Apple iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max official: say hello to my little Action Button!

Apple iPhone 15 Pro is official: say hello to my little Action Button!
It is new iPhone day and we finally get to see what Apple has been cooking over the past year. And yes, some rumors are already turning out to be true — the mute switch is gone, the Action Button from the Apple Watch Ultra is here. And the Dynamic Island... is still a thing!

Here, we follow along with every little tidbit Apple reveals about the new iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max!

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max price

Good news and bad news here, folks! The good news is that there isn't much of a price hike compared to last year — contrary to rumors. The bad news is that Apple is removing the 128 GB tier for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, meaning that the Pro Max automatically starts at $1,199 for the 256 GB model. The regular iPhone 15 Pro will still start at $999 for 128 GB.

Is your wallet ready to take the hit? Pre-orders will begin this Friday — September 15 and the phones will start shipping and be available at in-store locations on the 22nd of September.

iPhone 15 Pro design and build

Yes, folks, the familiar shapes are back — a soft rectangle with a full screen upfront. This year, even more so, as Apple shaved that bezel around the display further, giving the Pro iPhones a bigger screen-to-body ratio. Meaning, we get the same big screens, yet the phones are marginally smaller.

And yes, we get a titanium-made frame! To be exact — Grade 5 Titanium, which has one of the highest strength-to-weight ratio, which is still supported by aluminum underneath. Yes, that's fancy, but it will also ensure that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are lighter than before (without sacrificing durability). That's a welcome change, since these Pro iPhones were definitely getting up in the weight department.

This also gives us a new "brushed" finish to the frame, which will be a welcome change after the fingerprint magnet shine that was the stainless steel frame.

The screen on the front is the same 6.1-inch (iPhone 15 Pro) or 6.7-inch (iPhone 15 Pro Max) OLED panel with 120 Hz ProMotion refresh rate — just like we are used to. And it still has the Dynamic Island around the selfie camera — a black spot that animates to show you different types of information, depending on what apps are running on your iPhone (or in the background). It's a fun way to hide the selfie camera hole, but has been a controversial design decision since Apple introduced it with the iPhone 14 Pro — but Cupertino is doubling down on it.

Bye bye, Mute switch

Now, we have an Action button instead of the switch. By default, it will still be a ring toggle that will allow you to quickly mute the iPhone. However, you can also customize it to run your favorite apps, Focus Mode, or functions within apps with Siri shortcuts.

USB Type-C

After incorporating USB C in its entire lineup, but stubbornly sticking to Lightning for the iPhone, Apple finally caved. The new iPhone 15 models — all of them — have USB Type-C connectors for charging and data transfer.

However, it is only the iPhone 15 Pro that gets the best variant of it — the Pro models will support USB 3.2 speeds of 10 gigabits per second, which is about 20 times faster than USB 2.0 (a.k.a. Lightning).

iPhone 15 Pro Processor

All hail the 3 nm processors! The new Apple A17 Pro is here and it's the first smartphone chipset to be built on a 3 nm process. Err, this basically means that the components and the pathways inside the chip are smaller than before (the old 4 nm process), which should in turn result in better performance and better energy-efficiency — since Apple can cram more transistors in the chip (19 billion of them now) and the path between them is smaller.

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It's a 6-core CPU, where the two performance cores"are 10% faster than before. The four efficiency cores have also been improved and Apple states they deliver 3x better performance per watt ratio than "the competition".

But it's not just the CPU — the new GPU in the Apple A17 Pro is also updated. 20% faster now and, for the first time, we get hardware raytracing on an iPhone chip!

The Neural Engine will also work in conjunction with the GPU to upscale images on the fly and deliver high-res gaming at, supposedly, no loss in performance.

Apple also announced console-level games coming to the iPhone 15 Pro. And we mean console-level — Ubisoft's future Assassin's Creed Mirage, and Capcom's Resident Evil being the biggest namedrops.

The new System on Chip also comes with support for the latest and fastest Wi-Fi 6E protocols, plus baked-in Thread compatibility. Thread is the new smart home alliance between all major players — Apple, Google, Samsung, and many IoT device makers have agreed to develop their tech in a "common language". The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are the first Thread-ready smartphones to hit the market.

iPhone 15 Pro Camera

The iPhone 15 Pro still has the 48 MP main camera sensor that was introduced last year. Typically, those pixels would be binned together and we would get 12 MP pictures by default. However, with new computational photography under the hood of the iPhone 15 Pro (upgraded Photonic Engine), we will now be getting 24 MP photos by default. With the same amount of light-collection and a lot more details — per Apple's words — we should definitely get much better photos. This is a great upgrade for the non-Pro iPhone 15 models, but a welcome boost for the Pro variants as well.

We now have a new coating to reduce lens flare — sounds promising. And Apple said that night photos have been improved — including night portraits — and a new HDR algorithm will be capturing skintones more accurately. The low light improvements will also be translating to the Video and Action Cam modes.

Zooming controls now allow you to choose your favorite as "default" so you can always snap that Portrait Mode photo in a jiffy.

Pro Mode users will be happy to know they can now shoot in 48 MP HEIF, not just 48 MP RAW. This should allow you to capture the same high-quality photos but at the cost of less — much less — storage space.

More zoom! More power!

The telephoto camera of the iPhone 15 Pro Max (only the Pro Max) has been upgraded to 5x — for comparison, last year's iPhone Pro models had 3x lenses. It should definitely improve the zoom performance of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max and it is still assisted by a super-precise optical image stabilizer. As for zooming levels from 1x to 4.9x — the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will be using the high-res main camera and software to achieve what Apple claims is "lossless" zoom.

Prepping for the Apple Vision Pro, the iPhone 15 Pro now has a special "Spatial Video" mode. Using two of the lenses at once, it will capture depth data so the footage can later be experienced in VR... whenever the Vision Pro launches.

With the new USB 3 speed, ProRes video can be recorded directly to external storage devices, making it easier for those that actually use the iPhone Pros for cinematic work to transfer and work on their files faster.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max battery

Like usual, Apple promises "all day battery" from its devices and doesn't divulge "geeky" specs like battery capacity. We certainly expect the iPhone 15 Pro Max to take us beyond that 1-day mark, as its predecessors are doing very well in the battery endurance field. If the Apple A17 Pro is truly more energy-efficient, we may even see some improvement here.

What we do know for a fact is that the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will come ready for the Qi2 standard, with the first chargers of that generation planned to hit the market by the end of 2023.

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