5 things the iPhone 15 Pro Max needs to fix before I buy it

Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

I’ve been using the big top-end iPhone for two years now. I switched to the iPhone 13 Pro Max because of the amazing battery life – which inspired my article on Favorite Phone of 2022. I tried going back to the non-Max iPhone 14 Pro but couldn’t last long due to the weak battery life. Since then I’ve switched to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Having used the Pro Max iPhones for over 18 months, I think the next big Pro iPhone – the iPhone 15 Pro Max – needs to get even better to earn the Best Phone of the Year award again.

The design requires a lot of work. Flat edges make the iPhone 14 Pro Max uncomfortable to hold. Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Apple moved to a flat-edge design with the iPhone 12 series, and since then, iPhones have been the most uncomfortable devices to hold. The flat edges are fine for the 6.1-inch iPhones, but on a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, they make for the opposite of an ergonomic design — especially considering the width.

I like using my phones without a case, but I had to put a case on the iPhone 14 Pro Max because of the sharp edges. While the case doesn’t feel comfortable either, at least I don’t get a print on my pinky every time I use the phone.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max barely fits in my large hands and my wrist hurts when using the phone for a long period of time. Big phones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, the Vivo

I hope Apple goes back to curved sides or at least introduces a little curvature at the back edges to make the iPhone 15 Pro Max comfortable to hold. I can hardly stand this design language, especially when every other phone feels better in the hand. The company also needs to work on reducing the phone’s weight somewhat. Since foldable devices weigh less than 250 grams, the 240 gram iPhone 14 Pro Max seems unnecessarily heavy.

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A 10x zoom periscope lens Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

It’s a Pro iPhone from Apple, so give it the best possible camera system. The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 3x optical zoom looks dated, especially when compared to the camera systems on the best Android phones. Samsung flagships have had a 10x optical zoom for two years! It might seem like just another number on paper, but when you start using it, it starts to make sense.

I was traveling with the Galaxy S23 Ultra to cover Mobile World Congress in Spain and the 10x zoom was my most used camera feature. It came in handy for capturing sharp, wallpaper-worthy images at the beach. The 10x zoom opens up new perspectives you didn’t even know existed.

It might feel like a niche feature, but that’s only because not many people have access to it. If Apple decides to offer 10x optical zoom, I think we’ll see a flood of zoomed-in images on the web.

More useful iOS 17 features (and fewer bugs) Multitasking with split screen Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

One of my biggest annoyances with the iPhone 14 Pro Max was its software, as iOS 16 is full of random bugs that hamper my day-to-day experience with my phone. Sometimes search doesn’t show any text, apps like Twitter won’t load, you remove apps from a folder with one app remaining and the folder remains instead of being turned into a single app icon… the list goes on.

Things have improved over the past few months, but I still run into bugs every now and then. This was not the case with iOS 15 on the iPhone 13 Pro Max. I’m hoping Apple is working to release a bug-free iOS 17 this September because things aren’t going too well at the moment.

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My other gripe with iOS is that it’s not well optimized for the 6.7-inch screen of the Pro Max variants. The main downside is that you can’t have two apps open at the same time – something I’m used to on my Android flagship phones.

When I’m researching a topic, sometimes I want Google Keep at the top of the screen and Chrome on the bottom half. Sometimes I watch a YouTube video while scrolling Twitter. The Pro Max iPhones have big screens but no extra features; It’s just an enlarged version of iOS from 6.1-inch iPhones. I would really like to see some exclusive features with iOS 17 for the big screen iPhones.

Better Battery Life Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Worse, iOS 16 ruined the best part of my iPhone. The iPhone 13 Pro Max had the best battery life of any large-screen iPhone. It ran on iOS 15 and that worked fine with the hardware. But that wasn’t the case with my iPhone 14 Pro Max, and that’s probably due to iOS 16.

I’ve noticed extreme battery drain in apps that use location services. So if you’re commuting and using Uber or Google Maps, the battery will drain significantly within 30 minutes of use, which wasn’t the case before.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is still an all-day phone for moderate users, but if you’re a power user it will finish you off before you get home. I hope things improve with the iPhone 15 Pro Max and I have high hopes as Apple has done so with the iPhone 13 Pro Max in the past.

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Improved camera algorithms. Blown out background from the sun. Blown out background from the sun

Apple’s iPhones are notorious for blocking out the lights in the sky when clicking on photos of people in broad daylight. This has been an ongoing problem since previous generations and I’m surprised it hasn’t been fixed yet.

Almost every other Android phone from Samsung, Vivo and Oppo handles the sky better. This applies to the entire camera system, whether you’re using the selfie shooter or the rear cameras.

Apple’s current camera algorithms are ruining the iPhone’s camera, and that needs to be fixed with the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

I have high hopes for the iPhone 15 Pro Max Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

If the rumors are to be believed, Apple is working on some of these things for its next big flagship iPhone.

Previous reports have claimed that the iPhone 15 series will feature slightly curved edges on the back. If that happens, it would be a big win for the in-hand feel. And iOS 17 is set to receive major updates. All of these rumors give me hope for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 Pro Max may have its issues, but if Apple really delivers with the iPhone 15 Pro Max this year, it will be exciting to see.

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