Apple iPhone XS Max: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly


The new iPhones have created quite a stir in the market, but nothing’s unusual about the hype surrounding the latest flagships from Apple. When it comes to real world usage and convenience, the iPhone XS Max definitely packs in a good punch, but this top-of-the-food-chain iPhone may not be the ideal device for everyone. So let’s take a look at what makes and breaks the new iPhone XS Max.

The Good: A gorgeous Display

The iPhone XS Max is definitely a looker upfront. At 6.5-inches, it has the largest display on an iPhone ever, 22 percent larger than the iPhone X to be precise. The beautiful Super Retina OLED renders accurate colours, has great viewing angles, is bright enough (725 nits) to view under direct sunlight and features DCI-P3 color gamuts used by digital projectors and 4K TVs. No wonder DisplayMate declared it the best display on a smartphone ever.

The Bad: ‘Not’ch the best player in town, yet

The 6.5-inch screen of the iPhone XS Max would have been perfect for getting easy Chicken Dinners on PubG Mobile, but it turns out the game is not optimised for the phone just yet. So if you are buying the iPhone XS Max today, you will notice that the most obvious issue while playing PubG is the way the notch comes in the way. Controls get masked behind the notch, so much so that we had to customise the control manually to play properly. However, this issue may get resolved soon, as it did when the iPhone X first launched. Then again, we’re sure playing PubG is not on the top of your agenda with this pricey device.

The Good: It’s a glassy phone

At the launch event of the new iPhones, Apple’s Marketing Chief, Phil Schiller, said that the iPhone XS and XS Max are “covered on the front and the back with a new formulation of glass that is the most durable glass ever in a smartphone.” While we haven’t yet dropped our most expensive iPhone to date yet, its glass back is pretty resistant to slipping unlike many other glass clad phones we have seen in the recent past. In the various drop tests done around the globe, the device manages to survive 3-5 feet drops when dropped on the front, back and side. The handy glass back also means you can wirelessly charge your iPhone XS Max using any Qi wireless charger.

The Bad: Jack hit the road and didn’t come back

Apple killed the headphone jack with the iPhone 7 and despite hundreds of users begging the company to bring it back, the 3.5mm input on iPhones is dead for good. What’s worse is that Apple doesn’t even bundle a lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter with any of the new iPhones, let alone the most expensive, top of the line iPhone XS Max. At this pace, the headphone jack will be completely extinct in a couple of years as smartphone companies look to make more money off of accessories. As market leader, Apple is ensuring that we all get with the programme.

The Good: Water, water everywhere not a drop goes in

Late to the party, but the iPhone XS Max can handle its own in a swimming pool or the shower. Its IP68 rating ensures it can survive being dunked in water up to 2 meters for approximately 30 minutes. The Max can also handle everyday spills like juice, coffee, beer, and almost any liquid you might want to throw at it. Watch out for our iPhone XS Max dunk test coming up on our YouTube channel soon.

The Ugly: Not very pocket-friendly, literally

Ladies, you better get some baggier pants with jumbo pockets if you are planning to buy the iPhone XS Max. It’s like the fashion and smartphone industry don’t really share inputs. The iPhone Xs Max will pop its head out of your skinny jeans, be it the front or the back pocket. Guys who like to carry their phones in their shirt pockets will also be disappointed as the big new iPhone hates to fit in. If size is an issue for you, the 5.8-inch iPhone XS with all the same frills (barring the battery) could be a better bet.

The Good: ‘Steel’ling the show

The ‘surgical-grade’ Stainless Steel frame on the iPhone XS Max not only gives it that much desired premium feel, it also makes the phone a pleasure to hold and takes in a lot of the damage if the phone ever slips and falls on hard ground. Apple uses a special custom-designed alloy that’s precisely machined to create structural bands in three finishes and it seems to be working pretty well for them.

The Bad: Watch out for the bump!

Bumps in their very nature – on the roads or on the back of your phone – are nasty things. Apple has still not managed to do away with the camera bump on the new iPhones. Maybe its a design element I personally do not understand or appreciate, but a bump is a bump and this one’s got one.

The Good: Gimme more (or less) depth

It’s again a borrowed feature from Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Huawei P20 Pro and multiple other budget Android phones, but the new depth control on the iPhone XS and XS Max is implemented well, at least on first impressions. This dynamic depth of field results in improved Bokeh shots and gives you more control. What’s great is that it also works for selfies.

One more thing… Maxing out the storage

The iPhone XS Max, and even the XS for that matter, bring 512GB storage in their highest variants and that’s a good thing for iPhone users who would not have to spend monthly on iCloud storage.

So those were the good, bad and ugly aspects of the new iPhone XS Max. We will be reviewing both the iPhone XS and Xs Max shortly so stay tuned for a hardcore performance test. The two phones are now available on sale in India and you can check out their prices, specs, and offer details here. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will be availble for purcahse via online retailers like Paytm here and here respectively.


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