By addressing the largest points with its predecessor, whereas additionally including some welcome further options, the iPhone 15 Professional Max is greater than the iterative replace it initially appeared like.
- It has USB-C (lastly)
- 5x zoom is welcome
- A lot comfier to carry and use; a lot lighter
- The Motion Button is welcome – but it surely might do extra
- No 128GB possibility means larger value
Motion ButtonCustomisable key replaces the ringer change and packs loads of options
A17 Professional chipsetVery succesful 3nm chipset, with critical graphical grunt
Titanium physiqueThis makes it far lighter than the iPhone 14 Professional
Apple has accomplished one thing fairly spectacular with the iPhone 15 Professional Max by fixing nearly each concern I had with the last few entries within the collection.
From slimming the cellphone down, making it comfier to carry and lastly enhancing its zoom pictures abilities, the iPhone 15 Professional Max is a a lot larger improve than it initially appeared.
Add to that the USB-C port, Motion Button and the standard year-on-year efficiency and digicam upgrades we count on from Apple, there’s lots to love right here.
However is that this the iPhone 15 mannequin to plump for? And does it provide a greater different than the perfect Android telephones, just like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely and OnePlus 11?
- 4 colors: Black, Blue, White and Pure
- A lot lighter than the 14 Professional Max
- Slight curve to the sides
Apple isn’t within the enterprise of redefining what its telephones appear to be yearly. Gone are the times of giant design modifications each one or two generations, with the main target now extra on refinement. We’ve seen the identical shift with Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S and Google’s Pixel vary – as soon as a base design is fashioned, don’t count on that to vary for quite a few years.
The iPhone 15 Professional Max is the proper instance of this. Apple’s newest high-end cellphone seems very very like the previous few Professional iPhones, with the identical common boxy and flat look. There’s loads of refinement right here although, and most of the modifications make this the comfiest giant iPhone to carry.
Whereas the edges are nonetheless flat, the sides are barely rounded – just like the Apple Watch – giving the cellphone a softer end when in comparison with the very sharp iPhone 14 Professional Max. I mentioned in my assessment on the time that the form of the 14 Professional Max made it tough to carry comfortably. That isn’t a problem anymore.
These sides are actually matte, quite than shiny, and the brand new end ensures fingerprints aren’t seen on my Pure Titanium assessment unit. This doesn’t appear to be the identical case on the darker Black and Blue finishes, so finest to plump for a lighter color should you choose a cleaner look.
For the iPhone 15 Professional Max, Apple has eliminated two stalwarts of the road. The ring switcher which has sat on each single iPhone has been ditched, as has the Lightning port that has been the principle methodology of charging the cellphone for over a decade.
The ringer change was an iconic a part of the iPhone, and made it straightforward not solely to flick the gadget to silent with out pulling it from a pocket, but additionally to test whether or not silent or ringer mode was enabled. The Motion Button is not any use for the latter, but I nonetheless suppose the change is for the perfect.
Those that picked up an Apple Watch Extremely (or an Apple Watch Extremely 2) will already be aware of the Motion Button. Mainly, it is a user-customisable key that may carry out varied duties, from muting the cellphone to opening the digicam and extra.
As somebody who principally retains their cellphone on silent, I immediately set the perform of the Motion Button to working the digicam – and I doubt I’ll change it once more. Now, a press of the Motion Button takes me straight into the digicam – whereas an extra press acts as a shutter button.
Head into Settings and the button could be modified to open the flashlight, begin recording a voice memo, allow accessibility zoom or enact any shortcut devised within the Shortcut app. It’s nice to see Apple actually open using this button as much as mainly something, even when there’s nonetheless loads of room for enchancment.
For example, having one performance set to a single press and one other to double press looks like a no brainer – permitting me to press as soon as for the digicam and twice to make sure the cellphone is in silent mode. This might additionally work with longer and shorter presses. Perhaps we’ll get this in iOS 18, or when the Motion Button arrives on all iPhone fashions.
