What is a pro device? A joke popular in Apple circles says that anything that is available in Space Gray and costs a small fortune is eligible. We have seen Apple use Pro-Tag in a variety of devices, usually with some justification.
The Mac Pro and iMac Pro use server chips and ECC-RAM to distinguish themselves from the Mac Mini and the iMac. The MacBook Pro traditionally uses faster chips to offer performance levels that other MacBooks simply cannot match. The iPad professionals initially differentiated themselves by supporting Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard. However, the recent updates to the iPad range mean that they are only highlighted by the Type-C connector and the fancier scoreboards.
Apple calls the new iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max the "first iPhone" on its website[s] powerful enough to be called a pro ”. At first glance, this seems like a strange claim, since the iPhone 11 (review) uses the same chip – and benchmarks show that it has the same amount of RAM – as its more expensive brothers.
Yes, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro differ in key ways – especially in terms of display and battery life, aside from the latter packaging in an additional telecamera on the back – but the changes are so significant that they justify the "pro"? Label? Before we answer this question, we recommend that you read our iPhone 11 test, as it is an essential starting point for many things that we will talk about.
iPhone 11 Pro Max design
Let's start with that right away: The bump on the back – or the camera island as we called it in our iPhone 11 test – is not very pleasant to look at. It's roughly – maybe exactly, we didn't have calipers on hand – the size of the island on iPhone 11, except that it contains three cameras in addition to the True Tone flash and a microphone.
While it doesn't look so ugly when we first saw the leaked renderings a few months ago – or maybe we just got used to it – but we can safely say that this is not Apple's best design work. We have no problem with the presence of the bump, but cannot claim to be fans of the lens arrangement that Apple went with.
It is entirely possible that Apple engineers considered this arrangement necessary in order to achieve the best possible performance from three cameras. If you move a lens by a millimeter, you have to adapt the algorithms with which the data from several sensors are combined. However, we hope that an aesthetically pleasing solution can be found. We have all complained in the past that Apple chooses form rather than function. Perhaps this is just Cupertino's payback for all of this criticism.
If you look beyond the camera island, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is very similar to its predecessor, the iPhone XS Max (review), with the exception that the glass on the back now has a textured, matte finish. This makes the phone look different and fits better in the hand than the iPhone 11 and the iPhone models of the previous generation.
While we weren't impressed with the new Midnight Green finish in the short amount of time we spent with an iPhone 11 Pro Max in the practical area of the Steve Jobs Theater after Apple's launch event, it definitely grew on us in the few days we spent with our review unit. It's still hard to distinguish this color from the Space Gray variant in certain lighting conditions, but the dark, understated green comes through when the iPhone is backlit.
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are also available in silver and gold, each with a matching frame made of polished steel or a strap, as Apple calls it. As with the iPhone 11, the iPhone branding is missing on the back of the phones. The grille at the bottom of the iPhone 11 Pro Duo is asymmetrical (just like the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max), although we may be one of three people in the world who notice this at all.
At 158 x 77.8 x 8.1 mm, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is 0.5 mm larger, 0.4 mm wider, and 0.4 mm thicker than the iPhone XS Max, but perhaps more importantly, with 226 g are also 18 g heavier. It's something for a company that has traditionally been obsessed with making everything thinner and lighter for generations. The fact that the iPhone 11 Pro Max offers a much better battery life than the iPhone XS Max – more on that later – is an indication that most of the weight was spent on taking a larger battery, which at least in some cases another sign of this is cases Apple is no longer afraid of sacrificing design at the altar of functional gain.
When our daily driver switched from the iPhone XS Max, we got used to the extra weight pretty quickly, but it's safe to say that for many people, this phone is a step too far. If you feel this way, you should go for the iPhone 11 Pro, which offers the same package in a smaller case with only slightly worse (claimed) battery life.
iPhone 11 Pro Max display, performance and battery life
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch display (1242 x 2688) that is the same size and number of pixels as the iPhone XS Max. However, there are some improvements. For starters, the iPhone 11 Pro Max display has an increased peak brightness of 800 nits compared to 625 nits on its predecessor. In fact, the display achieves even brighter values - up to 1200 nits – when viewing HDR10 or Dolby Vision videos or viewing HDR photos.
