For the first time ever I have upgraded my iPhone to the latest and greatest variant - the Xs Max. Up until this time, I have always upgraded to a model which was 1 generation behind the latest and greatest. However, this time around, I upgraded to the latest and greatness for 1 reason and 1 reason only - the new camera modules' sensors.
After a few days of use, I can write, unequivocally, that the new 30% larger sensors-there 2, one for each lens-are a very significant improvement over the previous sensors (to include last years iPhone X). By keeping the number of pixels to 12mp, Apple was able to place larger pixels across the larger sensors. That resulted in a 50% increase in light receptivity-resulting in much improved low-light capability-as well as much improved small-detail resolution. There are also 2 other features which are very useful.
First, there is the always on Smart HDR. It is "smart" inasmuch as it applies the right amount of HDR (to include none if none is needed) to every picture according to what a given picture making scene needs. In my limited practice to date, it seems very smart indeed.
The second feature I really like is the variable amount-more or less-of DOF which can be applied-after the picture is made-to pictures made with the Portrait lens/setting. Very nice.
One other thing I have noticed is that the processor is very fast. When processing pictures on the Xs MAX with Snapseed, every operation is noticeably faster than they were with the 7s Plus. Not that I was pining for speed but I guess when one pays $1,099US for a thing (phone?camera?computer?) one should expect some significant improvements.