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iPhone 15 Pro Review: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!

October 24, 2023

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iPhone 15 Pro Review: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly!

The iPhone 15 Pro has arrived, and while some may argue that it doesn’t bring groundbreaking changes, it’s essential to understand that annual upgrades are not always about revolutionizing the smartphone world. Instead, it’s about addressing what’s wrong, making subtle improvements, and aiming for a bigger, more significant change over time. In this detailed review, we will dive into the professional aspects of the iPhone 15 Pro, focusing on the build, chip, camera enhancements, and the intriguing Action Button.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Key Features

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Key Features
CHIPSETApple A17 Bionic
New 6‑core CPU with 2 performance and 4 efficiency cores New 6‑core GPU New 16‑core Neural Engine
RAM(GB) 8 GB
STORAGE128, 256, 512, 1TB
DISPLAY6.1-inch, 2556 x 1179 pixels
FRONT CAMERA12MP
PRIMARY CAMERA48MP + 12MP + 12MP
BATTERYVideo playback
Up to 29 hoursVideo playback (streamed)
Up to 25 hoursAudio playback
Up to 95 hours
OPERATING SYSTEMiOS 17
COLOUR OPTIONSDeep Purple, Silver, Gold, Space Black
DIMENSIONS[L x W x D] 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65 mm
WEIGHT 174 grams

Pros and Cons

The iPhone 15 Pro has generated significant buzz since its release, and for good reason. Apple has a track record of producing high-quality smartphones, and the iPhone 15 Pro is no exception. In this review, we’ll dive into the device’s strengths and weaknesses, uncovering what makes it stand out in the ever-competitive world of smartphones.

The Good

  1. Impressive Performance: One of the standout features of the iPhone 15 Pro is its blazing-fast performance. Powered by Apple’s A17 Bionic chip, this phone handles multitasking, gaming, and resource-intensive apps with ease. It’s a true powerhouse.
  2. Stunning Display: The OLED Super Retina XDR display on the iPhone 15 Pro is a visual treat. With vibrant colors, deep blacks, and HDR support, it’s a joy for watching videos, playing games, or simply scrolling through social media.
  3. Camera Excellence: Apple continues to excel in smartphone photography. The iPhone 15 Pro boasts a versatile triple-lens camera system that delivers stunning photos and videos in various lighting conditions. The improved Night mode and ProRAW capabilities are a photography enthusiast’s dream.
  4. 5G Connectivity: As 5G networks become more widespread, the iPhone 15 Pro is future-proofed for faster data speeds and improved network performance. It’s a great choice for those who want to stay ahead in the world of mobile connectivity. 

The Bad

  1. Price Tag: The iPhone 15 Pro doesn’t come cheap. Its premium features are reflected in its premium price, making it a significant investment for most consumers.
  2. Battery Life: While the iPhone 15 Pro offers decent battery life, heavy users may find themselves reaching for the charger before the day is over. The power-hungry features and performance can drain the battery quickly.

The Ugly

  1. Noteworthy Camera Bump: The protruding camera bump on the back of the iPhone 15 Pro can make the phone wobble when placed on a flat surface. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing design choice, but it’s a trade-off for the powerful camera system.
  2. Lack of Headphone Jack: Apple continues to omit the headphone jack in its latest models, requiring users to rely on wireless headphones or the Lightning port for audio. Some users may find this inconvenient.

The iPhone 15 Pro is undeniably a top-tier smartphone with a lot to offer. Its exceptional performance, stunning display, and impressive camera system make it a worthy contender in the market. However, the high price tag and some design choices may give potential buyers pause. Ultimately, whether it’s the right choice for you depends on your priorities and budget.

The Build: Aesthetic and Ergonomics

Apple has made subtle yet noteworthy improvements to the build of the iPhone 15 Pro. The design maintains the iconic boxy look but introduces softening at the corners and a gentle curve at the edges of the front glass. The bezels are slightly slimmer, making the phone feel more compact. Notably, Apple has replaced the shiny stainless steel rails with a lighter, coated, and brushed titanium, resulting in a lighter and more manageable device. The introduction of new colors, like the natural titanium, adds a refreshing touch to the lineup. It’s an evolution, not a revolution, but these refinements accumulate over time, creating a noticeable difference when compared to older models.

