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Apple iPhone 15 (Plus) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max) compared

iPhone 15 vs 15 Pro
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The iPhone goes into the next round with the iPhone 15 series, consisting of the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. We took a look at the technical specs but also took a critical look at the design, price, and availability.

Apple iPhone 15: A comparison of the technical specs of all four models

Before we take a detailed look at the new models, we first take a look at the technical specs of the new Apple phones in our table:

  Base Model 2023 Plus model 2023 Pro model 2023 Pro Max Model 2023
Product Apple iPhone 15 Plus Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
MSRP from $799 from $899 from $999 from $1,099
Image iPhone 15 iPhone 15 Plus Apple iPhone 15 Pro Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Colors Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, Black Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, Nature Titanium
Display Super Retina XDR
6.1" OLED
2556 x 1179 pixels at 460 ppi
120 Hz refresh rate
Dynamic Island
Super Retina XDR
6.7'' OLED
2796 x 1290 pixels at 460 ppi
120 Hz refresh rate
Dynamic Island
Super Retina XDR 
6.1'' OLED display
2556 x 1179 pixels at 460 ppi
120 Hz refresh rate
Dynamic Island
Super Retina XDR
6.7'' OLED
2796 x 1290 pixels at 460 ppi
120 Hz refresh rate
Dynamic Island
SoC Apple A16 Bionic (4 nm) Apple A17 Pro (3 nm)
Memory 128 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB
Main camera 48 MP | f1.6 aperture | 2.0 µm pixels | sensor-shift OIS 12 MP | 2x telephoto (enabled by quad-pixel sensor) 48 MP | quad pixel sensor | 2.44 µm pixels | f1.78 aperture | 24 mm focal length | sensor-shift OIS
Ultra-wide angle 12 MP | f/2.4 aperture | 13 mm focal length | 120° FOV 12 MP | f/2.2 aperture | 1.4µm | 13 mm focal length | Macro
Telephoto lens 12 MP | f/2.8 | 77 mm focal length | 3x optical zoom | sensor-shift OIS 12 MP | f/2.8 | 120 mm focal length | 5x optical zoom | sensor-shift OIS
Selfie 12 MP | f/1.9 aperture | autofocus
Audio Stereo
Battery life Video playback: 20 hours
Video (streaming): 16 hours
Audio playback: 80 hours
Video playback: 26 hours
Video (streaming): 20 hours
Audio playback: 100 hours
Video playback: 23 hours
Video (streaming): 20 hours
Audio playback: 75 hours
Video playback: 29 hours
Video (streaming): 25 hours
Audio playback: 95 hours
Charging Wired: 20 W
MagSafe: 15 W
Qi: 7.5 W
Wired: 20 W
MagSafe: 15 W
Qi: 7.5 W
Robustness IP68 Ceramic Shield, aluminum frame IP68 Ceramic Shield, titanium frame
Connectivity eSIM, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, UWB, satellite eSIM, 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, UWB, Satellite
Dimensions and weight 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.80 mm | 171 g 160.9 x 77.8 x 7.80 mm | 201 g 146.6 x 70.6 x 8.25 mm | 187 g 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25 mm | 221 g

Table of Contents:

iPhone 15 (Plus) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): Design and display

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus look only minimally different from their predecessors. Apple still relies on an aluminum frame and the dimensions and weight have also only changed insignificantly. There is colored glass on the back and a Ceramic Shield front.

Of course, the USB Type-C port is new, which Apple introduced for all models. Say goodbye to the Lightning port on the iPhone. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are available in pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. We also have to say goodbye to a rather unloved feature: The previous notch in the center at the top of the display. The standard models now also finally get the flexible notch called Dynamic Island, which was still reserved for the Pro models in 2022.

Apple explains that this pill-shaped notch has become even more versatile. Now you can also display the gate for your flight, or see at a glance how things stand at your favorite club.

Both the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus rely on a "Super Retina XDR" display—one with a size of 6.1 inches for the basic version and the other with 6.7 inches for the Plus variant. The display is brighter: Apple quotes a brightness of 1,600 nits, the peak in the sun is even 2,000 nits—twice as bright as in the iPhone 14.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

The design of the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max has changed a bit more. Of course, this also applies to the Lightning connector, which has been replaced by USB Type-C, but also to the material used: While it was still stainless steel last year, Apple now relies on titanium this year, which makes the devices both more robust and lighter.

Speaking of materials, Apple is focusing on more sustainability than ever before for both the Pro devices and the basic models. Apple uses more recycled materials—for example, only recycled cobalt is used in the batteries. The devices with titanium frames will be available in four colors: White Titanium, Black Titanium, Blue Titanium, and Nature Titanium. The Pro iPhones also have the Ceramic Shield front, but Apple uses a textured matte glass design for the back.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro
However, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro (Max) already makes a very sophisticated impression. / © Apple

The display edges have become thinner, and the corners of the front have also been rounded off further. Those who followed the rumors in the run-up have already expected this: Apple will give the Pro models its new action button on the left side of the device. The button, which replaces the mute button, not only takes over its function but can start a variety of other actions, such as triggering the camera.

