iPhone XS Max Opinions on Difference between 8 plus and Xs Max

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Jccutz, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. Jccutz macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2017
    Hi All, I frequent the forums almost daily and was hoping to get some opinions on this. I have a note 9, Iphone 8 plus and a iphone xs max. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the max but I am not sure if I am seeing upgrades worth 45 dollars a month for the phone lease.. In my opinion, the battery is very good and the camera is a bit better. Besides the bigger screen, I am not sure I really see a difference in speed. Now I know that screen size is huge but does anyone have any other things that They notice about the max that they could offer an opinion?
  2. now i see it, Oct 15, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018

    now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
    The Max really wasn't designed as a worthwhile replacement for the 8 Plus unless spending all that money isn't really an issue. Year over year, you're not going to see a $1300 improvement over last year's model ever.

    To put things in perspective, I'm still using a rock solid iPhone 6 Plus and the Max barely seems worth the price to upgrade. For me ... It's STILL not worth it. It doesn't do anything differently except load apps a little faster and take better snapshots.
  3. Adelphos33 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    I had an 8+ - I actually enjoy the new gestures and FaceID. It feels more intuitive getting around the phone, and things like Apple Pay work a lot better for me. The longer screen is also nice. The camera seems better, but the 8+ camera was also excellent. However the phone performs exactly the same otherwise. From a pure operational standpoint, it's simply not a big upgrade over an 8+ or even a 7.

    The way iPhones are now, there are not really meaningful upgrades until two or three years, especially given Apple is giving all of its new phones the latest processors.
  4. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Agreed, get get a processor bump every year and I have yet seen one that blew my socks off with additional speed. Speed increases are incremental at best.
  5. Jccutz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2017
    You both are so on point. I have watched so many reviews and try to have an open mind. To me, the bigger screen is really the only thing I really notice. there are some speed test videos and the max and 8 plus perform the exact same. The hard thing is passing up the xs max over the note 9. The note 9 screen is unreal. Watching videos on that on 1440p Look stunning. The max is still a great phone, I just don't think it is worth the monthly payments if you have an 8 plus.
  6. aakshey macrumors 68000


    Jun 13, 2016
    I saw a XS in store today. Was way faster than my X for everyday staff.

    The X is fast.

    The XS is quite a bit faster.
  7. OBirder macrumors 6502


    May 13, 2015
    The larger screen with better readability, FaceID and Camera are quite a bit of improvement over the 8 plus besides just processor speed.
    On the IUP the monthly payments increased from 45 to 60.

    For me it was a worthwhile upgrade.
  8. Dru_555 macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2014
    Imagine your phone was slightly smaller while also having an inch more screen, but then also packed with plenty of updated or new technology.

    Most noticeable differences in usability for someone who has made this same transition:

    - The bezel blocks some of the information at the top (most irritatingly, to me, is that I can no longer glance up at the top right corner to see whether or not my AirPods are connected before pressing play, nor can I see an exact battery percentage)

    - Control centre is accessed by pulling down from exactly where I look to see the information that has been removed, and it also happens to reveal that information when you do.

    - Face ID replaced Touch ID, so now I can use it in a bunch of situations Touch ID didn’t work (wet hands, mostly), but I don’t retain the option of using Touch ID in all the situations Face ID tends to fail. There aren’t a lot of those situations but I keep my phone on a vent clip when I drive and now I can’t just reach over to unlock it anymore; every time I unlock it in this situation, I now have to either awkwardly lean over my shifter or take the phone off and point it at me. It adds to the experience by more than it takes away though, because my lock screen notifications show no information from the lock screen until I look at it. Same with what features are accessible, such as control centre, today view, and home control. I’ve now disabled all of these from the lock screen because, from the perspective of the person who it recognizes, none have been removed. They’re all still accessible but for just me now, as opposed to either everyone or no one. For anyone else (or me with a mask, probably) nothing can been seen or used. Also, if you’re using your phone and have it tracking your attention, it won’t automatically dim or lock the screen while you’re using it, and your ringer won’t come in very loud because it knows you’re going to notice it. Kinda like it doesn’t need to always yell at you to get your attention anymore, because it can now tell when it already has it.

    - The flashlight and camera buttons are in the bottom two corners of the lock screen and seem as if they return a satisfying click to use, thanks to perfectly tuned haptic feedback felt when 3D Touching them. It actually made the flashlight more accessible than when it was only in the control center, which is a welcome overcompensation for how much more inaccessible the flashlight would’ve become, had you only been able to access it by now reaching across a massive screen to slide down the control centre as opposed to bringing it up from the bottom like before. These buttons are also accessible from the Notification Centre.

