Apple fans have a new object of desire. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are finally official, bringing upgraded cameras, new titanium bodies and a whole new way to interact with iOS. They’re set to land in the coming weeks and take on the best smartphones on sale right now.
Shown off at Apple’s Wonderlust launch event, the 6.1in iPhone 15 Pro and 6.7in iPhone 15 Pro Max have shifted from stainless steel to Level 5 titanium – the same alloy used on the Mars rover! Gone are the squared off sides of last year’s iPhone 14 Pro offerings, replaced with rounded edges from the days of the iPhone 6.
The famous ringer switch has been replaced with a customisable Action Button. You now press and hold the button for a Haptic response, and can swap what it does on a single press, to actions such as opening the camera or Siri Shortcuts. And as expected, Apple has made the switch to USB-C, bringing faster data transfer speeds up to 10Gbps. You can juice up AirPods or Apple Watch using the cable, and Apple’s wired earbuds get the new connector.
At the front, the Super Retina XDR display packs the same Dynamic Island, ProMotion high refresh rate, and Always On Display as last year. Plus, you can take advantage of the always-on Standby mode from iOS 17. It can reach up to 2000 nits of brightness for HDR and outdoor viewing.
The iPhone 15 Pro’s cameras have been overhauled, to the point Apple reckons it covers the equivalent of seven separate lenses.
The main snapper uses a 48MP sensor, with a new coating that apparently reduces lens flare, produces sharper images, and lets more light in at night. You get 24MP images as standard, through an image processing and pixel binning one-two punch, but it can also shoot in ProRAW and save 48MP HEIF photos. A zoom selector offers up 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm focal lengths, while Smart HDR improves on dynamic range across the background and subject. Improved optical image stabilisation moves in all directions, with up to 10,000 micro-adjustments per second.
The iPhone 15 Pro gets a 3x telephoto lens, but the Pro Max packs a 5x zoom instead. It’s the equivalent of a 120mm focal length for close-up shots, using a new prism design that lets more light rays through the lens. The 12MP ultrawide camera also sees some improvements with its macro mode.
Both phones can record Spatial Video, which will be viewable on the Vision Pro mixed reality headset when it releases in 2024. Other recording upgrades include 4K recording at 60fps, and support for the Academy Color Encoding System.
Both Pro models are powered by the new A17 Pro chipset, which is a naming first for Apple. It’s one of the first 3nm chips in the phone world – MediaTek beat Apple to the punch by a few days, though phones that use it have yet to go on sale. Transistors have been shrunk down for better power efficiency, the CPU cores have been given a speed boost, and the GPU is up to 20% faster. The Neural Engine has also been improved for better on-board AI processing.
Pre-orders for the latest pro devices start this Friday, the 15th of September, and devices will be shipping out a week later on Friday the 22nd September. You can grab the iPhone 15 Pro from the same $999/£999 as last year, and the 15 Pro Max from $1099/£1199. They’re available in Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, Natural Titanium, and storage goes up to 1TB.