iPhone 16 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Out with the old, in with the new, but is it wise to rush?

iPhone 16 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Out with the old, in with the new, but is it wise to rush?

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Intro

Just a few months remain until we are once again in Apple’s season. 

The iPhone 16 Pro Max that’s coming this autumn will bring a larger display with thinner bezels, a new button (the Capture button), better performance thanks to the A18 Pro, improved battery life thanks to a larger battery, and improved cameras. Might not seem like such a big upgrade cycle to some, but then again, new iPhones these days are aimed at people using three- or four-year old devices,

However, the iPhone 14 Pro Max still feels sufficiently modern. With its Dynamic Island punch-hole, large 48MP main camera, and classic flat design, it’s still a device that will be serving flawlessly for years to come. Sure, it might not be the newest one around, but a case could be made that you probably shouldn’t upgrade to the iPhone 16 Pro Max if you’re content with your iPhone 14 Pro Max.

So, should you upgrade?

iPhone 16 Pro Max vs iPhone 13 Pro Max differences:

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Blink and you might miss the differences
Okay, the iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to double down on the titanium design that debuted with the iPhone 15 Pro Max last year. It will most likely remain slightly curved for improved ergonomics, but the most important aspect of the design here could be the thinnest bezels on an iPhone––just 1.15mm! 

Oh, did we say the most significant aspect are the bezels? Apologies, it would appear that the iPhone 16 Pro Max is also getting a much larger screen, one that will span 6.9 inches across. This will be achieved thanks to the combination of the thinner bezels and slightly taller body. At the same time, the Dynamic Island combining the FaceTime camera and Face ID sensors is here to stay, and so is the customizable Action Button that broke ground in 2023. 

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Aside from the Action Button, the iPhone 16 Pro Max will introduce a whole new button, dubbed the Capture Button. This one will be a capacitive one, and it’s expected that this one will let you quickly go into the camera app or start taking a photo or a video. 

At the same time, the iPhone 14 Pro Max acts as the proverbial bridge between the old and the new Apple design language. It comes with a flat stainless-steel frame and employs both the Dynamic Island and a ring switch. A peculiar mix of classic and new features here. Oh, and there’s a Lightning port at the bottom of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, while the iPhone 16 Pro Max will rely on a USB Type-C port. 

Size-wise, the iPhone 16 Pro Max is shaping up to be slightly taller and thicker, but lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. This is significant, as the iPhone 16 Pro Max will adopt a larger screen and battery as a result. As Gen Z would say, a massive W!

Display Differences

So, rumors reveal the iPhone 16 Pro Max will come with a 6.86-inch display (rounded up to 6.9-inch). A significant development, as iPhones rarely get larger screens. However, it could be argued that the size bump isn’t that significant in this case, and Apple is struggling to achieve a more futuristic and bezel-less look instead of just going for a size increase. 

Aside from this change, the rest of the iPhone display properties might not change that much. The Super Retina XDR OLED screen with 120Hz ProMotion that enables super-smooth refresh rate is here to stay. We are likely getting a brighter screen, provided that Apple heeds the latest industry trends. Who knows, we might also get the same nano-texture glass that Apple used on its latest iPad Pro tablets in order to reduce the reflections. 

The iPhone 14 Pro Max, on the other hand, comes with a smaller screen in comparison, a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED one that also support 120Hz ProMotion. The maximum brightness is lower here, “just” 1,600 nits in HDR mode, which was already surpassed by the next-in-line iPhone 15 Pro Max, so it’s the iPhone 16 Pro Max will most certainly best them all.  

Face ID is the biometric method of choice to unlock your iPhone 14 Pro Max, and the same will be true about the iPhone 16 Pro Max, too

Performance and Software

Focus on AI and raw performance

Apple’s second-generation 3nm chipset, the A18 Pro chip, will be found inside the upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max. Aside from certainly beating all the previous Apple chips in raw performance (that’s a given), it will also focus on on-device artificial intelligence and machine-learning. Apple will reportedly do that by increasing the core count of the Neural Engine, which make the chip future-proof with AI in mind. 

