iPhone 12 Pro Max Review with Pros and Cons

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest iPhone ever at 6.7 inches but it’s not just a super sized version of the iPhone 12 Pro. It also boasts a more advanced camera and much longer battery life. So is it worth the jump from a ₹1,19,900 to ₹1,29,900?

Let’s find out in this iPhone 12 Pro Max review. I have also compared it with other models of iPhone 12 series, so let’s get started.

iPhone 12 Pro Max unboxing

Taking a look at the box of the iPhone 12 series, it is quite a slim box; however, the box is larger compared to the other iPhone 12s. Taking a look at all of the boxes side-by-side, you can see that the iPhone 12 mini has the smallest box, the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro has the same size and the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the largest box among them.

Retail boxes of iPhone 12 series
Retail boxes of iPhone 12 series

Box contents: You’ll get a USB Type-C to Lightning cable in the box, as well a little pack, which has the SIM card tool, some safety info, as well as a single Apple sticker.

I’m sure pretty much all of you already know that the new iPhone 12 series do not come with a Power Brick or EarPods included out of the box.

Not many people have a USB Type-C adapter if they are coming from older phones. Only the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max came with USB Type-C adapters.

So although you’ll be able to use your Lightning cable with a regular 5W charger, which you may have from an older iPhone, you won’t be able to get the full charging capability of the new iPhones unless you go out and buy a 20W fast charger.

Overview, Design and Build Quality

The design of iPhone 12 Pro Max is pretty much identical to the 12 Pro. We have the matte glass finish on the back along with the flat stainless steel edges. Especially with this stainless steel, they do look really good. But there’s a couple of things to bear in mind.

One thing that I have noticed on iPhone 12 Pro Max is that it attracts a lot of fingerprints. Personally, I do think I prefer the matte finish design of the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12; however, they are not as premium and durable as the 12 Pro Max.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

Looking at the frame, we’ve got nothing on the top. At the bottom, we have the Lightning connector as well as one of the two stereo speakers, the other one is in the earpiece. On the right-hand side, we have the power button.

On the left-hand side, we have the volume buttons, the mute switch, as well as a SIM card tray for the physical SIM card. However, you can have dual SIM cards on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. One of those can be an eSIM.

Like other iPhone 12s, the 12 Pro Max does have IP68 water and dust resistance, and this is a higher rating of water and dust resistance compared to lots of the competition. You can have this underwater up to 6 meters for 30 minutes, whereas a lot of the competition, you’re looking at around 2 or 2.5 meters.

iPhone 12 Pro durability test

Like the other models of iPhone 12 series, this also have Ceramic Shield. It’s supposed to have 4 times improved drop performance compared to the previous generation and this has been tested by some YouTubers.

However, it isn’t any more scratch resistant, so if you want to protect your shiny new iPhone, then I would recommend picking up a tempered glass or screen protector.

Display of iPhone 12 Pro Max

Taking a look at this display, this is the largest display Apple has ever had on an iPhone. It’s 6.7 inches (roughly the same size body as the iPhone 11 Pro Max). Here is the iPhone 11 Pro Max for a comparison, so you can see that the 12 Pro Max is a little bit taller as well as a little bit wider, but the 11 Pro Max have a 6.5 inch display.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 11 Pro Max
iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 11 Pro Max

The bezels look about the same size, however, they do appear smaller on the iPhone 12 Pro Max because it have flat edges. The iPhone 11 Pro Max has curves around on the sides, so when you look at the front, the iPhone 11 Pro Max does appear to have slightly thicker bezels.

They do weigh exactly the same, 226 grams. The iPhone 11 Pro Max does feel a little bit more comfortable, thanks to those curved edges. The iPhone 12 Pro Max gives you a bit more grip because of those flatter edges.

iPhone 12 series Display
iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

Let’s do a quick size comparison between all the new iPhone 12s. So we’ve got the iPhone 12 mini, the 12, the 12 Pro, and the 12 Pro Max, so you can see these all side-by-side. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is definitely a big boy, especially if you compare it directly side-by-side vs the iPhone 12 mini.

