The iPhone 15 Pro Max is Apple's most expensive, powerful, and capable smartphone to date. Not only does it feature a new Action button, a titanium design, and a powerful A17 Pro chip, it also has a unique feature in the form of a 5x optical zoom telephoto camera, helping it to stand out from the smaller iPhone 15 Pro.
For our full verdict on the iPhone 15, head over to our iPhone 15 review. You'll also want to check out our iPhone 15 Plus review, iPhone 15 Pro review, and iPhone 15 Pro Max review for a detailed look at the rest of Apple's iPhone 15 lineup.
As you'll see, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has the credentials (and then some) to challenge the best Android phones from Samsung and Google, so read on for everything you need to know about Apple's best new iPhone.
iPhone 15 Pro Max cheat sheet
- New titanium design bonded with aluminum to provide a stronger, lighter iPhone that's good at dissipating heat.
- New Action button with custom shortcuts.
- Improved Dynamic Island capabilities.
- Support for more customization on the always-on display in Standby mode.
- A17 Pro chip - 3-nanometer process, 19 billion transistors, 6 core CPU, 2x Neural Engine performance.
- 20% faster GPU allows for hardware-accelerated ray tracing, and sustained performance for games.
- USB-C connector with a new controller to enable USB 3 speeds at 10Gbps, 20x faster than USB 2 - ProRaw can be quickly transferred to Mac.
- Improved Night Mode powered by the Photonic Engine and helped by LiDAR.
- New telephoto camera uses a periscope design to offer 5x optical zoom at a 120mm focal length, great for close ups.
- Ultrawide gets a better night mode, improved HDR and an anti-reflective coating.
- Spatial video can be captured by using ultrawide and main cameras together, ready for Apple Vision Pro.
- Starts at $1,199 with 256GB base storage and tops out at 1TB.
- Preorders go live September 15 and will ship on September 22.
Apple released the iPhone 15 Pro alongside the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Here's how all four models compare:
|iPhone 15||iPhone 15 Plus||iPhone 15 Pro||iPhone 15 Pro Max|
|Dimensions:||147.6mm x 71.6mm x 7.80mm||160.9mm x 77.8mm x 7.80mm||146.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.25mm||159.9mm x 76.7mm x 8.25mm|
|Display:||6.1-inch OLED||6.7-inch OLED||6.1-inch OLED||6.7-inch OLED|
|Resolution:||2556 x 1179 pixels||2796 x 1290 pixels||2556 x 1179 pixels||2796 x 1290 pixels|
|Refresh rate:||60Hz||60Hz||Adaptive 1-120Hz||Adaptive 1-120Hz|
|Chipset:||A16 Bionic||A16 Bionic||A17 Pro||A17 Pro|
|Rear cameras:||48MP main, 12MP ultrawide||48MP main, 12MP ultrawide||48MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom||48MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto with 5x optical zoom|
|Storage:||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
iPhone 15 Pro Max release date and price
- Unveiled on September 12, 2023
- Price starts at $1,199 / £1,199 / AU$2,199
Revealed on September 12, 2023 at the latest Apple September event, the iPhone 15 Pro Max became available to buy in-store and online on September 22.
Pricing starts at $1,199 / £1,199 / AU$2,199 for the base 256GB version, and tops out at $1,599 / £1,599 / AU$2,899 for the 1TB model. As such, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has got a base price hike in the US and Australia compared to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which started at $1,099 / £1,199 / AU$1,899, but also came with 128GB at its base level.
For a detailed look at the best iPhone 15 Pro Max deals in your region, head to our dedicated page. Alternatively, we've included some of the best early iPhone 15 deals in the list below.
- Apple: up to $650 off with a trade-in rebate
- AT&T: save up to $1,000 with a trade-in
- Best Buy: up to $1,000 off with a trade-in
- Boost Infinite: iPhone 15 Pro w/ unlimited data for $60/mo
- Verizon: $1,000 off iPhone 15 Pro with any iPhone trade
- Sky Mobile :Get the iPhone 15 on Sky Mobile from £34 per month
- Vodafone: Get the iPhone 15 range from £18 per month on Vodafone EVO
- Vodafone: Save up to £821 with Vodafone Trade-in
- Apple: Trade in with Apple to save up to £715
iPhone 15 Pro Max colors
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is sporting a new titanium design, and it's also got a new suite of colors to suit its new metallic chassis.
They are as follows:
- Natural Titanium
- Blue Titanium
- White Titanium
- Black Titanium
As such, the colour palette of the iPhone 15 Pro Max is somewhat muted, but we'd have to see them in the metal and glass before we cast any real judgment.
iPhone 15 Pro Max design and display
Update (27/09): Since the release of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, many users have taken to the internet to report worrying overheating issues. It's thought that the phone's titanium design could be to blame for its poor cooling efficiency, with Apple expected to roll out a fix via software updates soon. However, this fix would likely require Apple to curtail the power of the phone's A17 Pro chipset.
Update (01/10): Apple has now gone on the record to say that overheating issues will be fixed in future software patches.
At first glance, the iPhone 15 Pro Max looks a lot like its predecessor, particularly as rumors of new curved edges did not come to fruition.
