iPhone XS Max

These are our early impressions of the new device from Apple - check back in a few hours (or keep an eye on our Twitter feed) to see when we've had time to deliver some more in-depth findings.

Apple revamped the iPhone last year with the iPhone X but the plus model didn’t get that same treatment. That changes this year as Apple announced the iPhone XS Max today with a massive 6.5-inch screen along with all the other features present in the smaller iPhone XS such as dual SIM support, an improved camera and the super fast A12 Bionic processor as well as an all new 512GB storage version.

iPhone XS Max price and release date

The iPhone XS Max, along with the iPhone XS was announced today and goes on sale September 21. Pre-orders start a week early on September 14 for countries under the first wave which include the US, UK, and UAE.

The iPhone XS Max is going to be available in configurations of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB.  Apple has set the pricing for the 64GB model at US$ 1,099 while the 256GB version will retail at $1,249 and 512GB will go for US$ 1,449.

The price has, on average, increased by a $100 for the Max model compared to the iPhone X and iPhone XS.

Design

Very much like the Plus model of previous generations, the iPhone XS Max is the larger version of the iPhone XS. Apple has made it IP68 which means that it's water resistant upto 2 meters and 30 minutes.

Size-wise, the iPhone XS max measures 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7mm which puts it around the same levels as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 with dimensions of 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm. It's a weighty device at 208 grams but feels surprisingly lighter in hand. 

There's no way you'll be able to use the iPhone XS Max with one hand though.

It will be available in three colors- Space Grey and Silver make a return with the new Gold version that looks stunning, especially with the stainless still band around it. The iPhone still has a front and back glass design, however Apple claims that it's now the most durable glass in a smartphone ever made.

Screen

The screen size of the iPhone XS Max is 6.5-inches which makes it the largest display Apple has ever put on an iPhone- hence the name Max. It's an OLED panel with a resolution of 2688x1242 giving it the same density as the smaller iPhone Xs at 458 ppi. There's still a notch on top but with a bigger screen, you at least have some more area to left and right of the notch.

Hopefully, apps designed to work with the iPhone X will work fine with this new resolution but we'll have to play around a bit more to comment on that. 

The screen supports TrueTone technology as well as 120Hz input like the previous generation iPhone X.  Apps can now work in split mode, much like they did on the Plus sized version of previous iPhone models. 

Apple also claims that the screen now has a 60% better dynamic range which should make your photos and videos appear more vivid. We tried the new Bethesda game Blade game and it looked visually very appealing - although we did notice some stuttering as we flicked around the gameplay settings.

Camera

The camera on the iPhone XS Max is similar to last year's iPhone X with a dual lens setup, however, Apple has made improvements on both the software and hardware level.

You're still getting two 12MP sensors on the back, however the pixel size has now been increased to 1.4um on the wide-angle camera. The secondary 12MP camera is still fixed at 2x zoom levels with an f/2.4 aperture.

Apple has made progress when it comes to software by introducing the new Smart HDR mode with zero shutter lag. This allows the iPhone to capture multiple images with facial landmarking and segmentation to take better pictures with the NPU kicking in to get the best photo.

You can also now chose the amount of bokeh after you've taken the photo. All of this post-processing might help the iPhone to get as good of pictures as some of the competing handsets that offer similar functions such as the Google Pixel 2.

Battery

Besides the larger screen, the iPhone XS Max also has the largest battery Apple has put on an iPhone. Apple promises battery life of over and hour and half from the iPhone X. Talk time is expected to be up to 25 hours while Internet usage is set at 13 hours.

We'll be making sure to give the battery a full workout when we get our hands on the review devices. The Plus versions of previous iPhones had killer battery life so we have high hopes for the iPhone Max.

Early verdict

The iPhone Max is clearly designed for iPhone Plus owners- consumers that want a large device with a large screen and a battery to go with that. It's strictly a two-handed device though but very close to the actual size of the Plus model so if you are comfortable with an iPhone Plus, you'll feel right at home with the iPhone Max.

With dual SIM capabilities, an updated camera module and the fast new A12 Bionic processor, Apple looks to be on track to deliver it's best iPhone yet. It's strictly a two-handed device though unless you want to get to lower-reaches of the display.

If you can get over the size and price (and that’s a big ask) the iPhone XS Max is the phone to go for out of the new devices. It packs in the best of everything Apple has shown off with better battery life and a larger, more impactful screen as a result.

The above points of size and price do stand though - this is a gargantuan phone for so many reasons, but we’re looking forward to putting it through its paces to find out whether it’s just an oversized version of the iPhone XS or the supercharged version you’ll want to go for.



from TechRadar - Technology Reviews http://www.techradar.com/reviews/iphone-xs-max