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The new iPhone 15 Pro Max (advantage / disadvantage ) :


I will explain the favorite things about it, the disadvantages encountered and answer questions such as: Should you upgrade? Should you get this on the 15 Pro’s? And what has the battery life been like in the last 6 months?

The advantages of the iPhone 15 Pro Max :

Let me first talk about this last question. The battery life has been excellent,which is the first time this has happened on an iPhone for me in a while, since at least the iPhone 13 Pro.

I’ve seen about 40% to 35% battery left on typical days when I put this phone back on the charger at night.

And then, during the days of intensive use, about 25% to 20% of the battery remains.

To give you an idea of my average usage over the last 10 days, my average screen activity time has been 2 hours 13 minutes with 7 hours and 45 minutes of screen inactivity, and a lot of that is due to apps like music and podcast apps like Pocket Casts, which run in the background.

There have even been times when I forgot to charge my iPhone, and I was able to go on the second day with the same charge with light use of the phone, which is pretty good.

Now the next thing I really like about this iPhone is its weight.

Apple has finally reduced the weight of its Pro models, in part by using titanium, and this is a noticeable difference compared to the previous Pro Max version.

This weight reduction is part of the reasons why I opted for the iPhone 15 Pro Max this year. That’s because the 14 Pro last year, its battery life wasn’t great, so I wanted a phone that would have better battery life, but I didn’t necessarily want to be stuck with a heavy and uncomfortable phone to hold like the 14 Pro Max was.

And fortunately, Apple has not only reduced the weight of the 15 Pro Max, but also improved overall comfort by softening the edges of the device.

Although it matters a little less if you put a case in it, which doesn’t get Apple’s new finely woven case, by the way. As soon as I ordered one and got it in hand, I felt the material, and I just had the impression that it wouldn’t hold up. And that’s not the case for some of the people who got stuck with these cases.

I went with the silicone case instead, which has held up really well. And if you’re stuck choosing between the smaller iPhone size and the 15 Pro Max, take it from someone who refused to get the larger size iPhones for years.

Six months later, I have acclimatized to this size very well, and I have no regrets. You get a bigger screen, better battery life and a better camera system, at least on the Pro Max.

And that’s the next thing I really liked about this iPhone after 6 months. By moving the telephoto lens on the 15 Pro Max up to 5x optical, Apple has actually made the telephoto camera on this iPhone much more usable than the one found on the 15 Pro and previous iPhone models in general. I always find that telephoto lenses on smartphones are much more useful than their ultra-wide counterparts.

And yes, I generally recommend using the models equipped with telephoto lenses if you want to take photos and videos with a smartphone. Some of the other new features of the camera that I have used a lot in the last 6 months are, first of all, the ability to take 48 megapixel photos, which gives you much more space to crop your photos and creates even more detailed photos, which I really appreciated.

I also really liked the ability to scroll between the 24, 28 and 35 mm focal length equivalents by pressing the 1X button, as well as being able to save the focal length equivalent on which the camera application will default when opened.

The photos are overall sharp; they have excellent HDR and color, and the video quality produced by the iPhones continues to be one of the best of all the smartphones I have used, as I mentioned in my many comparison videos between this iPhone and other competing smartphones, which I will link in the description.

Simply put, if our smartphones are the most practical camera that we usually carry and you want the best camera system of an iPhone, the 15 Pro Max should suit you well.

Now, another feature that is new with the 15 Pro and the 15 Pro Max is the action button. It’s a customizable button that you can configure in the settings to do a variety of things, and yes, you can still make it act like the old silent buzzer switch.

The action button is something I ended up using a bit. However, yes, on occasion I caught myself forgetting to use it, and it takes a little while to create a new muscle memory for the action button. But I found that once you do, it’s a very convenient feature to use, especially because you can use it to trigger a shortcut, which is an automation that can do a variety of things on your phone.

I have my action button set to a custom shortcut that I created that does three things really well.

