iPhone XS Max Max - On the fence, return or not

neil74

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2017
182
128
I am still massively on the fence with the XS max vs just keeping my X. It is actually quite pathetic but I cannot help myself going back and forth on this!

I returned my first XS Max (purchased outright) as I just could not justify shelling out £1600+ for it. I was considering the upgrade programme (IUP) before as it probably suits me as someone who buys the new iPhone each year so after a day or 2 I went for it again and picked up another 512gb XS max this time on the IUP.

Another week on though and I am having doubts again, you see the thing is I both love it and don’t like it very much at all at the same time! People will say it is slightly smaller than the plus phones but the truth is the all screen design often makes it quite cumbersome in everyday use. Ironically one handed typing is ok as the one-handed keyboard size fits in the perfect sweet spot for me (often these one handed keyboards are actually too narrow) I actually find 2 handed typing awkward as there nowhere to properly rest my hand, I constantly feel like I will drop it when typing with two hands. There is no getting away from it though for general use this is a two handed device and the smaller X/Xs feels nicer in the hand, also on the android side phones like the S9+ still pack a big screen while feeling far more manageable.

My main beef though is just the sense that the whole package does not hang together in a way that I would expect from an apple device, every now and then it makes sense and feels great but mostly much of the phone feels like an after-thought. There is no bigger example of this imo than that big screen, it feels like apple just thought that as the footprint was smaller than the plus phones that it would be ok but never considered the impact of the all-screen design combined with that size, or how best exploit to that bigger screen to provide a better experience. It feels like a Tim Cook iPhone rather than a Steve Jobs one for sure.

As I say though I remain torn, on one hand the IUP is affordable for me so I think about sticking around for the journey but on the other apple has imo become so greedy and the Xs and Max are just not worth the price of admission and a part of me really wants to send the message that enough is enough.
 

jimmy_uk

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2015
1,074
976
UK
If the doubt is there stick with the X for another year and get some value out of it. Then get 11 Max next year where hopefully they'll add some features to justify the bigger size.
 

phillavelle

macrumors member
Dec 18, 2012
93
39
Los Angeles
Considering Apple named a theater after the guy which they unveil iPhones in each year now, I think he has a fair reason to mention Steve Jobs' legacy. The guy was Apple and it's fine to speculate over whether a product feels like something he would have launched or not.
[doublepost=1538486094][/doublepost]
I am still massively on the fence with the XS max vs just keeping my X. It is actually quite pathetic but I cannot help myself going back and forth on this!

I returned my first XS Max (purchased outright) as I just could not justify shelling out £1600+ for it. I was considering the upgrade programme (IUP) before as it probably suits me as someone who buys the new iPhone each year so after a day or 2 I went for it again and picked up another 512gb XS max this time on the IUP.

Another week on though and I am having doubts again, you see the thing is I both love it and don’t like it very much at all at the same time! People will say it is slightly smaller than the plus phones but the truth is the all screen design often makes it quite cumbersome in everyday use. Ironically one handed typing is ok as the one-handed keyboard size fits in the perfect sweet spot for me (often these one handed keyboards are actually too narrow) I actually find 2 handed typing awkward as there nowhere to properly rest my hand, I constantly feel like I will drop it when typing with two hands. There is no getting away from it though for general use this is a two handed device and the smaller X/Xs feels nicer in the hand, also on the android side phones like the S9+ still pack a big screen while feeling far more manageable.

My main beef though is just the sense that the whole package does not hang together in a way that I would expect from an apple device, every now and then it makes sense and feels great but mostly much of the phone feels like an after-thought. There is no bigger example of this imo than that big screen, it feels like apple just thought that as the footprint was smaller than the plus phones that it would be ok but never considered the impact of the all-screen design combined with that size, or how best exploit to that bigger screen to provide a better experience. It feels like a Tim Cook iPhone rather than a Steve Jobs one for sure.

As I say though I remain torn, on one hand the IUP is affordable for me so I think about sticking around for the journey but on the other apple has imo become so greedy and the Xs and Max are just not worth the price of admission and a part of me really wants to send the message that enough is enough.
I'm in almost exactly the same boat. I bought the Max on pre-order and loved it for the first 24 hours but then started to think it actually felt quite cumbersome.. not so much the size of it as i think with a thin TPU case, you get a bit of natural grip (whereas the official Apple silicon case seems to add both heft and weight), but the weight on my wrist. I lift weights and yet I still find it tiring on my wrist after a few mins if one handed use.

