Reviewing The $1.500 Gadget: I Bought The Most Expensive iPhone

First, let me tell you why I’ve bought the iPhone 11 Pro Max before you start judging me. Which you can do, no worries there. About a month and a week ago we celebrated Christmas. And you know how Christmas is: you always want to give some great presents for your family and friends, for your loved ones, for people that you care about. For those who’ve been there for you through thick and thin. You want to show the people around you that you care about them and offer them little gifts as a sign of…

Not in Romania. No. In Romania, you give yourself a present. And who can blame Romanians? The simple fact that they’ve survived to celebrate another Christmas is a good enough reason to award themselves with expensive gifts they will pay for until at least next Christmas. Mine were two the reasons why I’ve decided to buy basically the most expensive phone money can buy.

Past phones

Scratch that last one. There are three reasons why I’ve decided to spend about three international trips on one phone. Number 1, I deserve it. Number 2, it really is an investment more than a fancy purchase. I don’t see it as anything more than a great phone. People ask “wow, you’ve bought the new iPhone 11 Pro Max?! You must be extremely reach/robbed a bank/one kidney short!” and it makes me wonder why are people so utterly excited about a phone? It is a great phone, that’s for sure, but it’s just a phone that happens to be expensive and normally great at what it says that it does.

Number 3, I’ve never bought a new phone in my life. You’ve heard it from me folks, I, Gabriel Iosa, award-winning freelance content creator and journalist (my awards are technically bonuses at work given by my bosses in the form of a nice dinner out or a free trip, but hey, they’re important for me!) have never bought a new, sealed smartphone before. My old Huawei P20 Lite? I bought it from the Romanian version of eBay as slightly used for a great price. And now the phone is in the proud ownership of my mom, so nothing goes to waste here.

Another good semi reason why I’ve decided to go for the iPhone is I’ve never owned an iOS device before. Not after the first-ever iPhone, which I was a proud owner of in high school just when it came out. Needless to say, I was THE BADASS for a couple of weeks. But enough with that. You’re here for an honest review about my experience after using the iPhone 11 Pro Max Gold for the past couple of weeks. So here we go!

Looks of the iPhone 11 Pro Max

I have to admit, the iPhone as a phone and a gadget looks amazing. I have never been so impressed by the looks of a phone. The golden colour is nice, the three cameras at the back are slick, the display is great and the margins or bevels or whatever they’re called make sense. I love the button that lets you turn on “Silent Mode” with just one flick of the thumb. 

That button alone has been incredibly helpful in more than one situation. It’s a shame you have to put the phone in a protective case that covers its great design. But it’s better to do so than having it exposed to the elements and maybe being a tad silly like I am, and risk dropping it once too many times. Dropping an iPhone 5s might be bad as a gesture. Dropping a $1.500 iPhone 11 Pro Max on the ground might just be a disaster…

Camera on the iPhone 11 Pro Max

Everybody wants a good camera on their phone. If you’re a fan of tech YouTubers then you know Marques Brownlee from MKBHD. He’s done his annual smartphone awards and the iPhone 11 Pro Max has received the award for the best camera. And I can see why. I love snapping pics with the phone. I go out for no reason and simply look for shots and then play with the three cameras. The phone has three cameras. I joke about it telling people it has more cameras (“camera” also means “room” in Romanian) than my home. So far, the pics have been incredible. Here are a few samples:

Garden view – Normal outside light – Zoomed, Normal, Wide

Playing Cards – Studio white light – Zoomed, Normal, Wide

Wide – indoor+outdoor


Selfies – Portrait mode + Normal mode

As you can see, the phone does extremely well in good lighting situations. In the dark, I have to admit the phone is not great. But then again, no phone is. The video on this thing though is crazy. I cannot believe how perfect everything looks, how stable the image is and how detailed the shots come out. Here is a short clip I’ve snapped a few hours earlier in the garden. I shot some in HD and some in 4K resolutions, both at 30 and 60 frames per second (and at the weird, shaky and uneven 4K 24fps which I don’t know why it exists!) You’ll be able to spot the differences for sure!

Speed and Battery on the iPhone 11 Pro Max

When you pay as much as an old BMW on a phone, the last thing you want is to worry about it being slow. The iPhone 11 Pro Max is nothing but slow. It’s fast. Extremely fast. Incredibly fast. It never lags, never slows down or brags for a pause even if you’re pushing it to its limits. There are no limits because no matter how many apps you’ve opened, the phone still runs like it’s fresh-out-of-the-box. I just hope the phone will keep running like this for years to come. For me, I also love the battery and how much it can take. I am only using the phone for about 3 hours per day of actual use but this way I can go 2 or even 3 days without charging it.

Some negative aspects of the iPhone 11 Pro Max

I have to buy a watch for my wrist if I intend to use the iPhone for my Nike Run Club app which I use on a daily basis for my runs. And because of that, I’ll also need the AirPods wireless earbuds because the ones that come with the phone are wired. And surely, I need a case and a protective screen. All of these accessories will cost me another $500. I’m not kidding. 

If I were to have bought the 11 Pro, not the Max, I would’ve been able to just hold the phone in my hand while running. But because the phone is probably 4 kilos, I simply cannot run while holding it in my hand. Which means I need the watch for the app so that it can track my run. And earbuds for the music. And I’ll be $500 lighter in a few days when the package arrives at the door. Well…

Should you buy the iPhone 11 Pro Max?

I love the phone. I really do. Minus the accessories that cost more than a used Romanian kidney. The cameras are simply amazing and will allow me to leave the heavy DSLR at home while on trips. The device is incredibly fast, has everything you can possibly need from a smartphone and is somewhat worth its price. But no, you shouldn’t buy it if you’re not totally using it for business, not just for putting Stories on Instagram.

It is the most expensive phone you can buy for all the good reasons in the end. Sure, you can find some amazing phones at half the price, but we Romanians like to splurge on Christmas. Who cares we’re poor as a country and have serious problems in all aspects of life, when our phones have three cameras and come in Gold colours?

Hi! My name is Gabriel, nice to meet you.

I run Gabriel Iosa Writing Services, my online dream business that’s now 4 years in the making. I’ve also worked as a journalist for 9 years and counting. My job is to come up with the best content for you regardless if it’s for your blog, website, book, social media posts or anything else. I can also help you with organic or paid reach so that you can put your products or services right in front of your future clients.

If you enjoyed this article, shoot me an email with a few details about your project. We’ll take it from there.

1 comment
Gabriel Iosa



I’m happy for you being here! I enjoy blogging as much as I did 10 years ago, at the start of my writing journey. If you want me to write something for you, hit the Services page. You can find some snippets of my previous work on the Portfolio page, as well as what my clients have said about my work on the Testimonials page. Hit the About page for some more info on myself and my passions, and when you’re ready, send me an email at the address you’ll find on the Contact page.

Awesome to have you here!