Review: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max lives up to the hype

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Big and powerful camera mobile

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest Apple mobile upgrade to date. Also, except for the A14 Bionic chipset processor, it has better hardware in almost all departments including screen,  camera, and battery capacity compared to the other three iPhone 12 series models.

Does the new iPhone 12 Pro Max deliver the goods and worth the hefty price-tag? Here are my thoughts.

Design, build quality, and display:
As said before, iPhone 12 Pro Max is a real giant of a mobile. It is wider and taller than the predecessor. The weight of the device is a whopping 226g, almost a quarter of a kg, and is really hard to operate with a single hand. Even the notch on the top which houses the same FaceID sensor and front camera we see in standard iPhone 12 models, look smaller in the Max model.

It has a strong and glossy surgical-grade stainless steel rail with a flat design wherein the display on the front and the glass cover on the back fit flush with the frame. It has an additional Ceramic Shield, which is said to be the sturdiest protective gear for the mobile screen in the industry. 

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max side views. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Furthermore, the iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with IP68 rating, meaning it can sustain a maximum depth of six metres underwater for up to 30 minutes (under IEC standard 60529).

Over-all, it is a solid mobile built to last long. With the massive camera module on the back, people are sure to instantly recognise this is an 'Apple iPhone'.


One advantage of having a massive 6.7-inch screen is a great viewing experience. The iPhone 12 Pro Max's Super Retina XDR display with True Tone technology is rich with 2778x1284p resolution, offers max brightness up to 1,200 nits, and a pixel density of 458ppi (pixels per inch). It is just perfect for watching HDR content and play graphics-intense games.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max runs iOS 14.2 powered by a 5nm class Apple A14 Bionic chipset, which is said to be 50% faster and better performance compared to any other mobile chipsets in the market.

It has 11.8 billion transistors, which promises 40%  more speeds while increasing efficiency for great battery life compared to the previous generation. Also, it is 50% faster and better performance compared to any other mobile chipsets in the market.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro features. Credit: Apple

Apple A14 Bionic also comes paired with a 16-core Neural Engine and promises 11 trillion operations per second, 80 percent faster in-phone neural performance, and up to 70- percent faster machine learning accelerators.

During the entire testing period, it worked buttery smooth while using Augmented Reality apps, games, and photography sessions too, and never showed any sign of slowing down. On AnTuTu benchmarking app, it scored an unbeatable 6,44,476 points.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max with iOS 14.2.1. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

As far as the battery life is concerned, it ranks best among the four iPhone 12 series models. It was able to last two days under normal usage. Even if you are an extreme user who likes to play games for a long hour or binge-watch videos and OTT platforms, it will easily last a full day.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max supports the Apple MagSafe charger. But, it takes forever to get fully charged from zero to 100% percent. 

If you are a fast-paced person, you better buy Apple's original 20W power brick, as it can power up the phone from zero to 50% in 30 minutes. But, why do I need to buy it? read below

Apple in a move to cut the negative impact on the natural resources for mining minerals for iPhone components has reduced the retail package contents by 70%. It now offers just the iPhone along with a Type-C-to-Lightning cable and warranty paper stuff and a couple of Apple logo stickers. There won't be any power adapter even in the older iPhone models on sale going forward. Consumers have to hold on to the power adapter of their older iPhones.

It's definitely a risky, but necessary move by the company. This, in a way, educates consumers on the need to develop conscious concern to protect nature and reduce electronic(e)-waste. Thanks for the guilt trip Apple.


Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max comes with triple 12MP sensors-- Ultra Wide (f/2.4) + Wide (f/1.6) + Telephoto (f/2.2 ) backed by LiDAR scanner for faster auto-focus in the low-light condition and this also comes in handy while using AR applications. 

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It should be noted that the 12 Pro Max has a 65mm Telephoto lens and a better Wide lens (47% larger) compared to the standard 12 Pro (52mm Telephoto lens). With this, it promises 87% better low‑light images. 

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Some of the key features of the iPhone 12 Pro Max include Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Apple ProRAW, Brighter True Tone flash with Slow Sync, 2x optical zoom (2.5x in Pro Max), 2x optical zoom out, Portrait mode with advanced bokeh, and Depth Control, Portrait Lighting with six effects (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, High‑Key Mono), Smart HDR 3 for photos, Optical Image stabilisation Audio Zoom, QuickTake video, slow-motion video support up to 1080p at 120fps/240fps/, Night Mode Time-Lapse, Stereo Recording and more.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample with Optical Zoom 2.5. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

During the testing period, the 12 Pro Max took stunning images in all light conditions. Thanks to advanced computational photography technology Deep Fusion, improved Image Signal Processor (ISP), the photos were able to retain the natural colors of the subject without any saturation. What impressed me a lot is the sharp detailed images in close-up shots and the clear edge detection around the subject. The pictures with the bokeh effect have distinct differences in the foreground and the background of the subject and don't look artificial at all.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Soon to be released iOS 14.3, Apple is bringing ProRAW capability. It makes use of Apple’s multi-frame image processing and computational photography with the versatility of a RAW format. Users can experience full creative control over colour, detail, and dynamic range natively on iPhone or with other professional photo editing apps, the company said.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

In layman's terms, users will soon be able to shoot RAW images on the native camera app on their Apple iPhone 12 Pro (and 12 Pro Max). The resultant images will have minimally processed data with high dynamic range and will be the most natural-looking compared to other phones. And, users can edit them in the iPhone Pro model even with third-party apps such as Adobe After Effects.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Also, the iPhone 12 series is the first in the industry to offer an end-to-end experience for HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 60 fps.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample with Night Mode. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The company says-- "Dolby Vision grading is processed live and sustained during editing, whether in the Photos app or iMovie and coming to Final Cut Pro X later this year. Dolby Vision takes advantage of the Super Retina XDR display for amazing contrast during capture and video playback, and users can share their videos with support for AirPlay up to 4K Dolby Vision to external devices."

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

In terms of real-world performance, the iPhone 12 Pro Max sets a new benchmark for high quality and stable video recording in a phone. Any amateur photographer or an Art student can do wonderful documentaries or short movies with just this Apple mobile and the native camera app's filters and editing tools. 

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Even the 12MP TruDepth camera on the front takes fine quality selfies with less noise even in low-light and indoors with controlled lighting conditions.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

What I love above iPhone 12 Pro Max or other iPhones for that matter is that Apple makes it is easy for the user to take pictures in the simplest possible way. The iPhone camera app offers an easy interface to find all the key features like slo-mo, video, photos, panorama, and portrait in a horizontal slide tab. Once you select one option, you just have point and shoot to get the best possible photo.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample with 2.5X Optical Zoom. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Also, Night mode gets triggered automatically when the iPhone senses there is low light and get you good pictures with near-accurate colours whilst holding on to the surrounding darkness, the true essence of the night.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max camera sample with Night Mode on. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Final thoughts:
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max lived up to the hype we expect from a true premium phone. It ticks all the key features-- top-notch premium built quality, excellent display, powerful processor, impressive camera hardware, and long-lasting battery. 

Another, but critical aspect I like about the iPhones is that Apple offers a minimum of five years of iOS software with security support. This guarantees the consumer to experience new features in the future unlike Android phones, which get a maximum of three years.

Add to that, Apple mobile supports 5G cellular connectivity, making a future-ready phone for the Indian market.

If a consumer is looking for long-term investment on a premium phone, Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is the best bet. With the official Apple Store online live in India, local buyers can trade-in their old iPhone for a better price and get a new one with a good discount.

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