Apple has diversified its catalog quite a bit over the years. And in September, the firm has formalized no less than three different devices. The iPhone 11 comes to replace the iPhone Xr and it is therefore aimed at a fairly large audience, and which does not necessarily have the possibility or even the desire to spend a minimum wage on a phone.
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max for their part are placed on the top of the basket, offering a much more extensive technical sheet.
And in this test, we will focus on the larger model, and therefore on the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
These two models are identical in every way and the only thing that distinguishes them from each other, in the end, are their dimensions.
But apart from this point, what holds for one also holds for the other. And if I insist on this, it's simply to tell you that while this test will focus mainly on the “Pro Max” model, most of the things I will see said apply to the small model as well.
And there is another important detail to point out. This test is sponsored by my partner Rhinoshield, whom I naturally thank in passing.
Chance does things well, because RhinoShield has just launched a shell customization service. Service to which we will come back a little later.
And if not, for those who disembark, know that this test will be divided into several different chapters. We will start by reviewing the design and ergonomics of the! Phone 11 Pro Max before going back to its technical sheet and the possibilities offered by its new photo module. We will then end with the main new features brought by iOS 13.
Design & Ergonomics
And so we attack with everything related to the design and ergonomics of the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
There are generally two types of manufacturers on the market. On the one hand, you have the companies that are ramping up design changes to grab the attention and get noticed by consumers.
And on the other, you have Apple.
And it's not the iPhone 11 Pro Max that will make me lie. Apple has indeed kept the same recipe and this new model thus shares many points in common with the iPhone XS and iPhone X. Like them, it thus inherits a glass case and a metal frame, with a borderless screen cut by a notch.
A notch that does not change and is therefore as wide as on the previous model.
This notch is very mocked, it is undeniable, and it is enough to go on Twitter one evening of Keynote to realize it.
Now, you know, that famous notch is not there out of coquetry. It houses all the sensors necessary for the operation of Face ID. Sensors that unfortunately take up a lot of space and without which Apple could not offer such responsive and secure facial recognition.
And it should also be noted that all manufacturers who focus on this kind of function encounter the same problems. The Huawei Mate 30 Pro also has a screen cut by a notch and the situation is not more amazing on the side of the Pixel 4.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max therefore looks a lot like the iPhone Xs, but there are still some subtle differences.
The first relates to the back plate. Apple introduced a new color this year, of course, but the firm has mostly opted for frosted glass. A more matte glass, therefore, and which will have little tendency to attract fingerprints. And really, it works really, really well.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max is quite simply the least messy phone that has ever passed my hands and it even does better than the OnePlus 7T ( tested here ) and the OnePlus 7T Pro ( tested there ) which are also equipped with 'a frosted glass at the back.
Another notable difference is the photo module. It doesn't look the same at all. Exit therefore the two sensors stacked on top of each other, Apple has opted for a square room in which there are three optics, three sensors, a flash and a microphone.
This module, I didn't find it particularly pretty at first, but you get used to it. Apple has also been smart enough for once. The part is dyed the same color as the back of the phone and it goes quite unnoticed in the end.
No particular change in terms of ergonomics. The switch for changing the sound profile is always on the left edge, above the two volume buttons. As for the power button, it is on the other side, not far from the card access door. Or rather à la carte since the iPhone 11 Pro Max is limited to one location.
Fortunately, it will always be possible to have another line coexist using the e-SIM card directly integrated into the phone. Be careful, however, because all operators do not yet support e-SIM and it will therefore be preferable to make a phone call to one of your advisers to find out what is going on.
As for the connector, it is placed on the lower edge and Apple has once again opted for Lightning, which is ultimately quite a shame. USB Type-C would probably have been more relevant. After all, if the iPad Pro has passed the milestone, why not do the same on the iPhone?
As I said a little before, the main difference between the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max relates to their dimensions. The “Max” version is indeed much larger due to the presence of a 6.5-inch screen.
It is bigger, but it is also heavier. We go up to 226 grams.
And frankly, it's okay. At first, I was really scared of ending up with a brick in my pocket, but I didn't. In fact, you get used to its dimensions very quickly.
Now be careful, because these dimensions and this weight do not only have advantages. In particular in photo, moreover. It is indeed very complicated to shoot with one hand and we will of course lose stability.
More generally, you will need both hands most of the time to handle the device, which will be a problem for provincials who, like me, still need to hold on to the RER and metro bars when there is no seat.
Interlude: discovery of the Rhinoshield case personalization service
I spoke about it at the beginning of my video, the realization of this test was made possible thanks to Rhinoshield. And luck has done things right since the release of this video coincides with the launch of the brand's personalization service.
