The iPhone XS Max: some first impressions

I’ve had my new iPhone XS Max (stupid name) less than a week, but I’m loving it. Definitely the best phone I’ve ever had.

I received my new iPhone lunchtime last Friday, which quite honestly, derailed my attention for a couple of hours. If you don’t read on, just know that I think it’s by far the best mobile phone I’ve ever owned.

I’m sure time will tell, but right now I can’t fault the phone – except for its exceedingly clunky title. The enormous screen is stunning – bright and super easy to read. I can also navigate it fairly easily, since the handset itself is a reasonable size. Bye bye to bezels!

The first thing I noticed when taking it out of the (immaculate, standard Apple) packaging was its weight. It definitely feels heavier but also sturdier than previous models. You’ll know when this is in your pocket, which is no bad thing. I’m not sure I’ll be slipping it into the back pocket off my skinny jeans as easily as I did with the iPhone X, and the leather case I got from Apple does make it even bigger.

As a result, I’ll probably eBay that case and go with something thinner and lighter. I’m really careful with my phones and all I want is to protect the back from scratches.

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The screen is simply fantastic and this 42 year old’s eyes appreciate not having to squint when I look at it in the morning. I’m amazed that an increase of less than an inch in screen size has had such an impact on how I perceive it. But then again, I’m a fan of big screens. It’s a breeze to read from and I even got stuck into a book on the Kindle app the other evening. Not something I’ve done with the iPhone X.

Set up was an absolute breeze. I just had to lay the phone next to my existing iPhone X and all information (iCloud account, wifi passwords etc) was copied across. Thank you, Apple for making this a much easier step in the set-up process. I’ve no idea how it worked, just that it worked and was magical.

My first few hours with the phone were spent on a train from London to Edinburgh, so I had to battle with dodgy wifi. But once I was in the city, the lightning fast performance was obvious. I’m still setting it up – as in, organising apps and removing old apps I’ve decided I don’t really use any more.

If I had to identify a single criticism of this phone it’s that it’s a complete fingerprint magnet! After just a few minutes of use, the rear class look like a particularly filthy toddler had been playing with it. And I swear my hands are not that dirty! Once I had a case on it, it looked great again.

I’m sure I’ll be back in the coming weeks and months with a fuller report on how I’m getting on with the phone.

As you can tell, so far, I’m delighted.

  1. I have to wait a few more days before I can upgrade (or maybe I’ll call Three and say pretty-please to someone?) The case is important and my phone is my wallet for as long as I can remember; I *hate* having 2 things to carry. Of course this time around it’s much easier as Apple Pay is so ubiquitous in Ireland. I’ve been using the 12 South Journal for the 7 Plus for 2 years, and I love it. If they have one for the Tennis Max (is that more or less ridiculous?) that’s what I’ll use.

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    1. I’ll have to check that one out. Although I prefer to keep phone and wallet separate, I’m always open to trying something new. And yes, it HAS to be the Tennis Max. 👍🏻

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  2. The glossy backimgs always looked disgusting with me, reason enough for a case!

    It looks both big and not as huge as I’d imaging (that’s what she said). I will have to go in sometime in October to see for myself!

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    1. Thanks for contributing the first ‘size’ joke in a while. I’ve missed them…

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  3. I have now watched 4 professional tech reviews of the XS & XS Max & feel with a fair amount of confidence that the XS will be good. For one, it will be light-years ahead compared to my somewhat ancient 6S. As to size, it’ll be the larger Plus I wanted when choosing the 6S rather than 6S Plus — at the time only opting for the small model due to being able to POCKET it. As a female, our pockets, when provided are barely large enough for car keys.

    Again, at the time, I wanted to pocket my phone.

    Since changing careers to being a civil servant, working in a secure location, I cannot even bring my phone into the front, let alone across the ‘campus.’

    Thereby removing a pocketable phone need & leaving me with CHOICE as to whether I go XS or XS Max.

    In this instance, it appears the Max indeed will be larger and hold 1.5 hrs more of a charge. While both are nice, we may have entered up bro the land of ‘can I HOLD IT?’

    I went to a shop Friday & rather hilariously they didn’t have the new phones but they did have an 8 Plus which I could barely hold.

    This was a 3rd party seller kiosk so, I’m sure an actual carrier shop will have models on display. I have to psychologically prep myself for the guaranteed 3 hours of being held hostage for that.

    There is a good reason to order online…

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    1. You should definitely do the ‘hands on’ experiment with the Max. I’ve since bought a £7 ultra-slim cast to protect the back glass and it’s made ALL the difference. It now feels smaller, slimmer and a lot more manageable for one-handed use. But I’ve got reasonably sized hands, so that’s fine for me. You’re right – whatever one you go for, it’ll be a massive upgrade from the 6S, so that will be amazing for you. Let me know how you get on!

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