iPhone 14 Pro Max Review: Smart Island Innovation, Camera Beast


It is still surgical grade stainless steel frame, still frosted glass + classic three-camera shape, which is very familiar from the iPhone 12 Pro series, but when you light up the screen, you will gain a little extra agility.iPhone 14 Pro Max review: I am delighted to be a smart island owner

It can be seen in the light that the iPhone 14 Pro series hardware structure is the exclamation point screen that was quite controversial before. Still, Apple, which has always been good at walking on soft and hard legs, has saved the hardware from the end through interactive innovation. Embarrassed, a smart island was created.

Like the name, it has very smooth motion effects to change its form to play a different role. Three main ones have been experienced so far. One is a strong reminder: for example, entering your face ID or face payment will expand into a rectangle to remind you to look here.

The second is the background real-time status preview: when you run some apps that are resident in the background, the moment you slide the app up and put it on the ground, it will hang on the smart island and display the progress in real-time, timer, music, navigation, etc. You can click on the smart peninsula to return to the app and long-press the smart island to expand it into a quick widget.iPhone 14 Pro Max review: I am delighted to be a smart island owner

When you have 2 apps that are resident in the background simultaneously, the smart island will be split into the main island and the auxiliary island. When there are more resident apps, the system will judge by priority and display the two most important ones.iPhone 14 Pro Max review: I am delighted to be a smart island owner

The third is the prompt status window: when connecting your AirPods, uploading photos with AirDrop, plugging in the charger, etc., it will expand to display the device status, which is a more elegant prompt than the push pop-up window.

The three-party music software currently used in the actual measurement, because the same interface is called, can directly display the playback control on the smart island. I believe that more third-party apps will be adapted in the future to create more interesting gameplay.iPhone 14 Pro Max review: I am delighted to be a smart island owner

At the same time, the cue points that are calling the microphone and camera have also been moved to the smart island, which happens to occupy the screen between the exclamation mark structures on the hardware. Cook is a master of space management, and watching the video, and playing games take up less visual space. The only problem with the experience is that it may be quite far for the thumb to interact with the island for Pro Max users with small hands.

The reason why Smart Island is widely acclaimed is mainly that it is relatively rare. The boundary between hardware and software is blurred on mobile phones, and this blurring will make you feel cool like when you put on VR, your hands handle becomes like a lightsaber.

Another reason is that everyone is tired of Notch. After 5 years, they finally have a new design. When everyone looks at this new product with the mentality of getting used to the exclamation mark, Apple has created a smart island, which is quite a surprise!

You see, Cook taught himself the importance of anticipation management, and he read the Want to Buy class. The two most conspicuous iPhone 14 Pro series updates are on the front. We would like to call the newly added screen display – too bright AOD. As the name suggests, the brightness of AOD is too high, and you sometimes feel like you forgot the screen.

Unlike the Android AODs, you are used to, Apple copied the Apple Watch’s approach to display the entire screen. The whole AOD strategy will change as you change different wallpapers, so the playability is quite high.

For example, if you use the built-in wallpaper, the highlights will be retained; for portraits, the main body will be retained more, and the background will be darkened; even like the official rainbow wallpaper, the background color will be black, and the brightness of the rainbow will be reduced very little; surprisingly, This AOD can even be adaptive to intelligence, adjusting the brightness as the ambient light changes.

From the perspective of information display, it is indeed much richer than Android. You can directly see the custom widgets, real-time notifications, and some pushes on the lock screen. Still, from the perspective of daily use, it is inevitable to worry about more consumption—lots of power.

So we turned on the AOD and turned off the AOD, charged to 100% respectively, turned on Do Not Disturb, and left it for 1 hour in the same environment. It turned out that there was no difference in power consumption. You can use it confidently, and it is very extreme to stand for 1 hour. After all, who can resist not picking up their phone for an hour these days?

In the customization of AOD, Apple also gives fewer options. It does not support setting how many minutes after Android to turn off, timing display, etc., but it will judge the scene through the sensor, such as putting it in a bag, pocket, or buckle. On the table, the AOD will all go out.

By setting a timed sleep mode, you can turn off the display regularly at night to avoid too bright AOD becoming your night light.

This time AOD can come to the iPhone as it wishes, thanks to this LTPO screen with a minimum display of 1Hz, and this generation of outdoor peak brightness can soar to 2000nit, HDR peak brightness of 1600nit, and the effect can keep up with outdoor use and watching movies. There will be a perceivable improvement in one generation.

There is also the new A16 Bionic that provides the underlying support for Smart Island and AOD, which is the A16 Bionic that will make the iPhone 14 envy.

Using the iPhone 14 Pro to measure the GeekBench, the single-core 1884, the multi-core 5420, compared with the full-blood version of the A15, the single-core increase is 9%, and the multi-core increase is 17%, ranking first in the Huangjia evaluation hangar list.

In terms of GPU, the measured frame rates of GFXBench are 53 frames and 87 frames, respectively, which is about 5% higher than the full-blooded A15, ranking 24th in the hangar ranking.

It feels that the performance iteration of Apple’s own chips is crowded, but Apple’s chip upgrades will always serve functions and experience. The press conference also emphasized that this generation of chips mainly serves energy efficiency, display technology, and imaging technology.

For example, the newly equipped display engine in the A16 provides AOD with a 1Hz refresh rate, higher peak brightness, and animation anti-aliasing of Smart Island to achieve a silky effect.

