Buying a new phone can be daunting. You'll be using it daily for at least a couple of years, so you want to make sure it ticks all your boxes before you buy. If you're looking for a quality Apple smartphone, you might be wondering if the iPhone 12 Pro Max is worth it.
At the time of writing, this is the top-of-the-line iPhone. It's undoubtedly a good phone but is it a significant enough improvement on lesser models to justify its high price tag?
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the highest specs of all phones in the iPhone 12 range. It's also the most expensive, retailing at $1,100 for a 128GB model if you buy it outright. Models with extra storage cost even more at $1,200 for the 256GB option and $1,400 for the 512GB option. To work out whether this sizable price tag is worth it for you, start by considering the features.
One of the main features that sets the iPhone 12 Pro Max apart from other phones is the exceptional camera quality. iPhone cameras tend to give you more true-to-life colors than some other phone cameras, such as those on Samsung Galaxy phones. The 12 Pro Max has a larger sensor than any previous iPhone model, which lets in more light, giving you better clarity and contrast.
This is a significant improvement on phones in the iPhone 11 range, but photos aren't markedly improved compared to the iPhone 12 Pro in most situations. It does shine in poor light conditions, however, thanks to the impressive night mode. The iPhone 12 Pro Max features a triple camera system on the rear with standard, wide-angle and telephoto lenses, plus a 12-megapixel front selfie camera.
A downside of the larger sensor is that it causes the cameras to protrude more from the phone’s body, so you may want a case that sits flush. The OtterBox Symmetry Series iPhone 12 Pro Max Case is a great choice.
The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max sports a Super XDR OLED display, which is a sharp, clean screen that's bright with impressive color reproduction. Whether you're looking at photos, streaming movies or simply browsing the web, you can expect an excellent viewing experience.
The "Max" in its name is there for a reason. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a whopping 6.7-inch screen. While this means you have a larger screen on which to consume your media of choice, it's not great if you want a phone you can use with one hand or even easily slip in your pocket.
The thinner bezels mean that, despite its larger screen, this phone isn't all that bigger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but it still measures 6.33 inches high and 3.07 inches wide. Whether this phone's large size is a blessing or a hindrance is up to your perspective.
The sound quality of the iPhone 12 Pro Max's built-in speakers is surprisingly decent. It won't beat a decent Bluetooth speaker’s volume or overall quality, but it gets close. It's good enough to listen to music or watch movies without distortion or tinniness.
If you want to listen to music on headphones, you're best off with wireless options like Apple AirPods since there's no headphone jack. You can, however, use an adapter that fits in the lightning port if you want to use wired headphones.
Nobody likes having to use a power bank to recharge their phone partway through the day because its battery life just doesn't cut it. Luckily, this isn't an issue with the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple claims that the battery lasts for 20 hours of video playback or much longer for average use. It's virtually impossible to entirely run down the battery in a day, even if you intentionally try to do so.
Not sure whether the iPhone 12 Pro Max is right for you? You'll find plenty of impressive alternatives out there that might better fit your needs. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide what you need from a phone, so it's possible there's a better option for you, or you may determine the 12 Pro Max is your ideal phone.
If you're looking for a similar phone with a slightly lower price tag, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro is a great alternative. The battery life is shorter than that of the Pro Max, and the camera's sensor isn't quite as good, but all-in-all it's a solid alternative.
Buyers who love Apple phones but want a small phone rather than a large one should consider the iPhone 12 Mini. Its compact size makes it easy to handle, but it still takes excellent photos, runs quickly and has a gorgeous display.
For those who prefer Android, the main competitor to the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G. In fact, it beats the Pro Max in some regards, such as its 8K video recording capabilities and 108-megapixel primary camera.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is an undeniably great phone, but if you're unlikely to use its high-end features, then you might as well opt for a more affordable model. If you love to take photos and record videos, it's worth splashing out on the Pro Max. Plus, it's great for anyone on the go all day, thanks to its impressive battery life.
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.