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Apple iPhone 15 Pro (Max) vs. iPhone 14 Pro (Max): Is the Upgrade Worth it?

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro
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In September 2023, Apple introduced the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, their latest flagships. But how do they stack up against their predecessors, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max? We're here to compare these models, still available via third-party providers, and help you decide if upgrading to the iPhone 15 Pro (Max) is a good move for you.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: The technical data in comparison

  Pro-Max model 2023 Pro model 2023 Pro-Max model 2022 Pro model 2022
Product
Image Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max Product Image Apple iPhone 15 Pro Product Image Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max Product Image Apple iPhone 14 Pro Product Image
Review
Review: Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
Review: Apple iPhone 15 Pro
Review: Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Review: Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Price (RRP)
  • from $1,199
  • from $999
  • from $1,099
  • from $999
Display
  • 6.7" OLED
    2,796 x 1,290 px (460 ppi)
    120 Hz refresh rate
  • 6.1" OLED
    2,556 x 1,179 px (460 ppi)
    120 Hz refresh rate
  • 6.7" OLED
    2,796 x 1,290 px (460 ppi)
    120 Hz refresh rate
  • 6.1" OLED
    2,556 x 1,179 px (460 ppi)
    120 Hz refresh rate
SoC
  • Apple A17 Pro
  • Apple A17 Pro
  • Apple A16 Bionic
  • Apple A16 Bionic
Memory
  • 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB
  • 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB
  • 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB
  • 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB
OS
  • iOS 17
  • iOS 17
  • iOS 16
  • iOS 16
Camera
  • Main camera: 48 MP, f/1.78 aperture
    Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2 aperture
    5x telephoto lens: 12 MP, f/2.8 aperture
  • Main camera: 48 MP, f/1.78 aperture
    Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2 aperture
    3x telephoto lens: 12 MP, f/2.8 aperture
  • Main camera: 48 MP, f/1.78 aperture
    Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2 aperture
    3x telephoto lens: 12 MP, f/2.8 aperture
  • Main camera: 48 MP, f/1.78 aperture
    Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2 aperture
    3x telephoto lens: 12 MP, f/2.8 aperture
Selfie camera
  • 12 MP, f/1.9 aperture
  • 12 MP, f/1.9 aperture
  • 12 MP, f/1.9 aperture
  • 12 MP, f/1.9 aperture
Battery
  • 20 W (cable)
    15 W (MagSafe)
    7.5 W (Qi)
  • 20 W (cable)
    15 W (MagSafe)
    7.5 W (Qi)
  • 20 W (cable)
    15 W (MagSafe)
    7.5 W (Qi)
  • 20 W (cable)
    15 W (MagSafe)
    7.5 W (Qi)
Connectivity
  • eSIM, 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, UWB, satellite
  • eSIM, 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, UWB, satellite
  • eSIM, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, UWB, satellite
  • eSIM, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, UWB, satellite
IP certification
  • IP68
  • IP68
  • IP68
  • IP68
Dimensions and weight
  • 159.9 x 76.7 x 8.25 mm, 221 g
  • 146.6 x 70.6 x 8.25 mm, 187 g
  • 160.7 x 77.6 x 7.90 mm, 240 g
  • 147.5 x 71.5 x 7.95 mm, 206 g
Offers*

On paper alone, there are many parallels between the 2023 and 2022 models, as you can see in the table above. That's why we're now getting to the bottom of the matter and comparing the Pro models of the last two years category by category.

Table of contents:

iPhone 14 Pro (Max) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): Design and display

Design

Basically, Apple has not opted for a really new design language for the iPhone 15 Pro. So, at first glance, the 2023 and 2022 models look very similar. However, if we look a bit closer, we actually notice some exciting changes. For example, the USB Type-C port is new and replaces the Lightning port. Another new feature is the new action button, which replaces the mute button but can be assigned with all sorts of functions.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max viewed from the back
Apple iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max look even more premium than their predecessors. / © nextpit

Also new: The iPhone 15 Pro (Max) is less angular, as Apple again relies more on rounded edges. The dimensions have changed minimally, but the weight loss of the newcomers is more noticeable: the 15 Pro series each loses 19 g compared to the 14 devices—the difference should be clearly felt.

Read more:

Among other things, we have the choice of materials to thank for this. Instead of stainless steel, we find a titanium frame in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. This makes the devices both lighter and more robust. This does not change the protection against water and dust; the IP68 certification remains unchanged.

