iPhone 15 Pro Max release date, specs, price, cameras and more

iPhone 15 Pro Max shown in hand
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is now on sale, so you'll want to check out our iPhone 15 Pro Max review to see what we think of Apple's flagship phone. As for other details about the $1,199 phone, you'll find them right here.

iPhone 15 Pro Max: Cheat Sheet

  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max uses Titanium for its frame, which is lighter and stronger than before. 
  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max is powered by the A17 Pro chip, a 3nm processor that promises improved performance. 
  • A new 6-core GPU that promises the best gaming performance on a phone, complete with ray tracing. 
  • The new Action button is coming to the iPhone 15 Pro Max that launches the camera, voice recorder and any app you want, in addition to muting calls. 
  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max gets USB-C charging with USB 3 support for 10 Gbps speeds. This is idea for transferring directly to Mac or external storage. 
  • The main 48MP camera includes a larger sensor for even better image quality. 24MP photos merge best of details and colors in low light, thanks to new Photonic engine. You also get 2x better low-light performance in portraits.   
  • iPhone 15 Pro has a 3x telephoto camera. iPhone 15 Pro Max has 5x optical zoom and 120mm focal length. 25% larger telephoto sensor. The Pro Max uses a petra-prism design to reflect the light to create separation between lens and sensor. 
  • The iPhone 15 Pro can create 3D Spatial Videos that you can then view through the Apple Vision headset. Available later this year. 
  • The iPhone 15 Pro starts at $999 for 128GB of storage, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at $1,119. This is $100 more but you get 256GB of storage. 
iPhone 15 Pro Max: Quick menu

The iPhone 15 Pro Max is now Apple's top-of-the-line iPhone after debuting at this year's September Apple event and arriving in stores on September 22. In addition to all the announced improvements coming to the iPhone 15 Pro, the Max model also got an exclusive enhancement in the form of a new tetraprism 5x telephoto camera lens.

And there's good news! Despite rumors that the iPhone 15 Pro Max would cost more than last year's iPhone 14 Pro Max, the starting price is the same — technically. You'll still need to spend more for the base model iPhone 15 Pro Max than you did last year, but the base model is now the 256GB model. The price for that model is $1,199, which was the same price for the 25GB iPhone 14 Pro Max at launch.

Here's everything we know so far about the iPhone 15 Pro Max, including the release date, price, features and more.

iPhone 15 Pro Max specs

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iPhone 15 Pro Max Specs
Display6.7-inch OLED
Refresh rate120Hz adaptive
CPUA17 Pro
Storage256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Rear cameras48MP main/12MP ultrawide/12MP telephoto w/ 5x zoom
Front camera12MP
Battery4,422 mAh [rumored]
Battery lfe (Hrs:Mins)14:02
Charging PortUSB-C
Size6.29 x 3.02 x 0.32 inches
Weight7.8 ounces
ColorsBlack, white, blue, gray

iPhone 15 Pro Max price and release date

The iPhone 15 Pro Max will feature largely the same pricing structure as the iPhone 14 Pro Max that came out last year. The only difference is that the iPhone 15 Pro Max ditches the 128GB model entirely, with the 256GB variant now serving as the entry-level Pro Max model. Apple made the switch in part to take the sting out of a price hike for the Pro Max — the new model costs $100 more than its predecessor.

The 256GB iPhone 15 Pro Max costs $1,199, followed by the 512GB model at $1,399 and the 1TB model at $1,599. 

The iPhone 15 Pro Max was announced at the Apple Event on September 12 and went on sale September 22. Good luck in getting your hands on an iPhone 15 Pro Max, though — supplies are strained right now. In fact, some models won't ship until November, even if you order them today. We've got updated news on iPhone 15 delays as well a s tips on the latest iPhone 15 deals to find savings on the Pro Max model.

iPhone 15 Pro Max display

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

The iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with a 6.7-inch OLED Super Retina XDR display compared to the 6.1-inch display on the iPhone 15 Pro. Both support Apple ProMotion display technology for a 120Hz variable refresh rate and Extreme Dynamic Range.

This is essentially unchanged from last year, and for the most part there aren't big design changes when it comes to the iPhone 15 Pro Max display. It features a ceramic shield and Apple calls it the "toughest front display" but we don't have any specs at the moment to back up that claim.

There is, however, one update to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max displays. They still get the always on display debuted with last year's models, but they now get Standby mode. This turns your phone into a hybrid clock/information hub while charging in landscape orientation, with customizable widgets to give you more than just the time.

