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?
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|
|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|
|Night mode portraits|
|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.