iPhone 12 Pro Max Review: Needs To be More than Your Phone!

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Following from our review of the smaller and more mainstream iPhone 12, the larger and ‘Max’ed out (in every way) iPhone 12 Pro Max is now bachelor as well. As with previous years’ Plus or Max models, it’s big and heavy, of grade. But does the extra screen real estate and, in this example, the possible actress imaging finesse make upwards for the inconvenience of size and weight? I think then. Mind you lot, it’south notable that the iPhone 12 mini is also now bachelor, and that’due south utterly tiny. You can’t charge Apple of non giving users options – even if all those options involve handing over significant sums of cash!

Improvements, year on twelvemonth

The improvements over last year’due south iPhone xi Pro Max break downwardly every bit follows, in order of significance:

  • Support for 5G worldwide (including mmWave in the Usa)
  • The screen is covered with ‘Ceramic Shield’ glass from Corning, claimed to be (and tests have proved accurate) up to four times less prone to cracking and shattering when impacted (during a driblet). Though it has besides been shown that it’southward just as vulnerable to scratches from difficult objects in pockets (for case), so you lot’ll still need to be careful. I keep my smartphones in a PDair chugalug holster and larger phones are just fine with these, but it’s off-white to say that the 12 Pro Max won’t adjust trouser pocket storage!
  • The 12 Pro series


    at 128GB (and goes up to 512GB), fixing the main criticism in 2022 of a starting capacity of 64GB and then stepping upwards to 256GB. 128GB is considered the sweet spot for smartphone flagships in 2022 (as well true in the Android world), for storing apps, games, media, and (most of all) captured video and photos. For interest, my review 12 Pro Max is 256GB, called past me to apportion a full 128GB of this for video capturing and editing over the side by side year or and then.
  • In that location’s 2GB more RAM (at 6GB now) in the 12 Pro range – more than RAM means more can exist done at in one case, more powerful operations can exist attempted, and so on. Although the deviation is small in day to day utilize, future applications and – especially – ProRAW imaging and Dolby Vision video encoding will all make good use of the extra retention and prevent slowdowns.
  • The cameras are beefed up with a larger (ane/one.86”) main sensor, stabilised with the new (to phones) ‘sensor shift stabilisation’, in theory allowing for longer exposures for stills and smoother video. Plus a new 65mm (2.5x) telephoto, up from 2x on the older series.
  • Captured video tin can now exist in 10-fleck HDR, branded here with Dolby Vision.
  • The display is 0.2” larger (diagonal), at slightly higher resolution, at 1284p. Which is good, but non noticeable 24-hour interval to day.
  • The chipset inside is 2022’south A14 Bionic, based on a ‘5nm process’. Which, translated into English, means that the components on the chip are smaller than in concluding year’southward A13 (7nm) and thus use less power and tin can potentially work at faster speeds. In practice, there’s no noticeable difference though, I found.
  • The battery is slightly smaller at 3687mAh, which (added to the extra drain from 5G and more RAM) ways shorter battery life than the eleven Pro Max. But then the latter was a champion, so at that place’s some room for manoeuvre here.
  • Qi wireless charging is upped to 15W, in theory, thank you to MagSafe magnets in an array under the dorsum of each iPhone 12 series. These align the telephone to Apple’s special MagSafe chargers and go along inductive charging optimised. Note that charging speeds on third political party Qi pads are lower though, typically 7.5W.
  • 3mm longer, but 1mm thinner, neither is really pregnant, particularly once a case is in place, plus the overall weight is almost identical, at 228g
  • A LiDAR scanner is added to the camera array, ostensibly to aid with even faster low calorie-free focussing, though there’s surely a future in using it for augmented reality applications too.

That’south quite a list when taken equally a whole. Enough to prompt a 2022 eleven Pro Max user to upgrade? Perhaps not


, merely the improvements are certainly noteworthy. Your reviewer has been using an iPhone xi Pro (i.east. the smaller 1) for the last 12 months, meaning extra potential benefits in going for the 12 Pro Max in terms of screen size and battery.

