Apple’s affordable big-screen phone may lag rival flagships


I think the iPhone 14 Max could be the best phone of the year, however I have a single issue with that.

(Image credit: Unbox Therapy)

The release of the iPhone 14 Max is all but certain at this moment. According to the latest iPhone 14 rumour mill, this model is expected to replace Apple’s iPhone small, allowing consumers who want a large-screen phone but don’t want to shell out for a Pro-level device.

It looks excellent on paper. The iPhone 14 Max is expected to cost $899 and come with practically everything you could want for, including a 6.7-inch OLED display, excellent photo quality, and A16 Bionic processing capability, according to rumours (we think). I recently stated that Samsung should be concerned about the iPhone 14 Max, but this speculated Apple phone is also a cause for concern.


At least in terms of performance, Apple’s silicon in Android phones should continue to outperform everything else for some time yet. We were able to get 12:16 of battery life out of the iPhone 13 Pro Max on our battery test, so I expect the iPhone 14 Max to do the same. A battery life of over 10 hours is excellent, and a battery life of over 11.5 hours qualifies for inclusion in our list of the best phone battery life.

The Google Pixel 6 Pro and the OnePlus 10 Pro are both flagship phones that cost $899. The Galaxy S22 Plus, which costs $999, is the closest Samsung has to an iPhone 14 Max. In addition to the Google Pixel 7, which you would expect to have a Pro version, there is also the Google Pixel 7, which was teased at Google I/O 2022, but little else is known about that device.

So why am I so concerned? In comparison to the competition, the iPhone 14 Max’s biggest shortcoming could be the absence of optical zoom. Even though this phone is expected to have a better camera, rumour has it that the iPhone 14 Pro variants, including the iPhone 14 Pro Max, will still have a telephoto zoom.


On the other hand, the Pixel 6 Pro’s 4x telephoto zoom and 20x digital zoom make it the most powerful camera on the market today. The Galaxy S22 Plus from Samsung has a 3x optical zoom and a digital zoom of up to 30 times.

If Apple wants to compete with these other camera phones, it needs to enhance its digital zoom game at the very least. The current iPhone 13 maxes out at 5x digital zoom. Of course, the ability to zoom in on subjects with my iPhone 12 Pro Max doesn’t always equate to great shots, but on trips like the one I recently took to Virginia Beach, I like having the option to do so. My son and daughter were walking on the sand, and I was able to approach closer to a bird that was flying over the pool.

A powerful 10x zoom like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s absurd 120x Space Zoom is not something I’m hoping for (digital). Moreover, the iPhone 15 is expected to be the first Apple device to have periscope zoom. There is no longer any need for a professional-level optical zoom in my opinion. Having a $899-plus flagship is a no-brainer.


It’s possible that the iPhone 14 Max could fall behind its competitors in other areas. That includes the refresh rate of the display. Samsung, OnePlus, and Google’s Pixel 6 Pro all have 120Hz displays. Smoother scrolling and better overall performance are made possible by higher refresh rates, which are especially beneficial when playing video games.

On the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, it appears that 120Hz ProMotion displays are only available. A 90Hz display on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max is better than nothing, according to rumours. However, the Pixel 6 is $200 less expensive than the iPhone 13 with its 60Hz display, while making the same compromise.

How many less iPhone 14 Max devices do I expect Apple to sell because of these issues? Nope. But I’d like to see a better big-screen deal from Apple next fall.


Leave a Comment