✅ Reams of power
✅ Night mode really shines
✅ Lovely back
? Most expensive iPhone out
? Design isn’t updated
? Lack of clear innovation beyond the camera
iPhone 11 Pro Max Full Review
The iPhone 11 Pro Max is the largest and most powerful phone Apple’s ever created, taking the very best of its technology and combining it with an upgraded design that includes a new matte back, three cameras designed to rival the best from Google and Huawei, and an enhanced battery for greater endurance. However, it’s also one of the most expensive phones on the market.
Digging deeper into the camera, we’re impressed most with the Night mode: the iPhone 11 Pro Max is capable of turning night almost into day, but doing so while preserving plenty of detail.
We found the newly-added ultra-wide camera to be handy when you want to squeeze in more of a scene (although we didn’t find we needed it that often) and for improving the background defocus effects… although it still wasn’t perfect in our testing.
The design of the iPhone 11 Pro Max will be familiar to most, with the same design language as the previous two models (the iPhone X and iPhone XS), although the matte back feels nice in the hand. The ‘Max’ size won’t appeal to all, but it does facilitate the large and impressive 6.5-inch OLED display, which offers a brilliant cinematic experience, both visually and through the upgraded stereo speakers.
The camera bump on the rear of the phone feels a little sharp and takes up a lot of space, although if you’re right-handed it stays out of the way when you’re going about your daily tasks.
Apple promises that the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s battery will last five hours longer than the XS Max from last year, and that claim is borne out in our tests – it particularly excelled when playing back HDR video on the phone, and the 20-hour battery life for multimedia seems accurate.
In day-to-day use we found that this is just about a 24-hour smartphone (assuming you sleep for a portion of that time), and the fast charger that (finally) comes in the box gives you around 20% in 15 minutes, and a full charge in just an hour and a half.
With iOS 13 on board, the Pro Max feels more refined than previous models, and tweaks to the accuracy and range of Face ID make it simpler to use every day, with things like opening a notification when the phone is placed flat on a desk made much easier.
The raw performance of the iPhone 11 Pro Max also impressed, although we did encounter some slowdown in the camera app; however, if you’re looking to edit video on the go (and don’t forget this phone can shoot 4K at 60 frames per second, and do it well) then you’ll enjoy the extra grunt on offer.
Overall, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is a real step forward, and the most advanced iPhone yet. However, when thinking about what’s truly new here, we weren’t able to single out much beyond the improved camera (especially Night mode) and the slightly upgraded cinematic experience.
If you want to save some money, we’d suggest checking out the iPhone 11 – while we constantly found little nuggets of impressive performance throughout our testing of the 11 Pro Max, we couldn’t shake the feeling that this is really only a phone for the Apple fan who wants the best of everything, with no compromises.
- Rear things are much improved
- Sharp on the edges
- Pretty much identical to that of the iPhone XS Max
- 6.5-inch screen size with an OLED panel
- Using True Tone technology to better match the ambient lighting conditions
- 10% more powerful than the iPhone 11 and 20% better than the iPhone XS Max
- Sound quality is impressive
- Addition of the ultra-wide camera
- Triple-lens camera versatility
- Night mode shines and better portrait mode
- Very strong battery life
- Full charge take just 90 minutes with the fast charger included in the box