So I went and bought an XS and love the form factor. Next day, I went to Apple to return the Max and was asked to line up to see a returns person and while I was waiting, I was playing with the Max and it seemed fine. So I went home to ponder it and now, a week later, I'm sitting here with both and unsure what to do. I keep switching between both like some kinda idiot.

Talk about first world problems. But I feel your uncertainty!
 

cfairbank

macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2006
406
33
Sounds like your cons out way your pros. I preordered the max and returned it for the xs the same weekend and haven't looked back. Max is a good iPhone as long as you are comfortable and happy using it. You stated yourself that its awkward to use. If you haven't grown to like it during the time you have already had it I can't imagine your mind changing. I would return and stick with the x or exchange for xs, just my opinion.
 
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Zimmy68

macrumors 68000
Jul 23, 2008
1,804
1,134
Nice of you to flood the store with used iPhones because you can't make a decision.
Just keep the phone you have and be happy.
It is not life changing stuff here.
 

Mackinjosh

Suspended
Aug 21, 2014
1,181
1,697
On any purchase this expensive, if you have doubts, it's not a worthwhile purchase. Take it back and wait for Apple to release a phone that doesn't immediately hit you with buyer's remorse. This is the risk Apple runs when they stupidly overprice their hardware.
 

torqueflight

macrumors member
Apr 3, 2018
32
27
I am still massively on the fence with the XS max vs just keeping my X. It is actually quite pathetic but I cannot help myself going back and forth on this!

I returned my first XS Max (purchased outright) as I just could not justify shelling out £1600+ for it. I was considering the upgrade programme (IUP) before as it probably suits me as someone who buys the new iPhone each year so after a day or 2 I went for it again and picked up another 512gb XS max this time on the IUP.

Another week on though and I am having doubts again, you see the thing is I both love it and don’t like it very much at all at the same time! People will say it is slightly smaller than the plus phones but the truth is the all screen design often makes it quite cumbersome in everyday use. Ironically one handed typing is ok as the one-handed keyboard size fits in the perfect sweet spot for me (often these one handed keyboards are actually too narrow) I actually find 2 handed typing awkward as there nowhere to properly rest my hand, I constantly feel like I will drop it when typing with two hands. There is no getting away from it though for general use this is a two handed device and the smaller X/Xs feels nicer in the hand, also on the android side phones like the S9+ still pack a big screen while feeling far more manageable.

My main beef though is just the sense that the whole package does not hang together in a way that I would expect from an apple device, every now and then it makes sense and feels great but mostly much of the phone feels like an after-thought. There is no bigger example of this imo than that big screen, it feels like apple just thought that as the footprint was smaller than the plus phones that it would be ok but never considered the impact of the all-screen design combined with that size, or how best exploit to that bigger screen to provide a better experience. It feels like a Tim Cook iPhone rather than a Steve Jobs one for sure.

As I say though I remain torn, on one hand the IUP is affordable for me so I think about sticking around for the journey but on the other apple has imo become so greedy and the Xs and Max are just not worth the price of admission and a part of me really wants to send the message that enough is enough.

I feel the way you do and have yet to upgrade. After much deliberation I will definitely not be buying this phone in the near future for multiple reasons.

After looking at the display in person at both a Best Buy and Verizon store I can see the tint shift/color change issue being talked about on this forum. Straight/dead on you have a certain color (call it whatever you want) but a few degrees either side of center as you tilt your head or move the phone and the color/tint changes. Not at all what I would expect with an OLED display. I have a 65" OLED tv in my living room. Doesn't do that. That is the whole point of OLED and the "wide viewing angles". Even worse is when you read up on how OLED handles low light by dimming the display with this light pulsing thing. I don't know if I'd be sensitive to it but when you dig into the science behind it I think it would cause eye and brain fatigue either way.

I have also been following the whole signal issue discussion and my gut feeling tells me this needs more time to work itself out. I have some background in radio and do understand the importance of antenna gain and design. Pumping in more power can overcome bad antenna design on transmission but you still have reception issues. I don't know the limits on cell phone transmission power outputs but imagine we're already there and even if not don't think I'd want microwave radio frequency at high levels all day next to my body parts anyway.

And then there are the frustrating limitations of being in the walled garden. I'm fully immersed in the apple ecosystem and creating this was beyond smart for apple to do. Android does some things very good and its such a shame that apple cannot bring itself to adopt them at a faster rate. Having such a large screen as the max would be wonderful if you were able to customize the home screen. Being able to place icons at the bottom of the screen close to reach would just make so much sense. But no, they snap to the top as far from your one-handed reach as possible... really? Enough is enough. Same for the Apple Watch. Why no 3rd party watch faces?? Sigh.

