Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Review

Is the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max worth its expensive price tag?

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Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Review

Is the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max worth its expensive price tag?

We are supported by our audience, this post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclosure for more details.

Apple iPhone 12 design
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We rate the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max an 8/10

8/10

Quick Summary

The Apple iPhone 12 models saw many new and improved features over last year’s Apple iPhone 11 models. It seems the main focus for the Apple iPhone 12 range was to improve the display, and for the first time, include an OLED display in every Apple iPhone 12 model. When comparing the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max to the Apple iPhone 12 Pro, the main differences are the 6.7-inch display, and the much larger battery. If you prefer large displays and the best battery life available, we recommend this Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Pros

  • Amazing cameras
  • Great display
  • 5G technology

Cons

  • Smaller battery than the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • Very expensive

Rating

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review

Apple is one of the biggest names when it comes to the technology industry. Although Apple is most commonly associated with the Apple iPhone, Apple also sells other electronics, software, and online services. Each year, Apple release a new range of Apple iPhones, bringing the latest and greatest technology into three or four Apple iPhone models. This Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review will go in-depth about the pros and cons of the most expensive of the four Apple iPhone 12 models.

For all Apple iPhone 12 reviews, please see below:

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max specifications

Released: November 13, 2020
Price (at release):
£1,099 / $1,099
Colours:
Silver, Graphite, Gold, Pacific Blue
Storage: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Display: 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (458 PPI)
Processor: Apple A14 Bionic
Memory/RAM: 6GB
5G Technology: Yes
Cameras: 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto, 12MP front camera
Battery: 3,687mAh
Operating System: iOS 14
Weight: 228 grams

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max specs infographic
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max specs infographic

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Design

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is available in four colours. These four colours are silver, graphite, gold, and Pacific Blue. Although we’ve seen these most of these colours, or colours very similar, it’s a safe bet for Apple as these colours look great, especially on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. Below you can see how each Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max colour looks.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro colours
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max colours - Credit: Apple

When comparing the design of the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max to last year’s Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, you’ll find very few differences, some of which include the camera housing looks identical, and the return of the sizeable notch and bezel. Some Apple iPhone fanatics are calling the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max a blend between the Apple iPhone 4 and the Apple iPhone X. The main similarities from these Apple iPhones are the notched, full-screen display first introduced in the Apple iPhone X, and the flat-edge design from the Apple iPhone 4.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro cameras
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max - Credit: Apple

This Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max features a sleek flat-edge design, first seen in the Apple iPhone 4, along with an aerospace-grade aluminium enclosure. This, alongside the new Ceramic Shield front cover, which goes beyond just glass protection by growing nano-ceramic crystals within the glass matrix, ultimately increases drop durability performance by 4x.

This year’s most controversial and most talked about topics introduced with the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is the addition of MagSafe. MagSafe is a new feature on all Apple iPhone 12 models that allows magnetic accessories to be attached to the back of your Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, including Apple’s MagSafe charger for precise wireless charging. We’ll go into more detail about this later on in the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Display

For the first time ever, Apple has included an OLED display in every iPhone model this year, not just the high-end models like in last year’s Apple iPhone 11 Pro or the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2778 x 1284 pixel resolution at 458 PPI.

This year’s Apple iPhone 12 range has made some huge improvements to the displays this year in many ways. The biggest improvement has been that now all models of the Apple iPhone 12 come with OLED displays, rather than the Liquid Retina LCD displays Apple has provided to the standard iPhone models over the past few years.

Apple iPhone 12 display
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max display - Credit: Apple

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with a resolution of 2778 x 1284, a very slight improvement over last year’s Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max display, which had a resolution of 2688 x 1242. Other than this, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max has also seen a solid improvement to the screen-to-body ratio when compared to last year’s Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max has a screen-to-body ratio of 87.4%, a notable increase in comparison to the 83.7% screen-to-body ratio of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Although this year has seen many great and much-needed improvements come to the displays of the Apple iPhone 12 models, Apple still has quite a lot of catching up to do with Samsung’s flagship displays. The Samsung Galaxy S series has been a leader in display technology for many years now, and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra puts the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max’s display to shame, which was released 8 months earlier than the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440, 511 PPI, a screen-to-body ratio of 89.9%, and support for 120Hz display refresh rate.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Cameras

As always with Apple iPhones, the cameras on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max are great, but there hasn’t been much change when compared to the previous year’s Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max includes triple 12MP wide, ultrawide, and telephoto cameras, as well as a 12MP front camera.

The triple 12MP rear cameras are housed in a slightly raised, rounded glass square. This design may take some getting used to and is much more noticeable if you tend to use your phone on a flat surface, especially when typing.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max cameras - Credit: Apple

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max’s ultrawide lens has a 0.5x zoom compared to the standard wide camera. This allows you to essentially zoom out without having to move. This is great for tight environments such as the indoors where you may not have any room behind you. 

This ultrawide camera opens up the possibility for so much more. When you’re using the standard wide camera, under the user interface you can actually see what you could capture if you were using the ultrawide camera. This small, yet great feature helps you know when you should be making use of the ultrawide camera.

As well as this, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max also includes a great option that allows your ultrawide camera to take a picture at the same time as the standard wide camera. This acts as a backup in case the standard wide photo doesn’t capture everything that you was hoping to capture, these backup images last 30 days if not used.

Apple iPhone 12 camera app
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera app - Credit: Apple

Alongside the ultrawide lens, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max features a telephoto lens that offers a 2.5x optical zoom, a slight increase over the Apple iPhone 12 Pro which only offers a 2x optical zoom.

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max’s TrueDepth 12MP front camera is also great but is exactly the same as the front camera from the previous year’s Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max. The front camera features its Smart HDR for more balanced images, whilst also allowing for additional features such as Animoji, Memoji, and slofies.

