• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • The Politics forum has been nuked. Please do not bring political discussion to the rest of the site, or you will be removed. Thanks.

News Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max Tops Consumer Reports' Smartphone Ratings

CyberPanda

Banned
Mar 4, 2019
10,755
17,135
1,190
There’s a new phone atop Consumer Reports’ ratings.

Actually, make that two.

While Apple didn’t introduce huge design changes in the iPhone 11 Pro Max and 11 Pro (which start at $1,100 and $1,000, respectively), it did make some key improvements that helped lift the phones into the top two spots. And that’s despite a tightly packed field of competitors. Just six points separate our first- and 10th-ranked phones.

In recent years Apple’s iPhones have been consistently edged out by Samsung’s. So what has changed this time around?
For one thing, the battery life is much better. The iPhone 11 Pro Max lasted a more-than-impressive 40.5 hours in our testing. That’s the longest stretch of any phone currently listed in our ratings. And it marks a big turnaround for Apple. Just a few years ago, iPhones tended to lag behind the competition in this area.


Apple has consistently set high standards for smartphone cameras, and those on the new iPhones have outperformed their predecessors. The company has also added a camera with an ultrawide lens to all three of its new phones, a feature already available on this year’s Galaxy phones.
If you like the new iPhones but can’t stomach paying a grand or more, you might be happy with the $700 iPhone 11. It also did exceptionally well in our testing, landing in our top 10. The model is missing just a few features found on its pricier siblings. And that might not be a big deal to you.
Here’s a closer look at how the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max did in our testing. Consumer Reports members looking for more detailed results can check out our full smartphone ratings.

Best Battery Life

It’s a lot easier than it used to be for iPhone users to get through the day on a single charge. In recent years Apple has steadily increased its phones’ staying power. The company attributes these improvements, in part, to energy-efficiency advances programmed into its processors.

To find out how long a phone’s battery can go, Consumer Reports uses a robotic finger programmed to put the phone through a range of tasks designed to simulate a consumer’s average day. The robot browses the internet, takes pictures, uses GPS navigation, and, of course, makes phone calls. Your battery life will vary depending on how you use the phone. The important thing is that Consumer Reports’ tests are standardized by meticulous, persnickety engineers, so you can compare the results for the dozens of phone models in our ratings. The 11 Pro Max’s 40.5-hour stretch amounts to an impressive 11-hour increase over the 29.5-hour total of last year’s iPhone XS Max. The 11 Pro went 34 hours on a single charge, up from the 27.5 hours of the iPhone XS.

As for the new iPhone 11, it lasted a respectable 28 hours, up about 30 minutes from the iPhone XR’s 27.5-hour run.
On a related note, Apple has finally made some needed improvements to its charging technology. The company now includes an 18-watt charger with the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. That helps your battery reach 100 percent more quickly. But you miss out on the faster charger if you opt for the cheaper iPhone 11. It comes with the traditional 5-watt charger. If you’d rather use the 18-watt option with that phone, you have to buy the charger separately.

Better Cameras

The iPhone Pros’ new rear three-camera setup looks like the top of an electric razor or Mickey Mouse, depending on your way of thinking. But the bottom line is that the new circle on the back is a third camera with an ultrawide lens. Some people will find it very useful, while other folks may not care much. One thing the camera does from a competitive standpoint is to erase a glaring difference between the iPhone’s cameras and those of Samsung’s most recent top-tier phones. The Galaxy S10, S10e, S10+, and S10 5G (which came out in spring 2019), along with the Note10 and Note10+ (which launched in August), feature ultrawide cameras.
So the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max now have a total of three rear cameras—wide, ultrawide, and 2X—while the iPhone 11 has just a wide and an ultrawide.


Our testers say the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max notched some of the highest scores in our ratings for still-image quality. The iPhone 11 also earned a Very Good score in this category. And all three phones received an Excellent rating for rear-video quality.
Other new camera features include a Night Mode, which helps you take photos in low-light settings and is similar to a feature previously rolled out on Google’s Pixel phones. There’s also a slow-motion selfie, or Slofie, mode. Our testers tried out both features and found that they work pretty well.