USB-C: The Game-Changer

USB-C: The Game-Changer

The most significant change in the build of the iPhone 15 Pro is the introduction of USB-C. Apple has embraced this technology, which not only brings compatibility with a wide range of accessories but also simplifies charging. The ability to use a single charger for multiple devices is a game-changer. However, it’s important to note that this transition was partly driven by external factors, such as EU regulations. While some might have expected more innovation with USB-C, the primary pitch is the convenience of a single cable for everything. It’s a welcome change, but some users may have expected additional features or capabilities with this new port.

The A17 Pro Chipset: Power and Efficiency

The heart of the iPhone 15 Pro is its A17 Pro chipset, Apple’s first three-nanometer chip. This new powerhouse chip promises impressive performance gains, approaching the levels of the M1 chip. Compared to its predecessor, the A16, the A17 Pro offers a 10-20% boost in both CPU and GPU performance. While this increased power is valuable, its true potential is realized in specific tasks. The image signal processor enables fast and lag-free photography, making it a breeze to capture quick shots. The neural engine enhances Portrait Mode recognition and empowers users to convert regular photos into Portrait Mode shots. The USB 3 controller facilitates faster data transfer speeds, making it easier to offload ProRes footage and shoot directly onto an external drive. The A17 Pro chip is more than just raw power; it’s a toolbox of advanced features tailored to professional use.

Battery Life and Overheating: A Complex Scenario

The iPhone 15 Pro promises extended battery life with slightly larger batteries and a more efficient chipset. In controlled environments, it performs well, outlasting its predecessor on benchmarks. However, real-world usage tells a different story. Some users have reported inconsistent battery performance, with some days being exceptionally draining. The culprit might be the A17 Pro’s ability to draw power quickly in high-intensity scenarios, exacerbated by potential iOS 17 bugs. As updates roll out, we expect the battery life to stabilize, but for now, it remains a subject of concern.

Overheating is another issue that has surfaced sporadically. Surprisingly, it’s not always correlated with high-intensity activities like gaming or outdoor use. Some users have experienced overheating during seemingly light tasks. The exact cause remains unclear, but it might be linked to the A17 Pro’s ability to generate heat during specific functions.

The Cameras: A Glimpse into the Pro-Level Photography

The camera system of the iPhone 15 Pro is one of its standout features. With improvements in both hardware and software, it offers a compelling photography experience. The primary camera now boasts a 48-megapixel sensor, providing more detail without sacrificing file size. The new image processing pipeline combines a 48-megapixel full-sensor shot for detail and a 12-megapixel quad-binned shot for light and noise. The result is a 24-megapixel image with enhanced detail and lower noise. The ProRes support and Log shooting add professional-grade capabilities, allowing users to capture and edit high-quality video directly on the device.

The camera’s image quality is in line with Apple’s signature style, offering excellent dynamic range and sharpness. The rich contrast profile remains a popular choice, while the improved Macro Mode opens up creative possibilities. Autofocus is swift and accurate, especially when detecting faces. The larger sensor shines in low-light conditions, allowing for longer handheld exposures. While the difference in 24-megapixel images over 12-megapixel ones may not be noticeable in everyday use, it contributes to the iPhone’s long-term refinement.

The Telephoto Lens: A Zooming Experience

The iPhone 15 Pro Max takes the telephoto lens to the next level with a 5x larger telephoto lens. This addition enables greater zoom capabilities, extending from 15x to 25x. It’s a valuable feature for users who frequently shoot zoomed photos and videos, such as concertgoers. However, the substantial size of the telephoto lens restricts its availability to the Pro Max model, and it impacts the quality of 4x photos just before the 5x mark. While the larger lens enhances stabilization, other brands offer more extended optical zoom capabilities. The decision to include it depends on personal preferences and specific use cases.

