Review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max

Bottom Line

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the best iPhone 12 of the lot, boasting a stunning 6.7-inch display, incredible cameras, 5G connectivity, and long battery life, among other features.

FOR

  • Prime cameras
  • Wonderful battery life
  • Immersive 6.7-inch show
  • Superior efficiency
  • Handy MagSafe charging

AGAINST

  • Charger offered individually
  • A bit heavy and ponderous
  • No 120Hz show

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Unlike the iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is much more than a larger-screen version of the iPhone 12 Pro. This iPhone has the largest display ever seen on an iPhone, measuring 6.7 inches diagonally. However, the iPhone 12 Pro Max (starting at $1,099) plays up to its moniker in other ways, including a camera that is even more advanced than the normal iPhone 12 Pro and a battery that lasts significantly longer.

Although you receive the same blisteringly fast A14 Bionic chip and 5G connectivity as all of the other iPhone 12 models, this is the Apple phone to acquire if you want the best of everything from your smartphone. Was it worth an extra $100 over the standard Pro to get all of this? Absolutely.

PHONE 12 PRO MAX SPECS

Apple introduces iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max with 5G - Apple
Apple
  • Price: $1,099
  • Display: 6.7 inches (2778 x 1284)
  • Colors: Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue
  • CPU: A14
  • Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
  • Rear cameras: 12MP wide (f/1.6), 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4), 12MP telephoto (f/2.2)
  • Zoom: 2.5x optical/12x digital
  • Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/2.2)
  • 5G: sub-6Ghz, mmWave
  • Battery: 3,687 mAh
  • Battery life: 10 hours 53 minutes
  • Size: 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches
  • Weight: 8.03 ounces

In fact, based on my tests, this is the best iPhone 12 in the lineup, providing that you don’t mind a large screen. If you’re still on the fence, take a look at our iPhone 12 Pro versus iPhone 12 Pro Max comparison to help you decide.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max took home the top prize 2021 for phones in a variety of categories, and it was previously our top pick for the best phones. The iPhone 13 series, on the other hand, has arrived, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max has taken over the top slot. With the introduction of the new iPhone line, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max have been phased out, making it more difficult to obtain a new model in the future. However, here’s all you need to know about the iPhone 12 Pro Max in one place.

iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Specifications, pricing, and availability

The iPhone 12 Pro Max was released on November 13, 2020, with a starting price of $1,099 (£1,099 for 128GB of storage) and a starting capacity of 128GB. Increasing the memory to 256GB costs $1,199/£1,199, and increasing the memory to 512GB costs $1,399/£1,399.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is typically $100/£100 more expensive than the ordinary iPhone 12 Pro, regardless of the amount of storage it offers.

It should be noted that the iPhone 12 Pro Max does not include a charger. It costs $19 to get a quick 20W charger, whereas Apple’s MagSafe charger costs $39. Look no farther than our iPhone 12 deals page for the most recent offers from shops and all of the major wireless providers. You can get up to $525 off the cost of a new iPhone 12 Pro Max if you purchase it from Apple, for example. If you purchase your iPhone 12 Pro Max from another retailer, you can get up to $525 off the cost of the new iPhone. ) (However, only the most recent models are eligible for such large returns; an iPhone XS Max from two years ago is eligible for a $320 rebate from Apple.)

Design and colors of the iPhone 12 Pro Max are reviewed.

When compared to the ordinary iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a beast of a phone to use. It’s the difference between having a flagship phone that you can easily use with one hand and, well, not having a premium phone at all.

However, in exchange, you receive a far larger and more immersive display, which not only allows you to fit more information on the screen at once, but also provides you with a larger keyboard for typing and a tiny movie theater in your pocket.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max appears to be a higher-quality device than the iPhone 11 Pro Max. This is due to the new phone’s sleeker-looking flat sides, which make it more appealing to the eye. One of the most noticeable features of my unit was the polished, dazzling gold stainless steel. It’s the smartphone’s equivalent of a piece of jewelry, really. The finish, on the other hand, quickly picks up fingerprints.

