Full Review: iPhone 11 Pro Max Isn’t Just A Small Upgrade

This review is based on the iPhone Pro Max (Green, 256GB) on Sprint. It costs $1249.

2019’s  iPhone 11 Pro Max may look just like 2018’s iPhone XS Max, but there are some important differences. Let’s take a look:

Build and Design

The Pro Max design looks the same as its predecessor, but you notice a difference when it’s in your hands, especially due to the matte finish on the back. The green unit, which is being used for this review, is especially gorgeous.

Then, there is the triple-lens bump on the upper-left of the iPhone’s rear side, which looks more protruding in pictures than it does in person. Both the upgraded camera and more powerful battery make the Pro Max the heaviest iPhone yet, but the extra perks are worth the slightly added weight.

Screen

The 6.5-inch 2436 x 1135 (458 PPI) pixel resolution screen is arguably just as good as the 6.8-inch screen is on the Galaxy Note 10+, which some may find a little too large for a smartphone. Apple has made a slight improvement to the contrast ratio, which was already just about perfect in the first place.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max screen is perfect for watching videos.

Apple has also improved the maximum brightness level, which is 800 nits. You’ll barely need to turn the brightness all the way up unless you are in direct sunlight. In my tests, the 11 Pro Max screen performed better in direct sunlight than any smartphone I have ever tested.

Performance

Now this is one area where you can tell Apple definitely upgraded their new flagship device. The new A13 Bionic chip, used along with iOS 13.1, moves things along rapidly, although — as usual — I’ve had some issues with the screen turning to the proper orientation.

You can see the difference in power the most when you use processor-heavy applications such as Photoshop Express and various video applications. Games also run smoother with Apple’s new chip.

There is either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, depending on which source you believe. Apple doesn’t disclose the exact RAM, and some may scuff at the iPhone having much less than the 12GB of RAM that the Note 10+ has. However, it’s a poor comparison because iOS uses RAM a lot more efficiently than Android does. What’s important is that the 11 Pro Max can run any app very well, even if there are several others open in the background.

Camera

This is the star of the iPhone Max Pro, and it is even better in person than reading about it online. The triple-lens camera on back includes a 12MP telephoto lens, a 12MP wide lens, and a new 12MP ultra-wide lens. This allows for fantastic pictures during the day or at night.

Speaking of night, it’s the Night Mode on the iPhone 11 Pro camera that earns all the “wows.” This picture of a stuffed Nintendo Koopa Troopa was taken in pitch black, where my eyes could barely make out the famous Nintendo character.

This picture was taken in pitch black.

Here is another picture that shows off the 11 Pro Max’s camera:

Santa Clarita, CA Skyline

I haven’t taken a lot of videos with the iPhone 11 Pro Max yet, but I do notice that the video camera lights up dark scenes and stabilizes videos better. Then, there is the stereo sound, which works well but doesn’t sound as wide as videos taken with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10+.

Phone

It’s almost difficult to remember that the original purpose of smartphones is to make phone calls. I didn’t notice any difference between the call quality on the 11 Pro Max when compared to the previous generation iPhone. And that’s not a bad thing. The mic quality in both speaker mode and regular mode is great, even though your mouth needs to be positioned as close to the mic as possible to ensure you are heard well.

Battery

The 11 Pro Max’s (nearly) 4,000mAh battery might make the iPhone a little heavier but provides battery life like no other smartphone has ever done before. Yesterday, I used Google Maps for an hour while streaming podcasts from Spotify. A couple hours later, I played a couple shows on Hulu. Then, I used FaceTime to talk to a friend for a half hour. In between all of this, I checked my mail and did some web surfing. And I still had 15 percent left at the end of the night.

I haven’t done exact battery tests yet, but some studies show that the iPhone 11 Pro Max can last through 10 hours of screen time at high brightness. Since most people don’t spend the whole day on their iPhone, this means that most can easily get two days of use without having to charge the phone.

An 18W USB-C charger that comes with a Lightning to USB-C cable is included with the Pro 11 Max, and it charges the phone almost instantly. I have gone from 11 percent to 62 percent in just a half hour. It almost sounds too good to be true.

Conclusion

If you have an iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max, there may not be a lot of reasons to upgrade to the new iPhone Pro 11 Max. However, if you have some extra cash lying around (the cheapest version with 64GB costs $1099), you’ll definitely notice the improvements. For people who have the 2017 iPhone or earlier, the iPhone 11 Pro Max will feel like a smartphone user’s dream come true.