The Action Button: Customization for Pros

The iPhone 15 Pro introduces the Action Button, designed to cater to professionals who seek customization. This customizable button replaces the seldom-used mute switch, offering users the ability to map it to various functions. It retains the same strong haptic feedback for easy identification in pockets. While the Action Button is a novel addition, its value varies depending on individual preferences. Some users may find it a game-changer, while others might consider it a nice-to-have feature.

Video Capabilities: The True Pro Experience

The iPhone 15 Pro’s video capabilities continue to set it apart from the competition. It excels in 4K 30fps video recording, offering exceptional detail, autofocus, dynamic range, and stabilization. The new Log shooting mode adds a professional touch, allowing users to capture footage with a flat profile for more extensive post-processing. The introduction of the AV1 codec support enhances compatibility with platforms like YouTube. The video quality of the iPhone 15 Pro remains unmatched in the smartphone market, making it an ideal choice for content creators and videography enthusiasts.

Image Quality and Competition

When it comes to image quality, the iPhone 15 Pro maintains Apple’s signature look. Its photos exhibit excellent dynamic range and sharpness, and the Smart HDR technology ensures consistent results. While some users may prefer more natural-looking photos, many appreciate the iPhone’s ability to enhance and optimize images. However, it’s essential to understand that the differences in image quality among various smartphones are increasingly driven by software enhancements, making it a matter of personal preference. The choice between the iPhone 15 Pro and its competitors ultimately depends on user taste and preferred user interface.

Verdict: Evolution, Not Revolution

In conclusion, the iPhone 15 Pro is a testament to Apple’s commitment to evolution rather than revolution. It refines the existing formula, addressing shortcomings and introducing subtle enhancements. The inclusion of the A17 Pro chip, USB-C port, and Log video shooting capabilities add to the device’s professional appeal. The camera system continues to deliver outstanding results, and the Action Button caters to users seeking customization. However, concerns about battery life and overheating need to be monitored as software updates are released.

The iPhone 15 Pro’s image quality remains excellent, although the differences among competing smartphones are increasingly determined by software optimizations. It’s important to choose a device that aligns with your preferences and usage patterns. Ultimately, the iPhone 15 Pro offers a solid package for those looking for a well-rounded, professional-grade smartphone.

In a world where annual smartphone upgrades are often questioned, the iPhone 15 Pro stands as a testament to the power of continuous improvement. As the incremental changes accumulate over time, they create a device that is undeniably more significant. The iPhone 15 Pro might not be a groundbreaking revolution, but it is undoubtedly a testament to the power of evolution.

Final Thoughts

iPhone 15 Pro is a powerhouse of a smartphone with remarkable strengths and a few shortcomings. Its camera capabilities, gorgeous display, and exceptional performance are praiseworthy. However, the high price and limited customization options might be deterrents for some buyers. The iPhone 15 Pro has already made waves in the tech world, and it’s undoubtedly a device to consider if you’re looking for a top-tier smartphone.

FAQs

Q: What are the main highlights of the iPhone 15 Pro?

A: The iPhone 15 Pro offers an impressive camera system, enhanced performance, a larger display, improved battery life, and advanced video capabilities, making it a top choice for tech enthusiasts.

Q: Is the iPhone 15 Pro suitable for gaming?

A: Absolutely! With its powerful processor and advanced graphics capabilities, the iPhone 15 Pro is perfect for gaming. It provides a seamless gaming experience with stunning visuals and smooth gameplay.

Q: Can I shoot high-quality videos on the iPhone 15 Pro?

A: Yes, the iPhone 15 Pro is designed for creators and videographers. Its advanced camera system allows you to capture professional-grade videos with high resolution, excellent dynamic range, and impressive stabilization.

Q: Will the iPhone 15 Pro be compatible with the iPhone 14 accessories?

A: While there may be some compatibility between certain accessories, it is recommended to check the official specifications and compatibility guidelines provided by Apple. Some newer technologies and design changes may require specific accessories designed for the iPhone 15 Pro.

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