Being an S model, there have been almost no design change as Apple iPhone XS Max looks exactly like previous Apple flagship. Its most prominent feature is that its way bigger, a touch shorter and narrow than Apple iPhone 8 Plus, with a bigger screen. Apple iPhone XS Max's design is deceptive, pick it up, and rounded sides of device make it feel noticeably thick. Result is a phone that doesn't sit as comfortably in hand as it could, and considering size and cost of Apple iPhone XS Max, it's a phone you want to be able to securely hold. Reason for this is lack of tapered edges, as Samsung, Sony and OnePlus all taper their rear edges, giving impression of a thinner device while also allowing them to sit a little better in curvature of your hand. On the other hand, Apple iPhone XS Max has a totally flat back that's a little more awkward to hold, however, it still uses same glass and metal built, with glass on both front and back, held by a stainless-steel frame in middle. Steel frame around outside and new formulation of glass on front and rear, which is tougher than glass on Apple iPhone X, give Apple iPhone XS Max a supremely premium look and feel.
At front, phone features a fairly large display, with same old wide notch Apple uses. Bottom bezel is merely there with sides bezels appearing even thinner than they did last year. What's impressive is that Apple iPhone XS Max manages to squeeze a huge 6.5-inch display into a body that's a touch shorter and narrower (at 157.5 x 77.4mm) than Apple iPhone 8 Plus, which only boasts a 5.5-inch display.
Back of phone is again reminiscent of last year's Apple iPhone X, with same vertical dual camera setup on top left of device, an Apple logo in middle and some iPhone branding on bottom. Back is indeed made of glass so that means it catches fingerprints quite easily, however, lighter colors are much less susceptible to them.
Power button is on right side of phone and is easy enough to hit with thumb or forefinger, while volume keys sit below physical mute switch on left of device. Top is left clean, while at bottom you'll find a lightening port and speaker grill. And of course, no 3.5 mm headphone jack. Apple has upped protection to IP68, enabling Apple iPhone XS Max to be submerged to a depth of up to two meters for 30 minutes without suffering any ill effects. Apple claims it's tested protection in a number of liquids, including salt water, chlorinated water, milk, wine and beer, although I wouldn't advise purposefully exposing phone to any of these, especially without Apple Care.
If you look at smaller Apple iPhone XS, it looks identical to Apple iPhone XS Max, just in a much compact size. There are no differences whatsoever, so if your major concern is design, then pick either of the two models. Overall, it's what everybody was expecting, same design with some minor tweaks here and there. Being an S iteration, this is the best you can get with Apple iPhone XS Max when it comes to design.