Beyond gold, the other color options include the more common silver and graphite as well as the eye-catching Pacific Blue, which I personally prefer on the ordinary iPhone 12 Pro.

The notch on the iPhone 12 Pro is still somewhat wide, but the TrueDepth camera is still highly useful for Face ID, which is a welcome addition. I simply wish Apple had figured out a way to incorporate Touch ID into the display or the power button, like it did with the new iPad Air, but that’s just me.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is slightly larger and heavier than its predecessor, measuring 6.33 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches and weighing 8.03 ounces. Apple, on the other hand, has reduced the size of the screen’s borders, resulting in a larger display in a about the same size.

This year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max is also more durable than previous models. Front-facing Ceramic Shield display with four times the drop resistance of the previous model, as well as an improved IP68 water resistance rating that goes down to 6 meters instead of 4 meters, are among the highlights.

Review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s display

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max model the gold stainless steel finish.
Apple

The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s OLED display, which measures 6.7 inches diagonally, is smaller but brighter than the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra’s display, which is 6.9 inches diagonally. In Stranger Things, I was captivated by an explosion of hues that almost made me forget I was holding a phone in my hand.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max also happens to have the best color-accurate display we’ve ever tested, according to our research. The panel received a score of 0.07 on the Delta-E test, where a score of 0 indicates flawless performance. The Note 20 Ultra had a score of 0.24.

In our lab testing, the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s display averaged 654 nits, whereas the Galaxy S9display +’s averaged 662 nits, which was somewhat higher. However, when we were outside, we discovered that the iPhone’s screen was easier to view in direct sunshine.

There is only one thing that the iPhone 12 Pro Max lacks: a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, which would have allowed for smoother scrolling and even greater gaming performance, similar to what is found on the latest Samsung flagships. Let’s hope for the iPhone 13 in the near future.

Review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s cameras

The iPhone 12 Pro Max has one of the best cameras available on any smartphone, which is saying something considering how fantastic the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra and Pixel 5 are in their respective categories.

This year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max boasts a larger primary sensor than the previous year’s iPhone 12 Pro, which is expected to provide an 87 percent boost in low-light performance over the previous year’s iPhone 11 Pro Max. The main lens of the iPhone 12 Pro Max also has a fast f/1.6 aperture and a LiDAR sensor for faster auto focus, making it an excellent choice for action shots.

Along with that, the iPhone 12 Pro Max‘s 12MP telephoto lens offers a 2.5x optical zoom. This falls short of Samsung’s Note 20 Ultra’s 5x zoom, but it is an improvement over the iPhone 12 Pro’s 2x zoom.

In low light, as you can see in this gallery of iPhone 12 Pro Max photographs, this phone’s camera performs admirably. Before using this phone, I had never been able to capture a clear image of the moon. Although the moon itself could be a little sharper, the clouds in the background are incredibly sharp.

The Smart HDR 3 capability of the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera also performed admirably in capturing a difficult image with a river in the background of multiple trees and a complex combination of sunlight and shadows.

Let’s start with this shot of moms taken by the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which will serve as a baseline for future camera comparisons. The blossoms appear more gold in the iPhone’s photo, which is brighter and more saturated than the one taken with the Pixel 5. The Pixel photo is devoid of any vibrancy.

Aside from that, the iPhone 12 Pro outperformed the Pixel 5 in this shot of produce. The peppers appear to have a lot more gloss in the iPhone’s photograph. In comparison, Google’s image appears flat and uninteresting.

In this portrait, the iPhone 12 and Pixel 5 were more evenly matched than in the previous one. Especially in the shadows, the iPhone does a better job of representing my face than the iPad. The color of my Star Wars shirt, on the other hand, appears more brilliant, and there is more contrast overall when compared to the Pixel.

