iPhone 12 Professional Max evaluate: Prepared in your close-up

(Pocket-lint) – When it launched in 2020, Apple’s iPhone 12 vary had been break up into 4 totally different fashions – the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Professional, and the iPhone 12 Professional Max – giving us extra selection than ever earlier than when it got here to getting the corporate’s flagship mannequin.

Whereas all of them sport the identical processor, similar 5G connectivity, and similar display screen tech (albeit at totally different sizes, after all), should you look nearer there are different variations. On the top quality sat the iPhone 12 Professional Max, with its massive display screen and improved cameras.

How does it stack as much as its siblings, and the way does it maintain up a few years on from its launch?


Our fast take

The iPhone 12 Professional Max was probably the most complete and costly iPhone within the 2020 vary. That is as a result of it delivers so much: the display screen is very large, the cameras – being the principle distinction over the 12 Professional – are distinctive, and the general efficiency is spectacular.

Such a big telephone will not be to everybody’s liking, however should you like your telephones massive then this delivers that with out making the form-factor awkward to carry or use. It is more-or-less the identical measurement as its predecessor, regardless of providing an excellent greater display screen.

The adjustments to the cameras in comparison with the opposite telephones within the vary are noticeable – the principle sensor is bodily bigger and provides in-body stabilisation for higher outcomes, whereas the telephoto lens has an extended attain – however to not the extent that you simply have to purchase this mannequin to realize nice pictures. For a lot of, we imagine the iPhone 12 Professional could be greater than adequate, whereas the 13 Professional is even higher.

Whereas the 13 Professional Max has largely outdated it for anybody trying to purchase the most important flagship iPhone new, if yow will discover the 12 Professional Max at a cheaper price level it is nonetheless an outstanding funding and holds up impressively a few years after its launch.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: The maximum experience

Apple iPhone 12 Professional Max

4.5 stars – Pocket-lint really useful


  • Nice cameras
  • 5G connectivity whenever you want it
  • Large and daring display screen
  • Design is massive however not awkward
  • A14 Bionic processing energy
In opposition to

  • Low-light images enhancements might be higher
  • A lot the identical expertise because the cheaper (and smaller) iPhone 12 Professional


New design and display screen

  • 6.7-inch all-screen OLED show, 2778 x 1284 decision (458ppi)
  • Dimensions: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4mm / Weight: 228g
  • Finishes: Graphite, Silver, Gold, Pacific Blue
  • IP68 safety, ceramic protect display screen

The 2020 iPhones ushered in a shiny new design that was extra akin to the newest iPad Professional and Air fashions. Or, should you’re paying homage to yesteryear, the iPhone 4 from 2010.

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That design change – which noticed the buttons, audio system, and Lightning port keep in just about the identical place as earlier years – delivered an a variety of benefits. The primary is that the 12 Professional Max packs in an excellent greater display screen than the iPhone 11 Professional Max from 2019 – it is 6.7-inches in comparison with 6.5-inches – in a footprint that’s roughly the identical. If you happen to’re counting, the 12 Professional Max is definitely just a little thinner than its predecessor.

Display bezel continues to be current – Apple hasn’t gone all Samsung fairly but – however due to the flat surgical-grade chrome steel band edge across the system, it seems thinner. 

That display screen certain is massive, too, however Apple believes folks all the time need greater screens so why not give them that? It is an Apple Tremendous Retina XDR show that is HDR Dolby Imaginative and prescient prepared and comes with True Tone know-how for adapting the colors to your setting. It is the identical as discovered on the opposite fashions within the iPhone 12 vary, simply greater.

Whether or not you are taking part in the newest sport, watching a spot of Netflix or simply studying an e mail, it is a luscious show. You will not discover something to complain about visually talking. Though, given the dimensions, it might really feel weighty should you’re holding it one-handed – have a 20 minute FaceTime name and you will be begging for it to be over so you’ll be able to relaxation your arm. Nonetheless, the newer 13 Professional Max added larger refresh charges, a change that basically does make a giant distinction.

