iPhone XS Max

The Apple Newbie iPhone XS Max Review

The word I use most to describe this phone is “AMAZING!”

The iPhone XS Max launched in September of 2018, but I didn’t get my hands on one until June 2021. I wanted a phone with a great camera that I could use to take pictures for Instagram, and 4K video for YouTube. I wanted a phone that was fast and problem-free.

I wanted an Apple iPhone.

I didn’t go for the iPhone 12 because it is still too expensive for my taste — the same with the 11. For a cheapskate like me, this was the perfect combination of Apple goodness and price. My phone was on sale at PHP 37,000 which is about $735. I could have gotten it for much cheaper because the 64 GB storage version was on sale for PHP 29,000, but I really wanted more space and I ended up with 256 GB.

I was able to finance the camera for 12 months with no interest, which is great because I didn’t have that kind of cash to part with.

I wanted an iPhone because I want it to work with my MacBook Air, and be able to take video or pictures and airdrop them for Photoshopping and editing without any trouble and that is just what I got.

Also, my mail and calendar sync perfectly, and Google Maps, which I use a lot of the time, works just fine as well. I am by no means a power user, but the things I do I want to work flawlessly and they did.

Apple Music is another thing that works great on both devices and I can’t wait to get some AirPods Pro to take it for a spin.

The Screen

According to gsmarena.com, these are the specs for the display on the iPhone XS Max:

  • Super Retina OLED, HDR10, Dolby Vision, 625 nits (typ)
  • Size — 6.5 inches, 102.9 cm2 (84.4% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution — 1242 x 2688 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (458 PPI density)
  • Protection — Scratch-resistant glass, oleophobic coating
  • Wide color gamut, 3D Touch, True-tone

Here is what I know for sure. Even though the screen has some protection, I bought a premium glass protector and had the tech install it. It was a few bucks and will save me grief in the long run. I also got a rubber case to protect that back glass which was almost too pretty to cover.

The screen is amazing in a way I almost have no words for. It is so bright and colorful, so bright that I had to adjust to brightness down a few notches. I don’t like using TruTone on my phone or my MacBook, I prefer instead to see everything as it is so I can adjust as necessary.

The Bionics

Again, the specs for the processor and memory are:

  • Processor — Apple A12 Bionic (7 nm)
  • CPU — Hexa-core (2×2.5 GHz Vortex + 4×1.6 GHz Tempest)
  • GPU- Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
  • Memory — 256GB 4GB RAM

All I know is that it is screaming fast for anything I do with it. The A12 Bionic is a technical masterpiece and everything works better now that I upgraded to the latest version of IOS.

I like being able to specify that I do not want to be tracked by Zuckerberg and his ilk. It makes me feel powerful.

Every app I use is fast, even all the Google apps I use every day. Google Maps are especially zippy with their zooming and panning.

The Optics

When you start using the camera and video, the real magic happens:

Main Camera

  • Dual — 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS 12 MP, f/2.4, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
  • Features — Quad-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama)
  • Video — 4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, HDR, stereo sound rec.

Selfie Camera

  • Dual — 7 MP, f/2.2, 32mm (standard) SL 3D, (depth/biometrics sensors
  • Features — HDR
  • Video — 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS

Both the quality of the pictures and the 4k video are amazing. I especially love the portrait mage as it adds depth and bokeh to those professional Instagram photos.

When my new Insta and YouTube channel kick-off, I will be putting this camera through the wringer and will be able to give a more professional review, but this is the best camera I have ever used.

It is great in any light and has upped my photo and video game.

Everything Else

I have the little earbuds that came with the phone, but I want to try some AirPods Pro. I also want to see how well the iPhone and my MacBook work with the HomePod mini I am getting very soon.

To say I love my iPhone would be an understatement. It is a joy to use and the Apple ecosystem amazes me.

As long as the quality of products never wavers, I will continue to buy Apple exclusively.

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