iPhone 15 Pro Review: A Look Beyond the Spec Sheet

iPhone 15 Pro Review: A Look Beyond the Spec Sheet

  • The iPhone 15 camera has the same specs as before but smarter software.

  • The titanium body gets all the attention, but the rounded edges deserve it too.

  • Why didn’t you get here sooner, USB-C?

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Iphone 15 Pro

The launch of a new iPhone is always an exciting event that the entire industry pays close attention to. With the release of the iPhone 15 in September 2023, there was both praise and controversy. Some users complained about issues such as overheating, no camera improvements, and poor battery life. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at these issues.

You can also read our iPhone 15 Pro Max review, where we analyze its new camera system in depth. Here, we’ll take a close look at the iPhone 15 Pro and compare it to the iPhone 14 Pro. While it may seem like there are few differences between the new and old models on paper, the new generation has several standout features that make it a worthy upgrade.

Index of contents (25)

iPhone 15 Pro specs



6.1-inch OLED display

2556x1179-pixel resolution

ProMotion (up to 120 Hz)

2,000 nits peak brightness

19.5:9 aspect ratio


5.77 x 2.78 x 0.32 inches

6.60 ounces


Apple A17 Pro


8 GB


128 GB/256 GB/512 GB/1 TB

Non-expandable storage


Main: 48 MP, f/1.78, sensor-shift optical image

Ultra-wide: 12 MP, f/2.2

3x Telephoto: 12 MP, f/2.8, OIS

4K @ 60 fps video recording


12 MP, f/1.9

4K @ 60 fps video recording


3,290 mAH


iOS 17



Wi‑Fi 6E

Bluetooth 5.3





Face ID



From $999

When You Thought It Couldn’t Get More Premium…

At first glance, the latest iPhone might look the same as its predecessors, with the camera module being the only noticeably bigger feature. However, some subtle changes make it stand out. For instance, it includes a screen that takes better advantage of the front and the Dynamic Island that was already present in the previous generation.

However, it’s a different story when you hold it with your own hands. While the phone’s body is still made of aluminum (100% recycled aluminum, to be precise), Apple uses the titanium bits present as a marketing selling point.

Besides the titanium body, it’s the textured and slightly rounded sides that get the spectacular grip.

Iphone 15 Pro

The 15 Pro includes a thin outer layer of titanium around the frames. As you can see in this JerryRigEverything video, Apple uses both aluminum and titanium in the phone, but the limited use of titanium is nevertheless a clear advantage. This gives the phone a tougher, aerospace-grade material that can handle bumps better than steel.

Titanium also makes the phone lighter. The noticeable change from steel to titanium means the Pro model now weighs 6.60 ounces (down from 7.27 ounces for the 14 Pro). At 5.77 inches and 6.60 ounces, the 15 Pro doesn’t feel “Pro” at all and has the ideal size for those who prefer smaller dimensions.

Iphone 15 Pro

The 14 Pro had a glossy finish on its edges, but the new generation uses a brushed material and a greater curvature at the ends. This makes it even more comfortable to hold without compromising on the premium feel. Another subtle change is the slight curvature of the screen, which is noticeable when the phone is used without a case.

The new phone’s panel is flat, but it curves a bit at the ends to blend in better with the titanium sides. The finish is more rounded, keeping similar shapes to the last generations. The perimeter is not as sharp as the last three generations, but it’s not as rounded as the iPhone 11 Pro. Moreover, it’s now easier to change the rear panel, making the operation cheaper if the glass breaks.

Iphone 15 Pro

Speaking of the back, the star of the show in terms of color is the Natural Titanium finish, but I have to admit I still prefer the blue option. Truth be told, it’s difficult to describe it as blue, as it looks black, gray, or blue depending on the light. But, although it’s not the worst we’ve seen, the blue back is more fingerprint-prone than the Natural Titanium finish.

The sides are also fingerprint-prone, but nothing we didn’t see on the glossy finish of previous generations. In any case, they do look a bit dirty on the blue finish. It’s normal to see stains after a while, but wiping them with a microfiber cloth makes them look as good as new (and the color stays intact). In fact, Apple has officially recognized this.

Iphone 15 Pro

There was some controversy about the color of the sides wearing off, but this only happens when you scratch them with something metallic, not with normal use. This is because Apple did not paint the titanium frame but used an anodizing process to permeate the color into the material.

Finally, the much-requested USB-C port is at the bottom. From a physical standpoint, there’s little difference between this port and the Lightning one. However, we can now charge the phone with any USB-C cable we already have at home and use USB-C accessories such as 3.5 mm jack adapters, card readers, or even HUBs with HDMI ports.

Action Button: I Didn’t Know How Much I Needed You

One of the major additions to this generation of iPhones is the Action button. Initially, rumors about this button replacing the mute switch made me a little apprehensive, as the Silent switch has been a staple feature since the inception of the iPhone.

Iphone 15 Pro

However, upon use, I realized that it’s just as comfortable to use. In fact, it offers many more possibilities than the Silent switch. In the Settings panel, there’s an Action button section that allows customization of the button’s functions.

