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Is it just me or is iPhone 15 Pro Max actually working fine?

At times I feel as if I am standing alone looking in…

iPhone 15 Pro Max - a winner in every way

I’ve been using my iPhone 15 Pro Max now for a little over a week and I have barely a bad word to say about it.

The odd thing is though, it feels as if it’s me alone that has had zero problems. Looking at Twitter (X) and forums many users seem to have been beset with issues.

I was always taught to speak as I find – so if you are still debating about whether or not to treat yourself to this year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max, read on.

The set-up

That was the first thing that struck me this year when setting up the 15 Pro Max – it was so simple. I commented on that fact last week on my Minus Sixteen podcast.

OK – it’s fair to say that after all these years Apple should have the technique down to a fine art, but somehow this year it was even more slick than before. It started a couple of days before with a reminder to back your phone up ahead of the iPhone 15 Pro Max arriving, but the actual transfer was quick – I mean really quick!

And here is the first point to make – the 15 Pro Max didn’t get hot. It got ever so slightly warm but that was it. If I think back to the Google Pixel 7 Pro that I tested earlier this year there was no comparison. That thing got so hot that I thought I was causing it damage! The 15 Pro Max on the other hand installed all my apps and did an OS update without barely breaking a sweat and all on the original, out-of-the-box charge.

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been an issue with overheating though. Over the weekend Apple admitted that certain third-party apps such as Instagram & Uber, had overloaded the system and caused some heat issues and a fix will be sent out very quickly to sort it.

All I can tell you though is that I have had none of these problems – so maybe I was just very lucky.

If you are interested, Apple’s statement covering the problems was:

We have identified a few conditions which can cause iPhone to run warmer than expected. The device may feel warmer during the first few days after setting up or restoring the device because of increased background activity. We have also found a bug in iOS 17 that is impacting some users and will be addressed in a software update. Another issue involves some recent updates to third-party apps that are causing them to overload the system. We’re working with these app developers on fixes that are in the process of rolling out.

Battery

Over the weekend I had the chance to put the battery on my iPhone 15 Pro Max to a real test.

I had a three-hour journey to make in the car – that meant I’d be using Apple Maps, Apple Music and Apple Podcasts for the duration of that trip. As you can tell from the image below, I left home at 8a.m on Friday with a 100% charge. Without any charging up and after the drive and a day of general use I was still at 42%. By 11.30 p.m. the iPhone 15 Pro Max was holding a 39% charge and even by 8.25 a.m. the next morning it still had a 15% charge left.

I’d say that is a pretty solid result and by far the best iPhone battery life I have ever come across.

Initially, I had set the battery to only charge to 80% to maintain battery life, but as I am unlikely to hold on to the 15 Pro Max for more than a year, I now have it set to optimised charging instead. I’d rather leave home with 100% and give myself some extra headroom.

PSA – don’t forget if you are getting an iPhone 15 this year, make sure to update the cables in your car. Don’t get caught out on a long road trip – get that USB-C cable in the glove box now!

Comfort

As I mentioned, I had a full day of using the iPhone 15 Pro Max on Friday. Not only in the car but a day of carry and use as well.

Two things that shone through for me on my day with the iPhone 15 Pro Max – and don’t forget, this is the big iPhone – and they were the weight and comfort of the phone.

Although the titanium may affect the heating issues as it is not as efficient at conducting heat as last year’s stainless steel frame, the weight it saves makes a massive difference when you are holding or carrying the phone for an entire day.

As you’ll probably know by now, my days are generally spent in the studio or at a desk, so my day away with an overnight stay was very timely. It gave me a chance to not only put the battery to the test but also to see what it was like to use it for an entire day.

Those bevelled edges and the lighter weight both go towards the phone being so user-friendly. No harsh edges cutting into your hands and when you have the phone in your pocket you just forget it’s there.

Apple has got an awful lot right with this year’s iPhone 15.

Hopefully, you’re enjoying this story  -  if you wanted to say ‘thank you’, the best way is simply to clap, highlight and get involved in the comments. And my promise to you…If you get in touch I will answer! So clap, highlight and comment away…

The Action Button

I didn’t use it enough – and that was my fault. I was getting more into the habit of it by the end of the day though.

I’ve played with a few settings, but have left it mapped to the camera for the time being. It does launch the camera faster than the icon on the Lock Screen – although for some reason there is this tendency to want to double-press it (of course that could just be me though).

I’m still not certain about its position – in an ideal world I guess it should be a little lower down – just underneath the ‘down’ volume button would be perfect. But as there is already talk of haptic buttons coming next year, possibly Apple will listen to the feedback and move it on iPhone 16 – geez, did I really just talk about next year’s iPhone?

Cameras

I don’t use the zoom lens all that often but on the times I’ve tried it, the 120mm 5x lens offers some pretty decent results.

For me though, it’s more about the main camera and as you can see from a couple of images below Apple has got their cameras nailed this year.

Overall thoughts

I’m not into benchmarks and figures – for me, it’s more to do with the real-life experience.

If you are thinking seriously about buying the iPhone 15 I think that is what you’ll be more interested in as well. I feel even better placed now to tell you that this iPhone 15 Pro Max is a winner.

I am not in a position to say if the battery life extends to the 15 & 15 Plus, but the Pro Max seems to be making good use of that new A17 Pro chip and the larger physical 4,422 mAh battery as well. That extra size has been put to good use.

And the best part is that this year you are not being penalised for the size by its weight. It seems to be a case of having your cake and eating it.

So yes, while Apple has put their hands up and admitted there may, for some, be an overheating issue, a fix for that is already on its way. If you are in the Apple ecosystem, and your current iPhone needs to be replaced, you’ll honestly love what the 15 Pro Max has to offer.

A week in and I am delighted with it. I will be getting the Google Pixel 8 Pro to test, but I tell you what, it’s going to have its work cut out keeping up with this beauty.

I’d love to know your experiences though – let me know how your first week with the iPhone 15 Pro Max has gone – prove I am not alone in thinking it’s a winner.

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