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Apple's iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max have larger screens and steel cases

Devindra Hardawar
·Senior Editor
·3-min read

The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max showed us how Apple could elevate its smartphones, delivering devices that packed in more features than mainstream iPhones for a higher price. With the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, the company is basically doing the same thing. This year’s devices feature a new, flat-edged design that’s more in line with the iPad Pros, bigger screens (6.1-inches and 6.7-inches), stainless steel case designs and LiDAR sensors. And of course, there’s broad 5G connectivity, which will be more useful now that Verizon is also rolling out its nationwide 5G network. (Disclosure: Verizon owns Engadget, but doesn’t influence our coverage.)

All in all, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max just look like larger and shinier versions of the iPhone 12. They still feature three cameras — a 12 megapixel wide angle lens, a 12MP ultrawide and a telephoto lens — so Apple isn’t racing to compete with Android phones that cram in even more cameras. The Pro Max’s main camera steps things up a little, though, with a “47-percent larger sensor” with 1.7μm pixels for improved low-light performance. Both models keep the large notches at the top of the their screens — no pinhole cameras this time around. That probably won’t matter to many users, but it’s disappointing when every major Android manufacturer has managed to erase those archaic notches.

Apple’s new Deep Fusion feature also taps into the new A14 Bionic processor for photo processing, helping colors to pop even more. Professionals should also appreciate Apple ProRAW, a new file format that’ll give you more editing flexibility like other RAW formats. You’ll also be able to shoot and edit 10-bit Dolby Vision content right from the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, which is something you can’t do with any other smartphone.

It’s not a huge surprise to see larger screens on iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, but they’re still notable. The Pro Max, in particular, is intriguing since it features the biggest display we’ve ever seen in an iPhone, edging ever-so-closely to the iPad Mini’s 7.9-inch screen. Both displays have the same “Super Retina XDR” technology, with support for HDR and Dolby Vision. They’ll also feature Apple’s Ceramic Shield technology, which the company claims is stronger than last year’s Gorilla Glass tech. And yes, it’ll also have the MagSafe accessory tech Apple showed off with the iPhone 12, which will let cases and other accessories magnetically attach to the phones.

iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max
iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max

Apple also added a LiDAR sensor to both Pro phones, which adds depth mapping technology 3D augmented reality mapping. But it can also help with practical uses, like delivering better autofocus in low light. It’ll be interesting to see if developers actually take advantage of the new sensor, though.

iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999 with 128GB of storage, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1,099. The iPhone 12 Pro is available for preorder this Friday, October 16th, and will ship on October 23rd. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is available for preorder on Friday, November 6th, and will ship from Friday November 13th.