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iPhone 11 Pro Max: First Impressions

iPhone 11 Pro Max comes in a stylish box.

iPhone 11 week continues, and my hands have been on the new iPhone 11 Pro Max for the past day. Even though I’m not ready for a full review, I can give my first impressions, most which are positive. Here we go…

  • I have the green one, which is really cool. The new matte finish feels great in your hands.
  • The 6.5-inch screen is beautiful, but it needs some adjusting to look as good as the Samsung Galaxy S10+’s 6.5-inch screen.
  • The 11 Pro feels slightly heavier than 2018′s XS Max. It’s not a bad thing, especially since the battery that’s fit in offers significantly more life.
  • The Night Mode works very well. Here’s one picture I took in a relatively dark room.

Here's a perfect Night Mode shot.

  • And here’s another that was taken in pitch outdoors black. 
  • Watching movies on the Pro Max is great, but that notch is still intruding. I like the “hole punch” front cameras on the Galaxy S10+ more. 
  • However, the front camera takes great selfies.
  • I had trouble connecting the iPhone 11 Pro Max to the Samsung Galaxy Watch. I will work on this more. 
  • I’m getting a lot of looks when using this at Starbucks.
  • Using iOS after using Android for so many months is confusing. 
  • It’s so disappointing that this doesn’t have Apple Pencil support. 
  • I love the new Safari app in iOS 13. It’s the desktop browser that iPhone and iPad users have always asked for. 
  • This thing begs for a screen protector and a protective case even though it’s nice to hold it naked.
  • This thing runs fast! Switching apps is really smooth.
  • I wish Apple would forget the lighting port and replace it with a USB-C port.
  • This new iPhone charges very fast — even faster than the Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy Note 10+.
  • Using Siri after Google Assistant for so many months is a painful reminder of how much Apple has fallen behind.
  • Apple Maps still sucks. It’s better to download Google Maps; your life will be easier.
  • Apple’s EarPods are outdated. The minute you use these makes you want the AirPods instead. Well done, Apple…well done.
  • Video recording on this is fantastic. I need to do more tests, especially in low-lit situations.
I will have a full review of the iPhone 11 Max within the next week. For now, I will say that even though I love Apple’s new iPhone, it’s not a must-upgrade for those who already have 2018′s XS Max. But for others, it just may be the ultimate smartphone. 

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iPhone 11 Pro And iPhone 11 Pro Max Cameras Are Sensational

There will be a full review of the new iPhones soon. They are fantastic, but I’m not entirely sure you need to upgrade if you have an iPhone or Android phone from 2018 or 2019. Still, as many reviews have suggested, the camera really is the biggest camera upgrade in years for the iPhone.

The specs, at least on paper, don’t seem like a huge upgrade from last year’s flagship models. The main lens and telephoto lenses have the same 12 megapixels, but Apple adds an extra 12-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens that appears to work perfectly. You can check out some of the ultra-wide angle pictures taken on CNET. Even though the angles on the pictures are large, you can still see the details.

However, the biggest difference between previous iPhones (and most competing phones) is Night Mode. Tom’s Guide says the iPhone 11 Pro models set the new standard for night shots, and they’re not lying. The iPhone lens takes things your eyes can barely see and lights them up. This video shows just how well Night Mode works.

Press click to play.

Samsung has produced their own Night Mode on the Galaxy Note 10 models, and the software has recently been transferred to the Galaxy S10 models. However, the pictures aren’t quite as clear as they are with the iPhone 11 Pro’s Night Mode; Samsung’s pictures have more noise and look somewhat digitally distorted.

As 9To5Mac notes, filmmaker Mateo Bertoli took his iPhone 11 Pro to Sequoia National Park to test out his new camera. He noted that not only were the still photos stellar, but there was an improvement in capturing videos when compared to previous iPhones.

“In terms of videos I noticed a slight improvement in terms of noise (on the wide and telephoto lens) and mainly bug fixes from previous model. For example the extended dynamic range was working very bad for me on the iPhone X/XR/Xs; the skin tones used to look very weird and when I was filming sunset/sunrise there was something off in the way the iPhone was managing the highlights.”

Click to play Mateo Bertoli's video in YouTube.

Bertoli also noticed an improvement in the stabilization of the videos he took, noting that even though he brought his tripod along, it was unnecessary. It’s important to note that the 11 Pro’s ultra-wide camera has software based (rather than optical) image stabilization.