Accessible at https://rhinoshield.fr/pages/customize , this new tool is therefore added to Rhinoshield's offer and its purpose is to allow us to create and design a shell in our image.
The first thing to note is that this tool is not limited to iPhones. It supports quite a few different makes and models.
The Galaxy S10s are one of them, as are the OnePlus 7, Pixel 4 or even P30.
Once you have chosen the phone model and its color, all you have to do is load a case model, a model from which you will be able to design your own case. Rhinoshield currently offers three models: SolidSuit, Mod NX or Verso NX.
When this is done, just click on the next button to go to the personalization step. And there, of course, everything will depend on the type of hull. For SolidSuit, for example, the tool will allow you to load a sub-model and customize it by modifying its colors, the displayed text or even the typo.
The possibilities are numerous and the options offered allow you to go quite far in terms of personalization.
And behind, of course, we find RhinoShield quality. The hulls are pretty, sturdy and well finished.
Personally, I took two different cases: the SolidSuit in black leather version and an NX Mod with transparent back and midnight green jumper to match the color of my iPhone 11 Pro Max. And in both cases, the result is really neat.
And if you want to take the plunge yourself, then know that you can benefit from a 10% reduction by entering the code FRED during the validation stage of your cart.
Screen, Processor & Autonomy
Apple has always placed great emphasis on design, but that's not everything either. And the time has come to look at the performance of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but also on its screen and its autonomy.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch screen. Apple has opted for a Super Retina XDR panel, a name of its own. Concretely, it is an OLED panel compatible with HDR and capable of displaying a resolution of 2688 x 1242 with a pixel density of 458 ppi and a contrast of 2,000,000: 1.
As a bonus, there are of course all the in-house functions, such as the True Tone which allows the colors of the panel to be adapted to the surrounding light or the Nightshift which filters blue light to preserve our retinas.
Behind, we also find the support of the P3 and a brightness between 800 and 1200 nits. Apple has also treated the protective glass placed on the screen to reduce the appearance of fingerprints, which works quite well.
On paper, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a lot of arguments to fall for, and it's not just marketing gibberish.
The screen of the iPhone 11 Pro Max and indeed one of the best on the market and it is enough to launch a video or two in high definition on YouTube or even an episode of a series on Netflix to realize that the terminal lends itself extremely well to this use.
Very bright, the panel can also display marked contrasts and extended dynamics, while remaining readable in all circumstances. Even in direct sunlight.
Note, at the moment, it is not easy to find in the Paris region.
On the SoC side, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has an A13 Bionic chip supported by a third generation neural processor. All for a score approaching 460,000 points on AnTuTu.
And of course, this processor is very efficient. I have used the iPhone 11 Pro Max every day since its release and have not seen the slightest slowdown, even on very greedy titles like the excellent CoD Mobile.
If the speed of the A13 impresses, it is ultimately not surprising. Even a year later, the A12 remains very capable indeed. We suspected that his successor would do at least as well. But there, in any case, we will be able to face the next three or four years with serenity, which will not fail to excite those who have become accustomed to keeping their phones for several years.
You probably know it, but battery life has always been the main drawback of iPhones. And that goes for all old models. Even the iPhone Xs performed well behind its competitors.
And indeed, all this is now a thing of the past.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max is indeed the most surrounding phone that has passed through my hands in recent months.
For mixed use with web browsing, social networks, video and a bit of gaming, it lasts an average of two days, which is simply amazing for an iPhone.
And I want to be very clear on this, I NEVER thought I could last this long with an iPhone. For me, this perfectible autonomy was inseparable from the range and it was therefore necessary to make sense.
And there, really, the iPhone 11 Pro Max gave me a real slap. Especially since behind, we do not have a huge battery either. It reaches a capacity of 3969 mAh on this model and it is ultimately below that of most competitive devices.
And then, of course, we are entitled to fast charging. So admittedly, it is not the fastest on the market, but it works well and it will be enough to leave the iPhone 11 Pro Max plugged in for half an hour with the 18W charger included to regain half the capacity of the drums. On the other hand, for a full charge, we will exceed the hour, the last percentages being as always the longest.
The Qi also answers the call and it will therefore be perfectly possible to charge the iPhone 11 Pro Max by placing it on a compatible charging station. But here, you will have to be patient.
It now remains to discuss the question of the modem. As always, I used nPerf to test it, with a Sosh SIM and from the Paris region. I ran the test several times and at different times of the day and week. Then I calculated an average.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max isn't the fastest on the market. It thus obtained 119 mbps in reception and 16 mbps in transmission, with a latency of 35 ms. In terms of scores, we are at 79% on the web and 89% on video with a total score of 97,000 points.
It's not bad, of course, but we are still far from what a OnePlus 7T offers for example.
