Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max: A Complete Review of Apple’s New Flagship Phone

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Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is Apple’s newest high-end smartphone, released in September 2023. As the successor to the popular iPhone 14 Pro Max, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max introduces several enhancements while maintaining the excellent build quality and performance that Pro Max models are known for. This guide will provide a detailed overview of the iPhone 15 Pro Max to help you determine if it’s the right upgrade for you.


The iPhone 15 Pro Max represents the pinnacle of Apple’s smartphone technology in late 2023. It features an advanced 6.7-inch OLED display, the newest A17 Bionic processor, a 48MP main camera, and improved battery life. The iPhone 15 Pro Max builds upon the successful formula of previous Pro Max iPhones, adding improvements to the screen, cameras, performance, and durability.

While not a revolutionary leap past the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max offers meaningful upgrades that keep it as one of the best smartphones available. For people still holding older generation iPhones, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is an especially compelling upgrade. It’s the ideal iPhone for power users, mobile creatives, and anyone who wants the very best Apple has to offer.

This guide provides an in-depth look at the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max’s pricing, tech specs, features, performance, reviews, and more. Whether you’re considering purchasing the iPhone 15 Pro Max or just want to learn about Apple’s newest flagship, this article will tell you everything you need to know about the impressive iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Pricing and Storage Options

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max maintains the same pricing structure as the iPhone 14 Pro Max, starting at $1,199 in the US for the base 256GB storage option. However, Apple has removed the lower 128GB storage tier this generation. Here is a breakdown of the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s pricing and storage capacities:

  • 256GB – $1,199
  • 512GB – $1,399
  • 1TB – $1,599

Compared to the previous iPhone 14 Pro Max, the pricing remains unchanged, but with doubled minimum storage. The 1TB maximum storage option also remains for people needing extensive capacity.

Storage TieriPhone 15 Pro Max PriceiPhone 14 Pro Max Price

For many buyers, the 256GB base storage will be sufficient, especially with iCloud storage available. The average user will still have plenty of capacity for apps, videos, photos, and more with 256GB. But people who capture a lot of 4K video or have large photo libraries may want to consider upgraded 512GB or 1TB options.

The 256GB iPhone 15 Pro Max costs the same as the 128GB iPhone 14 Pro Max, so users are getting double the minimum storage for the same $1,199 price this generation. With 128GB no longer offered, Apple is pushing more customers to upgrade to the higher capacity tiers.

Power users who keep their iPhones for 3-4 years might want to consider splurging for the 512GB or 1TB iPhone 15 Pro Max. The extra storage headroom will give you more flexibility down the road as apps and media files continue ballooning in size.

However, the 256GB model should still age well over a few years for typical use cases. Unless you’re filming a lot of video or downloading movies/TV shows directly to your device, the base 256GB capacity will likely suffice. External storage is also an option thanks to iPhone 15 Pro Max’s support for Wi-Fi 6 and up to 2TB capacities on thumb drives.

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max became available for preorder on September 9, 2023 and will launch on September 16, 2023. It’s available directly from Apple and major carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Most launch day orders are scheduled to arrive to customers on September 23.

Apple and carriers often offer their own deals, promos and payment plans that can help lower the overall cost of buying an iPhone 15 Pro Max. Shopping around and comparing offers from different sellers can potentially save you $100 or more on your purchase. There are also great Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max trade-in values and carrier switching incentives this year.

Technical Specifications and Features

The iPhone 15 Pro Max comes equipped with cutting-edge hardware and Apple’s latest software features. Here are the key technical specifications:

Display: 6.7-inch OLED display with 2796 x 1290 resolution, up to 2000 nits brightness, and 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate

Processor: Apple A17 Bionic, 5-core GPU

Memory: 6GB RAM

Storage: 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB

Rear Cameras:

  • Main: 48MP sensor, f/1.8 aperture, sensor-shift OIS
  • Ultra Wide: 12MP, f/2.2 aperture, 120° FOV
  • Telephoto: 12MP, f/2.8 aperture, 3x optical zoom

Front Camera: 12MP TrueDepth camera, f/1.9 aperture

Battery: Estimated 29 hours of video playback

Water Resistance: IP68 rating for submersion up to 6 meters for 30 minutes

Colors: Space Black, Silver, Gold, Deep Purple

Operating System: iOS 16

The display retains the excellent quality of previous iPhone screens, with vibrant colors, inky blacks, and incredible brightness up to 2000 nits. The new A17 Bionic chip offers a performance boost over the A16 Bionic in the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

But the most notable new feature is the upgraded 48MP main camera. It’s the first megapixel bump since the iPhone 6s in 2015, increasing from 12MP on prior models. Combined with the image signal processor in the A17 Bionic, the 48MP sensor enables sharper, more detailed photos through pixel binning.

