Why choose the iPhone 12 Pro Max?
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest of the new generation of Apple smartphones and is also the most expensive. Apple fans are always looking forward to the tech giant's phone launches, so let's see what features have been packed into its latest premium flagship offering.
- 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 (the same stuff NASA is using for its next Mars landing – 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. The camera captures 700 million colours so your videos will be really vivid and lifelike. You can even edit your Dolby Vision videos in iMovie, Clips or the Photos app.
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 upshot is you get a stronger screen, one that's four-times 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 3.4 million pixels – the most ever in an iPhone. 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 already unofficial iPhone 12 Pro Max accessories popping up all over the place. This is nothing new for an iPhone and you've ever had an iPhone you'll know the quality is variable. What's new 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 new A14 Bionic chip. This a super-powerful chip and the first 5-nanometre chip used in the industry. Put simply, this chip allows Apple to pack more processing power into a smaller space, making the chip far more efficient. What this means for you, the phone user, is that the phone is faster and should have a much-improved batter life.
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.
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 the same technology that NASA is using for its next Mars mission. 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. LiDAR has been used in driverless cars and robot vacuums but this is the first time we've seen LiDAR this advanced in a smartphone.
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, it does. Apple says its iPhone 12 handsets have more 5G bands than any other smartphones so you should be able to access 5G in more places. 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 1.5 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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