These functions include:

  • Silent mode
  • Switch between Focus modes
  • Camera (with options for photo, selfie, video, portrait, or portrait selfie)
  • Turn the Flashlight on or off
  • Record a Voice Memo
  • Select a Shortcut
  • Apply an Accessibility feature such as the Magnifier app
  • Do nothing at all
Iphone 15 Pro

What I particularly appreciate about the Action button is that the functions are not predefined, and can be customized to the user’s preferences. For instance, I have set it to activate the camera, which I find more convenient than using the on-screen digital button. Whenever I take my phone out of my pocket, I press and hold the button, and the camera is ready to use. Moreover, the button also doubles as the camera shutter.

However, pressing and holding down the button is a problem for me, so I think Apple has wasted an opportunity here. To perform any action, you have to hold down the button, but that’s equal to one single press. It would’ve been great if a single, double, or triple press could enable separate functions.

Iphone 15 Pro

I don’t understand why we’re limited to those apps and functions. Why can’t we use it to open Safari or Notes, for instance? It can be done via Shortcuts, sure, but we’re still talking about Apple’s own apps here. I would find it very useful to have Safari there.

Maybe the answer is that these functions don’t require unlocking the phone to be used and, thus, do not compromise security. But this is no excuse. If we choose a shortcut to open Twitter using the Action button, we see that Apple has already thought about this and asks for facial recognition before launching the app. Therefore, I don’t understand why we can’t use it to open native apps by default, but we can do it through a shortcut.

Iphone 15 Pro

Moving on to more positive things, the response offered by the vibration is excellent. Although it’s a physical button and not a haptic one, as it was first rumored, the vibration that the iPhones have had since the introduction of the Haptic Engine is outstanding.

Honestly, I’m looking forward to Android manufacturers copying this button because it’s very, very useful. Sure, I would’ve also loved it if they copied OnePlus’ Alert Slider, but that never happened.


Iphone 15 Pro

We don’t typically review phone cases, and we usually just mention that a complimentary case comes in the box. There’s usually nothing special about them (although some are of good quality). As expected, the iPhone 15 Pro comes without a plastic screen protector or case.

However, Apple sent us one of its new cases–the FineWoven Case, priced at $59. If you're considering buying this phone, this accessory may interest you, so we thought it necessary to say a few words about it.

Iphone 15 Pro

The bottom line is that I love the feel, it fits the device perfectly, and, thanks to the flange on the front, it protects the cameras, sides, and screen. However, I still wouldn’t buy it.

This case is made of a more sustainable material than previous leather cases (which also peeled easily, especially in the brown color), but although the fabric is resistant, the case doesn’t give me the impression that it is.

Iphone 15 Pro

I usually treat every phone I review as if it were my own, and in this case, the same applies to the case. I haven’t mistreated it, touched it with dirty hands, left it roughly on the floor or on dry surfaces, or carried anything but my phone in my pocket. Yet, it has some marks of use that I don’t know how they got there.

Although I love the feel of the case, for that price, there are better options available. You can buy two cases from another manufacturer or even a combo case plus a tempered glass protector. We’ll have to wait and keep using it to see how it resists the passage of time, but the prospects aren’t good.

A Familiar Display That Still Shines

Iphone 15 Pro

We could copy the screen section from last year’s review and paste it into this year’s iPhone 15 Pro review, and nothing would change. Apple hasn’t made any improvements to the screen, and we don't know if they’ve made the panel more efficient. However, this isn’t necessarily a negative thing because the screen is still one of the best in the industry, especially in terms of brightness and brightness management.

The iPhone 15 Pro has a 6.1-inch panel, which is somewhat unusual in the premium smartphone range. It offers a 2,556 x 1,179 resolution and 461 ppi. Despite having the same diagonal as before, the display is slightly less tall and wide than the 14 Pro’s. This is due to a higher screen-to-body ratio.

Despite zero to none improvements, the display remains state-of-the-art thanks to a consistent and very high brightness at all points.
Iphone 15 Pro

According to GSMArena, the iPhone 15 Pro has a screen-to-body ratio of 88.2%, compared to the 87% of the previous generation. Is this noticeable? If you don’t have the iPhone 14 Pro next to you, then no. However, if you do have both phones next to each other, you’ll see the difference (sure, the 0.67-ounce difference is even more noticeable). The bezels are still symmetrical, making it one of the most premium-looking phones on the market.

The iPhone 15 Pro still uses an OLED LTPO panel with a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, Dolby Vision support, a typical brightness of 1,000 nits, and a maximum of 2,000 nits. Although we’ve seen phones with higher brightness, like the Xiaomi 13T Pro, this is achieved at a specific point on the screen and not across the entire panel or in a sustained manner.

Iphone 15 Pro

The iPhone 15 Pro does have a display with very high brightness that remains consistent across the screen, which makes it one of the best in the industry. This also means that you can view content with perfect clarity, even in direct sunlight.

However, during my camera test in 86-degree weather, I found that the phone heats up easily, causing the screen to automatically lower its brightness after about 30 minutes of using the camera outdoors. This is a way to protect against heat, but it can make it difficult to see the screen in extremely hot weather, particularly in areas where temperatures exceed 104ºF.

Iphone 15 Pro

Despite this drawback, the panel boasts impressive color reproduction with just the right amount of saturation, making it perfect for watching anime or enjoying photos taken with the phone’s camera. The screen is also super responsive to gestures, creating a fluid user experience.

Iphone 15 Pro

As for the Dynamic Island, which creates a larger top space for the screen, I have mixed feelings about it. While it offers some interesting features, such as a timer or a flashlight, I don’t use it much beyond that.

