« The best iPhone ever made ». Words you hear every year. And this iconic title falls to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in 2023. If you must have the best one – this is it. And you’ve probably pre-ordered it, and this review is now over. But if you need to know if this iPhone is worth the hype, we shall get down to business and put the iPhone 15 Pro Max through its paces.
Titanium is the latest Apple buzzword. The maker has switched from stainless steel to titanium chassis on the 15 Pro models so it can make them even more premium, tougher, and yet – lighter. This is the first thing you will see, and this is how the iPhone 15 Pro series will go down in history.
There are more important new features, of course. The new Apple A17 Pro chip sounds quite impressive with its improved processor and a brand-new console-grade GPU with raytracing. The long overdue switch to USB-C has finally happened, coming with support for USB 3 speeds at that. Oh, and the main 48MP camera has been improved to shoot at 24MP and to offer additional focal lengths (28mm and 35mm).
The highlight feature for the non-gamers is probably the new telephoto camera with a special tetraprism periscope for 5x optical zoom. Apple has innovated the design, allowing this type of lens to let more light through and offer more advanced stabilization.
Apple has retired the silencer on the Pro models, replaced by a configurable Action key, which can still be a silencer if you want that.
The rest of the iPhone 15 Pro Max has been lifted from the 14 Pro Max – a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED with 120Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision support and Dynamic Island cutout. The Ceramic Sheild panels are here to stay. And so are the powerful stereo speakers. The 12MP ultrawide camera with macro focus, the 3D LiDAR scanner, and the 12MP AF selfie are all returning, too.
The largest iPhone is jam-packed with connectivity features, of course. There is dual-SIM 5G support via a second eSIM card, NFC, Wi-Fi 6e, Ultra Wideband 2, Crash detection and emergency SOS messages.
Of course, most of the iPhone magic, for better or worse, is courtesy of iOS, now in its 17th version. And the iPhone 15 Pro Max, just like any other model, is going to get at least five years of guaranteed iOS updates, often more.
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max specs at a glance:
- Body: 159.9×76.7×8.3mm, 221g; Glass front (Corning-made glass), glass back (Corning-made glass), titanium frame (grade 5); IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 6m for 30 min), Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified).
- Display: 6.70″ LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED, 120Hz, HDR10, Dolby Vision, 1000 nits (typ), 2000 nits (HBM), 1290x2796px resolution, 19.51:9 aspect ratio, 460ppi; Always-On display.
- Chipset: Apple A17 Pro (3 nm): Hexa-core (2×3.78 GHz + 4); Apple GPU (6-core graphics).
- Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM, 1TB 8GB RAM; NVMe.
- OS/Software: iOS 17.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.28″, 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS; Telephoto: 12 MP, f/2.8, 120mm, 1.12µm, dual pixel PDAF, 3D sensor-shift OIS, 5x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF; Depth: TOF 3D LiDAR scanner.
- Front camera: Wide (main): 12 MP, f/1.9, 23mm, 1/3.6″, PDAF, OIS; Depth: SL 3D.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@25/30/60/120/240fps, 10-bit HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps), ProRes, Cinematic mode (4K@24/30fps), 3D (spatial) video, stereo sound rec; Front camera: 4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@25/30/60/120fps, gyro-EIS.
- Battery: 4441mAh; Wired, 50% in 30 min (advertised), 15W wireless (MagSafe), 7.5W wireless (Qi), Reverse wired.
- Connectivity: 5G; eSIM; Dual SIM; Wi-Fi 6e; BT 5.3; NFC.
- Misc: Face ID, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; stereo speakers; Ultra Wideband 2 (UWB) support, Emergency SOS via satellite (SMS sending/receiving).
With USB-C you can now plug in any compatible device and use it right away. Phones, hard drives, headphones, external camera accessories, HDMI cables, or maybe attach a wired input device. Most of the modern peripherals use USB-C connection, and now the new iPhones have it.
Without further ado, here is the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Unboxing the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
The new iPhone 15 Pro Max arrives in one of these thin retail boxes that contain the phone itself and a USB cable. There is also a small paper compartment with some paperwork, one Apple logo sticker, and a SIM ejection tool.
The new USB cable (C-C) now has braided shielding, which should prolong its lifespan a lot. Finally! It is a USB 2.0 cable, though, if you were wondering.