The substitute for the Lightning port is USB-C, a connector discovered on MacBooks, iPads, Android telephones, cameras, the Nintendo Change and rather more moreover. It’s taken lengthy sufficient for Apple to undertake the usual port, and we’ve probably received new EU laws to thank for the transfer.
Actually, there’s little to say concerning the port. It’s nice with the ability to cost a MacBook, iPhone and iPad from a single cable – however should you’ve received Lightning cables, equipment or AirPods mendacity round then you definitely’ll nonetheless want a number of cables to cost all the pieces.
One other large change this yr is the change from a chrome steel physique to 1 completed with grade 5 titanium. Apple is basically going large on titanium with its advertising for the brand new cellphone, plastering it throughout TV spots and adverts. In my two weeks with the cellphone, it feels to me just like the change has been helpful.
Switching to titanium has had a noticeable impact on the cellphone’s total weight. The iPhone 15 Professional Max is round 19g lighter than the 14 Professional Max, which could sound minimal however in use makes a world of distinction. I all the time felt the Professional Max collection has been far too heavy, and fortunately that’s not a problem.
Titanium also needs to add some further sturdiness to the edges of the telephones, though after a strong yr of use – all with out a case – my iPhone 14 Professional Max nonetheless stays in absolute pristine situation. Hopefully, it’ll be the same story in one other 12 months.
An IP68 ranking for defense from water and dirt stays, and Apple’s Ceramic Protect stays so as to add safety to the display screen. The marginally curved display screen will probably make making use of display screen protectors slightly trickier, however up to now my display screen has remained freed from any notable scratches.
Now, as ever with an Apple launch, there was some controversy. On-line bend checks have proven the 15 Professional Max to be simpler to bend and snap than earlier iPhones, probably as a result of new design that makes repairing the again a part of the cellphone simpler and cheaper than earlier than. Whereas I can’t say you gained’t break the cellphone should you bend it, I wouldn’t counsel making an attempt that and I might be very shocked if this cellphone broke as a result of new design generally use.
Making the glass portion of the again capable of be fastened with out taking the gadget aside is essential in quite a few methods. It permits Apple to cost far much less for a restore, which suggests those that crack the again glass usually tend to get it repaired quite than choosing up an entire new cellphone.
Together with making the cellphone simpler to restore, the iPhone 15 Professional Max has a structural body created from 100% recycled aluminium and a field freed from single-use plastic.
- Barely thinner bezels than the iPhone 14 Professional collection
- Glorious high quality OLED panel
- Dynamic Island stays
Apple’s Professional line of telephones has all the time had a few of the finest screens round, and the stunning 6.7-inch panel on the 15 Professional Max is not any totally different.
In keeping with the design modifications, the bezel working across the show is thinner than it was on the iPhone 14 Professional Max. I feel it is a noticeable enchancment, particularly should you’re coming from an older iPhone, and it makes video content material and video games slightly extra immersive.
Thinner bezel apart, the display screen right here matches as much as what Apple shipped final yr. It stays an OLED panel, with a pointy 2796 x 1290 decision, has spectacular ranges of brightness should you’re exterior in sunny circumstances and feels clean due to the ProMotion adaptive refresh price function.
For those who like watching movies in your cellphone, there’s no better option than the 15 Professional Max. No different cellphone I’ve used produces an HDR picture as convincing as this, with the brightest level making itself instantly identified. Spider-Man Throughout The Spider-Verse in Dolby Imaginative and prescient actually pops off the display screen with the brilliant colors and deep distinction making nice use of the display screen.
The Dynamic Island additionally stays, providing up a secondary display screen space for static notifications from sure apps and Stay Actions.
