iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max: Is there a big difference between the two?

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max
iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max (Image credit: Apple)
Quick look at differences

- The iPhone 14 Pro Max has better battery life than the iPhone 14 Pro.

- The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a larger display.

- The iPhone 14 Pro is less wieldy in the hands than the iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone Pro Max — it’s the showdown you’ve been waiting for. Let’s get into it!

You’re likely wondering, “Why on earth would I spend $1,100 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max? Are its extra goodies really worth the extra $100 over the iPhone 14 Pro?” I won’t answer those questions per se, but what I will do is give you an in-depth rundown of both phones, and in the end you’ll be equipped to make an informed decision about which Pro model is best for you.

Yes, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is packed with all the bells and whistles Apple can stuff into a smartphone, commanding a price tag that will take your breath away, but the question is, do you even want them? After all, I’d hate for you to spend more than $1,000 on a smartphone for a gaggle of swanky features you’re not remotely excited about.

At the end of this face off, you’ll finally know where you stand. You’ll either be salivating over the additional luxuries you’ll get from the iPhone 14 Pro Max, or you won’t be moved. In that case, you may not even want the iPhone 14 Pro — you’ll find yourself wanting to downgrade to a more fitting tier (e.g., $900 iPhone 14 Plus or the standard $800 iPhone 14).

Without further ado, let’s get you all “knowledged up” on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

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iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max
Row 0 - Cell 0 iPhone 14 ProiPhone 14 Pro Max
Starting price$1,000$1,100
Battery life (tested by us)10 hours and 27 minutes13 hours and 7 minutes
Display6.7-inch, Super Retina XDR OLED, ProMotion (up to 120Hz), 2556 x 1179 pixels6.7-inch, Super Retina XDR OLED, ProMotion (up to 120Hz), 2796 x 1290 pixels
New Dynamic Island UIYesYes
CPUA16 Bionic chipA16 Bionic chip
Storage Options128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB
Selfie camera12MP, f/1.9 aperture, 23mm12MP, f/1.9 aperture, 23mm
Wide camera48MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1.22µm48MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1.22µm
Ultra-wide camera12MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FOV12MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120-degree FOV
ColorsSpace Black, Silver, Gold, Deep PurpleSpace Black, Silver, Gold, Deep Purple
Dimensions and weight5.78 x 2.81 x 0.3 inches, 7.276.33 x 3.06 x 0.31 in, 8.47 oz

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max: price and value

 The iPhone 14 Pro is, of course, the cheapest of the duo, with a starting price tag of $1,000. It comes with 128GB of storage and the new A16 Bionic chip. The 256GB, 512GB and 1TB variants cost $1,100, $1,300 and $1,500, respectively.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max, also packed with the new A16 Bionic chip, starts at $1,100 (if you’re willing to settle for the 128GB model). The 256GB, 512GB and 1TB configurations will net you $1,200, $1,400 and $1,600, respectively.

All iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max configurations, regardless of storage, come with 6GB of RAM.

If those prices are making you wince, don’t worry, there are some options available to offset the financial burden. For example, you can get up to $600 in trade-in credit if you turn in an iPhone 11 or newer. Carriers like Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are even more generous with their iPhone 14 trade-in deals, so be sure to check ‘em out.

Winner: iPhone 14 Pro 

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max: design

The 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro is more “clutchable,” for lack of a better word, than the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max. No, it’s not as pocketable as the now-defunct iPhone mini, but it’s worth noting that it matches the standard iPhone 14’s size (both sport 6.1-inch displays). 

  •  iPhone 14 Pro dimensions and weight: 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches, 7.27 ounces 
  •  iPhone 14 Pro Max dimensions and weight: 6.3 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches, 8.5 ounces 

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has the largest footprint alongside the lower-tier, less flashy iPhone 14 Plus, which also has a 6.7-inch display. As such, you’ll have a harder time slipping this big boy in your jean pockets — this model is far from cute, bite-sized or compact.

Other than the size disparity, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max share the same design language — that iPhone 4-esque chassis with glossy flat edges that allow the phones to stand on their own. Both are wrapped in surgical-grade stainless steel casing with a matte finish.

Dynamic Island

Dynamic Island (Image credit: Future)

As for that darn controversial notch, Apple made it (somewhat) less intrusive on the Pro Models, transforming it into a Dynamic Island (DI), an interactive UI that delivers a slick, spirited, spunky take on your notifications and status icons. Whether you’re charging your phone or connecting your Apple AirPods 2, the DI will catch your eye with zippy animations and transitions for every noteworthy interaction and activity.

iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 14 Pro (Image credit: Apple)

The rear camera setup is identical: a 48MP wide camera, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and a 12MP telephoto sensor. The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models come in Gold, Deep Purple, Silver, and Space Black.

Winner: Draw

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max: display

Apple boasts that both displays — the iPhone 14 Pro’s 6.1-inch, 2256 x 1179-pixel panel and the Pro Max’s 6.7-inch, 2769 x 1290-pixel screen — are packed with Super Retina XDR OLED goodness, but all of that marketing mumbo jumbo means nothing to me. I don’t know about you, but for me, numbers speak louder than words. As such, let’s look at our in-house test results.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro Max (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

We tested the DCI-P3 color gamut coverage of the The iPhone 14 Pro — the screen covered 85% of the color space. Interestingly, this is slightly better than the coverage on the iPhone 14 Pro Max (83%), but it’s negligible enough to be unnoticeable. 

