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The iPhone 12 Pro Max is a big phone. The biggest iPhone ever made, in fact.
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The Pro Max’s 6.7-inch display is the largest screen ever on an iPhone. It has the biggest camera sensor of any iPhone, including the three other iPhone 12 models táo announced this year. It has a 5G radio, and it’s got a bigger battery. It is without question the most iPhone you can get.
And while it’s expensive, it’s not that much more expensive than the smaller iPhone 12 Pro: it’s just $100 more at every storage level, starting at $1,099 with 128GB of storage và going up to lớn $1,399 for 512GB of storage. For that money, you get a larger display, a bigger battery, & a very different camera system. I’ll just cut lớn the chase và say it’s absolutely worth it over the standard 12 Pro if you can giảm giá with the size — but it’s a lot of size. And the camera is worth exploring in depth, because there’s a lot going on.
Like I said, it’s the most iPhone you can get.
Our đánh giá of điện thoại iphone 12 Pro Max
Verge Score 9 out of 10
iPhone 12 Pro Max CameraAside from the large size, the main thing that sets the iPhone 12 Pro Max apart from the rest of the iPhone 12 line is the camera system, which is substantially different and more capable than the cameras on the smaller 12 & 12 Pro.
The basics are the same as the 12 Pro: three cameras including a wide, an ultrawide, and a tele, with a LIDAR sensor that enables portrait photos on the wide camera in Night mode. Night mode is available at all three zoom levels now, which is an improvement over the iPhone 11.
The ultrawide camera is the same as on the 12 và 12 Pro, & it’s a noticeable improvement over the ultrawide on the 11 Pro. I think it’s useful & fun lớn have an ultrawide, but it still takes medium-quality photos compared to lớn the main camera.
It’s the main wide camera & the telephoto that are very different on the 12 Pro Max. The wide has the same f/1.6 lens as the 12 & 12 Pro, but it also has a 47-percent larger physical sensor that can capture more light with less noise. The wide camera is also stabilized differently than the other iPhone 12 models, which have traditional lens-based optical image stabilization to lớn reduce vibrations and thus blur.
The 12 Pro Max uses sensor-shift stabilization, which moves the sensor itself around to reduce vibrations. Táo apple tells me the move lớn sensor-shift stabilization on the 12 Pro Max was more about making this sensor form size work to its standards than overall performance, but that the system on the 12 Pro Max is slightly more effective at reducing a wider range of vibrations than the OIS on the 12 Pro.
(As an aside for camera nerds, apple keeps calling this “sensor-shift OIS,” which doesn’t quite make sense because the lens isn’t involved. It’s more like the in-body stabilization you’ll find on Sony & Panasonic mirrorless cameras. But I digress.)
The bigger sensor also has an impressive maximum ISO, which is a measure of light sensitivity. The iPhone 11 Pro had a vị trí cao nhất ISO of 3,072, the regular iPhone 12 Pro has a đứng top ISO of 5,808, and the 12 Pro Max has a top ISO of 7,616. As the numbers go up, the amount of noise at any given ISO tends to lớn go down, which means images from the iPhone 12 Pro Max are generally less noisy than the 12 Pro’s.
The upshot of all this is simple: the wide camera on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is one of the most confident smartphone cameras I’ve ever used. It can take great photos in a huge variety of situations, and rarely feels pushed beyond its limits.
You won’t always see the benefit from that increased capability; it really depends on what kind of light you’re taking photos in. In sunlight and other bright situations, photos from the 12 Pro Max and 12 Pro look identical lớn me — we’re at the point where photos from all the major flagships are starting to lớn look the same. Yes, there are differences: the pixel 5 is a little more contrasty, the iPhone still boosts shadows the most aggressively, and the lưu ý 20 does some weird things with reds and yellows, but when any of these cameras gets enough light, they produce photos that are more alike than different.
But when the light gets dimmer, the 12 Pro Max really starts khổng lồ stand out.
Take this photo I took at sunset: all the phones did a fine enough job, but the 12 Pro Max has far less noise, better và more accurate colors, & more detail.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, iphone 12 Pro, Google px 5, Samsung cảnh báo 20 Ultra. The Pro Max captures better colors và more detail as the light starts to lớn drop.
Under slightly darker conditions, most of the phones automatically shifted to lớn their respective night modes, where they take multiple long exposures and merge them together. But the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s bigger sensor, with its higher maximum ISO, means it doesn’t automatically go into Night mode as often. & when the iPhone 12 Pro Max does go into Night mode, it does so with shorter exposures than the 12 Pro — in situations where the 12 Pro would take a three-second exposure, the 12 Pro Max only needed a one-second shot, resulting in a sharper photo.
