If you’re on the fence about which iPhone is the best when comparing the iPhone 13 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max, then we’ve got you covered. This isn’t the end-all-be-all comparison, as there are a lot of things about these two devices that are the same. And the cost associated notwithstanding, it can be difficult trying to point out the differences between two of the best iPhone models that Apple has ever made. That being said, we’re going to take a look at a few reasons why you should upgrade, along with a few other reasons why you might not want to.
- The Best iPhone 14 Tips and Tricks
- The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s Display is World Class
- How to Use Apple ProRAW on iPhone 14 Pro
- iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro: What’s The Difference?
- Apps That Are Compatible With Dynamic Island on iPhone 14 Pro
- iPhone 13 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Spec Comparison
- iPhone 13 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Reasons To Upgrade
- iPhone 13 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Reasons Why You Shouldn’t
- Same General Design
- Does It Really Matter?
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Spec Comparison
|iPhone 13 Pro Max||iPhone 14 Pro Max|
|Display||6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED||6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED|
|Resolution||2778 x 1284 @ 458ppi||2796 x 1290 @ 460ppi|
|Build||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel|
|Processor||Apple A15 Bionic||Apple A16 Bionic|
|CPU Cores||6-core CPU||6-core CPU|
|GPU Cores||4-core GPU||5-core GPU|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|Battery Life||Up to 28 hours||Up to 29 hours|
|Front Camera||12MP TrueDepth||12MP TrueDepth w/ AutoFocus|
|Rear Cameras||12MP Wide / 12MP Ultrawide / 12MP Telephoto||48MP Wide / 12MP Ultrawide / 12MP Telephoto|
|Connectivity||5G (Sub-6GHz / mmWave) / Gigabit LTE / Wi-Fi 6 / Bluetooth 5.0 / Ultra Wideband||
5G (Sub-6GHz / mmWave) / Gigabit LTE / Wi-Fi 6 / Bluetooth 5.3 / Ultra Wideband / Emergency SOS via Satellite
|Colors||Sierra Blue, Graphite, Gold, Silver, Alpine Green||
Space Black, Silver, Gold, Deep Purple
|Dimensions||6.33 x 3.07 x 0.3-inches||6.33 x 3.05 x 0.31-inches|
|Weight||240 grams||240 grams|
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Reasons To Upgrade
Despite the fact that Apple continues to pick boring colors whenever a new iPhone model is released, there are more reasons why you should upgrade to the iPhone 14 Pro Max than you might think. At the end of the day, this is the latest and greatest iPhone model, complete with the biggest battery, the latest camera upgrades, and will last you for years to come. With that in mind, let’s dive into a few of the bigger reasons why you’ll want to upgrade.
Shortly following the iPhone X’s debut, which saw the removal of the traditional bezels and home button on flagship iPhone models, users began complaining that the Notch was an annoyance. However, there’s not too much that Apple could really have done, considering that the Notch houses your selfie camera along with the various sensors needed for Face ID. But with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the Notch has been officially removed in favor of the all-new “Dynamic Island”.
Despite the somewhat odd moniker, Dynamic Island is not an exclusive party held at Apple’s campus in Cupertino. Instead, Apple states that this is “a new design that introduces an intuitive way to experience iPhone”. But that’s not really much of a description telling you what Dynamic Island is. Thankfully, Apple does provide a bit more in-depth of a description:
“The Dynamic Island enables new ways to interact with iPhone, featuring a design that blends the line between hardware and software, adapting in real time to show important alerts, notifications, and activities. With the introduction of the Dynamic Island, the TrueDepth camera has been redesigned to take up less of the display area. Without impeding content on the screen, the Dynamic Island maintains an active state to allow users easier access to controls with a simple tap-and-hold. Ongoing background activities like Maps, Music, or a timer remain visible and interactive, and third-party apps in iOS 16 that provide information like sports scores and ride-sharing with Live Activities can take advantage of the Dynamic Island.”
Instead of just leaving the camera cutout at the top, being as much of a nuisance as the notch was, Apple decided to change up the game. Whenever Face ID needs to be used, the Island will expand, showing the same Face ID logo and animations until it has been verified.
Much like the Notch from the iPhone X, Apple has continued to use 12MP camera sensors for the main cameras on the back of each iPhone. For the first time ever, there’s a drastic change being made to primary camera, as instead of using a 12MP sensor, you’ll now find a much-improved 48MP lens.
Out of the box, there really aren’t many differences between the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This is because Apple is using a technology known as “pixel binning” which combines four pixels into one, resulting in a 12MP image on the newer iPhone despite having a 48MP sensor. But the real excitement arrives once you enable the ability to capture 48MP images on your iPhone 14 Pro Max which can be done from the Settings app.
Doing so will result in pictures that are much more crisp, and because this is using Apple ProRAW, you are provided with many more details which comes in extremely handy if you want to edit those pictures in something like Adobe Lightroom. Additionally, because the iPhone 14 Pro Max is using a larger 48MP sensor, this provides a new 2x camera zoom option in the Camera app. Essentially, this will give you the optical quality of a 2x zoom without actually implementing or integrating a physical 2x camera.
