< /p> © Presse-citron
On September 7, 2022, Apple held its traditional back-to-school keynote. Like every year, this conference marked the renewal of the iPhone range, the launch of new Apple Watches and, in 2022, the release of new AirPods Pro.
While the iPhone 14 Plus arrives later in October, we wanted to prioritize testing the iPhone 14 Pro Max which, like the iPhone 14 Pro, announces a new standard at Apple. Alongside, the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are more of a continuation of what the brand offered last year.
Here, it is therefore the iPhone 14 Pro Max that interests us. Priced from 1,329 euros for the 128 GB version, it is the most expensive iPhone in the range in 2022 and early 2023. Is it worth its price? Do the new features really change the situation? Our opinion after several days of testing these iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is available from 1,479 euros (for the version with 128 GB of storage). As always with Apple, increasing storage capacity costs a small fortune. The 256 GB model is thus available at 1,609 euros, the 512 GB model at 1,869 euros. The iPhone 14 Pro Max with 1 TB of storage is available at 2,129 euros, unheard of on the (non-folding) smartphone market.
Vividly aware that its prices are prohibitive, Apple highlights its financing offers in 24 installments without fees, probably in order to avoid vascular and/or heart accidents in the face of rising prices. Official resellers are also willing to offer installment financing at no cost.
This year, French consumers are bearing the brunt of the effects of inflation and the devaluation of the euro against the dollar. No question for Apple of cutting into its margins – business is business. Thus, all iPhone 14s cost much more than those of last year. Worse still, certain models that have already largely paid for themselves like the iPhone SE also see their price readjusted, upwards of course. End of parenthesis.
© Lemon squeezer
Tim Cook announced it when the iPhone X was released: the renewal cycle for an iPhone would now be three years. Knowing this, we cannot be surprised to see that the iPhone 14 Pro Max takes up most of the lines of its predecessor.
We therefore find a stainless steel chassis with a glass dress matte covered with ultra-resistant protectionCeramic Shield,all IP68 certified(resistance to immersion in water up to 6 meters deep for 30 minutes according to IEC standard 60529).
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is a bit more compact than its predecessor: 160.7 mm in height versus 160.8 mm and 77.6 mm in width versus 78.1 mm. On the other hand, it is a little thicker (7.85 mm versus 7.65 mm) mainly because of the new larger photo optics. They also make it 2 g heavier.
Let's stop there with this accumulation of figures and come to the conclusion of this test: the iPhone 14 Pro Max gives the same sensations as a 13 Pro Max or a 12 Pro Max. We therefore use a beautiful baby on a daily basis, requiring two-handed manipulation unless nature has been generous and you have both large hands and contortionist talents.
The advantage of this behemoth is that it will discourage pickpockets since you will immediately feel a great lightness in your pants or handbag in the event of an attempted theft.
Apart from a new purple color ( sublime), the iPhone 14 Pro Max is therefore nothing less than an iPhone 13 Pro Max. Except for one big detail: its new Dynamic Island notch. We also remember that this software innovation is however not present in the standard iPhone 14.
This is THE big new feature of the iPhone 14 Pro. Dynamic Island (word for word “dynamic island”, we don’t judge) surprised all observers during its presentation at the Apple Keynote.
Behind this name hides an original software functionality. This year, Apple decided to reduce the size of the notch which was starting to make the iPhone look a little dated. The engineers therefore integrated a TrueDepth camera 50% smaller than the old one but just as effective.
Problem: this new notch is no longer one. It now takes the form of a small pill at the top of the screen. There is no question for Apple of letting this unsightly element spoil its product.
As the hardware cannot be changed, Apple has therefore brought out its army of UX designers to transform this aesthetically questionable element into an asset.
Dynamic Islandis actually a software feature that takes advantage of hardware. A master in the art of hardware/software optimization, Apple has therefore developed a tiny world in which the user can relax.