điện thoại iphone 12 Pro Max left, điện thoại iphone 12 Pro right. The 12 Pro took a 3-second night mode shot here, while the Pro Max only needed a 1-second exposure.
iphone 12 Pro Max left, Google px 5 right. The Pro Max captured far more detail in a night mode portrait shot.
(Night mode itself has been improved across the iPhone 12 line: the iPhone 11 took Night mode shots by merging together frames with a one-second maximum exposure time, but the iPhone 12 lineup can capture two-second stabilized frames, allowing for better shadows with less noise. And if the phone detects that it’s on a tripod, it will turn off image stabilization & capture three-second frames, for a maximum 30-second night mode shot composed of ten three-second frames. The iPhone 11 would take thirty one-second frames.)
The LIDAR sensor lets you shoot portraits in Night mode using the wide camera, which, combined with the better overall low light performance, means that Night mode portraits are better & more detailed on the 12 Pro Max than the 12 Pro and px 5. It’s impressive.
Overall, when it comes lớn low light, it feels like no contest: the iPhone 12 Pro Max consistently took better, more detailed, and less noisy photos than the pixel 5 & Samsung Galaxy cảnh báo 20 Ultra. Look at how muddy the pixel 5 looks in this basic sunset photo compared to the Pro Max, và look at how washed out the image of the truck from the cảnh báo 20 looks. Táo bị cắn has noticeably moved ahead of the pack here.
You might be expecting some dramatic change to depth of field because of the brighter aperture and bigger sensor — I certainly was — và while close-up photos do have a slightly increased background blur, it’s not particularly more noticeable khổng lồ my eye than the 12 Pro. If you’re looking for that dramatic DSLR-style bokeh, you’ll still need lớn turn on Portrait mode.
The benefits of the bigger sensor are less apparent in video clip — & really, they’re only really noticeable if you’re watching on a larger screen lượt thích a TV. At night, you’ll see a little more detail và less noise in the shadows compared to the 12 Pro, và there’s the tiniest more detail in bright light, but you have lớn go looking for it. We already thought the 12 Pro was far ahead of the pack in terms of video, and the 12 Pro Max is maybe a tiny bit better, but it’s not nearly as dramatic as the improvement in stills.
(I did a deep dive on Dolby Vision in our 12 Pro review, & all the promise is there, as are the compatibility challenges, so go watch that video clip for more. And there’s still a lot of lens flare going on. Táo bị cắn dở told me that there shouldn’t be any increased lens flare over the iPhone 11 line, but that the improved low-light performance means people are noticing it more, which feels roughly equivalent khổng lồ saying “I’m a perfectionist” when someone asks you for your biggest weakness. Sure.)
The telephoto camera is less straightforwardly improved. It is essentially the same sensor as the 12 Pro, but with a longer 2.5x zoom and a less-bright f/2.2 lens instead of the 2x f/2.0 lens on the regular 12 Pro. So: a longer zoom that can pick up less light. It’s a tradeoff, but I found I really enjoyed having the tighter zoom, và I went to use it more than the telephoto on my 11 Pro. It performed slightly worse in lower light than the 2x zoom on 12 Pro, but I think it still has the upper hand compared to the note 20 Ultra and pixel 5 — Apple’s Smart HDR 3 is really good this year, with excellent noise reduction and vibrant colors that are still accurate.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s telephoto camera has a slightly longer reach the the 12 Pro’s, but it’s grainier in low light. | Left: điện thoại iphone 12 Pro Max, Right: iphone 12 Pro
All in all, the combination of the larger sensor, faster lens, improved stabilization, LIDAR, & processing nguồn means that the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the best điện thoại thông minh camera I’ve ever used — it produces terrific, colorful photos with excellent detail in lighting situations where other phones start lớn struggle. We’ve seen apk phone makers lượt thích Samsung và Huawei use much bigger sensors this year with a variety of complicated techniques to make them work, but Apple’s approach of pairing a moderate sensor kích cỡ jump with its focus on improved processing has kept it in the lead. I’m intrigued by Apple’s new ProRAW format that promises the editing flexibility of RAW images from this sensor with the processing of Smart HDR… but it’s not out yet, so we’ll have lớn wait.
Lastly, I have to lớn mention the selfie camera, which is stubbornly the same as the other iPhone 12s. Many people will use the selfie camera more often than the telephoto or ultrawide cameras; it’s well overdue for a serious improvement.
iPhone 12 Pro Max DisplayApart from the cameras, the rest of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is very similar khổng lồ the iPhone 12 Pro. The display is obviously bigger, but it’s just as bright và colorful, và the pixel density is essentially the same. And there’s not a ton more information presented on the big screen by default. I think that’s a shame — this thing is veering into tablet territory in terms of size, và I’d lượt thích to see táo allow app developers to make better use of all this real estate.
