In giffgaff’s iPhone 11 Pro Max review, I delve into the brand new iPhone and share why it may be the biggest refresh yet. The new iPhone 11 camera lineup is taking the spotlight, but there’s a ton more to talk about behind the scenes too. Here’s what I thought of the iPhone 11 Pro Max after testing it thoroughly.
I’ll be honest, I’m an Android guy. Yup, I said it. But wait, before you click away to find a more qualified iPhone reviewer, here’s why I think my opinion is even more important. I tried the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and I liked it. I mean, I liked it a lot. I’m scared to say that it impressed me in every aspect that a smartphone matters, so here’s a look at the highlights.
Apple has always gotten the design part right. I cannot fault them there. The Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max is amongst the most refined, most premium smartphones on the market. The curved stainless steel bezel fits snug in your hands, but it doesn’t give way. It’s hard, durable, and you can feel that.
Now that screen to body ratio is so important, let’s take a quick look at the evolution. The iPhone 11 Pro Max has an 83.7% screen to body ratio. It’s not as extreme as some options out there, but it does mean that Apple has managed to fit a 6.5 inch display into almost the same dimensions as my Google Pixel 2 XL, which has just a 6 inch display. Regardless of your opinion on the notch, there’s no denying that in just 2 years, smartphone manufacturers have squeezed an extra 5 inches of display in the same size phone. If that’s not a marvel of modern day smartphone evolution, I don’t know what is. Face ID is back, so there’s no fingerprint sensor. However, it’s faster and even more convenient than last time. Just looking at your phone to unlock it is something I could totally get used to.
On the left side, we have the two volume rockers, and the most tactile silent switch I’ve had the pleasure to press.
On the right side, there’s the side button (sleep/wake) and the SIM card tray.
At the bottom, we have the lightning connector and the bottom facing speakers.
EarPods with a lightning connector are provided in the box if you aren’t able to get the Apple AirPods.
On the back we have the triple camera setup - we’ll go into that briefly here, but we’ll have a more in-depth camera review later because it’s really worth the extra attention.
It should be no surprise that the iPhone 11 Pro Max has the very best Apple has to offer. iOS has always been the most optimised mobile operating system, but that hasn’t stopped Apple bulking up the iPhone 11’s hardware offering anyway. You get the Apple A13 Bionic chipset, which offers improvements across the board.
Expect 20% better performance and 40% lower power usage with the low power cores, and 30% less power usage when the performance cores kick in. The new GPU in the Apple A13 Bionic offers 20% faster performance and uses a staggering 40% less power. That’s really going to help improve battery life during gaming and video consumption. Below we have a full hardware comparison to last generation’s iPhone XS Max.
iPhone XS Max
CPU: Apple A12 Bionic RAM: 4GB RAM Storage: 64GB/256GB/512GB Display: 6.5” 1242x2688 Battery: 3174 mAh Cameras: dual 12MP main, dual 7MP selfie OS: iOS 12, upgradeable to iOS 13 Price: £999 IP68 water and dust protection
iPhone 11 Pro Max
CPU: Apple A13 Bionic
RAM: 4GB RAM
Cameras: triple 12MP main, dual 12MP selfie
OS: iOS 13
IP68 water and dust protection
It really should come as no surprise that the iPhone 11 Pro Max feels silky smooth. Performance whilst playing games is great and switching to different apps is lightning fast.
Charging & Battery Life
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has 18W fast charging. With this, you can get 50% battery in just 30 minutes of charge. Qi wireless charging is also supported. Battery life for the iPhone 11 Pro Max is rated at up to 20 hours talk time or multimedia viewing and up to 80 hours of playing music. In comparison, the iPhone XS Max has 15W charging, up to 16 hours multimedia viewing, and up to 65 hours of music playing. So, there’s a considerable improvement for the iPhone 11 Pro Max thanks to the more power efficient Apple A13 Bionic CPU.
There is just too much to cover about the camera in our iPhone 11 Pro Max review, so make sure to look out for our standalone camera review. Essentially, this is the best smartphone camera yet. There’s an excellent blend of software and hardware engineering going on to bring such a high level of detail to the iPhone 11 Pro Max camera.
First, here are the specifications. There are three cameras. The main camera supports HDR and 4K recording up to 60fps. Alternatively, you can record in slow-mo mode in 1080p. As for the selfie cameras, here are the details. There are two lenses. The first camera has a 12 megapixel snapper, whilst the second is a TOF 3D camera for adding more depth to your selfies.
Below are the full main camera specifications:
12MP f/1.8 aperture, 26mm wide angle lens with OIS
12 MP f/2.0 aperture, 52mm telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and OIS
12 MP f/2.4 aperture, 13mm ultrawide lens
The new camera means you’ll get higher quality low light images, and wider shots with more detail. You also get the ability to create perspective and force attention to objects in the foreground, better video quality, and so much more. The new telephoto lens, in combination with the other lenses, allows you to achieve 4x optical zoom, whilst you can go further, up to 10x digital zoom too.
The iPhone 11 Pro can also capture 4K video, allowing you to create some insanely high quality content. Night mode completely blows our perception of low light images out of the water, too. It can add huge depth and colour range to an otherwise dark, grainy scene.
iOS 13 brings a range of new improvements over iOS 12. I’ll break down some of the biggest changes here. First, welcome Dark Mode. I have constantly tried to fight my way to have a full ‘dark mode’ experience on Android, but I’ve never quite 100% accomplished it. With iOS 13, dark mode brings a system wide change to UI colours and accents. It’s a million times better on the eyes. You can also schedule Dark Mode to turn on at a certain time, for example during the evening.
QuickPath adds swiping as an alternative method to typing. We’ve seen it in third party keyboards for years, in fact, almost a decade now, but it’s nice to see Apple offer it in the default keyboard.
Photo editing has been improved on iOS 13 too. You can now use a total of 15 different editing techniques and you can even edit videos too. Apple also added this feature to FaceTime that will track where you’re looking and adjust the camera so that you are actually directly making eye contact with whoever is on the other side. A very nice addition that solves the whole “Do I look at you or the camera” problem.
If you weren’t happy with the battery improvements in the A13 Bionic chip, you’ll be happy to hear that iOS 13 itself is more battery efficient too. Finally, alongside the introduction of Apple Arcade, you can now pair your PS4 controller with your iPhone, and soon the Xbox One controller will get support.
iPhone 11 Pro Max Summary and Comparison to iPhone XS Max
The iPhone 11 Pro Max certainly adds major improvements over the iPhone XS Max. Here is a look at what has been improved over the iPhone XS Max.
Apple A13 Bionic - 20% faster, 40% less power New triple camera vs dual camera - Far more functionality, higher quality images Improved 12 MP selfie camera vs 7MP camera on the iPhone XS Max Same display as iPhone XS Max Roughly 20-25% better battery life Improved Face ID for faster, more accurate unlocks IP68 dust and water protection like iPhone XS Max