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What’s the situation with the iPhone 14 Pro Max? It comes along with a 4nm chipset, the Apple A16 Bionic, which still performs mighty fine in both everyday tasks and benchmarks. Where the Apple A16 Bionic will probably fall off could be on-device AI processing, but cloud-based AI processes that are coming with iOS 18 should be just fine. The A18 Pro inside the iPhone 16 Pro Max will undoubtedly make it way more future-proof for all things AI. 

We are most likely getting at least 8GB of RAM of memory on the iPhone 16 Pro Max. One of the main reasons for this increase, which is mostly a given, is the performance cost of on-device AI as it process large swaths of data. At the same time, the iPhone 14 Pro Max comes with 6GB of RAM. 

Just like the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the iPhone 16 Pro Max will come with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB of native storage. Rumors have it we might even see a 2TB version for all the extra storage you might need. At the same time, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is available with 128GB in the entry-level variation, but also comes with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB of storage. 

As far as software support goes, Apple has recently revealed that it has committed to five years of updates. Thus, the iPhone 16 Pro Max will receive timely updates until 2029 when iOS 23 should break ground. The iPhone 14 Pro Max, while relatively new, will only be supported until 2027 and might receive iOS 21 as a last hurrah. 

Camera

Triple cameras, but very different

The iPhone 16 Pro Max will inherit the same triple camera setup as the iPhone 15 Pro Max but with some notable changes: expect a 48MP main camera with a custom new sensor, the same tetraprism telephoto camera with 5X optical zoom, and finally, a new 48MP ultra-wide camera that will finally put the good ol’ 12MP one to rest. 

Apple could also be addressing the lens flare issue that has been plaguing iPhones for years now by employing thinner and lighter molded glass lenses. As an added bonus, these would improve the optical quality of the upcoming cameras. Some minuscule weight will also be saved as a result. 

The iPhone 14 Pro Max, on the other hand, debuted Apple’s 48MP main camera, which has been used on the iPhone 15 Pro Max and will likely be used on many more iPhones in the near future. The rest of the camera loadout is a bit more old-school, though: a 12MP ultra-wide and a 12MP telephoto with 3X optical zoom are not that impressive. Yet, they definitely get the job done. 

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It’s now customary to expect various software enhancements and image-processing improvements to complete the iPhone 16 Pro Max camera setup. 

Battery Life and Charging

The iPhone 16 Pro Max might be it

Potentially coming with the largest battery ever fitted on an iPhone, a 4,676mAh one, the iPhone 16 Pro Max might very well be a battery champ contender. The reason is not only the large battery, but also the more efficient chip that the A18 Pro is shaping up to be. 

Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is packing.a 4,323mAh battery, which is smaller than both the preceding iPhone 13 Pro Max and succeeding iPhone 15 Pro Max. As a result, it’s not a phone that you’d usually associate with great battery life. Still, it easily lasts you through a day or more. 

Charging-wise, we haven’t heard any rumors about a potential charging speed increase on the iPhone 16 Pro Max front, so it’s only natural to assume that the device will boast the same 25W wired and 15W wireless MagSafe charging speeds. That’s just as much as the iPhone 14 Pro Max, so it could mean that both devices will charge in a similar amount of time. 

A big difference between the two is the port at the bottom: the iPhone 16 Pro Max will come with a USB Type-C port, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max employs a Lightning port.

Specs Comparison

Summary

So, with all that in mind, should you upgrade?

Of course, it’s a bit early to draw conclusions, as the iPhone 16 Pro Max is still not official. However, just about every aspect of it has already leaked out, so we can sort of establish expectations. 

From the looks of it, iPhone 14 Pro Max users might not have that many reasons to upgrade. From a pure value perspective, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is still a perfectly viable device that’s extremely unlikely to be that outshone by its grandson, so to speak. 

At the same time, if you’re into cutting-edge tech, there’s nothing stopping you from upgrading to the iPhone 16 Pro Max. It will have a ton of niceties and improvements over the previous generation, even more so in comparison with the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Ultimately, the decision falls to you, but our recommendation would be to be cautious and probably abstain from upgrading. 



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