Here’s what we know about the iPhone 15 Pro Max now that Apple’s shown off the new phone and how it compares to the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Pro Max that it’s replacing in Apple’s mobile lineup.
comparison will help you figure out what’s new with Apple’s flagship. And there’s a lot to talk about because Apple has made some significant changes to its top-of-the line phone.
Right off the top, the iPhone 15 Pro Max introduces a new A17 Pro processor along with camera improvements, a titanium design and a new way to charge the phone via USB-C. Our iPhone 15 Pro Max hands-on review has our first impressions, and it looks really good.
Improving on the iPhone 14 Pro Max is a tall order. That phone takes outstanding photos, lasts a long time on a charge and delivers the best performance we’ve sen from a smartphone. (We expect the iPhone 15 Pro Max benchmarks will change that last assessment.)
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max:
There’s nothing wrong with the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s stainless steel sides, but we’re excited that Apple’s turning to titanium for the iPhone 15 Pro Max chassis.
Titanium maintains a similar strength to high grade stainless steel, but at half the weight. Indeed, the iPhone 15 Pro Max tips the scales at 0.7 ounces less than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. In addition to titanium, the new Pro Max includes aluminum in its frame to help with heat dissipation.
Apple made some other changes to the iPhone 15 Pro Max design. The edges are contoured, which should make the handset more comfortable to hold. Some users have complained about the sharper, squared off edges of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, which can dig into your hands.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: USB-C
Apple confirmed what everyone suspected:
Lightning is making way for a USB-C port on its new phones. And while the regular iPhone 15 gets that feature, too, only the Pro models support USB 3 for data transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps. That’s a 20x improvement over the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Alas, that doesn’t seem to speed up charging any.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: New zoom lens
Yes, Apple has been way behind the competition when it comes to telephoto zoom lenses on the best camera phones. But it appears that the iPhone 15 Pro Max is catching up in a major way.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max incorporates what Apple calls a tetraprism design, allowing it to mimic a 120mm focal length. Apple is also incorporating a combined optical image stabilization and autofocus 3D sensor-shift module into its telephoto lens setup.
The end result is a telephoto lens on the iPhone 15 Pro Max that can deliver a 5x optical zoom. While that’s not as big as what had been rumored, it’s certainly a step up from the 3x zoom on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Camera improvements don’t stop there. The main sensor on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is bigger than before, which should allow it to capture more light in tricky settings. While you can continue to capture images at their full 48MP resolution, both iPhone 15 Pro models capture images at 24MP by default and let users choose different focl lengths (24mm, 28mm and 35mm).
- Meanwhile, computational photography improvements abound on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. You don’t need to switch to Portrait mode to take portrait shots, as the phone will detect automatically when there’s a person, dog or cat in the frame. Night mode promises sharper details while Smart HDR gets an update to feature more accurate skin tones and brighter highlights.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Action button
The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s switch for silencing calls is now an Action button on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. And while it still can silence your calls by default, you can now customize it for other functions.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: A17 Pro
The A16 Bionic chip inside the iPhone 14 Pro Max is already the fastest in a phone, but the A17 Pro inside the new iPhone 15 Pro phones should take mobile performance to the next level.
Built on a 3nm process, you’d expect the A17 Pro to boost speeds while handling power with greater efficiency. Benchmarks and battery testing will confirm both those claims, but for now, we know that Apple’s new silicon has a CPU that promises a 10% boost in speeds thanks to microarchitectural and design improvements. The neural engine on the chip is twice as fast as before, according to Apple.
But the biggest changes seem to involve the A17 Pro’s GPU, thanks to a 6-core design and support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing. Apple says to expect a 20% improvement to GPU speeds, which is probably while the company has been touting the new iPhone 15 Pro models as ideal for mobile gamers.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Battery life
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is already one of the longest lasting phones around. It turned in a very impressive 13 hours and 39 minutes in the Tom’s Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over 5G at 150 nits of screen brightness. That’s good enough to land near the top of our best phone battery life list.
So how much better could the iPhone 15 Pro Max be?
The new 3nm A17 Pro chip is doubtlessly more power efficient than before. (Reports ahead of the iPhone 15 Pro Max release claimed a 35% improvement in power efficiency.)
Apple doesn’t talk battery sizes but one rumor suggests the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 4,852 mAh battery pack, which is over 500 mAh larger than the 4,323 mAh battery in the iPhone 14 Pro Max. We’ll have to wait until teardowns of the iPhone 15 Pro Max to confirm whether battery capacity has changed.
For what it’s worth, there’s no changes in the listed times for video and audio playback in the iPhone 15 Pro Max spec sheets, so we won’t know what kind of battery life to expect until we test the new phone.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Price
You didn’t expect all these changes to the iPhone 15 Pro Max without some pressure to increase the price, did you? Indeed, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the only new iPhone to see a price increase, coming in at $100 above the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s $1,099 starting price.
Apple hopes to take the sting out of that $1,199 price tag by giving you more storage out of the gate. The base model iPhone 15 Pro Max has 256GB of capacity.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is available for pre-order on Friday, September 15, with the phone hitting stores on September 22. Apple dropped the iPhone 14 Pro Max from its lineup, but you can still find it at wireless carriers and retailers.
iPhone 15 Pro Max vs iPhone 14 Pro Max: Outlook
Now that it’s here, we can confirm that the new iPhone 15 Pro Max delivers some pretty substantial upgrades over the iPhone 14 Pro Max, including the design, performance and cameras. But we’ll have to test Apple’s new flagship phone in our iPhone 15 Pro Max review to see if it’s worth the added cost. Stay tuned for a full review and an update to this iPhone 15 Pro Max vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max comparison.