iPhone 12 Pro Max review

iPhone 12 Pro Max-One of the best big iPhones on the market.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max had a near bezel-free finish, phone call noise cancellation as well as one of the best cameras Apple has ever made. It was expensive, but you can always find it cheaper second-hand and it’s no longer on sale from Apple.

The 12 Pro Max mirrors the design of the other handsets in 2020’s iPhone 12 family: a slightly flat industrial design, which is a little less comfortable to grip. It’s the original look– a bit old-school, but what can we do. It debuted 10 years ago on the iPhone 4, but it made a comeback on recent iPad Pro models.

Apple has replaced the iPhone 12 Pro Max in its store with the latest models of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Despite being differently optimized for power or other differentiating features, they are both of a large size and share the crown as Apple’s largest phone. While Apple keeps around older basic models in its lineup, it typically quietly retires the larger versions, meaning you’ll be able to find the iphone xr at other retailers. There’s a good chance they’ll be on sale but it won’t be directly from Apple.

With how small the upgrades are, it’s hard to recommend the iPhone 13 Pro Max as a top choice for fans of big Apple phones. Still, those who want something newer would be best off looking at the iPhone 12 Pro Max. iOS 15 offers improved functionality in many ways, such as with Apple Maps, Messages, and Share Play.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is more muted in color and importantly, has a shiny metal rim that catches the eye. It’s industrial design overall is pleasing and it manages to stand out just enough – despite its size.

Whilst the iPhone 12 Pro Max is actually only a small percentage bigger than the 2019 11 Pro Max, the bezels on the OLED display have been shrunk to allow Apple to increase screen size to 6.7 inches – which is why it’s a more compelling reason to purchase.

The larger display on the iPhone X is unparalleled and offers more clarity, while also being able to fit more of a web page or image at once. It’s also one of the best displays you can find on the market, capable of handling high-quality movies and visual presentations.

the main new feature of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is that it has 3 cameras – all of which are upgraded with a better image processor. Due to the camera being on the back, this phone has a beefier rear camera sensor than recent iPhones. It also manages to capture a lot more light & enhancements have been made to the image processing. This really helps take clear photos

In our tests, the iPhone 12 Pro was not that far ahead of the 12 Pro Max in terms of camera performance. The images were on the whole clearer and brighter from the iPhone but only by a small amount.

If you love making movies with your phone, the 12 Pro Max is a clear winner. It captures stunning 4K footage at 60 frames per second, so if you’re looking for a phone that can handle quality videos, this is it.

HDR is an interesting new feature for your phone. It can make videos look great, but it also means that they will take up more storage space on your device. This can be a problem for people who buy them because they don’t have a lot of free space. If this is not a concern for you, then it’s something to think about though.

The 12 Pro Max already has 128GB of storage, which is what most people tend to expect. Additionally, it has 5G with a download speed of up to 100 Gbps, so no need to worry about running out of space.

5G is the future of mobile connectivity, but it isn’t a necessary reason to buy this phone. Yes, 5G is going to be a major factor in our future, but for now many areas of the world do not have 5G coverage… and all users will find themselves disappointed that there are no 5G networks for them. In the next few years connectivity will become much more widespread, so buying a 5G iPhone is more about future-proofing than enjoying advancements in the current generation of iPhones.

And because 5G mainly just provides faster data connection speeds (although it is significantly faster than even Wi-FI for most people), you might not feel like this is something that’s missing from your life right now.

The iPhone 12 MAX pro enabled Apple to include the innovative MagSafe technology. This means that you will be able to attach the charger, case and accessories by using a magnet for an extra-safe connection. This is a great addition, and more accessories that can be used with it are being released all the time. The compatibility of MagSafe will only get better as time goes on, and getting the iPhone 12 Pro Max will future-proof you as more accessory become available on the market.


The iPhone 12 Pro Max is a big phone – one of the biggest so far. It also boasts a new design and squared corners, echoing the new iPad’s brutal, industrial design. The iPhone has evolved into a jack of many trades. For example, in addition to being a world-class photography tool, there are apps to share photos and videos instantly on social media, record audio and video at live events and more.

The corners of this phone are sharp because Apple wanted to sell you a more expensive model. The rounded edges on the iPhone 11 Pro Max feel more comfortable to hold.

Pro Max is more ‘mature’ than other phones. It comes in more colors, too – the outside is a shiny stainless steel band, and the front accent and back of the phone now come in Graphite, Gold, Silver and Pacific Blue.

The shiny rim looks fancy and premium, but it will show fingerprints pretty easily. To avoid this keep a cotton cloth handy and regularly clean the rim.

Given the price tag, you’d expect that the phone would look expensive. The iPhone 12 Pro Max definitely looks like it’s worth its high cost, especially when in the gold color that we reviewed.

In essence, the 12 Pro Max is just a bigger version of the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro. They share many design cues such as a similar placement for the home button on either side of the phone, which makes it easy to lock your screen or adjust the volume.

