Leading to the September 10 Apple Keynote Event announcing the next generation of iPhones, I had little intention of upgrading for the simple fact that I purchased the 512GB iPhone XS Max six months earlier. I planned on using the XS Max and wait for the 2020 iPhone. However, I had a reservation that, based on enhancements, i.e. the camera, battery life, I will make considerations on whether to upgrade.
In true Apple fashion, as expected, the incremental updates on the iPhone were the main selling point during the keynote presentation. The two improvements that steered me towards upgrading were indeed the battery life and camera. I regard these improvements as the most significant upgrades they’ve received on the iPhone since its inception. Having long wished for an increase in battery capacity and battery life especially, I wasted little time in preparing for an upgrade following the keynote. I pre-ordered for the very first time, downsizing to the 256GB iPhone 11 Pro Max in Space Grey.
Reasons being; six months of using the 512GB, I used only 82GB of that storage space. I have a habit of triaging my photos and videos, uploading the majority of them to iCloud Drive via the Files app in organised folders, and leaving only a handful of my favourites stored on the phone. I had less than 5000 songs downloaded from Apple Music for offline listening and downloaded podcasts set for deletion after I finished listening to them, so phone storage hasn’t been an issue for me and made sense to go for the 256GB model.
I went with the Space Grey because I have always been a fan, despite Apples various visual representations of Space Grey over the years, and my iPad Pro and Apple Watch are both of the same colour. I continued the Max (Previously Plus) tradition because I prefer the larger screen and portability has never been an issue. I’m quite happy wielding this behemoth around.
My procedure with new iPhones straight out of the box is to set up as new and not restore from backups, and while doing this, drain whatever remaining battery level from the factory, then recharge from 0 to 100%. For the first time, the battery-draining process took longer, I had finished setting up the phone, and went about my day with normal usage without pushing too hard for the battery to drain. Usually, at this point on previous iPhones, the battery would’ve been depleted, this was when I started noticing the battery performance in the new iPhone 11 Pro Max.
A couple of days later with the Pro Max, I decided to test and see how the battery performs on a full working day without charge with a slight change in my usual setup; increasing brightness, leaving a higher number of location and background app refresh features on, turning off screen auto-lock, streaming Apple Music and Podcasts instead of downloading them first. The result was beyond belief. In my hands, an iPhone with a battery life that serves me on a full working day without charge. My charging habits have dramatically changed now. As a result, I do not think or worry about the battery level on my iPhone. I happily leave the house now with less than 30% battery level and not fret.
Insane, Incredible, Astounding, and a plethora of other adjectives have been used to describe the highly improved battery life on the new iPhone 11 Pro by owners. And they’re not wrong. Of course, how well battery performance continues to remain stable in the long run is also down to how the user manages and care for their iPhone battery.
Thanks to the increase in capacity and continuous battery optimisations on the software side, the iPhone 11 Pro Max battery life so far, has been phenomenal, and worthy of upgrading to either iPhone 11 Pro models if you’re heavily dependent on your iPhone and want to eradicate anxieties about battery levels.
Apple is targeting the Pro photography and cinematography market, as demoed with the makers of FiLMiC Pro during the live event, showing off the new iPhone camera capabilities and how the multi-cam setup can be effectively utilised. This part of the keynote presentation impressed me the most and whetted my appetite to venture into videography now that you can quickly edit videos from the Photos app on the iPhone.
It’s been a while since I have been overly excited by the iPhone camera – not that I’ve ever devalued the iPhone camera by any measure, however, the multi-lens setup on the Pro Max coupled with software enhancements has given the iPhone camera a genuine claim to being one of the best, if not the best camera on a smartphone currently. The joy and fun derived from using the various redesigned camera experiences on the Pro max, especially the Ultra Wide and Night Mode (look out for Deep Fusion) have been truly delightful.
With my planned photo walks, I’m creating a section on the site to share my mobile photography and videos shot and edited entirely on the Pro Max and upcoming iPhones.
A few sample shots with left, Night Mode Off, flash on and right, Night Mode On.
Overall, upgrading my six-month-old XS Max to the iPhone 11 Pro Max has been worth it for the improved battery life and camera enhancements alone. If you place value in battery life and the camera, upgrading will be worth it for you too.