iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: don’t buy the wrong iPhone

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Renders of nan iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro adjacent to each other.Digital Trends

Apple took nan wraps disconnected this year’s iPhone 15 lineup at its September 2023 event. The phones connection immoderate bully creation refinements and important camera improvements crossed nan board, positive a powerful caller A17 Pro chip for nan highest-end models.

However, pinch nan accustomed 2 tiers of iPhone to take from, we’re presented pinch nan aforesaid dilemma each year. Does Apple’s iPhone Pro exemplary battalion successful capable to warrant its higher value tag, and what’s more, do you really request everything it has to offer? Or would you beryllium amended disconnected redeeming immoderate money and sticking pinch nan modular iPhone?

The iPhone 15 lineup doesn’t alteration that equation successful immoderate meaningful measurement — we still person nan classical dual-camera iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus successful nan little tier versus nan flagship iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max powerhouses connected nan apical extremity — though it does constrictive nan spread successful astatine slightest 1 important area. Should you take nan sleek and costly titanium iPhone 15 Pro aliases nan much colorful and affordable iPhone 15? Let’s excavation successful and thief you fig retired which iPhone is nan correct 1 for you.

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: specs

 iPhone 15iPhone 15 Pro
Size 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8mm (5.81 x 2.82 x 0.31 inches) 146.6 x 70.6 x 8.25mm (5.77 x 2.78 x 0.32 inches)
Weight 171 grams (6.02 ounces) 187 grams (6.60 ounces)
Screen 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED 6.1-inch always-on Super Retina XDR OLED pinch 120Hz ProMotion
Screen resolution 2556 x 1179 pixels astatine 460 pixels-per-inch 2556 x 1179 pixels astatine 460 pixels-per-inch
Operating system iOS 17 iOS 17
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
MicroSD paper slot No No
Tap-to-pay services Apple Pay Apple Pay
Processor Apple A16 Bionic Apple A17 Pro
Camera Rear: 48-megapixel (MP) main camera (wide), 12MP ultrawide

Front: 12MP TrueDepth

Rear: 48-megapixel (MP) main camera (wide), 12MP Ultrawide, 12MP telephoto, LiDAR Scanner

Front: 12MP TrueDepth

Video 4K astatine 24/25/30/60 frames per 2nd (fps)

1080p HD astatine 25/30/60 fps

HDR video pinch Dolby Vision up to 4K astatine 60fps

Slow mobility 1080p astatine 120/240 fps

4K astatine 24/25/30/60 frames per 2nd (fps)

1080p HD astatine 25/30/60 fps

HDR video pinch Dolby Vision up to 4K astatine 60fps

Slow mobility 1080p astatine 120/240 fps

ProRes video signaling up to 4K astatine 60fps pinch outer recording

Macro video recording

Cellular 5G mmWave (U.S. models only) 5G (sub-6GHz), Dual eSIM pinch Physical SIM connected non-U.S. models only. 5G mmWave (U.S. models only) 5G (sub-6GHz), Dual eSIM pinch Physical SIM connected non-U.S. models only.
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.3 Bluetooth 5.3
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery Video playback: 16 to 20 hours
Audio playback: 80 hours
20W accelerated charging
Video playback: 20 to 23 hours
Audio playback: 75 hours
20W accelerated charging
App marketplace App Store App Store
Network support All awesome carriers All awesome carriers
Colors Blue, Pink, Yellow, Green, Black Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, Black Titanium
Price Starting astatine $799 Starting astatine $999

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: design

A greenish iPhone 15 successful manus successful beforehand of plant.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro some carnivore nan aforesaid creation that’s been nan norm since Apple changed things up pinch nan flat-edged iPhone 12 3 years ago. However, this year, Apple has made immoderate absorbing creation refinements successful nan materials utilized connected some nan iPhone 15 and nan iPhone 15 Pro.

The flagship iPhone 15 Pro gets nan astir important change, pinch Apple shifting from stainless alloy to titanium for nan outer frame. It’s a significant difference. The consequence is simply a much matte, brushed metallic look, and Apple is embracing this pinch a group of titanium-themed colors for this year’s Pro models: Natural Titanium is joined by Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium.

There’s much to this than conscionable aesthetics, though. The iPhone 15 Pro is 19 grams lighter than its predecessor, putting it person to nan iPhone 15 successful weight. This is mostly a consequence of nan lighter weight of titanium, but Apple hasn’t fixed up durability present since it’s utilizing a Grade 5 titanium alloy that it boasts is nan aforesaid worldly utilized connected nan Mars rover. The consequence is simply a overmuch much comfortable feel, arsenic nary crisp edges excavation into your fingers aft prolonged use.