There are some who think of a smartphone camera as something “extra” on a device that can do just about everything. However, many people want to be able to use their smartphone camera as their main shooting device without having to lug around a digital camera. It looks like the iPhone 11 Pro models have granted their wishes.

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First Impressions: Sony’s WF-1000XM3 Earbuds Are The Real Deal

I am still on the quest to find the ultimate earbuds, and it looks like I at least came close this weekend. Sony’s new silver earbuds, which have earned a lot of acclaim, have finally come across my desk.

I’ve only used them for a couple of hours, so this is just a hands-on review. You can bet I’ll have a full review by the end of the week. For now, here are my first impressions:

  • The first thing one needs to do is download Sony’s Headphones app and set the Sound Quality mode to “Priority of Sound Quality.” It makes a huge difference. At first, I thought it was strange how Sony charge so much for sound quality that is so cheap, but found this setting and it made a huge difference.
  • Speaking of sound quality, it is top notch. I’ve been using these buds on the Galaxy S10+ and the warm bass-emphasized sound is almost as good as Sony’s over-the-ear WH-1000XM3 headphones.
  • It’s too bad that there isn’t a volume rocker on the buds, but that’s not a deal breaker.

Sony's earbuds come with a large charging case.

  • Speaking of the buds, the sound controls are touch-operated. This is a little difficult to get used to on a set of earbuds.
  • The noise cancellation on Sony’s new earbuds is shockingly good. I never expected the cancellation to match Sony’s flagship over-the-ear headphones, but it actually comes pretty close. These can almost be used as sleep buds.
  • Notice, I said “almost.” Although the buds don’t feel like they are going to fall out, they don’t completely feel like they’ll stay in, especially if you roll around on your pillow all night.
  • It’s unfortunate that the WH-1000XM3 buds aren’t listed as being sweat or water-resistant. I’ll test them in a workout and let you know if they still work. My prediction is that they will.
  • The battery life is great (six hours with noise cancellation, eight without), but the case this comes with is pretty large.
  • The setup on these was very simple. All I had to do is take them out of the case and the Samsung Galaxy s10+ did its thing.
  • I only made one phone call, and the person said I sounded okay. However, they could easily hear the background music playing outside of Starbucks. The WH-1000XM3 certainly aren’t known for their mic quality, but things have definitely improved from Sony’s previous earbuds.
We’ll see if I still like these earbuds once the honeymoon period ends. Stay tuned….
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Thoughts On Apple’s New iPhones

Apple will release three new iPhones.

On Tuesday, Apple unveiled their new iPhones. The announcement was actually rather uneventful, but that doesn’t mean that the new Apple smartphones are bad. Let’s take a look:

iPhone 11

Click to play in YouTube.

This could become the most successful iPhone since it is much cheaper than the others but still offers many perks. Starting at a reasonable $699, Apple’s entry level smartphone has a 6.1-inch 1792 x 828 pixel resolution screen, which sounds bad on paper but isn’t so awful in person. 

Unlike the triple lens camera on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, this budget iPhone has a dual-lens shooter with lenses that bulge out a little too much. Still, the camera not only has a 2X optical lens, but it can also take ultra-wide photos.

iPhone 11 Pro

Click to play in YouTube.

The upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro isn’t a huge upgrade, but it does improve on some aspects of the 2018′s similar iPhone XS. The biggest difference is that the 11 Pro now includes a triple-lens camera and a 5.8-inch “Super-Retina XDR” 2426 x 1125 pixel resolution OLED display. The screen is improved from the 2018 version in that you not only can get a blinding brightness of 800 nits but a contrast ratio of 2 million to 1 as well.

Then, there is Apple’s A13 Bionic chip that runs the 11 Pro. This new chip allegedly produces efficiency, performance, and graphics that are 20 percent faster while using less power. It will be interesting to see exactly how much faster this is than 2018′s A12 chip.

Unfortunately, the promised (or at least heavily rumored) Apple Pencil support appears to be missing. Then, there’s the rumored 90Hz screen that didn’t make it to the final version. It looks like those will come on the 2020 iPhone. So, those who were on the fence about getting the Galaxy Note 10+ because of the iPhone with expected Apple Pencil support can go purchase the Note 10+.  But the smartphone camera is a priority, you’ll need to put down at least $999 for the iPhone 11 Pro.

iPhone 11 Pro Max

The iPhone 11 Pro Max is pretty much the same as the iPhone 11 Pro but with a 6.5-inch 1,242 x 2,688 pixel resolution OLED screen. It also has more battery life to deal with the extra big screen. Like all the other iPhones, it comes in several different colors.

