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Better battery life, a fantastic camera system makes the iPhone Pro 11 Max a great smartphone

Well, darn. The 2019 iPhones lack some of the most anticipated new features: no USB-C port, no ProMotion display, no Apple Pencil support. A disappointment, right? Hardly. Though the new Apple smartphones could be more exciting, they have plenty of new features that make ‘em worthy upgrades — at least if you’re on Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program.

I’m on the program, so I upgraded to a (space grey) iPhone Pro 11 Max with 256GB of store. So far, I’m loving it. 

There’s nothing revolutionary in the design. Sorry, but no folding iPhones, if that’s what you were hoping for. However, the textured matte glass back and polished stainless steel band bodies look and feel good. The new iPhones boast the toughest glass yet and are rated IP68 for water resistance up to four meters for up to 30 minutes. This also protects them against coffee, soda, and water spills, something that happens occasionally if you’re a klutz like me.

The new Super Retina XDR, True Tone display with its custom-designed OLED and up to1200 nits of brightness packs the brightest display ever in an iPhone. The screen with its systemwide color management makes photos look vibrant — and videos seem to leap off the screen.

The Apple-designed A13 Bionic chip that features an up-to-20% faster CPU and GPU than the A12 makes the 2019 iPhones the most powerful Apple smartphones yet. Add in a faster Neural engine and new Machine Learning Accelerators, and I’d be willing to bet they’re the most powerful smartphones from any company.

Despite the increased power one of my two favorite features in the iPhone Pro 11 Max is increased battery life. It has between 4-5 hours more battery life than my previous iPhone (the XS Max): about 14 hours compared to 11.

My second favorite feature of my new smartphone is the new triple-camera (Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto) system that allows you to take stunning photos and videos. Whether I’m shooting mini-movies of our church sports team (we’re now in volleyball season), low-light pics of my grandkids as they sleep, or a Portrait photo of my wife, the results are exemplary. 

The Ultra Wide camera captures four times more scene, while the Wide sensor with 100% Focus Pixels and advanced software enables Night mode. You can now take pics in near-darkness and get good results.

The Audio Zoom feature matches audio to a video framing to provide more dynamic sound. iOS 13’s new video editing tools make it easy and fast to rotate, crop, increase exposure and apply filters to videos.

The iPhones’ new TrueDepth camera introduces a new 12MP camera with a wider field of view to capture selfies and “slofies” (4K video at 120 fps slo-mo). I’m not a selfie taker, so these features don’t interest me, but will make a lot of folks happy.

Overall, I’m very very happy with my new iPhone. However, Apple should be ashamed of calling the base model of anything“Pro” if it only comes with 64GB of memory.

The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max come in four finishes, including the new midnight green. Pricing starts at $999 for the iPhone 11 Pro and $1,099 for the Pro Max.

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.