After the release of the new iPhone 13 Pro Max, last year’s flagship automatically lost the title of top-end iPhone. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has disappeared from the range of the Apple branded online store, but it is still on sale and you can find both new devices and used phones. For iPhones and other gadgets, we turn to our friends at Amazon for the best price
I want to share my impressions that remained after using this phone for six months. To start, a little background. This is the latest review by Techobig.
How it All Began
The first really big iPhone I used was the iPhone 6 Plus – it was remembered for its new format, completely fresh design, and a sharp jump in prices in Russia shortly after the start of sales. I remember well how I managed to pay for a pre-order at one price, received a phone, and subsequent batches were already much more expensive – the crisis of the end of 2014 was raging with might and main. Then I changed it to an iPhone 6s Plus, which left nothing remarkable in my memory, and then I switched to an iPhone 7 Plus. I really liked it, the phone has survived to this day – I periodically charge it, at the same time I use it as a prop for filming.
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Then Apple went to small, very convenient devices: iPhone X, XS, 11 Pro. Why torture yourself with a huge phone when you can buy a small one? I had such a train of thought, so I did not look at models with increased screen sizes and batteries. You remember that starting with the XS Max, Apple had king-size iPhones.
And then in the middle of 2021, I realized that I wanted something new. That the iPhone 12 and 11 Pro do not last long enough and you want to use a phone that can withstand a day of use and does not ask for charging in the afternoon. So I moved to iPhone 12 Pro Max.
iPhone 12 Pro Max Dimensions
The phone is as healthy as possible, and if you also put a cover on it, then at first you can walk and groan, marveling at the indecently large size of 12 Pro Max. But you get used to everything, and after a couple of days the phone feels completely ordinary, normal – and this is a very strange feeling.
What’s not cool is the healthy protruding camera block: if you don’t use a case, the phone wobbles on the surface while it’s face down. Well, dust is also collected very quickly around this area. By the way, after the release of 13 Pro Max, where the camera block is even larger, the problem only worsened.
In the summer, the large size of a large iPhone makes itself felt. In those days when you walk in a jacket or a light vest, and the phone is in your pocket, it doesn’t really interfere. But when you put on shorts, then you have to carry an XXL iPhone in your hand – it doesn’t even fit in all pockets. In general, with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, you begin to appreciate small bags – otherwise it becomes uncomfortable with the phone. I would like to emphasize this: in the summer, when you want to walk light, questions arise for a large device.
There are no questions about the quality of materials and assembly. The phone was operated without a case, except for a small gap when experimenting with accessories. There are a couple of small marks on the body, when the phone fell I don’t remember under what circumstances in the room. But other than that it’s like new.
I love the blue color and I’m glad that Apple added it last season – Space Gray is already boring, golden is not my option at all, white turned out to be very versatile. This is perhaps the most beautiful color to this day, it is even better than Sierra Blue. Glossy steel frames are all scolded for being soiled, in this regard, the usual iPhone 12 or 13 with aluminum sides is more pleasant – they do not get dirty. But the glossy back surface is more easily soiled, in 12 Pro, on the contrary, prints are not visible on it.
Again About the Size
I need a phone with a large screen for work, otherwise I would have been walking with an iPhone 12 mini for a long time, but a small iPhone does not suit the use case.
The reverse side is that the sizes are much higher than average, but you always have to pay something for versatility. For example, I tried to carry my phone in a case, although I really don’t like them. But the iPhone is heavy and big, and also wide, so out of habit I decided not to experiment with fate and put it in the original transparent MagSafe case. I took the phone out of it several times, as a result – a crack on the case a week later. The case is not designed for the fact that the device will be occasionally removed, please note.
I also did not want to glue the protective glass. As a result, I looked at the speed with which the screen on the iPhone 12 was killed during normal use without harsh experiments, and I realized that after all, protection would not hurt. Fortunately, modern glasses are very thin and look neat, almost invisible, while also being durable.
In the reviews, the thought periodically slips that the iPhone looks strange with its cutout and the absence of 120 Hz, especially when it comes to a top-end device for more than a hundred thousand rubles. Who cares, I don’t pay attention to it at all, it’s a matter of habit.
I’m more annoyed by the fact that in iOS you can’t place icons at the bottom of the screen, they are grouped from top to bottom by default. Because of this, a hefty screen is not convenient to use with one hand when working with applications. This is a real problem, and the lack of 120 Hz did not bother – this refresh rate was added to the new iPhone 13 Pro. I can’t say that I’m delighted with the function and it somehow changes the feel of the phone. There is – good, no – also without suffering.
iPhone 12 Pro Max Battery
At first I was completely delighted, the iPhone 12 Pro Max worked for a very long time. Of course, it can be planted in a day, but these are very tough use cases, like six hours of using a navigator with the backlight at maximum. In other cases, he calmly survived until the evening with 30-40% battery charge and 4-5 hours of screen glow. That is, in total for a couple of days it turned out about 8-9 hours, which, by my standards, is simply unrealistic for an iPhone.