The modular iPhone 15 retains nan aforesaid aluminum and solid design, but Apple has besides adopted much contoured edges here, positive a caller process that infuses nan backmost solid to create deeper and much vibrant colors. With this caller matte glass, it’s very difficult to spot fingerprints. Still, this year’s action leans toward nan pastels successful blue, pink, green, and yellow, positive nan much emblematic black. Conspicuously missing from nan lineup is simply a (PRODUCT)RED edition, marking nan first clip it’s been omitted since it appeared arsenic a modular colour for nan iPhone XR successful 2019.

Blue Titanium iPhone 15 Pro successful hand.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Stylistic changes aside, nan different immense news this twelvemonth is that nan iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro person ditched Apple’s proprietary Lightning larboard and embraced USB-C. The larboard remains successful nan aforesaid spot connected nan bottommost of nan iPhone, and it’s akin capable connected nan extracurricular to Lightning that you astir apt won’t announcement nan quality unless you look closely. Still, it’s a important alteration successful providing much cosmopolitan charging compatibility, leaving you pinch 1 little cablegram to transportation around.

As usual, Apple’s 2023 iPhone models connection IP68 h2o guidance and Apple’s Ceramic Shield glass connected nan front. The titanium framework of nan iPhone 15 Pro theoretically adds a spot of other durability complete nan aluminum iPhone 15, but that’s apt negligible, considering that nan backmost is still solid and nan soul framework is made of aluminum. Apple besides only uses Ceramic Shield connected nan beforehand glass; it doesn’t opportunity what nan backmost is made of connected either nan iPhone 15 aliases iPhone 15 Pro.

Since nan iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are arsenic durable pinch unsocial creation touches that travel down to individual preference, we’re calling this 1 a tie.

Winner: Tie

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: screen

Blue Titanium iPhone 15 Pro showing location surface pinch civilization icons.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The iPhone 15 sports mostly nan aforesaid Super Retina XDR show arsenic past year’s iPhone 14, pinch 2 important upgrades. Firstly, Apple has brought nan Dynamic Island from nan iPhone 14 Pro to nan modular iPhone 15. Secondly, it’s doubled nan brightness, truthful nan iPhone 15 now reaches 1,600 nits of highest HDR brightness and 2,000 nits of outdoor brightness.

That puts it connected par pinch nan iPhone 15 Pro for brightness and marks nan first clip a modular iPhone has offered a surface arsenic agleam arsenic its pro counterpart. With nan summation of nan Dynamic Island to nan iPhone 15, some models now person nan aforesaid solution and pixel density: 2556 x 1179 astatine 460 pixels per inch (ppi).

While those are bully enhancements for nan iPhone 15 complete its predecessor, it still doesn’t do overmuch to adjacent nan spread pinch nan iPhone 15 Pro. The iPhone 15 still uses a fixed-refresh 60Hz surface and lacks an always-on display. It’s fundamentally a brighter type of past year’s surface pinch a Dynamic Island alternatively of a notch.

Meanwhile, nan iPhone 15 Pro doesn’t look to person moved nan needle successful its surface technology. It’s nan aforesaid adaptive 120Hz ProMotion display pinch always-on show support utilized successful past year’s iPhone 14 Pro. Of course, there’s nary request to reason pinch success; it was a awesome show past and still is now. You still person a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED show pinch a 2556 x 1179 pixel solution astatine 460 pixels per inch (ppi) density.

While nan iPhone 15 has made immoderate bully improvements, a 60Hz show is disappointing for a smartphone successful this value range. The iPhone 15 Pro still handily comes retired connected apical present pinch its always-on ProMotion display.

Winner: iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: capacity and battery

A greenish iPhone 15 successful manus showing location screen.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Last year, Apple made nan astonishing move of holding backmost its modular iPhone 14 models pinch nan A15 spot from nan iPhone 13 Pro, and now it’s proving that wasn’t a one-off decision. This year, nan iPhone 15 uses Apple’s A16 Bionic chip — nan aforesaid spot we’ve seen successful nan iPhone 14 Pro for nan past year.

That’s not a bad thing, mind you. The A16 Bionic is simply a ridiculously powerful spot pinch a caller image awesome processor and Neural Engine that will undoubtedly thief nan iPhone 15 return amended pictures, grip much analyzable AI tasks, and tally much demanding games.

Still, it doesn’t clasp a candle to what Apple has packed into nan iPhone 15 Pro. This year’s next-generation A17 spot is specified an advancement that Apple has dropped nan “Bionic” moniker that it’s utilized since 2018’s A11, dubbing this caller spot nan “A17 Pro.”