Punchy Sound

Iphone 15 Pro

Before I get into the device’s performance, I’d like to point out the impressive work done with the stereo speakers. In terms of sound quality and front placement of the speakers, the Sony Xperia 1 V is the phone to beat, but the iPhone 15 Pro is not far behind other premium phones on the market.

The speakers work very well, providing not only a high volume but also clear sound across the spectrum, with a punchy bass. The main speaker is located at the bottom, which adds warmth to the audio in certain songs and genres, but both are excellent.

If you have AirPods with spatial audio, you can enjoy an even better experience via Bluetooth. Additionally, one of the advantages of having a USB-C port is that you can connect a USB to a 3.5 mm jack adapter and listen to music with wired headphones.


Iphone 15 Pro

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room. We have some exciting news, but also some unfortunate news that we anticipated. As we know, Apple struggles with managing heat effectively in their devices.

However, the Apple A17 Pro is a true powerhouse that doesn’t suffer from overheating issues. It’s built by TSMC using the A16 Bionic architecture but in a 3 nm process. The CPU consists of 2 high-performance and 4 efficiency cores, while the GPU has 6 cores. It also features 16 Neural Engine cores from last year’s model, with an NPU that can handle 17 trillion operations per second, and 35 trillion per second for the bandwidth.

Iphone 15 Pro

The performance cores offer a higher clock speed than the A16, reaching 3.78 GHz, while the efficiency cores reach 2.11 GHz, up from the previous generation’s 2.02 GHz. According to Apple, the new GPU is 20% faster than the previous generation. It also comes with 8 GB of RAM, which is 2 GB more than the previous generation. All this means that the phone loads games quickly, multitasking is seamless, and it’s easily the most powerful smartphone available today.

This is a gaming beast with no overheating issues. Shooting in ProRes? Oh, boy, that’s a different story.

It’s been reported that Apple is aiming to enter the video game industry with its new SoC. As a result, popular console and PC games such as Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Death Stranding, Resident Evil 4, and Resident Evil Village will soon be available natively on the iPhone. This is an impressive feat, especially considering that the SoC includes hardware ray tracing support.

Iphone 15 Pro

However, it’s yet to be seen how the A17 Pro’s temperature will be managed, as it tends to heat up quickly. Before we discuss this in further detail, let’s take a look at the phone’s performance in synthetic tests.








Apple A17 Pro

Apple A17 Pro

Apple 16 Bionic

Apple 16 Bionic

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2


8 GB

8 GB

6 GB

6 GB

16 GB

16 GB


2,860 / 6,883 (6)

2,637 / 7,103 (6)

2,587 / 6,423 (6)

2,508 / 6,306 (6)

1,982 / 5,492 (6)

1,176 / 4,960 (5)









15,357 / 9,444

15,375 / 9,170

11,646 / 8,280

12,463 / 8,

13,926 / 12,788

14,250 / 11,186

Although these tests are only meant to serve as a reference, they provide interesting details that we can analyze. Ultimately, the real test is how the phone performs in everyday life and in games.

Now, let’s move on to the temperature.

iPhone 15 Pro’s temperature

Iphone 15 Pro

There’s an ongoing debate on social media about whether the iPhone 15 Pro gets hot or not. The answer is that it does, and depending on what you’re doing with it, it can get quite annoying. Most of the time, it’s a heat that you notice briefly and then forget about, but I’ve noticed it more when recording a clip at 4K@60fps or, oddly enough, when using Instagram.

My colleague Ricardo has also noticed the temperature rising on his 15 Pro Max when using Spotify and Chrome at the same time, but he hasn’t noticed anything when using Safari and Apple Music.

When it comes to gaming, Genshin Impact heats up the phone, but I haven’t noticed excessive temperature or performance drops. Call of Duty Mobile also works well. However, with Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis, the iPhone starts to warm up, and with Monster Hunter Now, it’s a disaster.

Iphone 15 Pro

Capcom’s game may not be pushing the graphical limits, but it does utilize various components such as the camera, GPU, CPU, and positioning systems. In addition, when playing outdoors, the ambient temperature can affect performance. Due to certain limitations with Apple devices, it’s difficult to measure some performance parameters. However, we can analyze the thermal throttling through the 3DMark stress test.

Iphone 15 Pro

The 3DMark stress test repeatedly runs a 3D scene to stress the GPU. The score is initially high due to the SoC’s consumption peak, but it can’t be sustained for long before thermal throttling kicks in.

Thus, the thermal throttling in the 3DMark stress test shows that the stability of the iPhone 15 Pro is 61.5%, which is lower than that of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and lower than that of the iPhone 14 Pro. The peak score is 15,357, which is higher than the previous generation’s 12,344. However, the A17 Pro drops to 9,444 points due to the new SoC’s higher power consumption.

Iphone 15 Pro

There was a significant drop in the performance of the A16 Bionic processor, up to 7,931 points. However, the A17 Pro still performs well above the last generation even after stabilizing from the initial peak. While Qualcomm does a better job at this, it’s not due to Qualcomm, but the Android manufacturers.

Android is introducing increasingly sophisticated passive dissipation systems with large vapor chambers. On the other hand, Apple has been relying on active dissipation by the cell phone’s body for generations.

