iPhone 11 Professional Max overview: Turning every part as much as max
“Simply full-day battery life? Verify. Class-leading cameras? Verify. That is the iPhone to splurge on.”
Stellar battery life with quick charging
Slick iOS 13 software program with constant updates
Digital camera design is a miss
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There’s practically nothing fallacious with the iPhone 11 Professional Max. The display screen is great, video games run lag-free, and the triple-camera system is flexible and efficient, however what I’ve been most impressed by is its battery life. I’ve needed to drive myself to make use of the telephone much more than regular to hit 30 % earlier than midnight.
This isn’t simply the very best iPhone ever — it’s the very best smartphone you should purchase. Interval.
The iPhone 11 Professional Max is barely taller and wider than its predecessor, however what you’ll discover essentially the most is how it’s 18 grams heavier. I shortly acquired used to it, however the added weight does make this already-expensive telephone really feel much more luxurious. That is nonetheless a big telephone, given its 6.5-inch display screen measurement, and it does require two fingers to achieve the highest of the display screen.
It stays one of many few telephones fabricated from stainless-steel, and it feels simply as high-end as that sentence felt to write down. It’s extra sturdy than the aluminum you’ll discover on most smartphones (together with the iPhone 11). The front and back are wrapped in “sturdy” glass, however what’s new right here is the matte texture on the again. It’s unbelievable. It doesn’t entice ugly fingerprints, so I’m not losing half my day wiping it clear, plus I want matte aesthetics over the shiny sort. Apple’s not the primary firm to discover this sort of texture; Google did it final yr with the Pixel Three.
The brand new midnight inexperienced coloration is a pleasant change of tempo from the same old gold, silver, and area gray, although I’m a sucker for the extra colourful choices discovered on the extra reasonably priced iPhone 11 (lookin’ at you, purple).
Whereas we’re on the again of the iPhone, let’s speak concerning the digicam design. It’s not nice, although it’s rising on me. The holes are so big that they stand out a little bit an excessive amount of, as if Apple actually desires you to point out everybody that you’ve got an iPhone 11 Professional Max — not an iPhone 11 or an iPhone XS. The lenses are raised and have a metallic bezel round them, however then the sq. digicam module round them itself can also be raised. The raised glass is sharp and angular; it’s not a pleasing feeling working your finger on the again and hitting the digicam module.
It doesn’t entice ugly fingerprints, so I’m not losing half my day wiping it clear.
I don’t suppose the digicam design is ugly, however I additionally suppose Apple may have accomplished higher. One factor to notice, the digicam module does acquire a little bit of mud across the rings (as you possibly can see within the image above), so this space does require a little bit of cleansing every now and then.
The entrance is one other space the place Apple may do bettr. The 6.5-inch display screen is wrapped with bezels that seem slim when trying on the iPhone individually, however put it subsequent to telephones just like the Galaxy Observe 10 Plus or the OnePlus 7 Professional, and also you’ll see a distinction. Apple hasn’t slimmed these bezels down because the iPhone X, which was two years in the past, whereas Samsung has been introducing a extra svelte look yearly. Don’t get me fallacious, the iPhone 11 Professional Max’s display screen nonetheless appears to be like trendy and exquisite, however scaling down the sides a little bit extra would have been good.
I’m not going to complain an excessive amount of concerning the notch, as a result of it homes the tech needed for Face ID, which stays the very best biometric authentication know-how obtainable on a telephone. It’s quick to unlock, works in any lighting circumstances, and I’ll take it over an in-display fingerprint sensor any day.
The 6.5-inch measurement is likely to be a bit unwieldy within the hand, however who cares about that when you could have such an unlimited display screen for watching movies and films? I really like the large OLED display screen and the additional actual property it gives, particularly when enjoying video games.
Apple mentioned it’s utilizing a Tremendous Retina XDR display screen, which delivers spectacular brightness, extremely correct colours, and a pointy 2,688 x 1,242 decision. I’ve had zero hassle watching exhibits with quite a lot of darkish scenes, like The Spy on Netflix, in vivid daylight — it helps that the brightness can go all the way in which as much as 1,200 nits in HDR scenes (800 nits is typical brightness).
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
Placing it side-by-side with the Observe 10 Plus, scenes from Netflix films, like the brand new movie, Between Two Ferns, are brighter and simpler to see on the iPhone. The Observe usually tends to point out cooler tones too, whereas the iPhone has hotter ones with higher white steadiness. Each these screens are glorious, however I’m having fun with the show on the iPhone a little bit extra.