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iPhone 15 Pro Max Display Test Results
Row 0 - Cell 0 iPhone 15 Pro MaxGalaxy S23 Ultra
Max brightness (HDR)1,550 nits1,444 nits
sRGB119%112% / 193% (Vivid)
DCI-P384.5%78% / 136.7 (Vivid)
Delta-E (lower is better)0.140.3

In our testing, the iPhone 15 Pro Max display proved brighter than the 6.8-inch panel on the Galaxy S23 Ultra. We were also impressed with color reproduction on the Apple phone, which proved to be more accurate than the S23 Ultra thanks to the lower Delta-E rating. (The closer that number is to zero, the more accurate the colors.)

iPhone 15 Pro Max design

iPhone 15 lineup

(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 15 Pro Max and its smaller screen counterpart, the iPhone 15 Pro Max may look awfully similar on the surface to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, but trust us when we say the design changes made this year are significant.

The headliner is clearly the switch to a titanium phone body. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max feature a "Grade 5 Titanium" body with a brushed finish on the contoured edges. This shift to a titanium body, the same titanium alloy used on the Mars Rover according to Apple's presentation, makes the iPhone 15 Pro Max the lightest iPhone Pro Max model ever.

And yes, your eyes are not deceiving you, those edges are slightly rounded rather than the completely flat edge design of the previous iPhone generation. This should allow for a more ergonomic feel in your hand — a small but welcome change. Apple has also reduced the bezel size on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max and claims that these new Pro models have the smallest bezels of any iPhone to date.

iPhone 15 Titanium

(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

Aside from these changes, the biggest design update aside from the transition to USB-C (more on that later) has to be the new Action button. This replaces the mute/silent switch from the previous version of the iPhone Pro Max and it is a serious upgrade.

Instead of a switch, this Action button is a button with haptic feedback and customizable actions. Apple specifically highlighted that the Action button can start voice memos, launch the camera, activate popular accessibility features and even allow you to use shortcuts, making it a potentially useful tool for essentially any iPhone 15 Pro Max users.

iPhone 15 Pro Max USB-C

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

Yes, the rumors are true. Thanks to pressure from EU regulators Apple has transitioned to USB-C for the entire USB-C lineup. On the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the new USB‑C connector supports data transfer at up to 10GBps thanks to USB 3, which Apple says should be up to 20 times faster than USB 2.

USB-C also handles charging for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, though you can also use MagSafe accessories for charging. The latest Apple EarPods have also been transitioned to USB-C for those who want to use a pair of Apple's wired earbuds.

iPhone 15 Pro Max cameras

iPhone 15 camera

(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

While Apple stuck with the same trio of cameras for the iPhone 15 Pro Max — main, ultrawide and telephoto — it did give those cameras some serious upgrades.

First, the 48MP main camera now gets a 24MP default photo setting and can switch between focal lengths of 24mm, 28mm and 35mm. It can also now support HEIF images in addition to ProRAW, giving photographers improved resolution from the main camera.

The biggest update though is on the telephoto lens, and it's where the Pro Max gets its biggest advantage over the smaller Pro model. The iPhone 15 Pro Max now manages a 5x optical zoom thanks to a new tetraprism design. And the telephoto lens autofocus 3D sensor-shift module makes 10,000 micro-adjustments per second to ensure stable photos. While this isn't the periscope lens that everyone was hoping for, it should accomplish the same effect. 

Aside from these changes, there are a few others to expect. Night mode is now powered by Photonic Engine, which Apple says will improve Night mode portraits, thanks to the Pro Max's LiDAR scanner.

And portrait mode is getting several upgrades. Smart HDR is a new feature that captures subjects and backgrounds with more accurate skin tones, brighter highlights, richer mid-tones, and deeper shadows. And you no longer need to even shoot portraits in portrait mode, as the Photos app can now transform any shot into a portrait mode photo.

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

The iPhone 15 Pro Max cameras also give it more power when it comes to recording video. This includes support for shooting spatial video for the Apple Vision Pro by combining images from the Pro Max's cameras. Shooting in spatial video will be available to Pro and Pro Max models later this year.

If your interested in seeing how the iPhone 15 Pro Max's output compares to some top camera phones, our iPhone 15 Pro Max review contains a number of photo comparisons between Apple's latest device and both the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Google Pixel 7 Pro.

iPhone 15 Pro Max A17 Pro chipset

a17 pro chipset

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple is keeping with tradition this year, giving a new A-series process to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max and giving the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus last year's A16 Bionic.

But while it's not a surprise that the iPhone 15 Pro Max got new Apple silicon some of the specs are definitely eyebrow-raising. The new chip — dubbed the A17 Pro — is the first smartphone chipset to use a 3nm process, making it likely the most powerful mobile processor ever. We won't know for sure until we test it, but Apple's mobile chipsets are typically the best phone processors.

