Apple announced its new high-end iPhones: iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. They’re made of titanium, have action buttons, and Apple promises they’re the most powerful smartphones Apple has ever made. The 15 Pro starts at $999 with 128GB of storage, and the Pro Max with 256GB of storage starts at $1,199. Both will be available for pre-order this Friday and will go on sale September 22nd.
This year’s Pro has a 6.1-inch screen, and the Pro Max has a 6.7-inch display — the same as the new iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. Both are powered by the A17 Pro chip, which Apple says has the fastest performance of any smartphone and can challenge some high-end PCs. With a redesigned GPU, Apple thinks these devices will be ready to match the games you can play on your phone. (Of course, Apple likes to talk more about high-end gaming, and the results… don’t go on forever.)
Both phones have a USB-C port on the bottom, rather than the older Lightning port. But in the Pro’s case, it could be about more than just charging: Apple says the 15 Pro is the first phone with 10Gbps transfer speeds, which will make getting photos and videos (or large files) from your phone that much easier.
All that power is housed in a new, robust casing that Apple promises is some of the toughest stuff you’ll find on a phone anywhere in the industry. Based on what we’ve seen in the video so far, it doesn’t see Very different, but it’s a big change nonetheless. The new devices come in white, black, blue and “natural” colors. Naturally, Apple is very proud of the complex engineering behind this process.
The action button, which replaces the ringer switch on the left side of the iPhone Pro, can be customized to launch shortcuts, bring up accessibility features, unlock the camera, turn on the flashlight, and more. By default, it’s still a ringer switch — but you’ll want to do more with it.
Both Pros feature Super Retina XTR displays with promotion and support both Always-On Display and a new standby mode in iOS 17.
Greg Joswiak, Apple’s head of marketing, said the 15 Pro and Pro Max still have Apple’s best cameras — the equivalent of seven unique lenses. It also includes an improved 48-megapixel camera that takes better low-light photos, captures less lens flare, and uses Apple’s AI systems to take full-res HEIF photos. You can now change your default lens and shoot at multiple focal lengths – 24mm, 28mm and 35mm – right into the main camera. You can get up to 5x optical zoom, the best Apple has ever offered, up to 120mm focal length. Fans of Samsung’s latest cameras won’t be surprised by the specs here, but they’re a big upgrade for iPhone users.
On the video side, you can shoot 4K60 ProRes video on the devices or shoot directly to an external drive via the USB-C port (as long as you have the right cable). 15 Pro can capture “spatial videos,” the kind of 3D content we’re used to seeing with the Vision Pro. It’s clear that Apple envisions the 15 Pro as both a consumer device and a true professional tool for the world’s creators and filmmakers.
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the new devices at Apple’s Wanderlust event at Apple Park in Cupertino, California. In terms of how you’ll actually use your iPhone, iOS 17 will have some of the biggest changes this year: a new standby mode can change the way you use your phone when it’s off, interactive widgets can redesign many home screens, and features like live voicemail and contact posters you can actually use every time. You can also make phone calls.
Apple is following the same rubric as with the last few iPhone launches: base models get stuff from last year’s Pro — the Dynamic Island and some camera tech, like the A16 Bionic chip — and the Pros are the guinea pigs. For Apple’s big new ideas.
While Apple hasn’t talked much about USB-C this year, the new port seems to have given Apple new ideas about how it can capture data on Pro phones and use it elsewhere. (No one needs 48-megapixel photos for Instagram, but now it’s so easy to use those big photos elsewhere.) Joswiak called the new Pro line “our best and most pro iPhone,” and he wasn’t wrong. While the 15 models improve the everyday experience of using the iPhone, the new Pro goes somewhere else entirely.