Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max – The one the others have to beat!

Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max is the largest and wildest edition ever. But also the most expensive. You have to pay almost 18,000 kroner if you buy the largest model with 512 GB built-in storage. We have looked at the mobile, and just have to state that even though the price is insane, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is really worth all the money!

Apple’s new iPhone 12 Pro Max is available in the colors silver, graphite gray, gold and Pacific blue. (Photo: Apple)

Appearance and construction

In terms of design, the iPhone 12 Pro Mac, like the other iPhone 12 models, is unique. The smooth rounded edges we know from the iPhone 11 Pro are gone. Instead, it is the angular form factor that one invents the new iPad Air, iPad Pro as well as the classic iPhone 4 and iPhone4 5 models, back on all iPhone 12 models, and of course also iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Aesthetically, it is a wise choice, which gives Apple’s latest iPhones an exclusive design language and luxurious feel. In addition, the straight edges actually give a more secure grip on the phone.

Just like the regular iPhone 12 Pro, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is also waterproof down to six meters for 30 minutes (in terms of IP68 certification), compared to its predecessor’s four meters for 30 minutes.

There is a significant size difference between the iPhone 12 Mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which is Apple’s largest iPhone to date. (Photo: Apple)

The glass on the new iPhone 12 Pro Max has also been improved in various ways to increase robustness. The so-called Ceramic Shield technology means that Apple has added ceramic crystals when casting the glass to make the phone more shatterproof, while the glass on the back is double ionized to make it more scratch-resistant.

The glass on the front and back is also flush with the metal frame around the phone, which also protects the glass better than on mobiles where the glass is curved at the edges.

Screen and sound

According to DisplayMate iPhone 12 Pro Max has the best mobile screen on the market ever. With as many as eleven records, it beats all competing mobiles by several lengths. The 6.7 ″ large Super Retina XDR OLED screen scores top marks in terms of, among other things, absolute color accuracy, image contrast accuracy, contrast ratio, screen reflection, visible screen resolution, etc.

At the same time, the experts at DisplayMate consider that Apple’s lightning – fast processor and graphics engine, as well as the OLED screen’s response time, are sufficient compensation for the fact that the iPhone 12 Pro Max screen does not have a refresh rate of 120 Hz like most Android phones in the same price range. For power consumption, it still has to settle for a refresh rate of 60 Hz.

It suited our user experience well. There is a slight hint of warmth in the colors, which can be seen on skin tones, white text on a black background, and the like. This is partly due to True Tone, which adapts the white balance to the ambient light.

The built-in stereo speakers deliver 3D sound via Dolby Atmos, and it’s not just marketing nonsense. It is a completely unsurpassed experience to watch video on iPhone 12 Pro Max. (Photo: Peter Gotschalk)

The phone supports video viewing with HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, and the contrast and color reproduction on film and video look phenomenal. Video has never looked so good on a mobile screen. So you can live with the fact that it does not look quite as velvety soft when scrolling on websites or in the mobile menus, as is the case, for example. OnePlus 8 Pro.

The sound experience is also the best so far from an iPhone. The built-in stereo speakers deliver 3D sound via Dolby Atmos, and it’s not just marketing nonsense. Try playing this trailer on your iPhone 12 Pro Max, and you can clearly hear what we mean. Playing games or watching video on your own iPhone will never be the same again!

The phone comes with three cameras, 12 Mp 13 mm f / 2.4, 120 degree ultra-wide angle and 12 Mp 26 mm f / 1.6 wide angle. In addition, there is a 65 mm telephoto with optical image stabilization and 2.5x zoom. As something completely new, the camera also has a LiDAR scanner, which is used to scan the subject’s pixel depth. (Photo: Apple)

Camera

Even iPhone Xs Max Apple’s iPhones were far behind on the camera front compared to Android competitors from Huawei and Samsung in particular. First with the iPhone 11 Pro, Apple came with an acceptable camera phone, with both ultra-wide angle and telephoto lens as well as a more light-sensitive sensor and better image processing.

With the new iPhone 12 Pro models, however, Apple is taking a seven-mile step on the camera front. Not only does the iPhone 12 Pro Max have a significantly better camera than its predecessor. It is simply one of the very best camera phones you can buy for money at all.

The color reproduction in i.a. Landscape photos are some of the best we have seen from a mobile camera. (Photo: Peter Gotschalk)

The phone comes with three cameras with a total of 5x optical zoom. Including 12 Mp 13 mm f / 2.4, 120 degree ultra-wide angle and 12 Mp 26 mm f / 1.6 wide angle. In addition, there is a 65 mm telephoto with optical image stabilization and 2.5x zoom.

As something completely new, the camera also has a LiDAR scanner, which is used to scan the subject’s pixel depth. The advantage of LiDAR is that the camera focuses better in low light, and that portraits taken with a wide angle in low light are more evenly illuminated and better exposed. LiDAR scanning does not work long distances, but works fine when it is dark and the subject is close enough. LiDAR is also used if you want to scan and measure a room, for example for Augmented Reality where you can play with festive effects in AR apps.

The best reproduction of skin tones in daylight from any mobile camera to date. (Photo: Marcus Engelbrecht)

The front camera is called the True Depth camera in Apple language, and in addition to supporting Face ID, which identifies the user of the mobile phone, it has the same 12 Mp resolution as the other cameras.

Summa summarum delivers iPhone 12 Pro Max photos of unsurpassed high image quality. Not least when it comes to subjects in low light. The camera’s HDR properties are otherwise useful for, among other things, landscape images, and have to date the best reproduction of skin tones in daylight from any mobile camera.

The day is in full swing. But the iPhone camera manages to reproduce the sunset without overexposure and with lots of details in the picture. (Photo: Peter Gotschalk)

Performance and features

Below the screen is Apple’s latest and most powerful processor to date, the A14 Bionic, with which we first became acquainted with the new iPad Air. The A14 Bionic is a 5 nm chip, which according to Apple provides space for an unprecedented number of transistors. That makes the iPhone 12 Pro Max lightning fast, something our Benchmark tests also confirm. In just about every Benchmark test, it sweeps the floor with top models like Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, OnePlus 8 Pro and Sony Xperia 5 II.

Ultra wide angle gives great depth in the images. (Photo: Peter Gotschalk)

On the other hand, be aware that the small USB charger we know from previous iPhone models is not included in the box with the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The familiar Lightning-to-USB cable is included, but the charger must be purchased separately. For example, Apple’s recently launched MagSafe charger – a wireless charger with a round Qi charging plate that is magnetic and placed on the back of the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

It will of course irritate many users that you do not get the charger with the purchase when you pay so much money for the mobile, but Apple’s argument is that it is a waste of resources, as many of us still have the small chargers lying in large quantities. And that’s not entirely wrong.

Strøget in Copenhagen in the evening at normal exposure. (Photo: Peter Gotschalk)

Conclusion

This is no less than the best mobile phone Apple has ever created. The large screen gets top marks for color reproduction, contrast and brightness, and is absolutely fantastic to watch photos and movies on. The performance is formidable, placing the iPhone 12 Pro Max well ahead of the competition. And when you can soon really use 5G, you have an insanely fast mobile.

In addition, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is in our opinion the best camera phone on the market right now. Not only for amateurs, because with the cameras’ many possibilities (including LiDAR) and the mobile’s intelligent image processing, photo enthusiasts also have a powerful tool in their pocket.

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