With stark horror, as I sat down to a decanter of red, that I have had iPhone 11 Pro Max in my possession for over a week now, yet I still haven’t reviewed it, let alone made a post about it. This, one must conclude, is rather poor treatment for a 130000円 device! AND Apple’s flagship! AND the very first iPhone I ever bought in cash, up front, as part of my stellar plan to escape the machinations of telephone carriers, exploring the brave new world of SIM-free smartphoning.

So, here goes!

This thing is GORGEOUS! I took my first sip of wine just then, so don’t go casting aspersions pertaining to inebriation. Typical Apple quality assurance has yet again resulted in something only iFixit would complain it isn’t easier to repair. From the tapioca camera lens configuration to the perfectly matched rear glass-side steel-front glass construction, to the perfectly matched side buttons and Haptic Feedback, everything about this device exudes refined quality.

For the price of a MacBook Pro, it ought.

Coming from an iPhone 8, my continuous reaction through the first week was ‘IT’S SO BIG!!’ And while I still feel this, my large hands are adapting. The best thing about the largest screen isn’t that there are fewer typing errors – iPh8 is simply too small for my beautifully large and manly hands – but the gaming experience is excellent.

From the Walled Garden of Perfected Apps to the iOS to the Metal to the A13 to the 458ppi display to the impressive battery life and management, I am taken aback with every raise to FaceID to non-lag gaming experience!

The first few iOS13 versions had a few glitches, such as random screens not popping up, but nothing that stopped the phone performing as the ultimate pocket computer. As of 13.1.2, I haven’t noticed anything awry, and Dark Mode is my preferred style – something my iPads also rock.

Unlike ridiculous reviews such as at Appleinsider, which gives the iMax a 4.5 out of 5 rating – where would the extra 0.5 come from?? – I can find nothing out of sorts with this product. At all. This phablet covers all the bases, and when I make an off-hand comparison to anything else of this size, I cannot ignore Apple’s lead in security, privacy, support, services, updates, quality, resale, app quality and quantity, future-proofing, water proofing, ecosystem support and integration, accessory options, and desirability.

This is more like a 7 out of 5, right??

It seems to me a contractual obligation, or simple mental deficiency, where almost every single article, review or commentary on any and every Apple product contains some barb, negative slight, or ought right vehemence. The Verge, Wall Street Journal, and the NY Times are prime sources of idiocy, but certainly not the only sources of such.

Even my all-time favourite Apple commenters – Daniel Eran Dilger, and The Macalope – occasionally make some anti-Apple platitude, perhaps with the need to maintain ‘objectivity’ for the obstinately obtuse. Yet I read a review today of an Android somethingorother and despite the design cues and software GUI all based on iPhone X/iPad, Apple was not mentioned once. It seems the rule of thumb is, if one likes non-Apple something, NEVER mention Apple in a positively themed piece, or psychopathically deride anything that comes to mind in even the most bizarre and lateral thinking connection to Apple for a negatively theme.

Back to my iMax.

Raise or tap to activate the most secure and easy-to-use system on the planet, the swipe up to see all your fav apps fly down onto the Home Screen. And what do you want to do? Games of more varieties than you can imagine, the safest and most secure email or messaging? Read books or listen to music, or listen to books and read music from whatever source you prefer? Every app you have personally chosen and love using – chose what you need! And flawless, safe, secure and private Internet. What’s your function, prosumer compunction?

In it’s attempt to yet again copy-paste iOS, Alphabet has tripped over its own feet yet again. The failures of 64bit, FDE in both hardware or software, secure app signing and on-screen controls, not to mention the JavaVM copy-paste-then-vaguely-alter disaster, Android is what Windows is: an unoptimised mess of conflicting usage scenarios with a hideously UGLY design. I wish them well. If you’re interested, I recommend Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system which has just been overhauled in design to copy-paste iPad. Looks and works beautifully!

So, I’m not sure what else to write about iMax. With iPad vs Mac, there is a lot of material to cover – one represents the 1980’s, the other represents the 2010’s. They are two distinct ways of approaching ‘computing’, and both are evolving and supporting each other.

But the iPhone? It has no sibling – as the iPad and Mac have become. iPhone stands alone in being blatantly copied and derided, and has no peer. Apple has refined its user experience to the point where its new developments, such as FaceID-based devices have Apple-created ‘obvious’ user interaction behaviours.

That means that one gesture = one response, system-wide. My gripes with this approach is that there are a range of choices now attached to some gestures, such as Long Press. I prefer basic simplicity – I don’t want any one action to result in a series of obscure choices – it’s too much like Android or Windows. Simplicity: yes, please.

The choice remains for me between screen sizes: iMax if one wishes to have the best movie/gaming/view finder experience, and this will be a huge consideration as AR is advanced further by the only company on the planet capable of doing so, and one-handed usability – iPhone’s raIson d’etre.

The iPhone 11 Pro has the same cameras, screen, SoC and quality as Pro Max, just in a smaller case. Personal taste dictates the choice between these two. iPhone 11 or 8 are the choice between TouchID and FaceID and their lower prices. But if lower prices are the only deciding factor, then I strongly and happily recommend any second-hand iPhone with a scratch or two! You can get anything you want very economically. Apple isn’t the reserve of high prices – Huawei and Samsung are the Lords of Pricy in that area by a factor of two.

For me, iMax is too big but the trade offs are the gaming, typing and snob-value – which is also its amazingly high resale value. I invested in the biggest so I no longer needed to carry both an iPh8 AND an iPad mini. To be honest, I have had buyer’s remorse with iMax, as the iPad mini is my most-loved and most-preferred Apple device by a very long way.


I wanted to streamline and simplify my devices in accordance with 断捨離, aka Japanese minimalism, and try to recreate my immediate love and delight with iPhone 4. I have only succeeded in part.

While the iPh8-Mini4 combo covered all the bases, iMax covers most bases. When I have need to type long-winded articles such as this, I need either Mini or something larger – the iMax is simply not big enough to facilitate two handed typing such as the Mini can and does. Thusly, I must resort to carting about my three year old iPad Pro 9.7 with not-quite-satisfying Apple Smart(ish) Keyboard.

It seems I have up-sized: iPh8 to iMax, and Mini to i9.7 Pro. I’m now carrying about two devices, which are significantly larger, but less often. I pride myself on only arriving with iMax which functions adequately for all but when I need to do a lot of typing.

Regrets? Small. I love driving and driving games, and iMax delivers a vastly better experience than iPad in that. I can also get basic typing done with iMax, such as with Pages, Numbers and Mail, which was impossible with the ‘tiny’ screen on iPh8.

The cameras on iMax have also provably leapt far past what either 8 or Mini provided. I LOVE this camera system!!

And like I said, I enjoy the snob value and its source: touching, lifting, and using this thing of quality a multitude of times every day, and each and every time, it connects with my satisfaction.

And that’s the bottom line.