The 48MP camera also unlocks a new “ProRAW” mode that combines the flexibility of RAW capture with Apple’s image processing. For creators and professionals, it will allow more editing control over exposure, colors, and dynamic range.

Overall, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max takes the established foundations of the iPhone 14 Pro Max and infuses enhancements like the 48MP camera, Always-On display, A17 chip, and improved battery life. While not a revolutionary leap, it’s a solid generational update.

Performance and Battery Benchmarks

Apple consistently delivers industry-leading performance and power efficiency with each new iPhone chipset. The A17 Bionic in the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max builds upon the success of the A16 Bionic, offering faster processing speeds while maintaining excellent battery life.

Early benchmarks of the A17 Bionic show around a 10-15% increase in CPU and GPU speeds compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. For typical workloads like web browsing, social media, and basic gaming, most users will be hard-pressed to notice the performance gains. The iPhone 14 Pro Max was already exceedingly fast for everyday tasks.

However, the A17 provides more headroom for intensive creative workloads. Video editing in apps like iMovie, manipulating large ProRAW photos, and compiling complex code will finish noticeably quicker on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The boosts to both CPU and GPU speeds also indicate improved gaming performance for titles like Fortnite that leverage the graphics hardware.

In Geekbench tests, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max scored 1887 for single-core performance and 5455 for multi-core. This represents a 12% single-core and 17% multi-core increase over the iPhone 14 Pro Max. In GPU tests with GFXBench, the iPhone 15 Pro Max scored 277fps in the Aztec Ruins HIGH benchmark, 16% higher than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Apple claims the iPhone 15 Pro Max offers up to 29 hours of video playback, which is nearly identical to the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s 28 hour rating. Of course, battery benchmarks do not always reflect real-world usage. Still, early reviews suggest the iPhone 15 Pro Max generally meets Apple’s battery life estimates in day-to-day use.

Reviewers report the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max comfortably lasting a full day even with heavy use. In a continuous video playback test, the iPhone 15 Pro Max lasted just over 26 hours before needing to recharge. Standby time is equally impressive, with minimal battery drain when idle overnight.

The A17 Bionic’s power efficiency, coupled with a slight battery size bump, allows the iPhone 15 Pro Max to match its predecessor’s stellar battery life. While not a game-changing improvement, users can expect a reliable all-day battery from the iPhone 15 Pro Max even with heavy use. That gives it among the longest endurance of any leading flagship smartphone.

For those who want to extend battery life further, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max adds a new Low Power mode that can squeeze out several extra hours when the battery is running low. Overall, in terms of both peak performance and battery longevity, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is at the top of its class.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

Reviews and First Impressions

Now that the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max has launched, early reviews and first impressions from technology reviewers provide valuable insight into Apple’s latest flagship. Overall, initial reviews roundly praise the iPhone 15 Pro Max as an excellent refinement of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, although not a radically new device.

The 48MP main camera sees almost universal acclaim from reviewers. Images show impressive fine detail and texture, especially when viewing photos zoomed in or on a large screen. The new quad-pixel sensor and Photonic Engine processing deliver tangibly better results compared to prior 12MP iPhone cameras.

CNET calls the camera upgrades “extraordinary,” while The Verge says they make “the iPhone feel new again.” The larger sensor also enables a 2x cropped zoom mode without any loss in quality. Low light photos are significantly improved as well, with less noise and sharper focus.

Reviewers note minor exterior design changes like the hidden Face ID notch and rear camera bump integrated into the rim. However, most note the form factor remains essentially identical to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. The Always-On display earns praise from critics for conveniently glancing at info without touching your phone.