What do you think about zooming in? When magnified seven times, the iPhone 12 Pro Max‘s shot of this mural appears acceptable, however the Pixel 5‘s photo appears to be a watercolor painting.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra boasts a crisper and more powerful zoom than the Galaxy Note 20. At 12x magnification, you can clearly see the writing on the fish market sign across the street, as well as the license plate numbers on the passing cars. In addition, the Note 20 Ultra has a continuous zoom range of up to 50x.

The Pixel 5 outperforms the competition when it comes to low-light capability, as evidenced by this Christmas tree photograph. The greens are deeper in color, and you can see more detail in the jade pieces as a result. The image on the iPhone 12 Pro Max appears to be more faded out.

When photographing outside, the iPhone 12 Pro Max wins out since it captures a little more detail in the pumpkin and flowers. The image taken with the Pixel 5 is brighter, but it has a slight film over it.

Both the iPhone 12 Pro and the Pixel 5 produce pleasing photographs in this selfie, but they do it in a different way than one another. I can see more detail in my stubble and shirt in the Pixel 5‘s image, while the iPhone 12’s shot is a little warmer and provides more even lighting over my face.

Last but not least, this Night Mode photo demonstrates how Apple’s LiDAR sensor offers it a competitive advantage over the competition. It can capture portraits in night mode, however the Pixel 5 is unable to do so. As a result, my face is significantly more in focus in the iPhone 12 Pro Max shot as a result of this.

In place of optical image stabilization, the iPhone 12 Pro Max makes use of a technique known as sensor shift stabilization to keep things stable throughout operation. Despite this, the results were still fairly remarkable. Even when strolling at a fast pace, the iPhone 12 Pro Max performed an excellent job of keeping this park footage smooth, despite the fact that some lens flare came in from the sunlight.

Even more impressive is this panoramic view of the Manasquan river, which was captured on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. There are several ripples on the water that are immediately discernible, and the wisps of clouds against the blue sky are clearly defined. This is made possible by the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s Dolby Vision HDR video capability, which is available on the device. Even with a zoom factor of 2.5x, the fidelity is remarkable.

Performance of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is reviewed.

The Download library on iPhone 12 Pro.
Apple

If you’re looking for raw performance, the A14 Bionic processor in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, along with 6GB of RAM, is unmatched. The Arena fighting game let me kick, stab, and impale my way through foes with reckless abandon, and the action remained as fluid and seamless as it would have been on a console.

When it comes to the 3D Mark Wild Life graphics benchmark, the iPhone 12 Pro Max outperformed the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Apple’s device managed 41 frames per second, whilst the Galaxy’s device managed only 24 frames per second.

In addition to dominating the Geekbench 5 test, the iPhone 12 Pro Max also outperformed the Android rivals. Apple’s phone scored 4,111 points on the multi-core test and 1,603 points on the single-core test. Contrast that with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which has a Snapdragon 865 Plus processor that got only 3,294 and 985 points.

As part of our personal video editing experiment. The iPhone 12 Pro Max transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in just 28 seconds, compared to 1 minute and 16 seconds for the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 5G technology

A Home Screen page displayed on iPhone 12 Pro.
Apple

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is compatible with every type of 5G technology, including sub-6GHz and mmWave. Using T-network, Mobile’s I was able to get reasonable download and upload speeds in central New Jersey — but not blazing fast.

Using the Speedtest.net app, the iPhone 12 Pro Max reached a download speed of 211 Mbps and an upload speed of 77.5 Mbps at its maximum.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max, like the other iPhone 12 models, has the ability to immediately convert to 4G through the use of its Smart Data Mode. This comes in handy most of the time while the screen is off, such as when you’re listening to music on your computer.

Battery life on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is excellent.

An App Clip displayed on iPhone 12 Pro.
Apple

An important benefit of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the increased battery life, which is one of the most compelling arguments for upgrading.

After 10 hours and 53 minutes of continuous web surfing over 5G on battery test, the iPhone 12 Pro Max lasted 10 hours and 53 minutes. With a battery life of 9:06, the iPhone 12 Pro lasts approximately two hours longer than the standard model.