The only downside? The three-camera setup on the back of the iPhone Pro Max sticks out noticeably more than on the old iPhone 12 and 12 Pro. This is due to a larger sensor that can take in plenty of light. (In the camera section, we’ll find out if that’s worth it but – spoiler alert – it’s not bad at all)


The new iPhone 12 Pro Max has the largest display of any previous iPhone created – and that’s all most users will need for a convincing upgrade.

In line with the new technology that appeared on this year’s 11 Pro and Pro Max, every model in the iPhone 12 range is equipped with an OLED display. Not only does it make a big difference at this screen size, even at practical everyday use it makes such a significant contribution. Using the words from Apple’s website, it appears that they are calling this screen a “Super-XDR OLED display”. Essentially, this means that the screen is clear and bright with excellent color reproduction.

The display here is so much better than on older iPhones and images really come to life with color and detail.

Thanks to the thinner bezels around the new iPhone 12 Pro Max display the screen is able to stretch further to the edges of the device, resulting in a 6.7-inch display compared to a 6.5-inch affair on the 11 Pro Max, and it looks really impressive. That extra screen estate is really noticeable next to last year’s phone, and adds to the sense of immersion when watching movies or similar.

It’s not a huge step forward in terms of brightness – this is a very similar OLED panel to the one we saw on  the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max – but it’s pin-sharp, and streamed or downloaded content looks dynamic on the larger display, with high contrast ratios making things like blockbuster action movies and nature documentaries look incredibly absorbing.


The best thing about the iPhone 12 Pro Max is its rear-facing camera. It has the best of hardware and software. This phone has three 12MP cameras – a standard wide, an ultra-wide and a telephoto zoom. All of these have been upgraded from last year with a new Night Mode feature for the ultra-wide lens as well as the main camera on the rear.

While the camera’s on both the Pro Max and the regular Pro are pretty much identical, Apple’s made it clear that the Pro Max will be your best bet if you want to take better pictures.

The new iPhone’s huge sensor means brighter & clearer shots that are more detailed, whether taken in light or dark.

The 12 Pro Max is hands down the best camera phone you can buy. It takes incredible photos and it’ll last you all day on a single charge.

Apple has been making a big deal about ‘computational photography’ with their latest devices like the iPhone 12 being intelligent enough to know what it’s looking at and adjust the resulting picture accordingly. Deep Fusion, which debuted last year on Apple’s iPhones, analyses images pixel by pixel to create the best possible result post-capture.

The new Smart HDR 3 capability looks for different scenes when the photo is taken, grabbing multiple exposures and stitching them together intelligently to give you the best picture, while Night mode, which requires you to keep the phone still for a varying amount of time (depending on the conditions) can turn a dark, gloomy setting into a rich and vibrant scene.


The headline feature in the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the camera, but other features are becoming more prevalent. 5G and MagSafe have been added to all models of the iPhone 12 so you don’t have to worry about your phone battery dying as soon.

We’ve already gone over this in detail in our iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews and have seen that the new features work with complete consistency on the 12 Pro Max.

In the interests of saving our fingers, we won’t go into the same depth here as we did in those reviews – we’d urge you to go and check them out to get our full thoughts – but here are the key things we found using these fancy new toys on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Battery life

If you want to choose a phone that lasts the longest between charges, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a good choice. It has a larger battery capacity than other models in the iPhone 12 range and this means that it lasts much longer before recharging.

Battery life on the iPhone 11 Pro Max is usually very similar to previous models, but you may observe different stats depending on how you use it or where you’re using it.

Constant 5G connections were not actually something we could test regularly on the new iPhone, partly due to being currently in lockdown. But like on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, we did find some drop-off in the performance of the battery life when using 5G speeds – we saw that a 26-minute YouTube test on 5G took 7% of the battery, where the same test in 4G areas hit only 3% of the battery life.

This is hardly the most scientific of tests though, and was down to not being able to spend long in a 5G spot due to the current conditions – we’ll be giving it a more thorough test soon. However, the findings that 5G is more costly to battery life seem to be appearing on the 12 Pro Max as on other iPhones.

There are a few exceptions to this, like downloading apps and streaming music which will not be affected by the 5G throttling. However, you will still see a 5G sign on your device when this is happening – even if it’s deliberately slowed down to save battery

The biggest issue we had with the ?12 and 12 Pro, with their smaller batteries, was that they would sometimes struggle to last until the end of the day, especially when not connected to Wi-Fi. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has great battery life, even when it’s active for more demanding tasks.

On the day we tried to see how long the battery lasts, we found that it was not very low on power even after a number of hours. Despite all of the music streaming, video streaming and internet use, we still achieved a zero percent battery right before 7:30pm. That specification was with heavy use throughout the day.

Although you might have to charge the phone more often, we found that we lost only 40% of the battery in a 20-hour period when all of our connections were on Wi-Fi. That’s slower than most Android phones but still faster than the iPhone 4. Previous Plus/Max iPhone performance has been consistently good as well.

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