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Review iPhone XS Max Impression, Review, & Then Some

Discussion in 'APPLE iPhone, iPad Tablets and all iOS Devices' started by M in LA, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 25 Years Plus
    Super Moderator Senior Member

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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    My Phone:
    iPhone XS Max, iPhone X
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon (since 1994)
    Another year, another phone. In my review of the iPhone X last year, I mentioned I would get a larger version of the X if and when Apple decided to release it.

    The iPhone XS Max is that phone. Having used the X since its release, I've grown accustomed to all the gestures and features that came with it. I actually found the X much easier to use than the 7 Plus.

    Face ID has been the best feature, in my opinion. FAR more reliable than Touch ID on the 7 Plus. I have experienced numerous issues with Touch ID on the 7 Plus with it not recognizing the fingerprints I saved on the device. Probably because of dry skin and/or changes in the texture of my fingers, Touch ID has been unreliable and an endless issue. Face ID, on the other hand, has been flawless. Yes, I have to look directly at it, but once I do, it unlocks quickly and I'm in business.

    The XS Max continues and improves on Face ID from its predecessor. Since this phone is essentially the same as the X, only larger, there aren't any new surprises or things to learn about it, as was the case with the X (the gesture-based interface).

    For this reason, I really love the XS Max. Right out of the box, no surprises. It just works. Using a full X backup via iTunes on my Mac, the XS max is a clone of the X. That's just what I wanted. All the apps and settings mirroring the older phone.

    The display is gorgeous, the camera fantastic, the phone is fast and responsive. The things I love about the X are even more awesome on the XS Max. The bigger display size is the high point. THIS was the iPhone I wish the X had been (though I have had no issue with the X's smaller footprint). As I mentioned, I had planned on getting the larger version of the X, no matter what.

    That being said, I plan on skipping next year's iPhone (unless it's a groundbreaker AND less expensive). I can wait two years. I grew to love the X very quickly and has been the best phone I've ever used. It was the best $1000 I've ever spent. It has been a pleasure to use and the greater screen real estate just made it so much better than the 8/7/6 Plus series phones.

    I expect the XS Max to only better the experience (it already has) of the X. Yes, Samsung is seemingly innovating much faster than Apple now. The S10 appears to be what bezel-less phones have dreamt to be. Who knows if Apple will keep up next Fall. That being said, I cannot stand Android. It just isn't for me. Having played around with a relative's Note 9 (stunningly beautiful and an awesome device/horrible software, IMO), it further convinced me iOS is it for my use. If only the Note 9 and S10 came with iOS. I would likely switch phones at that point, but this won't happen.

    I don't mind having a device that may be behind in new tech compared to current and future Android flagships. The iPhone XS Max and iOS are what I want and can live with for two or more years.

    One caveat though, Apple needs to go easy on the prices of these phones. I was willing to pay what I did for the XS Max, but no more. I may stretch the use of my current set of phones versus upgrading every year. Paying over a grand is going a bit too far, IMO. Still, I love Apple devices and will stick with them ever couple of years or so. This will give me time to save all my pennies for a new device.
     
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  2. palandri

    palandri Former Palm Guy
    Junior Member Senior Member

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    Nice review. I'll have to stop by my local Apple store and take a closer look at one.

    I agree on the pricing issue. The major phone manufacturers are playing follow the leader, ie, if they can $800, we can get $900, if they can get $900, we can get $1000....
     
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  3. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 25 Years Plus
    Super Moderator Senior Member

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    My Phone:
    iPhone XS Max, iPhone X
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    Verizon (since 1994)
    The irony is, Apple is experiencing less sales with their 2018 phones. The big reason for the XS series is the price. There are better phones on the market for the price of the XR, including the XS. The XS is obviously more, but it is a major step above the XR.

    I chose the 256GB XS Max intentionally. The monthly payment is less than $7 more than the 64GB version (for 4x more storage), a price I'm OK with to own the phone. I planned for this, which is why I waited 3 months to get it (unlike the X, which I got on pre-order and received the day of its release). Not next time, though, no matter how fancy the next iPhones might be. Apple is also suffering from people keeping their phones longer. And with their now 4 digit price tags for some models, it comes as no surprise.
     
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  4. M in LA

    M in LA Mobile 25 Years Plus
    Super Moderator Senior Member

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    Location:
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    My Phone:
    iPhone XS Max, iPhone X
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon (since 1994)
    One thing to add to the review. After nearly a week with the phone, the battery life is phenomenal. I haven't had such good battery life since the 6 Plus. Charged it two days ago and have used it moderately since. Battery is at 68% (and I'm visiting relatives who have a 1 bar Verizon signal in their area).

    I expected the phone to be drained at this point (something I would have seen with the X and 7 Plus at this point). Who knows, maybe Apple did something to improve battery life. The X is a 50% right now, after having been charged the same time as the XS Max.

    I also have not experienced any issues with iOS 12.1.2, which has received some complaints.
     
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  5. scottb

    scottb Bronze Senior Member
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    My Phone:
    Pixel 3a
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    T-Mobile
    Nice review.

    Don't take Samsung's interface as representative of Android. It's bloated and confusing. Look at a Pixel, or something like a OnePlus to see Google's vision for Android.

    I agree about Samsung's hardware. If it had the camera software and quality of a Pixel I'd still be using an S9.
     
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  6. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    iPhone XS Space Grey
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    AT&T; Tmobile SIM only
    Very good review. I have the XS and am enjoying the new size between my old 7 Plus and new XS Max.

    I agree Face ID is a real improvement. I was a skeptic, but now a believer. Much more consistent.


    Sent from my iPhone XS using Tapatalk
     
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  7. kjo

    kjo Bronze Senior Member
    Senior Member

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    My Phone:
    Iphone 7 Plus
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    Sounds nice! I don’t have anything to compare it too but my iPhone 7 Plus seems to be still holding good chargeand having no issues. Of course now getting bombarded with messages saying upgrade your 7 plus to the new phone for additional 450. I’m like uh. It’s okay right now. I’m looking into trying one of those adapters for wireless charging. To you on a wireless pad. Just a thought. Have any of you ever tried these on your iPhone 7 or older devices? I want to go in and see the newer iPhones. Not sure I can do it without the home button?
     

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  8. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
    Senior Member

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    My Phone:
    iPhone XS Space Grey
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    AT&T; Tmobile SIM only
    You will not miss the Home button one bit! I was sure you that too.

    Nope, no charging pad. I could see having one for work, but not by the bedside where I charge overnight. Reason is many times I lie awake in bed using my phone, and then it would not be charging.

    Maybe some day I’ll get one but not yet.


    Sent from my iPhone XS using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Riya Patel

    Riya Patel New Member

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    Apple finally delivers an iPhone with a huge screen, and for movie-watching, game-playing fans the iPhone XS Max is an exciting new addition to the range. It certainly costs a lot, but if you can get past the price (which many won't be able to) the XS Max offers up a super, supersized experience.

    Pros:
    • Screen great for gaming & movies
    • Camera is a strong offering
    Cons:
    • Price: most expensive iPhone ever
    • Size can make it tricky to handle
     

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