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Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: The maximum experience

(Pocket-lint) – When it released in 2022, Apple’s iPhone 12 range had been split into four different models – the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max – giving us more choice than ever before when it came to getting the company’s flagship model.

While they all sport the same processor, same 5G connectivity, and same screen tech (albeit at different sizes, of course), if you look closer there are other differences. At the top of the range sat the iPhone 12 Pro Max, with its large screen and improved cameras.

How does it stack up to its siblings, and how does it hold up a couple of years on from its release.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max was the most comprehensive and expensive iPhone in the 2020 range. That’s because it delivers a lot: the screen is massive, the cameras – being the main difference over the 12 Pro – are exceptional, and the overall performance is impressive.

Such a large phone won’t be to everyone’s liking, but if you like your phones big then this delivers that without making the form-factor awkward to hold or use. It’s more-or-less the same size as its predecessor, despite offering an even bigger screen.

The changes to the cameras compared to the other phones in the range are noticeable – the main sensor is physically larger and adds in-body stabilisation for better results, while the telephoto lens has a longer reach – but not to the extent that you have to buy this model to achieve great photographs. For many, we believe the iPhone 12 Pro would be more than good enough, while the 13 Pro is even better.

While the 13 Pro Max has largely superseded it for anyone looking to buy the biggest flagship iPhone new, if you can find the 12 Pro Max at a lower price point it’s still a superb investment and holds up impressively a couple of years after its launch.

That design change – which saw the buttons, speakers, and Lightning port stay in pretty much the same place as previous years – delivered a number of benefits. The main is that the 12 Pro Max packs in an even bigger screen than the iPhone 11 Pro Max from 2022- it’s 6.7-inches compared to 6.5-inches – in a footprint that is roughly the same. If you’re counting, the 12 Pro Max is actually a little thinner than its predecessor.

Screen bezel is still present – Apple hasn’t gone all Samsung quite yet – but because of the flat surgical-grade stainless steel band edge around the device, it appears thinner.

That screen sure is big, too, but Apple believes people always want bigger screens so why not give them that? It’s an Apple Super Retina XDR display that’s HDR Dolby Vision ready and comes with True Tone technology for adapting the colours to your environment. It’s the same as found on the other models in the iPhone 12 range, just bigger.

Whether you’re playing the latest game, watching a spot of Netflix or just reading an email, it’s a luscious display. You won’t find anything to complain about visually speaking. Although, given the size, it can feel weighty if you’re holding it one-handed – have a 20 minute FaceTime call and you’ll be begging for it to be over so you can rest your arm. However, the newer 13 Pro Max added higher refresh rates, a change that really does make a big difference.


Ajmal Solangi is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and reviews. He likes tech news, mobile unboxing, reviews, gadgets, and more.

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