The Always-On Display is a feature that Android phones have had for years. It makes it easier than ever to glance at your phone and see what notifications are vying for your attention. Plus, with the all-new customizable Lock Screen with iOS 16, you’ll even be able to see your widgets and the clock.
If this is your first time owning a device that features an Always-On Display, you might be wondering how this works. Along with dimming the display and lowering the refresh rate to just 1Hz, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max won’t actually keep the screen on at all times. There are times when you don’t need to see the screen, and using the proximity sensor, your iPhone can intelligently turn it off when it’s not needed.
Newer and Faster Processor
From a software perspective, you don’t have to worry about missing out on any features if you decide to keep your iPhone 13 Pro Max. With the only real exception being apps that integrate and interact with the Dynamic Island. Apple also made a surprising decision with the non-Pro iPhone 14 models, using the same processor as last year’s iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. With the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, the differences might be felt when it comes to the A16 Bionic chip found in these newer models.
According to Apple, the A16 Bionic now uses a 4nm technology, while also being able to use almost 16 billion transistors on the chip, improving both efficiency and performance. While it you might not notice any immediate differences in day-to-day usage, benchmark results show that the iPhone 14 Pro Max provides about 10% better single-core performance, and almost 15% faster multi-core performance. There’s no such thing as a phone being too powerful or fast, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the best iPhone ever in that regard.
iPhone 13 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Reasons Why You Shouldn’t
There’s a lot to love about the iPhone 14 Pro Max, as Apple has done just enough to make you feel like you’re making a reasonable decision if upgrading from last year’s iPhone 13 Pro Max. However, there are a few key reasons why you shouldn’t upgrade from last year’s model, and some might be more important than you originally thought.
No More Physical SIM Card
This might not be much of an issue for those who don’t tend to switch between different devices frequently. But for the first time ever, the iPhone 14 lineup will not feature a traditional SIM card slot. Instead, all four models will rely solely on eSIM technology.
eSIM is short for Electronic SIM cards and removes the need for you to open the SIM card slot on your iPhone. Instead, set up your network connection can be done right from the Settings app on your iPhone, removing some of the potential headaches found with setting up a device.
The first iPhone to be released that used an eSIM was the iPhone XS and XS Max back in 2018. Since then, just about every new iPhone model ships with eSIM capabilities, provided that the functionality is available in your country. Other countries make use of a dual SIM card slot, wherein you actually insert two SIM cards into the same tray and can switch between them.
And while this change might not seem like it matters much, your opinion can quickly change if you travel outside of the country. Instead of just picking up a $10 SIM card to use in the country you’re visiting, you’ll have to either pay roaming fees with your existing carrier, or attempt to sign up for an eSIM after you land. It can be a bit of a headache compared to just physically taking out one SIM card and putting in another.
Battery Life Isn’t The Same
Without a shadow of a doubt, the iPhone 13 Pro Max was largely praised for offering the best battery life on any flagship smartphone released in the past year. As you can tell from the spec comparison above, Apple didn’t do much in the way of making any changes to the battery capacity in the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
However, we’ve noticed that while improvements have been made, the iPhone 14 Pro Max does not seem to last as long as its predecessor. When the phone was released, battery life was on-par with the non-Max iPhone 13 Pro, lasting for a little bit more than a day on a single charge. Since then, Apple has released several iOS updates that include bug fixes that have made battery life better, and despite it still being a battery champ, the iPhone 14 Pro Max falls a bit short of the 13 Pro Max.
Same General Design
Apple has a tendency of sticking with the same design for a few years whenever a major change is made to the iPhone lineup. This continues to be the case with the iPhone 14 Pro Max, essentially looking exactly the same as the iPhone 13 Pro Max with just a few differences. For one, the inclusion of the Dynamic Island gets rid of the notch, but that’s only noticeable when looking at the display. And another is that the camera bump on the back is larger on the newer iPhone to accommodate the upgraded camera sensors found in the latest iPhone.
The problem, for some at least, is that the iPhone 14 Pro Max with its hard corners can be a bit uncomfortable to hold, especially for long periods of time. These edges will likely dig into your pinky or your hand, making you wish for Apple to bring back the rounded edges from the iPhone 11 days. While this can be remedied by slapping a case on your iPhone, that just ends up adding more heft and bulk to a phone that’s already pretty heavy and bulky already. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this design stick around for at least one more generation, but we’re hoping that a new and more comfortable design is in the works for a future iPhone Pro Max release.
Does It Really Matter?
There’s a question that has been making its way through the tech space over the past year or so, and that’s whether it really matters if you upgrade from year to year. The truth is that this just isn’t feasible or possible for some, but putting that to the side for a moment, the reality is that the iPhone 14 Pro Max doesn’t actually do anything that the iPhone 13 Pro Max can’t.
Sure the Dynamic Island is a nice touch, and the camera hardware upgrades are long overdue. But at the end of the day, iOS 16 runs and works the same on both of these smartphones. And unless you are planning to actually import your iPhone’s photos to Lightroom or another professional photo editor, the pictures look pretty much the same.
It’s becoming increasingly obvious that the days of needing to upgrade on a yearly or even bi-yearly cadence are in the past. For the time being at least, you might just be happier sticking with your “old” iPhone 13 Pro Max, and waiting to see what Apple has to offer when it inevitably releases the iPhone 15 series.
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.