Apple apparently plans elevate its premium smartphones to a new level with a device called the iPhone 15 Ultra. There are plenty of rumors about what to expect from the new handset, plus mockups based on said rumors and schematics.
But now, now thanks to a video Unbox Therapy on YouTube featuring an alleged 3D model of the iPhone 15 Ultra, we have a look at what the device might look like in the real world. Over the course of the 22-minute video, it’s never explicitly stated where the YouTuber obtained the model, but there's an indication it’s from China, constructed via details provided to third-party accessory makers.
Unbox Therapy host Lewis Hilsenteger describes it as, “The closest look yet at the next generation iPhone and the changes that are likely to happen.” Given the channel provided a pretty similar reveal of the iPhone 14 Pro Max almost exactly one year ago, there's reason to believe the model is close to the iPhone 15 Ultra's final build.
Still, Hilsenteger provides some caveats. “Now I can’t guarantee that this is exactly what it’s going to look like,” he said. “I’ve been told that this is what it’s going to look like, and it is backed up by a number of rumors and leaks that you’ve probably seen floating around.”
So, what can we actually expect from the iPhone 15 Ultra? In addition to a USB-C port replacing Lightning, the more dramatic change is demonstrated in the width of the bezels, as demonstrated in the picture below.
While “tough to measure," Hilsenteger used a a pair of digital caliper to come up with a figure of 1.55mm — a big drop on the 2.17mm frame on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. “It does make an impact,” he said. “It does feel futuristic.”
The handset itself seems to be a little narrower, too. With the same caliper, Hilsenteger measured both handsets. The 15 Ultra model measured 76.66mm wide, compared to the 14 Pro Max’s 77.68mm width. It's not much in the scheme of things, but it apparently feels nice in the hand — possibly aided by a slight curvature where the edge of the phone wraps around the front and back panels (12:50 in the video).
Hilsenteger seemed initially disappointed that the camera array looks near identical to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, killing rumors of a big photography upgrade. But when the digital callipers came out a third time, the phone measured 8.3mm, which is larger than the 14 Pro Max (7.91mm.) That, he explains, means that some of the new camera heft could be concealed within. It could also mean a slightly beefier battery.
While Hilsenteger seemed impressed by the model's brushed metal (likely Titanium) shell and matte finish on the back, these details are potentially the maker's guesswork unlike the dimensions and ports. Still, if it is replicated in the real thing, rest assured it’s a good look for the iPhone 15 Ultra.
Finally, the familiar controls on the side of the handset seem to be changing. The volume controls are no longer individual buttons, but a long rocker, and the clicky silent switch is now a button. This seems to be confirmation that the introduction of haptic buttons is definitely out for this generation.
We’re still a few months away from the iPhone 15’s arrival, with Apple almost always picking a September launch date. Before then, we’ve got WWDC 2023 to look forward to, where Apple is set to unveil its next big thing: a mixed-reality headset.