But after a couple of months, I noticed that the phone began to work less – only about six hours of screen per day came out with the same device settings as before. I started blaming the operator for my troubles, added an eSIM with a second card – it didn’t get any better. Turned off the main – the same thing. Then they flew to Turkey in August, there was also a bunch of eSIM for the Internet and the main number for a conversation. To my surprise, the phone again worked for a long time.
Maybe one of the iOS updates fixed the problem. Or maybe not, but happiness did not last so long. After returning to Moscow, I rolled up the final iOS 15, everything was again not very cool. And for the experiment, I bought another 12 Pro Max – the figures are similar. I asked my wife how things are going with her “firmware” – she is also not happy, she constantly uses the energy-saving mode so that the phone survives until the evening.
As a result, in the fall I tried the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro, I saw that they give the same results as the 12 Pro Max: in practice, you get the same 6 hours of screen time per day as on a large phone. I will not list all the experiments with disabling functions, experiments with SIM-cards of different operators and other torments. I can only say that before the release of iOS 15, the phone worked longer, and with the release of the new version, all the magic was gone.
Want More from the Camera
At the time of release, the iPhone 12 Pro Max was the only iPhone that used a matrix stabilization system. A year later, it was added to the base models of the thirteenth series. At first, I used the RAW mode for photos on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, then I abandoned this business – my hands don’t reach the processing of pictures, and the extra memory is consumed.
I note that in the Pro-series it is still impossible to turn off the night mode permanently: it starts automatically and you have to manually deactivate it before shooting. And this means that you can accidentally miss a frame.
But I compared in practice 2.5x optical zoom on 12 Pro Max and 3x on 13 Pro. I want to say one thing: return as it was! The new telephoto has lost its aperture ratio, it works unpredictably and in fact I don’t use it. But in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the optional camera performed better and helped out when shooting.
Regarding the quality of the pictures, the same song: with each generation of cameras, they work out situations in low light better, but it will be difficult to feel the cardinal difference in the pictures between the 11 Pro, 12 Pro Max and 13 Pro.
There is no charger included with the phone, we only get the cable. I talked about power supplies more than once, here are the current devices:
Choosing the best charger for iPhone 13
My favorite is Ugreen’s 100-watt GaN charger, it has three USB Type-C ports for fast charging and one USB Type-A connector, it is convenient to connect an Apple Watch cable to it.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has MagSafe support. As for me, wireless charging in its current form is a stupid thing. You still need a wired adapter for this very wireless charging to work. And I don’t understand why there is an intermediate link: it’s easier to use a more powerful and faster block.
How much memory
For the iPhone 12 Pro Max, three memory options are offered: 128, 256 or 512 GB. Ideally, you need to take a phone with 512 GB if you actively use the camera. But here such a thing is that over time this volume will not be enough, you need to regularly delete unsuccessful duplicates and defective videos. Therefore, I calmly fit into 256 GB – but the versions with the base 128 GB, as I see it, will not be enough.
But there is such a thing as iCloud, where you can get a lot of space with a subscription. True, it is very inconvenient that Apple has a limited amount of iCloud: there is 50 GB, there is 200 GB, and then 1 TB right away. But why are there no intermediate options for 500 or 700 GB?
Moving from an Old Phone
In general, the process of moving data from an old iPhone to a new one is extremely simple. You need to leave the old phone next to the new one and start the process of transferring the accumulated good. In theory, everything sounds simple, but in fact, things do not go very quickly and drag on for a couple of hours. In addition, the process of reconnecting the Apple Watch from an old iPhone to a new one adds to the hassle. Either the phone does not see the clock, then the process itself slows down.
In general, I want some kind of seamless move, to leave the old and new device side by side, and then magically move without unnecessary gestures. Unfortunately, things are not going so smoothly yet.
iPhone 12 Pro Max Price Point
At the time of the release of the text, the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 128 GB of memory can be bought for around $1,000.
iPhone 12 Pro Max Controversial Impressions
In general, initially I planned the text in the spirit of “two weeks with a new iPhone” and partially wrote my impressions. Time passed, and a couple of weeks turned into a month, then two. Then the summer flew by, in the fall Apple showed new iPhones and I’m thinking of parting with the 12 Pro Max, sending it to the closet for storage.
Initially, I was very pleased with the phone. For me, upgrading from a “regular” iPhone to a “max” turned out to be an epochal event – something similar I experienced many, many years ago when Apple released the iPhone 6 Plus and I enjoyed the huge display of the old iPhone 5s.
But the joy was replaced by disappointment – and all because of the indicators of autonomy. I have a large iPhone 12 Pro Max that lasts as long as an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 Pro. Hence the conclusion follows: why get used to inconvenient sizes, if devices of a more comfortable format produce the same results?
I didn’t expect too much from the iPhone 12 Pro Max: there was hope that a phone with a large battery and a large screen would be a compromise replacement for the iPad. But that did not happen.