Apple recently introduced the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max as successors to the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. These new models feature a fresh titanium design, an Action button, a USB-C port, the powerful A17 Pro chip, and various enhancements. Positioned as Apple’s premium flagship offerings, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max stand as the most feature-rich iPhones available today.
Pricing starts at $999 for the iPhone 15 Pro and $1,199 for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The Pro Max version comes with a $100 price hike compared to the previous year, but it’s important to note that there’s no longer a 128GB storage option for this device, effectively making it a price increase only if you typically opt for this capacity.
Both phones share an OLED Super Retina XDR always-on display with ProMotion and the Dynamic Island, the A17 Pro chip, 5G connectivity, a “Pro” rear camera setup, and identical color choices. Although the two phones have many similarities, there are ten notable differences between them. Our guide will outline these key distinctions between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max to help you decide which of these iPhone models is the better fit for your needs.
Similar to previous iPhone releases, like the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, the larger model offers a significant camera advantage. This time, it’s the 5x telephoto optical zoom, particularly useful for sports and wildlife photography due to its ability to capture subjects from a closer vantage point.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max boasts the most extensive optical zoom ever in an iPhone, offering 5x at 120mm. This is ideal for close-up shots, wildlife photography, and capturing distant action. The new Telephoto camera on the iPhone 15 Pro Max features an innovative tetraprism design with combined optical image stabilization and autofocus 3D sensor-shift module, representing Apple’s most advanced stabilization system to date.
On the other hand, the iPhone 15 Pro provides a maximum optical zoom of 3x and lacks the hardware improvements found in the telephoto camera of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, both devices share identical Main and Ultra Wide cameras.
The decision between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max largely hinges on your photography preferences. If you prioritize portrait photography, the 3x telephoto lens of the iPhone 15 Pro may be the better choice. In contrast, the iPhone 15 Pro Max excels in sports and wildlife photography scenarios where subjects are more distant.
Additionally, the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers a larger display and longer battery life compared to the iPhone 15 Pro. The additional $200 in price for the Pro Max model seems reasonable given these extra features, but it’s crucial to consider your specific usage requirements. If you typically opt for a 256GB model, the price difference narrows to $100.
Design and Display Quality:
Both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max belong to the ‘Pro’ category, offering several advantages over the regular iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models. Notably, they feature a brand-new titanium frame with a brushed finish, combining durability with a lightweight design. While durability may not be the primary benefit, the reduced weight certainly enhances user experience.
The iPhone 15 Pro weighs 188 grams, whereas the iPhone 15 Pro Max weighs 221 grams, making the Pro Max nearly 18% heavier. Nevertheless, both models are lighter than their predecessors. They also sport slimmer bezels around the screens, lending a more modern appearance, and slightly contoured edges for improved comfort during use.
Both phones share a matte glass finish on the back and introduce a new button: the Action button, situated in place of the mute switch. This button can be customized to perform various functions, adding versatility to the device.
One evident design difference lies in size, with the iPhone 15 Pro Max remaining larger and less convenient for one-handed use. In contrast, the iPhone 15 Pro offers a more compact design, making one-handed operation more feasible.
Both models now feature a USB-C port, allowing the use of standard USB-C cables for charging. However, transferring files at USB 3 fast rates of up to 10Gbps requires a USB 3-compatible cable, which is not included in the box. The provided cable is rated as USB 2, offering slower transfer speeds.
Performance and Software:
Both the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are powered by the same Apple A17 Pro chip. This chip, based on a 3nm architecture, marks a significant technological leap over the previous 4nm chips, boasting 19 billion transistors, 3 billion more than its predecessor. The new 6-core GPU enhances gaming performance, while CPU performance sees a 10% increase in speed for high-performance tasks.
Both models feature 8GB of RAM, an improvement over the 6GB RAM in the 14 Pro series. The RAM type and speed remain unchanged, utilizing LPDDR5 technology.
The larger size of the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers an advantage in heat dissipation during heavy gaming sessions, potentially resulting in less throttling. Despite both phones housing the same chip, the 15 Pro Max may deliver a slightly better gaming experience.
In terms of software, both the iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Pro run on iOS 17. While iOS 17 doesn’t introduce groundbreaking changes, it does bring a range of new features. The Phone, Messages, and FaceTime apps receive significant updates, while autocorrect functionality is notably improved.
iOS 17 introduces Contact Posters in the Phone app, allowing users to set full-screen images for call recipients. Additionally, NameDrop enables easy contact exchange between two iPhones. In the Messages app, users gain access to stickers and live stickers created from Live Photos, adding a personal touch to messages.
Other notable iOS 17 features include Standby Mode, which transforms the iPhone into a mini home hub while charging, interactive widgets, mood tracking in the Health app, a new journaling app, and more.
In the United States, all iPhone 15 models come with eSIM support only, eliminating the use of a physical SIM card. International models may still offer physical SIM support.