The massive iPhone XS Max was just announced and it's far and away Apple's biggest iPhone to date with a hand-stretching Plus-sized display and brand new specs.
It has a 6.5-inch OLED screen that maximizes the real estate over last year's iPhone that has a 5.8-inch display. It joins the smaller iPhone XS as this year's 2018 iPhone.
How big is the iPhone XS Max? Its dimensions are roughly the size of the iPhone 8 Plus which has a 5.5-inch display, so don't let the 6.5-inch screen size fool you.
The 12MP rear dual-lens cameras shouldn't fool you either. Apple continues to stick with 12MP photos, but there's a big sensor and behind-the-scenes software upgrade here. You're going to be get better photos and advanced camera controls from the iPhone XS Max.
The main rear camera has a f/1.8 aperture and improved True Tone flash, and the the telephoto lens is f/2.4. Both rear camera have OIS. On the front, there's a faster 7mp selfie camera with an f/2.2 sensor.
Expect faster performance and longer battery life given its A12 Bionic chipset and room for more battery capacity. Apple showed off the new gold color at its event.
Oh, and it's pronounced 'iPhone 10S Max,' according to Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller, not iPhone Excess Max, and the XS certainly doesn't stand for extra small.
More important than new specs is the software, and Apple says that its new camera system on the iPhone XS Max uses smart HDR. Even backlit photos are supposed to come out full of details.
With the power of the A12 Bionic chip, the iPhone XS phones will be able to allow you to adjust the depth of field, something it says won't be possible on any other camera on a phone before. Before you could adjust for light, now you can adjust for depth of field.
The iPhone XS Max will have Apple's biggest battery ever thanks to its size. It'll have DSDS (or Dual Sim Dual Standby). Apple added its eSIM technology, which it's borrowing from its cellular iPad line. The iOS software will understand the two lines. A dual SIM and eSIM will be how Apple does it in most areas of the world, except China, where eSIM isn't allowed. Well, Apple will be releasing a special Dual SIM iPhone XS Max there.
Below are rumors, that we're confirming as the Apple launch event happens.
- What is it? A super-sized, premium iPhone
- When is it out? September 14 pre-order, September 21 release date
- What will it cost? Starts at $1,099 (£1,099)
iPhone XS Max release date
- iPhone XS Max pre-order date: Friday, September 14
- iPhone XS Max release date: Friday, September 21
The iPhone XS Max launch date is set for September 12 – that's today – after Apple sent out invites for an event at its HQ on that day
We expect the iPhone XS Max release date to be a week or two after the launch – almost certainly before the end of September.
German site Macerkopf cites unnamed carrier sources who claim iPhone XS Max pre-orders will start on September 14, falling in line with previous iPhone launches where pre-orders opened the Friday after the launch.
iPhone XS Max price
The iPhone XS Max is tipped to be the bigger sibling to the iPhone XS, which itself will be the successor to the iPhone X.
What does that mean? A big iPhone XS Max price tag. The iPhone X was the most expensive iPhone ever when it landed in 2017, by quite some way, which means the iPhone XS Max is probably going to have an even loftier asking price.
However, Apple may be looking to keep an cap on things to some extent, with reports suggesting it's reduced the cost of some components by 10%, and may also quit bundling a headphone adapter with its new phones to further reduce costs.
According to analysts from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the only way is up for the iPhone XS Max price. They predict the asking price to start at $1,049 (probably £1,049, around AU$1,679).
These are predictions for the entry-level storage option too, so if you opt for the largest capacity iPhone XS Max you could well end up paying even more.
We can believe the predictions, as we can't see Apple dropping the price for the iPhone XS, which means the iPhone XS Max price will have to be higher than the $999 starting cost of the smaller handset.
iPhone XS Max design
Apart from being bigger, various leaks suggest the iPhone XS Max design won't look all that different from the iPhone X it takes cues from, with Apple likely to focus more on internal upgrades rather than stylistic tweaks.
The CAD schematics below, acquired by MySmartPrice and OnLeaks, are said to be based on the larger-screened iPhone. If accurate, there will be very little visual difference between the iPhone XS Max and iPhone X (other than size).
That said, you should probably get ready to use your iPhone with two hands again, because the iPhone XS Max is going to be a monster phone with a 6.5-inch screen. But it won't be too big.
Apple has shaved away the needless bezel at the top and bottom (and axed the home button) in the upgrade to the iPhone X. So the screen size is a bit misleading if you're moving from the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 8 Plus – it's not a full inch bigger.
Another schematic (below) supposedly shows the dimensions of the rumored iPhone XS Max, with a claimed height and width of 157.2 x 77.1mm.
That would make the iPhone XS Max smaller than the iPhone 8 Plus (158.4 x 78.1mm), which would be impressive considering the iPhone XS Max is tipped to feature a much larger display (possibly 6.5-inch).
That's roughly in line with a previous rumor that the iPhone XS Max could have an iPhone 8 Plus-sized body, despite an inch of extra screen – however changes to the camera could mean the phone is 0.2mm thicker, meaning it would be 158.4 x 78.1 x 7.7mm.
A tweet claiming to show the front glass for the three rumored iPhones lets you see how the handsets will potentially differ in size, with slender bezels around the display and the now-distinctive notch at the top.
While the iPhone XS Max will be the largest of the three, the differences between it and the rumored iPhone XS don't appear to be as great as those between the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.
iPhone XS Max display
No surprise here: the iPhone XS Max will have a big screen. In fact, it's tipped to feature the biggest screen Apple has ever put on a smartphone.
The iPhone X broke new ground for the firm, with its 5.7-inch display moving away for the 5.5-inch screens we've been used to since the iPhone 6 Plus way back in 2014.
However, the iPhone XS Max could well take iPhone screens to a whole new level, with the most recent rumors suggesting it'll rock up with a 6.5-inch panel with a pixel density of between 480 and 500ppi.
That's a little bigger than the 6.46 inches rumored way back in August 2017 and the 6.3 inches from a leak in December 2017, but 6.5 inches makes more sense – Apple likes to deal in clean numbers, and we can't see it getting caught up in a double decimal debacle.
iPhone XS Max power and cameras
Apple will more than likely announce a new processor at its iPhone launch in September to replace the A11 Bionic in the 8, 8 Plus and X.
If that's the case, then you can fully expect the the iPhone XS Max to be sporting said processor, and if Apple keeps with its current naming regime it'll be called the A12 Bionic – which is tipped to be the case by prolific Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
A separate rumor has pointed to 4GB of RAM lining up alongside this new chipset, which would be a step up from the 3GB of RAM in the X and 8 Plus.
When it comes to details on the cameras in the iPhone XS Max, news is thin on the ground. Going by the various leaks we've seen in the design section, it appears that Apple will stick with the dual rear-facing cameras and a single selfie snapper.
There's potentially good news in the battery department, as according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo the iPhone XS Max could benefit from a power pack that's around 3,300mAh/3,400mAh – that's around 25% larger than the battery in the 8 Plus.
Of course, it will be tasked with powering a bigger display, but overall battery performance could be improved thanks to more efficient software (iOS 12) and hardware (new A12 chipset).
And there could be good news for those who often find themselves running out of juice, as Apple is rumored to be considering including a fast charger in the box.