The display itself, apart from being larger, is very much the same as the iPhone 12 Pro. It’s Super Retina XDR, OLED technology, 2 million to 1 contrast ratio, up to 1,200 nits of peak brightness when viewing HDR content, but we unfortunately do not have a high refresh rate.

This is something that I was definitely hoping for, at least on the Pro models. Some are saying it’s because of supply issues, others are saying it’s because of battery life. Nevertheless, 120 Hertz is not here this year.

iPhone 12 Pro Max camera review

One thing that I definitely want to talk about, is the cameras of iPhone 12 Pro Max.

iPhone 12 Pro Max has a larger camera sensor than iPhone 11 Pro Max
iPhone 12 Pro Max has a larger camera sensor than iPhone 11 Pro Max

Front camera

The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the exact same front-facing camera like we have on the other iPhone 12s. It’s 12-megapixels with an f/2.2 aperture, can film at up to 4K 60 fps, but things get very interesting on the rear-facing cameras.

Ultra-Wide camera

So the ultra-wide camera is the same as what we’ve got on the iPhone 12 Pro, it’s 12-megapixels sensor with 120° angle of view, but the primary camera as well as the telephoto camera are different.

Primary camera

The primary camera is of 12-megapixel but it has a much larger sensor size. It’s actually 47% larger compared to the iPhone 12 Pro as well as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, along with a wider f/1.6 aperture. It means that you get an 87% improvement in low light compared to iPhone 11 Pro Max. This larger sensor results in:

  1. More details
  2. Better night photos
  3. Faster night mode shots
  4. Better dynamic range
  5. Improved depth of field

Not only that, the primary camera also uses sensor-shift optical image stabilization. The OIS on a smartphone usually uses the lenses, but this is the first time we have sensor-shift OIS on a smartphone.

This is something that we generally tend to see on professional mirrorless and DSLR cameras, and it’s where the sensor actually moves to compensate for motion when taking photos and videos.

Telephoto camera

The telephoto camera is also different compared to the iPhone 12 Pro. It’s 12-megapixels and it has a 2.5 times optical zoom compared to 2 times. This gives you roughly around a 65-millimeter angle of view.

From what I can see, the telephoto camera is mostly for portrait photography. If you speak to a photographer, generally, they will shoot portraits at 50 millimeters or above.

Having the wide angle for portraits is great, but it doesn’t really give you that portrait look. It’s going to be super interesting to see what the portraits look like on the iPhone 12 Pro Max compared to others.

Camera test: iPhone 12 Pro max vs Galaxy Note 20 Ultra vs Huawei Mate 40 Pro

LIDAR sensor

We also have a LIDAR scanner on the iPhone, and this is going to help with depth information, which is not only going to be useful for AR but also for auto-focus in low light situations and for portraits in low light.

I’ve tested the iPhone 12 Pro for portraits in low light. It uses the primary camera for this. However, it does a great job and that’s because the LIDAR scanner does not rely on light to give you that depth information.

The LIDAR scanner is not just for photos, there are lots of other uses. It can help with AR, giving you much more precise information and a new feature that we’ve got on the iPhone 12 Pro and the 12 Pro Max is People Detection.

So if there is somebody that’s visually impaired, the iPhones will be able to use the LIDAR scanner to detect how far people are from them so that they can maintain social distancing.

Video recording

For video, we do have the support of 4K HDR with Dolby Vision up to 60 fps on all three of these cameras. This is up from 4K 30 fps Dolby Vision HDR on the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12. But that 4K HDR with Dolby Vision is not supported at 4K 60 fps on the front-facing camera.

So regardless of the Pro models, you only get 4K 30 fps with Dolby vision HDR on the front-facing camera. You can film 4K 60 fps from the front-facing camera, however, this will be without Dolby Vision and HDR.

ProRaw feature

Another thing that I’m really looking forward to is Apple ProRAW. This is the ability to take raw images on iPhones with all of that computational photography goodness that you get on at the iPhone cameras. No idea when this is going to come, but I am super excited for this.

iPhone 12 Pro Max Performance

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is powered by the A14 Bionic chip as with the other iPhone 12s, however the Pro models do get more RAM, which should help with multitasking.