Anyway, I'm sure there is more but I'm going to wait this out awhile. Not so much because of the price but because my older phones get the job done and the bugs are worked out. Give me a larger display with a home screen I can customize. Give me a phone that looks nice but you know it doesn't have to look like a piece of jewelry. Its probably going in a case anyway cause we do take these things with us in the real world and need them to function like radios for communication and just might occasionally drop them. ?Guess I'm ok now with the square watch (cause its better to display info supposedly) but then put round icons on it? At least give me the option to add a watch face that works best for me. It's my watch right??
 

YaBoiD

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2011
227
31
Sounds like your cons out way your pros. I preordered the max and returned it for the xs the same weekend and haven't looked back. Max is a good iPhone as long as you are comfortable and happy using it. You stated yourself that its awkward to use. If you haven't grown to like it during the time you have already had it I can't imagine your mind changing. I would return and stick with the x or exchange for xs, just my opinion.
I'm thinking the same. Either return to my X or exchange for an XS. Only issue with the latter is I'm wondering if the XS is worth the cost over the X.
 

madgalaxy

macrumors regular
Apr 11, 2015
118
64
I returned my Max, could not stomach a $1000+ phone two years in a row. My X is paid off so it will suite me until next year. I did get the new AW Series 4 to replace my Series 2 and I feel that is a substantial upgrade and have no buying regrets. With these Apple prices I see myself starting to alternating year to year (i.e. AW this year, iPhone next year, AW the year after, etc.)
 

ak_ree

macrumors newbie
Sep 29, 2017
20
3
I am in the same boat. I just got my max yesterday. Prior to the X I was a die hard plus fan and wouldn’t have anything smaller than that. I was surprised with how well I took the the size of the X but now that I’m using the max I’m feeling like maybe the X was the perfect size and maybe I should go back. I think I will give myself a little more time with the max to see if I adjust to it or not before I decide whether I’m keeping it.
 

EugW

macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
8,265
5,636
The X/XS feels too small IMO, if you're used to the Plus. However, in my case, I used the Plus mostly two-handed anyway already, so two-handed on the Max wouldn't be any different.

And for those who might care, the Max supports Zoomed Display. The X does not. Also, the Max doesn't feel too heavy to me. It should be noted that the 8 Plus only weighs 6 grams less than the Max.

However, I'm buying nothing this year for myself. I'm going to continue to use the 7 Plus for now.

---

BTW, in terms of footprint, the smallest "big" sized Apple iPhone is the XR. By that I mean that although it's smaller, it shows the exact same amount of information as the Max, and way more than the 8 Plus. However, that is missing the telephoto lens, and has a 326 ppi screen.
 
Last edited:

ak_ree

macrumors newbie
Sep 29, 2017
20
3
I think I’ll like it more once I get a case. It’s currently naked so it’s super slippery and I’m worried about it falling out of my hand(s). I think once I have a case and can grip it easier I’ll love it. I love it more for watching movies, reading, etc over the X it’s just the feeling of it not feeling secure in my hand that has me hesitant to keep it I think and I’m sure that’s because of no case.
 

LoveToMacRumors

macrumors 68020
Feb 15, 2015
2,407
2,004
Canada
I am still massively on the fence with the XS max vs just keeping my X. It is actually quite pathetic but I cannot help myself going back and forth on this!

I returned my first XS Max (purchased outright) as I just could not justify shelling out £1600+ for it. I was considering the upgrade programme (IUP) before as it probably suits me as someone who buys the new iPhone each year so after a day or 2 I went for it again and picked up another 512gb XS max this time on the IUP.

Another week on though and I am having doubts again, you see the thing is I both love it and don’t like it very much at all at the same time! People will say it is slightly smaller than the plus phones but the truth is the all screen design often makes it quite cumbersome in everyday use. Ironically one handed typing is ok as the one-handed keyboard size fits in the perfect sweet spot for me (often these one handed keyboards are actually too narrow) I actually find 2 handed typing awkward as there nowhere to properly rest my hand, I constantly feel like I will drop it when typing with two hands. There is no getting away from it though for general use this is a two handed device and the smaller X/Xs feels nicer in the hand, also on the android side phones like the S9+ still pack a big screen while feeling far more manageable.

