Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max long-term review: So good I almost didn’t switch back to Android

    I used iPhones for a number of years now, however they’ve all the time been secondary units. Don’t get me mistaken; I all the time put my major SIM in no matter iPhone I used at some stage in the evaluate window, however I normally had an Android telephone alongside, principally in order that I didn’t have to modify WhatsApp.But that modified with the iPhone 15 Pro Max. I transferred my WhatsApp information over from my Android telephone, and set it up similar to I might the handfuls of units I check yearly. Once the info was on the iPhone, I switched off my OnePlus Open and left it in a draw. Although I went again to the Pixel 8 so I may evaluate it, I pretended to not have a number of hundred Android telephones in the home, and relied solely on the iPhone 15 Pro Max for many of the final two months.And you already know what? It’s been fairly nice. The iPhone 15 Pro Max fixes loads of the issues from its predecessors; it’s lighter and shorter, making it that rather more comfy to carry and use. The battery lasts a smidgen longer, and the most important differentiator for me — and why I used it as my each day driver for such a very long time — is the truth that it prices over USB-C.While the early dialog across the system was targeted on overheating, I didn’t run into that exact downside on my system. Sure, the A17 Pro throttled throughout prolonged gaming classes, nevertheless it was nonetheless according to what I noticed on equal Qualcomm or MediaTek {hardware}.In truth, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is so good that I virtually did not swap again to Android. I have a tendency to return to Pixels after I’m normally achieved with a telephone evaluate, however this time, I continued utilizing the iPhone for lots longer than I initially meant. That’s one of many explanation why I’m publishing this evaluate after two months of use and never instantly after launch. Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: Pricing and availability(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)Apple unveiled the iPhone 15 Pro Max on September 12, and the telephone went on sale globally beginning September 22. It is offered alongside the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, and the iPhone 15 Pro, and the bottom variant now begins at 256GB of storage.You can even decide up the iPhone 15 Pro Max in 512GB and 1TB editions, and I’m utilizing the latter. What’s attention-grabbing this 12 months is the swap to titanium, and the system is out there in 4 colour choices: Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium.The 256GB mannequin begins off at $1,199 within the U.S., $100 greater than its predecessor — that stated, you are getting double the storage. Here’s what the iPhone 15 Pro Max prices in numerous areas all over the world:iPhone 15 Pro Max (256GB): $1,199 / £1,199 / €1,449 / ₹1,59,900iPhone 15 Pro Max (512GB): $1,399 / £1,399 / €1,699 / ₹1,79,900iPhone 15 Pro Max (1TB): $1,599 / £1,599 / €1,949 / ₹1,99,900As all the time, the Phone 15 Pro Max prices much more in India than different areas, with the 256GB mannequin debuting at ₹1,59,900. That comes out to $1,918, or $319 greater than what the 1TB model sells for within the U.S. It begins off at €1,449 in Germany and different international locations within the area, and whereas that is the equal of $1,575, it’s the identical value as what the iPhone 14 Pro Max launched for final 12 months, and at the very least you are getting double the storage.Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: Design(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)There’s a marked distinction within the really feel of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and that is right down to using titanium on the edges. The mid-frame remains to be made out of fully recycled aluminum, however switching to titanium makes the system noticeably lighter and simpler to make use of. The final two Pro Max releases have been among the many largest and most unwieldy telephones I’ve used, so it feels refreshing to have an iPhone with a large display that is not cumbersome to carry or use.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Another quality-of-life change is the edges; whilst you nonetheless get flat sides, they’ve beveled edges this time round, and it makes all of the distinction in holding the iPhone 15 Pro Max. While I typically do not like utilizing circumstances, I relented on this case — that is the most costly telephone of the 300 or so units I’ve in the home, and I did not need to check out the efficacy of the Ceramic Shield safety. It often is the hardest glass used on a telephone, however after a detailed encounter with a tiled floor, I made a decision to be wise and added a leather-based case.