The next big thing
The iPhone 15 Pro is now on the way, with loads of big updates over the previous model. New cameras, new material, new colors, and new features are all here — but how do they stack up to last year’s Pro iPhone?
- New titanium finish
- 3nm process A17 Pro chip
- Periscope lens camera
- More expensive
- Narrower color range
Last year’s news?
The iPhone 14 Pro was a great phone when it came out, and it remains an excellent phone to this day. It’s still a very powerful option for new iPhone buyers, but it has now been thoroughly outclassed by the iPhone 15 Pro.
- Will likely drop in price
- Wicked color options
- Still very powerful
- Isn't as powerful as the iPhone 15
The iPhone 14 Pro has been at the top of the Apple smartphone heap for roughly a year now, but it’s just been dethroned by the latest in Apple’s iPhone lineup — the iPhone 15 Pro. With a litany of new updates, features, and even a new look, the iPhone 15 Pro is the next generation of iPhone that refreshes more than last year’s model did over its predecessor.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t get an iPhone 14 Pro, even now that its predecessor is here. It may well get cheaper as the new device is released, and it's still got plenty of power where it counts. But that iPhone 15 Pro sure is a looker.
So, what happens when we put the two devices up against each other? Let’s find out.
With a history of (occasionally) cutting Apple journalism under her belt and a master's that was written on an aging MacBook Pro, Tammy has been an Apple fan for as long as she can remember, and an iPhone user for almost as long. This latest crop of iPhones is her current focus, and she's been working to make sure that you know which one you should be taking home.
iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro: Features and specs
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Perhaps you want to know what’s in the latest iPhone Pro model so that you’ve got the ultimate bragging rights when you show off your new phone to your friends, or perhaps you want to know what iPhone is genuinely the stronger of the two, and whether the spec bumps make it worth the upgrade. Either way, there are some wicked specs in both, and we’ve compared the two in a helpful graph just below:
|Specs||iPhone 14 Pro||iPhone 15 Pro|
|Display size||14 Pro: 6.1 inches | 14 Pro Max: 6.7 inches||15 Pro: 6.1 inches | 15 Pro Max: 6.7 inches|
|Capacity||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|Splash, water, dust resistance||IP68||IP68|
|Chip||A16 bionic chip, 6 core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core neural engine||A17 Pro chip, 6 core CPU, 6-core GPU, 16-core neural engine|
|Camera||48MP dual-camera system + TrueDepth front camera with autofocus, ƒ/1.5 aperture||48MP dual-camera system + TrueDepth front camera with autofocus, ƒ/1.5 aperture|
|Video||4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, Action Mode||4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, Action Mode|
|Safety||Emergency SOS via satellite, Crash Detection, Roadside Assistance via satellite||Emergency SOS via satellite, Crash Detection, Roadside Assistance via satellite|
|Location||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou, Digital compass, WiFi, Cellular, iBeacon microlocation||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou, Digital compass, WiFi, Cellular, iBeacon microlocation|
|Power and battery||Video playback: up to 20 hours, audio playback: up to 80 hours||Video playback: up to 20 hours, audio playback: up to 80 hours|
|Sensors||Face ID, Barometer, High dynamic range gyro, High-G accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Dual ambient light sensors||Face ID, Barometer, Three-axis gyro, Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor|
|Operating system||iOS 17||iOS 17|
The iPhone 15 Pro is undeniably the more powerful of the two devices, but we’d be slightly concerned if that wasn’t the case, given a year's worth of tech advancements going in. While there are some big upgrades with the RAM and the processor, it’s the camera and battery improvements that will most readily make an impression when you first start using the handset.
That’s not to say that the iPhone 14 Pro has been completely stomped on — it is still a potent device, with loads of power on tap. Just not quite as much as the new one.
iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro: What's new?
There have been a number of new features that have come to the iPhone 15 Pro, with some very cool extras when compared against last year's phone — and some interesting changes in the look of the device, too.
In place of the traditional mute and ringer switch, there's now a new button called the Action Button. It's been taken almost verbatim from the Apple Watch Ultra, and it's got some great uses on the iPhone 15 Pro. You can use it to launch the camera, or even custom apps with Shortcuts. It has extra haptic feedback so that you know that you've pressed it, and seems almost infinitely customizable. It's got great potential as an accessibility feature, too.
While the camera remains at 48MP, there are some other features that have been upgraded here. There is a much stronger image processor at its core, and there's a new style of zoom lens with Apple is calling the 'TetraPrism' lens. That bounces light around, and makes for some epic zooming possibilities — but you're only going to get it if you invest in the top-end iPhone 15 Pro Max. The iPhone 15 Pro does get a rather nifty update to the portrait mode, however, which will let you turn a landscape photo into a Portrait mode picture with bokeh effect after it's already been taken — whether it was taken as a Portrait shot initially or not.