Apple A17 Pro silicon.Apple

While nan architecture is astir nan aforesaid — 2 high-performance CPU cores and 4 high-efficiency CPU cores joined by a 16-core Neural Engine — nan A17 Pro gets a 6-core GPU that Apple says is nan biggest redesign it’s ever done to an Apple GPU. This includes an Apple-designed shader architecture, 20% highest capacity improvements, hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and Metal effect upscaling that uses nan GPU and Neural Engine successful tandem to nutrient high-quality graphics.

Apple’s extremity present is to move nan iPhone 15 Pro into a gaming powerhouse, and it’s already sewage developers connected committee preparing to merchandise existent console games for nan iPhone 15 Pro, including Resident Evil Village, The Division Resurgence, and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Mirage.

The artillery life of nan iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro hasn’t seen immoderate important improvement. The iPhone 15 has a artillery capacity of 3,349mAh, which is only somewhat amended than its predecessor’s 3,279mAh. Unfortunately, this still intends that nan telephone needs to beryllium charged each day. The iPhone 15 Pro has a somewhat larger artillery astatine 3,274mAh compared to nan erstwhile model’s 3,200mAh. However, it doesn’t look to connection immoderate noticeable betterment successful position of artillery life.

iPhone 15 Pro display.Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Charging speeds besides stay nan same, apt successful nan 20-27W range, but astatine slightest you tin now do truthful utilizing a axenic USB-C cable. Wireless charging is besides still constricted to 7.5 watts utilizing a modular Qi charger, pinch 15W disposable via an Apple-certified MagSafe charger. However, this year’s new Qi2 chargers that support nan Magnetic Power Profile (MPP) tin besides present 15W speeds to an iPhone 15 aliases iPhone 15 Pro.

While we person nary uncertainty nan A16 Bionic spot successful nan iPhone 15 will present fantabulous capacity for almost everyone, nan A17 Pro takes things up a immense notch, particularly if you want to beryllium 1 of nan first to play nan console type of Assassin’s Creed connected a smartphone.

Winner: iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: cameras

iPhone 15 Pro Camera lensPrakhar Khana / Digital Trends

The astir distinguishing characteristic of Apple’s iPhone Pro models has ever been their amended camera systems. While that hasn’t changed this year, nan modular iPhone 15 has gotten immoderate bully improvements that thief adjacent nan spread successful an unprecedented way.

While nan iPhone 15 Pro cameras person remained mostly unchanged from their predecessors different than nan accustomed year-over-year sensor improvements, nan iPhone 15 has taken an tremendous leap — nan biggest 1 we’ve seen since nan iPhone 11.

The iPhone 15 gains a 48-megapixel (MP) sensor for nan main (wide) camera, which not only offers nan expertise to return higher-resolution photos but besides adds a 2x optical zoom to nan modular iPhone for nan first time. As pinch nan 48MP sensor connected past year’s iPhone 14 Pro, nan iPhone 15 will usage nan halfway pixels connected nan 48MP sensor to nutrient a 12MP 2x shot. This efficaciously gives nan iPhone 15 a 3rd telephoto lens and 3 optical zoom factors — 0.5x, 1x, and 2x.

A greenish iPhone 15 showing nan camera and matte solid back.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The caller 2x mode besides unlocks a full group of different things that weren’t imaginable connected nan modular iPhone models earlier now, including improved Portrait mode photography, continuous zoom successful 4K Cinematic mode, and nan post-capture Focus and Depth mode controls that person agelong been exclusive to nan iPhone Pro.

The iPhone 15 Pro retains its predecessor’s 48MP main camera solution pinch a larger sensor and a caller nanoscale coating connected nan solid to thief trim lens flare. The telephoto lens remains astatine nan aforesaid 3x arsenic nan iPhone 14 Pro; only nan 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Pro Max received an optical zoom upgrade this year. The iPhone 15 Pro besides has a lidar scanner that allows for nighttime mode portraits and faster attraction successful debased light, positive an adaptive True Tone flash, macro photography and video recordings, and support for precocious formats for illustration ProRAW and ProRes.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro some now seizure photos successful a 24MP “super precocious resolution” by default, and 48MP seizure is besides disposable successful nan HEIC format, an upgrade from past year’s ProRAW-only 48MP mode. They besides usage nan aforesaid Photonic Engine pinch Deep Fusion and caller Smart HDR 5 algorithms aliases computational photograph processing.

With 3 lenses and 4 optical zoom factors (0.5x/1x/2x/3x), nan iPhone 15 Pro still handily wins this round, but nan iPhone 15 is person than we’ve ever seen it acknowledgment to its caller 48MP sensor and 2x optical zoom.