My main beef though is just the sense that the whole package does not hang together in a way that I would expect from an apple device, every now and then it makes sense and feels great but mostly much of the phone feels like an after-thought. There is no bigger example of this imo than that big screen, it feels like apple just thought that as the footprint was smaller than the plus phones that it would be ok but never considered the impact of the all-screen design combined with that size, or how best exploit to that bigger screen to provide a better experience. It feels like a Tim Cook iPhone rather than a Steve Jobs one for sure.

As I say though I remain torn, on one hand the IUP is affordable for me so I think about sticking around for the journey but on the other apple has imo become so greedy and the Xs and Max are just not worth the price of admission and a part of me really wants to send the message that enough is enough.
I need a poll to vote
 

cfairbank

macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2006
406
33
I'm thinking the same. Either return to my X or exchange for an XS. Only issue with the latter is I'm wondering if the XS is worth the cost over the X.
Only reason I exchanged for the xs was to give my wife my x. She was using a 6S+ and was do for an upgrade however doesn't care about having the newest iPhone either. If it were not for that I would have probably just kept my x.
 

YaBoiD

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2011
227
31
Only reason I exchanged for the xs was to give my wife my x. She was using a 6S+ and was do for an upgrade however doesn't care about having the newest iPhone either. If it were not for that I would have probably just kept my x.
Coincidentally that's literally the same situation I'm in except for the fact that she has a 7 Plus. Still on the fence. Do you see any notable differences between the X and XS after some time with both devices other than camera improvements?
 

SparkFlash

macrumors 6502
Feb 15, 2013
363
128
Michigan
Same here. I returned my MAX and stayed with my X. The only reason I am contemplating getting the XR now is I want dual sim function for my job. Aside from that I have no interest anymore. But the question becomes its 750 worth the dual sim aspect? I have to figure that out soon.
 

ericgtr12

macrumors 65816
Mar 19, 2015
1,337
8,660
I went with the XS Max and for me it comes down to two factors:

1) I was already on the 8 Plus - Anyone going from a Plus model will find the XS Max is virtually the same size, only with edge to edge real estate.

2) The cost goes up substantially with storage, I stuck with 64GB and using Google Photos allows 100% cloud storage, with this in mind I still do not need a bump in space.

YMMV
 

onepoint

macrumors 6502a
Aug 3, 2010
825
467
USA
Returned a Max (was having sporadic LTE issues on Verizon) and I’m back to using my nicked up, battle-tested iPhone X. I’m happy.
 

ROLLTIDE1

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2012
1,789
546
These phones have way too many problems and there should be a recall ! Apple needs to own up to these problems and make things right
 

JamiLynee

macrumors 6502
Jul 8, 2014
360
267
I am still massively on the fence with the XS max vs just keeping my X. It is actually quite pathetic but I cannot help myself going back and forth on this!

I returned my first XS Max (purchased outright) as I just could not justify shelling out £1600+ for it. I was considering the upgrade programme (IUP) before as it probably suits me as someone who buys the new iPhone each year so after a day or 2 I went for it again and picked up another 512gb XS max this time on the IUP.

Another week on though and I am having doubts again, you see the thing is I both love it and don’t like it very much at all at the same time! People will say it is slightly smaller than the plus phones but the truth is the all screen design often makes it quite cumbersome in everyday use. Ironically one handed typing is ok as the one-handed keyboard size fits in the perfect sweet spot for me (often these one handed keyboards are actually too narrow) I actually find 2 handed typing awkward as there nowhere to properly rest my hand, I constantly feel like I will drop it when typing with two hands. There is no getting away from it though for general use this is a two handed device and the smaller X/Xs feels nicer in the hand, also on the android side phones like the S9+ still pack a big screen while feeling far more manageable.

My main beef though is just the sense that the whole package does not hang together in a way that I would expect from an apple device, every now and then it makes sense and feels great but mostly much of the phone feels like an after-thought. There is no bigger example of this imo than that big screen, it feels like apple just thought that as the footprint was smaller than the plus phones that it would be ok but never considered the impact of the all-screen design combined with that size, or how best exploit to that bigger screen to provide a better experience. It feels like a Tim Cook iPhone rather than a Steve Jobs one for sure.

As I say though I remain torn, on one hand the IUP is affordable for me so I think about sticking around for the journey but on the other apple has imo become so greedy and the Xs and Max are just not worth the price of admission and a part of me really wants to send the message that enough is enough.
I returned my MAX and went back to my X. I really wanted the bigger real estate but one handed texting is far too hard with my little paws and I couldn't legitimately tell a difference in processor for everyday use. Hard to justify that price tag when the changes aren't horribly noticeable or not working out due to my hands being too small.
 
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