Rather the iPhone 15 Pro Max retains its flat edges, but Apple has smoothed the contours on them. However, the biggest change is the swapping of stainless steel for a titanium chassis that encases an aluminum substructure. This means the iPhone 15 Pro Max is both stronger and lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but still has strong thermal dissipation thanks to the use of aluminum (the iPhone 15 Pro Max's removable rear glass panel makes it cheaper and easier to repair, too).
Another major change is the swapping of the mute slider for an Action button. Only available on the new iPhone Pro models, this button can activate various functions, such as quickly accessing the camera of flashlight, activating Voice Memo, triggering focus modes, and accessing the Shortcuts functions, all via a press-and-hold gesture.
The display remains largely the same, with a 6.7-inch size and access to a 120Hz refresh rate ProMotion panel. But the bezels have been trimmed down a little, and the Dynamic Island has been improved to show more contextual information.
The always-on display has been improved too, with more customizable widgets on offer when in StandBy mode.
iPhone 15 Pro Max cameras
- 48MP main camera defaults to 24MP photos
- Periscope telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom and a 120mm focal length
- Automatic portrait mode and improved low-light photography
While the iPhone 15 Pro Max sticks to a trio of rear cameras, these have been improved. The 48MP main camera now serves up 24-megapixel photos rather than 12MP shots by default, and improvements to the Photonic Engine mean better low-light photography from it and the ultrawide camera; the latter has also been given improved HDR performance, and an anti-reflective lens coating.
But the biggest camera upgrade, and one that's exclusive to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, comes in the form of the new 12MP telephoto camera, which has a periscope lens arrangement to deliver a 5x optical zoom and a focal length of 120mm. Thanks to an "innovative tetraprism design with a combined optical image stabilization and autofocus 3D sensor-shift module," Apple says this camera should deliver better close-ups, and also work well for capturing wildlife photography and photos at sporting events.
Improvements in Smart HDR processing promise more true-to-life skin tones and colors, while the LiDAR scanner, in combination with the main and ultrawide cameras, can capture 'Spatial' footage for use with the Apple Vision Pro mixed reality headset.
On the video side, improvements have been made to low-light and fast-movement capture, thanks to the new A17 Pro chip and its boosted neural processing.
iPhone 15 Pro Max USB-C
- USB-C replaces the Lightning port
- The connection offers USB 3 connectivity speeds
Surprising no one, the iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with a USB-C port, which replaces the Lightning port that has been a staple of iPhones for generations.
Unlike the USB-C ports on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, the Pro's port offers a USB controller to power USB 3 speeds of up to 10Gbps. That means photos and video formats that require a lot of bandwidth, like ProRes and ProRAW, can be directly transferred off the iPhone 15 Pro Max via USB-C onto MacBooks, while 4K video at 60 frames per second can be recorded directly to external hard drives.
This may seem like a small upgrade, but it really puts the professional element into the Pro iPhones, especially for video content creators.
With these cameras and features, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a good shot at ranking high in our list of the best camera phones. But we won’t know for sure until we’ve completed a full iPhone 15 Pro Max review.
iPhone 15 Pro Max specs
- 3nm A17 Pro chip with improved CPU, GPU and Neural Engine processing
- Support for hardware-accelerated ray tracing
- Second-generation ultra wideband chip for better connectivity with devices
Powering the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the new A17 Pro chip. With 19 billion transistors on a new 3-nanometer process, the A17 Pro has a 10% faster CPU, and an 8-core GPU that's not only 20% faster than its predecessor but also enables hardware-accelerated ray tracing; expect this to serve up some attractive games, including games like Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 4, Death Stranding, and Assassin’s Creed Mirage when they get ported over to the new Pro iPhones.
The A17 Pro also brings with it 2x improved Neural Engine processing to deliver up to 35 trillion operations per second. In simple terms, this means Siri can be used to perform improved on-device functions without needing to connect back to the cloud.
We've now seen early iPhone 15 Pro Max benchmarks which further demonstrate the power of the A17 Pro chipset, as its scores are far higher than any Android phone, and a fair bit higher than the iPhone 14 Pro Max manages too.
Interestingly, these listings also mention 8GB of RAM, which would be up from 6GB in the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Apple never reveals RAM amounts in its phones though, so we won't know for sure how much the iPhone 15 Pro Max has until someone has opened one up.
Finally, a second-generation ultra wideband chip provides connectivity with other devices up to three times further away than the previous generation chip. And there's support for Wi-Fi 6E.
iPhone 15 Pro Max battery and charging
- Up to 29 hours of video playback
Apple doesn't discuss battery sizes, so we've not been told the size of the cell in the iPhone 15 Pro Max. But Apple claims it'll deliver up to 29 hours of video playback, and we managed to get a 28 hours while testing the phone for our full iPhone 15 Pro Max review.
Apple says the iPhone 15 Pro Max can recharge to 50% in 30 minutes with an optional 20W USB-C adapter. Ours charged to 47% in that time, and took another hour and a half for it to fully charge. Charging is done via USB-C or MagSafe, and there's also support for Qi2 wireless charging.