The Good The iPhone XS Max has a large, shiny display and a slightly longer battery life than the XS. Benefits of the XS enhancements: higher speeds, some durability and water resistance enhancements, better camera and dual SIM card support.
The Bad It’s so, so, so expensive. If the iPhone Plus models were too big for your hands, so will it.
The Bottom Line The super-sized iPhone XS Max draws a 6.5-inch screen and all the same great features of the iPhone XS into the Plus case – but it’s not as huge a jump as it might seem.
There are three new iPhones in 2018 , in three different sizes and prices. The iPhone XR is more affordable and has the best battery life for new iPhones. The iPhone XS is the smallest and the sweetest. But the iPhone XS Max is a show boat.
If you’re looking for the biggest iPhone of 2018 with the biggest screen, look no further: The iPhone XS Max is a premium, larger screen phone that many want, but only some may actually afford or need. Essentially, compared to the iPhone XS, you get a larger screen size, more pixels, and a $ 100 more battery.
So if you’re good at $ 1099 and above, keep doing it. It’s wonderful, if not needed, luxury.
However, if you want to get a larger screen iPhone but don’t want to pay as much, you can check it out iPhone XR . This is the best bet for the cost and battery life.
On the right, though, it’s 5.8-inch iPhone X (and XS) have already taken off the great feat of accommodating more smaller screen sizes. Coming back to a bigger phone afterwards feels like defeating the goal. But this is a personal choice. I always liked the 10.5-inch iPad Pro against the 12.9-inch. I like the 13-inch MacBook over 15. So also XS and Max. Others feel differently.
(Note: Updated battery life and iPhone XR comparisons.)
- IPhone XS Review: Performance over the iPhone X
- iPhone XS Vs. XR Vs. XS Max: The 2018 iPhone buying guide
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- iOS 12 is now available: how to upgrade, the best new iPhone features and more
- Best covers for iPhone XS and XS Max
- Launches iPhone XS, XS Max, attracting smaller crowds but many fans
- iPhone XS, XS Max and XR: 27 tips and tricks for learning the latest Apple phones
What gives you this screen size? The display on the XS Max has tons of pixels: actually 2,688×1,242. Movies and games in particular look great on it. It’s a damn nice display … OLED looks better this time around, and I liked it simple looking on him. This is my favorite display of Apple devices. But when held close to the XS, it’s not always easy to see the difference. In fact, I found myself mistaken one after the other when I saw both on the table.
The smaller screen resolution of the XS is 2,436×1,125 pixels. This is not a huge difference. Max’s extra size may be useful when editing photos or watching videos, but it’s still far from the size of any iPad.
Compare this to the iPhone XR and its slightly smaller display with less resolution (but still absolutely crisp and clear), and the iPhone XS Max is even harder to justify.
One small thing: the notch on the top of the XS Max is the same as the XS and XS, and it feels like it disappears more on the phone with more load.
Sometimes you can see a few more things. Just like the Plus iPhone, some apps have a split-panel look – Notes and Apple Mail are a few key ones. Everything, however, depends on the program. Applications need to be updated to take advantage of this, or add support for additional Max pixels. Similarly, some websites come in iPad or laptop landscape in Safari, but I’ve been lucky with only a few so far, one of them being The New York Times. Your mileage may change here. Along with the iPhone XR, you don’t really get much more space (and the XR also works with this split view across multiple apps). But the Max display does it better.
This is once again a great phone to keep. It looks the same size and weight as the 8 Plus, though it’s a bit bigger and heavier. It weighs about an ounce more than the XS. The iPhone XR (yes, I’ll remind you about this phone) is just easier to hold.
The speakers are buzzing. Like the XS, it sounds great. Maybe even more about Max.
Battery life is better, but the XR is better.
In our iPhone XS Max video battery depletion test, it lasted 17 hours, 23 minutes. The iPhone XR did even better (19 hours), but still has a longer battery life compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and an hour better than the iPhone XS (only 13 hours, 30 minutes). In everyday use, though, I still found myself wanting to run out of battery at the end of the day before traveling to New Jersey for a long time just to be safe.
Prices for the iPhone XS Max
|iPhone XS Max (64GB)||iPhone XS Max (256GB)||iPhone XS Max (512GB)|
Oh, the price! In the US, this phone starts at $ 1,099, with only 64GB of storage. From there, it grows to a maximum of $ 1,449 with 512GB of storage, which is basically worth MacBook Pro .
It’s just not available to most people, and Max seems to recognize that it’s a specialized product. The amount of storage I would use on such a phone would be at least 128 GB, but there is no storage capacity of 128 GB … just 256 GB, for $ 1,249. (Gulp.) That’s why I really recommend it to most people with lower-priced iPhones like the XR.
Advantages of XS vs XR: There are a few key points to note. This year, the XS and XS Max have the same interiors and cameras, which is great for consistency and also means that Max isn’t needed. The main differences in the XS line with respect to the lower XR costs are:
- Dual rear cameras instead of a single one: check out our XS Max to Note 9 camera comparison , and the a camera comparison between the iPhone XS and XR .
- Improved cellular antennas (4×4 MIMO, with Gigabit LTE, which can help with both data transfer speed and connection quality in some areas)
- A more durable construction (our CNET drop test showed that the XS lasted better than the XR , but keep in mind that we didn’t drop-test the Max)
- A nicer (but subtle) OLED display
- 3D Touch (do you care?)
- An extra meter of water resistance (not needed unless you were planning on deep diving, but here’s our impressive deep-dive test results )
Photos shot on iPhone XS Max and iPhone XS
If price was not a factor, the XS Max is the most outstanding iPhone of the year. But for the price and the size you really have to ask yourself why you are not buying something cheaper.
If you have the money to burn and want to get a giant high-resolution screen, then the phone you can buy is Max. I probably wouldn’t have spent so much on the phone, but maybe I’m not one of those who made it for the fact that I am grateful to spin in a luxury car every now and then. So I get the appeal.
5 reasons not to buy the iPhone XS or XS Max by Iyaz Akhtar03:35Replay videoLarge play-pause toggle 5 reasons not to … AutoplayOnOff 00:00 03:35 Settings
Compare the starting prices for the iPhone XR, XS, XS Max
|iPhone XR (64GB)||iPhone XS (64GB)||iPhone XS Max (64GB)|
Best iPhone XS and XS Max cases