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iPhone 12 Pro Max: Apple’s best phone gets better the more you use it

Over the years, I’ve been hesitant to make the biggest iPhone my daily driver, but after two months with the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, it has proven to be everything I could want in a phone. Long term usage is a great way to validate first impressions, and things get better daily with the big iPhone.



In November 2020, I purchased and evaluated an iPhone 12, and while I enjoyed the size and performance, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 still had my attention, so I returned the iPhone 12. A month later, things changed, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max bumped the Z Fold 2 out of favor. So, how’s that iPhone 12 Pro Max holding up?

Regular readers and Twitter followers know I’m primarily an Android user who regularly uses an iPhone for a month after Apple releases the newest model. The iPhone 12 Pro Max has made it two months as my daily driver, and I even bought the AppleCare Plus coverage because there is a lot to like in this phone and my SIM hasn’t left it since December.

Also: iPhone 12 Pro Max review: Easily the best smartphone camera ever

As a writer who covers smartphones, I’ve had the opportunity to also spend a lot of time with the new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, and while that is a stunning device with some unique camera capabilities, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is better for my needs, and I did not purchase an S21 this year. I’m actually a bit surprised by how much I like this big new iPhone. I discover things each week that confirm my decision to go all-in with Apple’s latest and greatest.

Based on my usage over the past two months with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, I find it extremely compelling for the following reasons:

  • Design: I absolutely love the square edges and flat display with a matte glass back cover. I also enjoy phones with color, and the Pacific Blue is lovely. There is really only one design feature I would improve and that is mentioned below.
  • iOS 14: The latest Apple OS is more like Android — and that’s a great thing — with useful widgets, updated app launcher, and more. It’s also the small things like quickly sharing Wi-Fi login detail with a friend who has an iPhone, asking me to turn off my upcoming alarm once the phone recognizes I am up and using the phone and no longer need the alarm, Smart Stack capability with widgets, enhanced Messages experience, and much more.
  • 5G and Qualcomm modem: In the past, iPhones have always been worse than Samsung phones for cellular reception, but that is no longer the case with the latest iPhones with Qualcomm modems inside. 5G has been fast, and even more importantly, it’s provided coverage in areas where I previously had no cellular signal.
  • Camera experience: I’ll dive deeper into the cameras in the future, but it’s easy to capture and rely on great shots with the iPhone 12 Pro Max in hand. Today’s flagship smartphone cameras are all pretty great, but Apple offers one of the most consistent and simple experiences for the masses while bringing some native advanced functionality as well.
  • All-day battery life: I never even think about my iPhone battery, even when out and about hiking or traveling all day. The lowest level I recall seeing on it was something like 30% after a day of shooting photos and using the phone quite heavily.
  • Face ID: Even in this period of time when we wear face masks a lot, I still find the flawless experience of Face ID to unlock my iPhone and get me into secure applications the best security experience on a phone.
  • MagSafe: I’ve been trying out some Apple MagSafe cases, and the simple wallet attachment is awesome and practical. I also like that wireless charging seems to be more reliable, and I plan to continue exploring MagSafe accessory options.
  • Also: Apple iPhone 12 review: 5G, improved reception, and iOS 14 widgets challenge Android phones

    As much as I like the iPhone 12 Pro Max, there are some things I would love to see from Apple in the future. Most of these are features found on Android phones now, including:

    • New ringer switch design: Maybe it’s my big fingers, but I have a very difficult time manipulating the tiny ringer switch and seeing whether it is flipped to on or off. Maybe a handy slider like we see on OnePlus phones would be a better design element.
    • Reverse wireless charging: This may be a simple convenience, but given the long battery life of the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the fact that I’ve forgotten to charge my Apple Watch 6 a few times, I would love to see this Samsung capability come to future iPhones. It could also be used to top off AirPods on the go.
    • Apple Pencil support: I love that Samsung added S Pen capability to the S21 Ultra, even if the stylus isn’t stored with the phone. It would be great to jot down notes on the big iPhone 12 Pro Max display.
    • Increased telephoto capability: Samsung’s new dual telephoto camera system sets the bar for a zoom experience, and I would love to see a more significant optical zoom capability in a future iPhone.