When it comes to performance, the A14 bionic powered iPhone 12 Pro Max, paired with 6GB of RAM has no lag and stutters. Gameplay on this device is fluid and smooth. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also outperformed the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra on the 3dmark wildlife graphics benchmark.

Apple’s handset notched 41 frames per second compared to just 24 for the Galaxy. As expected, the iPhone 12 Pro Max also blew away the android competition on geekbench. In video editing test, the 12 Pro Max takes just 28 seconds to transcode a 4k video to 1080p compared to 1 minute and 16 seconds for the Note 20 Ultra.

We also have all of the face ID sensors within the notch, which works absolutely fine. I would have liked to have a fingerprint scanner in addition especially in the day and age of masks, but this is not here. Now let’s talk about the battery.

iPhone 12 Pro Max
iPhone 12 Pro Max

5G connectivity

The iPhone 12 Pro Max supports every flavor of 5G including sub 6GHz and millimeter wave. The iPhone 12 Pro Max maxed out at mbps for downloads and 77.5 mbps for uploads. Like other iPhone 12 models, the pro max can automatically switch from 5G to 4G via its smart data mode.

This can help you to save battery life but it kicks in mostly when the screen is off, such as when you’re streaming music.

The 5G network is very dependent on your area at this time. In some areas, you do get great connectivity, and in other areas, there is no 5G connectivity. The 5G is more of a long-term thing. If you have 5G support right now, you will be future-proof by having 5G on your new iPhone.

iPhone 12 Pro Max Battery and Charging

The iPhone 12 Pro Max does have the largest battery on any iPhone 12 this year.

iPhone 12 Pro Max with MagSafe

The iPhone 12 Pro Max can perform web surfing over 5G for 10 hours and 53 minutes that’s nearly two hours longer than the regular iPhone 12 pro which endured for 9 hours and 6 minutes. Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was slightly behind the 12 Pro Max with a run time of 10 hours and  26 minutes.

There is a support of 20W fast charging, but that charger is not included in the box. You would have to buy this separately. This 20W charger will charge your 12 Pro Max to 50% in 30 minutes.

iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with MagSafe Technology
iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with MagSafe Technology

We do have Qi wireless charging with MagSafe technology. So for Qi wireless charging, you can get up to 7.5W, but if you do use a MagSafe wireless charger which costs $39, you can get up to 15W wireless charging. There’s many more MagSafe accessories, and there’ll be lots and lots more coming.

iPhone 12 Pro Max price and availability

iPhone 12 Pro MaxPrice
6GB + 128GBRs. 1,29,900
6GB + 256GBRs. 1,39,900
6GB + 512GBRs. 1,59,900

Now let’s talk about the storage variants and the price in India. The device starts with 128GB, which is double the storage compared to last year starts at Rs. 1,29,900, which is Rs. 10,000 more compared to the iPhone 12 Pro.

iPhone 12 Pro Max Review: Conclusion


  • Attractive design, premium finish
  • Excellent and bright OLED screen
  • Loud stereo speakers comes with great audio quality
  • The fastest smartphone chip + it has 5G support
  • Excellent camera performance – as expected
  • LiDAR Scanner is a gread addition to the camera setup
  • Consistently good video quality
  • iOS 14 is fast and easy to use
  • Apple promises 5 years of guaranteed major updates
  • MagSafe is a promising accessory concept


  • No charger and headphones in the box
  • No 90/120Hz refresh rate
  • Shorter battery life than the iPhone 11 Pro
  • We need Fingerprint sensor as FaceID does not work with a mask on

The iPhone 12 Pro Max justifies its name in a few key ways: you get a much bigger display than the iPhone 12 Pro and much longer battery life. At the end, it comes down to whether you want a more compact phone or you want no compromise.

If you are in the category of no compromise, then you can definitely go for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. You can also check out some other alternatives like Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra or Galaxy S20 Ultra.

What do you guys think about this iPhone 12 Pro Max review? Are you going to be picking one up? What are the coverage would you like me to do with this? Do drop that in the comments below.

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