Dr. Mac’s iPhone 11 Pro Max Review

2 minute read
| Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #352

While my purchase experience last week was long and unpleasant (see Episode #351), the new iPhone 11 Pro Max I acquired was a joy.

The Camera is Incredible

The camera is my hot button, so I’ve been walking around with an iPhone X in one hand and an iPhone 11 Pro Max in the other, shooting photos and videos and comparing their quality.

And, as usual, there’s no question that the iPhone 11 Pro Max captures better-quality photos and videos. Both Pro models feature three rear-facing lenses—ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto—which work together to provide noticeably better images and videos than my iPhone X. And it shoots better, clearer images and videos under low-light situations than any previous iPhone. While the low-light performance of iPhone cameras improves every year, it improved more than most years in the iPhone 11 Pro. Wow.

iPhone 11 Pro Max (right) camera captures more detail and more accurate colors.

iPhone 11 Pro Max (right) camera captures more detail and more accurate colors.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max camera clearly outperforms the iPhone X in low light.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max camera (right) clearly outperforms the iPhone X.

iPhone 11 Pro Max (right) camera captures more detail and more accurate colors.

Enlarged detail: iPhone X (left) vs. iPhone 11 Pro Max (right).

While the improved still photos and videos were no surprise, I was surprised at how much the expanded field of view helped me compose better shots and capture more and better variations of shots.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max's expanded field of view helps me compose better shots.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max’s expanded field of view helps me compose better shots. (Photo courtesy of Apple, Inc.)

Sigh. I say it almost every year, but the iPhone 11 Pro camera is easily the best iPhone camera yet.

The Display is Dazzling

And the Super Retina XDR display is gorgeous. It’s noticeably easier to see than my iPhone X both in and out of doors, with blacker blacks and richer, more saturated (but natural-looking) colors.

It really is tasty. And, (sigh)… It’s easily the best iPhone screen yet.

Best Battery Ever

Now let’s talk battery life. If I start the day with a fully charged iPhone X and don’t “top it off” during the day, it’ll be out of juice before dinner. And when I’m using it more than usual without topping off, I’ve seen the dreaded low battery warning as early as 2 PM.

Apple says the iPhone 11 Pro Max battery lasts up to 5 hours longer than the previous model and I believe it. I’ve yet to see a low battery warning, even after a full day of heavy use without topping off.

Sigh. Yes, it’s easily the best iPhone battery life to date.

To recap, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the best iPhone I’ve ever used. The camera is amazing; the screen is to die for; and the battery lasts long enough to satisfy even heavy users.

Now for the Bad News

All that awesomeness doesn’t come cheap. Prices for the iPhone 11 Pro Max start at $1,099, and a 256GB one like mine goes for $1,249.

Ouch!

If you can afford an iPhone 11 Pro, I’m sure you’ll love it. But, while I’d love to continue upgrading my iPhone every year, these prices have me rethinking it. So, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the best iPhone I’ve ever used, my iPhone X is still a fine iPhone with plenty of life left.

So I’ve decided to keep it for (at least) one more year.

Before last week I’d have told you my iPhone X had the best camera, battery, and screen I’d ever owned. And while next year’s high-end models will almost certainly cost as much or more, they will also have even better cameras, screens, and batteries.

So I’m gonna wait.  Watch for a reprise of this exercise when the next batch of new iPhones arrive in Fall 2020.

And that’s all he wrote…

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