Jul 27 2021

Review: iPhone 12 Pro Max Supports Modern Connectivity for Feds

Robust, lightweight and fast, this smartphone brings power to your pocket.

Connectivity is the bedrock of productivity, especially for the federal government. Mobile productivity is one of the many reasons 5G technology is such an important advancement within the telecom industry and for the communications infrastructure of the U.S. government.

But effective mobility relies on two things: superfast, universal connectivity and mobile devices that can support it. The iPhone 12 Pro Max well represents the device side of that equation.

Weighing just over 8 ounces, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the most portable large-format smartphone I have ever reviewed. Equipped with Apple’s new Ceramic Shield technology, the Pro Max doesn’t need a bulky case to protect its expensive-to-replace exterior.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max Proves to Be a Durable Device

Its rugged exoskeleton is made of surgical-grade stainless steel and textured, dustproof matte glass. The 6.7-inch screen is like carrying a colorful drive-in movie theater, but the device feels as sleek and portable as any standard, smaller phone.

The water-resistant device can be immersed up to 19 feet for as long as 30 minutes and is durable enough to handle a splash or two without a protective case.

But the real value of this phone is its native 5G capabilities and equally impressive processor speeds. I tested the phone by multitasking graphic- and processor-intensive operations, simultaneously streaming video while researching and writing part of this article. The A14 Bionic chip and the native 5G speeds (up to 20-gigabit-per-second transfer rates) were impressive.

Cameras on mobile devices play a more important role within the federal government than they used to, especially with so many employees working from home and using videoconferencing solutions to collaborate. In this capacity, the cameras on the iPhone 12 are as good if not better than any desktop or laptop webcam.

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Users Can Take Next-level Photos with the iPhone 12 Pro Max

Augmented with a lidar sensor, which helps autofocus photos and video in dim light, the Pro camera system takes low-light photography to the next level. Both the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have a third rear camera with a telephoto lens, but the lens on the 12 Pro Max is longer, with a 2.5X optical zoom. 

With the iPhone 12 Pro Max, federal users can take advantage of 5G technology that advances the capabilities needed to improve citizen services. 

MORE FROM FEDTECH: Why agencies should keep security in mind as they deploy 5G.

Magnetic Charger Keeps the iPhone 12 Pro Max Ready to Go

By far, my favorite features within the iPhone 12 family are Apple’s MagSafe charging system and the optional accessories that support it. This system can best be described as a merging of magnets and near-field communication technologies on the back of the phone. 

MagSafe uses a ring of 18 magnets inside iPhone 12 models to connect to accessories that also have magnets built inside. The magnetic slap that occurs when connecting the iPhone to a MagSafe charger is so secure — and the bond so strong — that you can hang the MagSafe charger on the wall without fear of the iPhone disconnecting and falling off. 

For most iPhone 12 models, the MagSafe charger can charge at a maximum of 15 watts, which is fast. And when the MagSafe latches on, a helpful and well-designed battery life reader appears on the screen. 

I learned the hard way, however, to avoid putting magnetic cards such as hotel key cards against the magnet in the iPhone or the MagSafe Charger; placing credit cards between the iPhone and MagSafe charger is also not a good idea. Take care with your work and/or security badges as well.

Despite the need to adapt to the presence of a strong magnet in your office environment, the advantages of the MagSafe system far outweigh any drawbacks. Being able to simply snap your phone to the charger is a quick and convenient way to keep battery power high.

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Processor: A14 Bionic
Cameras: 3 12-megapixel cameras (rear)
Display: OLED
Resolution: 2778x1284 pixels
Mobile Capability: 5G
OS: iOs 14 
Sensors: Ambient light, accelerometer, digital compass, barometer, proximity, lidar scanner, 3-axis gyroscope
Security: Face ID facial recognition
Dimensions: 3.1x0.3x6.3 inches
Weight: 8 ounces 

Photography by Apple