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iPhone 15 Pro review

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iPhone 15 Pro (DEAL: Save $262)
4.0
★★★★★
Finder score
  • Battery Score 3.5
  • Camera Score 4
  • Design Score 4.5
  • Performance Score 4.5

Summary

Verdict: The iPhone 15 Pro isn’t perfect but it does make a compelling case if you’re making the switch from a much older model.

Pros

  • New titanium design and lighter in weight
  • Handy action button
  • Great cameras
  • New USB-C port
Cons

  • No change in charging speeds
  • Doesn’t get the same longer optical zoom as iPhone 15 Pro Max

In this guide

  • Review
  • Details
    • Pricing & Availability
  • Ask a question

Details

Pricing & Availability

Launch price (RRP) $1,849
Launch date 2023-09
iPhone 15 Pro (DEAL: Save $262)

Would we recommend the iPhone 15 Pro?

There's no denying that the iPhone 15 Pro is a powerhouse.

It's easy to appreciate the incremental upgrades to the 15 Pro's design – the light feel of the phone, the ease and comfort of being able to hold it in one hand.

Enhancements to its cameras and performance are also worth calling out – you'll be able to appreciate better graphics and a faster processor especially if you're gaming.

But if you already own an iPhone 14 Pro and the upgrades won't matter to you day-to-day then it's probably not worth forking out almost $2,000 just to stay up to date with the latest tech.

It's better suited to people transitioning from an ageing iPhone who can appreciate Apple's latest flagship much more.

The good stuff: Design

You need to look closely and hold the iPhone 15 Pro to see some noticeable differences from its predecessor.

The first 2 things to call out is Apple's transition from Lightning cable to USB-C that supports USB 3, as well as the addition of the Action button which replaces the mute switch.

You can use the Action button to jump-start any one activity of your choice (accompanied with haptic feedback) such as opening your camera, using voice memo or enabling the torch. You can also add your favourite app to the shortcut menu or simply switch between silent and ring.

Besides thinner bezels, its new contoured design is different to the iPhone 14 Pro's more squared off edges which makes it comfortable to hold.

Apple has also opted for a titanium frame which makes it almost 20 grams lighter.

All of that coupled with its 6.1-inch screen means you can easily grip your smartphone and use it with one hand. Some people might prefer the heaviness of previous iPhones but I personally think the lighter feel is a worthy call-out.

Front of iPhone 15 ProImage: Mariam Gabaji/Finder

However, the colour selection is slightly boring unless you prefer neutrals. Your options include Natural Titanium (the option I tested), Blue Titanium, Black Titanium and White Titanium.

Back of iPhone 15 ProImage: Mariam Gabaji/Finder

All in all, if you did end up putting on a case (which is highly recommended), the phone won't look noticeably different and the colours won't matter either.

The good stuff: Performance

The iPhone 15 Pro is fast and that's no surprise given it's fitted with the A17 Pro chip that promises 10% faster CPU performance.

It also boasts a 6-core GPU that gives 20% faster graphics speeds.

But the additional power will likely only be realised with Apple's promise of a console-like gaming experience. It'll mean you actually have something to do with more power in the iPhone.

I tested out the experience for just a few minutes and had a moment where I went, "oh damn, this is fantastic".

Just keep in mind that the AAA games such as Resident Evil Village won't come until later in the year.

There have also been widespread reports of the iPhone 15 range overheating.

While transferring all my data from my Android to the iPhone 15 Pro did cause the handset to heat up a little, it wasn't a worrying amount. Since then, the phone's only slightly heated up while gaming and that's about it.

The good stuff: Camera upgrades

The cameras on the iPhone 15 Pro have received a minimal bump from last year's model but there are 2 upgrades that are worth calling out.

Shots in night mode or low-light settings are sharp and vivid as you can tell from the details in the photos of the plant on the balcony at night, the view from my apartment and a couple of street shots.

Another neat update is that you can take a normal picture and convert it to a portrait after the fact as it can sense the depth in your photos.

When you're taking a photo that can become a portrait later, you'll see an italicised 'f' in the bottom left corner. Tap on it so it'll focus in on the subject and automatically convert to portrait mode. You can always revert back to the non-portrait version.

Picture captured using iPhone 15 Pro Image: Mariam Gabaji/Finder

Some other small improvements include an ultrawide lens which brings in more light and the new coating which reduces the amount of lens flare.

The Pro also has a bigger 48MP sensor and the default mode in your camera will comfortably take 24MP photos. The industry standard is 12MP even if a phone has 200MP camera sensors such as the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

It's also handy to have the Action button set to camera so you can snap pictures quickly at just the right moment.

Here's a look at how well the phone captures colours and details without you needing to work for it.

What we don't love: Some of the camera quality

There's no singular major flaw to call out with the iPhone 15 Pro. If I had to nitpick, I'd call out a couple of issues I had with the camera.