The Pro Max is good for those who want to watch movies, play games, etc. However, it’s not as easy to hold as the regular iPhone 11 Pro. It has a starting price of $1099.

Conclusion

2019 is a boring year for the iPhone line. However, if you haven’t upgraded your iPhone since 2017, you may find the extra features on Apple’s three new phones useful.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Vs. Apple Watch 5: Which Will Be Best Of 2019?

The Galaxy Watch Active 2 comes in two different sizes.

Five years ago, it was rare to see someone wear a smartwatch, despite all the hype. In 2019, it’s rare to see someone who doesn’t own a smartwatch, whether it be an Apple Watch, a Fitbit, or even a Samsung Galaxy Watch.

Apple and Samsung are at the top of the Apple Watch heap, and both manufacturers are releasing new smartwatches this fall. Let’s take a look at them.

Apple Watch 5

The Apple Watch 5 is going to be announced next week. There hasn’t been that much excitement, especially since rumors have the new Watch being only a minor upgrade. Last year’s Apple Watch 4 brought us a larger screen, a larger screen resolution, and increased health tracking. 

According to CNET, the Series 5 could bring us titanium and ceramic editions, which were present before the Series 4. Of course, those will cost over $1000. The basic version of the new Watch, without LTE, will still likely be priced in the $400 range. The LTE version will cost in the $430-$500 range. Will it be worth the cost?

The new Apple Watch will look very similar to the Series 4 Watch, released in 2018.

The Series 5 could add a sleep-tracking feature, which some will find useful. It could even offer glucose and blood pressure monitoring — something not everybody will want or need. We could also get a round version of Apple’s wrist device. However, it’s likely that a wrist cam, a feature many want, won’t make it on the watch until 2020.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2

This blog positively reviewed the Galaxy Watch Active recently, and it looks like the Galaxy Watch 2, released in a couple of weeks, will be even better. However, the price tag will also increase by as much as $100, depending on the size. However, the extra pain in the wallet may be worth the price. 

One thing this blog complained about on the original Active was that the 40mm watch face is too small. The Active 2 will fix that by offering both 42mm and 44mm versions. Samsung’s new watch will also have an on-screen rotating bezel (unlike the physical rotating bezel on the regular Galaxy Watch) and it is said to work really well.

Click to play in YouTube.

Unlike the first Galaxy Watch Active, which was seen as a cheaper (but good) alternative to Samsung’s flagship watch), the Active 2 is seen as a competitor to the regular Galaxy Watch. There is said to be a version coming with 4G LTE capabilities, but it’s not known whether it will launch with the regular versions.

Which Watch Should You Buy?

If you are stuck on the Apple ecosystem, it’s almost a no-brainer to get the Apple Watch. While it’s true that Samsung’s new watch will be iOS compatible, not all features will be enabled. Unfortunately, the Apple Watch isn’t (yet) compatible with Samsung phones, so Samsung owners are forced to chose the Galaxy Watch Active 2. However, judging from early reviews, that’s definitely not a bad thing.

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Samsung Galaxy Watch Active Is A Perfect Smartwatch For Almost Everybody

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

The Galaxy Active Watch 2 will be released in a couple of weeks, so I thought it would be a good time to review the regular Galaxy Watch Active, which was released earlier this year. Truthfully, I never had an interest in a “cheaper” version of Samsung’s regular Galaxy Watch, but spending two days with this “sporty” Samsung watch has changed my mind.

The most important reason to get the Galaxy Watch Active, which costs $199, is that it is not only $100 – $150 cheaper than the regular Galaxy Watch, but that it fits more comfortably and takes up far less real estate on your wrist. It’s missing the rotating bezel, but you will realize that the touch controls are actually pretty comfortable, and you won’t miss rotating anything to select your app.

I can easily sleep with and wear the Active anywhere. Unlike its larger brother, the Galaxy Watch Active doesn’t nudge your stomach or different body parts when you turn over. It’s also much better for weightlifting and swimming since the small size makes it less intrusive.