    - No home button, which is weird, but you’ll get used to the gestures pretty quickly. Weirder than that is how your Lock button now will now lag to lock it as it waits to see how many times you press is. One tap locks, two brings up your payment method (or confirms that you agree to authenticate a purchase using Face ID when you’re in a transaction, or disables Guided Access when it’s on, which is the Accessibility Shortcut I have three presses set up to activate. Five, of course, can be used to access the Emergency SOS feature. This is good to know because you also can no longer access it by simply holding the Lock button. You’ll have to use the five presses or press and hold the Lock button at the same time as the Volume Up button to bring up different sliders. Performing a hard boot is also different, without a physical home button. You will now have to do the following: “Step 1: Press Volume Up. Quickly press and release the Volume Up button. Step 2: Press Volume Down. Quickly press and release the Volume Down button. Step 3: Press and Hold Side Button. Press and hold the Side button. You will see the Slide to Power off button, but continue holding the Side button until you see the Apple logo” (https://www.google.ca/amp/www.iphonehacks.com/2018/09/how-hard-reset-iphone-xs.html/amp).

    - It has a very capable battery. I believe the XS Max is the first iPhone with over 3,000 mAh of battery (closer to 3,200, actually), which is fantastic.

    - The XS and Max are dual-SIM capable (by use of one physical SIM card and the built in e-SIM). “...this is the first time that Apple has supported it. With the iPhone XS and XS Max, you'll have your Nano SIM — which has been the standard since the iPhone 4 — as well as a digital eSIM that requires no physical swapping of SIM cards to use. This is great when you decide to switch carriers, plans, or even jobs. With Dual SIM, you're able to have two different phone numbers on up to two different networks on a single smartphone. While you may think that someone who uses this might have something to hide, many people have two lines for personal and work use. When you use a Dual SIM device, you're able to see what number is receiving the incoming call. This means if you have a number for work, you'll know not to pick up a call while you're on vacation, for example, because who wants that. Another use case for Dual SIM is the ability to keep your regular number while traveling out of the country, and you can grab a cheap prepaid SIM from a local carrier for calls and data” (https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.imore.com/basics-dual-sim-support-iphone-xs-and-xs-max?amp). You’ll like that feature the next time you’re abroad long enough for a local plan to be cheaper or more feature rich than opting to roam, but, if you’re like me, you’ll have to switch your phone plan over to the e-SIM so you can take out the physical one you’ll pop in there when you get it, to make space for a physical one from whichever local carrier you might want to use.

    - The X, XS, and Max are the first iPhones to use an OLED display (AMOLED, specifically). Personally, it’s far more attractive to look at, but brightness control now uses something called Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM). This isn’t the first time Apple has used PWM to control brightness on one of its products but it is the first time it has done so at this comparatively low of a refresh rate. This hasn’t bothered me, or not that I’m aware of, but there’re a considerable number of people who believe that it is contributing to a feeling of eye strain and fatigue they seem to experience when using the phone. Needless to say but this would be a terrible outcome of upgrading.

    - If you have a favourite Live Wallpaper available to you on your 8 Plus, I would recommend setting it before you make an iCloud back up to restore your XS Max to. You’ll only have access to the three new ones they’ve made for the new phones, unless it’s already set from the backup. Probably not a big deal to most people but I really like the one I use and am glad it was already set when I did a backup, and that I noticed it’s no longer available before I changed it.

    There will very likely be many more differences which will stand out to you than the ones that hit me the hardest but hopefully this provides a little insight.

    If you’re most interested in the difference in specifications, I would recommend using Apple’s official resource for this. This page will allow you to view, side by side, the specs of any two iPhone models: https://www.apple.com/ca/iphone/compare/
  9. Zaft macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Honestly I could have easily been fine with my 7 Plus. I kind of regret upgrading to the X and then the XS max. I’m on the Apple upgrade program.
  10. joeblow7777 macrumors 603

    Sep 7, 2010
    Agreed completely. It’s almost never worth it to buy the new model if you have last year’s, but some people just have to have the newest thing.
  11. Vermifuge macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2009
    It's important to remember that developers as a whole target the lowest common denominator when developing apps. iOS 12 supports devices that includes things like the 5s, iPad mini 2 and the 6th generation iPod Touch. Each with 1gb ram and an Apple A7 (Apple A8 in the iPod Touch) CPU! This will always bottleneck how just how far developers will push the hardware.

