iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro: Not a titanic difference

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iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

Intro


It's mid-2024, but we still haven't found a substantial reason why iPhone 14 Pro users should upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro. On the contrary, the hot rumors surrounding the upcoming iPhone 16 Pro are making a strong case for waiting for that model instead.

So, should you still consider getting the iPhone 15 Pro instead of the iPhone 14 Pro

Well, sure, put that way, there are numerous reasons why the iPhone 15 Pro is the better device by a long shot. It has a new titanium body, a USB Type-C port at the bottom, and finally, the first 3nm smartphone chip, the Apple A17 Pro. 

So, which one among these two is the better value?

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With its groundbreaking chipset and high-class titanium frame, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is a real mobile gem. It's now available on Apple at an impressive trade-in discount of up to $630.
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Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Slight differences in physical size, but the new Titanium finish looks cool, and you have an Action Button and USB-C!


The iPhone 15 Pro has the same 6.1-inch screen size as the iPhone 14 Pro, but the newer phone is just a bit less wide because of the thinner borders around that screen.

Here are the exact dimensions:


However, the big change is the weight reduction. The difference is not big on paper, but you can feel it in real life, and we bet you will appreciate it eventually.

The titanium material used on the iPhone 15 Pro is not only more scratch resistant, it is said to sustain damage better overall. We have already seen it used on the Apple Watch Ultra, and it's held up very well on that device.


This new material will also come with more of a brushed matte texture, a change from the glossy finish used on the 14 Pro, which is an absolute fingerprint magnet. 

Speaking of the new titanium finish, you also get four new shades. Details on the iPhone 15 colors reveal they are quite muted, and most people we talk to are not too impressed by them:


  • Natural Titanium (lighter gray)
  • Blue Titanium
  • White Titanium
  • Black Titanium


We also have one brand-new button, which Apple calls the Action button. It replaces the mute switch, and you can program it to… well, anything and everything! By default, it still acts as a mute button, but you can program it to open the camera, or really any other app or even more complex actions via the Shortcuts app. It's great having this button, but we have to say that its position at the top left is just a bit challenging to reach.

The most impactful design change, however, is surely the iPhone 15 Pro switch to USB-C after years of Apple using its own and proprietary Lightning port.

The USB-C port on the iPhone 15 supports USB 3 transfer speeds of 10Gbps, while the 14 Pro is limited to speeds of only 480Mbps, so the new phone is nearly 20X faster!

Remember, though, that the cable in the box with the iPhone 15 Pro does not support those faster speeds, so you will need to purchase a compatible cable separately.

In other news, both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro feature the same IP68 water and dust protection rating, so no changes there.

The 15 Pro and the 14 Pro both come in a slim box where you only have a cable (a USB-C one on the new model), but no charging brick on either phone, so that's one more thing you have to buy separately.

Display Differences

Slimmer bezels for a more elegant look


Both the iPhone 15 Pro and the 14 Pro have the same size 6.1-inch OLED screen.

These displays are manufactured by Samsung using the company's latest and most advanced OLED panels, and they look pretty much the same. The iPhone 14 Pro hits 2,000 nits peak outdoor brightness, and the newer 15 Pro matches that; both have an Always-On feature, both have great colors. Also, both models support 120Hz refresh rate ProMotion technology that can go from 1Hz for static content like lock screen wallpapers to 120Hz when you are scrolling for a buttery smooth experience, so again, all the same.

The one improvement is just the appearance of the screen. The borders around the iPhone 15 Pro screen are about a third slimmer, which makes for a more elegant look. Earlier reports suggest these measure just 1.55mm, thinner than the 2.17mm ones on the 14 Pro, and that would make them the thinnest borders ever on a smartphone.

There are no changes to Face ID, though. Apple introduced the Dynamic Island with the 14 Pro, and it is all the same on the 15 Pro.

Performance and Software

This new A17 chip is a big deal


The iPhone 15 Pro features the new A17 Bionic chip under the hood, Apple's first chip built using the new 3nm manufacturing process.

At just 3nm, you have incredible miniaturization which allows having many more transistors in the same sized chip (19 billion on A17 vs 16 billion on A16) and achieve great performance and efficiency gains over the 4nm technology Apple has used in the past few years.

