TEST: iPhone 12 Pro Max annoys me

iPhone 12 Pro Max. It’s a mouthful of a product name, doesn ‘t it?

Introduction

But then there is also this flagship of Apple, and therefore the flagship of the company’s most important segment, mobiles, and the jewel itself.

But where does Apple envision the iPhone in the future, and does the iPhone 12 series give any hints in that direction? Maybe, but still the focus is on camera, performance and design – like all the others.

Thus, this year’s launches from Apple on the mobile front are not a big evolution or a revolution (as we may be tempted to think that the M1 chip and the new MacBooks are), but another bunch of good products from a company that has not taken chances with the iPhone for a long time, but prefers to upgrade the cameras.

Read my test of the iPhone 12 Pro:

Design

Incredibly beautiful, simply. I prefer the gold model over the new blue color that I immediately got tired of on the iPhone 12 Pro.

This is designed very many of us hoped Apple would bring back from the iPhone 4-5 golden age, and now it is here and we are happy with what Apple has managed.

The metal frame shines on these Pro models in contrast to the matte 12 models which are also nice, but which do not give the exclusive jewelry feeling it gives.

That the panel is no longer curved is perfectly fine for me, I really see no advantages or disadvantages for or against, but note that it probably looks best with a flat panel on a mobile like this.

12 Pro Max has even larger sensors than 12 Pro, and therefore also has a larger camera system, but it has almost all mobiles nowadays. A cover “corrects” the problem with them bulging out.

The most startling thing about the 12 Pro Max is that the panel has been increased from 6.5 ″ to 6.7 ″ this year.

For those of you who think it sounds too much, I’m not so sure. I think the size upgrade was smart. For me, it is perfect for a large mobile and the thickness of the mobile itself is perfect. We have no problem keeping it with confidence, but the cover is a must, even though they often make a large mobile a good deal bigger, especially if you prefer Apple’s leather covers.

Performance

Wow. There’s only one thing to say: wow. Apps start in seconds, and games start faster than we thought possible. This also applies to the iPhone 12 Pro, of course, which I may not have pointed out enough in my test of little brother: the A14 chipset is raw.

We sometimes talk about halving the time it takes to load larger iOS games compared to Pixel 5 and OnePlus North. The performance is also noticeably upgraded from the 11 series, but you do not notice as much difference as when comparing to a Snapdragon mobile.

The fact that both Pro models have 6GB of RAM is nice. Apps are not kept awake like long as on an Android with 8 or 12GB RAM, but then the batteries in the iPhone are never the largest, so a balancing act is necessary. In any case, my experience is that these extra GBs come in handy, and I therefore do not have much to complain about the multitasking experience anymore.

In any case, apps start so quickly now anyway, that there is almost no difference between a closed and non-closed app. It is the start of larger games that is given the biggest promise here.

Camera

iPhone 12 Pro Max has an even better camera than iPhone 12 Pro, quirky enough.

Pro Max has a 47 percent (!) Larger f / 1.6 wide sensor, “sensor shift” stabilization and 87 percent higher ISO. The telephoto camera has a length of 65 mm and the Pro Max has 2.5x optical zoom, up from 2.0 on the 12 Pro as you can see from the test images I link to below.

Halide (they are the developers of Halide Mark II – Pro Camera with ProRaw support that iOS 14.3 introduces) have analyzed the camera in Apple’s top mobile.

What do these pros think about the best iPhone camera ever? The analysis goes very deep and is very good, so I recommend to read it, but confines me to summarizing:

There are varied opinions about the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Is there a big leap forward for iPhone camera quality? We believe that, and that the results speak for themselves.

As developers of a camera app, the results are impressive. The mobile achieves images that we have previously only seen from dedicated cameras, with sensors four times the size. This allows photographers to get steady and well-exposed images in conditions that were not conceivable a year ago. It takes pictures in low light better than anything else we’ve seen from an iPhone, and by a good margin.

I agree, especially with night pictures: even the 12 Pro takes in so much light when it’s dark that I have to turn down the brightness. Apple has done a very good job here. Impressive, nothing less.

See my iPhone 12 Pro Max test images against Pixel 5 and iPhone 12 Pro:

Source:
Halide

Battery and other ailments

The most annoying thing is that this year we will not be served a 90 or 120Hz panel either, but again, as I wrote in the 12 Pro test:

The biggest problem is the battery, especially after testing the Pixel 5 and OnePlus Nord. Both of these Android phones do well without a dinner charger, while the iPhone 12 Pro struggles to get through a full day of active use. If the use is more on average, there is around 20 percent left when you go to bed, but when you wake up the number is even lower and not enough to survive until lunch.

But imagine 120Hz with the combination 2900 mAh battery that this has. It had not gone with such battery performance, and is probably the reason why Apple is waiting until next year with 90 or 120Hz. Instead, Apple chose sleek mobiles with a nice design, but somewhat smaller batteries. “

iPhone 12 Pro has one 3687 mAh battery, down from the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s 3969 mAh. A smaller battery in combination with 5G and a faster chipset has damaged the battery life so much that I have to deduct one whole point. What a disappointment: last year I was very happy for an iPhone with finally good battery life, this year we are back to the Xs series at this point. Surt.

Lightning continues to grow as a nuisance, roughly in line with all the USB C equipment and all the USB C cables I have now collected. The other day I did not find a single Lightning cable, there is only USB C left.

MacBook Air M1 uses USB C, MacBook Pro 13 ″ uses USB C, all the other mobiles use USB C, the iPad uses USB C… ok, you see the point, but even that portable lampa in the office charger with USB C. Come on, Apple.

iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro in hand:

Conclusion

After the first joy of a new design has subsided, and you are used to the performance, it is the camera again that impresses and will do so for several more months.

Therefore, it is not so much new, only upgrades of things that have already been good for a long time. For several years we have expected a better camera every year from Apple, and it is also the case this year that they impress with probably the best camera on the market.

iPhone 12 Pro Max has really good speakers. This in combination with a design that makes it comfortable to play, the mobile is very good at gaming, but remember to bring the charger.

All the power opens everything up a little faster, but so what (besides game performance and video editing)?

The LiDAR system is used a bit by the camera, but AR has still not changed the world and MagSafe is too early to consider. We have to say we are disappointed with the lack of more cool magnet accessories, but we hope more is on the way. We believe MagSafe has potential.

In the end, it’s just another upgrade, especially if you do not get to take advantage of 5G speeds, but instead have to make do with rather poor battery life as well, and it is one of the cornerstones that must be in place. Especially when the Android camp still does this better with more RAM.

I think we all have mobile fatigue, something all the focus on the camera bit has reflected in the last five years.

Maybe it’s the case that no mobile phone gets more exciting before the AR age really starts, or maybe the other way around: that it’s over for mobiles as we know them today – like a handheld piece of jewelery, like an iPhone 4 or an iPhone 12 in gold. At the very least, we will not have to look down all the time.

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