Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max sits at the top of Apple’s new iPhone 12 lineup. This oversized iPhone is packed full of “big” features, including a long-lasting battery, the largest screen ever on an iPhone, and a huge price tag to match. The first round of reviews on the device are out, and we’ve scoured through them all to find out if this big iPhone is worth its even bigger price tag.
Most of the reviewers focused on the camera, and for a good reason. The triple camera lenses, the LED flash, and the LiDAR sensor are the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s major selling points. And it’s more than just the hardware. Apple tweaked the image processing engine to make the iPhone 12 Pro Max one of the best smartphone cameras currently available.
“The iPhone 12 Pro already delivers impressive results year on year, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max leapfrogs it within the same generation,” Writes Matthew Panzarino for TechCrunch.
“It’s the most impressive gain Apple’s ever had in a model year, image-wise.”
Even though the image quality is outstanding, Patrick Holland of CNET wasn’t sold on the iPhone 12 Pro Max because of its size. “If you’re on the fence between the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max cameras, ask yourself if the additional size and heft of the Max is worth the benefits you gain in photography?”
For most people, the iPhone 12 is plenty good enough, but for those who want the best possible imaging system, “then the 12 Pro Max is worth having in your pocket… if it fits,” concludes Holland.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is only slightly larger than last year’s iPhone 11 Pro Max, but the display is significantly bigger. Apple shrunk the bezels down on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, allowing the company to squeeze a 6.7-inch display into the same size form factor as the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The extra cost to get the bigger screen of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is worth the investment. “Images are clearer and more visible on the larger display, you can see more of a web page or image in daily use – and as a movie-watching machine it’s the best iPhone ever,” writes Gareth Beavis for TechRadar. “It’s one of the best displays on the market, able to render both colorful scenes and more subtle tones with ease.”
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a lot going for it, but not everyone will fall in love with this oversized phone. While the large display received ample praise, most reviewers conclude that the iPhone 12 Pro Max is ever so slightly on the “too big” side.
Reviewers described it as “hefty” and a “behemoth.”
The Verge’s Nilay Patel advises potential owners “to safely see the 12 Pro Max’s size in person before making a call on ordering one.”
Even CNET’s Patrick Holland quipped that “If you dropped it on someone there’s a chance they’d sustain a serious injury.”
Outstanding Battery Life
We don’t know the exact size of the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s battery, but it is a whopper capable of delivering up to 14 hours of screen time. Most reviewers were able to eke out a day and a half of usage before needing to recharge. And with the fast charging feature, they could jump back to 50 percent capacity in a mere thirty minutes. CNET called battery life the “sleeper feature” for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, while Nilay Patel of The Verge said he would “expect battery life overall to be tremendous in almost any circumstance.”
5G Is Kind of Irrelevant
Similar to the iPhone 12 mini reviews, most iPhone 12 Pro Max reviewers consider 5G to be a fringe feature at this point. 5G is limited to only certain sections of select major cities and is not widespread enough to be a compelling feature for most people. Nilay Patel of The Verge summarized 5G nicely by saying, “5G in the US continues to be a deeply mixed bag that is barely worth discussing.” He adds that “5G in the United States is more hype than reality, and you should not buy a phone because of it. Just ignore it for another year. It’ll be fine.”
The Most iPhone You Can Get
As Nilay Patel of The Verge points out, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a big phone in many ways. It is the biggest iPhone Apple has made to date. It has a large display and a massive battery. It also has the largest camera sensor found in an iPhone, even when compared to the other iPhone 12 models.
If you can handle all this bigness, then the iPhone 12 Pro Max may be the phone for you. It’s only $100 more than the iPhone 12 Pro, and you get so much more for such a small bump in price.
The iPhone’s size is its most significant benefit, but this quality is also the phone’s biggest drawback. The fact that the iPhone 12 Pro Max won’t fit easily in a pocket may be a dealbreaker for many. For those folks who want a smaller phone, there is the iPhone 12 Pro which matches the iPhone 12 Pro Max in performance and rivals it in camera quality.