Last month I finally took the plunge and upgraded my iPhone 7 Plus for the shinier and more robust iPhone 12 Pro Max. First off, I must say that my iPhone 7 was still chugging along without any major issues and the only reason I wanted an upgrade was because my cell phone plan was more than outdated – 4 gigs a month for data, gross. So, I upgraded my phone despite my iPhone 7 performing OK for most of my demands, and as a result, I felt some guilt with my purchase.
All that guilt was soon squashed as soon as I took the iPhone 12 Pro Max out of the box. It is a stellar piece of hardware. I love that Apple went back to the aluminum casing that is more like the previous iPhone 5. I have seen a lot of complaints on the internet about how uncomfortable the 12 is while holding it one hand. I could not disagree more. For me, the casing offers more security with little grip compared to my 7 that seemed to slide out of my hand with the same amount of tension. It is funny how the 7 felt like a big phone, but then the 12 came along and suddenly the 7 shrinks and the 12 becomes the new normal. I am convinced that Apple does not really sell bigger phones, they simply sell new phones that make your old phone shrink magically. After a week of use, the iPhone 12’s size felt completely normal.
The screen on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is simply amazing. The running joke when my family members saw any video on the 6.7 Inch Super Retina XDR OLED display was “it looks better than real life!" The video capabilities for a device that fits in your pocket is a workhorse. The iPhone 12 Pro is the only device in the world that will allow you to shoot HDR Pro and Dolby Vision HDR recording at 60fps at 4k resolution. I took video footage of my sister’s graduation and was impressed with the amount of digital zoom the camera offered. I was able to frame in on just her while she walked across the stage from several rows up inside the venue. The audio quality of the microphone is good enough and I have not experienced any issues thus far.
The static images from the camera are amazing as well. With iOS 14.3 Apple is offering their own take on RAW photo format with Apple ProRAW. This is really exciting as it pushes the iPhone another step towards the professional mark of a DSLR. Also, do not get me wrong, the iPhone takes incredible photos, but sometimes the extensive post processing built into each shot can sometimes be a little too much. With the ProRAW format, you can eliminate the built-in post processing and have more control of the final product by using Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to post process as you see fit. The files sizes are larger for ProRAW format, but it is a fair compromise. The only real complaint from the camera is the phone does not seem to always remember the last aspect ratio setting or Live Photo Mode setting (I cannot stand Live Photo Mode). This did prove to be problematic for me when trying to capture brief moments of joy and excitement while hanging out with my family. Instead of just capturing the moment, I found myself wrestling with these two settings, and sometimes the moment would slip by without being captured.
To sum up, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is astounding. I could keep gushing over the lenses, battery life, the amazing A14 processor, and all the other amazing features this device offers but seeing really is believing. If you are thinking about making a switch or an upgrade, then I would highly recommend it. I have been an iPhone user since the iPhone 1 and this is the first iPhone upgrade that made me feel close to the same levels of excitement that the original technological breakthrough offered.