However, this method is not enough, causing the phone to heat up more than usual during everyday situations like recording a video at 4K@60fps or playing a game. This issue should be reviewed for future models, especially considering that processors are becoming more powerful, and there’s a limit to consumption without compromising battery life.

Iphone 15 Pro

Despite experiencing throttling in the synthetic tests, the A17 Pro’s gaming performance is like no other. The combination of the SoC and the screen is a joy to play with.

I did notice that the phone was throttling during a ProRes continuous recording test. After recording for 20 minutes, the temperature of the phone reached around 113ºF. When I tried to open the Photo Gallery to view the photos I had taken, I found that they were all blurry and the gallery would freeze. Although I could access X and Telegram without any problem, I had to wait for a few seconds until the temperature of the phone dropped to normal before I could open a photo normally. This is an extreme case, but it’s something that content creators should keep in mind.

Overheating can limit performance or drastically reduce the brightness of the screen, which could be a big problem in summer.

In terms of hardware, one noticeable improvement is the cellular signal. I go to a store where there’s very bad phone reception, even when using the 14 Pro.

Iphone 15 Pro

However, with the iPhone 15 Pro, I can still get three bars and check something online (albeit with very slow charging times). Although it’s not perfect, it’s a significant improvement from previous models.

This is because it uses the new Snapdragon X70 modem, which is also used in the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Xiaomi 13 Pro. This modem, along with Apple’s antenna distribution improvements, has made a noticeable difference in the phone’s performance.


Iphone 15 Pro

Life is going on as usual and Apple is still focusing on Face ID. While some people would prefer a capacitive fingerprint sensor (which has been introduced on some iPads but Apple is reluctant to bring to the iPhone), the facial recognition system works very well.

It’s fast and the angles from which it catches your face are very generous. It’s still the best facial recognition system, and it’s also the reason Dynamic Island exists. Whether or not the notch bothers you (in my case, it doesn’t), it’s clear that Apple has to hide the various Face ID sensors somewhere.

USB-C, Nice to See You Here

Iphone 15 Pro

The cable that comes with the iPhone 15 Pro has a woven design, which is nice to see, but uses USB-C 2.0 even though the phone itself supports USB 3.2. This means that the cable that comes in the box may not be the best option for transferring data or charging the phone. Manufacturers often include lower-quality cables than what the phone can support.

The USB-C 2.0 cable that comes with the phone can transfer data at 480 Mbps, while the USB-C 3.2 cable, which is sold separately, can transmit data at a faster rate of 10 Gbps. The Pro models are compatible with the USB-C 3.2 standard because Apple had to introduce it due to European law, and the A16 Bionic was not powerful enough.

If you need to transfer data quickly or mirror your iPhone screen to a TV or monitor, it’s recommended that you purchase a USB-C 3.2 cable, as the cable that comes in the box may not be sufficient. A USB-C 3.2 cable is also necessary to connect an Xbox Series X controller or PlayStation 5 Dualsense to the phone.

Iphone 15 Pro

Additionally, if you want to record in ProRes HDR format, which takes up a lot of storage space, you can connect an external SSD to the phone with a USB-C 3.2 cable.

iOS 17, or How to Smartly Integrate AI Technology

When we talk about an iPhone’s software, we’re basically talking about half of the experience (maybe even more) and one of the fundamental aspects of Apple. iOS 17 has brought new features, but the one that stands out the most to me is the new Camera and Photos apps.

Iphone 15 Pro

The Photos app has undergone significant improvements thanks to the inclusion of more advanced AI. In addition to the usual photo information (such as lens, format, and shooting parameters), we now have the ability to recognize both faces and pets and create separate albums for each. The recognition feature works very well, and in my tests with plants and dogs, it has been very accurate.

Iphone 15 Pro

Furthermore, we can now create stickers from cropped images and use them in iMessage and WhatsApp. Unfortunately, this feature is not available natively on Telegram, but we can still save the stickers as PNG images and use them in the app.

Although this is not exclusive to the iPhone 15 and can be done in previous generations, one of the best things about iOS 17 is that we can easily change the focus point in photos taken in Portrait mode.

Iphone 15 Pro

We can also adjust lens aperture, brightness, contrast, crop images, and apply various filters to Portraits. Additionally, iOS 15 comes with new features such as improved AirDrop, contact cards, and a Health app with new features for mental care. However, the Journal app is not included in the iPhone 15, which is disappointing.

The Desktop mode is another new feature that automatically activates when we place the iPhone on a charging dock in landscape orientation. It allows us to view various widgets such as photos, contacts, and clocks and even use the phone as a full-screen digital photo frame. However, I didn’t find myself using this feature regularly.

Iphone 15 Pro

The iPhone 15 has an Always-on Display, and while I like Apple’s version, I still prefer the Android version because it’s more battery-friendly, which is something the iPhone 15 Pro can’t really brag about.

Lastly, I haven’t experienced any battery drain, instability, lockups, or other issues while writing this review on iOS 17.0.2. In my opinion, the iPhone 15’s software experience is as expected for this price.

All-Day Battery Life

Now’s time to talk about the iPhone 15 Pro’s battery life, which is always an incredibly subjective topic. It varies depending on the user’s habits, such as the time spent outside, whether you’re connected to Wi-Fi or 5G, usage of Always-On Display, or the battery charge limiter introduced with this generation.