I nonetheless really feel the Dynamic Island is a stepping stone till we get that true all-screen iPhone and it hasn’t actually been really used correctly by builders. Some apps work fantastically properly with it – Fotmob’s sports activities scores and Flighty’s flight monitoring being two of my favourites – however there nonetheless appears an odd disconnect between system notifications and Dynamic Island notifications that may be complicated. It’s higher than a notch, although and now it’s current on all the brand new iPhones, builders might be extra eager to make use of it in fascinating methods.
- The telephoto zoom has been upped to 5x
- Log video recording added
- Three rear cameras with a number of focal lengths
The massive information relating to the digicam for the iPhone 15 Professional Max is that Apple has lastly improved the standard of the telephoto zoom, upping it from a 3x zoom to a much more helpful 5x (120mm equal).
That is nonetheless approach off what Samsung provides with the Galaxy S23 Extremely – nonetheless the zoom champ in my eyes – and this added zoom is just out there on the Max model, with the smaller Professional sticking to the identical 3x telephoto lens.
All through my time capturing with the iPhone 15 Professional Max I’ve discovered myself punching into the 5x lens excess of I ever did with the 3x possibility.
Having the ability to get that bit nearer is a lot extra helpful and it provides way more versatility. I all the time discovered 3x didn’t actually get you that a lot nearer, whereas capturing far-off tall buildings in central London with the 5x feels worthwhile. The standard of the pictures is nice, particularly in daylight conditions the place colors are wealthy and detailed. The addition of OIS and sensor-shift stabilisation helps too.
Issues are much less spectacular in lower-light conditions, the place the sensor – which is way smaller than the one inside the principle digicam – struggles and infrequently fills photographs with noisy particulars.
I’ve even observed in some darker conditions that the digicam will ditch the telephoto digicam fully and simply zoom in from the principle digicam, with no apparent method to cease this taking place.
A photograph shot at 1x
A photograph shot at 2x
A photograph shot at 5x
The opposite two rear cameras and the only digicam on the entrance are principally unchanged – although quite a few tweaks within the software program have improved the general pictures expertise.
The 48-megapixel f/1.8 fundamental digicam, as an example, now shoots 24-megapixel pictures by default, including an additional hit of element for under a touch bigger file dimension. The 12-megapixel ultra-wide feels slightly omitted, although nonetheless captures good pictures that match the principle sensor for color replica.
There’s a pleasant pure bokeh
There’s additionally now the choice to maneuver the principle digicam between 24mm (1x), 28mm (1.2x) and 35mm (1.5x) and any of those could be set because the default focal size – nice should you love capturing at 35mm and need it all the time at hand. That is all utilizing software program trickery, with Apple’s Deep Fusion tech and varied strategies of mixing a number of pictures collectively. The outcomes are superb, and don’t appear to be merely utilizing digital zoom.
As somebody who spends a number of time taking footage of my canine, I actually like the best way portrait mode works on the iPhone 15 Professional Max. As an alternative of forcing you into the devoted portrait mode forward of time, the digicam is now good sufficient to allow you to add that blurry background bokeh impact even after the picture is taken.
This doesn’t work at evening, or for each daylight snap, however should you’re taking a shot of an individual or an animal, you’ll see an possibility within the Photographs so as to add the portrait impact. It even works with selfies too.
You can too transfer focus after the actual fact, giving much more freedom to be inventive. This all works simply in addition to beginning issues off in portrait mode, simply with out sacrificing a shot if the impact doesn’t work.
I nonetheless firmly consider that which digicam cellphone is the perfect varies broadly relying on what you need from a photograph. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely has extra of a punch to brighter colors, whereas the Google Pixel 7 Professional actually pushes highlights and distinction as much as give a extra placing impact. Then there’s the Xiaomi 13 Extremely, which goals to do as little as doable to the picture.
For me, the iPhone 15 Professional Max does slightly little bit of all the pieces: colors are pure and life like and particulars are current with out trying oversharpened. The iPhone additionally stays extremely dependable, producing a usable picture just about each single time – I can’t say this concerning the S23 Extremely. Apple’s give attention to more durable lighter circumstances has left common outside panorama pictures trying very a lot the identical because it did two or three generations in the past. I feel panorama pictures look that nice, with a really flat total picture. This may be mentioned for lots of telephones, although.
