If your iPhone purchases are driven by the camera, this is an excellent read. Sebastiaan lends his expertise here and shows the difference in the iPhone 12 Pro Max sensor, both in comparison to the older sensor, and in terms of what that bigger sensor means in practical terms.
In a nutshell:
Giving these sensor sites more room and making them larger makes them more sensitive to light. More light means more signal, less noise, and sharper results.
This point is backed up with images. As you scroll through, make sure you get all the way to the low light images as the sun starts setting. The lower the light, the more value the sensor brings to the table.