It has almost all the features of the regular Galaxy Watch except a robust blood pressure monitor. The Samsung Health app is also not as complete, but it’s still very good. In fact, if you are looking primarily for a fitness tracker and don’t care about additional bells and whistles, the Galaxy Watch Active is the perfect choice.

Unfortunately, the Watch Active only comes with a 40mm watchface and can strain your eyes if you are trying to read emails or other notifications. It’s not a complete deal killer. If you are primarily buying a smartwatch to read emails and instant messages, the regular Galaxy Watch may be a better option.

The Galaxy Watch Active has a small watchface, but is still great for most tasks.

Still, the display is crisp and colorful with a 360 x 360 pixel resolution. It is also rounded with Gorilla Glass 3, which is supposed to prevent scratches. Still, you are safer buying a cheap screen cover somewhere or making one yourself. At least you never have to worry about swimming or running in the rain with the Active since it is able to withstand 50 meters under water.

You may want to wait for the Galaxy Watch Active 2. But the 40mm version of that will cost $279, while the the 44mm version costs $299. If you are looking for a comfortable smartwatch to use primarily for fitness or basic notifications (it works on Android or iOS), the Galaxy Watch Active is a smart choice.

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iPhone 11 May Be Most Boring iPhone Release Yet

iPhone 11 Camera Render

It’s new smartphone season. I just reviewed the Galaxy Note 10+ earlier this week, and will certainly be reviewing the iPhone 11 next month. Apple’s latest smartphone is set to come in three versions – the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11R. Most sources seem to point to Apple playing it safe this year. Let’s take a look.

Screen

Apple will likely stick a similar 6.5-inch screen on the Pro model and a 6.1-inch screen on the mid-range and budget models. Only the 11R will have an LCD screen, while the other two will carry OLED screens.

Some believe that Apple could upgrade the screen on the 11 and 11 Pro with a 90Hz refresh rate, which would make scrolling more smooth. However, other sources point to the same 60Hz refresh rate as previous iPhone models. Most agree that the 2020 iPhone will have a 120Hz refresh rate just like the current iPad Pro models.

The current iPhone's screen has a 60Hz refresh rate.

Cameras

The biggest change to iPhone will likely be a three-camera system that will be available on both the 11 and 11 Pro. Unlike the vertical triple-camera setup on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, the new iPhone will have a triangular setup that allows wide-angle shots and, possibly, more than 2X optical zoom.

Processor

Apple’s A12 Bionic chip that powers the 2018 iPhones is, perhaps, the best mobile processor on the market. It is believed that Apple will update the new iPhones with their new A13 Bionic chip. It”s hard to imagine a phone running faster than the 2018 iPhones, but leave it to Apple to break new ground. Let’s hope the new chip doesn’t affect battery life too much.

Apple Pencil Support

Apple may finally be adding Pencil support to the iPhone.

There are mixed reports on this. If Apple includes support for the Apple Pencil, it could convert users who own a Galaxy Note specifically because of its stylus. It’s important to note that there have been reports on a new iPhone’s Apple Pencil compatibility for years, but those have never panned out. Let’s hope things change this year.

5G Support

The iPhone 11 will not support 5G, but most won’t be upset since 5G is only at the beginning stages. However, it’s almost certain that the 2020 iPhone will have 5G capabilities. 

Conclusion

So far, the iPhone 11 upgrade sounds boring this year. However, if Apple’s new smartphone offers an improved camera, an improved 90Hz screen, and Apple Pencil support (all three, not just one of these) than the upgrade for consumers will be justified. 

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Two Days With The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

I am really tempted at making the Galaxy Note 10+ my next smartphone. For now, I have a review unit and spent most of Friday and Saturday (literally — I didn’t do much of anything else) using it. There are only a finger-full of things I don’t like, but — overall — I think Samsung made an incredible smartphone/phablet. Here are some of the things that helped make my time with Samsung’s new phablet glorious.

Battery

The most annoying thing about owning a smartphone is worrying about losing all the juice and having to recharge it. If you do have to recharge the Galaxy Note 10+ during the day, the fast-charging capabilities are, indeed, fast. With the 25W charger that comes in the box (you can also purchase a 50W plug), the Note 10+ went from 13 percent to 63 percent in about 25 minutes. 

It’s very likely you won’t worry much about the 4,500mAh battery completely depleting during the day, even if you are a power user like myself. And this is with the screen brightness turned up almost 80 percent of capacity.

Screen

The screen on the Galaxy Note 10+ is glorious.

