iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Max: The biggest differences

iPhone 15
(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

Update: Check out our Apple Event live blog for the latest from Cupertino on the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple Watch Series 9 and more.

Lots of people will be looking for an iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max comparison in the wake of the Apple event, and with good reason. As the new top two iPhone models, they're going to be what a lot of people are trying to pick between when selecting a new phone.

The gap's wider than usual between Apple's pro phones, thanks to a new camera in the Pro Max alongside the usual size-related differences. However, there are still reasons to go for either phone, which we'll get into below.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Price

The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max both go up for pre-orders from Friday, September 15. The full release then follows on September 22 for anyone not wanting to put money down on an unreleased product.

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

Like the iPhone 14 Pro last year, the iPhone 15 Pro starts at $999, and comes with 128GB storage by default. The iPhone 15 Pro Max on the other hand starts at $1,199, $100 more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max did. Fortunately, Apple decided to be generous and offer 256GB storage by default, meaning that while you have no choice but to pay more for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, you're getting the extra storage bundled in.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Screen size 

The most notable difference between the two Pro iPhones is the screen size. Once again, Apple's gone with 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max respectively. 

Both phones have gained thinner bezels compared to last year, but the resolution and 120Hz refresh rate remains the same as the iPhone 14 Pro series.

iPhone 15 Pro vs Pro Max: Cameras

Cameras are one of the key areas the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max differentiate themselves, specifically with their telephoto lenses.

The iPhone 15 Pro has a 3x 12MP telephoto camera, which you'll recognize from previous Pro iPhones. The iPhone 15 Pro Max however has gained a 5x zoom for closer portrait shots, something that rumors say won't come to the smaller Pro iPhone until the iPhone 16.

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

The 48MP main, 12MP ultrawide and 12MP selfie cameras are identical on both phones. New to both is improved low-light performance, and a 24MP photo mode for more detailed default images without breaking out the more detailed but storage-guzzling 48MP ProRAW mode.

Another new feature to both phones is the ability to capture 3D Spatial Videos. These are something you can watch on Apple's upcoming Vision Pro headset, which can capture the same type of video, but is far less portable than an iPhone.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Battery

Apple's not announced the official capacities of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max's batteries. But safe to say that the larger Pro Max model will contain more milliamp-hours than the smaller Pro, as has been the case in the past.

Both phones have gained USB-C ports for more convenient charging, although neither appear to have gained any additional charging speed as a result of the new port. Fortunately, both can transfer data at 10 gigabits per second (Gbps), which is far faster than you were able to send files from an iPhone through a wired connection before.

iPhone 15 Pro vs Pro Max: What's the same?

Several of Apple's upgrades to its Pro iPhones apply to both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. For one, the new design, which features rounder edges and titanium side rails for a fresh look and greater durability.

You also get the same A17 Pro chipset in both phones. This 3nm chip promises incredible performance, particularly for gaming thanks to its ray tracing technology.


(Image credit: Apple)

On the sides of both phones, an Action button has arrived to replace the mute switch. You can use this to mute the phone with a tap and hold gesture, or alternatively customize it to have a different function in the Settings app.

The colors available for both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are the same selection of four. Those are black titanium, white titanium, blue titanium and natural titanium.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: Outlook

We're still waiting on hands-on time with the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, but from the specs as they stand, we have a good idea of how these phones could match up.

iPhone 15 camera

(Image credit: Apple | YouTube)

For users who prioritize versatile photography, or a larger battery and display, then the Pro Max seems like the obvious choice. But for users looking for a more compact phone that features all the same performance and design features, plus most of the same camera tech, and for $200 less, the iPhone 15 Pro could be the phone to go for.

Be sure to check back with us soon for hands-on impressions of both phones, and eventually full reviews.

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.