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iPhone 14 Pro Max: The Definitive Review

As promised, we are reviewing the most anticipated smartphone of this year: the simply magical iPhone 14 Pro Max. Can it keep its position as the king of the mountain?

Watch the full video here!
The iPhone 14 Pro Max encased in its box, waiting to show its true beauty.

The wait is finally over because today we are tackling Apple’s flagships of all flagship phone, the iPhone 14 Pro Max. We’ll providing a full-on in-depth review of what it feels to have and own an iPhone, and how’s the experience using it.

The box

Let’s start with the box: the embossed iPhone 14 Pro Max picture is slightly raised and you can feel the side textures to it. It’s the standard iPhone box fanfare: logo on the upper and lower side, “iPhone” text on left and right. When flipped, standard information in different languages and bar codes can be seen.

Hmmm, the box is just lurking around the corner…

The contents

The box is made up of hard cardboard, and you can notice a cutout for the camera bump on the upper cover as the iPhone itself is placed on its back. Before we can look into the phone itself, a bunch of documentation inside the little paper pouch that inscripted the words “designed by Apple in California” is seen.

When removed the contents, the sim ejector pin can be seen on top of the quick start guide in multiple languages, and a single Apple sticker welcomes you. Then, the only remaining item to be unboxed is the lowly USB Lightning cable.

Beep boop, all eyes on the iPhone 14 Pro Max! But hey, who’s that yellow b**** at the back?

The back

The same glass back on our Space Black iPhone 14 Pro Max looks stunning and effortlessly premium. The mirror finish of the Apple logo subtly dominating the back gives it a haunting, inviting aura.

Looking at its camera module, it is noticeably bigger than last year’s iPhone 13 Pro Max. The camera bumps are humongous– even the LED Flash and the LIDAR scanner gets to shine with their chunkier sizes.

Look at that beauty!

The sides

Made from stainless steel, it’s more durable than ever before and greatly helps the new and improved IP68 water resistant rating of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

What we love about it is the big power button on the right that makes opening your phone a breeze, and not like searching a needle in a haystack. On the left side, you can see the volume rockers, the mute/sound switch, and the sim tray (because we have the international version).

On the lower side, we can the see the dual speakers and the Lightning port. Of course, no headphone jack.

“Headphone jacks? Cringe. They’re just for peasants.”

Apple, probably

The display

The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 6.7 inches LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED display that’s also 120Hz and 1290 x 2796in resolution, and with a whopping 2000 nits of max brightness is a thing of beauty, seriously. This is one of the reasons why Apple is on top of their game. Paired it with a ceramic glass with oleophobic coating and the deal is done.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 2000 nits max brightness can possibly light a room? Hmmm?

Paired with the game-changing notch they call the “Dynamic Island”. This time, this isn’t just one of Apple’s marketing jargon gimmicks. This Dynamic Island really does have a purpose. It’s like a living, breathing mini section of the iPhone 14 Pro Max that can interact with you in many, many ways.

Dynamic Island: when touched, it moves, maybe a digital makahiya?

Such functions include displaying waveforms and corresponding color of the music you’re playing, displaying calls and messaging, browsing, a mini location tracker/map and much more. It can expand or decrease depending on the situation. Isn’t that amazing? On top of that, the new always-on-display will let you customize your screen (finally).

Now to address the elephant in the room: we recently wrote an article explaning that Apple isn’t the first one who introduced this function, but to give credit where credit is due, even if the iPhone 14 Pro lineup is only a few weeks old, we can’t help but to admire the Dynamic Island’s smoothness and function all the time.

The camera

In the world of Android, 48MP cameras are just numbers, better reserved for entry-level to mid-range models. But when Apple announced a 48MP camera, you better believe that it’s going to be a powerhouse of a camera. Less is more, as they have said time and time again.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max camera bumps: chonk for all the right reasons.

Their 12MP camera alone from last year’s iPhone 13 Pro Max is a capable beast of a camera, thanks to its generous sensors that can compete with other flagships such as Samsung’s S22 Ultra and/or Sony’s 1 III.

