For the first time ever, Apple is selling two very big phones. There’s the iPhone 14 Pro Max starting at $1,100, and there’s the iPhone 14 Plus for $899, which goes on sale today. And while there are obvious differences between the two phones, they might not be as major as you think. Here are six reasons to save $200 and pick the iPhone 14 Plus over the Pro Max.
The display is still excellent
Like the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 and 14 Pro, the iPhone 14 Plus and 14 Pro Max have identical 6.7-inch screen sizes. However, they’re not exactly created equally. On the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you get several features that aren’t available on the Plus: ProMotion with 120Hz refresh rate (versus 60Hz) and an always-on display.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Those are fantastic features that Pro Max users will love. However, if you’re coming from an iPhone 12 or XR, the display on the Plus will be just as good as you were used to on your old phone, just bigger. You’ve already lived for years without ProMotion or always-on, so you won’t know what you’re missing—and the iPhone 14 Plus’s display is still great.
Battery life is actually superior
We all know iPhones get fantastic battery life, but Apple claims the iPhone 14 Plus gets the best battery life of any iPhone ever. We’ll be running our own tests soon, but early reviews corroborate Apple’s estimates. Reviewers report battery life of 20-21 hours in video rundown tests, which is about an hour longer than the iPhone 14 Pro Max in similar tests.
In real-world use, you’re likely to get multiple days of use of the iPhone 14 Plus. According to The Verge’s Allison Johnson, “a day of moderate use with about two hours of screen-on time and plenty of time away from Wi-Fi only drained the battery by about 25 percent.” So if you’re upgrading from an iPhone 11 or even an iPhone 13, the improvement will be staggering: you’ll basically never have to worry about reaching for a charger ever again.
The cameras are still great
Other than the Dynamic Island, the biggest difference between the iPhone 14 Pro Max and 14 Plus is the rear camera. On the iPhone 14 Pro Max, you get a 48MP main lens and a 12MP telephoto camera, neither of which are found on the 14 Plus. In fact, the iPhone 14 has a very similar camera to the iPhone 13, with a dual-camera setup that pairs a 12MP wide camera with a 12 MP ultra-wide camera. But that doesn’t mean you won’t take great photos with the Plus.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
The processors are basically the same
Apple split the A15 processor into two flavors with the iPhone 13—a 4-core GPU for the iPhone 13 and 13 mini, and a 5-core GPU variant for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max—and took it even further with the iPhone 14. The iPhone 14 Pro models have Apple’s newest A16 processor while the iPhone 14 Plus has the higher-end version of last year’s A15.
But while it might seem like a huge upgrade, it’s really not. In our testing, the A16 is barely faster than the A15—certainly not anything that’s going to be noticeable in day-to-day use. So if you buy an iPhone 14 Plus it won’t feel any slower than an iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The Dynamic Island isn’t a must-have feature yet
The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s biggest new feature isn’t hardware—it’s software. The Dynamic Island—which is a feature that lives inside the new camera cutout—is easily the most interesting and intriguing feature of the new phone and one that will be a standout on iPhones for years.
But it’s not quite there yet. Most of the time the Dynamic Island is as lifeless as the notch, and even when iOS 16.1 launches with Live Activities, it’ll take some time before developers properly update their apps to take advantage of it. It’ll be a few months before all that happens and by then we’ll all be looking ahead to the iPhone 15 Plus—which will likely adopt the Dynamic Island too.
It could save your life
Apple introduced two new iPhone features this year: Crash Detection and Emergency SOS via satellite. Those two features could very well save your life one day—and they’re available on all iPhone 14 models, Pro or no.
For more help choosing which iPhone to buy read our buying guides:
Which iPhone? iPhone buying guide 2022