Every other flagship phone this year has a 120Hz display, it’s odd for the top of the line iPhone lớn not have it
Disappointingly, the iPhone 12 Pro Max still has a 60Hz-refresh-rate display, while virtually every android phone above $600 is now at 120Hz. This was maybe passable on the standard 12, but on the 12 Pro and especially the Pro Max, I think it’s a miss — it’s the most expensive iPhone with the biggest battery, và the display shouldn’t be one tick behind the competition. Maybe next year.
The 12 Pro Max adds the same MagSafe magnetic wireless charging system as the other iPhone 12s, but Apple’s charging adapters are expensive & suffer from the usual USB-C spec confusion. I am eagerly anticipating the first wave of MagSafe car mounts và other accessories — MagSafe has all the potential to lớn be terrific, but Apple’s ability khổng lồ build & nurture accessory ecosystems around its connector ideas is iffy at best. (See: the near-total lack of ipad keyboards that use the Smart Connector.)
5G on the iPhone 12 Pro Max
I tested the 12 Pro on Verizon’s network, which offers ultrafast millimeter wave (mmWave) 5G on various street corners and sports stadiums around the country, so for the 12 Pro Max I used AT&T’s network. And 5G in the US continues to be a deeply mixed bag that is barely worth discussing.
Speeds where I could find AT&T’s standard 5G service were not so much better than really good LTE, & AT&T’s mmWave network is essentially nowhere khổng lồ be found. & AT&T’s 5G plan automatically enables a “feature” called Stream Saver which streams all đoạn phim at 480p because this so-called “unlimited” plan has complicated limits. So you’ve got a huge phone with a beautiful display & a fast connection that displays most clip in… DVD resolution. C’mon.
I don’t mean lớn just dunk on AT&T: Sascha Segan at PC Mag just released data showing that 5G in the US is slower than anywhere else in the world. So 5G is not only hard to lớn find, it’s slower. If there was ever a “race to lớn 5G,” the United States has lost.
Anyway, I cannot áp lực this enough: 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.
iPhone 12 Pro Max Performance và Battery LifeThe iPhone 12 Pro Max is a big phone, and as such, it has a big battery. Và so battery life is terrific. At home, on WiFi, I saw screen-on times of as long as 14 hours as I doomscrolled through our interminable election, with an average of well over eight hours in more reasonable (and healthy) use over the course of a week. Now, I’m not leaving my house as much as I did before the pandemic, and I didn’t thử nghiệm a lot on 5G or even LTE, but with numbers lượt thích that, I’d expect battery life overall to lớn be tremendous in almost any circumstance. Big phone, big battery, big battery life. It makes the lack of a 120Hz display puzzling.
I’m just going to lớn say it again: the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a very big phone. Big ambition, big camera sensor, big… size. I’ve been using it for a week, and I still haven’t gotten used khổng lồ how big it is. I’m curious to lớn see how accessory makers handle the size.
But the kích thước allows for what I think is easily the best và most capable điện thoại cảm ứng camera on the market right now, and a battery that seems to last forever. If you can khuyễn mãi giảm giá with the size, I think it’s worth passing over the 12 Pro & getting the 12 Pro Max. Those are two dramatic & meaningful improvements for the money. This is a tremendous phone.
But I can’t shake the feeling that the iPhone 12 Pro Max very much feels lượt thích the perfect phone for the life I led before the pandemic. I used to lớn spend a lot of time commuting, and on airplanes, và otherwise out và about getting work done on my phone. I used to go to lớn a lot of events at night và take a lot of photos in bars. My notes indicate that I used khổng lồ care a lot about smartphone network speeds. This phone would have made significant improvements to all those things, but right now it just feels lượt thích another screen for social media on the couch.
I have a kid, và I always buy the latest phone to have the best camera. And there’s no question that this is the best camera. But if you’re feeling that usual tug to lớn upgrade & you don’t need to, I do think you can wait this one out. Maybe 5G will be better next year. Maybe we’ll get that 120Hz display.
Also: did I mention that it’s big?
Agree lớn Continue: iPhone 12 và iPhone 12 Pro
Every smart device now requires you lớn agree to lớn a series of terms and conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us to lớn read & analyze every single one of these agreements. But we’re going khổng lồ start counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to lớn use devices when we đánh giá them since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.
To use an iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro, you have khổng lồ agree to:The táo apple terms of service agreement, which you can have sent to lớn you by emailApple’s warranty agreement, which you can have sent lớn you by email
These agreements are nonnegotiable, and you cannot use the phone at all if you don’t agree khổng lồ them.
If you add a credit thẻ to táo bị cắn dở Pay, you have to lớn agree to:The terms from your credit card provider, which vị not have an option to be emailed
Final tally: two mandatory agreements, six optional agreements for táo khuyết Cash, one optional agreement for táo bị cắn dở Pay