Now, the best just got better, with a 48MP wide + 12MP telephoto + 12MP ultrawide + LIDAR Depth Scanner on its rear side, and 12MP wide + SL 3D depth/biometrics scanner are the best in business and will surely give you the best possible photos and video anywhere, as its ProMotion and Cinematic Mode are second to none.

The battery

The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 4,353mAh Li-ion might startle you because most phones today packs 5,000mAh or more, thanks to the efficient Bionic chipsets, it can last a long time, even with heavy usage. No charging brick though as it is sold separately. Or you can use your old Apple charger (assuming you have one).

Alas, there’s no shift to Type-C still, so you have to endure the slow charging speed and the slow data transfers because of the Lightning port. But if you have an iPhone 14 Pro Max, it means you have cash. Which means you have more than one source of entertainment.

While charging, you can just play golf in your own country club golf course. Or eat caviar while riding your own helicopter. Or watch a movie through your MacBook Pro, iPad Air, or in your own movie theater. The limits are endless.

Will it game?

The short answer is: Abso-f$%*#@’-lutely.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s new A16 Bionic chipset is one of the best right now, even with only a hexa-core CPU (compared to Android’s octa-core) the power of this thing is unmatched.

It can run the most graphic intensive games and it won’t break a sweat even with only 6GB of RAM and up to 1TB of internal storage.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max treads between a camera beast, the best daily driver, and a pro mobile gamer’s wet dream.

Extras

It has the MagSafe wireless charging capability, and is available in new colors such as Space Black, Gold, and Purple. It also has SatNav function for messaging meaning those times when you use no signal as an excuse isn’t applicable here anymore on the new iPhone. Also, the Emergency SOS function is definitely a saving grace as it alerts nearby personnel in case you are involved in any unfortunate events such as a car crash and more.

Issues?

Of course, the iPhone 14 Pro Max can’t leave our review table without any scathing criticism as with every phone we reviewed here on the website.

Apparently, both YouTubers by the names of Hugh Jeffreys and Phone Repair Guru found an Achilles heel (or an Achilles selfish heel) on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max: the repairability seems to get more relaxed as the smartphones can be finally opened at both the front and the back, but when swapped with different, yet original logic board, battery or camera — the same error messages from past models occurred, leaving you with no other option to bring it to an Apple service center.

The nightmare doesn’t end there because when the swapped parts are brought back to its original place, the error messages still persists and your iPhone’s function such as Face ID, TrueTone, and the bulk of the camera setups can’t be fixed unless you choose to painstakingly downgrade it to iOS 15.

What we like about the iPhone 14 Pro Max:

✔️ Second to none camera set up

✔️ Overall build premium feel

✔️ The notch isn’t just a notch, it’s the Dynamic Island integration

✔️ Power efficient A16 Bionic chipset

✔️ Customizable always-on-display function

✔️ IP68 water resistance (improved from 1.5 meters to 3 meters)

✔️ Emergency SOS function is something every phone should have

What we dislike about the iPhone 14 Pro Max:

❌ Still uses USB Lightning port

❌ Box contents are lacking, especially if you’re a first time iPhone user

❌ Fingerprint magnet, buy a case or else

❌ iMessage is outdated and RCS is miles better

➖Very expensive, but you get what you pay for

➖Repairability is a facade, unless you try (or your technician) their hardest

FINAL VERDICT: GREAT

We can’t rate this in the tier list as this is way above budget of our 10K, 20K, and 30K price range, and for its price that can cost an arm and a leg, you better have the most advanced tech there is — and the iPhone 14 Pro Max certainly delivers.

Is the wallpaper a chicharon? No, it’s just rocks, sadly.

It’s almost perfect, but the clunky iMessage and repairability issues can’t be ignored, and the lack of service centers around the Philippines makes it harder to maintain one of these phones in case it is damaged.

PRICING

PHP77,990 – 6GB/128GB
PHP84,990 – 6GB/256GB
PHP96,990 – 6GB/512GB
PHP109,990 – 6GB/1TB

Read the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s specs here: https://unboxdiaries.com/phones/iphone-14-pro-max/

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Needs

Improvement