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iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Should you upgrade to the latest iPhone?

Apple has reserved the most features for the iPhone 15 Pro Max this year. But is it that much better than the 14 Pro Max?
By

Published onJanuary 9, 2024

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
MSRP: $1,099.00
Check price
Positives
Excellent display
Powerful SoC
Advanced UI experience
Negatives
Expensive
Very heavy
Slow charging
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
MSRP: $1,199.00
Check price
Positives
Titanium build material
USB-C
New Action button
Negatives
Expensive
No optical zoom between 2x and 5x
Slow charging

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is the best iPhone you can buy, and it directly succeeds the previous iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple no longer sells the older iPhone 14 Pro Max, which is a shame since it is still a very competent smartphone. If you already own the iPhone 14 Pro Max or are looking to pick one up pre-owned, it is valid to wonder whether you should consider the iPhone 15 Pro Max an upgrade. Read on as we explore what you should choose in this iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max comparison!

iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: At a glance

  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max is relatively more comfortable to hold thanks to softer edges.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max is significantly lighter thanks to its use of Titanium for the side frame, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max uses heavier Stainless Steel.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a newer and faster chip than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a more extended range for optical zoom than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a USB-C port for charging and data transfer, compared to the Lightning port on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max has an Action button instead of a mute-ring switch.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Specs

Apple iPhone 14 Pro MaxApple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Display
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
6.7-inch OLED
120Hz Pro Motion display refresh rate
Dynamic Island
Always-on display (AOD)
HDR and HDR10
Dolby Vision
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
6.7-inch OLED
120Hz Pro Motion display refresh rate
Dynamic Island
Always-on display (AOD)
HDR and HDR10
Dolby Vision
Processor
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
A16 Bionic (4nm)
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
A17 Pro (3nm)
RAM and storage
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
- 6GB RAM
- 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB storage
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB, 512GB, 1TB storage
Power
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
27W wired charging
No charger in box
15W wireless charging with MagSafe
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
27W wired charging
No charger in box
15W wireless charging with MagSafe
Cameras
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
REAR:
- 48MP wide primary (24mm, ƒ/1.78, 2.44µm, OIS)
- 12MP ultrawide (13mm, ƒ/2.2, 1.4µm, 120-degree FoV)
- 12MP telephoto (77mm, ƒ/2.8, 3x optical zoom)
- LiDAR scanner

FRONT:
- 12 MP wide (23mm, ƒ/1.9)
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
REAR:
- 48MP wide primary (24mm, ƒ/1.78, 2.44µm, OIS)
- 12MP ultrawide (13mm, ƒ/2.2, 1.4µm, 120-degree FoV)
- 12MP tetraprism telephoto (120mm, ƒ/2.8, 1.12µm, 5x optical zoom)
- LiDAR scanner

FRONT:
- 12 MP wide (23mm, ƒ/1.9)
Video
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
4K video (24, 25, 30, or 60fps)
1080p video (25, 30, or 60fps)
ProRes up to 4K/60fps
Slo-mo at 1080p (120 or 240fps)
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
4K video (24, 25, 30, or 60fps)
1080p video (25, 30, or 60fps)
ProRes up to 4K/60fps
Slo-mo at 1080p (120 or 240fps)
Connectivity
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Dual-eSIM (no physical SIM in US)
Qualcomm X65 modem
Wi-Fi 6
5G (Sub6 and mmWave in US)
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC
UWB
GNSS: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Dual-eSIM (no physical SIM in US)
Qualcomm X70 modem
Wi-Fi 6E
5G (Sub6 and mmWave in US)
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC
2nd gen UWB
GNSS: GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, BeiDou, NavIC
Ports
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Lightning port with USB 2.0
No SIM card tray in US and select countries
No 3.5mm headphone jack
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
USB-C with USB 3.0
No SIM card tray in US and select countries
No 3.5mm headphone jack
Security and durability
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Face ID
IP68 rating
Titanium side-frame with aluminum mid-frame
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Face ID
IP68 rating
Stainless steel frame
Software
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
iOS 16, upgradable to iOS 17
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
iOS 17
Dimensions and weight
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
160.7 x 77.6 x 7.85mm
240g
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25mm
221g
Colors
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, and Natural Titanium
In-Box contents
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
iPhone 14 Pro Max
USB-C to Lightning cable (USB 2.0)
Paperwork
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
iPhone 15 Pro Max
USB-C to USB-C cable (USB 2.0)
Paperwork

Apple iPhones are usually very incremental upgrades year-on-year, which is also true for this generation. However, this is one of the meaningful incremental changes to the iPhone Pro Max we have seen.