    Yes a CPU bump will have some noticeable improvement and developers can take advantage of new hardware. However, this should be considered when setting your expectations on how much of a boost you will see as new hardware is introduced. That said I fully expect Apple to drop these devices in the next major iOS release (e.g. iOS 13)
  12. BugeyeSTI macrumors 68030


    Aug 19, 2017
    All good points.. I think any device with 1gb of ram will get dropped when iOS13 is released with the exception of the iPad mini4 and the Air2..
  13. Zaft macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Air 2 is such a beast, still fast for me.
  14. roncron macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2011
    I have a Max and used to have a 7+. I suggest keeping your 8+ another year. It has a great camera and it’s plenty fast. The Max’s screen is longer but not wider than the + phones. Therefore, in landscape orientation, most photos and videos are the same size on both devices. Sure, OLED is better than LCD, but iPhone LCDs are excellent and side by side the Max’s display isn’t night and day better than the 8+ display. Upgrading from the 8+ to the Max is a lot of money to spend for an incremental camera upgrade.
  15. Vermifuge macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2009
    The max is wider than a Plus... not by any significant amount but it is wider.
  16. redman042 macrumors 68030


    Jun 13, 2008
    Been rocking an XS Max for a week. It does feel faster in every respect than the X. Now, the X was always very fast. Plenty fast for anything I threw at it. So, maybe a better way to describe this upgrade is that it adds a lot of fluidity. This is most noticeable for people like myself who tap and swipe rapidly through apps and functions. The smoothness of the XS through even intensive phone use is striking.

    That said, the 8/X series is plenty fast, so speed alone is not a good reason to upgrade. Do it for the camera (my main reason), and go for the Max if you want the bigger display.

    But the significant improvement in OS fluidity is icing on the cake.
  17. OBirder macrumors 6502


    May 13, 2015
    That together with OLED makes it quite a bit better to read. Especially for folks like me with glasses and eyes which are not as fresh anymore as they once had been.
  18. Vermifuge macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2009
    That is VERY debatable. OLED certainly has advantage in color accuracy and contrast. But ask the many people who suffer from headaches and eyestrain from using OLEDs. PWM used to dim OLEDs has been an ongoing problem. Apple and Samsung have found creative way to address the issue but the problem still exists for many. This is unlikely to be resolved until µLED become a viable option.
  19. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
  20. Dru_555, Oct 16, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018

    Dru_555 macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2014
    You had a 7 Plus, which was actually slightly smaller and lighter than the 8 plus. In either case though, the XS Max is not as tall, and not as wide. It does have approximately 0.2 mm more depth than the 8 plus though, and weighs about 6 grams more.

    The XS Max is the slightly heavier, imperceptibly thicker, but generally smaller phone with a bigger screen.

  21. Vermifuge macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2009
    The post you quoted was referencing the screen size and not the total device width.

    Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 2.07.20 AM.png Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 2.07.59 AM.png
  22. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 604


    Jan 17, 2013
    Wales, United Kingdom
    I think you’ll get an amazing experience with either an 8+ or the XS Max. They are iPhones so you pretty much know it’s going to be a solid experience. The Max has all the latest features like OLED and FaceID but has a hefty price and the 8+ is a fast reliable device that has an advantage of being £500 cheaper. You certainly can’t go wrong with an 8+.
  23. SteelHeart macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2018
    larger screen with better readability compared to the plus size phones? well I don't think so. The plus sizes even though at 5.5 are way better than xs max with respect to readability. I agree XS max is 6.5 but I feel the length should have been an inch shorter while increasing the width.
  24. Dru_555 macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2014
    I think maybe you just didn’t scroll down far enough to see more than the screen measurements. What I referenced was Apple’s own website. Also, just as a side note, the diagrams you provided actually back me up. It’s ok, it’s all a mess of information, but I guess this is what I get for playing the correction game on a forum, huh?

    Take a look at the top of the image you posted, where it says “product width”.

    8 Plus Width: 78.10
    XS Max Width: 77.42

    By the way, where’d you get those diagrams? They are very detailed and actually more specific than what Apple has posted, by 0.02 mm!
  25. Dru_555 macrumors member

    Nov 24, 2014
    Everything is a matter of zooming and panning around nowadays anyways. More screen is more screen. To each their own, sure, but it’s an inch bigger and OLED. Unless your argument is PWM, which only bothers some, then I think the XS Max is objectively better for reading.

    What’re you reading that you can’t use iBooks or Safari Reader to fit it perfectly to your screen anyways?

    If the real underlying argument is you rationalizing not making what would be a marginal upgrade from a recently released device for the exorbitant price of a XS Max then I totally feel ya, but if you’re really talking about which is the objectively, absolutely factually more appropriate device to read from, between a 7 or 8 Plus and a XS Max, there is little room for debate. Still though, they’re all great phones, and everyone has a different story. If I already had an 8 Plus when the XS Max was released, I wouldn’t have upgraded. Not for the cost compared to the minor upgrade. But I’d still have agreed that a 6.5” OLED display would be better to read from.

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