Designer Virgil Abloh, founder of Off-White, was one of the first individuals to give Apple’s brand new flagship smartphone, the iPhone XS Max, a real-world review.
Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of menswear was present at Apple’s exclusive “Gather Round” special event on September 12 and given an early model to test out, which he brought with him to Morocco for the dance festival Oasisfest.
Abloh then shot the first photos and videos using the coveted device and shared that footage – along with his thoughts – for an exclusive look at what the iPhone XS Max is capable of.
Technologically, the iPhone XS Max features dual 12MP cameras – one is a wide-angle lens equivalent to a 28 millimetres, and the other a telephoto rated nearly 56 millimetres.
The XS Max features new abilities to adjust the bokeh [aesthetic quality of an out-of-focus] blur, post-shooting, along with enhancements such Smart HDR and zero shutter lag for a crisp, “no moment missed” shot every time.
This latest generation houses the A12 Bionic chip, which Apple states is able to compute 5 trillion operations a second though its 7nm chip – a first of its kind in the industry.
Take a look at Abloh’s thoughts below – and visit the Apple official site if you want to pre-order the iPhone XS or XS Max.
On the iPhone: I’m an avid iPhone user.
I use it to run four different companies that I own and coordinate with about 80 employees.
I still need a laptop for more complex projects such as editing and graphic design, or interfacing with the music hardware I use to DJ, but iPhone has increasingly become a more powerful and useful device for my life.
On the new design: There’s a purity and refinement in the design.
I’ve been an exceptional fan of Apple’s black hardware – going all the way back to the black matt MacBook – and the black and gold iPhone XS Max is a dream.
It is such a good ying/yang, and I’m glad it’s in my hand.
I also like the bigger screen.
I’ve always been a fan of the Plus-sized iPhone models and I was eagerly awaiting a version with the newer design language.
The more I can see when working with images, the better.
On the power of iPhone XS Max: It feels great to have a new device that’s optimised for speed.
The time it takes to open an app is the difference between me forgetting an idea or not.
With iPhone XS Max, I can do tasks more quickly, and features like the camera feel more refined than ever before.
All these little things are welcome updates that make the workflow from my creative standpoint easier.
On the new camera: I travel so much that I use my iPhone to visually document things wherever I am – I’m constantly taking documentary-style photos.
I just shot a picture in Marrakesh outside my hotel which had such an interesting colour palette.
And when I first got iPhone XS Max, I went home and took a photo of this new piece of artwork I have from Jim Joe.
It’s a personal favourite. I also use photos to communicate with my design team, or post to Instagram.
It’s how I message the work that I do.
On using iPhone for work: I use a lot of text messaging apps like Messages and WhatsApp – I find the best way to communicate in the modern age is through group texts.
I’ll take a photo and send it to a group chat, and archive them inside different folders in iCloud.
I have a folder for each project, including my personal Iines, personal artwork, Louis Vuitton projects or Off White projects.
But also, I’m a DJ, and when I’m planning a set, Apple Music helps me take mental notes for songs I want to listen to but don’t have readily available offline on my hardware.
Aside from that, I constantly have music on in the background, whether in my car or my design studio.
I listen to Apple Music, but also the BBC iPlayer app – a lot of my favourite DJs are on the BBC, and I find that it’s really quick to stream their live radio shows or play an archive.
Abloh’s favourite unsung iPhone feature: I’ve been enjoying wireless charging a lot.
It’s super great in my workflow – and the comfort of having a phone, obviously, is having it charged.
There’s this unique freedom that you get when you can have your iPhone lying on your desk, sitting atop a charger but without plugging it in physically.
This article originally appeared on HYPEBEAST.