Apple / Pocket-lint
Apple iPhone 15
The Apple iPhone 15 brings some great upgrades this year, with a processor bump, big camera improvements, Dynamic Island and a lovely new finish that comes in great colour options.Pros
- Lovely design
- Dynamic Island
- Processor and camera upgrades
- No Always-On Display
- No telephoto lens
Apple / Pocket-lint
Apple iPhone 15 Pro
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro has a number of upgrades, from the Action Button and extra camera features, to the processor upgrade and design enhancement thanks to the new titanium build.Pros
- Lighter and more durable design
- Camera feature upgrades
- Action Button is exciting
- Pro Max has more features
Apple announced four new iPhones during its September event, with the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max all making an appearance. The iPhone 15 Pro Max hits new territory as the new super iPhone flagship, but here we focus on how the standard iPhone 15 compares to the iPhone 15 Pro.
With the standard iPhone 15 adopting Dynamic Island, the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Pro are harder to tell apart in terms of their design. There is plenty under the hood that makes them different, though. Here’s how the iPhone 15 compares to the iPhone 15 Pro to help you work out which is the right one for you, with a nod to those bigger models, too.
Price, availability and specs
The iPhone 15 is the most affordable model from the new family, starting at $799. Pre-orders open on 15 September, and watch out for those trade-in discounts. The iPhone 15 Plus starts at $899 for that bigger option.
The iPhone 15 Pro costs from $999, so there’s a nice progressive price increase for the new iPhone models. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is slightly adrift, however, starting at $1199, but this does start at 256GB storage, so you’re getting double the storage for your money.
Below are the specs for the core models to quickly glance at what you’re getting.
Apple iPhone 15 Apple iPhone 15 Pro SoC Apple A16 Bionic Apple A17 Pro Display 6.1in, OLED, 2556 x 1179, 460ppi, 2000 nits peak 6.1in, OLED, 2556 x 1179, 460ppi, 2000 nits peak Storage 128, 256, 512GB 128, 256, 512GB; 1TB Battery 20 hours, 50% in 30 mins 20W wired, 15W MagSafe, 7.5W Qi wireless 23 hours, fast charge 50% in 30 mins 20W wired, 15W MagSafe, 7.5W Qi wireless Ports USB-C USB-C Camera (Rear, Front) 48MP main, f/1.6; 12MP ultrawide, f/2.4, 2x telephoto from main; 12MP front f/1.9 48MP main, f/1.78; 12MP ultrawide, f/2.2; 2x telephoto from main; 12MP 3x telephoto f/2.8; 12MP front, f/1.9 Dimensions 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8mm; 171g 146.6 x 70.6 x 8.25mm; 187g Colors Black, Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, Natural Titanium IP Rating IP68 IP68
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro design
The Apple iPhone 15 and 15 Plus ditch the notch for this year, like the iPhone 14 Pro models did in 2022. That sees the two standard models offering the Dynamic Island feature, marking quite the change for the standard iPhone. The iPhone 15 Pro models also retain the Dynamic Island this year, so it’s a little harder to distinguish between the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro than the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro.
The standard iPhone 15 models also move to a matte glass finish, replacing the glossy finish that’s been on the standard iPhones since the iPhone XR, and it’s lovely to hold. The big differentiator here is colour, however – the iPhone 15 comes in an array of colours – pink, yellow, green, blue, black – while the iPhone 15 Pro is much more serious with its colouration – and the material that it’s made of, which we’ll come to in a second. The iPhone 15 is available in Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium. If you haven’t guessed by now, it has a titanium frame rather than aluminium.
That means that the iPhone 15 Pro is more premium, lighter and stronger through that frame, although the 15 Pro is still 10g heavier than the standard iPhone 15, and that is noticeable when you pick the models up – less so than the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro mind.
All models carry an IP68 rating, so there’s no change there. However, the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max replace the silence toggle switch with a customisable Action Button that you can setup to launch various features from Focus modes to Magnifier, like Back Tap. On the rear, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus have a dual rear camera setup, while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max both have a triple rear camera, so from the back, the difference between these models is more apparent than from the front.
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro display
On the surface, the Apple iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro look similar in terms of display, and the specifications aren’t too dissimilar either. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro both feature a 6.1-inch OLED display like the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, and they have the same resolutions, too, at 2556 x 1179 pixels. The iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max, meanwhile, have a 6.7-inch OLED screen, and they also have the same resolutions at 2796 x 1290 pixels for those interested in the larger models.