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)While the design modifications make utilizing the iPhone 15 Pro Max considerably simpler than its predecessors, there are different tweaks which are geared towards usability. My favourite addition this 12 months is the Action Button; the side-mounted silent toggle made method for a multifunction button that is extremely customizable, and it’s unbelievable. You can customise it to do any motion: swap between silent and ring modes, launch DND with a Focus mode preset, launch the digital camera or the flashlight, set a timer, and a lot extra.There’s a transparent pattern of Android manufacturers stealing iPhone options — OxygenOS now has Dynamic Island, in spite of everything — and I need to see a facsimile of the Action Button make its approach to subsequent 12 months’s Android telephones.Image 1 of 4(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)The swap to titanium reduces the burden of the iPhone 15 Pro Max by 19g over its predecessor, and that’s instantly noticeable. Along with being simpler to carry, you additionally get a matte end on the edges that feels nice. While titanium is lighter and has corrosion resistance baked in, it is not pretty much as good with warmth conductivity, and that is why producers have not historically used the steel of their units.And whereas it undoubtedly seems loads higher than the stainless-steel variants of earlier years, it tends to get noticeably hotter in each day use. I did not see any points with overheating as such, however even in mundane duties like searching and utilizing the digital camera, the telephone would get hotter than its predecessors, and most Android telephones I used this 12 months.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)There are 4 colour variants obtainable this time round — Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium — and the Natural Titanium variant I’m utilizing seems superb. The design on the again isn’t any completely different to final 12 months; you get the identical digital camera housing with three giant rings across the particular person modules, and the identical Corning safety over the glass again.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)You get the identical matte texture on the again, and MagSafe is unbroken. While I wasn’t offered on the charging customary, having used equipment just like the Nexode 2-in-1 charging stand, I’m coming round to its potential.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)Also an identical is the IP68 ingress safety, so that you get ample safety outdoor. Rounding out the design, you get the facility button to the proper, quantity rocker on the left, and the charging port is now USB-C. You get the identical stereo configuration as final 12 months, and the sound is simply pretty much as good. Overall, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has welcome modifications on the design entrance, and the swap to USB-C and titanium make it considerably simpler to make use of.Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: Display(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)The iPhone 15 Pro Max has the identical 6.7-inch 120Hz OLED panel as its predecessor, however because the telephone itself is a smidgen shorter and narrower, you get the sense that the display itself is bigger. It has HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and goes as much as 2000 nits in HDR content material and 1000 nits in each day use — an identical to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. You even get the identical Ceramic Shield coating on the entrance.Last 12 months’s Dynamic Island is unbroken as properly, and it’s way more helpful this time round. While there wasn’t a lot you would do with the pill-sized cutout when it launched, there are many apps that present actions tailor-made for the Dynamic Island now, and it is extremely handy. While the dimensions of the cutout is bigger than Android telephones, its usability greater than offsets that disadvantage.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)The display does an incredible job scaling the refresh charge between 1Hz to 120Hz primarily based on the context, and the panel itself continues to be the most effective for streaming content material. HDR content material particularly seems excellent on the system, and like earlier years, it’s a pleasure to stream Netflix on the system.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)Playing video games is equally enjoyable, and that is getting a giant replace this 12 months because of the A17 Pro. While the video games that take full benefit of the chipset are but to launch, that is going to vary very quickly. Always-on mode is unbroken, and it is much less annoying than final 12 months; now you can disable the background, so all you get is the time and unread notifications — like most Android telephones. This is a a lot better implementation than final 12 months, and I really used the function this time round.Image 1 of two(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)Another function I like in iOS 17 is Screen Distance; it makes use of the entrance digital camera to gauge the gap to your eyes, and triggers a notification should you’re holding your telephone lower than 12 inches away out of your face. I discovered that I usually did so at evening, which is when the notification triggered more often than not. It is designed to scale back eye pressure, and is a legitimately welcome addition — I need to see the identical function in Android subsequent 12 months.Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: Performance(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)A giant speaking level this 12 months is the introduction of the A17 Pro. Apple made an enormous deal concerning the upgrades on provide, and whereas it has clear positive factors over final 12 months’s A16 Bionic, it would not ship the type of effectivity I used to be searching for. The A17 Pro has the excellence of being the one cell platform constructed on a 3nm node, and that could be a sizeable achievement — the perfect Android telephones will not have entry to the node for at the very least one other 12 months, so this can be a massive win for the iPhone.Swipe to scroll horizontallyCategoryiPhone 15 Pro MaxOSiOS 17.1.2Display6.7-inch OLED 120Hz, 2796×1290, Dolby Vision, HDR10, 2000 nits maxChipsetA17 Pro, 3nmRAM8GBStorage256GB/512GB/1TBRear digital camera 148MP f/1.8, 1/1.28-inch sensor, PDAF, OIS, 4K at 60fps, Dolby VisionRear digital camera 212MP f/2.2 wide-angle, 1/2.55-inch sensor, 120-degree FoVRear digital camera 312MP f/2.8 telephoto, 5x optical zoom, OISFront digital camera12MP f/1.9, PDAF, OISIngress protectionIP68 mud and water resistance, 6m as much as 30 minutesSecurityFace IDAudioUSB-C, stereo soundConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, UWB, 5G, Emergency SOSBattery4441mAh, 20W charging, 15W MagSafeDimensions159.9 x 76.7 x 8.3mm, 221gColorsNatural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, Black Titanium There are noticeable upgrades throughout the board from the A16 Bionic, however what stands out essentially the most is the single-core scores — they’re double that of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-toting Galaxy S23 Ultra, and that is a giant deal. The multi-core outcomes are additionally considerably greater than what any Android system can handle in the mean time. I’ll be getting began with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 units in a number of weeks, however I do not see any 2024 telephones coming near the scores posted by the iPhone 15 Pro Max — this factor is in a league of its personal.Swipe to scroll horizontallyCategoryiPhone 15 Pro MaxGalaxy S23 UltraiPhone 14 ProCrossMark (Overall)140112951328Productivity140411851299Creativity157314111517Responsiveness9841310950Geekbench 6 (single-core)295015361882Geekbench 6 (multi-core)7381476554003DMark Wild Life Extreme (rating)3648348833713DMark Wild Life Extreme (FPS)21.920.920.2That stated, the A17 Pro has its personal share of points; it tends to get scorching whereas gaming. This was a large enough downside {that a} hotfix was rolled out to throttle the {hardware} slightly sooner to mitigate any heating points. I did not see any points in each day use, nevertheless it had a bent to get scorching whereas taking 4K movies and taking part in video games. I noticed it go as much as 43.4 levels Celsius whereas gaming, and that is significantly hotter than anything I utilized in a very long time.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)And whereas utilizing the telephone has been clean for essentially the most half, I observed loads of errant freezes that weren’t there prior to now. It principally concerned searching in Chrome, however I additionally noticed the identical concern in Box, and when launching a recreation. There was additionally a memorable occasion a month in the past the place the system simply would not hook up with my house Wi-Fi community. A restart did not make a distinction, and I needed to in the end use a static IP to get the telephone linked.These issues largely went away with the iOS 17.1.2 replace, however on condition that I did not normally run into these type of points on an iPhone, I wished to level them out. The {hardware} itself is among the many better of any telephone immediately, and whereas it would not have a Wi-Fi 7 modem but — it is restricted to Wi-Fi 6E — you get Bluetooth 5.3 LE, second-gen UWB {hardware}, NFC, 5G with world bands, Emergency SOS through satellite tv for pc, and Crash Detection.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)I’m glad that the USB-C port is not hobbled; it’s primarily based on the USB-C Gen 3.2 customary, and if something, Apple did a greater job on this space than most Android producers (taking a look at you, Google). You get the complete 10Gb/s bandwidth, and it has native DisplayPort output at 4K, one thing Google nonetheless refuses to offer on its Pixels.Continuing with the positives, you get the most effective haptic motors right here, and it’s a pleasure to make use of. The Action Button works with haptics as properly, and it has distinct suggestions patterns that allow you to change modes or set off an motion with out wanting on the display. Face ID continues to be nice, and it’s a little higher at recognizing faces with beards this time round.Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: Battery(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)Battery longevity has been an issue with the iPhone 14 collection, so Apple is tackling the issue with a Battery Health function that is designed to optimize battery longevity. The function primarily mimics what’s been on Android telephones for some time now, and makes use of an optimized charging routine when the telephone is left on a charger in a single day. It prices as much as 80%, after which the opposite 20% cost is delivered simply earlier than you are taking the telephone off the charger.Another nifty addition is the power to set the cost restrict to 80%; doing this mainly permits the battery to by no means cross an 80% threshold, and this prevents degradation in long-term use. And in terms of battery life, the iPhone 15 Pro Max lasts a smidgen longer than final 12 months though it has a bigger 4441mAh battery. While the A17 Pro has loads of inherent effectivity positive factors because of the swap to 3nm, it’s also way more highly effective than final 12 months.That stated, the iPhone 15 Pro Max managed to persistently final a day and a half even with heavy use, and I by no means had any battery nervousness within the two months I used the telephone. While it makes use of the identical 20W charging customary, it prices barely quicker when linked to a USB PD 3.0 charger that goes as much as 30W (or past) — you possibly can simply rise up to a 50% cost in simply over 25 minutes.