    There is a lot to cover in the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and I will continue to dive deep and use it as my daily driver. Stay tuned for articles taking a close look at the cameras, Siri Shortcuts, LiDAR, and more. Let me know if you have any other specific areas you want further discussed or explored on Apple’s best iPhone.

    Based on my usage over the past two months with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, I find it extremely compelling for the following reasons:



    When is Prime Day 2021? Plus, best deals to expect

    Amazon’s annual sale is around the corner. Here’s what you need to know, including when it is, the best deals to expect, and tips and tricks on how to master Prime Day 2021.




    Prime Day is basically Amazon’s version of Black Friday.

    ZDNet has detailed Amazon’s every move for years, including its insane growth and negative impact on retail as a whole. Doom and gloom aside, one of the more fun aspects of the company is its annual fire-sale event. Pitched as Amazon’s “holiday of savings,” it gives Black Friday a run for its money — while also likely making Walmart and other rivals wince with jealousy.

    Here’s everything we know about Prime Day 2021 so far.

    What is Amazon Prime Day?

    Amazon celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015 by introducing a full day of sales on The company offered deep discounts on Amazon-branded products as well as tens of thousands of other items from third-party sellers. The entire event, called Prime Day, was a huge success, and so Amazon has turned it into an annual sales extravaganza.

    When is Prime Day 2021?

    Amazon has officially revealed Prime Day 2021 will run from Monday, June 21 to Tuesday, June 22. The company specifically said it kicks off at 12am PDT (or 3am EDT) and runs through June 22.

    Keep in mind Amazon’s multi-day sales event usually happens in summer, though last year it was pushed to October. For reference, in past years, Prime Day occurred on the following dates:

  • July 15, 2015 (Wednesday): Lasted 24 hours
  • July 12, 2016 (Tuesday): Lasted 24 hours
  • July 11 (Tuesday) to July 12, 2017 (Wednesday): Lasted 30 hours
  • July 16 (Monday) to July 17, 2018 (Tuesday): Lasted 36 hours
  • July 15 (Monday) to July 16, 2019 (Tuesday): Lasted 48 hours
  • Oct. 13 (Tuesday) to Oct. 14, 2020 (Wednesday): Lasted 48 hours
  • Where will Prime Day 2021 be available?

    Prime Day is available to Prime members in the US, UK, UAE, Spain, Singapore, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, China, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Australia, Turkey, and Brazil. Anyone can start a free 30-day Prime trial.

    What can you expect from Prime Day 2021?

    There will be thousands of deals this year — on not only Amazon’s own devices, such as the Amazon Echo, but also products across a range of categories, including business tech goodies. We anticipate deep cuts on Fire TVs, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, and Echo devices, but you should look for Black Friday-style deals across the entire site.

    Expect some deals to last the full day, while others will be quick, limited-time deals.

    What are the best Prime Day 2021 deals?

    ZDNet plans to once again publish round-ups of all the best deals on Amazon by category, including “anti-Prime Day” deals from rival retailers. Amazon, obviously, has not yet announced any deals for Prime Day 2021. So, in lieu of that, here are some of the best deals that Amazon offered during Prime Day 2020 if you care to see what types of deals might be available again:

    Business Bargain Hunter’s top picks

    In this guide below from last year, we selected on-sale items that professionals, remote workers, and commuters might find interesting. This page will be updated for 2021, so bookmark it and check back throughout Prime Day this year.

    Early Prime Day 2021 deals

    Prime day deals start earlier and earlier every year. Once we have an official date from Amazon, we’ll begin to get some idea of when the early sales will kick-off, and we will update the page below with all those deals once they’re available.

    Can anyone shop Prime Day 2021?

    Prime Day, naturally, is aimed at Amazon Prime subscribers. The service costs $119 per year (or $12.99 per month), but students get half off and there’s a 30-day free trial. Prime gives Amazon shoppers a few distinct advantages, including free one- or two-day shipping on most items, as well as access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Pantry, Prime Now, etc.

