iPhone 11 Pro Max vs. iPhone 12 Pro Max: What's the difference?

No one can blame you for being a bit lost when it comes to all the new iPhone models. There are a lot of them. Gone are the days of “this year’s iPhone.” Remember that? Remember when there was just one? Ha. 

Now there are about five new models with every release, all of them with names that sound pretty much the same. Pro, Pro Max, Mini, etc. This is even the case across the releases. For example, the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the iPhone 12 Pro Max sound basically the same just with a different number. So...what exactly are the differences between the phones? Let’s find out. 


Both the easiest and hardest decision to make: what colour phone do you want? 

  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: Midnight Green, Silver, Space Grey, Gold
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: Pacific Blue, Gold, Graphite, Silver 
iPhone 11 Pro Max Gold and Space Grey Frank Mobile

Image: Frank Mobile: iPhone11 Pro Max Gold and Space Grey


Both the 11 Pro Max and 12 Pro Max have Super Retina XDR displays with True Tone and wide colour displays. The 12 Pro Max is a bit bigger though, with a 6.7” display, while the 11 Pro Max has a 6.5” display. 


This might be the biggest difference between the two models. The iPhone 11 Pro Max supports 4G LTE, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max supports 5G for “superfast downloads” and high-quality streaming. The 12 series phones are currently the only iPhones that support 5G capabilities. 


Both of these iPhones have Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto lenses, but the 12 Pro Max has a few extra features. 

  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: Triple 12-megapixel Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto lenses, 4x optical zoom range, next-generation Smart HDR for photos
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: Pro 12-megapixel camera system (Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto), 5x optical zoom range, night mode portraits, Smart HDR 3 for photos

The iPhone 12 Pro Max also has better video recording capabilities, but the 11 Pro Max still has premium video recording specs. 

Bionic Chip

This is an easy one. The iPhone 11 Pro Max has the A13 Bionic Chip. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has the A14 Bionic Chip, which is the fastest chip in a smartphone.


The batteries in these devices are almost identical, with the only difference being that the 11 Pro Max supports Qi wireless charging, and the 12 Pro Max supports both MagSafe and Qi wireless charging. Other than that, these are the battery specs for both phones:

  • Up to 20 hours of video playback
  • Up to 12 hours of streamed video playback
  • Up to 80 hours of audio playback
  • Fast-charge-capable, up to 50% charge in 25 minutes with an 18W adapter or higher


The iPhone 12 Pro Max is a bit more sturdy than the 11 Pro Max in terms of how it’s built. 

  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: Glass front and back, surgical-grade stainless steel. 
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max: Ceramic Shield front, surgical-grade stainless steel, 4x better drop performance (compared to previous-generation iPhones)

  • Water Resistance

    Both the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the iPhone 12 Pro Max are water resistant to a certain extent. The 11 Pro Max is water-resistant to a depth of 4 metres for up to 30 minutes, whereas the 12 Pro Max is water-resistant to a depth of 6 metres for up to 30 minutes. 


    The 11 Pro Max beats out the 12 Pro Max when it comes to accessories that come with your purchase. The 11 Pro Max comes with an 18W adapter and EarPods with a Lightning Connector. The 12 Pro Max doesn’t come with either of these. 

    The 11 Pro Max and the 12 Pro Max are both supreme phones, and you can’t really go wrong with either. You’ll just have to figure out what features mean the most to you. Or maybe which colour. That’s cool too.

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