Why choose the iPhone 12 Pro Max?
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is one of the most sophisticated devices in Apple’s lineup, only surpassed by the iPhone 13 series. Apple included many good features in this advanced (and expensive) device that you should know about.
- Pro camera system
- Ceramic Shield
- 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display
- MagSafe accessories
- A14 Bionic chip
- LiDAR technology
Pro camera system
The iPhone 12 Pro Max's camera boasts an impressive new Night Mode powered by the phone's A14 Bionic chip (more on that later) and LiDAR depth scanning technology (a similar type of technology applied in driverless cars, underwater exploration, space exploration, etc. – more on that later, too). The result is a camera capable of taking some of the clearest, sharpest night-time images you've ever seen. The night portrait mode is particularly impressive, using depth mapping to pick out the subject and separate it from the background while keeping an absurd amount of detail.
The camera is just as good in the day time and with the iPhone 12 Pro Max you're getting an even better camera than with its little brother, the iPhone 12 Pro. The Pro Max's telephoto lens has an ƒ/2.2 aperture compared to the Pro's 2.0 aperture. You also get 12x digital zoom as opposed to 10x, and sensor-shift optical image stabilisation so your shots will be steady even if your hands aren't.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max offers 10-bit HDR video recording and even records in Dolby Vision – this is what film studios use, and it's right here in a phone. You can record 4K video footage at up to 60 frames per second (fps) and 1080p high-definition videos at up to 240 fps.
Ceramic Shield is Apple's all-new way of protecting its handsets. While it looks like the kind of glass display you've seen on phones for years, the front of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is actually made of nano-ceramic crystals. These are really tough little things that Apple has managed to not only form into a glass panel but to make transparent. The company claims it offers up to 4x more protection than previous iPhone models..
The upshot is you get a stronger screen, one that's more durable and better at not cracking when dropped, while losing nothing in terms of the display quality. The front and back of the iPhone 12 Pro Max also benefit from what Apple calls a dual ion-exchange process that makes the phone scratch-resistant.
6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display
An Apple redesign means the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a flat screen that goes right to the edge of the phone, rather than being rounded like on previous models. This gives it the maximum amount of screen possible. And it has a pretty big screen, coming in at 6.7 inches from corner to corner.
The screen has more than 3.5 million pixels, and the contrast ratio is a mind-boggling 2,000,000:1, giving you the truest blacks and the brightest whites.
Super Retina displays have been seen on Apple smartphones since the iPhone X. The addition of the letters XDR tells you that you're getting a better contrast, higher peak brightness and a cinema-standard wide colour gamut. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also boasts improved OLED technology that will not only give you a better colour accuracy and overall improved viewer experience straight away, but over time should reduce the effects of burn-in, where the faint remnant of an image can remain on your screen for a while.
At the time of writing, there are many unofficial iPhone 12 Pro Max accessories in existence. This is nothing new for an iPhone and if you've ever had an iPhone you'll know the quality is variable. What's best is Apple's own range of MagSafe covers and wallets that use magnets for simple and smooth attachment to the phone.
The wallet contains all the blocking technology you need to protect your credit card, while the case gives what promises to be a pretty tough phone an extra layer of protection. You can attach one or both to your iPhone 12 Pro Max and there's plenty of colour options available so you can mix and match 'til your heart's content.
A14 Bionic chip
The iPhone 12 Pro Max, like the rest of the iPhone 12 line-up and the fourth-generation iPad Air, features Apple's A14 Bionic chip. This is a super-powerful chip that makes the device have very fast processing speed. This 5nm chip allows Apple to pack more processing power into a smaller space, making it far more efficient. What this means for you, the phone user, is that the phone is faster and should have a much-improved battery life. It’s the second most powerful smartphone chip in Apple’s lineup, only beaten by its successor, the A15 Bionic chip.
It is the machine learning capabilities of this chip that powers features such as Dolby Vision recording and Deep Fusion, which improves the fine detail in photos one pixel at a time. It also allows the phone camera to feature Smart HDR 3, which gives you more true to life colours. Apple claims the A14 chip can perform up to 11 trillion operations per second, 80% higher than its predecessor.
LiDAR technology allows you to scan your surroundings – your living room, the forest you're walking through, whatever – and create an incredibly accurate depth map. This has tonnes of uses in AR (augmented reality) and means that when an AR app creates a virtual world, it integrates perfectly with the real world. Apple gives the examples that you'll be able to transform your room into a rainforest or see how a new trainer will fit.
This is a similar technology that self-driving cars use to navigate. LiDAR stands for Light Detection And Ranging and uses lasers to judge distances and depth. It fires laser beams at objects and times how long they take to bounce back, a bit like how bats use sonar to 'see' their surroundings. The iPhone 12 lineup was the first time consumers experienced LiDAR technology in a smartphone, although not as good as the one used in sophisticated operations like driverless cars.
Frequently asked questions
Is the iPhone 12 Pro Max any good?
Apple's smartphones are always up there with the very best handsets you can get and the iPhone 12 Pro Max is no different. If you're looking for a premium phone with a large screen and great features, it certainly ticks all the boxes.
What colours does the iPhone 12 Pro Max come in?
The iPhone 12 Pro Max comes in four colours – Pacific Blue, Gold, Silver and Graphite.
Does the iPhone 12 Pro Max have 5G?
Yes, the iPhone 12 Pro Max supports 5G connectivity. Coverage is far from widespread at the moment but is improving all the time. In places that have 5G coverage, you can expect really quick data speeds and extra capacity in crowded areas.
Does the iPhone 12 Pro Max have wireless charging?
Yes it does. As long as you have a Qi-certified wireless charging pad, you'll be able to charge up your Pro Max without wires. The MagSafe accessories also aid optimal wireless charging without having to remove your phone case.
Is the iPhone 12 Pro Max water resistant?
It is, yes. the iPhone 12 Pro Max features industry-leading IP68 water resistance. This means it is protected from harmful dust and can survive being submerged up to 6 metres for half an hour. None of this means you should deliberately submerge your phone for any length of time. That would be silly.
Does the iPhone 12 Pro Max have face recognition?
Yes. Like the previous few generations of iPhone going back to the iPhone X, the 12 Pro Max uses Face ID to unlock the screen and in other apps. It uses a scanner in the notch at the top of the display.
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