Finally, Apple has opted for new colors for the iPhone 15 Pro: Instead of dark purple, gold, silver, and space black, the tech giant from Cupertino now wraps its top models in titanium natural, titanium blue, titanium white, and titanium black. The problem with titanium is that it can discolor, as Apple admits. However, the problems with the titanium frame can be easily rectified.

The iPhone finally receives a USB-C port long after Android phones adopted it..
The switch to USB-C came late and under duress, but it's good that Apple is finally giving in. / © nextpit

Display:

We already mentioned the rounded edges of the display, but that was really it for changes. So yes: You will still get 6.1-inch or 6.7-inch "Super Retina XDR" displays with identical resolution. In addition, there is still the always-on display, peak brightness of 2,000 nits, and the ProMotion technology, thanks to which the refresh rate fluctuates between 1 and 120 Hz.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
The 120 Hz refresh rate is also reserved for the Pro and Pro Max models in the 15 series. / © nextpit

iPhone 14 Pro (Max) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): SoC and performance

The new A17 Pro now replaces the A16 Bionic SoC, which was installed in 2022 and manufactured using the 3 nm process. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max were so impressive in tests that our gaming editor, Antoine Engels, switched back to the iPhone camp.

(Almost) nothing has changed in terms of architecture: The 6-core CPU is once again made up of two performance cores and four efficiency cores. Instead of five cores, the GPU now has six cores, and the Neural Engine remains at 16 cores. The neural engine is supposed to be twice as fast as in the A16 Bionic, the ray tracing even four times faster. The CPU itself is supposed to work ten percent faster than in the last processor generation, the GPU even up to 20 percent faster.

iPhone 15 Pro
According to Apple, the iPhone 15 Pro will be a pure gaming "monster". / © Apple

The benchmarks tell us that Apple has been able to go one step further with the Bionic 17 Pro and still avoid overheating. Apple has even opened the door for real "AAA" games—the problem with the new Pro models is actually not the performance currently, but rather that there is not enough content with which to exploit this performance.

  iPhone 14 Pro Max
(Apple A16 Bionic)
iPhone 14 Pro
(Apple A16 Bionic)
iPhone 15 Pro Max
(Apple A17 Pro)
iPhone 15 Pro
(Apple A17 Pro)
3DMark Wild Life stress test
  • Best loop: 9599
  • Worst loop: 8121
  • -
  • Best loop: 9991
  • Worst loop: 8709
  • Best loop: 10,004
  • Worst loop: 8,970
3DMark Wild Life Extreme Stress Test
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Best loop: 3,553
  • Worst loop: 2,763
Geekbench
  • Single: 1885
  • Multi: 5406
    (v5)
  • -
  • Single: 2936
  • Multi: 7453
    (v6)
  • Single: 2,945
  • Multi: 7,171
    (v6)

You can see how such a demanding game can be played on the iPhone in the following video, with an excerpt from "Resident Evil: Village" in the preset default setting:

Other than that, there's not much wild to announce in terms of hardware and connectivity that has changed since the iPhone 14 Pro. The storage options remain the same, apart from the fact that there is no longer a 128 GB alternative for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. There is only a small but noteworthy update from Wi-Fi 6 to 6E in terms of Wi-Fi.

iPhone 14 Pro (Max) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): Camera

While the change to the 48 MP main camera is a breath of fresh air in the camera section of the base models, surprisingly little is happening in the Pro. On paper, the 48 MP main camera remains, as well as a 12 MP ultra-wide-angle cam and a 12 MP telephoto sensor. However, the main camera's sensor is supposed to be larger and thus extract even more from the photos and reduce noise, especially in adverse lighting conditions.

iPhone 15 Pro camera module upclose
For the first time in many generations, Apple changed the resolution of the main camera in 2022. The 48 MP sensor is still up-to-date in 2023. / © nextpit

Thanks to a new periscope technology, the telephoto lens can now even be enlarged five times instead of the triple optical zoom—but only on the Pro Max, not the Pro. You can see the effect of this in our photo comparison between the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

The selfie camera also remains unchanged. Of course, Apple also wants to improve the software so that faces in particular, but also dogs and cats, are automatically recognized and photographed directly in portrait mode. All in all, it sounds as if the camera in the new Pro series has not undergone any outstanding development.

