The 12 Pro Max deserves a place in your pocket, if you can make it fit. With a big battery, great cameras, and the largest screen ever in an iPhone.
iPhone 12 Pro Max follows the 7 Plus approach and gets camera upgrades that were not present on any of the other iPhone 12 models. In essence.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max, like all phones in the iPhone 12 family (iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Mini), has a bunch of things like a new flat-sided design reminiscent of the iPhone 5 and iPad Pro. Supports 5G, OLED display with HDR support, ceramic coating, A14 Bionic processor, MagSafe wireless charging support, and can be submerged to a depth of 6 meters (just under 20 feet) for up to 30 minutes.
But at a starting price of $ 1,099, or a hundred dollars more than the iPhone 12 Pro, that’s the question: Are the camera upgrades on the 12 Pro Max worth the extra money? The short answer is yes, but not just because of the camera.
If you want the largest screen on any iPhone, the 12 Pro Max is well worth the price. If you estimate to have the longest battery life on any iPhone 12, the 12 Pro Max appears to be an obvious choice. And yes, if you want to get the last drop in image quality from photos and videos, then iPhone 12 Pro Max definitely deserves it.
IPhone 12 Pro Max has a giant screen
Despite only 2g heavier than last year’s 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 12 Pro Max feels more solid and has a good build. The flat edges, matte etched glass back and stainless-steel sides are another level of premium fit and finish. The review unit I tested was gold, and the polished sides resembled the C-3PO on its best days. But make no mistake, this is a big phone. If you drop it on someone, there is a possibility that they will be seriously injured.
What sets all this premium size apart is the 6.7-inch OLED screen, which is larger than the 6.5-inch screen found on the 11 Pro Max and XS Max. The new screen makes the 12 Pro Max taller than the sliver, along with those flat edges, giving the giant iPhone a solid and textured look.
On the back of this forked phone is a thicker camera bump than an SD card. When the 12 Pro Max is on the back, there is a noticeable gap between the phone and the surface on it. I realize most people will put a case on it, which will settle matters.
The 12 Pro Max has the longest telephoto lens ever in an iPhone
When Apple announced the iPhone 12 lineup, there was little confusion about the phones with the camera. But here’s how it all breaks down. All four phones have the same wide angle and selfie cameras. All four phones have a faster f1.6 aperture lens on the main wide-angle camera. However, the 12 Pro Max’s wide-angle camera is different, which I’ll get to in a little while. The 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max also have a lidar sensor, which helps with auto focus in low-light for photos, video, and slow motion in addition to AR apps. Finally, the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max both have a third rear camera with a telephoto lens, but the lens on the 12 Pro Max is longer than the one on the 12 Pro.
At the equivalent of 65mm, the new telephoto lens in the 12 Pro Max features a 2.5x optical zoom. Compare that to the 52mm telephoto lens on the 12 Pro, which has a 2x optical zoom. That extra 0.5x goes a long way. It’s definitely not even close to the 5x optical zoom on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but I was happy to have more access to the iPhone.
Taking photos in places where there is not much light is a weakness of any camera. And the smaller the camera like the one in the phone, the magnified this vulnerability. The cameras on the iPhone 12 Pro Max seem built with the sole goal of capturing great photos and videos in medium and low light conditions.
One way Apple has addressed this is to give the 12 Pro Max’s main wide-angle camera a larger sensor. Along with the f1.6 lens, the new sensor gets an 87% improvement in low-light capability, according to Apple. On paper this is impressive. To help things out even more, the 12 Pro Max has a sensor-based optical image stabilization instead of the lens-based OIS found on the 12, 12 Mini and 12 Pro. By installing the sensor, Apple claims you’re getting the equivalent of stopping the light, which is impressive again on paper.
For the most part, all of these claims appear to be true. The Pro Max takes great photos in low light, but when compared to the photos from the regular 12 Pro, the differences don’t immediately jump to you. That’s less of a hit against the 12 Pro Max, and more of an indication of how good the cameras are on the iPhone 12 Pro. We’ll dive into the photos and videos from both phones in our upcoming camera comparison.