I’ll nonetheless give Google the higher hand in low-light conditions although. Right here, I discover the iPhone’s lens nonetheless too reflective and this leaves bizarre reflections on the ensuing picture.
The massive new addition to the video abilities of the iPhone this yr is the power to shoot in log. This can be a format favoured by videographers because it captures a really flat base picture, which might then be colour-graded to present a extra distinct type.
Taking pictures in log permits colors to be way more simply matched up between totally different cameras, one thing that execs will admire so long as they’re comfortable to shoot in ProRes log. The iPhone 15 Professional Max (and the opposite fashions within the household, for that matter) shoot the perfect video of any cellphone we’ve reviewed.
- A17 Professional chipset is supremely succesful
- The SIM slot is sticking round in most areas
- 256GB base storage, 8GB RAM
The iPhone 15 Professional Max is powered by the A17 Professional chipset, a change in title from the Bionic branding Apple has used for its chip over the previous few years. Base storage jumps as much as 256GB – a transfer that enables Apple to keep away from speak of a value rise – and goes all the best way to 1TB. RAM has jumped from 6GB to 8GB, too.
There’s lots to get enthusiastic about right here, and it does look like that ‘Professional’ branding is acceptable.
Earlier than I dig into the chip, there have been some issues about overheating within the weeks after the discharge of the iPhone 15 Professional Max. It looks like this will fluctuate by gadget – Apple has admitted there might be some points with sure apps – and I haven’t observed it in any respect. In truth, the iPhone 15 Professional Max I’ve right here for assessment stays significantly cooler than the 14 Professional Max, which tended to get extremely popular on the iOS 17 beta even in fundamental duties like streaming YouTube.
The Apple A17 Professional packs a 6-core CPU, which consists of 4 high-efficiency cores plus two high-performance cores for power-intensive workloads. That’s the identical make-up of the CPU discovered contained in the A16 Bionic and A15 Bionic processors, though the chip is now constructed on the extra environment friendly 3nm course of. There’s a lift to the GPU too – Apple says round 20% – and a number of promise of this chip in its graphics abilities.
You possibly can see how the iPhone 15 Professional Max performs in our normal suite of benchmarking checks beneath, however secure to say this cellphone has a snug lead over its Android counterparts if artificial benchmark numbers are essential.
A spotlight for me throughout Apple’s launch of the iPhone 15 collection was the information that ‘console-quality video games’, together with Resident Evil 4 and Murderer’s Creed Mirage, might be arriving on the App Retailer. Apple was clear to say these gained’t be easy cellular video games, however full-fat ports of video games you’d play on a PC or PS5.
None of those video games can be found but, nevertheless I’ll replace this assessment with ideas as soon as they’re. If they are surely ‘console-quality’, then the iPhone 15 Professional Max might simply be top-of-the-line transportable gaming programs round, particularly if paired with a Spine One or Razer Kishi controller.
There’s lots happening with the A17 Professional chip, although for most individuals the sheer energy onboard will probably be by no means totally utilised. From an on a regular basis use perspective, the iPhone 15 Professional Max feels quick and responsive, however I’ve mentioned the identical about every earlier iPhone I’ve reviewed. There’s nothing noticeably totally different right here.
The addition of the USB-C port on the underside does enhance the performance of the cellphone considerably. In contrast to the usual USB 2 port on the iPhone 15, the Professional variations have a USB 3 port that gives a lot faster file transfers when utilizing a succesful cable. Frustratingly, Apple doesn’t provide a quicker cable with the cellphone, in order that’ll should be picked up individually.
You can too plug in USB-C equipment – an SD card reader, for instance, to rapidly import snaps from a digicam or an SSD to seize ProRes video bypassing the cellphone’s storage. It’s these modifications that actually make this a wonderful iPhone improve.