The 12 Professional Max is available in 4 colors – Graphite, Silver, Gold, and new Pacific Blue). The gold could be very gold – gold jewelry fashion, which you will both like or despise. However no less than the frosted glass again, which is much more impartial, does assist tone issues down a bit.

Within the high left nook, you will discover the telephone’s three cameras, a LiDAR scanner, flash and microphone. As a result of the brand new digital camera sensors are totally different from the iPhone 12 Professional mannequin, the digital camera enclosure is significantly greater. That is one of many key issues in regards to the Max.

Efficiency and battery

  • Apple A14 processor
  • 3,687mAh battery
  • 20W fast-charge
  • 5G connectivity

Like the opposite telephones within the iPhone 12 vary, the Professional Max is powered by Apple’s A14 processor. It is quick, masses video games and apps faster than final yr’s processor, however actually focuses its energy on ensuring the iPhone can deal with the picture and video processing you will be asking it to do. These cameras imply it is now being requested to do so much.

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There’s additionally 5G connectivity, which relying on the place you reside will both change your world or not be one thing that you simply profit from for a while. Simply as we discovered when reviewing the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Professional whenever you do get 5G connectivity the Professional Max speeds alongside. Relying in your location and your community you can obtain obtain and add speeds within the a whole lot of Mbps somewhat than tens of Mbps.

And 5G is not nearly pace. It should enhance latency amongst different issues, which can assist to enhance on-line gaming and apps that we have not even but considered.

Consider 5G as a future funding, somewhat than one thing you will be assured to be benefiting from on day one. In addition to, Apple has developed the iPhone 12 vary to solely makes use of 5G when it is accessible and also you want it. That, in flip, helps to avoid wasting battery life – there is not any level having 5G on when your telephone’s in your pocket otherwise you’re studying an e mail.

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And speaking of battery life, it is excellent certainly. With what we might name common utilization we simply get to the top of the day with round 60 per cent of battery nonetheless left. Apple’s battery administration is respectable, as a result of the iPhone 12 Professional Max would not have a very capacious cell in comparison with a lot of the competitors.

Gaming, Twitter, and recording in 4K do have an apparent influence, as you’d anticipate, however not more than normal. You may be arduous pushed to expire earlier than you discover a cost inside a 24-hour interval.

Software program

The Apple iPhone 12 Professional Max arrived with iOS 14, like the remainder of the iPhone 12 vary, and with this software program got here quite a few options, from widgets on the house display screen and App Clips, to Messages and Maps enhancements.

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In fact, the software program is obtainable on all iPhones from the iPhone 6S and later so most options aren’t unique to the iPhone 12 sequence. There are just a few which can be, akin to Evening Mode on the entrance digital camera, however the total software program expertise shall be equivalent to every other iPhone.

That makes it acquainted for these upgrading (however with the great thing about the larger show if upgrading from Contact ID fashions), and comparatively easy – though a extra closed system – for these transferring from Android.

Evidently, the telephone will now fortunately run the newer iOS 15 with none issues, to reap the benefits of the additions it brings to the desk.


  • Triple rear cameras:
    • Major: 12-megapixel, f/1.6 aperture, optical picture stabilisation (OIS)
    • Telephoto (5x optical zoom): 12MP, f/2.2, OIS
    • Extremely-wide (0.5x): 12MP, f/2.4
  • LiDAR scanner
  • 12MP selfie digital camera
  • Dolby Imaginative and prescient video seize

The most important distinction between the iPhone 12 Professional and the Professional Max may be discovered with the cameras. Put merely the iPhone 12 Professional Max cameras are higher. However after all, it isn’t all the time that easy.

Whereas the iPhone 12 Professional and the iPhone 12 Professional Max share the identical headline 12-megapixel sensors, the 2 telephones differ in the case of focal lengths and the principle sensor’s capability. Each telephones share the identical ultra-wide lens. However the Professional Max’s most important digital camera has bigger pixels (1.7µm) as a result of it is a bodily greater sensor.