Not that any of these iPhone flagships are a bad option, it’s just a balancing human activity in terms of historic period, feel, specifications, and so on. And yes, they’re all still expensive – if y’all have to worry about price then you can’t afford them!

iPhone 12 Pro Max rear glass

iPhone 12 Pro Max Review


In person, the iPhone 12 Pro Max follows the way of the iPhone 12 before it, with nice apartment sides, though fabricated with stainless steel hither, which looks and feels amazing and very, very solid. It’s also shiny, so collects fingerprints, but that won’t be an issue considering y’all


be keeping this in a instance, even a elementary TPU affair.

iPhone 12 Pro Max edge

Apple tree’s quality control is amazing, as usual, and the fit and finish off the screen and rear glass within the steel chassis is top notch. The rear is frosted glass and once again feels premium. The real interest is in the ever-more-busy camera isle, with three larger than usual lens surrounds and wink and LiDAR arrangement packed in. Plus a tiny hole, presumably a rear-facing microphone (left channel of stereo audio, in that location beingness no mic hole in the elevation edge).

iPhone 12 Pro Max cameras

Down the bottom is the usual speaker grille, the Lightning port (rumours of its demise are greatly exaggerated) and few token holes to balance the speaker (and behind which lie another microphone and some sensors).

iPhone 12 Pro Max bottom edge

The edges, the chamfers, the flat surfaces are merely… perfect. But I’m withal putting this inside a Ringke Fusion clear TPU example because I


going to drop this at some point and when that happens I don’t desire to be crying over cracked drinking glass and scratched steel.

Around the front, I was enormously impressed by the 6.7” display here. It’south rated as (deep breath) ‘
Super Retina XDR OLED, HDR10’, meaning that it can cope with any HDR video content and with massive dynamic range. Anecdotally, out in the sun and especially taking photos, I don’t remember I’ve e’er used such a articulate screen – it’south rated as going upwardly to ‘1200 nits’ if needed (recollect camera viewfinder on a sunny day).

Review iPhone 12 Pro Max display

The Face up ID notch appears smaller here because the screen effectually it is larger – but it’s still rarely in the way and with a dark theme on your iPhone (at present the default) the status bar at the peak is the same black equally the Confront ID sensor array.
Some ill-informed reviewers are complaining that Apple should accept gone dorsum to Bear on ID in these pandemic times, but the iPhone 12 range was


dorsum in 2022, long before Covid-19 was known about. So Confront ID is here to stay. If you lot demand a Touch ID iPhone and so get the SE (2020), which is cheap and still actively sold!

Colour choices for the iPhone 12 Pro Max are

Silver, Graphite, Gilt, and Pacific Bluish, with the latter on show here – information technology’south restrained and the obvious pick for many. Afterward all, silverish and graphite are somewhat boring now, while gold is likewise ‘bling’!


As you’ll have gathered, Apple has differentiated the two ‘Pro’ iPhones for 2022 by putting in bigger cameras in the larger model – which makes sense. Especially for the primary camera, which acquires tech from the DSLR world in the shape of ‘sensor shift stabilization’, which tin can cope with a wider range of movement than traditional phone OIS, where just one or more than lenses motility. Plus the aperture is larger, at f/1.6, the sensor itself is larger (1/1.86″), giving scope – allied to Apple’s auto-dark mode and the LiDAR focus organization – for the best low light shots from a phone… ever (in theory).

review: iPhone 12 Pro Max Camera array

Then throw in a 65mm telephoto lens, i.e. 2.5x optical zoom, also stabilised, plus the same ultra-wide lens as in 2022, but all boosted past the power of the A14 chipset to handle multiple exposure shots, Deep Fusion pixel-level assay, and – notably – Night manner on the forepart and wide cameras, non merely the chief one. And so zoomed shots, wide angle snaps, even selfies, can exist composited in software and using the A14’due south GPU to have noise-complimentary, super shots whatsoever the lighting conditions.

Does all this work out in practice? Well, on the whole aye, though I take some concerns about the caste of sharpening and edge enhancement introduced by Apple in the iOS fourteen Photographic camera awarding, peculiarly in depression low-cal and its Night style.

Meet the example photos (and some one:1 crops) here, along with my comments.

