iPhone 12 Pro Max review round-up: a meta review of Apple’s largest iPhone 12 model

The embargo has lifted on iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max reviews ahead of their availability this coming Friday. So, just as we did with the iPhone 12 reviews, we’re rounding up and summarizing a number of reviews from across the web as we were unable to get ahold of review units.

For the most part we’ll be focusing on the iPhone 12 Pro Max in this meta-review collection, but some videos and text reviews cover both the iPhone 12 Mini and 12 Pro Max, so you’ll get a little mix of both.

MKBHD

In this video review, Marques Brownlee, better known as MKBHD, shares his thoughts on the new iPhone 12 Pro Max. As you may remember from his iPhone 12 Pro review, he had expected the iPhone 12 Pro Max would perform even better thanks to the camera improvements inside, but much to his surprise, he noticed hardly any difference in image quality, even between the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

The Verge

To accompany its comprehensive video review, The Verge has also shared its longform text review titled ’The best smartphone camera you can get.’ In it, The Verge Editor-in-Chief, Nilay Patel, focuses almost entirely on the camera capabilities, praising improvements of the larger sensor, saying the iPhone 12 Pro Max ‘took better, more detailed, and less noisy photos than the Pixel 5 and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.’

Engadget

In addition to its video review embedded above, Engadget also posted a text review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max titled ‘Better, not just bigger.’ In it, Engadget Senior Editor Chris Velazco praises the larger screen, best-in-class performance and the improved camera system. However, similar to Brownlee’s assessment, Velazco says the better cameras in the iPhone 12 Pro Max ‘aren’t exactly game-changers.’

CNET

Similar to Engadget and The Verge, CNET also published both a video review and text review of the new iPhone 12 Pro Max titled ‘Big phone energy.’ Echoing the sentiments of the other reviews, CNET Senior Associate Editor Patrick Holland says ‘when [comparing the 12 Pro Max’s photos] to photos from the regular 12 Pro, the differences don’t jump out at you right away.’ However, he notes ‘that’s less of a strike against the 12 Pro Max, and more of an indication of how good the cameras are on the iPhone 12 Pro.’

Andy To

For a more real-world example, commercial videographer and YouTuber Andy To used the new iPhone 12 Pro Max to capture his trip back home to Oakland in a cinematic fashion using only video recorded with the device. The five-minute video lacks any narration, simply showcasing what’s possible with the camera array. The whole video was shot on HDR video mode without any external lenses. All footage was shot at 4K/60p or 4K/24p and the footage was edited in Final Cut Pro X.

We’ll post more video and text reviews of the new iPhone 12 Pro Max as they go live. If you know of any we’ve missed, link them in the comments below.