Before leaving it there, it is also important to raise the question of storage.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max, you know, is offered in several variants, and more precisely in 64 GB version, in 256 GB version and in 512 GB version. As far as I'm concerned, I bought the 256 GB version. I take a lot of photos and a lot of videos, and I also have some big games installed. In all, and after a little over a month of use, the space used reaches 53 GB.
And that, I had already spoken about it in my grip. 64 GB, at present, is not enough, let alone for that matter on a phone that has "pro" in its name. So of course, we know it's a ploy to get people to spend a few hundred dollars more to acquire the model above, but I don't find that very honest and I really hope Apple will change. its shoulder with the next models by starting directly at 128 GB.
And besides, it should be noted that Apple is not the only one to do this. The Pixel 4s also start with 64 GB.
Photo, Video & Sound
And now is the time for us to look at one big piece, namely photo, video and sound.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max inherits a brand new rear photo module. A module this time made up of three different sensors.
The main sensor still reaches 12 million pixels of definition and it is crowned with a wide angle opening at f / 1.8.
To support it, there is a second sensor of 12 million pixels with this time a telephoto lens offering an aperture at f / 2.0 and an optical zoom of 2x, with a digital zoom that can reach 10x.
The third sensor displays the same definition, a definition reaching 12 million pixels. This time it comes with an ultra-wide angle offering a 120 ° field of view and an aperture of f / 2.4.
As a bonus, there is a double optical image stabilization, effective stabilization on the wide angle and telephoto, a True Tone flash, Smart HDR and a night mode.
On paper, we are therefore on a slightly more versatile offer. The old models were limited to the wide angle and the telephoto lens and therefore we gain one more focal length.
Now, the theory isn't everything either and the question you are certainly asking yourself is whether the iPhone 11 Pro Max fulfills its manufacturer's promises.
When the light is there, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is very impressive and is thus able to provide shots with a high level of detail, a very beautiful dynamic and a natural colorimetry.
It shines besides by its constancy. Whether in the shadows or the highlights, it is indeed able to recover a maximum of details and it does not have to be ashamed in front of its competitors. Even the best armed among them.
Nothing to say about the focus either. She is swift and she hits the mark in all circumstances, even on very fast stages. I did the test during the medieval period of Brie and thus managed to capture horses running at full speed. A not the easiest exercise, it must be admitted.
IPhones have always been a little less comfortable at night or when the light is out. This was also the case with the iPhone Xs and the iPhone Xs Max.
Apple has fortunately revised its copy and modified its algorithms in depth to allow the iPhone 11 Pro to catch up on this ground. Whether indoors or even in the evening, the new iPhones are therefore much more comfortable than their predecessors.
And this also applies to total black. Apple has indeed implemented a new shooting mode, night mode.
Contrary to what the competition offers, this mode cannot be activated manually. It will set off on its own when conditions require.
When this is the case, the iPhone 11 Pro Max will switch to long exposure in order to recover as much detail as possible. For your part, you will also have the possibility to adjust the duration of the exposure through the options. Apple's algorithms will then take over to increase the level of detail and reduce the appearance of artifacts.
And it works very well. Thanks to this mode, it is indeed possible to shoot in the middle of the night and obtain well-detailed images with good dynamics. Be careful, however, because the longer the exposure time, the more it will be necessary to keep the phone stationary. The best is of course to mount the iPhone on a tripod.
This being the case, and despite its many qualities, the night mode of the iPhone 11 Pro Max does not manage to keep pace with that of the Pixel 4. Google therefore maintains a lead over its competitor, at least for night shots.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max therefore offers three different focal lengths: wide angle, ultra wide angle and telephoto. It will thus be able to adapt to most situations.
And in this regard, we can say that Apple has done things well. The three focal lengths are indeed neck and neck in terms of sharpness, dynamics and colorimetry. I did not notice any obvious differences in the colors, which is truly remarkable.
The distortion is also well controlled on the ultra wide angle. Admittedly, the image will always be a little distorted, but it remains all the same very reasonable and it will even give an impression of speed to our photos… or a drama effect on the photos of architecture.
On the other hand, in terms of aperture, the wide angle retains the advantage and this also means that the other focal lengths will not be able to recover as much light after dark. But the night mode will allow us to compensate.
It's a mode that I don't usually talk about, but the portrait mode of the iPhone 11 Pro Max impressed me enough to devote part of this test to it.
Because indeed, in this area, the phone pushes the concept quite far. We will always keep a beautiful sharpness, a beautiful dynamic and a precise colorimetry, but we will also be entitled to a very beautiful bokeh, or background blur. Apple has also done it sparingly, which is undeniably a good thing. The blur is very soft, very warm effect and it does not completely isolate the subject. At least not in the basic mode.
