The final two iPhones in this year’s crop – the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the iPhone 12 Mini – have gone on sale.
Now, with four different handsets available, it may be harder to choose which of Apple’s latest smartphones is for you. If you’re not sure whether to plump for the iPhone 12 Pro Max then read on, as we’ve put it through our smartphone tests to find out if it’s worth buying.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: What’s new?
Apart from the slightly larger screen size (6.7-inch vs 6.1-inch), the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the same design as the iPhone 12 Pro, and comes in the same four colour options (silver, grey, gold and blue). The front and back matt-glass panels are made from the Ceramic Shield and joined together by a stainless steel band. Apple claims this new screen is four times less likely to smash when dropped.
The screen is also OLED, just like on all of the variants in the iPhone 12 range. We found that when watching films and TV shows, colours looked more vibrant and blacks appeared darker than on a smartphone with an LCD display. The stereo speakers support Dolby Atmos and spatial sound (the same found on the iPhone 11 Pro Max) to make sure the audio experience equals the visuals. It’s waterproof and supports 5G too, which is a first for Apple.
All of the iPhone 12 handsets are powered by the Apple A14 Bionic chipset and Neural Engine (which also appear in the iPad Air 2020). During testing, it proved to be the fastest smartphone we’ve tried to date both when opening apps and surfing the web.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera: What about my photos?
Just like the iPhone 12 Pro, this larger handset has three rear cameras. The 120-degree wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle lenses are the same as those on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini, but there’s also an additional telephoto lens.
The telephoto lens is what really makes the Pro Max stand out. There’s a longer focal length, which boosts the optical zoom to 5x and meant on test we were able to get a closer shot of our subject without having to move.
We also found photos taken in low light (without Night Mode enabled) were much clearer and detailed than those shot on the iPhone 12 Pro. This is thanks to the sensor, which is 47 per cent larger and lets in more light.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max also has 12x digital zoom (compared to 10x on the Pro) and optical image stabilisation when recording video, so clips shot from moving vehicles don’t appear as shaky.
Like all the other iPhones in the 12 range, Night Mode (a handy feature that improves the detail in photos taken in dark conditions) is available on all cameras. During testing, both selfies and video shot at night appeared more detailed, while the LiDAR scanner (a laser that can calculate depth) made the phone faster at focussing in low light.
There was also less noise in “Portrait” shots taken in dark conditions when compared to the same photo captured on the iPhone 12. And we were impressed that video can be shot in 4K Dolby Vision (a cinematic format that makes film look more true-to-life).
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: Battery life
According to Apple, the iPhone 12 Pro Max will last 20 hours between charges when watching video. On test, we found that was an accurate claim. Fully recharging the handset took 2.5 hours with the optional 20w mains charger (£19).
The iPhone 12 range is the first to support a new, faster type of wireless charging, too. MagSafe uses magnets to quickly position chargers (and other accessories like cases and wallets) correctly on the back of the handset.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: How much is it?
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max deals
The most cost-effective way to buy the new iPhone 12 Pro Max is to purchase it outright. However, if that’s not possible, here are some great Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max deals:
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max specs
Display: 6.7-inch Super Retina xdr display (2778 x 1284 resolution)
Processor: Apple A14 Bionic
Operating system: iOS 14
Camera: Triple rear camera: 12MP ultra-wide (ƒ/2.4), 12MP wide (ƒ/1.6), 12MP telephoto (ƒ/2.0)
Battery: Up to 20 hours of video playback
Storage: 128GB, 256GB or 512GB
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max release date
The Apple iPhone 12 Pro went on sale on Friday 13 November, so it’s available to buy right now.
Any down points?
The cable now has USB-C at the mains charger end (rather than USB-3). With no mains charger in the box (Apple’s move to reduce electrical waste,) you may find yourself without a compatible charger. You can’t expand the storage space on the phone either.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: Verdict
If you’re serious about photography and want a smartphone that can take professional-looking photos and video, the iPhone Pro 12 Max is worth the extra over the iPhone 12 Pro. The additional battery life and larger screen is an added bonus, too.
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max cases
As it’s made from glass, the Apple iPhoen 12 Pro Maxt could shatter if accidentally dropped (even though Apple says the phone is four times tougher than previous models). In our eyes, a case is a must. Here’s our pick of some of the best iPhone 12 Pro Max cases:
Digital Spy has launched its first-ever digital magazine with exclusive features, interviews, and videos. Access the latest edition with a 1-month free trial, only on Apple News+.
Interested in Digital Spy’s weekly newsletter? Sign up to get it sent straight to your inbox – and don’t forget to join our Watch This Facebook Group for daily TV recommendations and discussions with other readers.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io