Sample shot, scaled for the web
A sunny Autumn walk – lovely colours, though an easy shot to pull off, of grade…
1:1 crop from the photo above
i:one crop from the photo in a higher place, showing slightly oversharpened, enhanced particular. This is kept in check in almost light conditions, though practice see below…
Sample shot, scaled for the web
Shooting direct into the sun, this captured the scene exactly every bit it was to my optics…
Sample shot, scaled for the web
Getting high-sounding amidst the leaves…
Sample shot, scaled for the web
1:1 ingather from a 2.5x telephoto (zoomed) shot, showing again decent control over enhancement in expert calorie-free.
Sample shot, scaled for the web
No caption needed. Just dig in!!
Sample shot, scaled for the web
Shot in artificial light, nice and crisp. Too crisp? Maybe, just the photo certainly works!
Sample shot, scaled for the web
Once more in the dominicus, a macro of some pebbles. The 12 Pro Max does this type of natural bokeh shot So well…
Sample shot, scaled for the web
Another bokeh shot – the shallow depth of field from quite a large lens and discontinuity can be used artily – merely don’t let information technology get a problem!
Sample portrait
Sample portrait, the author on a hazy sunny day, with low-cal behind me. Portrait fashion hither is outstanding in its accuracy, helped by the LiDAR sensor. Note also the lightening of my confront, which was essentially in shadow. Nicely done, iPhone.
Sample ultra-wide image
Sample ultra-broad paradigm, of a Christmas model installation, where the only manner to get it all in was to become ultra-wide. There’s no focussing, merely everything from 30cm to infinity is ‘in focus’. Which is pretty impressive.
Sample shot, scaled for the web
Depression calorie-free still life, deliberately focussing on the particular in deep shadow on the van’due south left side…
1:1 crop from the photo above
ane:1 crop from the photo in a higher place, showing slightly subdued colours and over-enhanced black outlines. I was expecting a lilliputian more than from Nighttime mode on such a large sensor. Maybe updates will meliorate low light processing?
Sample shot, scaled for the web
A closed cafe under UK Covid lockdown. Dimmer than it seems in this shot, Night mode came on automatically, and in that location’south enough of detail to focus on…
1:1 crop from the photo above
1:one crop from the photo above, showing heavy edge enhancement and dissonance reduction. As with the toy van above, I’d like to run into Apple dial back the processing on Night mode shots. Pretty please?
Sample shot, scaled for the web
Night manner at (accordingly) dead of night. Stars, clouds, greenery, all come to the fore…
1:1 crop
ane:1 crop from the photo above, showing the aforementioned h2o-color effects. Effectively heavy sharpening and then heavy noise reduction. Dial it back a Flake, delight, Apple!

The $6,000,000 question is whether the 12 Pro Max’s photographic camera system is ameliorate than the 12 Pro’due south? Yes, information technology is, though information technology’s hard to demonstrate. Other than slightly shallower depth of field (and better natural bokeh), there’s slightly more zoom available, and Dark mode shots can oft be captured in a second when the smaller phone camera needs three. Simply none of this is enough of a reason to purchase the bigger ‘Max’ phone, I contend. See below for some more thoughts in my Verdict!

Video is – as usual, for iPhoneHacks – non demonstrated in this review, perhaps we can do a dissever characteristic on this? [FX: approaches editor!] Suffice it to say that y’all tin shoot double-stabilised video in 10-bit HDR Dolby Vision format at up to 4K/60fps. Which is about every bit good equally it gets. In my tests, zooming through the range from ultra-wide camera (0.5x) through to 7x zoom (and so a 14x zoom range, finer) is very smoothen, with minimal colour balance shifts in moving from lens to lens.

HDR video is already handled by iMovie on the phone and on Macs, so you should take no problem editing and sharing it. If you have a Windows PC then you’ll have to check your software of option – or simply plow off ‘HDR video’ in Settings on the iPhone.

Media and Performance

Aside from the (at present longstanding) absence of a 3.5mm audio jack, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is terrific at treatment media. The stereo speaker pair is one of the best on any modernistic smartphone. The lesser speaker is still louder, but the earpiece has some heft also, in terms of frequencies supported. Add together in Dolby Atmos, baked in, plus Apple’s trademark octave-shifting of sub-100Hz bass upwards into aural range, and you lot get a broad stereo experience that’south terrific for music videos, YouTube, and so on.

That three.5mm jack isn’t missed that badly in practice – Apple’south rather excellent DAC/dongle is priced sensibly at under £10 in the Great britain (and similarly beyond the world), making sure that information technology’s like shooting fish in a barrel to buy a few and stick them on the jacks of any favourite wired headphones. Plus Bluetooth headphones take come up on in leaps and premises in contempo years. See elsewhere for AirPod reviews, I’g more than a third party man, with Marshall and ROCKJAW over-ear and in-ear solutions respectively and top drawer sound fidelity.