What are the audio system like? It’s a stereo setup with one on the high of the telephone (the earpiece) and a bottom-firing one. The system doesn’t get as loud as telephones just like the Observe 10 Plus, however music sounds a little bit richer. When listening to Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s Someplace Over the Rainbow, his voice doesn’t sound as raspy because it does on the Observe telephone. Bass isn’t sturdy in any respect, however it’s a little bit extra clear than Samsung’s telephone. If you’d like the very best smartphone speaker, take a look at the Razer Cellphone 2, however you’re higher off shopping for a Bluetooth speaker.
The audio system help Dolby Atmos for a encompass sound expertise, which I’ve observed extra when enjoying video games that depend on stereo sound.
Digital camera trio
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
Sure, the iPhone 11 Professional and iPhone 11 Professional Max are among the many greatest digicam telephones obtainable. It’s not simply the truth that Apple has added an additional lens — sure, it provides versatility — however that the enhancements largely come from picture processing.
Sensible HDR is, properly, smarter. There’s a Evening Mode for superior low-light photographs, and a brand new characteristic known as semantic rendering that snaps a number of underexposed photographs earlier than you faucet the shutter button, the picture you need while you faucet the button, and an overexposed shot afterward to steadiness out the lighting and merge them collectively. The digicam also can perceive particular components of the picture, like a face or a flower, and apply separate Sensible HDR enhancements to these areas quite than a blanket change to the entire picture.
All of that is seen by way of the triple-camera system, which packs 12 megapixels per sensor. The primary f/1.Eight sensor is the usual wide-angle. Then there’s the telephoto lens, which now has a wider f/2.zero aperture for higher low-light images, and the brand new ultra-wide-angle lens, which has an f/2.four aperture and a 120-degree area of view so you possibly can soak up extra of a scene.
The brand new ultra-wide-angle lens isn’t completely distinctive, however it’s nonetheless considerably particular amongst flagship telephones. Google’s Pixel four, the favored Android different gained’t have a wide-angle lens.
Pictures snapped through the day ship largely pure colours, typically with a little bit of a heat tone. Particulars are impeccably sturdy, and switching between every of those lenses feels seamless and easy.
The telephoto lens now gives up extra element in lower-light circumstances, however I want the identical might be mentioned for the brand new ultra-wide-angle lens. It takes unbelievable daytime pictures, however it doesn’t carry out that properly at evening, as you possibly can see within the beneath comparability with the Samsung Galaxy Observe 10 Plus.
iPhone 11 Professional Max, ultra-wide-angle lensSamsung Galaxy Observe 10 Plus, ultra-wide-angle lens
I additionally want Apple allowed autofocus on it. It’s mounted focus, which suggests you should be 1 meter away from a topic for it to be in focus, so you possibly can’t get super-close for some distinctive views.
Lastly, a Evening Mode
Huawei and Google have pushed the needle with low-light images after they launched respective Evening Modes on their smartphones, and Apple is enjoying catchup by lastly including it on the iPhone — besides that the standard is a step above its rivals.
Evening Mode triggers routinely when the digicam deems there’s not sufficient gentle. You may both depart it within the default state, which normally snaps a Three- to 2-second-long publicity (meaning you’ll have to hold as nonetheless as you possibly can to keep away from a blurry picture) or select “Max” to drive it to snap as many footage as it may possibly, however this is also as much as the digicam primarily based on how a lot it thinks is critical. Ten seconds appears to be the typical in darkish conditions, however I’ve seen it go even longer. Should you put it on a tripod, the digicam can perceive that it’s secure and may snap much more photographs.
There’s an possibility to show it off, however why would you need to? Should you’re attempting to snap a picture of a topic that’s shifting a little bit, turning Evening Mode off will assist you to seize the picture sooner and in focus, whereas a protracted publicity would simply make the picture additional blurry. For essentially the most half, it’s good to go away it on, because the digicam’s determination is normally the proper one.
The gallery above has a group of Evening Mode photographs and a few photographs of Evening Mode turned off as a comparability. On the entire — permitted you don’t transfer your fingers an excessive amount of — Evening Mode elevates the iPhone’s low-light images sport to the purpose the place it may possibly compete with, if not surpass, telephones just like the Google Pixel Three. The draw back is that Evening Mode doesn’t work on the telephoto or wide-angle lens, so your versatility dips a bit in poor lighting circumstances.
iPhone 11 Professional MaxPixel Three XLGalaxy Observe 10 Plus
You may see how the iPhone 11 Professional Max’s Evening Mode maintained the colours within the above picture, whereas nonetheless guaranteeing sturdy particulars and good distinction, beating out the pictures from the Pixel Three and the Observe 10 Plus, which had been captured with their respective Evening Modes.