Regarding energy efficiency, everyone also remembers to pay attention to the Huangjia evaluation. In the future, we will test all four models of the iPhone 14 series in the hangar rankings.iPhone 14 Pro Max review: I am delighted to be a smart island owner

We use the official 35W dual port to charge and connect the ammeter. The actual measurement is that the iPhone 14 Pro can be charged up to 20W, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be charged up to 27W. The charging speeds are ranked 49th and 49th in the hangar rankings, respectively. 52nd.

In terms of imaging, the ISP of the A16 is also upgraded again and cooperates with the CPU, GPU, and neural network engine to provide computing power support for shooting.


The main camera of the iPhone 14 Pro series has been upgraded from the ancestral 12-megapixel sensor to a new four-Bayer array 48-megapixel sensor.

In this set of proofs, the 14 Pro Max’s restoration of light is more in line with the scene at the time. The color has some algorithmic flavor from the previous two generations, returning to the true restoration route of the iPhone ancestry. At the same time, there is a certain dynamic in the dark and image resolution. Promote.

At night, it can be seen that due to the increase in the amount of light entering the main camera, the dynamic performance has also been improved, the highlights are less overflowing, the shadows are purer, and the noise control is better.iPhone 14 Pro Max review: I am delighted to be a smart island owner

However, based on the performance of the day and night, the improvement of the 14 Pro Max is not a literal four-fold improvement of 12MP to 48MP because after shooting, you will find that one image will still be output in normal mode, and the four-pixel combined A 12-megapixel photo after one.

However, Apple also gave a choice this time. After opening ProRaw, you can take a photo with a full output of 48 million pixels. It can be seen from this group of pictures of Yifan that the 48 Megapixel Raw photo perfectly retains Yifan’s eye makeup Details, the texture of clothes and hair, are also preserved, which is a detail that could not be captured by the previous 12 million pixels; while in normal mode, it is smoothed out by the algorithm, and the resolution after four-in-one is not as good as Raw.

Due to the increase in pixels and the increase in the sensor area, the focal length is increased by 2 times, and the middle part of the sensor is directly used for shooting. By comparing the cropping of the previous generation by 2 times, it can be seen that the resolution is significantly improved, and the characters and background are also different. Depth of field relationship is a usable 2x focal length.

And this 2x focal length has also been added to the portrait mode. It can be found that compared to 3x portraits, about 50mm is indeed more suitable for taking social portrait photos, and the overall look and feel are more comfortable, and this focal length is in the portrait mode of the 13 Pro Max. Completely not optional; 3 times can only be taken from a distance or headshot.

At 3x focal length, although the hardware has not changed, thanks to the newly added light imaging engine, the light input has also been increased by 2 times, and more picture details have been obtained. Observe the palm of Yifan and suppress the highlights. And the preservation of more information is better.

According to the introduction at the press conference, the light image engine readjusted the image processing pipeline, allowing Deep Fusion to screen and calculate information in the original image information stage, thereby retaining more light and color information.

The same is true for the ultra-wide-angle. After the amount of incoming light is tripled, the improvement in edge resolution is not a star and a half compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The newly designed flash of the iPhone 14 Pro series can be described as stunning. It can automatically adjust the brightness according to the focusing distance; instead of directly shining the brightest light on the face as before, the facial details are better preserved, and the characters are more three-dimensional. The flash effect on the card machine is so bad.

In the video shooting part that the iPhone has always been good at, this year brings a new sports mode and a 4K image quality improvement in the movie mode. Let’s look at this picture of Yifan running. This is the normal mode of the 13 Pro Max and the sports mode of the 14 Pro Max. The whole effect is still very ideal. You can even call each focal length to shoot such a stabilized video, and even more, It’s also Dolby Vision HDR.iPhone 14 Pro Max review: I am delighted to be a smart island owner

However, there are some details to pay attention to. The principle of the motion mode is to use the gyroscope and accelerometer to determine the trajectory and process the picture. The essence is still the algorithm of cropping and anti-shake, so it can only shoot 2.8K video at most.

The cropping is also more forceful, and about one-third of the screen content will be lost, so when you switch over, the iPhone uses the ultra-wide-angle to shoot by default to get a close-to-wide-angle field of view.

And the sports mode needs to be turned on when the light is sufficient. Otherwise, it will prompt you to need more light, and if you shoot again at this time, the picture quality will be significantly reduced.

From the experience point of view, the sports mode is available. In some sports and outdoor scenes, the scope of application of video shooting has been expanded, allowing you to spend more time with only one iPhone. Efforts made.

Read Also: iPhone 14 Models Announced: Battery Capacity Has Been Upgrade


Finally upgraded to 4K image quality movie mode, we directly compared with the previous generation 1080P, in terms of picture details and texture, 4K has inherent advantages, with 24 frames of pictures more cinematic. In the test, 14 Pro Max, The new movie mode has a better performance than before in terms of focus transfer and character buttoning.

In general, the iPhone 14 Pro series is a fine polishing of the previous generation products, and it also makes up for many of the regrets of the 13 Pro series, such as the all-weather display and 4K movie mode.

Step-by-step upgrades and surprises can be seen in this generation of products. Smart Island is the beginning of the next generation of iPhone products or the beginning of new interactions between Apple’s ecological products. This design that breaks the boundary between software and hardware will be in the future. We will see more. After all, Apple’s huge developer ecosystem and developer response speed are the greatest confidence for Apple to dare to create new interactions.

If you are an iPhone user, you should directly consider Pro for the 14 series. The new interactive form, AOD, and the 48-megapixel main camera with stronger expansion in the future will make you feel that the money is worth it. Compared with the 14 figures Series, he has more things you can perceive and reaps longer product cycles. Of course, if you have a limited budget or prefer a lighter feel, the iPhone 14 series is also worth considering.

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