Iphone 15 Pro

Although Apple doesn’t provide official data, 3D Mark indicates that the iPhone 15 Pro has a battery capacity of 3,290 mAh. This is relatively low for the current range standards, especially considering the power of the SoC and the brightness of the screen. In comparison, the 14 Pro had a battery capacity of 3,200 mAh.

I got between 5:30 and 6:30 hours of screen time, an amazing figure considering its 3,290 mAh battery. However, this would change had I used the new 80% Limit feature.

However, based on my tests, the screen time of the iPhone 15 Pro ranges between 5:30 and 6:30 hours. The usage time depends on how you use it and whether you play games, take pictures, or have a below-average use. On the day with the longest runtime, the phone lasted for 6.5 hours without charging, from 7:17 a.m. on Tuesday until 1 p.m. the next day.

It’s important to consider the type of cable used before discussing charging times. As we mentioned before, the cable that comes with the device is not as powerful as others available for purchase, and charging times can vary as a result. To compare, we tested the charging times with the USB-C 2.0 cable that comes in the box and the Thunderbolt 4 cable.

When using a Power Delivery charger of 87 W, the charging times were as follows:

  • 10 minutes: 22%
  • 20 minutes: 36%
  • 30 minutes: 49%
  • 40 minutes: 62%
  • 50 minutes: 74%
  • 60 minutes: 80%
  • 70 minutes: 80%
  • 80 minutes: 86%
  • 90 minutes: 92%
  • 100 minutes: 93%
  • 110 minutes: 98%
  • 113 minutes: 100%

And these were the charging times with a Thunderbolt 4 cable:

  • 10 minutes: 23%
  • 20 minutes: 44%
  • 30 minutes: 63%
  • 40 minutes: 75%
  • 50 minutes: 82%
  • 60 minutes: 89%
  • 70 minutes: 95%
  • 80 minutes: 98%
  • 90 minutes: 99%
  • 92 minutes: 100%
Iphone 15 Pro

Recently, there’s been a debate about whether Android mobile cables or non-Apple cables can overheat the phone excessively because their pins are aligned differently than the Apple cable.

While we can’t compare the inside of the cables with a microscope, we used a laser thermometer to measure the temperatures on the back of the iPhone 15 Pro while charging with both cables. The results were interesting.

With the USB-C 2.0 cable, the temperatures were as follows:

  • Up to 50% - around 106º
  • From 50% to 80% - around 100º
  • From 80% to 100% - around 102º

With the Thunderbolt 4 cable, these were the temperatures registered:

  • Up to 50% - around 100º
  • From 50% to 80% - around 90º
  • From 80% to 100% - around 88º

In the first charging phase, where the temperature with a Thunderbolt 4 cable is around 100º, the device can get a bit warm, but it never gets too hot to trigger the Charging On Hold alert iPhone users can get due to overheating. It also doesn’t feel uncomfortably hot to hold when you need to pick it up to answer a message on Telegram or WhatsApp.

While the device’s back and screen get warm during charging, the sides remain cool. However, when using the cable that comes with the device, it tends to get a bit hotter while charging up to 50%. In fact, it gets hotter in all three charging phases compared to when using a Thunderbolt cable.

I would like to bring up an issue I faced while using the cable provided in the box. When my iPhone’s battery level reached 80%, I saw a message in the Battery settings that indicated charging had stopped due to the iPhone’s high temperature.

I was surprised by this since the hottest area on the device at that time was around 99º, which was not the highest temperature recorded. The only thing I can think of is that the official cable might carry a controller to detect excess heat and automatically apply the protocol, but this is just speculation. What’s certain is that the charging times and temperatures mentioned above are accurate.

Interestingly enough, the hottest area during charging is where the SoC is located. This means that the USB-C 3.2 controller is doing its job. However, between 50% and 80% charge, the charging slows down and the temperature decreases. After 80% charge, the charging becomes even slower and the temperature remains steady.

Fast charging often follows a similar pattern, with a quick ramp up to 50% charge and a slower increase after that. On the 2024 iPhones, there’s an option to limit charging to 80% to extend the battery life.

However, with the iPhone 15 Pro’s 3,290 mAh battery, it’s unclear whether limiting charging to 80% is necessary. The iPhone 15 Pro Max may be a different story.

Iphone 15 Pro

Regardless of the charging speed, the USB-C port is a great addition to iPhones. It allows users to charge all their devices with just one cable, which is a significant improvement compared to previous models. Additionally, the 15 Pro’s wireless reverse charging feature can also charge AirPods, although they still require a Lightning cable.

Cameras: No changes on Paper, an Improvement in Real Life

Iphone 15 Pro

With everything I’ve discussed so far, I believe the iPhone 15 Pro review is only halfway complete. The camera plays a crucial role in the iPhone experience, and this model has made significant improvements in several aspects.

Interestingly, all these improvements are the result of software updates. The camera setup is quite similar to the previous generation, with the exception of a wider aperture in the telephoto lens.

Here’s what we're working with:

  • Main: 48 MP, f/1.78 aperture, 2.44-micron pixels, 24 mm focal length, second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization
  • Telephoto: 12 MP, f/2.2 aperture, one-micron pixels, 3x / 77 mm optical zoom, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 12 MP, f/2.2 aperture, 1.4-micron pixels, macro function
  • Front: 12 MP, f/1.9 aperture, autofocus
Iphone 15 Pro

While the sensors and lenses remain the same, the treatment has been improved to minimize reflections in challenging low-light conditions. However, there are still some issues with flares, which I will discuss in more detail later.