    If you’ve never subscribed to Prime, you can get a free one-month trial. We recommend signing up as soon as possible in order to shop Prime Day early deals during your trial period. You can always cancel before the trial ends.

    How to find the best deals on Prime Day 2021

    Amazon Prime cardboard box delivery yellow background

    Here are our tips on how to take full advantage of Amazon’s sales event.

    Prime Day 2021 hub

    If you want to one-stop shop with all the best deals, visit the company’s Prime Day hub. It’ll have the lowest prices and sales across a range of categories. In past years, a new deal was posted every five minutes over Prime Day.

    Voice-shop with Amazon Alexa

    Amazon tends to give people a head start on deals if they voice-shop with Alexa. It did the same thing with Black Friday in the past — giving voice shoppers up to a seven-hour lead. To order something by voice, just say to your Alexa device, “Alexa, what are your deals” followed by “Alexa, add [the item] to my cart.” Alexa will confirm your order, but if you prefer, you can set up a 4-digit pin within the Alexa app to prevent unintended purchases.

    Amazon Assistant

    Amazon Assistant is a free browser plugin (for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Microsoft Edge) that lets you watch for product comparisons. It provides shortcuts to popular Amazon hubs and issues desktop notifications when deals that you’re watching go live.

    Deals of the day, Lighting deals, and Prime Early Access deals

    Amazon also has its regular “Gold Box Deals of the Day.” However, since it is Prime Day, these sales should be extra noteworthy. If Prime Day 2020 is like last year’s event, there will be new deals going live every five minutes, including “Lightning Deals”, which are limited-time and often end in minutes.

    And finally, there’s Prime Early Access deals, a type of Lightning Deal for Prime members. Amazon typically gives Prime members 30-minute early access to certain deals, though all deals are only available while supplies last. To stay on top of these different deals, use Amazon’s app, where you can view most deals 24 hours in advance and sign up for alerts.

    You can also go here to see deals you’re watching, and you can get the deals delivered to you via Amazon’s daily deals email.

    Amazon Coupons

    Did you know serves up coupons? There’s actually an entire hub on Amazon where you can find coupons for electronics, pet supplies, toys, and other items. Just go to, then click on the link at the top for “Today’s Deals,” and in the menu of categories at the top, click on “Coupons” (or use this link).

    When you find an item you want to buy, click on the “Clip this coupon” button near the price to clip the coupon. When you’re done shopping, go to your cart and check out. In the cart details, you will see the coupon amount deducted from your total.

    Price tracker and comparison tools

    If you want to check a deal’s price against what Amazon has charged in the past, try CamelCamelCamel. It’s a free Amazon price tracker that monitors millions of products and serves up their price history.

    Wikibuy is an extension for Chrome that lets you check to see if a deal is at its lowest price on the web. Another extension is Honey. It instantly informs you if any third-party sellers have the same product for a lower price. Also check out the site PriceGrabber or the extension PriceBlink, both of which let you see if an item is cheaper elsewhere.

    Check competitor sites

    Finally, be sure to check other shopping sites. Walmart, Best Buy, and other retailers have been known to roll out their own sales on Prime Day in an attempt to lure shoppers.

    Amazon celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015 by introducing a full day of sales on The company offered deep discounts on Amazon-branded products as well as tens of thousands of other items from third-party sellers. The entire event, called Prime Day, was a huge success, and so Amazon has turned it into an annual sales extravaganza.


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    Lenovo full-year revenue soars past $60 billion mark following 20% uplift

    Lenovo has celebrated what it has dubbed as achieving ‘historic highs’ for FY21.



    Lenovo Group has seen revenue surge past the $60 billion mark for the first time, following 20% year-on-year growth from the $50.7 billion recorded the prior year.

    For the period ending 31 March 2021, the Chinese tech giant also saw net income skyrocket by 77% from $665 million in FY20 to $1.18 billion.

    The company said its growth during the year was fuelled by its ongoing move to diversify the company in line with its so-called 3S corporate strategy that aims to deliver products and services based on smart IoT, smart infrastructure, and smart vertical solutions.

    “These historic highs were achieved by leveraging our core competencies of a clear strategy, innovative products, operational excellence, and global-local model to meet the new needs in the new normal.” Lenovo chairman and CEO Yuanqing Yang said.

