iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max Fingers-On: Titanium Body, 5x Zoom Digital camera and Spatial Video


The iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max made their debut at Apple’s annual fall occasion on Tuesday. From the second I picked them up in a hands-on space contained in the Steve Jobs Theater, I might inform there have been some vital refinements in contrast with earlier Professional fashions. The iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max are made with titanium as an alternative of the chrome steel discovered on final yr’s iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max and, consequently, are noticeably lighter.

In recent times, Apple used its Professional telephones to push the envelope with tech advances, whereas conserving the usual fashions with the earlier yr’s tech, prone to cut back prices and incentivize upgrading to the pricier premium fashions. That is proved true with the usual iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, which get final yr’s 14 Professional perks. The iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max keep on this custom, and since rumors of an iPhone 15 Extremely had been unfounded, these are Apple’s most superior telephones but.


Watch this: iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max: First Look

The iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max have barely rounded edges, which feels higher in hand. Thoughts you I had about half-hour to attempt them out in a really crowded demo room, however the lighter weight and fewer cumbersome really feel left a constructive impression. The brand new Execs have thinner bezels for barely extra glass on the entrance display screen — that are nonetheless 6.1 inches for the iPhone 15 Professional and 6.7 inches for the iPhone 15 Professional Max.

As for colours, the iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max are available 4 metallic hues: conventional black and white titanium, in addition to a blue titanium and a “pure” titanium with a grey tone.

The iPhone 15 Professional begins at $999 (£999, AU$1,849), whereas the iPhone 15 Professional Max begins at $1,199 (£1,199, AU$2,199). Whereas the Professional Max is pricier than final yr’s $1,099 beginning worth for the iPhone 14 Professional Max, the brand new iPhone 15 Professional Max begins at 256GB, double its predecessor’s inner storage.

Preorders for the iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max begin on Friday, and the telephones will go on sale in Apple Shops and on-line subsequent Friday, Sept. 22.

Extra from the Apple occasion

As was rumored, the iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max have ditched the Lightning port for USB-C, for knowledge throughput at a pace of 10GB per second (the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus have additionally switched to USB-C). 

There’s additionally yet another new characteristic: an motion button that replaces the mute swap iPhones have had for years. By default, you’ll be able to lengthy press to mute or unmute. You may customise it to set off quite a few shortcuts like turning on the flashlight, recording a voice memo and even opening the digicam. As soon as the digicam app was open, I used the motion button as a bodily shutter button to take pictures. Jogs my memory a little bit of the Sony Xperia 1 V and its devoted {hardware} shutter button.


Watch this: Every part Apple Introduced at Its iPhone 15 Occasion

Higher cameras, higher zoom

The iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max have a 48-megapixel digicam with a bigger sensor. The pictures are 24 megapixels by default, and lidar scanning augments low-light and evening images. The telephones even have a 12-megapixel ultrawide digicam inherited from final yr’s iPhone 14 Professional.  

However the large characteristic this yr is healthier zoom, although just for the bigger premium cellphone. The Professional retains its predecessor’s 3x telephoto digicam (equal to a 77mm lens), whereas the Professional Max has a 5x optical zoom (equal to a 120mm lens) — a “tetraprism” design that refracts gentle a number of occasions to allow extra zoom throughout the iPhone’s compact body. After I tried the Professional Max’s new telephoto digicam out, it was eye opening what a distinction 5x remodeled 3x on the 15 Professional. I used to be even capable of digitally zoom to 25x magnification which is ridiculous for an iPhone.

An inside-the-phone look at the iPhone 15 Pro Max's camera assembly showing light entering through the lens and reflecting four times through a prism.

The iPhone 15 Professional Max has a telephoto digicam able to 5x optical zoom (equal to a 120mm lens) because of its “tetraprism” design.


Excessive-end Android telephones, most notably the Samsung Galaxy S collection, have had one thing related — periscope cameras — for years, although they use a design technique of stacking lenses throughout the cellphone’s body and utilizing a mirror to angle them out the again of the cellphone. The Galaxy S23 Extremely, as an example, has a periscope digicam able to 10x optical zoom. 

Apple can also be making an attempt to enchantment to extra professional photographers by including extra interstitial zoom steps within the digicam app’s interface. With the digicam app open, customers can faucet the 1x zoom button to modify between fashionable focal lengths — 24mm, 28mm and 35mm — and set one in every of them because the default focal size when opening the app.

Learn extra: iPhone 15 Professional Max ‘Tetraprism’ Digital camera Means Higher 5x Telephoto

The iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max cameras can even have expanded video capabilities, like vlog encoding, in addition to utilizing the sooner throughput speeds on USB-C cables to shoot and immediately switch pictures taken within the most sharpness Professional Uncooked format out of your iPhone 15 Professional to a Mac. It may additionally file video in ProRes format on to an exterior storage drive.  

The iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max get a forward-looking characteristic in spatial video seize, utilizing a number of cameras to take movies with depth that may be watched on an Apple Imaginative and prescient Professional AR/VR headset. Sadly, the characteristic will not be out till later this yr.


Watch this: What the iPhone 15 Professional’s Spatial Video Characteristic Means for the Imaginative and prescient Professional

Quicker processor, extra gaming

The iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max launch with the A17 Professional Bionic processor, a 3-nanometer chip that has 19 billion transistors for sooner efficiency. The brand new six-core GPU is as much as 20% sooner than the A16’s GPU and allows ray tracing. 

Apple has pushed cellular gaming in its iPhone launches for a few years, and this yr was no exception, as builders from Ubisoft and Capcom promoted full console variations for the iPhone of Murderer’s Creed Mirage in addition to Resident Evil 8 and Resident Evil 4 Remake, respectively. (The latter two confirmed to be coming to the iPhone 15 Professional later this yr, with Murderer’s Creed coming in early 2024.) Hideo Kojima’s Demise Stranding can also be coming to the iPhone 15 Professional.  

a17 on iphone 15 pro

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Whereas Apple pushed the iPhone 15 Professional’s cellular gaming potential, the A17 Professional silicon can even profit augmented actuality functions.

iPhone 15 Professional will launch with iOS 17 (which shall be accessible publicly when the telephones launch on Sept. 22), which introduces StandBy Mode that was previewed at WWDC 2023. It mainly transitions the cellphone to a extra passive mode at evening, displaying the time in outsized sort and app widgets. It prompts if you flip the cellphone sideways, however it’s meant for use when mounting the cellphone on a MagSafe stand, trying just like the world’s costliest alarm clock.


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