When my phone is connected to my home Wi-Fi network and I press the action button, it will turn Do Not disturb on and off. And if the Apple TV in my living room is on when I do this, it will also automatically switch to Cinema mode on my Apple Watch. And when it’s not on my local Wi-Fi, the action button just triggers the Camera app to open.

The next thing, 6 months later, that I like about this iPhone is that Apple was forced by the Europeans to use USB-C, which ironically Apple themselves helped to design in 2012. This means that when I travel, I only have to bring a single cord to charge my phone, my headphones, my iPad, my camera, my Kindle and even my MacBook Air. This is an absolute win for Apple customers, and the power delivery and transfer speeds on USB-C are actually better than they were on Lightning.

The last thing, 6 months later, that I really like using this iPhone, of course, the iOS operating system and the way this iPhone integrates with my other Apple products.

I’m going to give you some examples of the features that really stood out to me, and some of them are actually brand new on iOS this year, like these one-time passwords that you receive by SMS for two-factor authentication. Well, in iOS you can now set them to delete them automatically, which is great.

IOS now has much better voice dictation, and the autocorrect has finally been fixed, although I sometimes find that it still corrects the wrong word. I’ve also been using dynamic widgets a lot, which are new in iOS 17, especially for things like reminder widgets or resuming a podcast without needing to open the app. And of course, with the 15 Pro Max, you get the dynamic island, that little black camera bar on the front of the iPhone, which I know some people think is useless, but I’ve really learned to really like it .

The dynamic island creates a persistent and intuitive place to tap on your iPhone to return to something in the background, such as listening to music, returning to a phone call, a timer, etc.

Now, in terms of the features of the Apple ecosystem that continue to stand out, these include continuity, where you can copy something to your iPhone and press Paste on another Apple device, and it will magically paste it. Or Continuity Camera, where you can use your iPhone as a much better webcam than the webcams built into your MacBook or your studio screen.

And I made a video about this feature specifically if you want to learn how to configure it for your own use.

AirDrop is another ecosystem feature that I use all the time to move files and links back and forth between my iPhone and other Apple devices.

And the last feature of the ecosystem that I really like is how well the AirPods pair with my iPhone and automatically switch between all my Apple devices. And with my AirPods Max, you can play Dolby Atmos tracks from the iPhone 15 Pro Max in Apple Music, and that’s something I’ve learned to rely on and appreciate a lot more over time, because more and more Dolby Atmos tracks sound pretty good on headphones, especially classic tracks, which I’ve become a growing fan of, thanks to Apple Music Classical.

Now, 6 months later, are there any features of the new iPhone 15 Pro Max that I haven’t found myself using as much?

The first is the new focus adjustment function. It’s a feature that I’m glad is there to allow me to readjust the focus, but it’s a feature that I haven’t found myself using much because the iPhone already does a very good job of locking the focus on the subject, and I don’t feel the need to artificially add depth of field after the fact.

Another camera-related feature that I was really excited about when this phone was launched was being able to shoot in Apple Log, which gives you a lot more flexibility in how your footage looks.

Although I found that Apple Log takes up so much storage space on my 256 GB iPhone that I didn’t really use it as much as I thought I would. I just kept shooting logs on my DSLR cameras like I’m doing right now.

Although if you are more of a mobile shooter, this is a feature that you will probably want to use more than me,Just make sure that you have a sufficient amount of storage on your iPhone.

I would probably, if I was spinning a ton of logs with this, upgrade to the 512GB model or the one I think they have a terabyte of as well.

Another feature that was rolled out later during my review period is spatial video.

Spatial videos are 3D videos that you can take on the iPhone 15 Pro Max and view on the Apple Vision Pro.

And even though I’ve taken quite a few of them over the past few months and even watched them on my Vision Pro, on which I’ve already made some videos, which I’ll leave here if you’re curious, unfortunately, I couldn’t find the spatial videos I took on my iPhone to be as impressive as the ones I took on the Vision Pro itself in terms of depth effect and recreating the impression that I was actually there in the memory.

