Hands on: Apple iPhone XS Max

Arnav Dhar - Nov 01, 2018

Hands on: Apple iPhone XS Max

iPhone XS Max - Bigger screen, longer battery, heftier price version of the XS

Why you should buy it: The iPhone XS Max comes with a huge, fantastic display and a longer battery life than its smaller version, the iPhone XS. Apple also improved their flagship’s speed, durability and water resistance, gave it a new camera and of course, dual-SIM support.

Why you won’t: Not everyone can afford this phone and it will be a little too oversized for someone who prefers a more compact phone.

Overall: Owning a great display, some great features adopted from the XS version, a bigger size and longer battery, but this phone is still not a really big jump compared to its smaller sister.

Apple iPhone XS Max
Apple iPhone XS Max

The first question that comes to people’s mind might be “Why does this phone have the name ‘Max’ but not ‘Plus’ like many other traditional products released by Apple?” The answer is simple: Every Plus phone before has a bigger screen, longer battery and a better camera, while in these new XS versions, apart from screen and battery, everything stays the same whether it is a XS or XS Max. And, $100 is the price for those enhancements.

A 6.5-inch screen is just more than enough

It’s not only about the size. This model carries a whopping number of pixel: 2,688x1,242. That’s fairly more than an amount of 2,436x1,125 in the iPhone XS. However, that little jump is enough for you to experience the difference. Better looking videos, games and photos are guaranteed. Combine with the screen size, this phone offers you a chance to get rid of that disturbing feelings when trying to zoom in a fine detail or those tiny letters.

How about that odd–but–annoying notch at the top of every edge-to-edge iPhone? We have good news for you, the big screen seems to make that notch blend into it better, exaggerate the all-screen effect we all want to see.

And the OLED display? Well, it does well, as always.

Apple iPhone XS Max
We just love how the black notch blends into the whole screen pretty well.

You can not only see clearer but also see more

Similar to iPhone Plus family, this iPhone XS Max version comes with a great feature called Split View. However, only some apps and websites are able to perform this in landscape mode.

Apple iPhone XS Max screen
Split screen? Yes please!

How does it feel in your hands?

Weighing about an ounce more than the XS, this phone is still as big and heavy as the old iPhone 8 Plus, if not just a little more. If you feel comfortable with the old Plus series, this is not a bad choice especially if you have big hands!

Audio system and speakers

They are the same with the XS, that means great enough for daily use

Battery life

iPhone XS Max comes with an impressive 3,174 mAh battery, which according to Apple should last 1.5 hours longer than iPhone X. Busy people will be happy to have their phone throughout the day without worrying about charging

iPhone XS Max battery
iPhone XS Max battery comparison with iPhone X and XS

So, the prices?

The amount of money you have to pay should not shock you. Starting at $1,099 in the US ($100 more than the XS as we mentioned before) for the 64GB version, this phone will cost you $1,499 for the 512GB version.

iPhone XS Max (64GB) iPhone XS Max (256GB) iPhone XS Max (512GB)
US $1,099 $1,249 $1,499
UK £1,099 £1,249 £1,499
Australia AU$1,799 AU$2,049 AU$2,369

In case you don’t know yet, the 512GB version is as expensive as a MacBook Pro.

And if you still question the existance of a 128GB version, Apple has a clear message: “They are outdated!”

What about the XR?

Besides the screen size and battery life, the iPhone XS Max is just an iPhone XS, literally. This means it doesn’t come with any crucial advantages and thus, is not really necessary. In many cases, the $100 upgrade seems not to be a real bang for your buck.

In case you still consider a bigger phone (or phablet, whatever you call it), Apple offers another choice, the XR with a 6.1-inch display which will be released this October. Though this phone is much more cheaper than the XS and XS Max, Apple still gives it a nice LCD display, A12 processor, face ID and a single rear camera bonus a aluminium frame, all with $749. It is expected to be the greatest bang for your buck of the year.

iPhone XR
iPhone XR

But if you have a fortune and don’t mind swinging around with a bigger phone, just go for the XS Max and it won’t let you down.


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