Here’s how the new $1,100 iPhone 11 Pro Max compares to Apple’s other big phone, the iPhone XS Max

Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, announcing the new iPhones at the company's keynote on Tuesday.

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Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, announcing the new iPhones at the company’s keynote on Tuesday.
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Stephen Lam/Reuters

In its annual tradition, Apple announces new iPhones in the fall, leading people around the world to wonder whether the upgrade is worth it.

With three camera lenses and the capacity for high-quality photo and video editing, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, announced on Tuesday, seems aimed at creative professionals and those willing to pay top dollar for the latest Apple tech.

If you don’t need those updates but like being able to take amazing amateur photos, is upgrading worth the $1,099 starting price? Or should you stick with your older iPhone XS Max?

We broke down the new features Apple announced on Tuesday to help you decide whether now is the time to upgrade.

There are some significant differences between the phones, so we can help you tell them apart and decide which device fits your needs. Here’s how the iPhone 11 Pro Max compares to the iPhone XS Max.


The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a more advanced camera.

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Business Insider/Lisa Eadicicco

Despite the memes making fun of the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s triple camera, the features are nothing to laugh at:

  • The new phone comes with ultra-wide-angle, wide-angle, and telephoto camera lenses.
  • The 11 Pro Max comes with night mode and next-generation smart HDR.
  • The front-facing camera will be capable of slow-motion selfies, or “slofies.”
  • The iPhone 11 Pro Max takes 12-megapixel photos, compared with the iPhone XS Max’s 7-megapixel photos.
  • For video, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has added the ability for audio zoom and “QuickTake” video.
  • Both phones have portrait mode for perfect selfies (or for photos of your pets!).

The iPhone 11 Pro Max comes in more colors.

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Apple

The iPhone XS Max comes in three colors: silver, space gray, and gold.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max also comes in those three colors, with the addition of midnight green.


The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a U1 chip with ultra-wide-band positioning.

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Apple

The chip gives phones the ability to determine each other’s locations, like a more accurate Bluetooth.

Apple is promoting the U1 chip as an AirDrop improvement, but some were speculating ahead of the event that it was working on a Tile competitor, though that rumored feature wasn’t announced on Tuesday.

The iPhone XS Max doesn’t have a U1 chip.


The iPhone 11 Pro Max gets better battery life than the iPhone XS Max.

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Business Insider/Lisa Eadicicco

Apple says the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s battery should last five hours longer than the iPhone XS Max’s, which should last 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone X’s.

Both devices will give you great battery life, but an extra five hours has the potential to make your day a whole lot easier.

As a bonus, the iPhone 11 Pro Max will ship with an 18-watt charger for faster charging than the 5-watt chargers sold with iPhones in the past. Apple says the new charger should charge your phone up to 50% in 30 minutes.


The iPhone 11 Pro Max has better water resistance.

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Business Insider/Lisa Eadicicco

The iPhone 11 Pro Max is water-resistant in up to 4 meters of water, compared with 2 meters for the iPhone XS Max.

Both phones should survive for up to 30 minutes.


The iPhone 11 Pro Max is slightly heavier than the iPhone XS Max.

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Apple

Both phones have 6.5-inch screens, but the iPhone 11 Pro Max weighs slightly more, at 7.97 ounces – essentially half a pound – compared with 7.34 ounces for the iPhone XS Max.


The iPhone 11 Pro Max has Apple’s newest, fastest A13 Bionic chip.

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Apple

Apple calls the A13 Bionic chip the most power-efficient chip it has ever made, with a 20% power increase.

The iPhone XS Max is still a high-powered phone with the A12 chip, though it is a year old.


The iPhone 11 Pro is slightly brighter.

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Apple

The iPhone 11 Pro has 800 nits of brightness, while the iPhone XS Max tops out at 625 nits.

There are also differences in the display itself: The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a “Super Retina XDR” display, while the iPhone XS Max has a “Super Retina HD” display.


The iPhone 11 Pro Max has “Haptic Touch,” not 3D Touch.

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Screenshot

Apple says Haptic Touch on the iPhone 11 Pro will differentiate between a press and a long press, sending back small vibrations in response to a long press. This will replace 3D Touch, which Apple has quietly phased out.


Otherwise, the phones are mostly the same.

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Stephen Lam/Reuters

The iPhone 11 Pro Max and the iPhone XS Max share many features, like Face ID, True Tone display, 4K video capability, and more.

They even have the same starting price: $1,099 for 64 GB. Apple is no longer carrying the iPhone XS Max, but you can find it for the same price at Best Buy.

If you already have an iPhone XS Max, these are all pieces to consider before you switch. If you’re buying a new phone, you won’t necessarily save any money by getting the older model, so you might as well get an upgraded camera and better battery life with an iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Before you decide to upgrade, remember to check the trade-in value of your old phone.