Processor: Apple A14 Bionic
Display: Super Retina XDR OLED, 6.7 “2.778×1.284 (~ 458 dpi), HDR10 up to 1200 nits, True-tone and Dolby Vision
Storage: 128, 256 and 512GB
Connectivity : 5G NR, FDD-LTE, TD-LTE, CDMA EV-DO, UMTS / HSPA +, Wifi
802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.0, U1 chip and NFC.
What is a telephone? What is a camera? If we have been wondering what a computer is for some time, we should start asking ourselves the same question with modern
Although there are relatively few differences between the Phone 12 Pro and the
iPhone 12 Pro Max, the change in size – and using such a large screen – makes the device look different.
It is not simply a smartphone. Maybe we should talk about new terms for these types of devices. With a 6.7-inch screen – which is closer to the 7-inch iPad mini – a battery that lasts so long and a camera so powerful, the “phone” no longer applies.
It is big, very big, so much so that the technical specifications do not quite reflect what it means to have a screen of that size in your pocket.
Rather than delve into creating new adjectives for smartphones that get bigger and bigger,
I’d like to talk about what life is like with an iPhone 12 Pro Max, how superior the camera is compared to the iPhone 12 Pro, and why you should buy it. …or not.
What does not change
Even feeling that the way to use the smartphone is different due to the differences in size, at the hardware and software level many things do not change between the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Both have the same design, the same storage capacity: 128, 256, and 512 GB. Both have an OLED (Super Retina XDR) panel with practically the same pixels per inch, 460 from the 12 Pro versus 458 from the 12 Pro Max.
Both models support the new Smart HDR, night mode with all three lenses, and also activate night mode with portraits using the LiDAR sensor, which comes in both devices.
In terms of overall speed, both devices work the same, as they use the A14 Bionic; the next-generation Apple SoC for the entire 2020 iPhone lineup.
Like the rest of the iPhone 12 range launched this year, it has MagSafe support for attaching wireless chargers and other accessories such as wallets, cases, car mounts, among many others.
The real differences between the 12 Pro and the 12 Pro Max are in three key points:
- Camera system
- Screen size
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the best camera in a smartphone
There is no need to dwell on the subject: the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the best camera available on a smartphone today. The differences of this model definitely put it on a higher rung within the range of Apple devices. Yes, also above the competition in general.
It’s also the biggest differentiator between the 12 Pro Max, 12 Pro, and the other
smartphones released this year. Like its little brother, the system has three lenses: ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto. Of the three, only the ultra-wide-angle (0.5x) is the same as the iPhone 12 Pro, that’s
where the similarities end. The wide-angle (1x) also has a ƒ / 1.6 aperture like the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, but the pixel size is larger. Although the most interesting thing is that it
incorporates a new mechanical stabilization system that was previously only found in SLR cameras. Instead of stabilizing the lens, it is done at the sensor level. It allows the
corrections to be much more subtle and faster, therefore much more exact, up to 5,000 movements per second.
In the case of Telephoto, the aperture of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is slightly lower (ƒ / 2.2) than that of the iPhone 12 Pro, which is ƒ / 2.0. But it’s a higher millimeter lens: 65mm
versus the 12 Pro’s 52mm. That means the 12 Pro Max’s optical zoom goes from 2x to 2.5x.
The wide-angle benefits from a 47% larger sensor, capable of capturing up to 87% more light. That translates to much brighter photos or videos and the ability to capture still or moving images in more difficult lighting conditions.
It also means being able to take photos without activating the night mode, which requires long exposure. In the case of video, richer colors, less noise, and a better overall experience when recording. Fewer situations where you discover, post-shoot, that it just didn’t look good in low light.
On a purely aesthetic level, I love how the photos look in portrait mode with the telephoto lens. There is a more natural separation between subject and background. These are three examples:
With pets, which can be tricky by hair, the camera shines. The portrait mode is already capable of separating Pixie (my dog) and the environment with an astonishing accuracy.
One of the magical moments with the iPhone 12 Pro Max is portraits at night. It combines several of the technologies and computational photography that the device’s camera system has. To achieve this, activate the LiDAR for the focus system, the Smart HDR 3 to achieve the color, it also activates the night mode and thanks to the sensor stabilization system, the images do not move despite the long exposure.
Mechanical stabilization on the sensor and not on the lens also improves motion video recording. I have done a test in a moving car, at night, with poor lighting conditions and the results are extremely surprising.
I think the video exemplifies it better than any description I can make. This is especially convenient in situations where moving subjects need to be recorded (with children, pets, sports). It will appear that the sequences are recorded with a gimbal or a steady-cam.
The best way to understand the level of stabilization achieved, in such conditions, is to see how some light reflections move frantically in the reflection of the iPhone lens, which is the movement of the car where the video is recorded.
Wide-angle technical differences between iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max Telephoto technical differences between iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
The huge screen of the iPhone 12 Pro Max
A bigger screen means – at least in theory – more uses, especially productivity with the
smartphone. It has become much easier for me to edit photos, including short videos, on the iPhone without much effort. More space to write articles, more space to answer emails, more space to navigate and manipulate websites. All of that is good. Not to mention video games, photos on Instagram, doomscrollAll of that is wonderful with that big, bright screen.
Even so, I think that both Apple and app developers do not quite take advantage of the size of these devices. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is approaching tablet territory and the interface should reflect that.
Without a doubt, another advantage of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the battery. Those of us who are used to the autonomy of the iPhone 11 Pro Max will feel at home. It is basically the same. Missed the extra autonomy while testing the iPhone 12 Pro or I Phone SE 2020. Going back to a device that doesn’t need to be charged overnight, because the next day I have 30% battery left is wonderful.
13-15 hours of constant use is completely doable, as long as you’re on Wi-Fi connections. With 4G or 5G things change, but not too much.
Is the iPhone 12 Pro Max worth buying?
Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the iPhone 12 Pro Max is only 100 dollars/euros more expensive than the 12 Pro, offering a series of important advantages at the photo and video level. Add to that more autonomy – by having a battery with greater capacity – and a larger screen.
The latter, for me, would be the main reason why I would consider an iPhone 12 Pro and not the Max. A simple issue of sizes, which for many people can be too much. Other than that, I think the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a great buy and certainly one of the most productive devices that I have had a chance to test and use.
In 2019 I mentioned that the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max were approaching perfection. It is becoming difficult to find the buts of the device. The iPhone 12 Pro just reinforces that feeling.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max goes a little further with better cameras, more screen, and more battery. If there is one but, what makes it so exceptional is that it can set back more than one: it can be too big.
I guess that’s why Apple has decided to offer four different models in three different sizes, including the iPhone 12 mini. That way, you can meet different expectations for different uses. If the iPhone 12 Pro Max is too big, the iPhone 12 Pro will be perfect.
I would like that in the future the screen does not grow much more, and the device becomes smaller. That is to say, eliminate borders and make increasingly thin frames. That way we get the best of both worlds: an impressive screen, without feeling like it can be a little too much in your pocket.
I love big devices. I’m willing to compromise on a 6.7-inch screen that often has to be used with one hand. And it is clear to me that the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the best smartphone on the market.