The iPhone 15 just made the iPhone 14 Pro an even better choice

iPhone 14 Pro
Apple's iPhone 14 Pro remains a top-tier iPhone option (Image credit: Future)

Apple’s latest September event has come and gone, with the company’s newest iPhones – the iPhone 15,  iPhone 15 PlusiPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max – now officially available for pre-order (shipments begin on September 22).

Much has been made of the differences between the iPhone 15 and its direct predecessor, the iPhone 14 (and you can read more about those differences in our iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14 explainer). But what of the technological gap between the iPhone 15 and iPhone 14 Pro?

In the coming weeks, Apple’s former flagship will surely be the subject of some cracking iPhone 14 Pro deals, and although its price isn’t likely to drop below the $799 / £799 / AU$1,499 starting price of the newly released base iPhone 15, the iPhone 14 Pro could still be the better choice if you’re in the market for a new Apple iPhone. Allow us to explain why.

Let’s get the similarities out of the way first. Back in May, we published an article entitled ‘The base iPhone 15 sounds like an iPhone 14 Pro but cheaper’, and, in many respects, the base iPhone 15 is indeed an iPhone 14 Pro Lite. 

Both devices share the same 6.1-inch Super XDR OLED display, the same A16 Bionic chipset, the same 6GB RAM capacity and the same 48MP main camera. Apple’s fancy digital screen cut-out, the Dynamic Island, also makes the transition across from the iPhone 14 Pro to the base iPhone 15, while the phones’ respective designs aren’t a million miles away from one another, either.

iPhone 15

Aesthetically, the iPhone 15 is incredibly similar to the iPhone 14 Pro (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

So far, so similar. And if you’re someone who’s simply looking for a cheaper way to get the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island and impressive main camera, the iPhone 15 is the better choice of the two phones (provided you can’t find the former for cheaper, that is).

But some crucial differences between the iPhone 15 and iPhone 14 Pro remain. On the subject of cameras, you’re still only getting two lenses – that main 48MP lens along with a 12MP ultra-wide lens – on the iPhone 15, while the iPhone 14 Pro comes equipped with a third 12MP telephoto lens that’s capable of zooming optically up to 3x (for those not in the photography game, a telephoto lens allows you to bring faraway subjects closer).

The iPhone 14 Pro is more durable than the iPhone 15, too; the former’s frame is made of stainless steel, while the latter’s is made of aluminium. Neither option is as sturdy as the titanium frame you’ll find on the iPhone 15 Pro, mind, but stainless steel is nonetheless objectively stronger than aluminium, which is worth bearing in mind.

The biggest difference between these two phones, though, is their respective refresh rates. The iPhone 15 sticks with its predecessor’s static 60Hz refresh rate, while the iPhone 14 Pro boasts Apple’s ProMotion technology, which varies its refresh rate between 1-120Hz depending on the type content displayed on-screen.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro always on screen

The iPhone 14 Pro's ability to drop to just 1Hz allows for an always-on display (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Refresh rate refers to the number of times a display fully refreshes each second. The higher the refresh rate, the smoother the screen will appear to the human eye. The iPhone 14 Pro, then, is capable of appearing twice as smooth as the iPhone 15 at any given time, which makes it a more premium-feeling phone when gaming, for instance. 

There’s an argument to be made that most people don’t care about a high refresh rate because they’ve never been exposed to a superior rate than the one they’ve become accustomed to, but as TechRadar’s Managing Editor for Phones, Roland Moore-Coyler, will tell you, “once [you] see one in the glass, it’s very hard to go back.”

So, given its telephoto camera and 1-120Hz variable refresh rate, the iPhone 14 Pro is still an objectively better phone than the iPhone 15, and the arrival of the latter will surely bring the $999 / £1,099 / AU$1,749 price of the former down to a more reasonable level in the coming weeks. 

In other words, the iPhone 15 just made the iPhone 14 Pro an even better choice, and we’d suggest checking out our aforementioned iPhone 14 Pro deals page before hastily opting for the base iPhone 15 on recency bias alone.

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Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.