First Impressions: Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Two things I looked forward to: the new design, and as always, the better camera. Though I’ve only had it a few hours, it delivers on both.

When it was first rumored that the iPhone 12 would have flat sides like the iPhone 4, I said that was all I would need to upgrade. And this thing is gorgeous. I got the white with stainless steel band, and I’m seriously considering forgoing a case. Sure, the dark green of the 11 seemed aimed right at me, but the iPhone 12 series is the best looking iPhone in many, many years.

But, it is big. The biggest yet, and noticeably bigger than the 11 Pro Max in my hand. Although it is apparently thinner, the 12 Pro Max feels denser, and the right angles make it a bit more unwieldy. It indeed feels like a small iPad.

I’ve always gone for the biggest phone screen available, but this one is pushing that preference to the limit. If these epic cameras came on the 12 Pro, I just might have stepped down to the smaller size.

(Also, the iPhone 12 mini is adorable!)

MagSafe is neat and convenient, but less “snappy” than I thought, and it mostly makes me miss the original MagSafe on Mac laptops. I’m going to see if I have the patience to stick with it over just plugging directly in as usual.

Also, I really wish this was the phone for which they dropped lightning for USB-C. Next time, Apple, right?

As for the cameras, I’m going to need a lot more time to put them through the paces… especially since I’m not going out all that often during the pandemic. Dolby video? Better image stabilization! Yes please!

The telephoto lens on the 12 Pro Max was stepped up to 2.5x instead of 2x. It didn’t sound like much, but it’s a very noticeable increase, after all. The step from 1x to 2.5x is so big, I kind of wish there was a fourth step in between.

I hit the road while Jen was at Kaiser today for some shots to test the different lenses, and you can see them here.

By the way, I ordered the iPhone 12 Pro Max for pickup at the Apple Store at Ala Moana Center, just like old times. I was able to get it at 9 a.m. on Friday, instead of waiting past sunset for the FedEx truck to pull up to my house. It was a very low-key affair, with barely any line, as store employees pretty much turned away anyone without an appointment.

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