The iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max are causing quite a stir among tech fans. They each have their own cool features and not-so-cool bits. Let's take a closer look to understand which of these latest offerings might be the perfect fit for your needs.
iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max: display
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max share the same Super Retina XDR Display, featuring Apple's ProMotion technology for a dynamic refresh rate ranging from 10Hz to 120Hz. This ensures smooth visuals and efficient power usage. In the always-on mode, the screens drop to 1Hz.
For those upgrading from the iPhone 14 Pro, the display may seem familiar, but Apple's Super Retina XDR Display remains top-tier, boasting vibrant colors and a seamless refresh rate. Both models maintain a resolution that guarantees crispness and clarity, with 460 pixels per inch (ppi) for both the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro and the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Outdoor and peak brightness levels of 2,000 nits and 1,600 nits, respectively, are consistent across both models, resembling the specs of the previous generation. While the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers a larger screen, for those content with a standard size, both models stand on par.
iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max: battery
the clear advantage of the iPhone 15 Pro Max lies in its superior battery life. A larger battery capacity means extended usage times, and the increased power consumption due to the bigger screen isn't significant enough to offset the substantial difference in battery size. Apple claims an additional 5 to 6 hours of video playback and 20 extra hours of audio playback for the iPhone 15 Pro Max compared to the standard model. These figures are comparable to last year's models, although iOS 17 appears to have marginally reduced overall battery performance.
Regrettably, Apple has not introduced faster charging speeds. Wired charging remains around 20 watts, while wireless charging operates at 15W with a MagSafe or Qi2-compatible charger, or at 7.5W with a standard Qi charger. While the iPhone 15 Pro Max likely draws more power during wired charging, potentially up to 27W based on past models, this doesn't translate into faster charging times due to the larger battery, which necessitates more power for maintaining the same charging speed as the iPhone 15 Pro.
Despite offering identical performance and charging speeds, the iPhone 15 Pro Max secures a decisive victory due to its commendable battery performance.
Winner: iPhone 15 Pro Max.
iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max: cameras
The key difference between the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max is their camera systems. The Pro Max offers an advanced 5x optical zoom, surpassing the 3x lens of the standard Pro. This enhancement is due to the Pro's smaller size, unable to accommodate the advanced 5x lens. Moreover, the Pro Max's rearranged camera layout centralizes the telephoto lens, matching the Pro's low-light performance. Both models feature a 24-megapixel "super high resolution" mode, Smart HDR 5 for dynamic range, and a nanoscale lens coating to reduce flare. Ultimately, the Pro Max's unparalleled zoom makes it the preferred choice for avid photographers and frequent travelers.
Winner: iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Overall winner: iPhone 15 Pro Max
Choosing the iPhone 15 Pro Max now grants users an improved 5x optical zoom without sacrificing its larger screen or extended battery life. The lighter titanium build further enhances the experience. However, the $200 price gap between the Pro and the Pro Max, now starting at 256GB, might give some buyers pause. Nevertheless, the iPhone 15 Pro remains a compelling option with its commendable camera system, A17 Pro chip, striking 120Hz always-on display, and the distinction of being the lightest iPhone Pro ever.