iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Which iPhone should you upgrade to?

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

Apple just unveiled the next generation of iPhones, Apple Watches, and AirPods. For many, the headlining act was the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max reveal, both of which are Apple’s cream-of-the-crop smartphones — with new and improved cameras and safety features standing out. If you have your eyes set on a new Pro model but are split between the regular iPhone 14 Pro and the Pro Max, I’ve listed below the key reasons to buy one over the other. 

See also: iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 13 Pro: Should you upgrade?

Specifications

iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 14 Pro Max

Display

6.1-inch OLED with 120Hz

6.7-inch OLED with 120Hz

Weight 7.27 oz (206 grams) 8.47 oz (240 grams)

Processor

A16 Bionic

A16 Bionic

RAM/storage

6GB RAM with 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB

6GB RAM with 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB

Camera

48MP (f/1.78) Wide, 12MP (f/2.2) Ultra-wide, 12MP (f/1.78) 2X Telephoto, 12MP (f/2.8) 3X Telephoto, 12MP (f/1.9) front 48MP (f/1.78) Wide, 12MP (f/2.2) Ultra-wide, 12MP (f/1.78) 2X Telephoto, 12MP (f/2.8) 3X Telephoto, 12MP (f/1.9) front
Battery Up to 23 hours of video playback Up to 29 hours of video playback

Connectivity

4G LTE, 5G, eSIM, Satellite

4G LTE, 5G, eSIM, Satellite

Durability

IP68

IP68

Colors

Space Black, Silver, Gold, Deep Purple  Space Black, Silver, Gold, Deep Purple 

Price

Starting for $999

Starting for $1,099


You should buy the iPhone 14 Pro if…

iPhone 14 Pro in purple

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

1. You prefer a normal-size phone

For many, including myself, the Pro Max-size iPhones are simply too bulky to use. Perhaps it’s the flattened edges that dig into the palms, the shamelessly large camera island at the back, or the beefy battery tucked inside, but the largest iPhone with its 6.7-inch screen is by no means “one size fits all.” Instead, the iPhone 14 Pro‘s 6.1-inch framework should provide a more manageable handheld experience.

Also: iPhone 14 drops the SIM card slot. Here’s what that means

Even with its smaller size, the iPhone 14 Pro carries the same camera system, iOS 16, safety features, and long-term support as the Max. 

2. Your carrier offers better promotions for the smaller Pro

If you play your cards right, you can technically get an iPhone 14 Pro for free through carrier promotions. The same can’t be said about the larger Max variant, which, at its lowest, you can get for around $100 after trade-ins and qualifying payment plans. 

You should buy the iPhone 14 Pro Max if…

iPhone 14 Pro Max held up in Apple Store

Jason Hiner/ZDNET

1. You prefer a larger phone

Entertainment freaks will go bananas for the iPhone 14 Pro Max‘s larger, 6.7-inch display. It delivers a more immersive video-watching and general browsing experience than the standard iPhone 14 Pro, and the greater screen real estate makes the new Dynamic Island appear less intrusive (when you’re not using it). 

Also: Apple Watch Series 8 vs Series 7: Which is best for you?

For all the new camera modes that Apple touted during its ‘Far Out’ event, the larger viewfinder should serve you better for framing and composing pictures and videos. 

2. You want a longer-lasting battery

Naturally, the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s battery will last much longer than the smaller variant. Apple says the Max can handle up to 29 hours of video playback (versus the 14 Pro’s 23) and we expect real-world testing numbers to be just as promising. Stay tuned to ZDNET for the full review. 

Alternatives to consider

Open to other smartphone prospects? Consider these ZDNET-recommended devices:

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