AP­PLE IPHONE XS MAX

The new iPhone is big­ger and bet­ter

T3 India - - Contents -

We use Ap­ple’s big­gest iPhone yet to see if it’s worth the hefty price tag

Ap­ple was one of the few re­main­ing ma­jor smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers to go big with their phone dis­plays four years back. How­ever, not to be out­done by the com­pe­ti­tion (and also re­al­is­ing that con­sumers pre­fer a large screen), Ap­ple, this year, has in­tro­duced their big­gest iPhone yet. Dubbed iPhone XS Max, the phone is ac­tu­ally not that big if you com­pare it with the iPhone 8 Plus vari­ant but in fact, come with the largest dis­play you’ll find on an iPhone.

De­sign

Ap­ple moved to a new de­sign with the iPhone X last year and the new iPhone XS Max fol­lows the same de­sign lan­guage. At first glance, the size may over­whelm many due to the large dis­play but Ap­ple has made it a hair smaller than its Plus se­ries.

If you com­pare the size with the com­pe­ti­tion, the iPhone XS Max is slightly wider but a tad smaller than Google’s lat­est Pixel XL phone. There are sub­tle changes, of course, as the im­proved glass on the front and back for bet­ter dura­bil­ity, a “sur­gi­cal-grade” stain­less steel frame that makes it bet­ter against scratches and im­proved cel­lu­lar re­cep­tion. More­over, the frame uses a PVD process that gives it a glossy fin­ish to com­ple­ment the glass. The iPhone XS Max is also IP68 com­pli­ant, mak­ing it dust and wa­ter re­sis­tant (1.5m for up to 30 mins).

As far as place­ment goes, there’s the light­ning port and speaker at the bot­tom, vol­ume but­tons and mute switch on the left-hand side and the power key along with the SIM slot on the right. Over­all, we like the iPhone XS Max’s clean and classy de­sign.

Per­for­mance

The iPhone XS Max brings some note­wor­thy things but the thing that needs a spe­cial men­tion is the screen. If you thought iPhone X dis­play was gor­geous, the dis­play on the iPhone XS Max is gor­geous-er. It’s a vis­ual treat to watch any­thing on the huge 6.5-inch Su­per Retina OLED dis­play that has a res­o­lu­tion sup­port of up to 2688x1242 pix­els. In­ter­est­ingly, Ap­ple has main­tained the same pixel den­sity for both the iPhone XS phones at 458ppi.

The dis­play sup­ports both HDR10 and Dolby Vi­sion and comes with a wider colour gamut, 1,000,000:1 con­trast ra­tio and true tone six­chan­nel light sen­sor that ad­justs the screen white bal­ance to match the

colour tem­per­a­ture. Com­ple­ment­ing the HDR dis­play is the wide stereo sound that is loud, crisp and well-bal­anced that makes a dif­fer­ence when you’re watch­ing a video or stream­ing any­thing on Net­flix, Prime Video or iTunes movies. Un­der­neath the dis­play is Ap­ple’s in-house de­signed A12 Bionic pro­ces­sor. The chip is a kind of big deal be­cause it is in­dus­try’s first SoC based on a 7nm process that not only im­proves per­for­mance but also helps achieve bet­ter power ef­fi­ciency. If we talk about num­bers, the six-core CPU is fit­ted with two per­for­mance cores and four ef­fi­ciency cores, which is up to 15 per cent faster and con­sumes up to 50 per cent lower power when com­pared to last year’s A11 Bionic. The quad-core GPU is also faster by up to 50 per cent and the dif­fer­ence is ob­vi­ous when you com­pare it with the iPhone X.

The iPhone XS Max loads apps faster, and over­all, of­fers smoother per­for­mance than last year’s coun­ter­part. The games also get some boost with the up­grade in RAM and GPU. The octa-core Neu­ral en­gine has also got a meaty up­grade that can per­form up to 5 tril­lion op­er­a­tions per sec­ond, mak­ing fea­tures like AR, Face ID and even en­hanced ISP for pic­tures bet­ter and faster.

The in­fa­mous notch is still present on the iPhone XS Max that hosts the TrueDepth cam­era tech­nol­ogy for Face ID. Face ID fea­tures adap­tive recog­ni­tion that recog­nises changes in the user’s face and un­locks the de­vice, ir­re­spec­tive if you sport a new hairdo, beard or even wear sun­glasses. While the un­der­ly­ing tech­nol­ogy re­mains the same, this gen­er­a­tion is con­sid­er­ably faster that ev­i­dently shaves off a few mil­lisec­onds and adds the op­tion to add a sec­ond face.

Un­like An­droid man­u­fac­tur­ers, Ap­ple does not men­tion the bat­tery ca­pac­ity. In­stead, they claim the iPhone XS Max to last up to 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone X and dur­ing our use that in­cluded a cou­ple of hours of videos, few mins of call­ing, mu­sic and some cam­era time, the iPhone XS Max eas­ily bested its claim. Sim­i­lar use on the iPhone X would have sent us look­ing for a charger but we eas­ily got a day’s worth of use. The dis­ap­point­ing thing though, is that Ap­ple still bun­dles a 5W charger de­spite the phone sup­port­ing fast charg­ing. For dual-SIM users, the new iPhone sup­ports dual-SIM con­nec­tiv­ity. How­ever, un­like the Chi­nese SKU that al­lows in­sert­ing two phys­i­cal SIM cards, the one sold in In­dia sup­ports a reg­u­lar SIM and eSIM, which will be en­abled in a fu­ture up­date.

iPhone is the most pop­u­lar cam­era in the world and the up­grade to iPhone XS Max’s dual 12MP rear cam­eras will help them fur­ther the lead. The phone comes with fast and im­proved sen­sors that en­sure near-in­stant fo­cus and zero shut­ter lag and works with the new Smart HDR fea­ture. The pic­tures are cer­tainly bet­ter than the iPhone X that cap­tures fine de­tail, colours and has an ex­cel­lent dy­namic range. Low-light per­for­mance is de­cent but Google’s lat­est Pixel takes the cake in pre­serv­ing the de­tails and colours. That said, iPhone XS Max’s cam­era is per­fect for ev­ery­day use that is able to take some pretty shots.

The por­trait mode has also been im­proved and is near per­fect with its edge de­tec­tion and for the first time, the abil­ity to ad­just the back­ground blur af­ter the pic­ture is taken. Ap­ple will also bring real-time depth con­trol in the fu­ture iOS up­date.

On the video front, the phone sup­ports up to 4K video record­ing at 60 fps and the cap­ture qual­ity is great, helped by OIS for bet­ter sta­bil­i­sa­tion. The de­vice also sup­ports stereo sound record­ing and slow-mo­tion in Full HD res­o­lu­tion to up to 240 fps.

The front-fac­ing 7MP cam­era takes de­cent self­ies, but the cam­era seems to smoothen skin de­tails and there’s no way to ad­just or turn it off com­pletely. The front cam­era can also be used to cre­ate Me­mo­jis.

Con­clu­sion

Is the iPhone XS Max ex­pen­sive? Yes. Is it worth the up­grade? Well, that de­pends on the de­vice you’re cur­rently us­ing. If you’re an iPhone X user, the jump isn’t big enough un­less you are look­ing for a big­ger bat­tery and dis­play size. How­ever, if you’re com­ing from an An­droid or iPhone 8 or be­low, the iPhone XS Max will not only wow you with a full-day bat­tery life, cam­era and an im­mer­sive dis­play but also an im­proved over­all per­for­mance.

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