Apple says the graphics processor unit is also the “biggest redesign in the history of Apple GPUs,” citing a 20 percent speed bump over its predecessor. Apple says this new GPU can create more detailed environments in mobile games while drawing less power, and it now has hardware-accelerated ray tracing, which is 4X faster. Because of all this, Apple says you can play console games like Resident Evil: Village on the iPhone 15 Pro, and games like the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Mirage will have an iPhone version alongside console and PC versions. It’ll be interesting to see how the fidelity of these AAA games matches up to their console counterparts.
You still get the 120-Hz ProMotion screen on the Pro, but Apple has refined the design to slim down the bezels around the display and more importantly, added a titanium frame. Instead of stainless steel, the titanium 6.1-inch iPhone 15 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Pro Max are now much lighter and more durable, which should make the latter easier to wield with one hand.
The big new camera change here is the addition of a periscope zoom camera exclusively for the iPhone 15 Pro Max model. This technology isn’t new—Samsung famously has had a 10X optical zoom camera in its Galaxy Ultra phones for a few years, and last year’s Google Pixel 7 Pro uses a 5X optical periscope zoom camera. Here, Apple says it enables 5X optical zoom, allowing you to capture subjects at a distance in high quality. The smaller iPhone 15 Pro is, sadly, still stuck at 3X zoom.
Another exclusive for the Pro models is the Action Button. If this sounds familiar, it’s the same name Apple gave to the extra customizable button on the Apple Watch Ultra, except on the iPhone, it’s replacing the classic mute switch that has been on every iPhone since 2007. You can customize this button to trigger certain actions, like muting the phone, turning on the flashlight, or taking a photo with the camera open.
Apple placed an emphasis on sustainability throughout its September event and announced that it was moving away from leather cases and straps for its devices. It announced a new sustainable fabric material called FineWoven, and it announced that its going to be phasing out leather in favor of recycled and plant-based materials.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus remain at the same price of $799 and $899, respectively. The iPhone 15 Pro stays at the same price of $999, but the iPhone 15 Pro Max is getting a price increase to $1,199, a $100 jump from their predecessors. However, you now get 256 GB of storage on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and this is the same price as the 256-GB iPhone 14 Pro Max. These phones will be up for preorder on Friday, September 15, and will officially launch on September 22. Stay tuned for our review soon.