Two weeks ago, I got the iPhone 11 Pro Max and it was my first time using an iPhone ever. I have interacted with them before, but I’ve never had one as a device I carry around and actually use. Being someone who uses lots of phones every year for review, I felt bad not ever writing about Apple devices while experiencing them. So it felt like a good decision to pick one up as part of these long Apple series I intend on having over time. My justification is that I want to cover all ecosystems on this site. If you read the previous article about why Apple updates its devices for long, you know this device I got will still run the latest version of iOS in 5 or 6 years, so I am good in terms of updates for a long while.
The reasons I picked up the 11 Pro Max in 2020 are easy:
- I would say price, but you know prices really never fall in Kenya. So that doesn’t count.
- The new iPhone 12 Series have smaller batteries – and thanks to MrWhosetheBoss’ video, I saw the 11 PRO Max lasts forever.
- I watch many YouTubers who use the Pro Max as their only camera.
- I love big phones.
Okay, since you’ve already read and watched numerous reviews about iPhones, you’re not about to read 3000 words of my thoughts on a device that’s one year old in the market.
So let me quickly tell you what I think about the iPhone 11 Pro Max, before telling you about the ecosystem:
- It is chunky and bulky – what the hell? My Samsung Galaxy NOTE 10 Plus is bigger yes, but lighter and more comfortable on the hand than the iPhone 11 Pro Max which feels heavy, and not so hold-able if that’s a word. Yes, I am saying I love the Galaxy NOTE 10 Plus build more than this chunky thing.
- Using iOS is hard – To be honest I didn’t expect it to be hard given I’ve had the iPad Pro for a while now. I expected that I would find it easier to learn the ropes. I hate that finding settings is hard. I hate that the App Store has things everywhere. I hate that things like having Favourite contacts and T9 typing on Phone Dialler are impossible.
- Battery Life is great – Yes, this thing lasts and lasts. Way better than the Galaxy NOTE 10 Plus. Way better than any of the flagships I’ve reviewed in the past. I am currently pushing 34hrs without charging and I am at 26%.
- The cameras are great – Really! I love being able to do reviews without struggling to have my camera with me always. If you’ve seen my new Infinix NOTE 8 review video, tell me which shots I used the iPhone. Hint: A LOT.
- The design is boring – Man, I really love the design of the Galaxy NOTE 10 Plus. Nothing beats the feel on the hand of that phone. The 11 Pro Max is so boringly designed argh. I hate not seeing my notification icons.
- The display feels washed out – Yes Samsung devices really push saturation high on their panels.
Anyway that said, here are things you should consider if you’re planning on switching from an Android device to an iPhone:
- Don’t get an old iPhone just because it is an iPhone: A new Android Phone will serve you way better than old iPhones from years ago. Don’t get into a craze that’s stupid just because it is cool online. You will be missing out on the very very good budget devices in the Android side of life.
- Take time and learn and answer questions on why you would want to shift – Use your money as you’d like. But first see if you’ll be getting a better experience on an iPhone than you already do on Android. Mostly, if it isn’t with new flagships, you won’t. Also, once switched, one needs to take time and learn so much about navigation, where to find stuff, how to do stuff and it is very exhausting. Let no one lie to you that using an iPhone is easier than using an Android phone. Androids have so much versatility. Here I can’t even change a wallpaper from the home screen. My goodness, I can’t even have a home screen!
- Fresh start for many things: I can’t move my WhatsApp conversations and I don’t trust all the numerous tutorials online. So I will keep my WhatsApp on Android forever. If you’ve build your life around Android, there could be stuff that would be harder to access.
- NO USB Type-C: Honestly, what the hell? I forgot about this last weekend and was wondering why the charger wasn’t going into its port. With an iPhone you will need to carry a lighting cable instead of one Type-C cable that does everything! Argh! I recently wrote about Apple’s bet for wireless instead of USB Type-C. However, a good thing is this with great battery life on the iPhone I got, all you need is a wireless charger. Place the phone on it when you get to bed, and let it slowly charge by the time you wake up. Note that only the iPhone 8 and above support wireless charging – and support for those is nearing end by around 2022.
- Sending stuff between devices: If you have Apple devices this is easy. But sharing stuff from say the iPhone to a Windows device, or an Android device is pain. Consider that if you’ll want to say shoot pics, videos and share them to other devices.
- Many more pains.
The one thing people talk a lot about Apple is the tie with which users are held into the ecosystem. I have all the basic Apple devices and I get it. It is easy to want to stay in the ecosystem because of how things work with each other.
The Apple Ecosystem is great because of a couple of things:
- Communication between devices is seamless and beautifully done: I can read messages, text back, receive calls, make calls all from whichever device I have at hand, be it the iPad, the iPhone, or the MacBook Pro. I can send stuff easily to either of these wirelessly. I can check their batteries and even start a hotspot from either to provide an LTE connection to the laptop. Hands-down nothing beats that experience. Not even the ‘Your Phone’ app Microsoft and Samsung have for their devices.
- Software Information: There’s so much information to help you know more about your device. From battery stats, to battery health, to data on how you use your device. Yes, these are all stuff you can get from Android with certain apps, or features like Digital Wellbeing, but with Apple the data is so well done, and synced, that it feels way more useful.
- Updates: I love that an Apple update will reach my device immediately it should reach my device. I like that every user is free to try BETA releases of software on the whole lineup. This is unlike in the Android ecosystem where a Samsung update can be available only for a certain country, and things like BETA testing is a preserve for certain countries only. I also like the fact that updates are regular and assured.
- Apps suited for the hardware: I picked up the iPad Pro early in the year because it is the best tablet hands down. We use it for a lot of stuff including video editing, audio recording and editing, teleprompter for videos, reading books, and much more. It has very much improved the workflow, and these apps we use are so well built unlike anything we’d get on an Android tablet. With the iPhone, I haven’t found anything so uniquely built for it yet. However, with the MacBook, with just 8GB RAM I can much quickly edit and export videos, something I struggled a lot with the previous laptop.
- NO I am not going to say iMESSAGE. Please, no! Though I know this plays a role in point number 1 on this list.
If you’re looking to buy any Apple device in Kenya, always remember:
- Prices in Kenya are overrated, and it is pure theft. A guide on how to buy will be coming soon.
- Don’t trust Instagram sellers who will either steal from you, or sell you refurbs.
- Again: Don’t buy old devices, they’re a waste of money. A newer Android Phone is waaaaay better than an iPhone from 5 years ago. Stop with the iPhone madness please.