Editor's Note: Apple has officially revealed the iPhone 15, and we’ll be updating this article to reflect the new information as we find out more from Apple. In the meantime, check out our Apple September event live blog for everything you need to know about Apple’s new devices.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the best iPhone available right now, but it probably won’t be for long, as the iPhone 15 line is set to launch on September 12. It’s almost guaranteed that the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be a better phone, but what about the standard iPhone 15? Will that in any way better Apple’s current top handset?
That’s what we’ll aim to answer below, by looking at the key differences between these two phones. Obviously, until Apple unveils the iPhone 15 we won’t know anything for sure about that phone, but leaks and rumors have given us a good idea of what to expect.
So from the price to the design, display, cameras, performance, and battery, here’s how the iPhone 15 is likely to compare to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15: specs comparison
Before discussing the differences between these phones in detail, it’s helpful to get an overview of their core specs, so we’ve included that in the table below. In the case of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, these are confirmed specs, while for the iPhone 15 they’re based on leaks, rumors, and educated guesses.
|iPhone 14 Pro Max||iPhone 15 (rumored)|
|Display:||6.7-inch OLED||6.1-inch OLED|
|Resolution:||1290 x 2796 pixels||1170 x 2532 pixels|
|Chipset:||A16 Bionic||A16 Bionic|
|Rear cameras:||48MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto||48MP main, 12MP ultra-wide|
|Storage:||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15: price and availability
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is globally available and starts at $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899, for which you get 128GB of storage.
The iPhone 15 release date is set for September 12, and while we don’t know for sure what this phone will cost, it’s sure to be at least as pricey as the iPhone 14, which starts at $799 / £849 / AU$1,339. That’s again for 128GB of storage.
But not all sources agree that the price will be increasing, and even if it does, it will probably still be a fair bit more affordable than the iPhone 14 Pro Max – though note that the latter phone will likely see a price drop when the new models land.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15: design and display
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a matte glass back, a stainless steel frame, and a large screen, leading to dimensions of 160.7 x 77.6 x 7.9mm and a weight of 240g.
The iPhone 15 might also have a matte glass back, but will probably have an aluminum frame, and be much smaller. We don’t know the exact dimensions but they’re likely to be similar to the iPhone 14, which is 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8mm. The weight will probably also be similar to that phone’s 172g, making it much lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
It will probably match the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s IP68 rating for dust and water resistance though, as well as looking generally similar, with a Dynamic Island on the front and a square camera block on the back.
However, the iPhone 15 might have curved edges if leaks are accurate, which the iPhone 14 Pro Max doesn’t, and the colors will almost certainly differ. Specifically, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is available in Deep Purple, silver, gold, and Space Black, while the iPhone 15 colors are rumored to include Cyan, Light Blue, Pink, Midnight, Starlight, and Product (RED), or a subset of those.
As for the iPhone 15 screen, that will probably be similar to the iPhone 14’s, meaning a 6.1-inch 1170 x 2532 OLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of at least 1,200 nits. The main difference from the iPhone 14’s display will probably just be the presence of a Dynamic Island.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max also has a Dynamic Island, but attached to a much larger, 6.7-inch 1290 x 2796 OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and a likely higher peak brightness of 2,000 nits. So this phone has a substantially better screen than we’re expecting the base iPhone 15 to have.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15: cameras
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a triple-lens camera on the back, consisting of a 48MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 12MP telephoto, offering 3x optical zoom. There’s also a 12MP camera on the front for selfies.
The iPhone 15 camera is unlikely to match this, with rumors widely suggesting it will have just a dual-lens rear camera, with no telephoto snapper. However, the ultra-wide and selfie camera will likely have 12MP sensors, like those on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
That just leaves the iPhone 15’s main camera, which will reportedly be 48MP, like the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but possibly with a smaller (and therefore weaker) sensor.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15: performance
One area where these two phones could be very similar is their performance, as the iPhone 15 might inherit the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s A16 Bionic chipset, and will probably also have the same amount of RAM (6GB).
So you likely won’t get a power upgrade by replacing your older iPhone 14 Pro Max with a newer iPhone 15, but nor will the 14 Pro Max beat any model in the iPhone 15 line for performance, assuming leaks are accurate.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15: battery
iPhone 15 battery leaks suggest the phone will have a higher capacity one than its predecessor, at 3,877mAh, up from 3,279mAh battery in the iPhone 14. However, even if that’s true it will still have a smaller battery than the 4,323mAh iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Of course, the iPhone 15 will also have a smaller screen to power, and if it has the same chipset as the iPhone 14 Pro Max (as we’re expecting) then it will likely be similarly power efficient, so it’s unclear which phone will last longer between charges. The iPhone 14 Pro Max should have its variable refresh rate on its side though in terms of minimizing battery drain, as it can move between 1Hz and 120Hz as needed, whereas the iPhone 15 will probably be locked to 60Hz.
It's also unclear which phone will charge faster. The iPhone 14 Pro Max officially supports up to 20W charging, though third-party tests have found it can charge at around 27W. However, the iPhone 15 may get 35W charging according to one report. We haven’t heard this from other sources though, so we’d take it with a pinch of salt. Alternatively it will probably top out at 20W like the iPhone 14.
One big difference though will be how you charge these phones, as while the iPhone 14 Pro Max charges via a Lightning port, the iPhone 15 will probably switch to USB-C.
iPhone 14 Pro Max vs iPhone 15: verdict
The iPhone 14 Pro Max might be a year older than the yet-to-be-launched iPhone 15 but it will almost certainly be the better phone in most ways.
Going by what we’re expecting from the iPhone 15, it’s likely that the iPhone 14 Pro Max will have a larger screen, a higher refresh rate, better (and more) cameras, and a bigger battery.
However, there’s a chance the iPhone 15 will charge faster, and it will also probably use USB-C rather than Lightning, which many people will likely consider an upgrade. A lot of other aspects will be similar between the two phones too, such as their chipsets and the presence of a Dynamic Island. All that, and the iPhone 15 will almost certainly cost less than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
So depending on what you want from your phone, an argument could definitely be made for buying the iPhone 15, rather than the iPhone 14 Pro Max. But if you already have an iPhone 14 Pro Max, there’s no real reason to buy the standard iPhone 15 – you should look to the iPhone 15 Pro Max instead.
More iPhone 15 stories
- iPhone 15: everything we know
- iPhone 15 Plus: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 Pro: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 Pro Max: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 Ultra: everything we know so far
- iPhone 15 pre-orders: here's what to expect
- iPhone 15 deals: here's what to expect
- iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: the rumored key differences
- iPhone 14 Pro vs iPhone 15: the rumored key differences
- iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro: the rumored key differences
- iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14: how will Apple's next vanilla model stack up?
- iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: the rumored key differences
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.