more, thanks to the additional pixels now on hand from the 14 Pro Max’s main sensor, it can also deliver a true 2x telephoto zoom, in addition to the separate dedicated 3x telephoto camera.
The newer phone also packs a new, much larger 12MP ultra-wide camera, with 1.4µm pixels; the iPhone 13 Pro Max equivalent only extends to 1.0µm. This should produce superior low-light ultra-wide shots, in particular.
Indeed, thanks to Apple’s new Photonic Engine, low-light performance has been boosted by at least two times right across the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s four cameras too.
Another improvement for the iPhone 14 Pro Max relates to the selfie camera. Apple has added autofocus capability, as opposed to the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s fixed-focus camera. Combined with a wider f/1.9 aperture (vs f/2.2), this should deliver superior low-light focusing for your selfies, as well as strong group shots from further away.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max specs and performance
The iPhone 13 Pro Max continues to be one of the fastest phones on the market, courtesy of its A15 Bionic chip with its 6-core CPU and 5-core GPU.
Apple appears to have taken its own crown, however, with the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple’s new A16 Bionic chip brings another boost, including a GPU with 50% more memory bandwidth and 20% more efficient performance cores.
We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out in real-world usage. It’s interesting to note that Apple hasn’t made any bold performance claims comparing the A16 to the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s A15 Bionic; so this may be more a case of efficiency and computational photography gains between generations
In storage terms, both phones offer four variants: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of internal capacity.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max battery
It’s been confirmed (unofficially) that the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 4,352mAh battery. Our reviewer found that phone to have the best battery life ever in an iPhone, tending to leave us with a third of a tank full at the end of an intensive day’s use.
We’ll have to wait and see how the iPhone 14 Pro Max compares. Apple claims that it’s capable of a rather vague “all-day battery life”, which doesn’t tell us much.
Internet rumors suggest the new model has a 4,323mAh battery, which would be almost identical to its predecessor. However, the more efficient A16 Bionic chip and that more flexible LTPO display could bring some serious gains – whether the always-on display changes that remains to be seen.
This year, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are really where all of the interesting stuff lies in terms of Apple smartphone innovation.
While the iPhone 13 Pro Max was and is a phenomenal phone, the iPhone 14 Pro Max makes some intriguing improvements. Chief among these are a radically improved 48MP wide camera and a superior selfie camera, while the phone’s brighter display has also gained the ability to remain ‘always-on’.
There’s the usual performance boost, of course, while Apple’s mission to do away with the notch takes a big step forward, with a significantly more compact solution. Indeed, Apple’s new Dynamic Island promises to make a genuine virtue out of the infamous screen blight.
All in all, the iPhone 14 Pro Max appears to be a solid step forward for Apple, though that comes with the caveat that it’s now significantly more expensive in some territories. Given the inevitable discounts that the iPhone 13 Pro Max will in due course receive, the older phone could yet prove to be the better buy.
Stay tuned for our full iPhone 14 Pro Max review, which will give us a complete picture of how the two handsets compare.