The display on both devices is the same at 6.7 inches diagonally. However, the bezels on the iPhone 15 Pro Max are marginally thinner on all sides. Both phones support 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10 and Dolby Vision.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Titanium Black
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

One significant change between the phones is the processor inside. Apple has switched from the 4nm A16 Bionic to the 3nm A17 Pro. The company uses fuzzy marketing for comparison, so we don’t have good comparative details for year-on-year changes. But Apple SoCs have always been top-of-the-line, and each new one is better than the last, even if marginally. This year, the new chip has one more GPU core than the previous one.

Apple does not disclose this directly, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max has 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, while the 14 Pro Max has 6GB. Coupled with the better SoC, you should have a higher upper limit on multitasking, though it would be difficult to experience it on iOS 17. Apple has also skipped the 128GB storage variant for the 15 Pro Max this year.

Pixel 8 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max connected over USB top down view
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The most significant change on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is switching over to USB-C from the Lightning port on the 14 Pro Max. This makes using one cable to charge all your USB-C devices super convenient. Apple also upgraded the iPhone 15 Pro Max to USB 3.0 from the USB 2.0 speeds on the Lightning port on the 14 Pro.

The switch to USB-C is the most impactful change in this iPhone generation.

Another notable change on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the Action button, which replaces the mute-ring switch on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. You can customize the Action button with various actions (including toggling mute-ring) and even set a Shortcut to it.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max camera

Other minor changes on the iPhone 15 Pro Max over its predecessor are Wi-Fi 6E vs Wi-Fi 6, the inclusion of the second-generation UWB chip vs the first-gen UWB on the 14 Pro Max, and support for the Thread networking technology.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max launched with iOS 16 and has received its iOS 17 update. The iPhone 15 Pro Max launched with iOS 17. Apple usually supports its phones for a long time, and you typically get updates on the first day of rollout. So you needn’t pay attention to this spec.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Size comparison

Apple iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max
Aamir Siddiqui / Android Authority

The most noticeable change on the new iPhone 15 Pro Max starts when you hold the phone. Apple has marginally reduced the dimensions of the phone from its predecessor. The iPhone 14 Pro Max measures 160.7 x 77.6 x 7.85mm, while the 15 Pro Max measures 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25mm.

Further, the company has switched to a Titanium alloy for the side-frame (with aluminum for the inner mid-frame) on the 15 Pro Max, compared to Stainless Steel on the 14 Pro Max. This has reduced weight, going from 240g on the 14 Pro Max to 221g on the 13 Pro Max.

These changes make the iPhone 15 Pro Max easier to hold in the hand.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max 3

The switch to Titanium also gives us a new brushed titanium texture on the side frame of the 15 Pro Max. The 14 Pro Max comes with a smoother finish that, unfortunately, attracts a lot of fingerprints.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Camera

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max camera

The iPhone 14 Pro Max and the iPhone 15 Pro Max have the same camera setup, except for one key difference: the zoom lens. So, the primary camera, the ultrawide camera, and the front selfie camera are identical.

iPhone 14 Pro Max primary camera samples

iPhone 15 Pro Max primary camera samples

iPhone 14 Pro Max ultrawide camera samples

iPhone 15 Pro Max ultrawide camera samples

On the iPhone 14 Pro Max, we get a 12MP telephoto lens capable of 3x optical zoom. The iPhone 15 Pro Max upgrades this to a 12MP tetra prism telephoto (which is a close equivalent to a periscope zoom lens), which can achieve 5x optical zoom.