The perfect half is how the iPhone largely maintains the ambiance of the scene with its Evening Mode, whereas Evening Modes from Google or Samsung can typically brighten up the picture an excessive amount of and damage the general look. It’s a special model, however one which I’m in favor of.
Portrait mode and selfies
My favourite change in Portrait mode is that you could now seize a photograph not simply with the telephoto lens, but in addition the primary f/1.Eight lens as properly. Right here’s what the distinction can appear like:
Regular lens, portraitTelephoto lens, portrait
It means you possibly can truly get great-looking portraits at evening; the portrait picture from the traditional lens has a ton extra element than the grainy and blurry one from the telephoto. That wasn’t doable on final yr’s iPhone XS Max. Should you’re eager about comparisons with final yr’s iPhone XS Max, take a look at our digicam shootout.
Portrait mode nonetheless isn’t excellent, however it produces among the most DSLR-like photographs amongst its competitors. The Pixel Three nonetheless offers it a run for its cash, although.
The selfie digicam has been upgraded to 12 megapixels from 7 megapixels final yr, however selfies in portrait orientation shoot at a 7-megapixel crop by default. You may faucet on the icon above the shutter to get a wider 12-megapixel view, permitting for extra of the background to be in your picture.
These selfies are extra detailed and provide up pure colours, and portrait mode selfies do an honest job of accurately outlining the topic and making use of the blur impact to the background.
iPhone 11 Professional, selfie
Pixel Three XL, selfie
iPhone 11 Professional Max, portrait selfie
Pixel Three XL, portrait selfie
The iPhone brightens up the colours a bit, although I nonetheless just like the darker tones of the Pixel picture. The place the Pixel falters although, is with the portrait mode, the place it messes up the blur define across the lady’s hair. The iPhone doesn’t nail it completely, however it’s significantly better than the Pixel Three’s try.
There are video upgrades, too! The digicam can shoot in 4K at 60 frames per second, and it does an excellent job with stabilization, as you possibly can see within the video above. It delivers smoother pictures than the Galaxy Observe 10 or the Pixel Three. That’s with out mentioning the enjoyable new addition known as Slofies, or slow-motion selfies, which I’m completely having fun with.
It brings Apple again into dominance in a extremely aggressive area.
The digicam system on the iPhone 11 Professional Max is highly effective and it brings Apple again into dominance in a extremely aggressive area, however it’s solely barely forward. Google’s Pixel four is across the nook, and it has a powerful probability of taking again the crown.
Limitless energy, slick iOS 13
By no means as soon as did I really feel just like the iPhone 11 Professional Max was too sluggish for a process or sport. That’s because of Apple’s A13 Bionic processor which purportedly delivers 20% sooner CPU and GPU efficiency over final yr’s iPhone XS Max. Launching apps is a quick affair, as is switching between them, and I performed a number of video games on Apple Arcade — starting from The place Playing cards Fall to Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Misplaced Realm — for an hour, if not longer, and bumped into no issues with efficiency.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies
Listed here are a couple of benchmark outcomes:
AnTuTu 3DBench: 443,735
Geekbench 5 CPU: 1,331 single-core; Three,444 multi-core
These are among the many highest scores I’ve ever seen on a smartphone, with the one telephone performing higher being the iPhone 11 Professional. The Observe 10 Plus is nearly a full 100,000 decrease than the iPhone 11 Professional Max’s AnTuTu rating. In real-world use, Samsung’s Observe 10 Plus is a strong and quick telephone, however that’s a formidable hole all the identical. You gained’t have issues working…properly, absolutely anything on the iPhone 11 Professional Max.
It’s not excellent, although. Apple ought to bump the bottom storage to 128GB as a substitute of 64GB. It’s worse when you consider how there’s no MicroSD card slot, and the way Apple nonetheless gives simply 5GB of free iCloud storage.
Updates come immediately when Apple points them.
The telephone runs iOS 13, Apple’s newest software program model, and it’s glorious. Darkish mode makes it look stunning, particularly on the OLED display screen, Face ID is quicker, swipe typing is lastly obtainable natively, and stronger privateness options provide extra peace of thoughts. Take a look at my in-depth iOS 13 impressions for extra.
The perfect a part of proudly owning an iPhone is the way you get updates immediately when Apple points them, and the way these updates can hold coming 4 to 5 years after a telephone got here out. The one different telephones that come near that degree of software program replace help are Google’s Pixel telephones, however even these gained’t be up to date for so long as an iPhone.