Wi-Fi 6E help is nice for individuals who have a supported router, and whereas a bodily SIM slot stays in all fashions other than these bought within the USA, eSIM is a welcome possibility for roaming.
- This cellphone will probably be supported with updates for a very long time
- iOS 17 comes preinstalled
- StandBy is a superb new addition to
The iPhone 15 Professional Max comes working iOS 17, the identical software program rolling out to telephones as outdated because the iPhone XR and XS. Apple doesn’t affirm what number of future software program updates this cellphone will get, however count on it to obtain large updates filled with new options for no less than 5 to 6 years, and really probably longer.
As the vast majority of iOS 17 options come to older telephones, there’s no apparent cause to improve for the brand new software program, Nonetheless, there are many thrilling additions right here.
Highlights for me embody StandBy, a sort of bedside mode that jumps into gear when the cellphone is charging horizontally. I’ve received this setup on my bedside desk, with TwelveSouth’s neat little Forte dock, in order that after I pop the cellphone all the way down to cost it shows a clock, any calendar appointments I’ve and the climate. It really works nice as a wise alarm clock, with Stay Actions, notifications and music playback baked in.
iOS 17 additionally consists of some welcome cellphone upgrades, together with a Stay Voicemail function that’ll transcribe incoming messages and a far smarter keyboard that appears to lastly bear in mind the phrases you employ essentially the most. Widgets could be interactive too, so it’s doable to begin a podcast enjoying with out going into the app.
- USB-C replaces the Lightning port
- Charging speeds stay very a lot the identical, as does endurance
- You’ll nonetheless want to supply the charger
Battery life wasn’t a notable speaking level throughout the launch of the iPhone 15 collection and should you have a look at Apple’s web site, it solely compares endurance towards the iPhone 12 Professional. After having used the cellphone for practically two weeks, I can see why it wasn’t talked about a lot – it’s virtually equivalent to that of the iPhone 14 Professional Max.
There’s no enormous enchancment in endurance right here, and the way lengthy the cellphone lasts will actually rely on how onerous it’s pushed. For those who’re a lighter consumer, primarily texting all through the day with some TikTok scrolling and really fundamental gaming thrown in then it ought to final nearly two days. Disable the always-on show possibility, and also you’re virtually assured to get that two days.
Push the cellphone tougher although, and a nightly cost is required. Recording ProRes footage within the digicam actually hampers battery life, as does streaming HDR content material that actually pushes the brightness ranges of the display screen up.
I ran a bunch of battery checks on the iPhone 15 Professional Max and a lot of the outcomes are precisely the identical because the iPhone 14 Professional Max. An hour of HDR content material streamed from Netflix ate by 8% on the newer cellphone and 9% on final yr’s mannequin. half-hour of intensive gaming took off 8% on the 14 Professional Max, and 9% right here.
Most days all through the assessment interval I’ve ended up with 20-30% left within the tank – sufficient to final me a morning commute If I forgot to plug the cellphone in in a single day, however not a full second day. This equates to good battery life, although nothing out of the atypical for a cellphone of this dimension.
I used to be anticipating Apple to focus slightly extra on charging speeds with the transfer to USB-C, dashing up the time it took the cellphone to go from 0-100%. This isn’t actually the case, and it nonetheless takes roughly 90 minutes for a full cost and half-hour for 50%. These numbers stayed the identical, whether or not I used to be utilizing an Apple 20w plug or a 30w succesful different from Anker.
It’s fairly clear that Apple, like Samsung and Google, have no real interest in battling Chinese language manufacturers like Oppo, OnePlus and Xiaomi for super-speedy charging speeds.
Must you purchase it?
You should purchase if you’d like the perfect iPhone
That is the perfect iPhone – it’s as straightforward as that. It has the perfect digicam, the perfect display screen and the design modifications make it essentially the most accessible Max gadget but.