Gaming performance also gets a welcome boost thanks to a breakthrough new GPU, which adds one more core and is more powerful.

According to the benchmark tests we conducted, the iPhone 15 Pro easily outpaces its predecessor, as is expected. The difference in regular performance is noticeable, but the difference in the gaming performance isn't that drastic. 

Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro2920
Apple iPhone 14 Pro2517
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro7447
Apple iPhone 14 Pro6289
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro3628
Apple iPhone 14 Pro3375
3DMark
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro2801
Apple iPhone 14 Pro2117

The iPhone 15 Pro also has 8GB of RAM compared to 6GB RAM on the 14 Pro, but both phones use the same type of memory, LPDDR5.

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Both being iPhones, they also run on the same iOS 17 software.

Among the new features in this latest iOS version are updated Phone, Messages and FaceTime apps, as well as a big change to autocorrect which will finally make it a lot better.

The Phone app in particular gets the biggest upgrade with the new Contact Poster which you set for yourself and others will see when they get a call from you. NameDrop is another new iOS exclusive trick where you just bring your iPhone close to another iPhone to exchange contacts. The most important new feature in the Messages app is new stickers and live stickers, which you can create from your own Live Photos for a personal touch to chats.

iOS 17 also brings a new Standby Mode turning your iPhone into a mini home hub of sorts, displaying useful information while it’s charging.

Both phones also get Apple's usual commitment to five or six years of software updates, way more than other manufacturers. The only thing worth mentioning is that the iPhone 15 Pro - since it launches a year later - will get one extra year of software updates.

Apple does not officially say what modem it uses, but teardowns reveal we have the new Qualcomm X70 modem inside, an upgrade over the Qualcomm X65 5G modem used in the 14 Pro with some improvements to coverage range, latency and power efficiency.

Both phones also support the Emergency SOS via satellite functionality, which can be a life-saver when you are out of cellular coverage.

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Camera

Camera systems look the same, but the 15 Pro brings a lot of new features


You can easily recognize an iPhone in a crowd with that "stovetop" camera system styling, and that look is not changing in the new iPhone 15 Pro.

You have a triple camera system on the 15 Pro, just like we had on the 14 Pro: you have a 48MP main camera, and then you also have an ultra-wide and a 3X zoom camera.

You should know that the fancy 5X tetraprism zoom lens is NOT available on the iPhone 15 Pro (it is only available on the 15 Pro Max model). Rumors suggest that next year's iPhone 16 Pro might get that feature, in case you were curious.

As for differences between the 15 Pro and the 14 Pro, the main 48-megapixel camera has a few new tricks. You now get 1.2X and 1.5X sensor crop on the 15 Pro, and you can even set these focal lengths as your default.

In photographic terms, that means that instead of wide 24mm, you can shoot 28mm or 35mm, and especially the latter is one of the preferred lenses for street and just everyday photography. Cool!

Add to that a number of other improvements too: a new anti-reflective coating helps reduce lens flare, but the truth is those lens flare reflections from light sources at night are still visible on the iPhone 15 Pro, so it's hard to say what exactly has improved there.

Main Camera



The biggest improvement in the main camera is that Apple addresses the nasty oversharpening issues on the 14 Pro, and images from the new iPhone 15 Pro no longer have that artificial over-sharpening. Good riddance!

We also love how the camera now takes pictures at 24-megapixel resolution. These are more detailed than 12-megapixel shots, and the image size is still minimal: your typical 12MP HEIF file is around 2MB, while a 24MP HEIF image is around 3MB.

We should say that both phones now get the option to record 48MP HEIF or JPEG files as well, which is also nice, but those files are a bit larger and come with more noise in low light.

Ultra-wide



Apple mentioned the ultra-wide camera has gotten better with a similarly improved anti-reflective coating, better night mode, HDR and macrophotography, but the differences are tiny in our experience and images mostly look the same.

Portrait Mode



The big change to portrait mode is, well, that you don't really need to use that option on the iPhone 15 series! Whenever you take a regular photo of a person or a pet, just make sure an icon appears in the bottom corner of the viewfinder, which means that the phone is capturing depth information. With that, you can then open such a picture in the Photos app and add the portrait blurry background effect later on. Cool! Unfortunately, that new feature is not available on the iPhone 14 Pro.

