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How iPhone 12 Pro Max differs from iPhone 11 Pro Max. Is it worth updating



In 2020, Apple changed its approach to differentiating the capabilities of flagship smartphones. In the past, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max differed only in dimensions and screen sizes, but in this iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max they also received different rear cameras

That is why it makes no sense to simply compare the Pro 2019 and 2020 lines. Instead, for this article, we will take two flagships: last year’s iPhone 11 Pro Max and the current iPhone 12 Pro Max… We will bump their heads together in all possible parameters and find out how much the new product has become better.

Display: the screen has increased, although the dimensions have hardly changed

Since all modern smartphones are built around their screens, it makes sense to start comparing Apple’s new flagship gadgets with them. Moreover, the company’s new smartphones with the Pro prefix received enlarged displays in almost the same dimensions. It definitely matters.

Key features of screens:

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: size 6.7 inches, resolution 2778-by-1284 pixels, density 458 ppi
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: size 6.5 inches, resolution 2688-by-1242 pixels, density 458 ppi

The increase was only 0.2 inches… Nevertheless, and this is of great importance, given the almost unchanged case size. The density in pixels per inch remained the same – in order to achieve this, the resolution had to be slightly increased.

An hour and a half after the presentation, I already met discussions on the network software compatibility, which is adapted for a different resolution. I am sure that any doubts about this are in vain, because the aspect ratio has remained the same, and iOS has long been perfectly scalable for any needs.


Apple continues to use Super Retina XDR. It is a front-facing OLED that has been finely calibrated by the Cupertino engineers. This is necessary to achieve the most realistic colors. The contrast remained at the same level: 2,000,000: 1.

Many were disappointed that iPhone 12 Pro Max did not receive ProMotion technologywhich accelerates the screen refresh rate to 120 Hz. Apparently, this is due to the autonomy of the new gadget and the need to further improve the line of smartphones next year.

Design: format changed, new body color added


As we wrote above, Apple managed to achieve a larger screen with minor changes in the dimensions of the case. This is more true for the width and height of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, as its thickness has decreased significantly. This is also surprising given the presence of a 5G module.

The difference in size and weight of the flagships:

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4mm, 226g
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: 158.0 x 77.8 x 8.1 mm, 226 g

The device has become slightly wider and taller. I doubt that this will be especially noticeable during the operation of devices. Especially when it comes to using them together with any protective accessories that will hide the difference in size almost completely. The devices are a priori quite large.

The iPhone 5 or even iPhone 4 should be considered the prototype for the design of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. It has similar chopped edges that clearly distinguish it from the background of the iPhone 11 Pro Max. It is difficult to say how this will affect the usability of the new product. But the experience of using the current iPad Pro suggests – nothing.


By the way, the standard of protection against dust and moisture has not changed, it is IP68. However, Apple says the iPhone 11 Pro Max can be submerged in water up to 4 meters for up to 30 minutes. At the same time, the iPhone 12 Pro Max at the same time can be immersed in water to a depth of up to 6 meters.

We should also mention a special coating called Ceramic Shield, which became an innovation for all iPhone 12 without exception. According to Apple, it should reduce damage to smartphones when dropped by up to four times. You need to check, and it really is.

The basic color scheme remained unchanged. They mostly relate to shades: “Gray space” turned into “Graphite”, the gold color has changed slightly, the difference in silver today is not visible in renders. Dark green was replaced by “Pacific Blue”

Already today we can say with confidence that it is the new color that will become the main reason for the hysteria of the company’s loyal fans. It is a gadget with such a case, which many will nevertheless cover with a cover, that will be the first to disperse in any Apple technology stores.

Performance: Apple A13 Bionic was replaced by A14 Bionic

It’s hard to say that anyone will be able to feel the difference between the Apple A13 Bionic and the Apple A14 Bionic in the foreseeable future. Yes, the iPhone 12 Pro Max will have exclusive Camera features, but we’ll talk about those later. The speed of work will be approximately the same for a long time.