Bombardment life

It’s tough to judge battery life afterwards a short and intensive review menstruum, but results so far indicate that the 12 Pro Max isn’t quite the battery champion that the 11 Pro Max was. But it’s notwithstanding a hero device in the context of the wider phone globe – with intendance it’s easy to get 2 days of use on a single charge. And, with Qi pads hither and in that location throughout your life y’all may non demand to plug into a Lightning cable very frequently.

Which is where Apple tree is going. The MagSafe magnet array in the dorsum of each 12 series iPhone (covered already) locks onto Apple tree’s own 15W MagSafe Qi ‘pucks’ to deliver what would normally be a decent wired charge without any physical insertions. Equally mentioned higher up, compatibility with third-party Qi pads depends on the spec and power supply driving it, and so your mileage will vary.

Apple’southward goal is a portless iPhone in 2022 and I see no reason why at least their flagship tin can’t get there past so. By 2025, all new iPhones will exist free of the Lightning jack and all charging will be MagSafe and wireless. (And if you lot’re wondering, as a geek, how you’d so run troubleshooting and perhaps connect upwards to Macs or PCs, I’m guessing some data/charge contact points along one edge and a docking cradle of some kind.)

In that location’s no charger in the box, a topic that has been covered elsewhere. Even the MagSafe puck doesn’t come with a mains adapter, meaning that a new iPhone owner might need to buy 2 extra expensive accessories in order to exist fully kitted out. Thankfully, for the 12 Pro Max information technology’s extremely unlikely that this is someone’s first iPhone, then the heir-apparent will almost certainly have Lightning (and probably) Qi chargers lying effectually already. Which is Apple’s point in terms of reducing electronic waste matter in the long term, then fair enough.

Box contents

But even with 5G on board here, battery life is merely fine. Ask me once again in a few months how it is calendar week to week! Talking of 5G, it’s an important time to come-proofing spec point, but I’ve merely glimpsed 5G a couple of times in the UK during the review menses. Yous’ll know about 5G rollout where you alive and yes, it’south reassuring to know that a 2022 iPhone volition be good to become for high speed information and low latency in 2022 and beyond.


At that place are, information technology seems, many places in the earth where someone’s smartphone is their entire computing environs. No laptop, no tablet, no desktops in sight. Hence the prevalence on the market of vi” to seven” displays on phones. And, while anyone able to beget an iPhone 12 Pro Max probably has some of these as well, the overall feel of a device that can do just well-nigh annihilation without needing accessories is accentuated even over the iPhone 11 Pro Max, thanks to a larger, higher resolution display again in a like form factor. More pixels, more horsepower, more than RAM, more than storage, faster charging, it’s ‘more everything’ across the board.

Equally ‘a figurer in your pocket’ the 12 Pro Max fares pretty well. From e-mail to function piece of work to iMovie video editing to watching Netflix, it’s equipped for information technology all. At a cost. Just every bit with concluding yr’s 11 Pro Max (only a little more so), this isn’t a smartphone that yous can throw in any pocket. I’m based in the United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland and for 75% of the yr a coat is needed outdoors, in which case finding storage for such a large and heavy phone isn’t a problem. Where this iPhone falls downwardly is in more temperate climes and in the summertime here, where finding somewhere to keep a 228g, 161cm phone isn’t going to be piece of cake.

Much as I love the big screen and even the slightly better photographic camera hither, my recommendation for the vast majority of people is to option the smaller iPhone 12 Pro (also starting at 128GB), which can exercise everything almost also, yet with a much smaller class factor. Or even the vanilla iPhone 12 if money is tight (if you tin can make do with the 64GB starting option).

So in that location’southward the paradox. A slice of 2022 tech which I’m virtually in honey with, long term. Yet which I can’t really recommend across the lath. If you lot know that you can handle a super-sized iPhone and so get for information technology. If you’re not sure then play prophylactic and avoid!

In box

PS. There’s too the question of whether the eleven series to 12 series is a worthwhile upgrade. I’ll exist returning to this in a hereafter ‘Which iPhone?’ article, just in curt, you lot probably don’t need to upgrade unless you need more storage or fancy switching sizes. Eastward.thou. I went for it because I wanted more storage (64GB to 256GB) and more screen (five.viii” to 6.7”).

Source: https://www.iphonehacks.com/2020/11/iphone-12-pro-max-review.html

Posted by: Sadiyev.com