This makes viewing HDR content on the iPhone 11 Pro Max a visual pleasure, especially in scenes with very bright areas alongside dark shadows. Dolby Atmos support for the built-in speakers of the iPhone 11 trio and the portable entertainment powerhouse iPhone 11 Pro Max. Just like the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro Max should also offer an improved Bluetooth audio streaming range thanks to Bluetooth beamforming. You also get Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit LTE if your network supports it.
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max drop 3D Touch and mark the end of Apple's experiments with the technology. The iPhone XR was the first new phone (with the exception of the iPhone SE (Review)) to be delivered without 3D Touch since the technology was introduced with the iPhone 6s (Review) and the iPhone 6s Plus (Review).
Just like the iPhone XR, most of the functions of 3D Touch can be accessed by a long press or haptic touch, as Apple calls it. With that in mind, the iPhone XR was an experiment to see if anyone missed 3D Touch, and the answer clearly seems to have been no.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has IP68 protection, but apparently can survive up to 30 minutes at a depth of 4 meters, compared to 2 meters on its predecessor. Keep in mind that Apple's warranty, like most other OEMs, does not cover liquid damage. The storage options remain unchanged: 64 GB (case 1.09.900), 256 GB (case 1.23.900) and 512 GB (case 1.41.900). Due to the relatively high prices, we would have liked at least 128 GB of storage space with the basic version.
All three new iPhone models are powered by Apple's new A13 Bionic SoC and, as expected, have passed all our tests and are clearly ahead of all other smartphones. In fact, last year's iPhone models are the iPhone 11 Trio's most powerful competitors. Here's everything you need to know about Apple's edge in the SoC department.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max was quite similar to the iPhone 11 in terms of both benchmarks and actual performance. We encourage our readers to read our iPhone 11 review for more details. Face recognition is still available to unlock your phone, and Apple's may be the fastest and most reliable face recognition implementation on the market.
With the iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple promises the "longest battery life of an iPhone" with good reason. The smartphone lasted two full days of medium to heavy load, which meant a bit of gaming, taking videos and photos, a little social media, and checking email. We have 19 hours and 27 minutes of playback time in our HD video battery loop test, which is exceptionally good.
The iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max are finally delivered with quick chargers in the box. Apple has switched to a Type C charger. This is good news for those who want to use the included cable for their Type C MacBooks.
With the included charger, the iPhone 11 Pro Max can be brought from empty to 46 percent in 30 minutes and to 81 percent in 60 minutes. This isn't as quick as many Android smartphones can do today, but it's a welcome addition to the iPhone range and more than acceptable overall.
A full charge took almost two and a half hours, and we suspected that this was probably due to the new Optimized Battery Charging setting for iOS 13, which is enabled by default. Battery level reaches 80 percent. In fact, when we tried to charge the phone with Optimized Battery Charging turned off, we were able to charge it from empty to 100 percent in 1 hour and 52 minutes.
Wireless charging is supported at speeds similar to previous generation iPhone models.
iPhone 11 Pro Max software and cameras
The iPhone 11 Trio comes with iOS 13, which offers a variety of new functions. The first is a system-wide dark mode that, when enabled, flips the default view from black text and controls on a white background to white text on a black background. All system apps support dark mode, although some aspects take some getting used to.
Traditionally, Safari used a gray fill in the address bar as well as in the menu bar and toolbar below to indicate that you are in private mode. However, the dark mode in iOS 13 only changes the background of the address bar to black, which is not as easy to see as before.
Dark mode can be turned on and off quickly from the control center and the changes take effect immediately. You can also set dark mode to turn on automatically at certain times. Third-party developers can offer alternative color schemes for their apps when dark mode is enabled.