You shouldn’t purchase should you upgraded to the 14 Professional (and even the 13 Professional)
Whereas it is a nice cellphone, the last few iPhones stay wonderful decisions and I don’t suppose there’s a single standout function right here that screams for a right away improve. Nonetheless, this is among the finest telephones round.
The iPhone 15 Professional Max is an distinctive smartphone. It does lots and places a number of strain on Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi to make huge upgrades over the subsequent 12 months.
Importantly, Apple has fastened the variety of points I had with the iPhone 14 Professional Max. The load has been drastically diminished, the edges rounded for a comfier really feel and the defunct Lightning port changed with a way more trendy different. Then there are the smaller modifications just like the matte sides repelling fingerprints and the bezel being diminished.
It could have been good if the charging had been quicker and a higher-specced USB-C had been included within the field. The value has additionally jumped up, by technique of the bottom 128GB mannequin saying bye-bye. Take a look at the 256GB fashions although and the UK value has really barely dropped over final yr.
It’s not an entire reinvention of the collection and those that upgraded to the 14 Professional (and even 13 Professional) shouldn’t really feel the necessity to rush out to improve. These telephones stay wonderful, and the slew of options in iOS 17 solely make them higher.
How we check
We check each cell phone we assessment totally. We use trade customary checks to check options correctly and we use the cellphone as our fundamental gadget over the assessment interval. We’ll all the time inform you what we discover and we by no means, ever, settle for cash to assessment a product.
Used as fundamental cellphone for greater than every week
Taken a whole bunch of pictures in varied circumstances
In contrast towards the iPhone 14 Professional Max
4 colors can be found: Black Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium and Pure Titanium.
The cellphone ought to cost quickest with chargers between 20 and 30w. A full cost takes round 90 minutes.
Trusted Opinions check knowledge
Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 6 single core
Geekbench 6 multi core
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
Battery drain 60-min (music streaming on-line)
Battery drain 60-min (music streaming offline)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
30 minute gaming (gentle)
1 hour music streaming (on-line)
1 hour music streaming (offline)
Time from 0-100% cost
Time from 0-50% cost
30-min recharge (included charger)
15-min recharge (included charger)
GFXBench – Aztec Ruins
GFXBench – Automobile Chase
Apple iPhone 15 Professional Max
iPhone 14 Professional Max
Rear Digital camera
Entrance Digital camera
First Reviewed Date
Apple iPhone 15 Professional Max
256GB, 512GB, 1TB
48 + 12 + 12MP
76.7 x 8.25 x 159.9 MM
2796 x 1290
Black Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium and Pure Titanium
iPhone 14 Professional Max
48MP Primary, 12MP Extremely Large, 12MP 2X Telephoto, 12MP 3x Telephoto
77.6 x 7.85 x 160.7 MM
2796 x 1290
A16 Bionic chip
Area Black, Silver, Gold, Deep Purple
iPhone 14 Professional
48MP Primary, 12MP Ultrawide, 12MP 2x Telephoto, 12MP 3x Telephoto
12MP True Depth
71.5 x 7.85 x 147.5 MM
2556 x 460
A16 Bionic chip
Area Black, Silver, Gold, Deep Purple
iPhone 13 Professional Max
128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
12MP + 12MP + 12MP
78.1 x 7.65 x 160.8 MM
2778 x 1284
Black, Gold, Blue, Silver
iPhone 13 Professional
128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
12MP + 12MP + 12MP
71.5 x 7.65 x 146.7 MM
2532 x 1170
Blue, Black, Silver, Gold
An abbreviation for milliampere-hour and a method to categorical the capability of batteries, particularly smaller ones in telephones. Most often the upper the mAh, the longer the battery will final however this isn’t all the time the case.
Providing quicker obtain and add speeds when in comparison with 4G. Nice for sport streaming and HDR video playback. Not supported in all places but and speeds fluctuate wildly.