Despite having a slightly shorter runtime than the 12 Pro Max (10:26 over 5G), Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra has a slightly longer runtime than the 12 Pro Max (7:59 with the 120Hz display mode enabled).

Review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max: Charging

Messages displayed on iPhone 12 Pro.
Apple

It’s worth noting that, along with the rest of the iPhone 12 series, Apple does not include a charger with the 12 Pro Max. According to Apple, this is the environmentally friendly option, but it is also inconvenient, especially if you want to charge your phone quickly.

In 30 minutes, a $19 20W fast charger will recharge a completely depleted iPhone 12 Pro Max to just under 50% capacity. MagSafe, on the other hand, is gaining popularity since it works in conjunction with the magnets on the back of the iPhone 12 Pro Max to make it simple to attach a charger. This $39 charger is 15W, which is slower than prior iPhone wireless chargers, but it is twice as quick as the previous models.

It’s important to remember that you’ll need to purchase a power brick and a MagSafe adaptor separately, which are both offered separately.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is also compatible with a growing number of MagSafe accessories, including cases and wallets that can be attached, as well as Apple’s $129 MagSafe Duo charger, which charges both your iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time, among other things. You will, however, need to spend the extra money on a 20W charger in order for this item to function properly.

In this comparison, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is superior to the iPhone 12 Pro.

A filter is easily applied to a sunset photograph on iPhone 12 Pro.
Apple

The iPhone 12 Pro Max and the iPhone 12 Pro are nearly identical in terms of features, but there are a few notable variances. While both flagship phones are equipped with Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, 5G, and OLED screens, the iPhone 12 Pro Max‘s 6.7-inch screen is significantly larger than the 6.1-inch screen on the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro also has an OLED display.

In addition, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a greater optical zoom than the iPhone 12 Pro (2.5x vs 2x) as well as a greater digital zoom than the iPhone 12 Pro (12x vs 10x). The iPhone 12 Pro also benefits from having a bigger sensor for its main wide camera, which allows for more light to be captured by the device.

The extended battery life of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, in addition to the larger display, is the most compelling argument to choose it over the ordinary iPhone 12 Pro.

In this comparison, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is pitted against the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

A horizontal profile of iPhone 12 Pro shows off the new flat-edge design and Ceramic Shield front cover.
Apple

A notable competition to the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which boasts powerful dual telephoto cameras with optical zoom capabilities of up to 10 times the resolution of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Besides that, it has a more dynamic 120Hz AMOLED display, a longer battery life, and even supports the S Pen pen. The S21 Ultra, on the other hand, is more expensive to begin with and performs somewhat worse than the iPhone 12 Pro Max in terms of performance and overall image quality.

See our in-depth comparison of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max to find out which phone is the better choice for you.

Review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max: Final Thoughts

A back view of iPhone 12 Pro shows off the lenses of the device’s pro camera system.
Apple

In a few important areas, the iPhone 12 Pro Max stands up to its moniker. You get a significantly larger display than the ordinary iPhone 12 Pro, as well as significantly longer battery life. Personally, I did not feel that the larger camera sensor on the Max produced significantly better-looking photographs than what you would get from other iPhone 12 models, although it is good to have a more powerful zoom.

It essentially comes down to whether you prefer a smaller, more compact phone or whether you prefer large screens in general. I lean toward the latter group, but you can’t go wrong with either of the two iPhone 12 Pro models available. In terms of the Android competitors, the iPhone 12 Pro Max put them all on notice by offering usually better cameras and speedier performance than their counterparts. In terms of overall performance, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a fantastic option because to its more powerful zoom and dynamic 120Hz display, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max is still the superior phone.

Even a year after its release, the iPhone 12 Pro Max continues to be a fantastic device. It’s simply that now that the iPhone 13 Pro Max is out for purchase, getting one will be much more difficult. The iPhone 13 Pro Max, on the other hand, is an improvement over the iPhone 12 Pro Max in a number of ways, making it well worth the extra money if you can’t find the older phone in store anywhere now that it has been discontinued.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.


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