Stellar battery life
Unbelievable is the phrase I’d use to explain battery life on the iPhone 11 Professional Max. I’ve but to see it dip below 30 %. I’ve used it since Eight a.m. on a number of days and the telephone sat at 35 % at 5 a.m. the following day, leaving me with loads of juice to maintain utilizing it till I acquired to the workplace if I didn’t need to cost the telephone in a single day.
How a lot you get out of it’ll rely in your utilization. I performed video games, watched episodes of exhibits on Netflix, responded to messages and emails, streamed music, snapped footage — medium use, I’d say — and I steadily arrived residence round 6 p.m. with a little bit below 50 % remaining within the tank. If I stayed out at evening and hit the city, I’d be at round 30 % at 11 p.m.
Battery life is a full day of snug, worry-free use, and simply a day-and-a-half, if not two, in the event you’re a light-weight person.
Battery life is a full day of snug, worry-free use.
In our commonplace video playback battery check, the place we play a 1080p YouTube video with the brightness set to the max over Wi-Fi, the iPhone 11 Professional Max lasted 10 hours and 39 minutes. It’s a good rating, however telephones just like the iPhone 11 Professional and the Galaxy Observe 10 Plus lasted greater than 12 hours. Nonetheless, it’s not the very best indicator for real-world efficiency, as I discovered battery life on the Max to be considerably higher than on the Observe 10 Plus.
Charging velocity has improved as a result of Apple is lastly packing an 18W quick charger within the field. It gained’t blow the competitors away just like the Galaxy Observe 10 Plus, however it’s considerably higher than the three-and-a-half-hour cost time on final yr’s iPhone with the included cable. It took rather less than an hour and a half to recharge the iPhone 11 Professional Max from zero to 100 %. Wi-fi charging is offered if you wish to high up the telephone all through the day with a wi-fi charging pad at work.
What I might have favored to see is a USB-C port as a substitute of Lightning. Apple has been including USB-C to its different merchandise, like MacBooks and, most lately, the iPad Professional, for a while. Contemplating the iPhone now has the “Professional” moniker, it might have been a ripe time so as to add the port as properly. It could have made carrying charging cables a easy affair, as you’d simply want one to cost up all of your units. Guess we’ll have to attend till the 2020 iPhone.
Value, availability, and guarantee
The iPhone 11 Professional Max is $1,100, or $45.79 per thirty days in the event you go for a month-to-month installment plan, and that’s for the bottom 64GB mannequin. You can even select the 256GB storage possibility and the value jumps to $1,249. The 512GB model will set you again $1,449.
Apple gives an ordinary restricted guarantee that protects your telephone in opposition to manufacturing defects for one yr from the date of buy. You may pay extra for AppleCare+, which provides two years of protection for unintentional harm and defects.
For large-screen lovers, the iPhone 11 Professional Max is the way in which to go. It gives glorious battery life, efficiency, and a class-leading digicam system.
Is there a greater different?
You don’t have to spend $1,100 for a smartphone. If you’d like an iPhone however need to spend much less, the iPhone 11 is a wonderful different that carries most of the similar options because the iPhone 11 Professional Max, like the identical A13 Bionic processor and iOS 13. Battery life isn’t as lengthy, however nonetheless good, and there’s no telephoto lens, however it’s $400 much less at $700. If you’d like a smaller iPhone, however cash isn’t any object, go for the 5.Eight-inch iPhone 11 Professional, which is $1,000.
Should you’re open to switching to Android, the Galaxy Observe 10 Plus is the iPhone 11 Professional Max’s direct competitor, providing up a wonderful display screen expertise, a triple-camera system, a stylus, and a svelte design. It may possibly cost sooner, however battery life isn’t as sturdy.
Google’s Pixel four XL is one other sturdy different. Simply launched, the Pixel four XL has nice design, a pleasant show, and a digicam that’s practically nearly as good (however missing a wide-angle lens). The draw back is battery life, which doesn’t match as much as the iPhone 11 Professional Max.
Take a look at our greatest smartphones information for extra.
How lengthy will it final?
Apple’s iPhones final a very long time, and this one ought to final you 4 to 5 years, supplied you substitute the battery within the third yr so you will get additional life out of it. Apple offers a number of years of software program updates to its telephones — the iPhone 6S can set up iOS 13, and it got here out in 2015.
You should still need to slap a case on the iPhone 11 Professional Max — it’s glass in spite of everything — however it does even have an IP68 dust- and water-resistance ranking that protects it in four meters underwater as much as 30 minutes.
Do you have to purchase it?
Sure. If you’d like the very best of the very best, with an enormous display screen, get the iPhone 11 Professional Max.