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Also, StandBy Mode is a enjoyable new function that is useful should you’re charging the telephone in the course of the day or utilizing a MagSafe charging station. I do not like utilizing wi-fi charging more often than not, nevertheless it made sense on this situation due to the mode.Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: Cameras(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)There are appreciable upgrades on the digital camera facet of issues this 12 months, with the iPhone 15 Pro Max getting new sensors. There’s an f/1.8 48MP digital camera on the again with second-gen sensor shift stabilization, and what’s new this time is the power to set completely different focal lengths — you possibly can select between 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm.It’s joined by an f/2.8 12MP wide-angle lens with 120-degree area of view, and making its debut this era is a telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and OIS. Like final 12 months, the wide-angle lens pulls double responsibility as a macro shooter, and it’s now capable of shoot objects simply 2cm away. You additionally get the power to shoot full-res 48MP pictures from the principle lens, and Dolby Vision video recording is unbroken.The telephone does a a lot better job with portrait pictures as properly, and also you now get the power so as to add background blur results after the very fact — a reasonably cool inclusion. Overall, there may be loads of versatility in terms of lens choice and focal lengths, and you may simply select what type of images you need.The viewfinder itself hasn’t modified, and also you get all of the capturing modes in a ribbon on the backside. The numerous lenses can be found as toggles, and the macro mode is chosen robotically once you’re inside 10cm of an object. Photographic Styles debuted final 12 months, and so they allow you to select a default colour profile; there’s Standard, Vibrant, Warm, Cool, and Rich Contrast — I left this on Standard.Image 1 of 9(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Predictably, photographs taken from the 48MP major lens are terrific; there’s wonderful colour stability and dynamic vary, and particulars like foliage are rendered precisely. You get true-to-life colours that are not overly saturated, however you possibly can swap up the look of your photographs by choosing one of many kinds; Rich Contrast does an incredible job mimicking the colour stability of Pixels.And similar to the principle digital camera, the wide-angle lens takes photographs with good colours and correct element rendition, and also you get the identical colour stability. The addition of a 5x zoom lens brings the iPhone 15 Pro Max nearer to its Android rivals, and I received loads of usable pictures at 5x. You can go as much as 25x digitally, however something past 10x is unusable more often than not should you’re capturing handheld.The iPhone 15 Pro Max manages to do a stellar job in low-light conditions as properly, with all three lenses delivering vibrant pictures with minimal noise ranges and loads of element. It’s nonetheless not fairly on par with the Pixel 8 Pro in terms of colour rendition at evening and getting minute particulars excellent, and it would not measure as much as the Xiaomi 13 Ultra and its huge 1-inch sensor. That stated, it does a a lot better job than earlier iPhones, and that is mainly its yardstick.To spherical issues off, I wished to speak about video recording. I do not normally shoot many movies, however I ended up doing so with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and it did an exceptional job. I feel Google is doing higher on this space with the Pixel 8 Pro, nevertheless it nonetheless is not on par with the iPhone.Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: Software(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)You get iOS 17 out of the field, and similar to Android 14, there actually is not an entire lot new that is price mentioning. StandBy Mode is a nifty addition that is sensible if you would like glanceable info whilst you’re charging the system, and widgets are actually interactive, so you possibly can change issues with out having to launch the related app.Other than that, it is enterprise as regular. The lock display is extremely customizable, and you may arrange completely different lock screens that you may change as wanted. The house display is unchanged in iOS 17, and the App Library continues to be simply as annoying to make use of — it will simply be simpler to get a regular app drawer. The Today web page is the -1 display by default, and you may arrange widgets, utilization stats, and different usable data, and whereas I’m miffed that there isn’t any approach to disable it, you may get some utility out of the web page.