    Yang added the year ended with the company’s “fastest growing quarter in almost a decade”, pointing out that FY20 Q4 was the “best fourth quarter ever” for the company’s PC and smart devices (PCSD) business, which achieved $12.4 billion in revenue, up 46% year on year, as well as its mobile business group that achieved 86% uplift in revenue to $1.54 billion.

    When looking at each business segment on a full-year basis, the company reported its intelligence devices group, which is made up of the PCSD and MBG businesses, contributed to 80% of the group’s total revenue after it achieved a 22% year on year growth to $48.5 billion.

    “The worldwide PC market continued to deliver stronger-than-expected momentum in this challenging year as COVID-19 outbreak has brought many lifestyle changes, including the one-PC-per-person trend. Usage intensity of PC products also rose on accelerated market trends including work-from-home, e-learning, and e-commerce revolution,” the company stated.

    Similarly, its data centre group achieved $6.3 billion in revenue for the full year, up 15% on the previous year.

    As for the company’s mobile business group, Lenovo said it managed to recover from COVID-led challenges during the earlier part of the year as evidenced by the 9% climb to $5.7 billion in revenue for FY21.

    The full year also saw its software and services business pick up, with revenue growing twice as fast as the company’s overall group revenue at almost 40% year on year to $4.9 billion. It now makes up 8% of group revenue, Lenovo said.

    Looking ahead, Yang assured the outlook for the remainder of 2021 and the next fiscal year remained positive.

    “Looking forward, we will capture the huge growth opportunities created by the market trends of information consumption upgrade, infrastructure upgrade, and application upgrade to drive long-term sustainable growth and ensure we can build an even smarter future in the years ahead,” he said.

    Earlier this month, Lenovo announced a new lineup of PC accessories, called Lenovo Go, targeted specifically for people working in a hybrid workforce.

    The lineup includes a wireless mouse, laptop power bank, headphones with active noise cancelling, and a wireless keyboard.

    At the start of the year, Lenovo said hybrid work environments, which have increasingly become the new normal, would need technology that is transportable as people will use various workplaces, but not necessarily be “mobile”. Due to this, the company said it was developing devices that have a small form factor while still providing “full performance, full connectivity, and full security” to address this shift.

    Related Coverage


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    HP unveils new EliteOne 800 PC line for emerging hybrid workforce

    The new desktop comes with 23.8-inch or 27-inch diagonal display as well as an integrated pop-up camera.



    hp-eliteone-800-g8-24-all-in-one-pc-front-left.jpg HP

    HP announced the release of a new slate of PCs built for the growing number of people splitting time between home and the office.

    The headlining EliteOne 800 G8 All-in-One has both 23.8-inch and 27-inch versions that come with a dual-facing 5MP camera, 11th Gen Intel Core processor, and AI-based noise reduction filters.

    The camera has auto scene detection which automatically adjusts depending on the time of day, and the popup webcam allows for a wide field of view.

    With HP Dynamic Voice Leveling, the PC changes the volume automatically based on where you are in relation to the microphone. The PC also leverages an AI-based technology that allows it to tune audio to speech, music, and movies while suppressing background noise. There is even a way to keep the PC’s fans running as quiet as possible.

    The EliteOne 800 G8 All-in-One locks when you walk away from the screen and the HP Patch Assistant allows for software updates to be automated by an IT team.

    Along with the EliteOne 800 G8 All-in-One, the company unveiled the EliteDesk 800 G8 Series PCs, all of which are part of an effort to enable “meaningful collaboration experiences and optimal productivity in new work environments,” according to Andy Rhodes, global head of commercial systems and display solutions at HP.

    The PCs will be available in select countries starting in May 2021.

    The company conducted a survey at the end of 2020, finding that at least 32% of office employees will continue working from home through 2021 while 26% said they would work both from home and the office throughout the week.

    “The pandemic has given us a fresh perspective on not only the importance of the PC, but better insight into how we collaborate, stay connected, and elevate the way we work at home and in the office,” Rhodes said in a statement.


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