The Photos app has been redesigned so that users with large libraries can find and manage their photos more easily. The Photos tab in the app is now divided into Years, Months, Days and All Photos, so you can jump to the vacation you took in June last year, for example. The app now also contains more powerful controls for photo and video editing than before, which professionals appreciate.
You can now adjust the position and intensity of your studio lighting while editing portrait shots. This can be very useful if you know what you are doing. A new portrait lighting effect called High-Key Light Mono gives your motifs a monochrome look on a white background.
Reminders is another app that has been completely redesigned to give you more features and more precise controls than before. The new app presents four intelligent lists at the top: Today, Planned, Marked and All. You can add attachments to your reminders or create new types of reminders that appear when you send messages to a specific person. This can be very practical. Sub-tasks and grouped lists are also supported.
When you start Reminders for the first time on an iOS 13 device, you'll be prompted to update your reminders and notes stored in iCloud. If you upgrade, you will no longer be able to access them on iOS devices that are running slightly earlier than iOS 13 and on Macs that are only running macOS Catalina.
Messages also get a few new features, the most important of which is the greatly improved search. Finally, you can see more than one instance of the search term in a conversation, which eliminates a major pain point in messages. The app also lets you control which names and photos appear in outgoing iMessages and who can see those names and photos.
Then there are a few much needed system-wide improvements. Finally, the built-in keyboard supports swiping, so you can simply slide your finger over the keyboard to enter words. We are personally not fans of this input method, but we know many who swear by it. This also means that you don't have to install any third-party apps or switch keyboards to use this feature. In our limited trial period for the method Apple calls QuickPath, the system recognized the words we wanted to type well.
iOS 13 also fixes another long-standing glitch – the volume indicator. Now if you change the volume while watching a video, a large graphic display will no longer appear in the center of the screen, blocking exactly the video you are watching. Instead, you'll see a much smaller control on the side of the video that does the job easily. Third-party apps, including YouTube, had introduced their own solutions to work around this problem. However, we are happy to have a system-wide solution once and for all.
The good old system-wide release sheet has a brand new look that places AirDrop and current news / email recipients in a horizontally scrolling line at the top, followed by the list of third-party applications that are similar to those of iOS 13 iOS 12 removed from a separate line and are now available as a vertically scrolling list, grouped by context. Overall, the stock sheet looks a lot clutterier, but this could potentially make it easier to discover previously buried options, so we're feeling mixed about this change at this point.
iOS 13 also offers a variety of other functions, e.g. For example, the ability to connect external drives to your iOS devices, extensive improvements to CarPlay, and the new "Sign in with Apple" feature that allows you to use third-party apps and services. Limit the amount of information you share with them , Since the iPhone continues to use the Lightning connector, you'll need the USB adapter to use most external drives.
Apple is also forcing apps to be more transparent about how they use location data and whether they use Bluetooth for purposes other than streaming audio. This is shown to users in the form of permission prompts when the app first tries to use the feature.
You have the option of granting apps one-time access to your location. This is useful if, for example, you need to do this during the login process but want to protect your location data later. Apps can no longer ask for background access to your location when it starts for the first time. However, if you have already given an app permission to use your location while in use, you may be asked to grant that permission by requesting access to the background location if necessary.
We appreciate the additional granularity that location data prompts now offer, although we believe that many users find the Bluetooth-related prompts confusing and may allow or deny apps access without complete information. Although some third-party developers use Bluetooth for tracking, others also use it to enable some practical features.
There are even some India-related functions such as keyboards for Assamese, Bodo, Dogri, Kashmiri (Arabic, Devanagari), Konkani (Devanagari), Manipuri (Bangla, Meetei Mayek), Maithili, Nepali, Sanskrit, Santali (Devanagari, Ol Chiki) and Sindhi (Devanagari, Arabic) as well as predictions for the next word when typing in Hindi. The new bilingual keyboard for Hindi (Latin) and English also supports predictions.
