iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: What’s new?

Apple announced its latest top-end smartphone, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, toward the end of 2023, but how does it compare to 2022’s iPhone 14 Pro Max

We’ve put the two smartphones head-to-head to help you decide whether it’s worth picking up the newest model or if you should save money and stick with the 2022 iPhone. Keep reading to discover all the important differences between the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the iPhone 14 Pro Max. 

Design and display 

The two Pro Max phones share very similar-looking designs. However, there are a few distinctions that set them apart. 

First, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a new titanium design, replacing the stainless steel frame on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Titanium is both more durable than steel and more lightweight, shaving 19g off the weight of the newer model. We found this made the phone both comfier to hold and much lighter in the hand. 

The iPhone 15 Pro Max also includes a new Action button in place of the usual Ring/Silent switch on the side of the phone. The customisable button can be programmed to do a variety of things when you press it, such as opening the camera or launching your favourite app. 

When it comes to their displays, the two phones share identical 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR displays with ProMotion refresh rates and an Always-On feature. 

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Specs and features 

As you’d expect from the latest model, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a brand new chipset – the A17 Pro. This is actually the first “Pro” chipset in the iPhone series and has an additional GPU core compared to the A16 Bionic found in the iPhone 14 Pro Max. 

The A17 Pro offers 10% improved CPU performance, 20% faster GPU performance and is the first Apple smartphone chip to be based on 3nm architecture. 

We found that the A17 Pro maintained a comfortable lead over its top Android competitors in many of our benchmarking tests. 

Other changes on the iPhone 15 Pro Max include Apple scrapping the smallest 128GB capacity, support for Wi-Fi 6E up from Wi-Fi 6 and the addition of a second-generation Ultra Wideband chip. 

Camera 

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has the same triple camera setup as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The two camera modules consist of a 48-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor. Both phones also support 4K video recording at up to 60fps. 

One major upgrade here is the improved optical zoom on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, taking the zoom up from 3x to 5x. This allows you to get closer to your subject without worrying about the image degrading in quality the way an image captured with digital zoom would. 

We found the 5x on the iPhone 15 Pro Max to be far more useful than the 3x on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, though it’s still a long way behind the zoom offered by the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra

The iPhone 15 Pro Max also benefits from 4K/60fps ProRes video when recording externally, log video recording, support for the Acadamy Color Encoding System and the latest Smart HDR 5. 

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Battery life 

The iPhone 15 series marked the beginning of Apple’s long-awaited transition to USB-C. This means that the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a USB-C port instead of its usual Lightning port. 

This is a welcome change that, aside from making it easier to use the same cable for different devices like your tablet or laptop, also brings support for USB 3. This means you’ll also benefit from up to 20x faster data transfers. 

Finally, the iPhone 15 Pro Max supports the latest Qi2 wireless charging standard. 

Verdict 

The iPhone 15 Pro Max appears identical to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but there are several updates in the design and specs worth considering. Key upgrades this year include the titanium design, the A17 Pro chipset and Apple’s transition to USB-C. 

However, the loss of the 128GB option does mean the iPhone 15 Pro Max costs more than its predecessor.

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