Here’s a scenario: you have finally saved up enough for a specific iPhone that you’ve had your eyes on, but then something comes up that couldn’t have happened at a worse time – the unveiling of a new line of smartphones.
What follows is a burning question – do you stick to your initial plan, or scratch that to get the latest device?
Welcome to my world. I had finally decided to bite the bullet and upgrade my current humble iPhone to the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Or so I thought. This was before the recent reveal of the new iPhone 14 line-up.
The announcement means that local prices for its predecessors will drop, as avid Apple fans rush to upgrade to the latest devices Apple has to offer.
Unfortunately for me, and I assume for most of us – upgrading your smartphone annually, especially if your preference is for the latest iPhone, is a luxury that many do not have.
On the other hand, you might think that since you have waited this long, why not just add a few hundred dollars and get the latest? It’s not as simple as it sounds though, as evident in the few sleepless nights trying to make the right decision.
First, you have to know the value of the model that you are planning to get: what you are using it for, if it adds value to your life and whether you really need it.
I have narrowed it down to iPhone 13 Pro Max or iPhone 14 Pro Max, the latter being the one to get from the latest line-up, as the baseline iPhone 14 has nothing special to offer.
In my line of work, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, with its robust, close to 48 hours of battery life and excellent camera and video stabilisation, is a much needed upgrade to my now-cracked baseline smartphone.
Plus, with my work revolving exclusively around the use of a Macbook Pro and video editing on Final Cut, the addition of the iPhone 13 Pro Max would fit me perfectly.
Externally, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is similar to the 13 Pro Max so I am not losing anything on that front. Features wise, the new iPhone 14 Pro Max has the same adaptive refresh rate technology, meaning I can get a brand new iPhone 13 Pro Max with the same refresh rate at a cheaper price. The only advantage is that the iPhone 14 Pro Max boasts an always-on display as its refresh rate is able to go down to 10Hz, which I don’t really care for as I am not the type to always have my screen turned on.
Camera wise, the iPhone 14 Pro Max offers the same array of rear camera lenses as the previous rendition, which includes an ultra-wide lens and telephoto lenses.
Though the iPhone 14 Pro Max does boast an impressive 48-megapixel main camera compared to the previous 12-megapixel sensors on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, allowing it to take better pictures in low light, to me, it’s just not much of an upgrade when I still use a DSLR camera to take photos for my profession, and from what I’ve experienced, the cameras on the iPhone 13 Pro Max are more than sufficient.
Another feature that the iPhone 14 Pro Max has that is worth mentioning and which the iPhone 13 Pro Max doesn’t have is what Apple calls the ‘Dynamic Island’ – their answer to the dreaded notch issues in the previous models of the iPhone.
It’s nice and innovative as Apple has found an effective way to use its new design to be functional as well, as it has notifications and other prompts render in the “pill size” notch, which houses its front facing camera, to make it seem invisible. It’s nice, but I can live without it.
The new iPhone 14 Pro Max also allows users to send SOS via satellite in case of emergency situations, a nice feature but not much of an essential.
Another key consideration is the price. The average current price for a brand new iPhone 13 Pro Max with 256GB storage might get lower once the new iPhone 14 line-up is available in the country.
In its official statement, Apple announced that the new iPhone 14 line-up will be selling at the same price as the previous line-up, but by reading and roaming around the Internet, the similar pricing seems to be reserved to the United States, as commenters on tech websites and videos online have said they expect there will be price hikes in countries such as the United Kingdom and India due to inflation and other costs. Ultimately though, it is safe to say I have made my decision. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is more than enough upgrade to my current set-up and it has the best value for money, as iOS updates will be ensured and the device’s A16 chip, its camera and battery life still make it an impressive smartphone in the market today.
But, if you have the money and want the latest updated iPhone, I’d say go for the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max.