Other Improvements

Apple says the iPhone 11 Pros are its most durable models ever, with a greater degree of water resistance and tougher glass.
All three phones passed our water-resistance tests, but the 11 Pro didn’t survive a ride in our admittedly tough tumbler.
The tumbler is a rotating chamber that repeatedly drops a phone from a height of about 2.5 feet. The phone is checked for damage after 50 drops and then again after 100. The goal is to expose it to impacts from a wide variety of angles.

In the case of the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro Max, the phones we tested made it through all 100 drops with just minor scratches. But when we checked the iPhone 11 Pro after 50 drops, we found that its display was broken and not working. A second sample also broke. (Yes, Consumer Reports buys all our test samples at retail. Yes, phone testing is expensive.). That said, if you buy any of these three phones, snapping on an inexpensive case is always a good idea. Even the best phones can break, and getting them fixed can be expensive.


The new phones also scored points for their faster processors. Our testers found the A13 Bionic chip included in all three phones to be significantly faster than the chips used in last year’s iPhones and in the highest-end Android models. But you might not notice a difference. Apple’s previous chip also was very fast. Unless you’re doing processor-heavy activities, such as gaming or editing 4K video, you might not be able to see the speed increase in action.

When we placed an iPhone 11 Pro and last year’s iPhone XS side by side and played four popular games on them, we noticed only marginal differences.
Our testers also evaluated the phones’ displays and found them to be exceptionally bright, though not visibly sharper than those of last year’s. And an evaluation of the sound kicked out by the speakers showed that while they’re louder than before, you’re still better off connecting to headphones or even the most basic wireless speaker.

Buy or Wait?

So taking all of that into account, are these phones worth buying?

If you already own an iPhone XS, XS Max, or even an XR, you can probably save your money and wait. Huge jumps in battery life and new cameras aside, there just might not be enough in the way of new features to justify spending $1,000 or more on a whole new phone.

If you are ready for an upgrade, though, these phones are high-performing, sleek machines. And if you want to save some scratch, don’t forget the $700 iPhone 11. Opt for one of those and you miss out on an OLED display, a 2X rear camera, and a superfast charger, along with a crazy long battery life. But not everyone needs those frills. Also, we can’t emphasize enough how tight the scoring is at the top of our smartphone ratings. In some categories, just fractions of a point separate the top models.

Meanwhile, don’t forget 5G is coming. iPhones compatible with these superfast networks are widely expected to launch next year. Some people might want to wait and futureproof their next phone purchase. Be warned, though: If Apple follows the example of Samsung, which started selling 5G phones this year, those iPhones will be some of the priciest on the market.



 
Last edited:

God Enel

Member
Mar 26, 2011
2,760
3,075
1,180
I bought a xs max on release and it’s the best phone I ever had. Absolutely great device and I’m happy that apple improved it even more.

That battery improvements from xs to 11pro are incredible. I’m kinda jealous but as the article says it’s not really worth investing into the new one. Gonna wait at least one more year until I buy the next one probably even more. (Upgraded from iPhone 6 to xs max)

Edit: and by the way thank you for posting the apple news. I really appreciate it. :)
 
Last edited:

CyberPanda

Banned
Mar 4, 2019
10,755
17,135
1,190
I bought a xs max on release and it’s the best phone I ever had. Absolutely great device and I’m happy that apple improved it even more.

That battery improvements from xs to 11pro are incredible. I’m kinda jealous but as the article says it’s not really worth investing into the new one. Gonna wait at least one more year until I buy the next one probably even more. (Upgraded from iPhone 6 to xs max)

Edit: and by the way thank you for posting the apple news. I really appreciate it. :)
No problem.
 