Speaking of the screen, the Note 10+ has the best screen that’s ever been put on a smartphone. The color reproduction is perfect, it works well outdoors, and there are many options to tune the screen to the greatest desires of your eyes.

I initially thought that a 6.8-inch screen would be too big for a smartphone, but Samsung proved this notion wrong. Since the bezel space is almost nonexistent, the phone is still pocketable. And if you find the 6.8-inch screen too large, you can always get the regular Note 10, which has a 6.3-inch screen.

Sound

The Note 10+ has wide stereo sound.

The rich, robust, and encompassing sound is the same as it is on the Galaxy S10+. You won’t need external speakers with the Note 10+ unless you connect it to your television set and want the whole room filled with sound. Of course, you’ll probably want to have headphones on if you are listening to music, but even that isn’t necessary if you want to play your music out in the open. 

S Pen

The S Pen has always been the Note’s distinguishing feature, but Samsung makes it more unique this time. Though the S Pen still feels cheap, it feels like more than a stylus since it can remotely operate the camera and other things. It has certain “flick” gestures that allow you to go though or rewind a presentation. It is also great to use with Spotify. Most importantly, it does what it was meant to — write well.

Phone Calls

The Note 10+ has everything but a headphone jack.

Phone quality has taken a backseat to other smartphone features over the past decade or so, but Samsung makes sure that your voice sounds robust and clear. Even when on speakerphone, my friends on the other end said I sounded clear. One couldn’t even believe I was on Speakerphone.

Camera

I need to spend more time with the camera before I can make any full-ranging judgments. Perhaps I will add my impressions to this article or write a whole separate one just on the Note 10+’s camera capabilities.

Summary

The Galaxy Note 10+ may cost $1099, but it is (gulp) actually worth the price for those who need a top-notch phone, camera, media player, GPS, internet browsing machine, and digital notepad in your pocket. Even if you think you don’t need all these things, you’ll change your mind once you spend time with Samsung’s latest Galaxy Note.

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Apple’s PowerBeats Pro: Pros And Cons

Apple's PowerBeats Pro

When discussing my first impressions of Apple’s PowerBeats Pro a couple months back, I liked but did not love the new earbuds. Now that I’ve been able to use them for three full days, I can say that my first impressions were mostly accurate. Here are some of the major pros and cons:

PROS

Fit and Comfort

The PowerBeats Pro are larger than your typical earbuds, and they have ear hooks. The trade-off for the size is definitely worth it; the Pro buds fit your ears perfectly. You can run with them, dance with them, and do almost anything else (but don’t swim since they only have an IPX4 water resistance rating). They never feel like they are going to fall out of your ears.

Sound

The PowerBeats Pro buds have very good sound.

Although Beats headphones have a history with heavy bass, it’s not so prevalent on the PowerBeats Pro — and the more balanced sound certainly isn’t a bad thing. The bass is still there for your hip-hop and EDM songs, while the treble is there for your classical music. The mids are minimized, but the overall sound is very good if not great.

Phone Quality

Unlike the latest critically acclaimed earbuds from Sony (as well as most other earbuds), the PowerBeats Pro work very well when making phone calls. People tell me that even when I am in a crowded place with noise, they can still hear me (although they can still hear a bit of the background noise as well). If call quality is one of your major concerns, these won’t let you down.

CONS

The Case

OMG is this case large! It feels like a miniature rubber brick, which is still too big for your pocket. Then, there’s putting these buds back in the case, which can be quite difficult. It gets easier to fit these for charging after a couple days, but it’s never as simple as it is with the AirPods and other buds.

Poor Noise Isolation

There is no active noise cancellation on Apple's latest earbuds.

The AirPods have no isolation whatsoever, and although the Pro buds block your ears, the noise isolation is not that good. Some may consider this a good thing since they wear these when jogging or even driving (be careful, please!), but you will notice the annoyance of all the ambient noise when you are at a gym or coffee shop. It would be nice for the next PowerBeats device to have actual digital noise cancellation.

Wind Noise

It’s expected that wind will affect any type of ear device that sticks out, but the PowerBeats Pro buds let the wind in even more than most earbuds. This isn’t a deal breaker, but it is annoying. I can’t imagine using these while walking down Michigan Avenue in Chicago during the month of January.

Summary

There are better sounding and better sized earbuds on the market. However, for those who exercise a lot and need earbuds that work well for making phone calls, the PowerBeats Pro may be worth the expensive $250 price tag.

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