And the last thing I didn’t use with the 15 Pro Max is the new ray tracing feature that you get with the new chip.

At this point, I just wouldn’t consider myself a mobile gamer,the games I tried to play that interested me on the Apple App Store, most of them had like an in-app purchase mechanism, which I’m just not a big fan of. I’d rather just buy the game, and then if you want to sell me some DLC, fine. But yeah, I’m just not a fan of this game model overall. So, not for me.

The disadvantages of the iPhone 15 Pro Max :

The first one I would like to emphasize is repairability. Although Apple has made progress in making the iPhone more repairable for most things, you will either have to go to an Apple Store authorized repair shop or use Apple’s self-service repair, where you can buy original parts and rent Apple’s professional-quality tools for something as simple as getting a new battery, which I would like to see Apple figure out how to make easier to maintain in the future.

But this is not the biggest drawback that I found with the 15 Pro Max 6 months later.

The biggest drawback that I have found, and this actually applies to all iPhones, is Apple’s control over what you can download to your iPhone through the App Store.

Apple’s control limits the diversity of applications that you can potentially download on an iPhone, and this control can also end up costing you more money in various ways.

So, for example, let’s say I want to register for a service through an application on my iPhone. If I sign up for this service, I can end up paying 15% to 30% more money than if I just went to the company’s website and signed up for the service via the web. And why don’t companies tell you in their application that there is actually a cheaper way to buy the service? That’s because it’s actually against Apple’s App Store rules in most countries.

And the reason that the subscriptions that you sign up for through an app will usually cost more is due to the 30% and 15% fees from the Apple App Store for paid subscriptions and app downloads. Often people say to themselves “Ah, never mind, it sucks for the developer”, without really thinking about it throughout this, the developer is not just eating this cost, they often pass it on to you, the iPhone user, through higher prices, which you can clearly see in examples like when Twitter launched its Twitter Blue subscription pricing.

Now Apple must have a good reason for doing this, right? The company will tell you: “Yes, this is for security,” and there is some truth in this argument, although there is a giant hole the size of a maximum. Apple has been able for decades to demonstrate its ability to safely sell consumers a device on which, gasping for breath, they can download applications from the Internet, and this is, of course, the Mac.

Now Apple will say that the iPhone is more secure than the Mac, of course, but look at their advertising for the Mac. It’s not like they’re saying it’s a dangerous product that you should never buy.

The most likely reason why Apple wants to keep the iPhone locked is that over time, these fees have earned Apple a ton of money.

Apple made a turnover of $23 billion in services just in the first quarter of 2024, and although it does not specify the share of this turnover coming from the App Store, some analysts have estimated it at about 35%, which, assuming that if these percentages are somewhat accurate, it would mean that Apple made about $8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2023. That’s a lot of money coming only from the App Store.

So if I was running Apple, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to change anything. But I don’t run Apple, so I can say this: once you buy an iPhone, it should be your iPhone, not Apple’s.

As with a Mac, you should be able to decide where you want to download apps from and get the best price on the apps, because there is actually a competitive market in which developers can also sell their apps.

In addition, we wouldn’t have all those bad user experiences that you can have on the iPhone today with companies trying to avoid App Store fees or policies, which prevents you from signing up for Netflix through the Netflix app or not being able to buy Kindle books in the Amazon app. So this is my biggest drawback with the 15 Pro Max, and I really hope that I won’t have to repeat myself on this problem every year.

And with the recently announced case by the DOJ against Apple in the United States, I may not have to do it.

Conclusion :

Do I recommend the 15 Pro Max?

Yes, it has the best camera system of any iPhone, and Apple’s ecosystem, without the App Store problem, is overall a great user experience. And if you have, I would say, like an iPhone 12 or older and you can’t wait until September 2024 for the new iPhones to come out, then I would say that you are ready to upgrade to the 15 Pro Max.

For everyone else, given that the lifespan of these phones is quite short, I would just wait until September for the new iPhones to come out at this point.

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