Camera app

Before we proceed with reviewing the photographic capacities of the phone, it’s worth noting that the app remains as stable as ever. The app’s interface is still minimalist and easy to use, with the main options located in the carousel at the bottom of the screen, and additional options accessible via the arrow at the top of the screen, such as timers or different photographic styles. The app also provides easy access to both ProRes and ProRAW, with several digital buttons on the screen.

Iphone 15 Pro

The app remains the best at calculating HDR in real time, providing a preview that allows you to clearly visualize the photo that’ll be saved in the Gallery. However, I’ve noticed that in situations where HDR has to work intensively, the app struggles to calculate high or low lights. But with the A17 Pro, I find that it’s not an issue. It’s still the same old Camera app, but it gets the job done.

It's worth noting that many of the resolution options and format changes are made not from the Camera app but from the Camera section in Settings. However, there’s a little trick in the ProRAW Max button: if you press and hold it, you can choose between ProRAW Max (48 MP), ProRAW (12 MP), HEIF Max (48 MP, but processed). It’s not recommended to use the HEIF Max mode due to difficulties in calculating the JPG.

7 Cameras in One

Iphone 15 Pro

Let’s talk about the cameras on the iPhone 15 Pro. Apple claims that it has 7 cameras, but in reality, it only has 3. The other 4 are achieved through digital zoom with cropping of different areas of the main sensor. While this technique provides excellent quality, it’s not entirely true that it’s like having 7 cameras.

But first things first–these are the 7 cameras on the new iPhone:

  • Macro
  • Wide lens, 13 mm
  • Main (1x), 24 mm
  • Main (1.2x), 28 mm
  • Main (1.5x), 35 mm
  • Main (2x), 48 mm
  • Telephoto, 77 mm
Iphone 15 Pro

Out of the three cameras, the 2x zoom camera is one of the best on any phone. It may not be a real telephoto, but it still delivers impressive results.

I still don’t understand why the Pro and the Pro Max models have different camera setups.
Iphone 15 Pro

The 2x zoom is achieved by cropping the sensor, and it uses the central part of the sensor with 12 MP to capture photos. The lens aperture and the size of the megapixels add to the overall photo quality. Even for videos, the 2x zoom is excellent and better than the optical 3x.

While I agree that the 2x zoom delivers optical quality, I don’t think the 1.2x and 1.5x zooms do the same. Although the photos have high resolution and processing, they’re not a crop of the sensor, nor do they meet the conditions to be considered offering “optical” quality. What do I mean by this?

For example, when I shoot at 2x, the photo resolution is 12 MP, which is what you’d expect. However, when I analyze the 1.2x and 1.5x photos, the resulting file is 24 MP.

Iphone 15 Pro 1x

It seems that there could be some cropping, but the resulting file should be smaller. If the original image is 24 MP, it means that digital scaling is applied afterwards. Thus, both the 1.2x and 1.5x modes are essentially digital zooms. Despite this, the sensor’s high resolution ensures that images taken in these modes have sufficient quality to be shared on social media or printed and saved for later.

If you don’t see the additional modes in the Camera app, you can access them by clicking several times on the 1x mode. By default, the Camera app switches between the available focal points when you tap on the 1x mode. However, you can change this setting in the Camera app’s settings to always show the additional modes.

Iphone 15 Pro 1x, 1.2x and 1.5x

This is a nice feature that allows you to choose the focal points you prefer. For example, you can set the Camera app to display 0.5x, 1.5x, 2x, and 3x modes instead of the default 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 3x modes. This is a great addition, as it ensures that users are aware of all the available options.

24 MP

One of the new features of this generation is that the automatic mode now allows you to shoot photos at either 12 or 24 MP, with the latter resolution being the default setting.

The A17 Pro’s power is evident in its ability to produce a 24 MP photo with processing and HDR that are almost identical to those of the automatic mode in 12 MP.

Iphone 15 Pro Left: 24 MP; right: 12 MP.

The camera combines underexposed and overexposed 12 MP photos to create a single 24 MP image. Our tests have shown that the resulting image has superior detail compared to 12 MP images. Last year’s sensor was criticized for producing photos with a lack of sharpness, but this is no longer the case, and good HDR is still maintained.

In fact, one of the most significant changes in the camera this year is HDR, which brings out detail in areas where other mobiles often show a burn-in area. Even the iPhone 14 Pro did this in certain parts of an image when it had to prioritize detail in the dark areas of the focused area.

Iphone 15 Pro Left: 24 MP; right: 12 MP. Pushing it.

Certainly, the shooting speed of the camera still remains fast, making it a perfect point-and-shoot camera. The latest HDR improvement has also been implemented in the iPhone 14 Pro through iOS 17. However, the result on the iPhone 15 Pro is even better, thanks to the new ISP of the A17 Pro.

If I had to choose between the 24 MP and 12 MP options, I would go with 24 MP for the level of detail it offers, despite the fact that in certain specific situations, shooting in 12 MP is still optimal due to pixel binning. Nonetheless, the difference in processing is minimal, and I would prefer the natural sharpness of the images, without any artificial effect.

Iphone 15 Pro Photographic Styles used in the 24 MP main lens.