As for image quality and how the subject is separated from the background, we found mostly the same image quality on these two phones, and both of them support the same 1X, 2X and 3X portraits.

Low-light / Night Photo Quality



Low light photos appear incredibly similar on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro, so in most cases you will not be able to see much of a difference at all.


Selfies



Selfies, however, do turn out better on the new model. Despite the same resolution of the camera, you get more detail and in low light, we often saw images that were better exposed.

Video Quality


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As you can see in the sample video above, there is practically no difference in video quality. We tried using both the main and ultra wide cameras, and video quality looked unchanged on the iPhone 15 Pro and 14 Pro.

The big upcoming new iPhone 15 Pro feature is Spatial Video, which you will be able to play on the upcoming Apple Vision Pro headset for a very immersive experience. To record that, the iPhone 15 Pro uses both the ultra-wide and main camera and captures videos with depth. However, that feature is not available just yet and it will arrive with a software update by the end of the year.

Audio Quality and Haptics


Both the iPhone 15 Pro and 14 Pro have a similar sounding loudspeaker system with a main, down-firing speaker and then a secondary speaker in the earpiece.

As for haptics, Apple has been using the Taptic Engine for years and there are no changes to it on the 15 Pro.

Battery Life and Charging

Same old, same old


The iPhone 15 Pro comes with a 3,274 mAh battery, which is merely 2.3% larger than the 3,200 mAh battery on the 14 Pro.

But this difference is so small that it does not change the actual battery life on the new model.

The iPhone 15 Pro battery life numbers provided by Apple are absolutely identical to the battery life numbers on the 14 Pro:


The iPhone 15 Pro is still a one-day battery phone that you will have to charge every night.

But if you want even more details, we have performed our independent battery testing too and here are the results we are getting:

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:


Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro14h 54 min
Apple iPhone 14 Pro16h 18 min
Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro6h 54 min
Apple iPhone 14 Pro9h 14 min

Interestingly, we are actually getting lower battery scores for the 15 Pro compared to the previous model. And yes, we have double-checked the results and we have run them AFTER the iOS 17.0.3 update which addresses any possible overheating issues (in case you were wondering).

With the new USB-C port on the iPhone 15 Pro, some hoped to see faster charging speeds, but again - no.

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:


15 Mins(%)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro30%
Apple iPhone 14 Pro31%
30 Mins(%)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro53%
Apple iPhone 14 Pro60%
Full Charge(hours)Lower is better
Apple iPhone 15 Pro1h 42 min
Apple iPhone 14 Pro1h 31 min

The iPhone 14 Pro unofficially supports up to 23W charging rates, which is fine, but definitely slower than many rival Android phones. It takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes to fully top up the iPhone 14 Pro, while some Android phones can top up fully in less than 30 minutes. The new iPhone 15 Pro? Same as its predecessor.

Both the iPhone 15 Pro and 14 Pro also support MagSafe wireless charging with no changes, running at the same 15W charging speed.

Specs Comparison


We have summarized all the major specs highlight of the two models right below:

*Apple does not disclose battery size officially.

Don't forget that we also have an in-depth iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro specs comparison table here where you can learn more about all the smaller details.

Summary and Final Verdict



Overall, the iPhone 15 Pro is a welcome upgrade, but a relatively small one. Certainly, not one you should consider in 2024 if you haven't already: much better options might be coming this fall with the iPhone 16 generation.

What you should care about is that the 15 Pro weighs less with that fancy new titanium body, and it looks slightly more elegant styling with the slimmer bezels. The USB-C port is also so nice to have. The changes in the camera system, however, are not as big as we hoped for (at least it fixes the one major camera issue on the 14 Pro), and the Action button, while pleasant to have, has not really been such a game-changer in our experience.

Good news is that the iPhone 15 Pro costs the same as before, starting at $1,000 (at least in the United States).

Should you upgrade if you already own the 14 Pro? The answer is probably not, unless you really need a phone that weighs less or are very passionate about the other smaller improvements, or the USB-C port. But what do you think: do you have a favorite new iPhone 15 Pro feature and are you upgrading to the newer model?

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