The A17 Pro is made up of three main parts. First, there's the six-core CPU, which Apple says should be noticeably more powerful. The two high-performance cores should be 10% faster than the A16 Bionic and the four high-efficiency cores are tipped to be three times more power efficient.

The next major part of the A17 Pro is the 16-core neural engine. Apple says it's twice as fast as the A16 Bionic and should need to send less information needed to process machine learning tasks. 

Finally, there's the six-core GPU, featuring Apple-designed shader architecture. Apple says it should be 20% faster than its predecessor and that features like mesh shading will allow games to create more detailed environments with less power. The new A17 Pro integrated GPU should also handle ray tracing at four times the speed of the A16 Bionic and MetalFX Upscaling uses the GPU and neural engine for more efficient performance.

It's this new GPU that has Apple confident it can make a big push into mobile gaming. And if it lives up to the promises it made at the September Apple Event, it's making a big push into mobile gaming. The console versions of the Resident Evil 4 remake and Resident Evil Village are set to be playable on iPhone later this year, and the Assassins Creed Mirage console version is expected to be playable on iPhone natively in 2024. That's a huge step forward from playing Candy Crush.

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iPhone 15 Pro Max benchmark results
Row 0 - Cell 0 iPhone 15 Pro MaxGalaxy S23 Ultra
Geekbench2,783 / 6,9451,396 / 4,882
3DMark Wild Life Unlimited92 fps / 15,39987 fps / 14,611
Adobe Premiere Rush (video editing)24.5 seconds40 seconds

What does all this mean in terms of performance numbers? Based on our testing, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the undisputed speed king. Apple's phone beat the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered Galaxy S23 Ultra in the GeekBench performance benchmark, as we'd expect. But it also topped the S23 Ultra in 3DMark's Wild Life Unlimited graphics test. The S23 Ultra had posted better numbers than A16 Bionic-powered iPhones on that test.

iPhone 15 Pro Max battery life and charging


(Image credit: Apple)

Unfortunately, battery life is one thing we don't have a ton of official information on for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The only official metric we have is that Apple says it can handle up to 29 hours of video playback, a six-hour upgrade over the iPhone 15 Pro. Regulatory filing suggest the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 4,422mAh battery, which isn't that much bigger than the 4,323 mAh power pack inside the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Nevertheless, the iPhone 15 Pro Max sees some serious improvement in battery life, at least in our test, which involves surfing the web continuously until there's no power left. The iPhone 15 Pro Max lasted 14 hours and 2 minutes on that test, topping the iPhone 14 Pro Max's impressive time by 23 minutes. That's going to land the iPhone 15 Pro Max on our best phone battery life list. 

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iPhone 15 Pro Max battery life (hrs:mins)
iPhone 15 Pro Max14:02
Galaxy S23 Ultra12:22 (Adaptive) / 13:09 (60Hz)
OnePlus 11 Pro13:10 (Adaptive) / 12:48 (60Hz)
Pixel 7 Pro8:04
iPhone 14 Pro Max13:39

The iPhone 15 Pro Max charges at 20 watts, which is fine, but isn't up to the likes of the Galaxy S23 Ultra and is miles behind the OnePlus 11 with its superfast 100W charging speeds (this is limited to 80W in the U.S.). Unfortunately, we have no reason to expect that this was upgraded on the iPhone 15 Pro Max despite the switch to USB-C.

However, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will work with Qi2  MagSafe ones. That would be double the 7.5W the iPhone 14 models charge at. Such a boost could make wirelessly charging the iPhone 15 Pro Max a good bit faster, and closer to some of the charging speeds offered by the best Android phones

iPhone 15 Pro Max software

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

Like the other iPhone 15 models, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will debut with iOS 17 as its software. We've got an iOS 17 review that evaluates Apple's new software, but the quick summary is that we're pleased with the little changes Apple makes to simplify a lot of iPhone tasks.

New features available in iOS 17 will include a Journal app, Live Voicemail, NameDrop and StandBy mode. There's currently no sign of iPhone 15 Pro Max-specific features on the horizon, though Apple did tease a few iPhone 15 features. These include expanded Dynamic Island features and a satellite-powered Roadside Assistance feature that is included for two years with your iPhone 15 Pro Max purchase (or any iPhone 15 purchase).

iPhone 15 Pro Max outlook

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Apple)

Based on everything Apple has shown us and our hands-on time and testing with the device, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is well worth the upgrade, especially if you've been holding on to an older Apple phone. Between a redesigned titanium body, an upgraded telephoto camera and an improved A17 Pro chipset, there's a lot to like about Apple's top-tier iPhone.

And it’s almost certainly the best iPhone you can buy this year and well into 2024. Stay tuned for more head-to-head comparisons with the best phones out there so we can truly see how the iPhone 15 Pro Max ranks.

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.