More seriously and in our test of the iPhone 14 Pro, the Dynamic Island allows you to interact with the punch at the top of the screen.< /strong>This is where notifications arrive (calls, messages etc.), current tasks (up to 2 simultaneously) appear (e.g. music playing, timers) or contextual information such as guidance GPS are centralized. Apple having opened its API to developers, the possibilities become endless.
This information grouped in the notch can, thanks to a long press, be transformed into a pop-up window giving access to more information and interactions, a bit like a widget.
Dynamic Islandis perfectly integrated into the entire interface, with smooth and fast animations. And if our old habits make us use this feature too rarely at the start of the experience, we quickly get a taste for it. Until you can no longer do without it.
With Dynamic Island, Apple is giving a lesson in software optimization to the entire telephone industry. If no other brand had integrated a punch of such size, none had the idea of exploiting this unsightly element to make it a practical everyday tool.
Far be it from us to fuel the Apple/Android squabble, but we only had to wait a few days to see the first copies of Dynamic Island appear on Android smartphones.
Let's now leave the dynamic island and focus on the essential: the quality of the screen. The screen of the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a pure marvel. Apple is improving a feature already mastered on previous generations, and we have completely validated it in our test.
< p>Like the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Pro Max therefore integrates a 6.7'' Super Retina XDR panel (based on OLED technology). with all the marketing jargon we are now accustomed to: HDR, ProMotion (adaptive refresh rate from 10 to 120 Hz) and True Tone.
Among the improvements, let us cite a maximum brightness announced at 2000 nits outdoors (1600 nits in HDR) and, above all, the Always-On mode. which can be compared to a screen saver that can display contextual information. When activated, the refresh rate drops to 1 Hz in order to save energy.
We won't dwell on the quality of the screen, simply excellent. On a 6.7'' format the pleasure is even greater, especially for video or game enthusiasts.
And since nothing beats scientific data to support such remarks , here are the results of our 01Lab lab: average brightness of 1038 cd/m2, peak light in HDR at 1500 cd/m2, infinite contrast and delta E of 2.87 (default).
D Some will say that Apple has exaggerated its figures a little. This is true but the results still remain very impressive and confirm that the screen of the iPhone 14 Pro Max is one of its most beautiful assets.
While the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus inherit the same chip as last year, the 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce the A16 Bionic, engraved in 4 nm. According to Apple, this new chip is 40% faster than any other chip on the market with the exception of the A15 Bionic, which is only 10% behind. The latter is still present on the iPhone 14 as well as on the entire generation of Apple smartphones of 2021.
Do you want more? The A16 Bionic consumes a third of the energy of the best competing chips for the same power output. Thanks to it, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max would therefore break all autonomy records (we will come back to this).
What else? The new image processor (ISP) promises to exploit the full potential of the new 48 Mp sensor. The new display engine makes it possible to improve the brightness of the panel, to better manage the variation in the refresh rate and therefore to benefit from Always-On while consuming very little energy.
Obviously, the power of the chip will delight demanding players and users. More than a real performance gain (compared to the A15 Bionic), the A16 Bionic promises unparalleled durabilityon the market, in 2023 and beyond.
With the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple is launching two features that have makes a big noise. Crash Detection, firstly, promises to automatically notify emergency services in the event of a car accident (and you are unconscious).
To create such a feature, engineers had to integrate an accelerometer capable of detecting the pressure experienced during an impact (the famous G). This accelerometer can therefore support up to 256 G. To support this analysis work, the engineers also replaced the gyroscope with a new one, capable of sampling four times faster.
Finally, Apple teams carried out a million hours of simulation in real driving conditions with the most used vehicle models in the world. Impact data received from the sides, front and rear was compiled to develop an algorithm capable of knowing when an impact is too powerful for the driver to be aware of.
Once the accident is detected, an emergency call is automatically made. An automatic message then warns the interlocutor that you have had an accident, specifying your location. At the same time, your emergency contacts (registered on the Health application) are notified by message.
