iPhone 15 Plus vs. 15 Pro Max Buyer's Guide: 35+ Differences Compared

The iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max are among Apple's newest iPhone models and follow 2022's iPhone 14 Plus and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Now that Apple offers two iPhones with 6.7-inch displays, how different are the two larger models, and what exactly does upgrading to a "Pro" device offer?

iPhone 15 vs 15 Pro Buyers Guide
Last year, the biggest new differences between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro were an always-on display, the Dynamic Island, the A16 Bionic chip, and a 48-megapixel main camera, but they shared Emergency SOS via satellite, Crash Detection, Action mode, 6GB of memory, Photonic Engine, and an upgraded 12-megapixel TrueDepth front camera with autofocus for the first time. With ‌iPhone 15‌ Plus and ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max, both devices share features like the ‌Dynamic Island‌, a 48-megapixel main camera, and a USB-C port. Even so, Apple's "Pro" and non-Pro ‌iPhone‌ models remain highly differentiated, with over 30 key differences that prospective buyers should be aware of.

Our guide helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these two ‌iPhone‌ models is best for you, and serves as a way to clearly see what additional features and upgrades the ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max brings to the table.

‌iPhone 15‌ Plus ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max
Aluminum and glass design Titanium and glass design
Slightly smaller due to slimmer borders around the display
Weighs 201g Weighs 221g
Ring/Silent switch Action button
ProMotion with adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz
Always-on display
A16 Bionic chip (5nm) A17 Pro chip (3nm)
6-core CPU 6-core CPU (up to 10% faster)
5-core GPU 6-core GPU with with hardware-accelerated ray tracing (up to 20% faster)
16-core Neural Engine 16-core Neural Engine (up to 2x faster)
Dedicated AV1 decoder
6GB memory 8GB memory
"Advanced" dual-camera system "Pro" triple camera system
48-megapixel Main camera with ƒ/1.6 aperture 48-megapixel Main camera with ƒ/1.78 aperture and larger sensor
12-megapixel Telephoto camera with ƒ/2.8 aperture, folded tetraprism design, and autofocus 3D sensor-shift module
0.5x, 1x, and 2x optical zoom 0.5x, 1x, 2x, and 5x optical zoom
Sensor-shift optical image stabilization Second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization
True Tone flash Adaptive True Tone flash
LiDAR scanner
Night mode portraits
Macro photography
Apple ProRAW
Shoot and instantly transfer 48-megapixel ProRAW images to Mac via USB 3
Record video directly to an external drive
ProRes video recording up to 4K at 30 fps (60 fps with external recording)
Macro video recording, including slo‑mo and time‑lapse
Log video recording
Academy Color Encoding System
Record spatial video for Apple Vision Pro
USB 2 transfer speeds (up to 480Mb/s) USB 3 transfer speeds (up to 10Gb/s, 20x faster)
DisplayPort support for up to 4K HDR video output
Wi‑Fi 6 connectivity Wi‑Fi 6E connectivity
Thread networking technology
26-hour battery life 29-hour battery life
128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage options 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options
Yellow, Blue, Pink, Green, and Black color options Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium color options
Starts at $899 Starts at $1,199

The ‌‌iPhone 15 Pro‌‌ Max offers a large number of upgrades over the ‌‌iPhone 15‌ Plus‌. With $300 difference to obtain a display with ProMotion and always-on functionality, the Action Button, and longer battery life, some customers will be able to justify getting the ‌‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max‌ over the ‌‌iPhone 15‌ Plus‌. Other differences, such as the A17 Pro chip and 2GB additional memory are notable, but most significant are perhaps the devices' fundamentally different rear camera setups. The ‌‌iPhone 15 Pro‌‌ Max unlocks 10 additional camera features and offers four additional or different pieces of camera hardware. Due to the scale and breadth of the ‌‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max‌'s improvements and features, most customers will be happy to choose the high-end model.

It is worth noting that if you need 256GB of storage, the price difference between the two models shrinks to $200, since there is no 128GB configuration for the ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max.

The standard ‌‌iPhone 15‌‌ Plus still offers many of the ‌‌iPhone 15 Pro‌‌ Max's most compelling capabilities, such as USB-C, ‌‌Dynamic Island‌‌, and a 48-megapixel main camera, at a lower price point. It will only be worth getting the ‌‌iPhone 15‌‌ Plus over the ‌‌iPhone 15 Pro‌‌ Max if you want a lighter device, do not care for the "Pro" rear camera setup or features like ProMotion and the always-on display, or cannot justify the $300 to upgrade to the high-end flagship model. In this instance, you will still benefit from the device's generous roster of advanced features. The ‌‌iPhone 15‌‌ Plus is still a very well designed and balanced device, especially for average customers and those coming from a much older model with a smaller display.

If the 6.7-inch displays of the ‌iPhone 15‌ Plus and ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max are too big for you, there is the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, which start at $799 and $999, respectively. With the exception of longer battery life and 5x optical zoom, both of these smaller devices share all of their larger siblings' features at lower price points.

Related Roundups: iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Hot Apple Cider Avatar
11 weeks ago
More importantly, the Pros colors match men's underwear better and the Plus colors match women's underwear better.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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