iPhone 12 Pro Max – Maximum Quality?

In October, Apple announced the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro series, including the iPhone 12 Pro Max. I’ve had the phone for a week now, and here’s my review.

iPhone 12 Pro Max – Design

This phone feels massive. It isn’t massive, since the iPhone 6s Plus (and other ‘Plus’ iPhones) have exactly the same dimensions. But why does it feel massive? The enormous screen alongside the squared-off edges make the phone feel larger in your hand, and once you put a case onto it, it’s even bigger! The side frame of the phone is extremely shiny and are absolute fingerprint magnets, but make the phone look all the more premium.

Battery

The battery size of this phone is smaller than its predecessor, at 3687mAh, but combined with the efficiency of the A14 Bionic, it’s incredibly sufficient for daily use. Once you start using doing intense tasks like gaming and video editing, it does get a bit worse; but it’s definitely sufficient. I haven’t charged up the phone for 3 days, and it’s only just about to die, however I did use it for very light tasks.

iPhone 12 Pro Max -Tech specs

The phone includes Apple’s new A14 Bionic, 6GB of RAM and a base 128GB of storage. The 6GB of RAM may well be too much. Any app that you open, be it Chrome or Twitter, will stay active for ages, until the app itself times out. As we’ve seen from Apple’s M1 chip(based on the A14) and the iPad Air, the A14 Bionic is simply incredible. The speed and the efficiency Apple delivers with their chips are simply incredible, and the A14 Bionic is no exception.

An IP68 Water Resistance rating means that the iPhone 12 Pro Max can go up to 6 metres underwater for up to 30 minutes, but tests performed by others have shown it can last for longer.

Audio and Video

MKBHD on YouTube

The speakers on the 12 Pro Max are the biggest in any of the iPhones this year. They also sound, as expected, amazing. The display on the 12 Pro Max is also the biggest display in any iPhone this year, coming in at 6.7 inches. It has a whopping 1200-nits peak brightness while watching HDR content, and 800 nits peak brightness otherwise ( which is still extremely bright). I found that since I’m so used to 500 – 600 nit displays, this display is waay too bright for my liking. But it’s nice to have nonetheless.

Ceramic Shield on the iPhone 12 series means that the phone is much more drop resistant – but unfortunately, not scratch resistant. In fact, many early reported that their displays got many small hairline scratches within the first few days of usage. We weren’t taking any chances, so we slapped a screen protector on immediately!

Camera and LiDAR

This year, the largest iPhone has 3 cameras, and an all new LiDAR scanner. The camera bump is, as usual, bigger than before. It’s crazy that 5 years ago, iPhones had basically no camera bump at all! They’re all 12MP sensors, and this year the 12 Pro Max has an optical zoom from 0.5x up to 12x, which is higher than last year’s 10x optical zoom.

The Smart HDR 3 feature in the cameras make photos look even more crisp and clear, merging multiple shots of the same photo together. You can see this in action after you take a photo and immediately view it; the photo gets clearer and details become sharper. The much larger sensors, with the LiDAR sensor, make low light photos much much brighter, and much more colourful.

Shooting video on the 12 Pro Max is much smoother too. The new sensor shift feature makes videos clearer and smoother, because the sensor itself moves compared to OIS, where the whole lens moves. Also, recording in Dolby Vision HDR means videos are even more vibrant and bright, and watching it back on a huge HDR TV makes content feel shockingly realistic! Hopefully, platforms like YouTube and Instagram will support HDR fully too, so we can fully immerse into the quality of realistic video.

MagSafe

MagSafe on the iPhone 12 series and the 12 Pro series lets the iPhones charge at 15 watts, which is double the speed compared to the Qi standard of 7.5 watts (on iPhone only). But its not just about the charging speed. My favourite aspect of the MagSafe charger is (quite strangely) the way that the wire can move anywhere. When you’re gaming, the cable can come out of the top so your hands aren’t obstructed, and when you’re using the phone in portrait mode, the cable can come off to the side.

The accessories MagSafe enables are also, quite interesting. Belkin has announced a MagSafe compatible car mount, so there’s no clips on the side of the phone. Moment has announced a set of tripods and camera accessories, and mounting accessories, that allow the 12 Pro Max to be wall mounted by magnets, and a MagSafe tripod will make it easier to reach those controls the clips used to block!

But it does come at a cost. The MagSafe charger will leave a mark on your Apple Leather Case, and due to heat transferred through the case, it might start to smell, as leather does.

Another new and incredibly emphasised feature of the iPhone 12 Series is 5G. 5G isn’t yet available near me, so I haven’t had a chance to try it, but nonetheless, it does future proof the iPhone 12 and means that when 5G becomes widespread, the iPhone 12 Pro Max will definitely support it!

Have you bought the iPhone 12 series? Let me know in the comments! See you again soon!

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