Its zoom capabilities are still lacking and we should have just gotten the Pro Max's 5x optical zoom in the Pro as well.

You can see the difference in the 2 pictures.

Picture captured using iPhone 15 Pro (Sample 11)Image: Mariam Gabaji/Finder

Picture captured using iPhone 15 Pro (Sample 12)Image: Mariam Gabaji/Finder

I was also left unimpressed with how my portrait in selfie mode came out darker than what I was seeing on the screen. I saw a TikTok pointing this out and had to test it out for myself. It's not a deal-breaker but I'd expect my captured selfie to look as it did on the screen.

What we don't love: Battery

It's still early days of testing but so far I'm unsure if the iPhone 15 Pro's battery life is as good as I would have expected.

A full charge lasted me just over 20 hours where I didn't use my phone too much during work hours but heavily browsed social media and watched videos in the evening.

In another test, within 4 hours of going out to shoot pictures, watch about 15 minutes of YouTube, play just 10 minutes of Call of Duty and browse TikTok, the charge dropped to 65%.

More to come on the battery life though as I test it out during a long weekend road trip.

What we don't love: The Action button is cool, but not revolutionary

Look, the Action button is a nice design update because the mute switch had all but become irrelevant. However, I wish it could do more.

It's a similar disappointment to the introduction of dynamic island. It's nice but doesn't blow me away and would be easy to live without.

iPhone 15 Pro: Features and specs

The iPhone 15 Pro is a stellar choice if you're coming from an ageing iPhone model but if you're coming from a newer phone, consider the features and specs before making your decision.

iPhone 15 Pro price in Australia

The price for the iPhone 15 Pro starts at $1,849 for the 128GB model and goes all the way up for $,2749 for 1TB.

iPhone modelAustralian RRP
Buy outright (Amazon)
Buy outright (eBay)
Apple iPhone 15 Pro 128GB$1,849
Go to Amazon
Go to eBay
Apple iPhone 15 Pro 256GB$2,049
Go to Amazon
Go to eBay
Apple iPhone 15 Pro 512GB$2,399
Go to Amazon
Go to eBay
Apple iPhone 15 Pro 1TB$2,749
Go to Amazon
Go to eBay

iPhone 15 Pro colours

You can get the iPhone 15 Pro in Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, Black Titanium or White Titanium.

iPhone 15 Pro camera

The iPhone 15 Pro uses a 48MP main camera, 12MP telephoto lens and up to 3x optical zoom.

You'll be able to shoot in different focal lengths – 24mm, 28mm, 35mm – and have the option to set up either as a default.

Apple's also supporting 48MP high efficiency (or HEIF) files that offer better quality in more compact file sizes. You can enable this prior to capturing photos or set it as default mode.

iPhone 15 Pro screen size

The iPhone 15 Pro has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 2556 x 1179 pixel resolution at 460 pixels per inch.

iPhone 15 Pro battery and charging time

You can use a USB-C connector to charge the iPhone 15 Pro which also supports USB 3 for data transfer.

According to Apple, the iPhone 15 Pro can carry up to 23 hours of video playback or up to 20 hours of streaming video.

Is the iPhone 15 Pro waterproof?

The iPhone 15 Pro is splash, water and dust resistant. It's rated IP68 meaning in theory you could take it to a maximum depth of 6 metres for up to 30 minutes.

What is the difference between the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro?

The first point of difference is that the iPhone 15 Pro is $100 more expensive than last year's iPhone 14 Pro.

The iPhone 15 Pro also boasts a few notable features to set it apart from its predecessor:

  • Sleeker and lighter titanium design
  • The newer phone has an Action button
  • Supports USB-C charging
  • There have been some camera upgrades
  • Colour differences

Here's a look at specs for both phones to see an at-a-glance difference between the 2 models.

iPhone 15 ProiPhone 14 Pro
Display6.1 inches6.1 inches
Dimensions146.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.25mm147.5mm x 71.5mm x 7.85mm
MaterialTitanium with textured matte glass backStainless steel enclosure with textured matte glass back
CPUA17 ProA16 Bionic
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Rear cameras48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto with 3x zoom48MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto with 3x zoom
Front cameras12MP12MP
Charging portUSB-CLightning
Weight188 grams206 grams
ColoursNatural Titanium, Blue Titanium, Black Titanium, White TitaniumPurple, Gold, Silver, Black

You'll find the iPhone 15 Pro to be a stellar choice if you're coming from an ageing iPhone model but otherwise it's not a required upgrade.

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 on a plan

You can buy the iPhone 15 Pro on a 12-, 24- or 36-month repayment period with a mobile plan from Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.

How to buy the iPhone 15 Pro outright

iPhone 15 Pro (DEAL: Save $262)

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Mariam Finder

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