iPhone 12 Pro Max
iPhone 12 Pro Max

As we go into 2024, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, once a flagship marvel, now sits at a crossroads of technology and value. So it’s no wonder people are asking whether or not it still makes sense to buy the 12 Pro Max? The short answer is – YES but be mindful of the fact that the 13 Pro Max is a much better phone for about $50-$100 more (used). So if you can afford that jump up, it might be a good idea.

This article continues the look into the reasons why the 12 Pro Max still holds its ground in a rapidly evolving smartphone landscape.

iPhone 12 Pro Max Specifications

Display6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display, 2778 x 1284 pixels, 458 ppi, HDR, True ToneLarge, high-resolution display with vibrant colors and excellent viewing angles
ProcessorA14 Bionic chipPowerful chip for fast performance and demanding tasks
RAM6GBSufficient RAM for multitasking and smooth performance
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TBChoose the storage capacity that suits your needs
CamerasRear: 12MP Wide, 12MP Ultra Wide, 12MP Telephoto with 4x optical zoom; Front: 12MP TrueDepthPowerful camera system for high-quality photos and videos in various lighting conditions
Video Recording4K Dolby Vision HDR recording up to 60fps, Cinematic modeExcellent video recording capabilities for professional-looking content
Battery3687 mAhModerate battery life, typically lasting a full day with moderate usage
Operating SystemiOS 16Latest iOS version with new features and improvements
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFCFast and reliable connectivity options
Water ResistanceIP68 water resistant (up to 6 meters for 30 minutes)Durable and can withstand accidental spills and splashes
Size & Weight160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm, 228 gramsLarge and slightly heavier than many phones
ColorsPacific Blue, Graphite, Silver, GoldVarious color options to choose from

Additional Notes:

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max is no longer the latest iPhone model, having been superseded by iPhone 13 and 14 series.
  • Prices may vary depending on storage capacity, retailer, and condition (new vs. used).
  • Consider your needs and budget before making a purchase.

Key Takeaways

  • Price vs. Performance: Evaluating the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s value in the current market.
  • Technical Specifications: How does it stack up against newer models?
  • User Experience: Insights from current users on performance and longevity.
  • Alternatives: Exploring other options in the same price bracket.

Introduction to the iPhone 12 Pro Max

The iPhone 12 Pro Max, launched in late 2020, was the flagship of Apple’s lineup at the time. Boasting a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display, A14 Bionic chip, and advanced camera systems, it was a leap forward in smartphone technology. But as we stand on the brink of 2024, it’s crucial to reassess its place in an ever-advancing tech world.

iphone 12 pro max back view angle

Current Market Trends and Consumer Preferences

The smartphone market in 2024 is characterized by rapid innovation. Consumers now have a plethora of choices, ranging from high-end flagships to value-packed mid-rangers. In this diverse market, the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s relevance hinges on its ability to offer a balance of features, performance, and price.

Technical Specifications Review

Performance and Hardware

  • Processor: The A14 Bionic chip was a powerhouse in its time, but how does it fare against the latest processors?
  • Display: The 6.7-inch OLED screen was among the best in 2020, but newer models have pushed the envelope further.
  • Battery Life: One of the critical aspects today is how well the battery holds up, especially considering battery degradation over time.

Camera Capabilities

The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera system, with its LiDAR scanner and Dolby Vision recording, was groundbreaking. However, camera technology has seen significant advancements since then.

Price Analysis

In 2024, the pricing of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a crucial factor. It’s no longer the newest model, so its value proposition lies in offering flagship features at a reduced cost.

Comparing Prices

  • New vs. Used: The price difference between a new and a used iPhone 12 Pro Max can be substantial.
  • Compared to Newer Models: How does its price stand against the iPhone 14 or 15 series?
iphone 12 pro max

User Experience and Longevity

Insights from Reddit Users

Reddit users have provided valuable insights into the real-world performance of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Many highlight its robust build quality and the longevity of its software support.

Software Updates and Support

Apple is known for its extended software support. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, in 2024, still receives the latest iOS updates, ensuring security and feature parity with newer models.

Camera and Multimedia Capabilities

The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera was a significant selling point at its launch. In 2024, it still competes admirably with newer models, especially in terms of color accuracy and low-light performance.

Video and Photography

  • Dolby Vision HDR: This feature remains a standout, offering professional-grade video recording capabilities.
  • Photographic Styles: Customizable filters that adapt to individual preferences.

Buying a Used iPhone 12 Pro Max

What to Look For

When purchasing a used iPhone 12 Pro Max, it’s essential to check for:

  • Battery Health: A battery health above 80% is preferable.
  • Physical Condition: Look for any signs of damage or wear and tear.

Potential Pitfalls

  • Warranty: Used devices typically come with limited or no warranty.
  • Battery Replacement Costs: If the battery health is low, consider the cost of replacement.

Alternatives to Consider

In 2024, there are several alternatives to the iPhone 12 Pro Max that offer similar or better features at competitive prices. Brands like Samsung, Google, and even newer models from Apple itself provide compelling choices.