As well as this, the rear cameras on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max support night mode and Deep Fusion. Night mode greatly improves camera low-light performance and allows for incredible night shots. This happens as your Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max will ask you to hold the phone as steady as possible for a couple of seconds to allow the shutter to take multiple pictures, all at different sharpness and exposure levels, for it to then merge the data together, which results in an incredible low-light photo.

Deep Fusion is Apple’s new image processing system, first introduced in the Apple iPhone 11, which works automatically in certain environments. Apple describes it as “an advanced image processing system that uses the A14 Bionic Neural Engine to capture images with dramatically better texture, details, and reduced noise in lower light.”  This feature is completely automatic and has no indication to show when it’s being used. However, there are a few scenarios where Deep Fusion won’t be used. Deep Fusion won’t be used when you’re using the ultrawide lens, shooting burst photos, or when you have the feature “Photos Capture Outside the Frame” turned on.

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max also has very impressive video recording capabilities. The rear cameras on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max are capable of capturing video at 4K at 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps (frames per second). As well as this, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is also able to record at 1080p at 30fps, 60fps, 120fps, and 240fps. Not only this, but the front camera is also able of recording at 4K at 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps. As well as this, it can also record at 1080p at 30fps, 60fps, and 120fps.

What are the camera specs of the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max?

  • The wide lens is 12MP, f/1.6, 26mm, 1.7µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS.
  • The ultrawide lens is 12MP, 120-degree view, f/2.4, 13mm, 1/3.6″.
  • The telephoto lens is 12MP, f/2.2, 65mm, 1/3.4″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2.5x optical zoom.
  • The front camera is 12MP, f/2.2, 23mm, 1/3.6″.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Battery

Apple has never been the best when it comes to battery size, and unfortunately, this year’s Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is no different. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max has a battery size of 3,687mAh, which is actually quite a lot smaller than the 3,969mAh battery found in last year’s Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max. Not only is this a huge step backwards for Apple, but makes it much harder for the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max to compete with other high-end flagship smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, which includes a huge 5,000mAh battery.

According to Apple, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max can last up to 20 hours of video playback, up to 12 hours of streamed video playback, and up to 80 hours of audio playback.

Possibly the most controversial change with the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is the introduction of MagSafe. MagSafe is a new feature on all Apple iPhone 12 models that allows magnetic accessories to be attached to the back of your Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, including Apple’s MagSafe charger (sold separately) for precise wireless charging. For more information, check out Apple’s MagSafe charger support page.

In addition to this, Apple will no longer include a power adapter in the box of the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max or any future Apple iPhone models, nor will they provide Apple’s wired earphones, the Apple EarPods. However, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max will come with a Lightning to USB-C cable, which you can use to charge your Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max by connecting to a laptop, desktop PC, or your own power adapter, as long as they have a USB-C port.

These changes come as a result of Apple attempting to reduce its carbon emissions and overall environmental impact. By removing the power adapter and Apple EarPods, it allows Apple to reduce the size of the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max box, as well as future Apple iPhone boxes. It’s not all bad, however, as you can still buy the power adapter and Apple EarPods, each sold separately.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Performance

The system-on-chip found in the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is the new A14 Bionic. The Apple A14 Bionic chip features a very powerful CPU (Central Processing Unit) and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and allows for advanced features such as Deep Fusion, Apple’s newly-introduced image processing system. Apple’s A14 Bionic chip is the fastest Apple has ever made.

Released on September 16, 2020, iOS 14 will come preinstalled on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, and all other Apple iPhone 12 models. The main focus for iOS 14 was to bring a fresh look to the things you do most often, making them easier than ever. Some of the main features of iOS 14 are widgets on the home screen, a redesigned app library, and compact calls. Feel free to check out everything new with Apple’s iOS 14.

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with three internal storage options: 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Although competitors to Apple’s iPhone are starting to offer storage of up to 1TB, 64GB is usually enough for the average user. The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max also comes with 6GB of RAM (Random Access Memory), 2GB more than the standard Apple iPhone 12 model. We’re used to seeing just 4GB of RAM in Apple iPhones, but this is a much-welcomed upgrade.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Pricing

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max was released on November 13, 2020. At release, prices started from £1,099 in the UK, and $1,099 in the US. Below are the best deals from Amazon.

Quick Answers

How much does the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max cost?

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max was released on November 13, 2020. At release, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max started from £1,099 in the UK, and $1,099 in the US.

What are the differences between the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro?

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max has a bigger display, a slightly bigger display resolution, slight camera improvements, and a much larger battery size.

Is the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max worth buying?

If you have the money to spare, and would like the latest and greatest Apple iPhone, then we recommend this Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. If you bought the Apple iPhone 11 Pro or the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, it might not be worth upgrading.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Conclusion

The Apple iPhone 12 models saw many new and improved features over last year’s Apple iPhone 11 models. It seems the main focus for the Apple iPhone 12 range was to improve the display, and for the first time, include an OLED display in every Apple iPhone 12 model.

Other than the flat-edge sides, the design of the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max looks almost identical to the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max. The cameras, whilst amazing, haven’t seen any notable improvements, and when compared to last year’s Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, the battery size has actually gotten smaller.

The main differences between the Apple iPhone 12 Pro and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is the 6.7-inch display, and the much larger battery.

If you currently have any model of the Apple iPhone 11, we don’t believe it’s worth upgrading to an Apple iPhone 12 model. However, if you didn’t buy the Apple iPhone 11 and you’re looking for a great high-end smartphone, we recommend both the Apple iPhone 12 Pro and Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

For all Apple iPhone 12 reviews, please see below:

Rating

Visually Reviewed Rated 8

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