Winner: iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: package and updates

Blue Titanium iPhone 15 Pro showing fastener screen.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro vessel pinch iOS 17, which will besides beryllium released arsenic an update for older iPhone models connected Monday, September 18, earlier this year’s iPhones moreover get successful customer’s hands.

We don’t expect to spot thing important successful iOS 17 exclusive to nan iPhone 15 aliases iPhone 15 Pro isolated from for those that are hardware-dependent, specified arsenic nan caller Action fastener connected nan iPhone 15 Pro. The iOS 17 merchandise will besides bring immoderate of nan recently announced iPhone 15 features, specified arsenic Roadside Assistance via Satellite, to the satellite-capable iPhone 14 lineup.

It’s besides safe to opportunity that nan iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro will beryllium updated successful tandem for astatine slightest nan adjacent 4 to 5 years. Apple doesn’t make circumstantial upgrade promises for illustration immoderate Android handset makers, but it doesn’t request to, arsenic its way grounds speaks for itself. There’s an fantabulous chance nan iPhone 15 models will someday beryllium capable to tally iOS 22.

Winner: Tie

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: typical features

Blue Titanium iPhone 15 Pro showing USB-C port.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

While it’s difficult to telephone it a “special feature” astatine this point, it’s important that Apple has switched to USB-C crossed its full iPhone 15 lineup. However, that besides comes pinch a somewhat disappointing twist.

While nan iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro some person a modular USB-C larboard for charging, only nan iPhone 15 Pro will support faster information transportation speeds. The iPhone 15 USB-C larboard remains capped astatine nan aforesaid 480Mbps USB 2.0 speeds arsenic nan Lightning port. By comparison, nan iPhone 15 Pro supports USB 3.1 Gen 2, offering information transfers of up to 10Gbps — as agelong arsenic you supply your ain USB 3 cable.

That’s understandable for a instrumentality that tin seizure immense ProRAW photos and monolithic ProRes videos. A one-minute 4K ProRes video astatine 30 frames per 2nd (fps)can easy tally up to 5GB, and anybody who had to woody pinch that connected older iPhone Pro models knows what a symptom those were to transportation complete nan 480Mbps Lightning port. With nan 10Gbps USB-C port, Apple is besides unlocking 4K/60fps ProRes signaling to outer retention drives.

iPhone 15 Pro Action fastener setup for Camera.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The iPhone 15 Pro gains a mates of different perks complete nan iPhone 15, including a caller Action fastener that replaces nan iconic ring/silent switch. While this will still toggle ring/silent mode by default, it tin beryllium customized to do astir thing other you tin deliberation of, acknowledgment to its expertise to motorboat customized routines successful Apple’s Shortcuts app. Later this year, nan iPhone 15 Pro will besides summation nan expertise to seizure Spatial Videos that tin beryllium played connected Apple’s caller Vision Pro headset when it launches adjacent year.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro some person a caller second-generation Ultra Wideband spot that tin link pinch different instrumentality up to 3 times farther away. This will alteration a caller precision uncovering characteristic to thief guideline you to friends aliases family members successful a engaged marketplace, stadium, aliases mall, overmuch for illustration uncovering an AirTag useful now.

With an Action fastener and faster USB transportation speeds, nan iPhone 15 Pro decidedly has a fewer much things going for it than nan modular iPhone 15.

Winner: iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: value and availability

A greenish iPhone 15 fastener screen.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are disposable for acquisition correct now. You tin bargain nan phones straight from Apple and from astir third-party retailers and carriers.

The iPhone 15 starts astatine $799 for nan guidelines 128GB model, pinch 256GB and 512GB versions disposable for $899 and $1,099, respectively. It’s disposable successful Blue, Pink, Green, Yellow, and Black.

The iPhone 15 Pro starts astatine $999 for 128GB, pinch 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB upgrades for $1,099, $1,299, and $1,499. Available colors are Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium.

Overall winner: iPhone 15 Pro

Blue Titanium iPhone 15 Pro leaning connected parkland lamp post.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

In galore ways, nan iPhone 15 is overmuch person to nan iPhone 15 Pro this year. That’s particularly existent successful nan camera department, wherever you now get a 2x optical zoom and each nan features it unlocks. As a result, we deliberation galore folks will beryllium delighted pinch nan iPhone 15, and it’s still nan champion iPhone for astir people.

However, nan iPhone 15 Pro remains nan superior telephone for powerfulness users. With its much precocious camera system, insanely powerful caller A17 Pro chip, and superior 120Hz screen, it’s nan champion prime by acold for superior photography enthusiasts and gamers — and nan only reasonable prime for master photographers and videographers.

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