Is the iPhone 11 Pro Max worth buying in 2021?

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alex mathos13 May 2021Last Update : 1 year ago
Is the iPhone 11 Pro Max worth buying in 2021?

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That iPhone 11 Pro Max is neither the latest nor the most powerful iPhone out there, but there are many reasons for that, despite all it’s worth considering in 2021.

If you are upgrading from an older iPhone, or if you are switching from Android, you will find that iPhone 11 Pro Max on all three major US carriers, and you can also often get great discounts when shopping in an older unit.

To refresh your mind, the iPhone 11 Pro Max was released in late 2019, and it addressed one of the biggest complaints about its predecessor, the XS Max, which had poor battery life. Apple not only included a larger battery, but also premiered new camera features like Night Mode, making the iPhone 11 Pro Max feel like one of the most rounded iPhones ever.

So … are you going to buy it in 2021?

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

+ a $ 300 gift card upon purchase

$ 899
99


Buy at Target

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

+ a $ 300 gift card upon purchase

$ 999
99


Buy at Target

Why is it worth buying iPhone 11 Pro Max?

Design and size

Apple completely reviewed what iPhones look like with the 12 Series, which now comes with flat sides and an overall styling that brings back memories of the iconic iPhone 4. While all of this looks great in photos, the reality is that with this new design, iPhone 12 Pro Max in particular, has grown even larger to gigantic proportions.
It has a thickness of 0.3 “and is both wider and taller, and although it is not much, the fact that it has flat sides makes iPhone 12 Pro Max hard to even hold comfortably in the hand. It is also not very comfortable in the pocket, and if you wear tighter clothes, it may even be impossible to tie your shoes with that phone in your pocket.
On the other hand, the iPhone 11 Pro Max stays within reasonable size limits, and its curved sides actually make it far more comfortable to hold and carry. And if it’s important to you, my personal opinion is that the iPhone 11 Pro Max has the more practical design, while the 12 Pro Max takes things to the extreme, so thta
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.06 x 0.32 inches

158 x 77.8 x 8.1 mm

Weight

7.97 oz (226 g)

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Dimensions

6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

160.84 x 78.09 x 7.39 mm

Weight

8.03 oz (228 g)

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

Dimensions

6.22 x 3.06 x 0.32 inches

158 x 77.8 x 8.1 mm

Weight

7.97 oz (226 g)

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Dimensions

6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

160.84 x 78.09 x 7.39 mm

Weight

8.03 oz (228 g)

View the full Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max in real size, or compare them with other phones using our size comparison tool.

The performance

For a few years, Apple has been leading the way in smartphone performance and with iPhone 12 Pro Max gives us another welcome speed improvement. However, this does not mean that the iPhone 11 Pro Max is slow in any noticeable way. On the contrary: in just daily use we could not see a difference between the two. iOS is a big part of it. It is an excellently optimized platform that has smooth animations and moves just as fast on the 11 Pro Max as on the 12 Pro Max.
We should note that the iPhone 12 Pro Max has 6GB of RAM versus 4GB of RAM on the 11 Pro Max, but while this is nice to have, we only noticed it on a few occasions where we had to multitask heavily.

The camera

See more + 3 pictures
The camera on the iPhone 11 Pro Max is almost identical to what you get on the newer 12 Pro Max, so you really do not miss much. As you can see in the photo gallery above, this iPhone has a great dynamic range and very pleasant, balanced colors that still look incredible even by the standards of 2021 phone photography.
If we look at a direct comparison, there are some small differences in exposure and colors.
In the image above, the newer iPhone takes a slightly better exposed photo showing more details in the shadows.
And in this next example, we see how Apple’s color science has improved, and we get more vibrant and vibrant greens and yellows for a more pleasing image in general. However, these differences are hardly anything big, and we had to struggle through a few dozen pictures to actually find these few where there are actually some noticeable differences.
See more + 2 pictures
Finally above you can see some low light photos taken on iPhone 11 Pro Max. In our opinion it works well!

Battery life

Fun fact: the newer iPhone 12 Pro Max actually has a smaller battery than the iPhone 11 Pro Max! Despite the fact that the 12 Pro Max is a larger and thicker phone, it seems that the extra components required for 5G connectivity have actually pushed Apple to include a smaller battery.
The actual battery size of the iPhone 11 Pro Max is 3,969 mAh versus 3,687 mAh on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which means you get a 7% smaller battery size of the 12 Pro Max.
With the newer and more energy efficient chip on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, it’s hard to say which of the two has the better battery life, but the iPhone 11 Pro Max is definitely out there among the very longest lasting phones we’ve used.

The price

If all of the above have convinced you of the benefits of the 11 Pro Max, the fact that it also comes at a lower price would be a good extra. The official MSRP for the iPhone 11 Pro Max is $ 1,000 versus $ 1,100 for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, a difference of $ 100.

What Can Prevent You From Buying An iPhone 11 Pro Max?

While the more reasonable size, uncompromising performance, and camera are good reasons to choose the iPhone 11 Pro Max, there are a few caveats you should know about.

The storage

The newer iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with 128 GB of storage in the base model against only 64 GB on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which is … well, not quite a lot for a “Pro” phone.
The lower storage space on the 11 model would be particularly worrying after a few months, and we sincerely recommend getting the slightly more expensive but more future-proof 256GB iPhone 11 Pro Max model. This will raise the price, but it saves you the hassle and embarrassment of not having enough space on your super expensive and supposedly modern phone.

Price and offers

Although the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a lower price of $ 100, we have seen that swap deals on the newer iPhone 12 Pro Max are more prevalent and appear more often. If you can save a few hundred dollars with a trade-in to get the iPhone 12 Pro Max at a lower price than the older 11 Pro Max … well, it’s hard to argue against that.

iOS and software updates

Although all iPhones get iOS updates for long years, that means having a newer, yet another year of software updates, so if you plan to keep your phone for more than 3 years, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the one that gets the extra years of software updates.

5G

At the time of writing, 5G is not a factor that you should consider when buying your phone. However, 5G coverage expands rapidly, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max supports 5G connectivity, while 11 Pro Max maximizes with 4G LTE, so that’s another thing to keep in mind.

Conclusion

Okay, so … are you going to buy the iPhone 11 Pro Max in 2021? We say yes, you should, especially if you’re looking for a phone of a more reasonable size than the giant 12 Pro Max.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max does not compromise on anything: performance is indistinguishable from the newer models for most tasks, the camera quality is good, and the only major problem is 64 GB of storage space, which is just not enough for a Pro phone in these days.

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