iPhone XS Max Space Gray Hands-On First Impressions

iPhone XS Max Space Gray early hands-on

iPhone Day means incessantly refreshing a tracking page until the delivery truck finally arrives at your front door. But then the wait’s over and you’ve finally got the thing you’ve been waiting hours, no, a week, for!

It’s been a long day of waiting, but the iPhone XS Max in Space Gray that I ordered a week ago —with only a few issues getting there— is finally here. The FedEx driver was pretty excited about the whole ordeal, too, asking me if I was “getting a new phone” today. As soon as he left I dug into the box, grabbed the phone, and checked out what Apple had put together.

Surprise, surprise, but we’ve got an iPhone.

I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. The iPhone is a solid device, and considering we’re building upon the foundation that the exceptional (even with the notch) iPhone X put down last year, there’s a lot to like. However, at the same time, if you did pick up the iPhone X last year, or even this year for that matter, and you’re upgrading to the iPhone XS or XS Max, there might not be a lot to actually get excited about other than just getting a new phone.

That being said, if you’re going with the iPhone XS Max from something like the iPhone 8 Plus? This is more than just an “S upgrade” year. And I can imagine that a lot of folks out there are making this exact switch, too. The good news I can tell you right now is that the iPhone XS Max is going to feel pretty natural. The 8 Plus was a big phone and so is the XS Max, but their similar enough that it shouldn’t alienate you when using the handset with the bigger display.

The newer smartphone is heavier, though, but I approve of that change. It feels better in the hand, even with the slick glass on the back and front. It certainly doesn’t feel like a toy!

I went with the Space Gray model this time, versus the Silver/White iPhone X option I chose last year. And while I don’t necessarily regret that decision, even just for a change of pace from year-to-year, I do know that I’m going to have to get real accustomed to fingerprints and smudges. So if you went with the Space Gray option as well, just be aware that fingerprints are definitely going to stick around. All-in-all, though, I think I prefer the darker shade, especially on the sides.

The screen is big and beautiful, but I’m going to be interested to see how it compares to the iPhone X in a more detailed look in the next day or so. I launched a Major League Baseball game through the ESPN app, and this made me frustrated all over again. Why? Because I’m reminded that while we have this huge display, we still get small content. I can zoom in and that’s fine, but it blocks out the scoreboard and other content, which is really dumb. I need this to stop being a thing already.

But that’s for another day. This is just a quick hands-on first impression of the iPhone XS Max after all. And I can safely say, even after just a few minutes with the handset, that it’s exactly what I wanted: A bigger iPhone X. I wanted this phone last year — when I was actually switching from an iPhone 7 Plus. But better late than never, and barring any unforeseen complications, I think Apple has a home run on its hands.

A safe, familiar home run.

If you have your new iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max in hand, let me know down in the comments what you think of the new handset so far. Anything you’d change?