iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: what are the differences?

iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max
(Image credit: Apple)

As September’s Apple Event draws to a close and the dust from the iPhone 15 announcement settles, it’s time to take a look at the new Pro models that are soon to hit shelves – iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. What are the main differences between the phones and which one is right for you?

We’ll be covering the differences in price, design, display, hardware, camera, features and battery life to help you come to a conclusion. 

These comparisons are made solely from the specs available and our experience testing previous models but we will update this page with our full hands-on experiences once we've had the iPhone 15 Pro phones in for review.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: price

The 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro costs £999 / $999 / AU$1849 for the 128GB model, £1110 / $1110 / AU$2050 for the 265GB version, £1300 / $1300 / AU$2400 for the 512GB model, and £1500 / $1500 / AU$2750 if you want 1TB of storage. 

The iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with a larger 6.7-inch display and starts at £1200 / $1200 / AU$2200 for the 256GB model. If you need more storage, there’s also a 512GB version for £1400 / $1400 / AU$2550 or a 1TB version for £1600 / $1600 / AU$2900. 

iPhone 15 pre-orders will begin Friday 15th September, with a release date and general sale set for a week later, 22nd September. 

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: sound

Looking at the specs, there probably won’t be a lot of ground between the two models when it comes to audio performance.

Both the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are compatible with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. Both models use the same A17 Pro chip and support Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio playback. They also feature a USB-C port, which supports USB 3.0 connections (up to 10GB/s) whereas the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus only support USB 2.0.

The adoption of the universal USB-C connection across almost all of Apple’s products also means it’ll be far more convenient for anyone planning to use an external DAC with their iPhone. No more Lightning adapters!

Based on the information available, both models of iPhone will likely sound very similar. And from our previous experience there likely won’t be too much to complain about in terms of audio performance – the 14 Pro Max is our current award-winner. 

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: design and colours

The main difference between the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models is the size of the display.

The iPhone 15 Pro measures 147mm x 71 mm x 8mm while the Pro Max model is taller at 160mm and slightly wider at 77mm. 

There is a slight difference in weight too of course, with the Pro weighing 187g, and the Pro Max weighing in at 221g. 

Both models come in four different shades: Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, or Black Titanium. 

These more natural metallic tones differ from the ones available for the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, which are pastel versions of primary colours.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: display

iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max

(Image credit: Apple)

Both versions come with an all-screen OLED display with HDR support and boast an impressive 2000 nits peak brightness. 

Like previous models of iPhone, Apple’s Super Retina XDR display is put to use and we’ve been impressed with this screen previously, so we have high hopes for image quality on the iPhone 15 Pro and Max. 

As mentioned, the display size is a key difference, with the iPhone 15 Pro featuring a 6.1-inch display while the Pro Max gets a 6.7-inch display. Your desired application will ultimately inform which model might suit you best, whether that be gaming, watching movies, or just everyday general phone use. 

There are a few upgrades exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models, such as higher adaptive refresh rates (up to 120Hz) for smoother scrolling and thinner bezels.

The A17 Pro chip also includes a dedicated AV1 decoder, which enables more efficient, high-quality videos for streaming services. Both the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max can output video at up to 4K 60 fps HDR.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: hardware

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models both feature Apple’s A17 Pro chip, a 6-core CPU, and a 6-core GPU. 

The 15 Pro comes in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB variants, while the 15 Pro Max is available with a storage capacity of 256GB, 512GB or 1TB.

Both phones also include features such as MagSafe charging support, FaceID, IP68 resistance, 5G connectivity, Bluetooth 5.3, and Wi-Fi 6. 

It’ll be hard to discern any gaps in performance until we get our hands on both versions, which we look forward to doing in the near future.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: camera

iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max

(Image credit: Apple)

As with many other features on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, the cameras here are almost identical.

The main difference between the two phones is the choice of optical zoom options. The 15 Pro allows for 0.5X, 1X, 2X and 3X options, while the Pro Max offers 0.5X, 1X, 2X and 5X zooms. 

Both feature a tri-camera setup comprising a 48MP main camera with an F1.78 aperture, a 12MP ultra-wide lens with an F2.2 aperture, and a 12MP telephoto camera with an F2.8 aperture. There’s also a 12MP TrueDepth front facing camera with F1.9 aperture.

The two models also allow you to record 4K video at 24, 25, 30 or 60 FPS, along with HDR video recording with Dolby Vision.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: battery

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max start to show a little bit more of a difference when it comes to battery life and playback times. 

Both include a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery, offering MagSafe and Qi wireless charging capabilities. 

However, in terms of playback time, the iPhone 15 Pro claims up to 20 hours of streamed video playback and 75 hours of audio playback. In comparison, the beefier iPhone 15 Pro Max promises up to 25 hours of streamed video playback and 95 hours of audio playback. 

It seems only reasonable that the more expensive and larger Pro Max model of the iPhone 15 would offer more battery life and playback time.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: initial thoughts

The main upgrades offered by the Pro and Pro Max phones compared to the standard iPhone 15 are the additional camera lens, USB 3.0 connectivity, Apple's A17 Pro chip for faster computing, and improved battery life.

Until we have had the chance to sit down with both phones, it will be hard to discern a real winner between the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models. 

When choosing between the Pro and Pro Max phones, it'll really come down to what you plan to get out of your iPhone, and whether you're willing to sacrifice weighing your pocket down further in order to view movies and games on a larger display. 

We're looking forward to putting both models through their paces as part of our full reviews very soon.


All the details on the iPhone 15

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Plus:  the key differences for music and movies

iPhone 15 Pro includes a neat upgrade that should make movies look better

Staff Writer

Ainsley Walker is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied music journalism at university before working in a variety of roles including as a freelance journalist and teacher. Growing up in a family of hi-fi enthusiasts, this naturally influenced his interest in the topic. Outside of work, Ainsley can be found producing music, tinkering with retro tech, or cheering on Luton Town.