HoodWinked

Member
Jun 30, 2010
6,725
2,198
1,070
Earth
jerryrigeverything is pretty critical of apple and even this year's phone he was pretty positive about many aspects of the phone.

use of recycled rare earth elements, premium materials, durability, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CyberPanda

rofif

Member
Sep 13, 2019
7,305
10,126
660
Is this a good topic to ask for a phone recommendation? I am still on lg g6 and been looking around for something new around 500usd.
S10e/s10/7t look interesting but even s10e is more expensive than what I've paid for g6 over 2 years ago. The 7t is a bit huge, the camera bump is crazy, pictures not the best, no headphones jack and I've already seen the back cracking in few yt videos.
Looking for dual speakers, mandatory wide angle camera (love it on g6) and I have no idea what else :p
 

greyshark

Member
Feb 15, 2011
2,236
1,304
1,030
St. Louis
Is this a good topic to ask for a phone recommendation? I am still on lg g6 and been looking around for something new around 500usd.
S10e/s10/7t look interesting but even s10e is more expensive than what I've paid for g6 over 2 years ago. The 7t is a bit huge, the camera bump is crazy, pictures not the best, no headphones jack and I've already seen the back cracking in few yt videos.
Looking for dual speakers, mandatory wide angle camera (love it on g6) and I have no idea what else :p

Sounds like you want to go Android - is iOS an option for you? What would you say is your ideal screen size?
 

rofif

Member
Sep 13, 2019
7,305
10,126
660
Sounds like you want to go Android - is iOS an option for you? What would you say is your ideal screen size?
The screen size of 6.5 this year seems a bit huge to me even though I am a tall guy.
Iphone 11 seems nice too but it's more expensive than any of those above and has most features cut. I am kinda leaning for samsung but there seems to be many good phones from chineese brands too
 

womfalcs3

Banned
May 11, 2007
6,328
1,664
1,550
Is this a good topic to ask for a phone recommendation? I am still on lg g6 and been looking around for something new around 500usd.
S10e/s10/7t look interesting but even s10e is more expensive than what I've paid for g6 over 2 years ago. The 7t is a bit huge, the camera bump is crazy, pictures not the best, no headphones jack and I've already seen the back cracking in few yt videos.
Looking for dual speakers, mandatory wide angle camera (love it on g6) and I have no idea what else :p

You perfectly described my situation! I have a G6 that I bought over 2 years ago for $400 (on sale). Now, I'm interested in the S10e, but its price right now is too high for my taste.

Waiting for Black Friday sales.
 
Last edited:

Mista K

Member
Oct 5, 2010
4,370
4,559
1,350
U.S.
Just wait for a future update to break battery life though. That’s what happened when my 6S went from ios 10 to 11. Went from one charge a day to two. I think I will wait until next year to upgrade.
 

longdi

Banned
Jun 7, 2004
8,933
6,710
1,890
11PM is really impressive. When you see the shit Google and Samsung are trying to charge you for, Apple seems bloody value.

I mean there are morons paying for Samsung fold. Moron being regular salarymen.

Buy Aapl stocks asap, expect a 10% upside in a few weeks of holding time. Eazy money
 

Mista K

Member
Oct 5, 2010
4,370
4,559
1,350
U.S.
Go Chinese.

Xiomai and huewai are much better value for money than Samsung and Apple.
I wouldn’t go anything chinese if I can help it. I got a xiaomi Bluetooth “smart” speaker worth $200 for free, and I threw that damn thing in the trash
 
Last edited:

Mista K

Member
Oct 5, 2010
4,370
4,559
1,350
U.S.
Cool story bro,

Me thinks the lady doth protest too much
Well I do have the unfortunate and extensive experience with chinese products. Call it what you want. Either way, if a company puts out reliable stuff, they’ll get my money. That hasn’t been the case with xiaomi. Huawei is “decent” but I can’t say for sure yet
 
Last edited:

Blade2.0

Member
Dec 3, 2018
1,855
2,012
475
Is this a good topic to ask for a phone recommendation? I am still on lg g6 and been looking around for something new around 500usd.
S10e/s10/7t look interesting but even s10e is more expensive than what I've paid for g6 over 2 years ago. The 7t is a bit huge, the camera bump is crazy, pictures not the best, no headphones jack and I've already seen the back cracking in few yt videos.
Looking for dual speakers, mandatory wide angle camera (love it on g6) and I have no idea what else :p
LG phones used prices drop like rocks. Saw a used G8 about two months ago on swappa.com for 180$. I was going to buy that one, but it got bought before I did it. So, if you don't mind a used LG you can get their top of the line for very cheap the year it releases if you wait a bit .