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)Focus modes are helpful at managing notifications; you possibly can arrange a mode primarily based on time of day or location, and configure notifications as wanted. What’s significantly nice is that you may arrange a Focus mode with the Action Button, triggering it as and when wanted. Spotlight is definitely helpful, and utilizing it to seek for info pulls up related outcomes.There’s no scarcity of options in iOS, however I do not need to record every little thing down. Instead, I need to speak about what it is like to make use of iOS as somebody that prefers Android. The better part is that every one of Google’s companies work seamlessly on iOS, and whereas you have to pull up Gmail to authorize log-in alerts, there are not any different shortcomings. Honestly, that goes a good distance in making iOS really feel acquainted, and in recent times, it has picked up loads of options from Android.(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)What that in the end boils right down to is that iOS is simply as fluid as Android, and it has loads of privacy-focused options. While Android made loads of optimistic strides on this space within the final two years, loads of apps nonetheless play quick and free with permissions, and that is simply not potential in iOS.The solely quibble I’ve with the software program is that notification channels nonetheless aren’t a factor on iOS, so if I’ve to disable advertising and marketing notifications from an app, I’ve to enter the app and make modifications — Android handles this in a a lot better method.As for updates, the iPhone 15 Pro Max ought to get at the very least 5 years of software program updates as customary, and whereas that will have been the usual in years previous, Google modified the established order by guaranteeing seven updates on the Pixels.Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: The competitors(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the one actual challenger to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in North America. It has nice {hardware}, good cameras throughout the board, and offers you loads of options. But the software program is not anyplace pretty much as good; you get loads of bloatware, and Samsung has an annoying behavior of pushing advertisements to purchase its newest merchandise — even should you’re utilizing stated product.If you want an Android various to tackle the iPhone, my suggestion could be the Pixel 8 Pro. The telephone has higher cameras, and Google’s AI additions make an enormous distinction in each day use. You additionally get loads of helpful extras which are restricted to the Pixel 8 Pro, the software program is clear and would not have any bloatware, and it’ll get seven assured Android OS updates — greater than the iPhone 15 Pro Max.Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: Should you purchase it?(Image credit score: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)You can purchase this if:You need an iPhone that is nice to carry and useYou want a terrific OLED panel that is nice for gamingYou desire a telephone with stellar efficiencyYou want an iPhone that may take nice photographs and moviesYou want a long-lasting batteryYou should not purchase this if:You need an inexpensive systemYou want equipment within the fieldIt might not seem to be it, however the iPhone 15 Pro Max is significantly higher than its predecessor. Just the truth that the telephone has USB-C makes all of the distinction in each day use; I like listening to music through IEMs, and I’ve loads of DACs that plug right into a telephone. The skill to attach through USB-C with no need to search for the infernal Lightning dongle is without doubt one of the greatest explanation why I caught with the iPhone 15 Pro Max for such a very long time.The design has loads of positives as properly; the titanium chassis is lighter and way more manageable than earlier generations, and whereas it tends to get hotter, you do not discover that with a case. The cameras are higher than final 12 months as properly, and whereas they don’t seem to be on par with the Xiaomi 13 Ultra or the Pixel 8 Pro, they are a noticeable improve from different iPhones.And then there’s the software program. The greatest praise I may give iOS 17 is that it’s pretty much as good as Android. It won’t ever be as customizable, however it’s straightforward to make use of, and Apple sorted out loads of annoyances I had with the OS from earlier years.I’m not right here to inform you that it is best to swap from iOS to Android or the opposite method round — that is one thing you have to determine for your self. What I’ll say although is that there are many nice choices on both facet, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max is a stellar selection should you’re on an older iPhone and need an improve, or should you’re mulling a swap to iOS to see the way it differs to Android. 

    The iPhone 15 Pro Max has all of it: a beautiful design, the perfect {hardware} of any telephone immediately, stellar cameras, and nice battery life. You’re additionally paying a premium, however should you’re in want of an iPhone improve, that is the plain selection. 

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