Four new system fonts – Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada and Odia – have been added, and there are 30 new document fonts for Assamese, Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
Siri can now speak English with an Indian accent, although it is not yet ready to speak in an Indian language. Aside from an accent that sounds more familiar to India's ears, this means that Siri uses "lakhs" instead of "hundreds of thousands" when referring to a large number. However, not all of the creases seem to have been ironed out when we noticed that Siri sometimes said the word "period" instead of actually pausing between sentences (see figure below). At least Apple Maps now supports turn-by-turn navigation in India, so we have less to complain about.
If you are actively using two numbers on your iPhone, you can now link both numbers to your iMessage and FaceTime accounts with iOS 13. This removes a limitation that we found in your iPhone XR test – depth of software experience using a dual SIM iPhone.
However, we encountered some bugs. After taking a screenshot on iPhone 11 Pro Max, we couldn't immediately save it to files or share it on the sharing sheet. Instead, we had to go back to the home screen, go back to photos, and then go to the share sheet. Interestingly, we didn't have the same problem on iPhone 11.
The camera setup of the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max is identical to that of the iPhone 11, except that they include an additional 12 megapixel sensor with 1: 2.0 and a telephoto lens. In this way, the iPhone 11 Pro duo can offer a double optical zoom and use the telephoto lens for portrait mode. Right, with the iPhone 11 Pro duo, portrait mode is available for both telephoto and widescreen cameras. You can switch between the two using an easy-to-miss on-screen button that appears at the bottom left.
In low light conditions, the performance of the telephoto camera is slightly worse than that of the wide-angle camera, but significantly better than that of the ultra-wide-angle camera. In all other respects, the performance of the iPhone 11 Pro Max's cameras is identical to that of the iPhone 11, and we encourage you to read our iPhone 11 review to see how well they work.
In summary, night mode is possibly the biggest innovation in the new iPhone models and significantly improves the credentials of the new iPhones for low light photography, making them the best smartphone cameras in all conditions. The Ultra Wide camera gives you a new perspective, and the iPhone 11 Pro duo's telephoto lens with its 2X optical zoom is a useful tool if you want to be closer to the action.
The properties of selfies are also improved thanks to a brand new front camera, and video recording is enhanced by improved stabilization and support for an expanded dynamic range for 4K videos with up to 60 fps.
A much better writer than this once asked: “What's in a name? What we call a pro with any other name would look so cute. “With the apology to The Bard, I hope you understand the point. Whether the iPhone 11 Pro Max deserves the nickname "Pro" or not is a debate that can continue, but there's no doubt that it's a top-notch device, excuse the pun, phone.
Aside from the somewhat conservative design, we struggled to find any real flaws in the iPhone 11 Pro Max – the display is excellent; The performance and battery life are as good as possible. And the cameras, now with night mode, can give any other smartphone a chance. Hell, Apple even built a quick charger into it, so everything's fine with life, right? Almost.
As mentioned earlier, we'd like to have more storage space in the basic version – after all, it's a "Pro" device – and Android phones offer faster wireless charging and bundled chargers that are much faster than Apple's. The iPhone 11 Pro Max could also be too much for many people due to its size and weight, which makes the iPhone 11 Pro a better choice for many who are looking for the best that the Apple world has to offer. Then there's the little thing about the price.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max starts with a stunning Rs. 1.09.900, which is a lot of money for a phone. For most people, it's hard to justify spending the premium on the iPhone 11 – or even on leading Android smartphones like the Galaxy S10 Trio or the Galaxy Note 10 Duo. The iPhone 11 Pro Max is right for you. Although we haven't tested it, the iPhone 11 Pro should offer almost exactly the same experience as the Pro Max in all departments with the exception of battery life and it is available from a slightly cheaper price.
iPhone 11 or iPhone XR: which is the best iPhone for India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast that you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just click the play button below. To make the transition easier, you have to