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Review: Everything we loved about the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max is the biggest of the lot to date, but is worth the hype?

Much like clockwork, Apple once again has released a new collection of devices, mainly the iPhone 12. Even with the amount of uncertainty that came with 2020, Apple still managed to not break from tradition. While it was announced a month later than usual, Apple still managed to stay relevant, thanks to its latest Apple Watch Series 6 as well as the new M1 processing chips.

But then again, given how badly the economy has been affected by COVID-19, it’s hard to justify upgrading from your current iPhone to its latest and greatest, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max. Seeing as we’ve already gotten our chance with the iPhone 11 Pro, it was time to kick things up a notch.

Vintage Looks all Around

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
It’s sharp-edged look from the iPhone 4 makes a reappearance once more.

One of the biggest changes Apple made to the entire iPhone 12 line-up was its design. This time, it does away with the curved edges and sides from the iPhone 11 and went in a completely different direction. Going back into its history books, Apple reintroduces its boxy-ish design from the iPhone 4. This time, however, its edges and sides are much more prominent, thanks to its surgical grade stainless steel material that will feel perfect on your fingers. This certainly gives the iPhone 12 Pro Max an edge over its competition.

Larger than Life

At 6.7-inches, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the largest smartphone to date from Apple. Its screen is a Super Retina XDR OLED display, giving you greater visual clarity and colour like never before. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also features a lot less bezel, allowing you to get the maximum screen time available for a smartphone. Aside from its usual notch up top, Apple pushes its bezels to the very edge, giving you the most out of your smartphone.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
The iPhone 12 Pro Max comes in four colours — Silver, Graphite, Gold, and Pacific Blue.

All about the A14 Bionic

The A14 Bionic is Apple’s latest processing chip for its smartphones. It boasts performance ratings of 50% faster than any other smartphone chip, ensuring that the iPhone 12 Pro Max becomes the fastest Apple smartphone to date. One of its biggest updates would be including a new image signal processor (ISP) into the chipset — this allows the phone to shoot in 4K HDR recording with Dolby Vision, giving you theatre-like video quality from start to finish.

Being Apple’s latest and greatest smartphone, it’s safe to say that the 12 Pro Max can do it all. Swapping between social media apps and your emails as well as replying messages in-between is all done smoothly and seamlessly. the 12 Pro Max was designed to make your life easier in every way, which is helped by both the A14 Bionic as well as iOS 14.

From adding widgets on your display screen to finally having Picture-In-Picture on iOS is a pretty sweet deal. The 12 Pro Max doesn’t lag behind, even when you bog it down with numerous apps. It holds its own, especially when in heavy-duty use.

Shoot like a Pro

As the title of this section suggests, the iPhone 12 Pro Max really does make mobile photography easy and effortless. Honestly, it’s no wonder many social media influencers think they’re actual photographers just because they use an iPhone. The 12 Pro max is actually a quad-camera system, although it may not look like it.

It’s wide, telephoto, and ultrawide lens are 12MP each but it does come with its own features. This includes optical image stabilisation (OIS) and a 2.5x optical zoom for the telephoto lens and sensor-shift stabilisation (IBIS) for its wide lens. As for its last camera, Apple decided to add a ToF 3D LiDAR scanner. It’s capable of creating a depth map in a matter of seconds, bringing augmented reality (AR) to the main stage.

The LiDAR scanner not only works well with AR apps but also with photography. Working as one unit, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is capable of bringing the best out of your shots.

Ticking the Right Box

One thing that is worth taking note from now until further notice is that Apple is no longer including its power adapters into the box. This means that all you will be getting is the iPhone, a USB-C to Lightning cable, and the start-up guide. Apple is doing away with its power adapters to reduce its carbon emissions, but at what cost?

Because if you’re using an iPhone that is not the 11 and beyond, more than likely the current power adapter you have is only adaptable with the USB-A to Lightning cable as opposed to USB-C. This means that you will have to purchase a separate power adapter so you still end up paying more. While there isn’t anything wrong with its previous USB-A to Lightning cables, it certainly doesn’t charge as fast as the current-gen USB-C.

Food for thought.

Worth the Value?

Now, the main downside of any Apple smartphone will always be its price. Apple has done some ways to appeal to a broader mass market with the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Mini. But what about its much larger siblings?

The iPhone 12 Pro Max starts off at RM5,299 for the basic 128GB. For 256GB, you’ll have to fork out RM5,799 and for 512GB, that’s a whopping RM6,699. In this current climate, it’s hard to justify having to pay a small fortune for the latest iPhone.

However, if you’re really into photography and are already neck-deep in the entire Apple ecosystem, it makes sense to want to upgrade to the latest devices. Not only is it much faster as compared to previous iPhones, it also shoots better as well as having a much better battery life with greater charging and waterproof capabilities.

Wi-Liam Teh
Senior Writer
Wi-Liam is a geek at heart with a penchant for tattoos. Never without a drink in hand (preferably whisky, gin, or Guinness), he is also a writer by day and a keyboard warrior by night. On his day off, he masquerades as a streetwear and sneakerhead enthusiast while his bank account says otherwise.