Even in our tests, we were unable to identify any overwhelming leaps in quality. However, given the already very high standard, this would have been rather surprising. Just get your own impression and take a look at the galleries that we have implemented here.

Sample photos of the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max:

Sample photos of the iPhone 15 Pro Max:

Sample photos of the iPhone 15 Pro:

iPhone 14 Pro (Max) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): Software and iOS

As expected, we can again be brief here. Of course, the iPhones of the 15 series are launched with iOS 17. But this software version also finds its way onto the iPhone 14 Pro, so there are no major differences. The exception here is, of course, the updates for the new iPhones, which are available for a year longer. Basically, new features like NameDrop, ContactPoster, or the Live Sticker are available for all iPhones that also get iOS 17.

iOS 17: Contact poster
These contact posters are among the innovations that come to the iPhone with iOS 17. / © nextpit

iPhone 14 Pro (Max) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): Battery life and fast charging

For the iPhone 14, Apple communicated the following key data on charging speed:

iPhone 14 Pro:

  • Video playback: 23 hours
  • Video (streaming): 20 hours
  • Audio playback: 75 hours

iPhone 14 Pro Max:

  • Video playback: 29 hours
  • Video (streaming): 25 hours
  • Audio playback: 95 hours

In addition, we know that wired charging is officially up to 20 W (unofficially up to 27 W). Up to 15 W is possible via MagSafe and up to 7.5 W wirelessly.

All that I mentioned here for the iPhone 14 Pro (Max) is also valid for the iPhone 15 Pro (Max). So, it does not confirm that the new Pro model can be charged faster (with up to 35 W). Even though the battery capacity has been increased slightly, the devices should last as long as before. Of course, you will benefit from the USB Type-C port and thus have more flexibility when buying the chargers.

Our tests confirmed that the battery life could indeed be maintained at the same level. The iPhone 15 Pro comfortably lasted until the next day, finishing the day with a remaining charge of 40 percent. Unfortunately, however, nothing has changed in terms of the charging speed, which means that the iPhone 15 Pro took exactly 100 minutes to fully charge in our reviews. The Pro Max took almost two hours at 114 minutes.

iPhone 14 Pro (Max) vs. iPhone 15 Pro (Max): Prices and availability

US prices remained largely the same for the iPhone 15 generation, with one important exception. With the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the base price is now $100 higher. However, we already mentioned that the flagship model for 2023 no longer offers a 128 GB option.

What does that mean in concrete terms? That you had to pay $999 for the 128 GB version of the iPhone 14 Pro last year, and the same for the iPhone 15 Pro. For the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the entry-level price of $1199 gets the 256 GB version instead of the 128 GB version, which is no longer available.

Keep in mind, however, that the street prices for the 2022's iPhones are now lower than they were a year ago. The iPhone 14 Pro, for example, is already available for less than $1000, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max (256 GB) can be found with some discounts as well.

The recommended retail prices of the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro models

  iPhone 14 Pro iPhone 14 Pro Max Plus iPhone 15 Pro iPhone 15 Pro Max
128 GB $999 $1099 $999 -
256 GB $1099 $1199 $1099 $1199
512 GB $1299 $1399 $1299 $1399
1 TB $1499 $1599 $1499 $1599

Conclusion

I'm afraid the conclusion here is a rather boring one. In other words, the story basically ends with the sentence "an excellent smartphone has become a little bit better in the new generation". The most significant leap may be from the A16 Bionic to the new A17 Pro, as the processor now even supports AAA games and completely impressed our testers Fabi and Antoine.

When it comes to the camera, I find the improved telephoto camera on the Pro Max the most exciting. It is also pleasing that the battery life has not suffered as a result of the improved performance compared to last year's models.

In my opinion, the other changes—USB-C, faster Wi-Fi, minimal design adjustments—are not really suitable for encouraging iPhone 14 Pro owners to buy an iPhone 15 Pro. However, if you don't own either device, it may make sense to buy the new models. To be able to decide this, it is of course advisable to keep an eye on the street prices for both generations.

No matter which device you choose: You should get used to the idea of using the phone for three or four years—the boxes are a) simply good enough to be used for that long and b) simply too expensive to buy again every year.

Are you thinking of buying a new iPhone? Which one: the 14 or 15? Or are you waiting for the iPhone 16 expected in September 2024? Share your thoughts in the comments and tell us how long you've used your current model.


Article updated in February 2024. Comments before the update were kept and may seem out of context.

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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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