Among other new technologies, Apple also unveiled theEmergency SOS by satellite . The iPhone 14 Pro Max can thus contact emergency services even when it does not receive a mobile or WiFi network. This feature, planned for November 2022, will unfortunately only be available in the United States. We will therefore still have to wait on the Old Continent.
Finally, note that the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be associated with two mobile plans simultaneously: one with a physical SIM card, the other via the eSIM. The “eSIM only” models, a first on the market, only exist in the United States.
“Finally!” some will say. Apple has finally decided to increase the number of megapixels on its main sensor. The iPhone 14 Pro Max therefore has a new 48 Mp sensor to accompany its wide-angle lens.
The other two lenses remain identical: we therefore find two 12 Mp sensors: the first associated with an ultra-wide-angle lens, the second with a telephoto lens with 3x zoom.
At the same time, engineers have developed a new rendering engine called Photonic Engine. It promises better quality photos, particularly in low light, as well as portraits even closer to what can be obtained with a semi-professional or even professional camera.
The 48 Mp sensor
Don't trust the hype. If Apple highlights a 48 Mp sensor, the iPhone 14 Pro Max shoots 12 Mp photos by default. Like its competitors, Apple adopts pixel binning, a technology allowing more precise 12 Mp photos to be obtained at from a 48 Mp sensor.
In good light conditions it is difficult to see any difference with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and its 12 Mp main sensor. We just noticed more marked contrasts and slightly more vivid colors. In low light in our test of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, on the other hand, the results are more convincing, notably because the sensor is 65% larger than that of the iPhone 13 Pro Max and therefore captures more light.< /p>
In reality, this 48 Mp sensor will especially appeal to photographerssemi-professional or professional. Firstly because it is possible to choose in the settings to shoot at 48 Mp in order to obtain more detailed photos. This will not necessarily be seen on the phone screen but on editing software, we can indeed see that the photos are a bit more precise.
Above all, to exploit its full potential, the firm combines 48 Mp capture with ProRAW mode. This mode, dear to photographers, allows much more precise retouching. The downside: the files are very large (several tens of MB) which quickly saturates the storage memory. If you are photographers, choose models with 512 GB or even 1 TB of storage.
Apple also announced with great fanfare the return of a 2x zoom. For this, it is the main 48 Mp sensor that is used, not a separate sensor. Please note, this is not a cropping of the image but rather the association of optics with processing algorithms.
Thus, photos taken with a 2x zoom exploit “the central 12 megapixels of the quad pixel sensor”explains Apple on its official website. Questioned on this subject, the engineers did not provide more precise information on the process used. We will therefore have to be content with this explanation.
Low light portrait
Low light portrait
The rest of the photographic experience is very close to what we experienced with the iPhone 13 Pro Max. In fact, if you don't have an iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max (or older), you won't see any changes in the quality of the images produced.
The new Photonic Engine slightly improves the quality of night photos and portraits. But the difference compared to the iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro is too slight to justify a purchase on this criterion alone.
The same goes for the new flash, made up of nine LEDs that we tested at length on this iPhone 14 Pro Max. While it allows you to shoot slightly more natural shots, it doesn't make a big difference in the photographic experience either.
Ultra wide-angle low light
Also better for selfies
Apple has not forgotten selfie lovers. TheTrueDepthcamerais improving and now includes optics with autofocus. All the adjustments – including the integration of a new lens (f/1.9) – allows you to improve the quality of photos in low light by 38%.
Like the main sensor of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, it does not drastically improve photos taken in the best conditions. terms. It is true, however, thatselfies captured in low light (especially portrait mode) are much more convincing.
And the video?
Always quick to make eyes at videographers, Apple is further improving its copy with the iPhone 14 Pro Max. If the quality of the videos is quite close to what we obtain with a 13 Pro Max, two new modes further improve the experience. And our test of the iPhone 14 Pro Max confirmed it to us.