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max: A Detailed Comparison

FeatureiPhone 12 Pro MaxiPhone 13 Pro MaxNotes
Price (starting)~$499 (Used)~$549 (Used)The price difference makes the 13 Pro Max more attractive.
Display6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED, 2778 x 1284 pixels, 458 ppi6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED, 2778 x 1284 pixels, 458 ppiIdentical display size and resolution
ProcessorA14 Bionic chipA15 Bionic chip13 Pro Max offers newer and slightly faster chip
RAM6GB6GBBoth have sufficient RAM for multitasking
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TBSame storage options
CamerasRear: 12MP Wide, 12MP Ultra Wide, 12MP Telephoto with 4x optical zoom; Front: 12MP TrueDepthRear: 12MP Wide with larger sensor and sensor-shift stabilization, 12MP Ultra Wide, 12MP Telephoto with 3x optical zoom; Front: 12MP TrueDepth with autofocus13 Pro Max boasts improved cameras with larger sensor, sensor-shift stabilization, and higher zoom for telephoto
Video Recording4K Dolby Vision HDR recording up to 60fps, Cinematic mode4K Dolby Vision HDR recording up to 60fps, Cinematic mode with ProRes support13 Pro Max offers ProRes video recording for professional use
Battery3687 mAh4352 mAh13 Pro Max has significantly larger battery and may last longer on a single charge
Operating SystemiOS 16 (with potential upgrade to iOS 17)iOS 16 (with potential upgrade to iOS 17)Both able to access latest iOS features
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC13 Pro Max features slightly newer Bluetooth version
Water ResistanceIP68 water resistant (up to 6 meters for 30 minutes)IP68 water resistant (up to 6 meters for 30 minutes)Both offer the same level of water resistance
Size & Weight160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4 mm, 228 grams160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65 mm, 240 grams13 Pro Max is slightly heavier due to larger battery
ColorsPacific Blue, Graphite, Silver, GoldSierra Blue, Graphite, Silver, Gold, Alpine Green13 Pro Max offers additional color options


  • The iPhone 12 Pro Max is a still capable phone with a powerful processor, good cameras, and a stunning display. However, it has been superseded by the 13 Pro Max, which offers several improvements, including newer processor, better cameras with larger sensor and sensor-shift stabilization, longer battery life, and ProRes video recording.
  • The choice between the two ultimately depends on your budget and needs. If you can afford the 13 Pro Max and prioritize camera performance, battery life, and future software updates, it’s the better choice. If you’re on a tighter budget or prefer a slightly lighter phone, the 12 Pro Max might still be a viable option.

Comparison with Newer Models

  • iPhone 14 and 15 Series: These models offer improved processors, cameras, and battery life.
  • Android Alternatives: High-end Android devices from Samsung and Google are also worth considering.

Alternatives to the iPhone 12 Pro Max

When considering the iPhone 12 Pro Max, it’s essential to weigh it against its contemporaries. Here’s a quick comparison:

iPhone 14 and 15 Series

  • Processor and Performance: The newer models feature more advanced processors, offering better performance and efficiency.
  • Camera Upgrades: Enhanced camera systems with improved low-light performance and new features.

Android Alternatives

  • Samsung Galaxy Series: Known for their display and camera technology.
  • Google Pixel Series: Praised for their software integration and camera AI.

For a detailed comparison of the latest iPhone models, check out GadgetMates’ iPhone Comparison Guide.

Thoughts on the iPhone 12 Pro Max

As we assess the iPhone 12 Pro Max in the context of 2024, it’s clear that while it may not be at the cutting edge of technology, it still holds significant value. Its robust build, capable camera system, and continued software support make it a viable option, especially for those looking for a premium experience without the latest model’s price tag.

Why It’s Still a Good Buy

  • Price-to-Performance Ratio: Offers flagship features at a more accessible price point.
  • Longevity: Apple’s commitment to software updates extends the phone’s relevance.

Why It Isn’t Still a Good Buy

  • Comparison To The 13 Pro Max: The 13 Pro max is clearly a better (and newer) model phone and sells for almost the same price on the secondary market as a 12 Pro Max would.


  1. Is the iPhone 12 Pro Max still a good buy in 2024? Yes, for those seeking a balance of performance, features, and price.
  2. How does the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera compare to newer models? While newer models have advanced, the iPhone 12 Pro Max still offers a high-quality camera experience.
  3. What should I consider when buying a used iPhone 12 Pro Max? Check for battery health, physical condition, and warranty options.
  4. How does the iPhone 12 Pro Max perform in terms of software updates? Apple provides consistent updates, ensuring the phone stays current with security and features.
  5. Are there any good Android alternatives to the iPhone 12 Pro Max? Yes, options like the Samsung Galaxy series and Google Pixel series are excellent alternatives.
  6. What makes the iPhone 12 Pro Max a viable option in 2024? Its combination of a robust feature set, solid build quality, and lower price point compared to newer models.
  7. Where can I find more information on iPhone models and comparisons? For comprehensive comparisons, visit GadgetMates’ iPhone Comparison Guide.

For more insights on iPhone maintenance and care, explore GadgetMates’ iPhone Maintenance Tips.

Relevant YouTube Videos

Final Verdict

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is still a smart choice for those who seek Apple’s quality and ecosystem without the premium price tag of the latest models. And even in 2024 the phone still represents an excellent blend of Apple’s quality and value. It’s a testament to the longevity of Apple’s design philosophy, where even a four-year-old model can still be relevant and functional in the face of newer technology. For those who prioritize a blend of performance, camera quality, and value, the iPhone 12 Pro Max remains a compelling choice, but we strongly recommend you check out the price of the 13 Pro Max before buying to see if that makes even more sense.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is still great in 2024 as far as performance but is so-so as far as price vs. better models. While it may not be the latest and greatest, you will likely be able to get the iPhone 13 Pro Max for about $50-$100 more in price so if that’s an option in your budget that would be the recommended route. By going with the 13 Pro Max instead of the 12 Pro Max you’re getting 1 newer generation to buy yourself an extra year (or two) of iOS updates and hopefully less wear and tear on the phone.

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