I Traded My iPad for an iPhone 12 Pro Max

Comparing Apples to… other Apples.

Joshua Beck


At the end of 2020, I thought I had found the perfect phone: the iPhone 12 mini. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

The 12 mini I received came down with a serious case of camera problems (you can read about that here), and I ended up returning it.

Now, I’d meant to just buy another one, because I loved the 12 mini. Seriously, I loved it. I loved the small size and… well, that was mainly the reason I loved it. But instead, I took some time to think about what phone I wanted and found myself content to use my back-up device, Google’s Pixel 4a 5G. Surprisingly, that device even ended up working pretty well with all my other Apple products (except for my Apple Watch… but you can read about that here).

I used the Pixel for about a month before I decided that, ultimately, I should get a new iPhone. This wasn’t because the Pixel is in any way a bad phone; in fact, I loved using that device. But even though I was able to make the Pixel work with my MacBook and iPad and whatnot, I found myself looking at different smartwatches to pair with it and different headphones to try to replicate the same magic that AirPods bring to the iPhone, and it just made more sense to just get an iPhone to work with all the peripherals I already had for it (namely, again, that Apple Watch). It was a fun experiment, but it was over.

At first, I figured I’d get another 12 mini, but then I remembered the one thing I didn’t like about the miniature smartphone: the battery life. Battery life is my biggest pet peeve, and though I’m spending my days inside the house and near an outlet, I wanted a phone that would be able to survive throughout whatever my day could possibly bring to it… and the 12 mini just wasn’t capable of that. So I started looking at the larger iPhones again.

Have you heard of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff? That book opens with the line “If you give a mouse of a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk to go with it.” If the line sounds familiar, Harrison Ford and Glenn Close quote it in Air Force One. This applies to my situation because as I started looking at the full-sized iPhone 12, I started thinking that as long as I was looking at the larger phone, I might as…