The first one, you know it, since it is the Cinematic mode.(you know the one that blurs the background, like in portraits). While we had to settle for Full HD quality with the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is capable of filming with this mode in 4K at 30 fps or 24 fps. /s, all in Dolby Vision HDR. Furthermore, the new algorithm manages clipping better, and is much more precise in the treatment of hair and glasses in particular.
Butthe most impressive is undoubtedly the new Action< mode. /em>. The latter allows you to film moving subjects. Practical for following athletes, shooting action scenes on a smartphone (like chases) etc. By activating this mode, you can film up to 2.8K at 60 frames per second with Dolby Vision and ProRes activated.
Apple's presentation video showed a huge difference with this mode. In reality, the stabilization in standard mode is already astonishing. However, we shot a racing scene by deliberately shaking the phone during filming. The results are amazing and comparable to what you get with a good gimbal. See instead.
Long criticized for the poor autonomy of its iPhones, Apple found the magic formula a few years ago and managed to raise the latest generations among the market benchmarks. Last year, the iPhone 13 Pro Max even won the title of most durable smartphone in all categories (by far).
This year, the iPhone 14 Pro Max, despite its battery a bit smaller (4323 mAh compared to 4352 mAh) does even better than its big brother. According to the results of our 01Lab laboratory, it will take 27h21 to completely deplete the battery, two hours more than the iPhone 13 Pro Max and eight hours more than the Reno8, the most durable smartphone in the Android universe. So much for the numbers.
On a daily basis during our test, it is true that we were pleasantly surprised by the excellent autonomy of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple's latest is by far the model that we had to recharge the least often during a test. Despite regular demands, we even lasted almost two days on a single charge. Impressive.
We would have liked to say the same about the charge, always very disappointing for a model sold at this price. Moreover, Apple is careful not to highlight this aspect of the device, contenting itself with a small line in the technical sheet indicating a charging time of 50% in 35 minutes with a 20W charger which, in addition, is not provided.
These performances are far too tight for a model of this scale. And compatibility with Magsafe or Qi wireless charging will not console us. Competitors do much better.
The iPhone 14 Pro shares all of the features of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, except for a few small details.
The main point of differentiation is obviously its size. Much smaller, it includes a 6.1” screen. This format makes it easier to grip and even allows comfortable one-handed use. Lighter, it also fits more easily into a pocket. Like its predecessor, the format of the iPhone 14 Pro remains the best compromise between good grip and visual comfort.
The other notable difference between these two models is of course behind the screen. Since it is smaller, the iPhone 14 Pro has a smaller battery. Thus, its autonomy is less impressive. With a score of 19:28 on our 01Lab tests, it is positioned far behind the iPhone 14 Pro Max and its 27:21 in versatile use. This does not prevent it from being among the most durable smartphones on the market.
Finally, the iPhone 14 Pro is a slightly more accessible model (1,329 euros for the 128 GB model). But at these price levels, do the 150 euros difference with the Max version make the difference?
No, really, what directs the choice towards the Pro or the Max is fine and indeed their size and, to a lesser extent, their autonomy. For the rest, it's the same.
From a technological point of view, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a pure marvel. Apple takes what made the success of the previous generation, improves most of the points and brings a bit of new features.
Apart from its record autonomy, its magnificent screen, its talents as a photographer and videographer, the iPhone 14 Pro Max stands out for that little thing that makes the difference. We're talking here about Dynamic Island, this software optimization that completely changes the way you use an iPhone. From there to say that this small island alone justifies the transition to the new model, let's not exaggerate anything.
If you have an iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max or an iPhone 12 Pro/Pro Max, you can go your way. If you have an iPhone 11 Pro, why not. If your iPhone is older then you will not be disappointed, that's a certainty.
In view of its breathtaking price, the iPhone 14 Pro Max only makes sense for owners of models 3 years old or more. For others, it is better to wait for the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max which will mark a clear evolution. In any case, that’s what Apple promised us.