Apple announced the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max phones overnight, two highly powerful phones that have had the absolute kitchen sink thrown at them.
Where the base-level iPhone 15 handsets inherited the iPhone 14 Pro series’ A16 Bionic processor, the new Pro phones use the all-new A17 Pro system on a chip (SoC). It’s said to be Apple’s fastest and most powerful phone to date, and one that also makes the switch over to USB-C connectivity. Unlike the cheaper iPhone 15 models that only run at USB 2 speeds, the Pro versions provide USB 3 transfer speeds, which are up to 20 times faster, making them better for transferring big media files using a wired connection. Charging appears to remain locked at the same speeds as before, with half an hour getting you back to 50% using a 20W charger.
As predicted by industry experts, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are made from titanium instead of the stainless steel material used in previous iPhones. Added to the phone’s design are contoured edges and a thinner bezel, giving you more screen real estate. Apple also removed the toggle switch for silencing your phone, replacing it with a programmable Action button for more versatility.
A17 Pro can even handle high-end gaming
Apple made plenty of noise about the A17 Pro chip and it’s easy to see why. Off the back of the new SoC, the CPU runs up to 10% faster than the previous chip, but it’s the graphical and neural processing upgrades that stand out.
On the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, Apple claims the Neural Engine is twice as fast. This comes in handy when powering machine learning features (commonly referred to by other companies as AI) like autocorrect and dictation. iOS 17 is set to improve many of these features, which the neural processor will help maximise. It’s also great for accessibility tools like Personal Voice, which synthesises your voice, as it taps into machine learning technology.
On the GPU side, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max house an additional graphics core – totalling six – billed to be up to 20% faster. Apple has pushed further into gaming in recent years, first with its Apple Arcade subscription service, and more recently with enhanced gaming and development features for Mac devices. There are already some big games on Mac, but now some of them are even coming to phones – including Assassin’s Creed Mirage – thanks to the increased power of the iPhone Pro 15.
Expanded telephoto cameras
Although the iPhone 15 and Plus handsets also received a 48MP main camera upgrade, the one included in the Pro models has been designed specifically to take advantage of the stronger hardware. This also includes the 24MP super-high-resolution image mode ideal for taking good snaps with lower storage requirements. You can even choose between 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm focal lengths, and use the 15 Pro’s 3x telephoto optical zoom. With the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the telephoto optical zoom expands up to 5x.
Thanks to both hardware and software improvements, photography on Apple’s latest Pro phones has taken another step forward. Better low-light photos, Smart HDR, and improved video quality are just some of what you can expect from the new high-end handsets. Good news for portrait lovers, too: you no longer need to swap to the separate mode to take shallow depth of field shots, as the phone captures all the necessary information to do it in post when photographing people, dogs or cats.
iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max new design
Both the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max come in 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch sizes respectively, with the same display resolution as their predecessors, backed by the new titanium chassis. Compared to the 14 series’ stainless steel build, the new phone is 187 grams, nearly 20 grams lighter than last year’s model. Apple also refers to ease of repairability as another factor behind titanium, which helps make the back glass easier to replace should something happen.
Located where the silent switch used to be, the Action button includes haptic feedback and teams up with the Dynamic Island to employ various functions. You can set the Action button up as a quick input to access features like the camera or flashlight, in addition to various accessibility options and shortcuts.
iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max price, release date, and colours
Out on 22 September 2023, the 15 Pro starts at $1,849 for the 128GB model, while the Pro Max begins at $2,199 for 256GB of storage. Pre-orders open at 10 pm AEST this Friday, 15 September.
As for colours, your options include black titanium, white titanium, blue titanium, and natural titanium. Meanwhile, with Apple moving away from leather accessories due to its environmental impact, you can choose from various twill-based FineWoven covers instead.