- Excellent performance
- Lighter than the previous model and nicer to hold
- USB-C connectivity
- Newly added Action button
- 5x optical zoom
- Too big
|Launch price (RRP)||$2,199|
Would we recommend the iPhone 15 Pro Max?
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is hands down an excellent smartphone and there's very little to fault. However, it's not for everyone. Let me explain why.
The phone doesn't break any technological barriers with astounding features if you're comparing it to its predecessor. However, there are still some meaningful upgrades like the introduction of the USB-C port, the phone weighing 19 grams lighter, the convenience of an Action button and a very cool gaming experience.
It's just that the price tag may not justify upgrading if you currently own one of the more recent iPhone models – especially the iPhone 14 Pro Max – just for these refinements.
The good stuff: Design
Although the overall design aesthetic of the iPhone 15 Pro Max remains unchanged from its predecessor, it's not until you hold it that you'll admire the subtle improvements.
The titanium frame is sleek looking and makes the handset 19 grams lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The edges are curved so you're able to hold it a lot more comfortably.
This is important given the 6.7-inch display makes the iPhone 15 Pro Max a hefty handset to hold. I prefer the iPhone 15 Pro just because it's smaller but that's a personal preference. You might prefer the bigger screen for a better streaming or gaming experience.
You also have a new port of entry. Apple finally ditched the Lightning cable for USB-C. The Pro Max also gets USB 3 support which features faster data transfer.
Now I'll give Apple credit for introducing the Action button. Is it mind-blowing? No. Does it beat the mute switch 10 times over? Absolutely. You can basically long press the Action button to launch the camera, voice recorder, notes and more. Things get more interesting when you tap into custom shortcuts where you can assign 2 shortcuts. You'll need to press the Action button in quick succession to enable shortcut number 2.
If you're after a phone with a pop of colour, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will disappoint. Its subdued colour range includes neutrals like Natural Titanium, Black Titanium, Blue Titanium and White Titanium (the colour of the phone I tested).
Again, if you normally put a phone cover on like me, the neutrals shouldn't bother you.
The good stuff: Camera
If you're viewing the iPhone 15 Pro Max from a brand new lens you'll be stoked with the camera quality. If you're coming from an iPhone 14 Pro Max, you won't notice the changes until you start taking specific shots.
The 5x optical zoom is a welcome upgrade though this might not be enough for some people.
The 48MP main camera now defaults to 24MP shots instead of 12MP so your images are far more detailed.
There are also fewer flares and reflections while shooting and the colours come out so, so well. If you're shooting in nature you'll be stoked.
A funky new feature across the full iPhone 15 line-up is its ability to capture depth information. If you've taken a picture of a person, cat or dog, it can now convert into portrait mode.
I'm personally biassed towards the low-light captures. They're incredible. If you don't believe me then just look at the pictures I've shot. It may look like there was plenty of light around but honestly it was very dark, especially where the peace lily was sitting on my balcony.
The good stuff: Battery life
The iPhone 15 Pro Max battery life left me at ease after testing it out for a few weeks.
Here's what a normal day's charge looks like:
I had 100% charge at 7am and used my phone to browse through social media and watch an episode and a bit more of Gen V during my commute to work and on the way back.
During the day, I took some short calls and occasionally checked out Instagram. After getting home I was watching videos and browsing on and off for a couple of hours. I played about 30 minutes of Call of Duty.
After all that, I called it a night at 11pm which means that about 16 hours later I still had just over 25% of charge left.
The good stuff: Performance
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is wicked fast and we'll credit the A17 Pro for it. Whether you're mindlessly scrolling, editing, typing or playing games, nothing seems too much for the phone to handle.
I took Call of Duty and Mario Kart Tour for a few spins, and even got to quickly try Resident Evil Village, which was very much a console-like experience. While I'm in no way an avid gamer, I could 100% appreciate the graphics and speed.