In fact, when you zoom in and look at the edges, you can notice that they are more natural, although this effect is also visible with the telephoto lens. Some photos still show a lighter perimeter, which indicates heavy use of HDR, but this effect is not present in most cases. Instead, what we have are sharp edges that look natural and not artificial.


If I had to choose just one standout feature from this year’s iPhone cameras, my money would be on the automatic Portrait mode. In fact, the Portrait button has lost its meaning for me because as soon as I point any of the cameras at a person, dog, or cat, Portrait mode activates by default. Well, it’s a bit more complex than that.

Rather than automatically switching to Portrait mode, the iPhone captures all of the scene’s information, allowing us to choose in the Gallery whether we want to keep the picture as is (with everything in focus or a natural bokeh blur) or activate Portrait mode.

Iphone 15 Pro

When we activate Portrait mode, we can select the focus point and change any parameter just as we would with a photo shot directly in Portrait mode. However, we don’t have to choose between the two because we have both options available.

Where is this feature useful? Well, it depends on the individual. Personally, I spend a lot of time taking pictures of my dogs and cats. With other mobile phones, I usually take a few portrait shots and a few automatic shots and then choose the one I like best. However, with the iPhone, I can take one or two photos, knowing that I have both Portrait and automatic options available at the same time.

Iphone 15 Pro 1x Portrait

The iPhone’s automatic Portrait mode works very accurately with the 1x, 2x, and 3x digital ranges. I must admit that I will have a hard time getting used to not having this feature when we give the phones back.

Apple claims that the feature only works for animals and people. However, interestingly, on one occasion, the iPhone also activated the feature when it detected a noticeable depth in the scene, such as this street sign.

Iphone 15 Pro 1x

I took this photo to illustrate HDR, but it turned out to be a perfect example of the automatic Portrait mode. I was surprised by its creative potential.

However, I must caution that not all similar photos will activate the feature. If you want to be sure of getting that blur effect, it’s best to activate portrait mode manually.

Iphone 15 Pro 3x Portrait
Iphone 15 Pro 3x Portrait detail

The Portrait mode cropping has improved in this generation, especially in how interprets hair and gaps between the subject and background. However, the biggest Portrait mode improvement has to be in the 5x, which, unfortunately, this model does not have as it’s exclusive to the Max model.

ProRAW and 48 MP

Iphone 15 Pro ProRAW, 24 MP and 12 MP

ProRAW is a format that should only be used if you’re going to take advantage of its benefits. Otherwise, you’ll end up with photos that are heavy in size (up to 100 MB) and do not offer significant improvements unless you process them.

While ProRAW does offer a DNG file with a lot of information, you should be clear about what you want to process before using it. Shooting in ProRAW allows you to capture photos at both 12 and 48 MP, using 100% of the sensor. However, if you shoot in this mode to have giant images, you should know that HEIF also offers a 48 MP mode.

Iphone 15 Pro ProRAW, 24 MP and 12 MP

As we’ve mentioned before, shooting in HEIF Max at 48 MP results in a heavier file with less refined processing, and the same highlight problems that are observed in ProRAW. The difference is that, in HEIF Max at 48 MP, the highlights can’t be recovered.

2x “Lossless” Zoom

Iphone 15 Pro 2x

Although I’ve already shared several examples of photos taken with the 2x mode, there’s something that needs to be addressed. While I enjoy taking pictures of streets, food, and portraits with the 2x mode, it’s important to note that this is still a crop that simulates the “zoom” effect that we’d have with a 2x optical lens. However, it can’t simulate the perspective that we’d have with an actual one.

This is because the 2x mode is really a 24 mm lens and not a 48 or 50 mm lens. With a 2x optical lens, we’d have a greater compression effect. Nonetheless, the 2x mode remains one of my favorite focal lengths in any phone.

Iphone 15 Pro 56 2x

In fact, I believe that all phones with very good sensors should implement this feature across all models. For instance, if a phone has a 1x and a 5x lens, creating a 2x mode with a sensor crop instead of a digital zoom would be an excellent idea and ultimately beneficial for the user.

3x Optical Zoom

There isn’t much to say about the 3x camera beyond the HDR improvements that we’ve discussed earlier. Although it’s brighter and produces more natural blurs in certain photos, it’s essentially the same camera as last year.

Iphone 15 Pro 3x, 5x, 10x and 15x

Again, it’s unfortunate that Apple has decided to differentiate the Pro models solely by their screen size and battery. They did this with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Max but seemed to understand that it wasn’t acceptable with the following two generations. However, they’re now back to doing it again.

In some situations, I prefer to use the 2x camera and get a little closer to the subject rather than switching to the 3x. However, I must admit that the 3x, which is equivalent to 77 mm, does have the compression effect that I mentioned earlier and was missing in the 2x.

By compression, I mean the optical perception when shooting with a telephoto lens, which brings together the different dimensions of an image. It creates a more natural look in portraits with 3x, as it deforms the faces less, giving them more natural proportions than when shooting with 1x or 2x.

Iphone 15 Pro 3x

However, I feel that the optical 5x should have been included in the iPhone 15 Pro as well. You can go up to 15x digital, but it may render better or worse depending on what you photograph. While some photos with 15x may look great on the phone’s screen or social media, others may lack texture when viewed on a computer.

