The four iPhone 14 models have been available for around three months. I’ve been using an iPhone 14 Pro Max as my daily companion ever since. We subjected the flagship among Apple’s current smartphones to an extensive test shortly after it was launched. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to report back on the experiences in everyday practice after a quarter of a year of use.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has the same form factor as the iPhone 13 Pro Max and is slightly heavier than its predecessor at 240 grams. I still haven’t gotten used to the weight. I don’t like that and I can only hope that Apple succeeds in reducing the weight of the successor a bit. For comparison: the iPhone 12 Pro Max weighs only 226 grams. That’s fine, but actually also the “pain threshold”.
iPhone 14 Pro Max in long-term test
In my view, the iPhone 14 Pro (without Max) is not an alternative, because the 6.1-inch display of this model would be too small for me. I appreciate the 6.7-inch touchscreen, especially since I also use the smartphone to watch TV here and there on the go. Although I don’t watch any feature films or series on the “Mouse Cinema”, I do follow sporting events on my cell phone when I’m on the road and don’t have a device with a larger screen available.
Good display and (slightly) disappointing camera
The display of the iPhone 14 Pro Max is successful. The OLED technology ensures strong, yet lifelike colors. As I was able to determine during a stay in Italy in October, the screen can still be read quite adequately even in direct sunlight. In general, the True Tone technology ensures that the display always adapts to the environment. In my experience, this works very well.
iPhone phablet in use for three months
The Dynamic Island is nice. But I can’t understand the real hype about the new display cut-out from Apple. Of course, that’s better than “before”, but the manufacturers of Android smartphones with Punch Hole & Co. are simply better here. I can’t say much about the always-on display because I switched off the feature after a few days to save battery capacity. I do the same with Android smartphones.
I’m disappointed in the camera. This is basically good – as with previous iPhone models. Photos and videos are also successful in poor lighting conditions. But I would have expected better zoom options with the 48-megapixel lens. If I want to capture good quality details from a little further away, I still reach for my almost three-year-old Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, as its camera is better at this discipline.
No improvement in 5G support
From my point of view, the biggest disappointment with the iPhone 14 Pro Max is that it does not bring any improvements over last year’s model in terms of 5G support, despite the current Qualcomm hardware. While a Samsung Galaxy S22 can use 5G at 700 MHz as a matter of course in connection with an LTE “anchor” at 800 MHz, this does not work with an iPhone that costs up to 2100 euros and was presented a good six months later. Sorry Apple, this is just embarrassing. Honestly, if I had known that in advance, I would have probably skipped the iPhone 14 generation and used the iPhone 13 Pro Max for another year.
I was somewhat “reconciled” by the SOS function via satellite, which was surprisingly announced in November for the German market, among others, and started in December. When the new iPhones were introduced, it was initially still a “US only” function. The feature was finally introduced in Germany in December. The first test by teltarif.de was successful. The satellite connection is running. I’m curious how this will be tariffed after two years, because the service is only supposed to be free for 24 months. Additional basic fees would not be worth it to me, a fee per connection would be fine and fair in my opinion.
iPhone 14 Pro Max in the clear case from Apple
Fast system with A16 bionic chip
This year Apple has only equipped the Pro models of the iPhone with the current chipset (A16 Bionic). For some interested parties who would otherwise have taken the iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Plus, this was a reason to buy an iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max. In practice, I notice the performance between the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro Max no difference. Larger apps also start without delays on both smartphones.
As a radio and podcast listener, I also appreciate a good-sounding speaker in the smartphone. I didn’t like the iPhone 14 Pro that much in this discipline compared to its predecessors. In my opinion, the loudspeaker sounds a bit too bright, although that is a matter of opinion. With the iPhone 14 Pro Max, on the other hand, there is nothing to complain about. The sound is good enough to replace the clock radio, for example.
Camera module on the back of the device
Strong battery ensures long runtimes
We also liked the practical use of the battery. Depending on how you use it, the iPhone 14 Pro Max lasts one and a half to three days before it has to be charged again with the charging cable (or wirelessly via Qi). A lot of streaming and intensive photo and video sessions mean that the cell phone has to be recharged at shorter intervals. If you only occasionally surf the Internet, make phone calls and exchange WhatsApp messages from time to time, it lasts longer.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is a good but also very expensive smartphone. After about a quarter of a year of use, I don’t want to give it up anymore. On the other hand, I also own an iPhone 13 Pro Max. Viewed objectively, the current Pro phablet offers too little added value compared to its direct predecessor to justify the new purchase. It is worth considering keeping and using the devices for a longer period of time simply because of the ever-increasing prices from all manufacturers, which, however, are not offset by quite as many innovations as in the past.
In another message we report on an iPhone model that may no longer be on the market.
Tag: iphone design, iphone 14, apple iphone, iphone release