I bought and evaluated an iPhone 12 in November 2020, and although I enjoyed the size and performance, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 still got my attention so I returned the iPhone 12. A month later, things changed and the iPhone 12 Pro Max fell out of favor with the Z Fold 2. How is the iPhone 12 Pro Max doing?
Regular readers and Twitter followers know that I’m primarily an Android user who regularly uses an iPhone for a month after Apple released the latest model. The iPhone 12 Pro Max made it as my daily driver for two months, and I even bought the AppleCare Plus cover because this phone has a lot to like and my SIM card hasn’t left it since December.
Also: iPhone 12 Pro Max test: Simply the best smartphone camera of all time
As a writer on smartphones, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time on the new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G too, and while this is a stunning device with some unique camera features, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is better for my needs , and I didn’t buy an S21 this year. I’m actually a bit surprised at how much I like this big new iPhone. I discover things every week that confirm my decision to go all-in with Apple’s latest and greatest.
Having used the iPhone 12 Pro Max for the past two months, I find it extremely compelling for the following reasons:
- design: I love the square edges and the flat display with a matte glass back. I also like phones with color, and the Pacific Blue is very beautiful. There really is only one design feature that I would improve and that is mentioned below.
- iOS 14: The latest Apple OS is more like Android – and that’s a great thing – with useful widgets, updated app launcher, and a lot more. It’s the little things too, like quickly sharing Wi-Fi login credentials with a friend who has an iPhone and asking them to turn off my upcoming alarm as soon as the phone detects I’m up and using the phone and that Alarm no longer needed. Smart stack feature with widgets, improved messaging experience and much more.
- 5G and Qualcomm modem: In the past, iPhones were always worse than Samsung phones for cellular reception. However, this is no longer the case with the latest iPhones with Qualcomm modems. 5G was fast and, more importantly, it offers coverage in areas where I didn’t have a cellular signal before.
- Camera experience: I’ll dive deeper into the cameras in the future, but with the iPhone 12 Pro Max in hand, it’s easy to get great shots and rely on them. Today’s flagship smartphone cameras are all great, but Apple offers one of the most consistent and easiest experiences for the masses, while also offering some native advanced features.
- All day battery life: I don’t even think about my iPhone battery even when I’m out and about all day. The lowest level I can remember was around 30% after a day of taking photos and using the phone quite a bit.
- face recognition: Even at this time of wearing face masks frequently, I find Face ID’s flawless experience of unlocking my iPhone and getting into secure apps the best security experience on a phone.
- MagSafe: I’ve tried a few Apple MagSafe cases and the simple wallet attachment is fantastic and convenient. I also like that wireless charging seems to be more reliable, and I plan to continue exploring the options for MagSafe accessories.
Also: Apple iPhone 12 test: 5G, improved reception and iOS 14 widgets challenge Android phones
As much as I like the iPhone 12 Pro Max, there are a few things I would love to see from Apple in the future. Most of these features are now available on Android phones, including:
- New bell switch design: Maybe it’s my big fingers, but I find it very difficult to flip the tiny ringtone switch and see if it’s on or off. Perhaps a handy slider like the one we see on OnePlus phones would be a better design element.
- Reverse wireless charging: This might be a simple convenience, but given the long battery life on the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the fact that I forgot to charge my Apple Watch 6 a few times, I’d love to see this Samsung feature available for future iPhones . It can also be used to refill AirPods on the go.
- Apple Pencil support: I think it’s great that Samsung added the S Pen feature to the S21 Ultra, even if the pen is not stored in the phone. It would be great to take notes on the large iPhone 12 Pro Max display.
- Increased telephony: Samsung’s new dual telephoto camera system sets the standard for a zoom experience, and I would like to see more significant optical zoom in a future iPhone.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has a lot going for it, and I will continue to dive deep and use it as my daily driver. Stay tuned for articles that take a closer look at the cameras, Siri Shortcuts, LiDAR, and more. Let me know if you have any other specific areas that you would like to further discuss or explore on Apple’s best iPhone.