Edit: wanted to check and yep. Fell like rocks. G7 for about 100usd. G8 for about 280. But one recently sold for 225. V40 for around 200$.

 
Last edited:

rofif

Member
Sep 13, 2019
7,305
10,126
660
LG phones used prices drop like rocks. Saw a used G8 about two months ago on swappa.com for 180$. I was going to buy that one, but it got bought before I did it. So, if you don't mind a used LG you can get their top of the line for very cheap the year it releases if you wait a bit .

Edit: wanted to check and yep. Fell like rocks. G7 for about 100usd. G8 for about 280. But one recently sold for 225. V40 for around 200$.
Yeah I see that too but these don't offer anything new compared to my lg g6 really. Think I will hold up...
 

crowbrow

Banned
Feb 28, 2019
2,927
3,106
570
Never understood spending 1000 Dollars on a phone. Happy here with my Moto G5 lol
 

sonomamashine

Member
Jun 29, 2019
3,256
6,030
740
Against the assault of laughter
Is this a good topic to ask for a phone recommendation? I am still on lg g6 and been looking around for something new around 500usd.
S10e/s10/7t look interesting but even s10e is more expensive than what I've paid for g6 over 2 years ago. The 7t is a bit huge, the camera bump is crazy, pictures not the best, no headphones jack and I've already seen the back cracking in few yt videos.
Looking for dual speakers, mandatory wide angle camera (love it on g6) and I have no idea what else :p
You perfectly described my situation! I have a G6 that I bought over 2 years ago for $400 (on sale). Now, I'm interested in the S10e, but its price right now is too high for my taste.

Waiting for Black Friday sales.
You guys should check Xiaomi Mi 9 GREAT value for a good price :
128Gb, 6Gb Ram, Super Amoled screen, Snapdragon 855 etc... under -400$ or Xiaomi K20 Pro check those out very good phones for a good price.
11PM is really impressive.
What ? lol just kidding, yeah the Iphone 11 is a good phone but i don't know about the value.
Go Chinese.

Xiomai and huewai are much better value for money than Samsung and Apple.
I don't recommend HUAWEI they got that GOOGLE ban, you can't use Google apps on it.
Well I do have the unfortunate and extensive experience with chinese products. Call it what you want. Either way, if a company puts out reliable stuff, they’ll get my money. That hasn’t been the case with xiaomi. Huawei is “decent” but I can’t say for sure yet
Dude everything is chinese, even Apple 🤷‍♂️.
 
  • Like
Reactions: crowbrow

thief183

Member
Aug 23, 2018
1,103
905
440
Italy
The Iphone11 this time is a good phone, very good.... but damn it is ugly... the shit I'm taking looks more appealing... still finally apple made a phone I'm interested in.
 

VGEsoterica

Member
Oct 5, 2019
1,533
2,476
555
I need a new phone. My X battery is just not cool anymore without being charged mid day. I will probably just replace the battery myself at some point and sell it for a new iPhone.
 

n0razi

Member
Nov 8, 2011
4,978
864
900
Never understood spending 1000 Dollars on a phone. Happy here with my Moto G5 lol


Its not really a phone any more.... I think i've used the "phone" feature on mine maybe 3 times last year. Its replaced a computer and TV for many people
 
Last edited:

UltimaKilo

Member
May 17, 2006
5,421
720
1,675
Florida
They’re great products, to be sure and a great time to invest in. Phones have matured and there’s only so much more you can do with them.

5G won’t be fully deployed for a couple of years yet, so I would tell people not to worry about what comes out next year and pick one of these up if their phone is older than a 7.
 

highrider

Member
Dec 18, 2010
11,857
7,123
1,175
54
washington d.c.
Finally upgraded from my 7 plus, went with the 256 midnight green. This thing is sweet. The display is the improvement I wanted the most.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: CyberPanda