iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max Arms-On: Titanium Body, 5x Zoom Digicam 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 may inform there have been some important refinements in contrast with earlier Professional fashions. The iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max are made with titanium as an alternative of the stainless-steel discovered on final yr’s iPhone 14 Professional and 14 Professional Max and, in consequence, are noticeably lighter.

In recent times, Apple used its Professional telephones to push the envelope with tech advances, whereas protecting the usual fashions with the earlier yr’s tech, more likely to scale 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 it up 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 Professionals 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 in 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 value 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 Pro and Pro Max begin on Friday, and the telephones will go on sale in Apple Shops and on-line subsequent Friday, Sept. 22.

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

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


Watch this: Every little thing Apple Introduced at Its iPhone 15 Occasion

Higher cameras, higher zoom

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

However the large characteristic this yr is healthier zoom, although just for the bigger premium telephone. The Professional retains its predecessor’s 3x telephoto digital camera (equal to a 77mm lens), whereas the Professional Max has a 5x optical zoom (equal to a 120mm lens) — a “tetraprism” design that refracts mild a number of occasions to allow extra zoom throughout the iPhone’s compact body. After I tried the Professional Max’s new telephoto digital camera out, it was eye opening what a distinction 5x revamped 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 digital camera able to 5x optical zoom (equal to a 120mm lens) due to its “tetraprism” design.


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

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

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

The iPhone 15 Professional and Professional Max cameras may also have expanded video capabilities, like vlog encoding, in addition to utilizing the sooner throughput speeds on USB-C cables to shoot and immediately switch images taken within the most sharpness Professional Uncooked format out of your iPhone 15 Professional to a Mac. It may possibly 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 Function Means for the Imaginative and prescient Professional

Sooner 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 permits ray tracing. 

Apple has pushed cell 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 Dying Stranding can be coming to the iPhone 15 Professional.  

a17 on iphone 15 pro

Apple/Screenshot by CNET

Whereas Apple pushed the iPhone 15 Professional’s cell gaming potential, the A17 Professional silicon may also profit augmented actuality purposes.

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