One Minute Review Version
- Night Mode feature is excellent
- Great video recording quality and the video image stabilization is excellent
- Big improvement on battery life
- Bright, easy to read screen
- Overall a great reliable phone that checks all the important boxes
- It’s an iPhone XS Max with a better camera 😄
- No Native RAW settings – it’s a PRO Phone! Why not?
- Still connects at USB 2.0 in 2019
- ProMotion 120hz display would be nice
- Everything that’s missing will most likely be on the next gen iPhone in 2020
- Siri is still meh
- It’s an iPhone XS Max with a better camera 😒
- Yes if coming from anything older than an iPhone XS Max
- Yes if Night Mode and Wide Angle photos is important to you if you have the XS Max
- No if iPhone and iOS is not your thing (duh)
- No because you are the practical type and can get just about all the same features from the cheaper iPhone 11
Need more details?
You’ve heard of it. Apple’s latest iteration of the iPhone for 2019. It is the BEST iPhone EVER made. The End. Just kidding.
I’ve had this for about a week after launch day because I was on the fence on whether or not I should upgrade from the iPhone XS Pro Max as it was pretty much the same thing for the most part… except for the camera which we will get into. It’s also powered by their new A13 Chip for some added performance and smarter photo processing.
Still has a lightning port, but it comes with a USB-C lightning cable so you can now charge on your newer Macs or PCs with a USB-C port, or quick charge with the included 18W brick.
The screen, resolution, design, etc (aside from the camera) are nearly identical except for a little more heft on the iPhone 11 Pro Max due to a bigger battery, which is a good thing. Take a look at the side by side spec sheets here between the iPhone XS Max and 11 Pro for your leisure from WhistleOut or any other website you can Google.
For the most part, it looks and feels the same as carrying around an iPhone XS Max so if you love that design, you are going to love this. If you are coming from a smaller iPhone, then you will obviously notice the size difference even more. Even though there are no significant changes from the previous generation, the device is solid, well built and the build quality is vary apparent compared to cheaper phones. I have the Space Gray version and I like the matte feel of the back of the phone. Other than that, really nothing special or that really stands out if you compare to the higher end Android phones, but if you don’t care for Android most likely wouldn’t care about how pretty those look. Make no mistake, iPhone 11 Pro Max holds it’s own very well in terms of build and design.
I took some photos just in case you have no idea what it looks like 🙄
Features / Performance
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has been my daily driver for about three months – doing everything from making calls, taking / editing photos, selfies, social media, work emails, tweaking presentations, spreadsheets, and documents etc. Basically everything that an employed individual with a life would do. I don’t have time to obsess over every feature, admire how the phone looks and run benchmarks that have no meaning to the real world. I just use the damn thing as part of my professional and personal life and unsurprisingly, it has been very reliable at that. Starting with unlocking the phone with Face ID has been good but no different from the previous XS Max. Still can’t unlock well from an angle and you have to look directly to it. Navigating through the phone as quick and smooth and I have not experienced any micro-stutters. iOS 13 has been pretty solid and if you are part of the Apple Ecosystem then you are going to appreciate how it integrates with your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch in sending text messages, making calls, syncing web browsers, using AirPods (Pro) etc. If you’re a fan of Apple services such as Apple TV+, Music, Arcade, iCloud etc… once again they all play nicely with each other on other devices and it’s great that they all sync and you can pick up where you left off thanks to the power of the cloud. Speaking of games, they seem to get even more impressive every year and I believe that has a lot to the developers getting better at writing software for the continuously evolving hardware and not just on the Apple platform but Android as well. Games such as Sayonara Wildhearts, Sonic Racing, Towaga Among Shadows run great on the iPhone 11 Pro Max and thanks to the improved wireless controller support from iOS13, you can play pair third party controllers such as Xbox or PS4 to name a few.
All that is nice and all but honestly you can get similar performance features if you have an iPhone XS or XS Max. I know I’ve been saying that quite a bit because it’s true. Where the iPhone 11 Pro Max and EVEN the cheaper iPhone 11 really shine is the camera performance. More specifically the Night Mode. In low light conditions, it makes you hold the camera still for an extra second or two to capture and process more light and it is very impressive. Less work to edit in post. Some examples below.
Also there’s a wide angle feature as well that let’s you capture some fun shots. This is not exclusive to just the Pro models but found on the cheaper iPhone 11 as well. What is exclusive to the Pro is the 2X optical lens for those close ups. If you don’t care for that then save yourself a grip of money, get the iPhone 11 and take a nice vacation somewhere.
Here’s a some general shots:
Another great improvement for the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the battery life. With the slightly added weight and bulk you get a bigger battery. On my XS Max, it barely made it through the day and sometimes I would have to charge before 7PM if I take the phone off the charger at 9AM before heading out. Sometimes I have to top off through the day to even get it to make it to that time! With the 11 Pro Max, I hardly top off (some times I do out of habit) but it usually has no problems making it past midnight after a full days use on a work day. That is awesome especially for people that travel and rely on their phones for a variety of things. Much less battery anxiety, carrying around bulky battery cases, and being tethered to the wall.