The Pro models feature OLED panels, which Apple, as usual, calls the most absurd marketing terms. The "Super Retina XDR display" comes with a resolution of 2556 x 1179 px on the 15 Pro and 2796 x 1290 px on the 15 Pro Max—unchanged from last year. The adaptive ProMotion mode with LTPO 2.0 technology, allows a refresh rate that ranges from 1 to 120 Hz, but we already know that from last year.

iPhone 15 (Plus) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): SoC and performance

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

Even though the processors in the Basic and Pro versions differ from each other, just like last year, you don't have to worry that the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will even come close to anything like performance problems this year. After all, both models will be powered by the A16 Bionic SoCs that powered the Pro models last year.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

With the A17 Pro, Apple once again takes the performance of its Pro models up a notch. However, this is not a mere product update, but a powerful one. Compared to the A16 Bionic, Apple promises up to 10% more CPU performance and even 20% in the GPU. According to its own statement, the iPhone 15 Pro also now uses hardware-accelerated ray tracing for the first time, which is up to four times faster than software-based ray tracing and delivers smoother graphics and realistic light simulations.

iPhone 15 Pro
Gaming is said to be a pure pleasure on devices with A17 Pro. / © Apple

I don't want to go too far out on a limb before we've received our test devices. But I have the feeling that with this performance, the manufacturers of pure gaming smartphones are looking really stupid right now.

iPhone 15 (Plus) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): Camera module

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

Unsurprisingly, the Cupertino-based company has continued to work on its reputation for giving its iPhones strong cameras. It is equally unsurprising that the strongest camera is reserved for the top models.

For the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, Apple now relies on a main camera with a 48 MP sensor and f1.6 aperture. The ultra-wide-angle camera remains at the usual 12 MP and f2.4 aperture.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

The cameras of the iPhone 15 Pro (Max) do not look that different on paper. Besides the 46 MP cam, there is still a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle camera. However, the telephoto sensor gets an f2.8 aperture. It only gets really exciting with the Pro Max, which Apple now gives a sensor with five times the optical magnification and a focal length of 120 mm.

iPhone 15 Pro Max Telephoto camera
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a telephoto camera with 5x zoom. / © Apple

Apple also revealed at the iPhone launch that in the future we will be able to record 3D videos with the Pro models, which can then be viewed with Apple Vision Pro.

iPhone 15 (Plus) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): Software and iOS

As it should, Apple sends the iPhone 15 into the race with a new version of the operating system—iOS 17. We have already introduced you to some of the upcoming features in the linked article, for example, the transfer of contacts via NameDrop, or the ContactPoster function, which lets you create your very own personal contact card.

But don't worry: We will also take a closer look at iOS 17 as soon as the final version is released.

iPhone 15 (Plus) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): Battery life and fast charging

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus both have larger batteries than their predecessors, so the already good battery life could probably be extended even further in our test. In both cases, both wireless and reverse wireless charging are supported. However, fast means 20 W, and Apple has not changed anything in this respect with the new devices.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro
Okay, the USB Type-C port should not exactly have been celebrated like the discovery of fire. / © Apple

Charging is now done via USB Type-C for the first time, and the iPhones should all still easily get through the day despite the new features. Specifically, this means that the same runtimes as last year are communicated: Videos can be streamed for up to 16 hours on the iPhone 15, 20 hours on the iPhone 15 Plus and 15 Pro, and finally 25 hours on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Prices and availability of iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 Pro Max

The iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max will be available for pre-order from September 15 and will finally go on sale on September 22. Below you can find the prices for the different iPhone 15 models. If you recall, the only relevant difference can be found in the base Pro Max version which got more expensive but offers more storage space..

Be sure to read Dustin's article, which tells you where you can pre-order the various models of the iPhone 15 series.

  iPhone 15 iPhone 15 Plus iPhone 15 Pro iPhone 15 Pro Max
128 GB $799 $899 $999 -
256 GB $899 $999 $1099 $1199
512 GB $1099 $1199 $1299 $1399
1 TB - - $1499 $1599


Traditional "bento box" infographic with the iPhone 15 Pro features
Here is an overview of the most important key data of the Pro models. / © Apple

You now have a first overview of all four new models. Again, there are partly only marginal improvements, but partly also highly exciting developments. The A17 Pro in the Pro models could be a performance beast, especially for gamers, and we are of course very curious about the camera's performance.

Apple relies on new material and a new button for the Pro, and—finally—also on USB Type-C for all models. However, it is not the bigger and smaller updates that are amazing, if you ask me. What I find more interesting is that Apple explained its sustainability accomplishments in great detail during the presentation. The new Apple Watch Series 9 is even offered climate-neutral, but Apple is also relying increasingly on recycled materials for the iPhones.

Apple thus gives us the feeling that you can and should actually use the boxes longer—Apple is miles away from greenwashing accusations. We will look for test devices as soon as possible so that we can put the four models to the test. But I am quite sure that we will definitely talk about sustainability again in connection with the new hardware.

What do you think? Are there any features or design elements that particularly appeal to you? Are the prices convincing? Or do you also like the idea of sustainability? Write it down for us in the comments.

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Carsten Drees

Carsten Drees
Senior Editor

I started blogging in 2008 and have written for Mobilegeeks, Stadt Bremerhaven, Basic Thinking and Dr. Windows. I've been at NextPit since 2021, where I also discovered my passion for podcasts. I have been particularly interested in Android phones for many years now, and would like to get involved with the highly exciting smart home market. LEt's see, did I miss anything else? Oh yes, I love Depeche Mode and suffer with Schalke 04.

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