On both phones, you get the usual 0.6x ultrawide, the 1x primary camera, and a 2x crop of the primary camera. Depending on the phone, you get either 3x or 5x optical zoom. All missing zoom ranges between and beyond are digital zooms or a combination of sensor cropping and digital zoom.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max also gets “next-generation portraits,” which allow you to click regular photos of people and pets and convert them into Portrait photos later on as depth data is automatically saved. You can also adjust the bokeh and refocus subjects. The company hasn’t revealed if this feature will come to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max also gets Log video recording support, as well as support for the Academy Color Encoding System. This is missing from the iPhone 14 Pro Max. For most users, this feature may not be helpful.

iPhone 14 Pro Max front camera samples

iPhone 15 Pro Max front camera samples

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Battery life and charging

iPhone 15 Pro Max playing Raji RPG game
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Apple does not disclose full battery and charging specifications for its iPhones. We know from leaks and regulatory filings that the iPhone 14 Pro Max has a 4,323mAh battery supporting 27W fast charging. We haven’t spotted the same for the iPhone 15 Pro Max yet, nor has Apple claimed any battery or charging improvements.

Thus, it would be fair to presume that the iPhone 15 Pro Max battery and charging specifications are the same.

Based on experience, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has no issues powering through a day. You can also stretch battery life to one and a half days with lighter usage. Charging the phone from 0% to 100% takes over two hours.

With the iPhone 15 Pro Max, I can get a very comfortable day of use, and even close to two, if I use the phone a bit more sporadically. Charging remains slow, with a full charge taking a similar two hours or more.

Note that neither phone comes with a charger in the box, so do remember to pick up a good, compatible charger.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Price and availability

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max:

  • 128GB for $1,099
  • 256GB for $1,199
  • 512GB for $1,399
  • 1TB for $1,599

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max:

  • 256GB for $1,199
  • 512GB for $1,399
  • 1TB for $1,599

Apple has retained the same pricing for the iPhone 15 Pro Max as it had for the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The only difference is that the 15 Pro Max loses out on the starting 128GB storage variant, so it starts at a higher price.

As mentioned, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is no longer officially sold by Apple. You may spot residual stock at retailers, and you may be able to grab that at a discount.

Apple launched the iPhone 15 Pro Max on September 12, 2023. It was available to pre-order from September 15, 2023, with store availability from September 22, 2023. You can easily buy the phone these days as it is available everywhere.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Should you upgrade?

iPhone 15 Pro Max playing Taiko game
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Like most years, the iPhone is seeing an incremental upgrade that is minor on paper. However, the practical experience of using the iPhone 15 Pro Max is quite improved from the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and you can thank the lower weight for that. With the prices equal and a large majority of the feature set being similar, this alone should push more people towards the iPhone 15 Pro Max from the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is an incremental yet meaningful upgrade over the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

So, if you are in the market for a new phone, pick up the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Your wrists will thank us. It also has some new colors to be excited about.

For existing iPhone 14 Pro Max users, the iPhone 15 Pro Max does not bring enough exciting updates to justify spending all this money. Your 14 Pro Max has many more years of life left in it, and until and unless you get a great trade-in deal, we do not see the need to jump to the 15 Pro Max. This presumes that you already have a few Lightning cables around you and aren’t particularly fascinated with the USB-C port.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max 5

The switch to USB-C will make life significantly more manageable, as you can share charging cables with Android users and even laptop users. Content creators will also appreciate the USB 3.0 data transfer speeds. The titanium body with the lower weight makes handling the iPhone 15 Pro Max easier. And the more extended zoom range also has its uses. If these changes sound appealing, you can justify an upgrade if you have the budget.

Do you plan to upgrade from the iPhone 14 Pro Max to the iPhone 15 Pro Max?

146 votes
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Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Best camera in iPhone line
Titanium design
Ray Tracing
See price at Amazon
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Unbeatable software support
Powerful SoC
Dynamic Island

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: FAQ

Yes, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a USB-C port. It supports USB 3.0 as well for fast data transfer speeds.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is a big phone, measuring 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25mm. That said, it is marginally smaller than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Yes, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is IP68 rated for dust and water resistance. It has been certified under IEC standard 60529 for surviving underwater at a maximum depth of 6m for up to 30 minutes. However, note that this rating is for freshwater only. The iPhone 15 Pro Max cannot survive in saltwater.

No, the iPhone 15 Pro Max sold in the US does not have a SIM card slot. You need to exclusively use eSIM on it. The phone gets a SIM slot in other regions.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max comes in Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium.

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