iPhone XS Max Early(ish) thoughts on iPhone Xs Max

wchigo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 6, 2015
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Hey everyone. I've been using the Xs Max since launch day and just wanted to share my experience in using it for the past 4 days. As a little history, I bought the Plus size phones every year since the 6 and then purchased the X last year, before switching back to a "Plus" size phone.

So coming from an X, I was already used to all the gesture based navigation, like swiping up to exit apps or swiping down from the top right corner to access control centre. After using a smaller phone for around a year, it definitely took a little time to get back to using a larger device, but I adapted quickly. The phone actually fits quite well in the hand and I get what some reviewers were saying about the device feeling surprisingly light. I think it partially has to do with how the Max is less wide than the Plus line, so it doesn't feel as bulky and thus leads to it feeling lighter than you'd expect, despite its size.

The screen is amazing. Even after using it for several days, the screen continues to impress me. I really enjoyed the "edge to edge" screen of the X, and having it in a larger capacity makes it even better. Obviously it makes web browsing and watching videos a much better experience, and it really puts in contrast how "cramped" videos felt on the X.

The phone feels super snappy, but I'm not quite sure how much of it is the phone, and how much of that is iOS 12. I sold my X to a friend without putting iOS 12 on it so I wasn't able to do a comparison (maybe I'll install 12 on my girlfriend's X to test it out) but there are several differences I noticed right away. Opening the camera app from the lock screen is much faster and seems to transition to the camera right away; on my X, it would cut to a black screen for a fraction of a second before the camera view would pop up on screen.

The other thing is how quickly it would detect 3D Touch after unlocking the phone. Previously on my X, I would swipe up to get to the home screen and if I immediately tried to 3D Touch on WeChat to access the scan function for WeChat pay, it generally would not work the first time. Instead, I'd end up with a long press and my apps would start jiggling. No such problems with the Max. I'd unlock the phone and immediately 3D Touch WeChat and it would work perfectly. Very happy about that.

I haven't really used the camera much since getting my hands on the phone, but I couldn't tell any big differences from the pictures I took with my X; keep in mind I did no side by side comparisons, and only hastily took some photos for work reasons that I immediately sent out and didn't really analyze. Apps seem a little less likely to reload/restart, likely due to optimizations in the OS and the Max having 4GB of RAM.

Battery life is another winner. I ran down the phone to empty on the first day and charged it up overnight before having to take a short trip over the weekend. With light browsing, listening to podcasts and gaming, I still had around 47% battery before going to sleep on Saturday. Due to reasons beyond my control, I wasn't able to run the battery down again until yesterday, which I decided to do for calibration purposes. I took the phone off the charger around 7:57am and used it as per normal; WeChat messaging and emails for work, light browsing, gaming, watched a couple YouTube videos and listened to about 30 mins of a podcast. I had 2% battery left at 12:24am with my stats showing 6h 29min of screen on and 34min of screen off. The top two apps by battery usage were both gaming: Tap Titans 2 with 71% and Idle Poring with 8%. Safari and YouTube were next at 4% each. TT2 is a huge battery hog and always killed my battery on my X, causing me to have to keep my phone pretty close to a charger if I played it consistently. The fact that my Max's battery lasted as long as it did even while playing this game is a testament to its battery capacity and strides made in terms of battery optimization.

I really enjoyed my time with the X and its new design and way of operation, and while I never really complained about the smaller screen, the issue did occasionally pop up whenever I would watch videos (which became less often as I tended to gravitate towards my iPad after going from 7 Plus to X) or web browsing. The only other thing I really missed about a larger phone was the better battery life, as I would always have to plug in my phone at some point during the day if I did any gaming at all. I still think the X works better in terms of physical size and ergonomics, but there's just enough cons with the smaller phone that for me personally, the Plus/Max size is the way to go. By no means was the Max cheap, but I can say with no qualifiers that thus far, I have been very happy with my new phone. Hopefully this post might be helpful to some folks out there.
 
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cardfan

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2012
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Seems that iPhone X is beating both XS and XSM in battery life tests. Apple might need a software tweak.
 
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wchigo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 6, 2015
466
218
Just for your clarification, the 3D Touch lag after unlocking was a bug that was fixed in late IOS 11
I assumed it was more of an OS thing than a hardware thing, but oddly enough my X was on the latest version of iOS (11.4.1) and still seemed to suffer from that bug. All the same, good to know!

Seems that iPhone X is beating both XS and XSM in battery life tests. Apple might need a software tweak.
As The Game 161 states above, that has not been my experience so far. My Max has lasted way longer than my X ever did. I’m at 77% now at 3:25pm with mixed usage, whereas with my X I’d be in the 30s or at most 40% by now.
 
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