While the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max looks similar last year's iPhone 14 Pro Max, there are lots of changes under the hood. For starters, the camera features an even longer zoom, and iOS 17's software upgrades give it the ability to shoot portrait mode from a normal photo just like the iPhone 15. Then you have the new titanium frame, which really changes how the phone feels in hand. The Pro Max and the Pro weigh exactly 19g less than their predecessors, but they feel much lighter. The new A17 Pro chip also lets you play ray-traced games, though I've yet to test games that support this yet.
- A17 Pro chip with 6-core CPU, 6-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
- 6.7-inch OLED (Pro Max) or 6.1-inch (Pro) display
- 48MP main f1.78 (24mm), 12MP ultra-wide f2.2 (13mm), and 12MP telephoto 3x, f2.8 (77mm) (Pro), or 12MP telephoto 5x, f2.8 (120mm) (Pro Max)
- 128GB (Pro only), 256GB, 512GB, 1TB storage options
- USB-C port, with DisplayPort out and USB 3 support up to 10Gbps
Like last year's models, the Pro Max features a bigger 6.7-inch OLED display, while the Pro sticks to 6.1 inches. Both displays feature dynamic refresh rate of up to 120Hz, and have an Always-On display. I actually prefer the Pro's smaller 6.1-inch display, but the Pro Max's 6.7-inch screen feels great on the eyes. You still get the 1,000 nits brightness, peaking at 2,000 nits outdoors. Battery life is the same as last year, with 23 hours and 29 hours of video playback for the Pro and Pro Max respectively, according to Apple. Our video playback test gave me 7hr 12min for the Pro Max. The Pro gave us 5hr 41min. In day-to-day use, you'll get a full day's of use with no issues. But if you're worried, feel free to pick up this nifty Xiaomi power bank.
Fast charging will get you 50% in 30 minutes with a 20W charger. The cameras on both phones are improved over last year. This time around, you can shoot pictures up to 24MP on the 48MP sensor. But this is only for the main camera at 1x zoom. Otherwise, they will still be shot at 12MP. The 15 Pro gets 3x optical zoom and up to 6x optical zoom range, while the 15 Pro Max gets 5x optical zoom and up to 10x optical zoom range. The increased range is really the reason why you should get the Pro Max, as you get a lot more detail for zoomed-out shots. I also like that you can tap on the 1x button to switch between 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm focal ranges.
But if you're just comparing normal shots, then both phones have similar camera quality. Pictures are vibrant with lots of detail, and you can also shoot in 48MP RAW or HEIF Max if you prefer pictures without Apple's image processing. Lowlight shots continue to be excellent, and video is excellent. The front camera remains unchanged, I wish Apple had made it wider so my holiday selfies don't feel so cramped. Video shooting remains great, and it's still my go to for shooting short-form video. One of the most noticeable changes to the Apple iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, and my new favourite feature, is the Action button. It replaces the slider, and lets you customise it to an action. You can do things such as pressing down on it to turn on your flashlight, or open your selfie camera. You can also use it to activate a Siri Shortcut.
While the S$1,649 Apple iPhone 15 Pro is the same price as last year's model, the iPhone 15 Pro Max gets a S$200 bump, and costs S$1,999 now. But you're getting more base storage (256GB) now, and the new 5x optical zoom is actually pretty good. Otherwise, the 15 Pro is capable enough for all your content creation and gaming needs. Get it from Shopee, Lazada, or Apple. Note that stocks for the Pro Max are currently sold out, and Apple is only shipping in late November.
Note: Review units provided by Apple.
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