iPhone 15 Pro Max: Apple’s best big iPhone ever to finally get small phone users to switch?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
iPhone 15 Pro Max: Apple’s best big iPhone ever to finally get small phone users to switch?

I’ve been extremely vocal about my dislike for large phones, and (rest assured), my stance hasn’t changed all that much. As an iPhone 13 mini user, I find phones like the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Galaxy S23 Ultrareally nice to look at but extremely uncomfortable to pocket or hold in one hand, which is something I value highly (especially when I’m on the go).

Speaking of the iPhone in particular, I could even say I see the iPhone 14 Pro’s smaller 6.1-inch display as a real selling point over the massive 6.7-inch screen of the iPhone 14 Pro Max. In fact, I’ve never owned a “Max” iPhone, and I thought I never will but Apple (being Apple) might be about to change my mind, or even force me to try the biggest iPhone.

This year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max promises to be the biggest but also the best phone in Apple’s lineup in several different ways, and while I’m not a fan of Apple’s strategy of differentiating larger and smaller iPhones, I actually think many (or even most) people might be better of buying the larger iPhone 15 model this year, especially as far as the Pro lineup is concerned.

Let's see why...

iPhone 15 Pro Max: (Still) the 2023 iPhone to buy if you use your phone a lot and like watching videos and movies

First things first, there are several advantages of going with the larger Pro iPhone over the smaller model that simply come with the design.

For example, as someone who’s been using a large phone like the Galaxy S23 Ultra for some time now, I hate to admit that my iPhone 13 mini’s tiny 5.4-inch screen doesn’t hold a candle to the 6.8-inch behemoth of a display on the Galaxy. Then again, despite that, I much prefer consuming media on my laptop/TV, which is why the amazing YouTube viewing experience wasn't enough to get me to switch to a larger phone full-time.

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Of course, the other (obvious) advantage of the iPhone 15 Pro Max over the iPhone 15 Pro will be the extra battery life you’ll get with the Max model. It’s difficult to say how big the difference in endurance between the 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhones will be this year but based on the iPhone 14 Pro series, we’re looking at 20-30% more juice depending on your usage.

But that’s not the whole story. Apple is also gearing up to unveil the first-ever 3nm SoC (A17 Bionic) used in a phone, which means this year’s iPhone 15 Pro series should (potentially and hopefully) become even more power efficient. In other words, heavy users should see a massive upgrade in the face of iPhone 15 Pro Max if they are coming from a smaller iPhone.

iPhone 15 Pro Max: The smallest big iPhone ever will be more ergonomic and noticeably easier to hold compared to iPhone 14 Pro Max; it should be the lightest Pro Max model in a while

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Luckily, the larger display and larger battery isn’t where the changes with iPhone 15 Pro Max end, as Apple is finally doing something to make the huge Pro Max iPhone feel a little bit more manageable! At last.

In case you didn’t know, after three years of super-flat large iPhones, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is getting curvier. Unfortunately, not quite as curvy as my Pixel 7 Pro, for example, but curvy enough to make holding it easier compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which you can constantly feel digging into the palm of your hand due to the sharp edges.

The other reason iPhone 15 Pro Max will feel like the smallest big iPhone in a while is the fact that the bezels around the screen of the Pro models will be shrunk significantly this time, setting the record for thinnest display borders all around. So, you’d be getting the same 6.7-inch display in a smaller (and more ergonomic) footprint.

The cherry on top is that the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s frame is said to be made out of titanium, which should make the Max model noticeably lighter compared to prior Pro Max models. It’s hard to estimate by how much but my personal wish is for at least 20g, which would make iPhone 15 Pro Max 220g as opposed to 240g (iPhone 14 Pro Max).

Unlike the smaller iPhone 15 Pro, new iPhone 15 Pro Max zoom camera will finally let you spy on people like a Galaxy S23 Ultra… Yey?!

And finally, this is the biggest and most controversial difference between the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max and the smaller iPhone 15 Pro model. As per numerous reports, iPhone 15 Pro Max is getting a periscope zoom camera (allegedly 5-6x optical zoom), which won’t be present on the smaller model - this one's said to stick to the same 3x zoom lens like the one in iPhone 14 Pro/Max.

I’ve spoken about the benefits of long-range zoom cameras on phones before, and I maintain my opinion that they can be incredibly useful and fun to use - even more so than an ultra-wide camera. The great thing about the periscope zoom lens on iPhone 15 Pro Max is that this one is likely to also let you perform a sensor-crop zoom, which could essentially turn the 5/6x optical zoom camera into another, fourth lens, able to zoom to 10/12x with optical quality! This should also be available in video mode (currently, only iPhone can do sensor-crop zoom in video).

That aside, the reason I say this particular iPhone 15 Pro Max selling point is a bit controversial is because it’s the only one that feels like an attempt to “force” users to buy the larger Pro model over the smaller one, which I’m not a big fan of.

Smaller iPhone 15 Pro Max could convert millions of iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 users but it’s unlikely to appeal to iPhone mini users: I'm out, Apple!

In the end, as a small phone user, I feel like the most important question to answer is whether I feel tempted enough to switch to a larger and heavier iPhone 15 Pro Max model thanks to all design improvements expected this year, and the answer is... I don't think so.

I’ve spent enough time with phones like the iPhone 14 Pro, Pixel 7 Pro, and Galaxy S23 Ultra to discover that pocketabilityandone-hand use are top priorities for me. But that’s not a surprise, considering I’m coming from an iPhone 13 mini. The logical jump for someone like me would be the iPhone 15 Pro, which just like its bigger brother is getting the same thinner bezels, curved frame, and titanium build - changes that should make it feel even smaller and lighter than the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro.

On the other hand, the upgrade to an iPhone 15 Pro Max is for those with 5.8 or 6.1-inch iPhones who thought devices like the iPhone 13 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro Max were too uncomfortable to hold due to their flat design, and too heavy due to their stainless steel frame. The cherry on top (if you decide to upgrade) is the periscope zoom camera, which only the Pro Max model would be getting this year.

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