We also tested both phones’ displays for color accuracy. The iPhone 14 Pro has a Delta-E score of 0.25 (closer to 0 is better) compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max (0.26), which means that its color accuracy is more on the nose than its pricier sibling, but not by much.

Now, let’s talk about brightness. The iPhone 14 Pro hit a peak brilliance of 1,448 nits while the iPhone 14 Pro Max smashed that score with a brightness max of 1,565.

Unlike the standard iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max come with a host of cool display features, including ProMotion (up to 120Hz refresh rate), slimmer bezels, and an always-on display.

Winner: iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max: performance

If you want to experience the latest and greatest smartphone chip Apple has to offer, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, stuffed with the new A16 Bionic SoC, are your best bet. 

How has the A16 Bionic changed from its predecessor inside the iPhone 13 line? Not much. Just like the A15, the A16 has two high-performance CPU cores, five GPU cores, four high-efficiency cores, and 16 Neural Engine cores, but for the nerds out there who don’t mind getting into the nitty gritty details, let’s flesh out the differences in the following bullet points: 

iPhone 14 Pro always-on display

iPhone 14 Pro (Image credit: Laptop Mag)
  • The A16 Bionic chip is packed with 16 billion transistors (up from 15 billion), the most ever in an iPhone 
  • The dual high-performance CPU cores offer a 7% boost over its predecessor 
  • The 16-core Neural Engine, built for machine learning and artificial-intelligence operations, delivers an 8% performance bump over the A15 
  • Apple switched from DDR4 RAM to DDR5 RAM, offering 50% more memory bandwidth compared to the last-gen chip 

Interestingly, although the iPhone 14 Pro has the same chip as the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the former bested the latter on the Geekbench 5 test. The iPhone 14 Pro outputted a multi-core score of 5,469 while the iPhone 14 Pro Max slipped behind its cheaper sibling with a score of 5,333.

 Winner: iPhone 14 Pro 

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max: battery life

This is the round you’ve likely been waiting for — which iPhone has a runtime that reigns supreme?

iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro Max (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves the phone web surfing at 150 nits on a mobile network, the iPhone 14 Pro lasted an average of 10 hours and 27 minutes. The iPhone 14 Pro Max, on the other hand, lasted a whopping 13 hours and 7 minutes.

The iPhone 14 Pro has a 3,200 mAh battery while the iPhone 14 Pro Max sports a 4,323 mAh battery, so it’s no surprise that the latter trounced the former in this round.

Winner: iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max: cameras

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: cameras 

What’s the difference between the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max in terms of cameras? Not a damn thing.

Both share the following camera specs:

  •  48-megapixel wide lens with f/1.8 aperture  
  •  12-megapixel ultra-wide lens with f/2.2 aperture, 120-degree field of view 
  •  12MP (3x) telephoto with f/2.8 aperture 
  •  12MP selfie camera with f/1.9 aperture 

This year, the Pro models got a notable wide camera upgrade, stepping up from a 12-megapixel lens to a 48-megapixel shooter. Apple enlarged the wide camera’s sensor by 65%, increasing low-light performance two-fold. On top of that, professional, on-the-go photographers may love that they can now shoot ProRaw at 48MP, allowing them additional creative control when it comes to making adjustments to exposure, white balance and color.

iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 14 Pro (Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The ultra-wide camera has a larger sensor, too, featuring a 2.2 aperture, a 1.4µm pixel size and a 13mm focal length; it delivers 3x improvement in dimly lit environments compared to its predecessor. Users can also enjoy an improved macro mode.

According to Apple, the current-gen Pro models’ telephoto are the best ever on an iPhone. Low-light performance has increased two fold, allowing you to get the most out of your close-up portraits.

The TrueDepth selfie cameras inside the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max got tweaked, too, with a faster f/1.9 aperture. Consequently, selfies in low-light environments should improve — by nearly 40%, according to the Cupertino-based tech giant. And finally, it’s worth noting that Apple has finally joined the 21st century and added auto-focus to the front-facing camera. Yay!

Overall winner:  iPhone 14 Pro Max 

If you have the dough to drop $1,000 on a phone, surely you can scrounge a few extra dollars — $100 at minimum — to get the iPhone 14 Pro Max, no?

The battery life on the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the biggest selling point. In our testing (we ran down the iPhone 14 Pro Max five times), we’ve seen the iPhone 14 Pro Max last 15 hours at best and 11 hours at worst, which is pretty damn awesome. If you currently have a phone that powers down too quickly, just imagine what it’d be like to be completely worry-free about your device’s battery life. It sounds like a dream, but it’s a fantasy that the iPhone 14 Pro Max can make a reality.

However, the iPhone 14 Pro did surprise us numerous times throughout this comparative analysis, beating the iPhone 14 Pro Max by a hair on the display and performance tests. Plus, it’s a more pocketable phone. It’s no iPhone 13 mini, but it’s much less unwieldy compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

If you don’t mind going without ProMotion, the Dynamic Island, the new A16 Bionic, and a few other Pro goodies, don’t bother dropping $1,000 — get the iPhone 14 or the iPhone 14 Plus.

However, if you, like me, feel like 15-hour battery life is a pretty damn good selling point, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is worth the investment.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!