Another pre-show feature that was rumored and proved to be true was Apple’s adoption of titanium for the chassis of the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, compared to the stainless steel shell present in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
There’s lots to love about this decision. Firstly, not only is titanium tougher than stainless steel, but it’s lighter too, and paired with the curvier design of the new Pro models, should result in a far more comfortable device when held in the hand. It also allows for the thinnest borders Apple has managed thus-far on its Pro device range.
Also, Apple’s gone the extra mile with the type of titanium used here. It’s a ‘Grade 5 titanium alloy’, a certain type of molecular compound that is so hardy it’s previously been used for the tough-as-nails Mars rover. So there’s a little bit of space-exploration design magic in your pocket. You’ll find the titanium iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in four striking colors — black, white, blue or a ‘natural’ metal finish, and each looks very ‘high-end’ indeed.
The long-rumored, EU-mandated jump to USB-C for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max has taken place, and honestly? We’re here for it.
Compared to the iPhone 14 Pro’s Lightning connector, there are many benefits to the new introduction of USB-C. For starters, it’s an almost universally adopted cable standard now, with pretty much Apple’s entire gadget range supporting it. So if you’ve got a newish Mac or iPad, you’ve probably already got a USB-C charger laying around, letting you power and data transfer across one cable for all your devices.
It also unlocks lots of possibilities that Lightning wasn’t capable of, such as 20x faster transfer speeds compared to Lightning thanks to the adoption of the USB-3 standard, the ability to charge devices like AirPods from your iPhone itself, and record video direct to external storage drives. It’s a win for your phone, and eventually a win for the planet too, as more devices can share fewer chargers, saving on e-waste.
iPhone 15 Pro vs 14 Pro: Processor
The iPhone 14 Pro last year was equipped with the A16 Bionic chip, the most powerful chip at the time to go into an iPhone. There is a big boost coming this year to iPhone 15 Pro, however, with the inclusion of the new 3nm product A17 Pro chip. This chip is not only more powerful, but it's more efficient too, which should lend it more staying power with a longer battery life, while also enabling high-end gaming experiences such as a full native port of Assassin's Creed Mirage. That's a AAA console title, giving you some indication of the potential GPU performance on display with this new handset.
iPhone 15 Pro vs 14 Pro: Color choice
With the new titanium finish, there are some different color choices than you’ll have found with the iPhone 14 Pro. Instead of Midnight, Starlight, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple, we’ve got Gray, Gray, More Gray, and Blue. These new colors are made to emphasize that stunning new titanium frame, and they look rather dashing while they’re at it.
We kid, but they are all variants of the titanium finish. The black option, called Black Titanium is a darker finish of gray, while the White Titanium is a much lighter grey. In the middle sits Natural Titanium, a nice mid-grey that shows the 'natural hue' of the Titanium.
These are completely different to the Stainless steel finishes of the iPhone 14 Pro, and they make the iPhone 15 Pro look a whole lot more premium.
iPhone 15 Pro vs 14 Pro: Battery life
The iPhone 14 Pro has a battery life that is fine — it will get you through the day, and not much more than that. The iPhone 15 Pro, on the other hand, wants you to have an iPhone that lasts longer, with more efficiency that comes from that less power-hungry A17 Pro chip.
Apple does still only say 'all-day battery life', however, so it might not be all that different after all. We'll have to put this one through real-world testing before we make a decision, but everything's pointing to the iPhone 15 Pro seeing an improvement.
iPhone 15 Pro vs 14 Pro: Which should you buy?
You don’t have to worry about rumors anymore — we know what the next iPhone looks like. We’ve got all the specs, we’ve got all the pictures, we’ve got everything we need to see how it compares to its older siblings. That will help you make a more informed purchasing decision, and let you know whether you’ll want to preorder one or not.
There have been some massive spec boosts with the A17 Pro chip, as well as that new zoom lens on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The titanium looks incredible, and the new color options look super premium to boot. It's not going to be a cheap phone, but there's no price hike on the $999 iPhone Pro, and only a $100 price increase with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, taking it to $1199. And that price bump isn't quite the whole story either, as the iPhone 15 Pro Max now starts at 256GB storage point, with $1199 being the same price as was set for that amount of storage in last year's 14 Pro Max.
Of course, you have to take into account that any iPhone 14 Pro Maxes around in retailers' store cupboards may receive discounts now, but given that you can get up to $1000 iPhone trade-in value at a bunch of different carriers for use against the new model, it might actually be cheaper to go with the new one.
If you want to get your mitts on one you're going to have to wait until Friday, September 15 for pre-orders that will ship out on September 22.
At the end of the day, however, if you want the latest iPhone or one that’s going to last you a long time, then there’s nothing better than the latest and greatest model.
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As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.
- Gerald LynchEditor in Chief