Apple took its best from the iPhone XS Max and created the new iPhone 11 Pro Max and dropping the fancy Roman Numerals at the same time. It is ushered in a bit of a different approach, sitting next to the iPhone 11 and closing the gap between a “normal” phone and the “pro”. The new iPhone 11 Pro Max brings in Apple’s new camera system to push back rival flagship devices and offers better performance with plenty of power.
But, is the first Pro iPhone really worth its name?
A Design that is Downright Intimidating
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has this look from the back screaming, “What ‘ya lookin’ at, Android?” Its 3 camera lenses staring at you are so big that it feels like something is about to launch out of them.
The iPhone features a frosted glass finish on the back, a nice alternative to smudge-prone and glossy phablets such as the Huawei P30 Pro and Galaxy Note 10.
However, the Pro Max might be a bit jealous of the “normal” iPhone 11 since it is 2 colors short than the regular one. And instead of choosing from different fun hues like yellow, purple or green, Apple chose to stick with conservative options. These include midnight-green, gold, silver and space gray.
Speaking of intimidating, this iPhone flaunts the toughest glass. Matching that durability, it now has an improved IP8 water resistance so you can submerge it up to 4 meters underwater for at least 30 minutes.
Brighter, Bigger Screen Fun and Audio Boost
A 6.5-inch phone might be a bit awkward in your hand, but who cares if you have such a screen for watching your favorite movies and videos?
Featuring Super Retina XDR screen, you get incredibly accurate colors, impressive brightness, and a sharp 2688 x 1242 resolution.
In terms of its speaker, the iPhone has a stereo setup— one at the top and a bottom-firing one. Although not as loud as other phones, the music sounds a little richer. Bass is not strong at all, but it is clearer than Samsung phones.
The speakers also support Dolby Atmos for a louder and clearer sound without speaker distortion that you should notice more when playing some games and movies.
A Hardware Lift with Nice Battery Gains
With the iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple has moved to the A13 Bionic processor. It is an upgrade from iPhone XS Max A12 Bionic processor with an increment step up in power. It is faster, however, it is not that noticeable.
We like to think that the additional processing power is for coping with the computational requirements of the new camera and future proof against smarter apps yet to come.
The iPhone XS Max did not have a bad battery life, however, it was not that amazing either. Fortunately, the iPhone 11 Pro Max promises a bit more juice and offers an extra 5 hours than its predecessor. That is enough battery to get you through a busy Monday.
Beyond the “pro” power and extended battery life, there’s also the fast charging found in iPhone XS, but this time, Apple is generous enough to actually include the 18W charger that takes the Pro Max from 0 to 48 in just 30 minutes.
The Headline Triple “Threat” Camera System
Taking the back seat after Android camera phones for the past years, Apple has now regained its footing and offers the intimidating, triple-threat camera system, proudly sitting at the back of the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
It offers 3 stellar 12MP rear cameras—a wide-angle camera, a 2x telephoto camera with wider aperture and the ultra-wide camera with 120-degree field of view. With these 3 lenses, you can make the most of whatever situation you’re presented with— zooming twice closer to your subject or cramming twice as much of the scene into the frame.
Video recording has also improved, with the iPhone 11 Pro Max now able to capture 4K at 60fps, so you get smoother footage.
Take a Selfie or a Slofie
Apple has also upped the ‘selfie’ game with a much-improved 12-megapixel front sensor. The new TrueDepth camera can now shoot slow‑motion selfie videos at 120 fps or in 4K at 60 fps, and zooms out automatically when in landscape mode so no one gets left behind in a group shot.
Better Night Mode
Previous Apple models have failed to capture impressive images in the gloom, with other brands, Huawei, Samsung, and Google stomping all over Apple with camera phones that can almost turn night to day with advanced post-processing images.
The new Night Mode that Apple brings requires you to steadily hold the phone while taking pictures. If you do, you are rewarded with “fully bright” scenes with details that even your eyes cannot see.
You can check some of the photos we’ve taken on iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone XS Max here.
Better Portrait Mode
Another upgrade is Portrait mode. Not only does the Pro Max is better at figuring the outlines of an animal, a person or other subjects, it is also now able to work at the ”normal” distance as well as the “zoomed in” distance, thanks to the extra sensor that picks up information about depth.
You can play with different lighting modes to hide blemishes or try the new High Key Mono that creates stylized and more ethereal picture. The overall qualities of images, compared to its predecessor, are sharper and brighter.
Availability, Price, and Warranty
Apple offers its new iPhone 11 Pro Max at $1,100 and that is for the base 64GB model. You can go with the 256GB storage option and pricing jumps to $1,249 with the 512GB model setting you back $1,449.
Apple also offers the standard limited warranty which protects your phone against any manufacturing defects for a year from the date of purchase. Or you can pay more for AppleCare+ that adds 2 years of coverage for accidental defects and damage.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max is the closest thing Apple has come to the perfect smartphone. Its camera alone brings a giant leap forward and puts Apple ahead of both Google and Samsung— for now. The bright OLED display almost puts the Galaxy Note 10+ screen to shame and even has the fastest processor and longer battery life than any other iPhone model.
Looking at the phone landscape, you’ll see plenty of great flagship models. But, right at this moment, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is definitely at the top of the mountain!