What can I say, thanks to incredible optimization, even the Apple A10 Fusion still copes with the current Apple software without problems and visible slowdowns – the difference can only be in heavy third-party software.

5 facts about Apple A14 Bionic:

  • Up to 50% faster computing and graphics performance than other iPhone processors
  • 11.8 billion transistors;
  • up to 80% faster Neural Engine;
  • 16 cores in the Neural Engine system;
  • Up to 70% faster machine learning accelerators.

We will be able to find out the real battery capacity of the novelty only after iFixit or other companies are among the first to disassemble it. However, according to Apple, iPhone 12 Pro Max will last as long as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, – about 20 hours in video playback mode.

At this point, we should also mention the support for next-generation 5G networks, which appeared in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Nevertheless, in the near future it is unlikely to be really relevant, not only on the territory of Russia, but also outside the country.

Cameras: LiDAR has appeared, and it’s hardly useless

The biggest miss on the iPhone 12 Pro Max cameras I personally find is using the small aperture in the ultra wide-angle camera. As practice shows using the iPhone 11 line with the same aperture, in the evening it becomes almost useless. But the telephoto aperture has increased, and this is a plus.

Difference in aperture size:

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: ultra wide ƒ / 2.4, wide ƒ / 1.6, telephoto ƒ / 2.0
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max ultra wide ƒ / 2.4, wide ƒ / 1.8, telephoto ƒ / 2.2

By the way, thanks to the chipset, the iPhone 12 Pro Max was taught to work with the Apple ProRAW format, which will appear in the new product only with the release of iOS updates. It involves storing the base image without computational processing using neural networks.

What’s more, for iPhone 12 Pro Max Apple announces sensor-shift optical image stabilization… Today it is difficult to say exactly how this method will differ from the dual optical image stabilization from the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but there should be a difference.

Another hardware feature was optical zoom increase from 2 × to 2.5 ×… The presentation also discussed optical approximation 5 × – in this case, we mean the entire range of optical zoom from an ultra-wide-angle camera to a telephoto. In fact, this statement is also true.

Through the use of the Apple A14 Bionic as well as LiDAR, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has also learned to do portrait shots using night mode… A depth sensing sensor analyzes the distance to objects, as well as their location, to correctly blur the background.

Among the innovations were also HDR-video in the Dolby Vision standard with a frequency of up to 60 frames per second, as well as video in the “Time-lapse” mode in the “Night” mode. You will not notice other innovations when shooting videos when switching from iPhone 11 Pro Max to iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Accessories: MagSafe Features and Package Contents

Of course, one of the most notable features of all the new iPhones, as well as those that remain in the official sale, has become a noticeably impoverished package. To reduce our carbon footprint Apple decided not to put wired headphones in the box, as well as the power supply… Take it for granted.

Interesting solutions for the use of additional accessories should definitely include MagSafe interface… It involves attaching cases, docks and even wireless chargers to the back using a magnet system. I would like to try it live today.

Special attention should be paid to the proprietary wireless charging, with which the device cannot move out, as well as “pocket” for cards and other waste paper on magnets. It is also important that magnetic accessories can be combined with each other: the case will not interfere with charging, and so on.

The rest of the gadgets are extremely similar. Personally, deep down, I hoped to support the Apple Pencil, which I think the iPhone 12 Pro Max lacks. However, Apple has decided to keep using the branded pencil the prerogative of the vast iPad lineup.

Memory capacity and prices for new smartphones: they have increased

Apple has finally realized that 64 GB of memory for a flagship smartphone in 2020 is already extremely small. That is why the company made a strong-willed decision increase the minimum storage to 128GB… It seems to me that this is more than enough for the vast majority of users.

iPhone 11 Pro Max is retired. Remains from the warehouses will still be sold by Apple officials in Russia. Nevertheless, it is not worth expecting that the stock will last for a long time. If you’re looking to buy last year’s flagship, it’s best to hurry.

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