The bezels have been reduced on both models, which in turn has reduced the size of all of the devices compared to their respective predecessors. These bezels are slightly slimmer on the iPhone 15 Pro models, but you probably wouldn’t notice that unless you had the devices side-by-side. Where you will notice a difference between these models, however, is the Always-On Display. While the standard iPhone 15 models have adopted the Dynamic Island feature, they don’t have Apple’s ProMotion technology, so they don’t offer the Always-On Display. You’ll find a standard 60Hz refresh rate on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, while the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max both have adaptive 120Hz refresh rates with an Always-On Display.
This is the only visual differentiator between the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Pro, however, aside from the slimmer bezels. In the past, the Pro models had brighter displays, too, but the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus have both increased their peak brightness this year. All four iPhone 15 models have 1000nits typical brightness, 1600nits peak HDR brightness and 2000nits peak brightness.
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro specs
Hardware is an interesting one because Apple changed its usual pattern for the iPhone 14 models. In the past, all iPhone models used the same processor, but then the iPhone 14 models launched, and Apple offered a new processor under the hood of the Pro models and put the iPhone 13 Pro chip inside the standard iPhone 14 models. The same thing has happened with the iPhone 15 models. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus both feature the A16 chip under their hoods, like the iPhone 14 Pro models, while the iPhone 15 Pro models move to a 3nm A17 Pro chip, making them more powerful. There are some storage differences, too, with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus coming in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB options. The iPhone 15 Pro comes in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB models. The iPhone 15 Pro Max is slightly different again, though, ditching the 128GB, starting at 256GB, and offering up to 1TB.
All four devices switch to USB-C for charging, though there are some differences here too. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus support USB-2, while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max support USB 3, said to support 20x faster transfer speeds. There are some differences in the battery claims between the standard and Pro models too. The iPhone 15 is claimed to deliver 20 hours of video streaming, while the iPhone 15 Pro offers 23 hours. The iPhone 15 Plus, meanwhile, is said to offer up to 26 hours, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max is said to deliver up to 29 hours. In our previous experience, the iPhone 14 Plus was the most impressive in terms of overall battery performance for the 2022 models, though the iPhone 14 Pro Max followed closely behind. We’d expect similar for the iPhone 15 models and will update this feature after reviewing all four models in full.
In terms of software, all four models run on iOS 17. This means all four deliver a similar user experience, and the same could be said for older compatible iPhone models too. There are some features that are available on the Pro models over the standard models, specifically the iPhone 15 Pro Max, when it comes to the camera experience, but the overall experience will be the same across the iPhone 15 models.
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro cameras
There are a few differences in the camera department of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro models. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus both see an upgrade to the 48-megapixel main sensor, though it is a different sensor to the 48-megapixel main sensor in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. The main sensor on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus has a f/1.6 aperture, compared to the iPhone 15 Pro’s f/1.78 aperture. All four models have a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide sensor, though this sensor is also slightly different between the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. The standard models have a f/2.4 aperture, while the iPhone 15 Pro models have a f/2.2 aperture for this sensor.
There are some other differences, too. Despite not offering a telephoto lens, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus have 2x optical zoom. The iPhone 15 Pro, meanwhile, has 3x optical zoom and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with f./2.8 aperture, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max has 5x optical zoom from its 12-megapixel telephoto lens with f/2.8 aperture. When it comes to features, quite a few translate between the regular and Pro models, such as the ability to apply portrait mode after a shot has been taken and adjust the background focus for shots with people detected. The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max offer night mode portraits, though, as well as the ability to choose between three different focal lengths – 24mm, 28mm and 35mm. There are a couple of differences in video recording, too, with the iPhone 15 Pro models offering ProRes video recording up to 4K at 60 fps with external recording, which the standard iPhone 15 models don’t have.
On the front, all four iPhone 15 models have a 12-megapixel sensor with f/1.9 aperture, so there should be no difference between the standard and Pro models when it comes to snapping the perfect selfie.
As you would expect, there are some differences between the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Pro, but those differences have reduced slightly this year. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus both have Dynamic Island, and they feature a matte finish on the rear, along with some camera improvements and a processor upgrade. The iPhone 15 Pro models have the Action Button in place of the silence toggle though (a feature that remains on the iPhone 15), whilst also offering slimmer bezels around the screen, a more premium build quality with a titanium frame, camera enhancements (especially in the case of the iPhone 15 Pro Max) and a processor jump.
All four models have USB-C support – though the Pro models offer support for faster transfer speeds – and they all run iOS 17, delivering a similar user experience across the board. In a nutshell, you get more features and power on the iPhone 15 Pro models and a more premium build quality, but you also pay extra for that. This year – far more so than last year – the iPhone 15 is exciting and a great option from what we can tell so far.