What the iPhone 12 Pro Max reviews tell us that Apple didn’t

Chris Burns - Nov 9, 2020, 10:32am CST
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What the iPhone 12 Pro Max reviews tell us that Apple didn’t

Reviews are out for the full collection of iPhone 12 devices for the tail end of 2020. As such, today we’re taking a peek at the biggest and most extravagant of the set, the iPhone 12 Pro Max. We’re taking special care here to point out the ways in which the iPhone 12 Pro Max is different from the other models – and, as you’ll find out soon, the many ways in which the iPhone 12 Pro Max is basically the same as the others.

Processor Performance

As noted by the TechCrunch review, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is pretty much on-par with the other iPhone 12 models for performance. Benchmarks show the iPhone 12 Pro Max to have nearly the same single-core and multi-core scores for CPU, and a slight lead over the rest of the iPhone 12 family for compute / GPU testing.

Display Size and Refresh Rate

If you’ve used the iPhone 11 Pro Max, you’ll be familiar with the size of the phone and the display. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a larger display than its predecessor, but the phone’s overall size is essentially the same.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch display, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch display. As noted by the review by CNN, “The main thing missing on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a high refresh rate of around 120Hz.” The iPhone 12 Pro Max does not meet its biggest competitors (like the Galaxy Note 20) with 120Hz image refresh rate. Instead, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 60Hz display.

Battery Life

According to InputMag’s review, the battery life of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is longer than that of the iPhone 12 Pro, but shorter than the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Most of the early reviews suggest the battery life is roughly equivalent to that of the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

The cameras

In the Engadget review there are notes on how the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s cameras can be “temperamental.” The same review also states that “If you’re a big-phone person, or you care about camera performance above all, the Pro Max is the one you should be looking at.”

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil (Gen 2) sticks to iPhone 12 Pro Max, thanks to the MagSafe business and the magnets that allow said connection between the two. But the iPhone 12 Pro Max does not work with any Apple Pencil as a stylus. The CNET Review wishes that “Apple took more advantage of the 12 Pro Max’s 6.7-inch screen” for features like Split View and Apple Pencil, as Apple allows on iPad devices.

What life?

Apple’s promotional material for the iPhone 12 Pro Max (and the rest of the iPhone 12 collection) skillfully avoids speaking about or showing the world in which you’ll use the phone. It was easy to show previous iPhone devices in the wild – with friends, taking selfies, capturing photos of big events, and so forth. Now, what will you do with your iPhone?

As noted by The Verge review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, “I can’t shake the feeling that the iPhone 12 Pro Max very much feels like the perfect phone for the life I led before the pandemic.” As reviewer Nilay Patel said, the iPhone 12 Pro Max “feels like another screen for social media on the couch.”

Small fingers

According to the CNBC review, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is best because of “fat thumbs” and “bigger screens where I have more keyboard space for typing.”

While the iPhone 12 Mini is only ever-so-slightly shorter than the iPhone 8 (or iPhone SE 2nd Gen), it has a far larger display (what with all-but-the-notch screen coverage). Is that too small? The iPhone 12 Mini’s display is 5.4-inches diagonally, while the display on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is 6.7-inches diagonally – that’s a massive difference.

More Review Action

We’ll have our own extended review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max here on SlashGear soon. The same goes for the iPhone 12 Mini. Meanwhile, take a peek at our iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Review – look beyond 5G. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are available in stores and online now, while pre-order sales for iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max started on November 6, 2020.


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