I may even go as far as saying the iPhone 15 Pro Max's sell to be a game-changer for gamers isn't far-fetched at all.
What we don't love: Selfie camera
The selfie camera will well and truly humble you. When you're adjusting yourself for that perfect selfie shot, the frame looks stunning.
The problem starts once you look at the captured image. It's sharp and overexposed. When I started playing around, I could see every pore and scar in the pictures I took. Delete. Delete. Delete.
This is just not the type of "Pro" behaviour you expect from Apple's most expensive flagship phone.
What we don't love: Always-on display
This feature has been around since Apple launched it on the iPhone 14 Pro models and I thought I'd give it a fair shot this time around. But just a couple of days in and I got so annoyed I had to turn it off.
It kept distracting me. And I get easily distracted. I also prefer to avoid doom scrolling but the always-on display kept reminding me my phone was right there.
It's handy if you want to check the date and time at a quick glance but if you have a smartwatch then that's almost a useless function, plus it'll bite into your battery life.
iPhone 15 Pro Max: Features and specs
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is stunning if you can get past the expensive price tag and are upgrading from a more ageing iPhone model.
But to help you make a final decision, here's a round-up of all its features and specs.
iPhone 15 Pro Max price in Australia
The price of the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at $2,199 for the 256GB and goes all the way up to $2,899 for 1TB.
|iPhone model||Australian RRP|
|iPhone 15 Pro Max 256GB||$2,199|
|iPhone 15 Pro Max 512GB||$2,549|
|iPhone 15 Pro Max 1TB||$2,899|
iPhone 15 Pro Max colours
You can get the iPhone 15 Pro Max in 4 colours: Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, Black Titanium or White Titanium.
iPhone 15 Pro Max camera
The iPhone 15 Pro Max features a customisable 48MP main camera, 12MP telephone lens, 5x optical zoom and a new smart HDR feature.
The default image size is 24MP and can be captured in the following file formats: HEIF, JPEG and DNG.
iPhone 15 Pro Max screen size
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2,796 x 1,290 pixel resolution at 460 pixels per inch.
iPhone 15 Pro Max battery and charging time
Apple claims the iPhone 15 Pro Max is capable of up to 29 hours of video playback or up to 25 hours of streaming video.
You can now use a USB-C cable to charge your phone which also supports USB 3 for faster data transfer.
Is the iPhone 15 Pro Max waterproof?
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is splash-, water- and dust-resistant. It's rated IP68 meaning in theory you could take your phone to a maximum depth of 6 metres for up to 30 minutes.
What is the difference between the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 15 Pro Max?
Based on price alone, the iPhone 15 Pro Max comes out $100 more expensive than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. You also don't get a 128GB variant on the newer model.
Some other notable features that you'll only find on the iPhone 15 Pro Max include:
- Sleeker and lighter titanium design
- Action button
- USB-C charging
- 5x optical zoom
- Apple's fastest chip to date, A17 Pro
- Colour differences
You can also have a look at our table where we note down an at-a-glance specs rundown of the 2 phones.
|iPhone 15 Pro Max||iPhone 14 Pro Max|
|Display||6.7 inches||6.7 inches|
|Dimensions||159.9mm x 76.7mm x 8.25mm||160.7mm x 77.6mm x 7.85mm|
|Material||Titanium with textured matt glass back||Stainless steel with textured matt glass back|
|CPU||A17 Pro chip||A16 Bionic chip|
|Storage||256GB, 512GB, 1TB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|Rear cameras||48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto with 5x zoom||48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto with 3x zoom|
|Weight||221 grams||240 grams|
|Colours||Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, Black Titanium or White Titanium||Deep Purple, Gold, Silver, Space Black|
All opinions expressed in this review are based on the author's own experience with the phone. Use this review for informational purposes only.
How to buy the iPhone 15 Pro Max on a plan
You can buy the iPhone 15 Pro Max on a 12-, 24- or 36-month repayment plan from Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.
How to buy the iPhone 15 Pro Max outright
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