The 5x digital zoom can be used with no big issue, but I don’t like that clicking on the 3x doesn’t activate it. You need to pinch the screen to access those digital ranges, which can be tricky to get right. Nonetheless, the 15x zoom is useful in certain circumstances, and the 5x digital zoom is remarkable, provided there’s enough light.

Wide lens

Iphone 15 Pro Wide lens

While the 15 Pro’s telephoto might be similar to the 14 Pro’s, the wide lens is exactly the same. The only difference here is some HDR improvements, although some of them are also present in the 14 Pro thanks to iOS 17.

Iphone 15 Pro Wide lens and detail

While the lens is good, it’s not the best quality in the premium range. In optimal lighting conditions, it can be a fun camera, but the quality drops noticeably in low light.

Despite this, it’s still a decent option for macro photography. When you get close to an object at 1x, the wide lens automatically activates, and, personally, I feel the results are solid, with good lighting and a stable hand.

Iphone 15 Pro Macro

However, it’s not comparable to the telemacro lens of phones like the POCO F3, but it’s better than the 2 MP and 5 MP macros that many mid-range phones boast about.

Night Mode

The camera system of the iPhone is designed to adjust itself according to the lighting conditions. When the light is scarce and Night mode is activated, photos are automatically taken at 12 MP, regardless of whether the 24 MP mode is enabled.

Iphone 15 Pro 1x and 3x

This is because the system reduces the megapixels by half to capture better photos in low-light conditions. With the size of the sensor and the aperture, the iPhone camera can take pictures even in unfavorable lighting conditions without activating Night mode.

The results are very natural both when using the 1x and the 2x mode. However, when using the 3x mode, the iPhone may struggle to bring out details in low light. Similarly, the wide-angle lens is not ideal for low-light photography.

Iphone 15 Pro 1x and wide lens

Although the new lens coating has reduced flares and glares, they’re still visible, especially at night. To further improve the camera's performance, it would be great to see glass elements in the lenses with a coating like the ones used by Leica or Zeiss.


Iphone 15 Pro

The selfie camera has undergone some improvements, particularly in Portrait mode with better calculation of elements such as stray hairs. Although it blurs some of them, the HDR has also improved. However, it’s not yet perfect as it tends to burn some areas.

Iphone 15 Pro

The front camera also features an automatic Portrait mode, which is a great addition. In some examples, however, it tends to make the skin appear more pink or magenta than it actually is.


In my opinion, iPhones have been the best mobiles for recording videos for quite a few generations now. The colors look natural, the focus is fast and responsive, and I appreciate how well it applies the scene and stabilization.

The quality of the video is incredible with 1x and 2x zoom, and even with 3x zoom, it’s still great as long as the lighting is good. The wide lens has excellent stabilization due to its focal length.

This generation has all the great features of the previous one, but it also has some improvements. For instance, we can now record in LOG format, which is a very flat profile that we can edit later in postproduction. Additionally, we can record in ProRES at 4K@60fps as long as an external storage system is connected via USB-C.

Although we can record internally in 4K@30fps, the file sizes are quite large. I tested it by recording 20 minutes in ProRes and the result was a file size of 100 GB, which is quite significant.

We can switch between all cameras in 4K@60fps, and the transition between them is excellent. However, at night, the detail suffers greatly, and reflections and light scattering also increase.

Lastly, I’d like to mention the Action Mode. It’s still present at 2.8K resolution, but it was a missed opportunity not to increase the resolution or at least improve the sensitivity. The image quality is the best when the lighting is perfect, but as soon as it drops a little, the image becomes too dark.

iPhone 15 Pro: Xataka’s Take

Iphone 15 Pro

We’ve reached the end of our iPhone 15 Pro review. Although it was considered a continuation of previous models, it surprised us with its exceptional hardware and software.

The USB-C port is a great addition, particularly for content creators, and the new Apple A17 Pro processor is incredibly powerful. However, it does tend to get hot due to Apple’s lack of attention to heat dissipation, and it has a high peak power consumption.

The battery life seems to be adequate for this particular model, and the cameras perform well in any situation. The improvements made to the HDR and automatic Portrait modes make it a worthwhile upgrade from the iPhone 13 Pro or earlier models, especially if you don’t want the larger size of the Pro Max.

Although the 15 Pro may not have the flashiest display, it’s a great example of why reviewers shouldn’t focus only on the spec sheet.

If you already own an iPhone 14 Pro, it’s probably best to hold off on upgrading for at least a year. In particular, it’s worth waiting for the iPhone 16 Pro to see if they introduce the same cameras as the Max model. However, if you do decide to upgrade now, the iPhone 15 Pro is one of the best phones on the market.

Interestingly, the iPhone 15 Pro is now more affordable than many of its premium rivals, so it’s no longer just a status symbol.


Design 9,25
Screen 9,5
Performance 9,25
Camera 9,75
Software 9,5
Battery 8,5

In favor

  • Camera improvements thanks to the software.
  • New titanium finish makes it even more premium.
  • iOS 17 runs smoothly, and the AI integration is great.


  • Display is exactly the same as the previous generation.
  • Heating issues in certain contexts.
  • 3x zoom is okay, but 5x zoom shouldn’t be exclusive to the Pro Max.

Note: Some of the links published in this article are affiliate links, which means Xataka On may earn a commission for purchases made using those links. Despite this, no brand or store has paid to have their products featured in this piece. All products are chosen independently by our writers and editors.

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