Because like the old models, Apple offers different types of light: natural lighting, studio lighting, edge lighting, stage lighting, mono stage lighting and the newcomer, the high-key lighting.
And the latter is formidable on very bright stages.
Apple has always been a little ahead of most of its video competitors and the iPhone 11 Pro is no exception.
If they are able to shoot in 4K at 60 frames per second, which will allow us to achieve beautiful slow motion in post production, they are also able to output very sharp sequences with a high level of detail and a dynamic that forces the respect. And this even in the most difficult light conditions.
Always in the radius of good ideas, we also have the Quick tale which allows you to switch very quickly from photo to video by pulling the shutter button to the right. It can be very useful on very animated scenes and when shooting a bit randomly.
And what's really cool is that the back camera isn't the only one that can shoot in 4K. The same goes for the front camera, which is sure to be of interest to vloggers. Especially since we can also go up at a rate of 60 images per second.
I was also very surprised by the quality of the stabilization. It will be quite possible to shoot freehand without ending up with too shaky shots. Afterwards and as always, it will always be preferable to acquire a stabilizer to obtain a slightly more cinematic rendering.
And if you want to go even further, well you can also go through the excellent Filmic Pro which allows you to take control of a lot of parameters … and even to film in flat.
On the sound side, well the iPhone 11 Pro Max still skips the headphone jack, but at least it has the merit of having two speakers.
So of course, these two speakers are not both placed on the front. The first is located at the notch and the second on the lower edge. However, and in spite of this slight imbalance, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is able to reproduce a very balanced sound with beautiful mids served by deep bass and all in nuance.
And the best part is that we also have great power behind. Sufficient power to dress an office… or the 11:45 pm RER.
Platform & Functions
And we come to the very last part of this test, a part that will focus on the platform and its most interesting functions.
And we will start directly with biometrics. Apple said during its press conference to have made improvements to Face ID. The latter is supposed to be more responsive and operate at a greater angle.
In practice, however, I haven't noticed any notable improvements. You must always be in front of the phone to unlock it. As for the responsiveness of the system, it is still excellent.
While the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max bring a lot of improvements, they also lose a function, namely the 3D Touch. The screen is in fact no longer sensitive to pressure and it is now the platform that will emulate the prolonged presses by combining them with a new generation haptic engine.
And it's actually quite funny. 3D Touch has always struck me as a perfectly useless techno, the kind you can easily do without.
iOS 13 brings many new features and the most striking is undoubtedly the arrival of dark mode. If the latter is not revolutionary, it exists in most manufacturers, it remains very effective. Less tiring for the eyes, it also has the merit of saving the iPhone 11 Pro Max in autonomy thanks to its OLED screen.
There is also something new in the photo. With iOS 13.2, we can change the resolution of our ideas by going directly from the application. No more digging into the system settings. We also have the Quick Tale which I have already mentioned and which allows you to switch from photo mode to video mode by pulling the shutter button to the right.
It should also be noted the presence of Deep Fusion, a technology that improves the level of detail of photos taken using several algorithms. However, I have just installed the update and I do not have enough hindsight to tell you what this function is worth.
Also in the radius of notable novelties, we can mention the new photo editing tools that allow you to take control of a wide variety of parameters. Fans will no doubt continue to prefer Lightroom, but these tools are still very interesting and they can do a lot of things.
Apple has also made quite a few changes to its in-house applications, and in particular to the Recall application which is getting a complete facelift and which is therefore much more pleasant to use.
And of course, the list is far from exhaustive. If iOS 13 does not revolutionize the platform, it still offers hundreds of improvements and it is obviously very difficult to list them all here.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max does not mark a break in terms of design, it is a fact, and the notch always answers present, it is another fact, but that does not prevent it from having a lot of charm. . Even more so with the matte finish of the back plate.
Technically, it's flawless. The slab is cleanly beautiful and the A13 Bionic will be able to take on all the most demanding games for the next three or four years.
As for autonomy, it is simply bluffing. Apple hit really hard. Two days of battery life is just crazy on an iPhone… I really didn't expect that.
And then there is the photo. Here again, the Apple brand was slightly behind its competitors, a delay that these new models fully fill. Not content with offering three different focal lengths, they will be able to produce better quality photos, even after dark. All while continuing to send heavy loads to the field of video.
There you need to understand the title of this video a little better. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max aren't groundbreaking devices, but they bring Apple to maturity.
So after, does that justify the price asked by Apple? There is no straightforward answer, no universal truth. It all depends on your needs, your desires and your resources.
What is certain in any case is that the iPhone 11 Pro Max is a very good product, a well-balanced product that does not suffer from any real flaws … apart from a somewhat too pronounced resemblance to the model previous.