On the performance front, sites like Tom’s Guide and Engadget observed roughly 10-15% faster benchmark speeds from the A17 Bionic over the A16. However, they note little discernible change in real-world use, as the A16 was already extremely fast. Battery life is rated as excellent by all testers, matching Apple’s lofty claims.

There are very few criticisms of the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max in early reviews. Some note that the 48MP camera advantages only apply in ProRAW mode, not regular shooting. Others say Dynamic Island is still limited in third party app support. But overall, the iPhone 15 Pro Max receives strong recommendations from the tech press.

Who Should Buy the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max?

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max is one of the best smartphones available but also carries a premium price tag. Here is a look at the best reasons to purchase the iPhone 15 Pro Max and who will benefit most from upgrading:

For Serious Mobile Photographers: The upgraded 48MP main camera is the standout upgrade this generation. It enables incredible detail, especially for landscape and nature closeups. The 2x zoom retains full resolution as well. For avid photographers, the camera alone may warrant an upgrade.

For Video Creators: The new Action mode provides gimbal-like stabilization for smoother handheld videos. Apple ProRAW captures extensive dynamic range data for pro-level editing. Videographers can take advantage of these tools and the 4K/60fps capacities.

Power Users Who Want the Best: If you rely heavily on your iPhone and want seamless performance, the A17 Bionic ensures the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max will stay fast for years. The 120Hz ProMotion display also makes interactions feel instantaneous.

For iPhone Upgraders on Older Models: Users on an iPhone 11 Pro or older can expect massive improvements in nearly every area. The camera, design, display, speed, and battery life will feel like a major upgrade coming from models 2-3 years old.

Apple Ecosystem Owners: Those invested in Apple products benefit most from iOS integration, AirDrop, iMessage, shared photos, the App Store, and more iPhone 15 Pro Max features. Switching ecosystems can cause headaches.

Of course, the iPhone 14 Pro Max still offers stellar performance and cameras. Unless you specifically need the 48MP sensor or Always-On display, it remains a great option as well. But for those who want Apple’s absolute cutting-edge technology, the iPhone 15 Pro Max delivers meaningfully over past models.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max:

How does the battery life compare to the iPhone 14 Pro Max?

Apple claims the same exceptional 29 hours of video playback. In practice, expect equivalent all-day battery life, which is among the longest of any flagship phone.

What colors is the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max available in?

It comes in four colors: Space Black, Silver, Gold, and Deep Purple. The new Deep Purple is a darker shade than the previous Sierra Blue.

How much storage should I get?

The base 256GB is likely sufficient for most. But if you shoot a lot of videos or install many large apps/games, consider 512GB or 1TB models for extra headroom.

How much better are the cameras?

The main 48MP camera is a major jump in resolution and low light quality. 2x optical zoom is upgraded as well. Overall image and video quality sees significant improvements with the new sensors and processing.

When will the iPhone 16 launch?

Apple typically releases new numbered iPhones in September. So the presumed iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro Max will likely be announced and launched around September of 2024.

Is there still a SIM card slot?

Yes, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max still includes a physical SIM card slot. However, rumors suggest iPhone 16 in 2024 may use eSIM only.

Can I use the same cases as iPhone 14 Pro Max?

The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max has nearly identical dimensions as the previous generation. So most existing cases for iPhone 14 Pro Max should also work with iPhone 15 Pro Max.


The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max at first glance appears similar to the iPhone 14 Pro Max. But the 48MP camera, A17 Bionic chip, and new display bring meaningful improvements that keep it ahead of the competition. For iPhone users hanging onto older generation devices, the upgrade benefits are substantial.

There are very few areas where the iPhone 15 Pro Max has not matched or exceeded its predecessor. The performance and battery benchmarks show Apple continuing to tune both processing power and efficiency. The camera upgrades unlock tangible new photographic capabilities not possible before on the iPhone.

Of course, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max still commands a premium price. Budget-conscious shoppers can likely skip this generation without significant FOMO. But for those who want Apple’s cutting edge technology and camera capabilities, the iPhone 15 Pro Max delivers. It cements its status as the best iPhone yet for creative professionals, power users, and anyone who simply demands the most from their smartphone.

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