The place issues are noticeably totally different is the telephoto lens. The Professional Max incorporates a 5x optical zoom (in comparison with a 4x optical zoom vary discovered on the iPhone 12 Professional), so it might attain that bit additional and make far-away topics look as if they’re nearer. Moreover, the Professional Max additionally presents sensor-shift optical picture stabilisation, which actually helps to negate handshake to assist get hold of sharp pictures – and it makes taking pictures them simpler too.

Additionally noticeable is the 12 Professional Max’s capability to rapidly take photos in low-light circumstances. It means you do not have to depend on Apple’s Evening Mode perform – which might take as much as 3 seconds to take a shot – and that in flip means much less blurry pictures.

And though it’s tougher to identify, on nearer inspection you’ll be able to see extra element within the iPhone 12 Professional Max photos than the iPhone 12 Professional photographs. No shock, given the bigger most important sensor within the Professional Max. Here is a side-by-side.

Pocket-lintiPhone 12 Pro Max photo samples photo 21

Nonetheless, do not anticipate extra element to immediately translate into vastly totally different advances in digital camera efficiency. Sure, it’s higher, however it’s maybe not the leap you is likely to be anticipating. It’s nonetheless the identical 12-megapixel sensor in spite of everything. Gloat, however do not gloat an excessive amount of, could be our suggestion.

Each the iPhone 12 Professional and the iPhone 12 Professional Max take superb photos, it is simply in some situations the iPhone 12 Professional Max will take the identical image barely higher. It relies on how a lot you wish to pixel peep on the outcomes.

A whole lot of the image prowess, we imagine, is right down to the sheer energy of the processing occurring within the background to reinforce, tweak, and develop your pictures to their finest trying – all inside a matter of milliseconds.

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Apple’s array of image know-how is beginning to sound like a dictionary in itself. There’s Good HDR 3, Deep Fusion, Apple ProRaw (nonetheless to come back), HDR recording with Dolby Imaginative and prescient, Evening Mode, and naturally Portrait mode (the blurred background traditional).

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All that know-how can get a bit aggressive at instances, particularly in low-light environments – nevertheless it’s not likely noticeable till you begin pushing the digital camera to its limits. Which we, after all, tried to do.

In our number of pattern pictures, you’ll be able to see the hair on a horse’s nostril in brilliant daylight is captured fantastically, as is the reflection of timber on a nonetheless lake. Nonetheless, lose the sunshine and the iPhone 12 Professional Max begins to battle because the digital camera shifts in the direction of compensating with synthetic intelligence (AI) – simply have a look at our darkish gray jacket and the background in our side-by-side pictures to see what we imply. 

Low-light pictures, due to this fact, tend to be mushy and flat in locations, however we’re nonetheless extremely impressed by the efficiency total – and now we have to maintain reminding ourselves it is a telephone nonetheless.

On the video entrance, it is equally spectacular. You get HDR Dolby Imaginative and prescient help in-phone with the power to shoot 4K and 24, 30, and 60fps, and the benefits you’ve with the brand new lenses and sensors are loved right here too.

Once more this has all been surpassed by the digital camera array of the 13 Professional Max, however the outcomes nonetheless maintain up massively effectively, making the 12 Professional Max’s digital camera help nonetheless mightily spectacular.


  • Elective additional
  • 15W charging

There’s additionally wi-fi charging, however with this era Apple launched a brand new know-how referred to as MagSafe wi-fi charging. It is mainly a wi-fi charging puck, comparable in strategy to the Apple Watch charger, that suckers to the again of your iPhone 12 Professional Max with magnets to make sure you get a connection to start out charging.

It is an elective additional, however works very well, delivering a sooner cost time than a conventional wi-fi pad, and means you’ll be able to cost and use the Lightning port on the similar time – helpful, as we have already discovered should you’re utilizing an exterior mic when filming, for instance.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Enhancing by Max Freeman-Mills.