Ap­ple iPhone XS & XS Max

AP­PLE’S BIG­GEST, PRICI­EST IPHONE EVER IS HERE - AND IT’S PRETTY GOOD.

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME - [ GARETH BEAVIS ]

THE IPHONE XS Max (pro­nounced ‘Ten S Max’) is the big­gest smart­phone Ap­ple has ever made. With a 6.5-inch dis­play, hardly any screen bezel and the now-iconic screen notch it’s a dom­i­nat­ing pres­ence in the hand.

It also dom­i­nates the pocket, both in terms of size and price. As well as be­ing the big­gest, the iPhone XS Max is also the most ex­pen­sive iPhone to date, with Ap­ple de­liv­er­ing a hand­set with a screen size that ri­vals the most pre­mium of An­droid flag­ships.

This is a bold state­ment from a firm that has, up un­til last year with the in­tro­duc­tion of the 5.8-inch iPhone X, re­sisted the urge to push the screen size en­ve­lope to the same scale as its An­droid ri­vals.

DE­SIGN

The steel frame around the out­side and the new for­mu­la­tion of glass on the front and rear – which is tougher than the glass on the iPhone X – give the iPhone XS Max a supremely pre­mium look and feel, while its re­sis­tance to dust and wa­ter has also been en­hanced.

Ap­ple has upped the pro­tec­tion to IP68, en­abling the iPhone XS Max to be sub­merged to a depth of up to two me­ters for 30 min­utes with­out suf­fer­ing any ill ef­fects. Ap­ple claims it’s tested the pro­tec­tion in a num­ber of liq­uids, in­clud­ing salt wa­ter, chlo­ri­nated wa­ter, milk, wine and beer, although we wouldn’t ad­vise pur­pose­fully ex­pos­ing the hand­set to any of these.

Over­all though, Ap­ple hasn’t moved far from the de­sign of the iPhone X with the iPhone XS Max, other than to stretch it a lit­tle.

DIS­PLAY

One of the main things – well, re­ally the only main thing – that’s dif­fer­ent about the iPhone XS Max over the the smaller iPhone XS is the screen, ex­tended as it is to 6.5 inches com­pared to the 5.8 inches of the ‘nor­mal’ XS.

We’re still not sold on the need for HDR as a ‘must’ in a smart­phone though – watch­ing Avengers: In­fin­ity War on the iPhone XS Max was a pleas­ing ex­pe­ri­ence thanks to the larger dis­play, but there wasn’t a mo­ment where we were wowed by the color re­pro­duc­tion, or the con­trast be­tween light and dark scenes. That’s not to say it wasn’t good, but it’s not jaw-drop­ping enough to war­rant buy­ing this phone for that fea­ture alone.

The OLED panel that makes up the Su­per Retina HD dis­play in the iPhone XS Max is bright and col­or­ful though, and has a 2688 x 1242 res­o­lu­tion, which equates to a 458ppi pixel den­sity.

A12 BIONIC CHIP

The iPhone XS Max is pow­ered by Ap­ple’s new A12 Bionic chip, which promises to be 40% more power-ef­fi­cient than last year’s model, while the GPU is said to be 50% more pow­er­ful than the A11 Bionic chip in the iPhone X.

From gen­eral nav­i­ga­tion around the hand­set, to edit­ing the light­ing in por­trait shots, to load­ing up games such as Clash Royale and PUBG, the iPhone XS Max is no­tice­ably quicker.

We ran the Geek­bench 4 CPU test on the iPhone XS Max, and came out with an aver­age multi-core score of 11,465. That’s higher than the iPhone X (and every An­droid flag­ship), which scored an aver­age of 10,247, starkly il­lus­trat­ing the im­prove­ments made by Ap­ple with the A12 Bionic chip.

BAT­TERY LIFE

Ap­ple says the iPhone XS Max bat­tery of­fers an ad­di­tional 90 min­utes of power over the iPhone X. While it’s un­clear how Ap­ple ar­rived at that par­tic­u­lar fig­ure, we can be sure about one thing: the iPhone XS Max can last a day on a sin­gle charge with mod­er­ate to high us­age.

That’s with us taking the phone off charge at around 7am, and then

plug­ging it in just be­fore mid­night with just a few per­cent left in the tank and low power mode en­abled.

If you’re go­ing to push the hand­set with an in­ten­sive app such as PUBG, the bat­tery is go­ing to take more of a bat­ter­ing, but still won’t be a ma­jor drain. A cou­ple of hours of hotspot us­age on the iPhone XS Max how­ever, ul­ti­mately ended up with it dy­ing at around 7pm, so if you rely on your phone to pro­vide an in­ter­net con­nec­tion to your other de­vices you’ll want to carry a charger with you.

CAM­ERA

The pro­trud­ing mo­d­ule on the rear of the hand­set houses two 12MP snap­pers in a ver­ti­cal stack, sep­a­rated by a Quad-LED True Tone flash. As be­fore one cam­era is tele­photo and the other wide-an­gle, with the same f/1.8 and f/2.4 aper­tures, but there is a key dif­fer­ence.

The iPhone XS Max fea­tures Smart HDR, an im­proved mode over the stan­dard ‘HDR’ on the X, which im­proves shots with high con­tract, en­sur­ing all ar­eas of the photo are well lit and de­tailed.

Ap­ple’s cam­era app is easy to use, with set­tings kept to a min­i­mum for an in­tu­itive and straight­for­ward shooting ex­pe­ri­ence.

The front 7MP cam­era has also been up­graded over the selfie snap­per on the iPhone X. It also ben­e­fits from the new Smart HDR mode, and gets the ad­di­tion of por­trait mode.

VER­DICT

The iPhone XS Max is spe­cial. This is the first time Ap­ple has re­ally pushed its screen size bound­aries, and by of­fer­ing a huge 6.5-inch dis­play it’s made its smart­phone line at­trac­tive to a new seg­ment of cus­tomers.

The ex­tra screen real es­tate will be mu­sic to the ears of gamers, while HDR sup­port will please those ad­dicted to Net­flix and Ama­zon Prime video – and while the iPhone XS Max screen isn’t the best on the market, it is the best screen on an iPhone, ever.

And while the iPhone XS Max is a big phone, it’s also im­pres­sively com­pact. It’s a touch smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus, but has a much larger dis­play (6.5 inches vs 5.5 inches). It will still dom­i­nate your hand, but it’s not as un­wieldy as you might ex­pect for a phone with a screen this size.

Ul­ti­mately though, it’s the iPhone XS Max price that will likely be the stick­ing point for many. There’s sim­ply no get­ting away from the fact that this is a very, very ex­pen­sive smart­phone.

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