iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: the key differences

The iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max have all landed, but if you want a small screen iPhone then of these it's the standard model and the Pro that you'll be choosing between.

Both devices have a 6.1-inch screen, along with a number of other similarities, but they're priced very differently.

With that in mind, we’ve examined the two smaller phones below, comparing their specs and also how we found them in our iPhone 15 review and our iPhone 15 Pro review.

You’ll know without even reading this article that the iPhone 15 Pro is a higher-end handset than the iPhone 15, but for a more in-depth look at how these phones differ – and what’s the same – read on.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: specs comparison

Before we dive in deep to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro specs, here’s a handy table giving you an at-a-glance comparison of them.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: specs
iPhone 15iPhone 15 Pro
Display:6.1-inch OLED6.1-inch OLED
Resolution: 1179 x 2556 pixels1179 x 2556 pixels
Refresh rate:60HzAdaptive 1-120Hz
Chipset:A16 BionicA17 Pro
Rear cameras: 48MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide48MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto w/ 3x optical zoom
Front camera: 12MP12MP
Storage:128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: price and availability

iPhone 15 review images

The iPhone 15 costs less than the iPhone 15 Pro (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The iPhone 15 starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,499. That's for a 128GB model, and it rises to $899 / £899 / AU$1,699 for 256GB, and $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$2,049 for 512GB.

As for the iPhone 15 Pro, that starts at $999 / £999 / AU$1,849, which again gets you 128GB of storage. 256GB will cost you $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$2,049, 512GB will set you back $1,299 / £1,299 / AU$2,399, and 1TB costs $1,499 / £1,499 / AU$2,749.

So the starting price of the iPhone 15 Pro is $200 / £200 / AU$350 higher than the iPhone 15, and the iPhone 15 Pro tops out at $400 / £400 / AU$700 more, though at the top end you also get more storage with the Pro model.

Both phones are out now and widely available across the world.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: design and display

iPhone 15 Pro review side handheld

The iPhone 15 Pro has titanium sides (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro both look quite different to their predecessors. As for how they compare to each other, well, that's a mix of similarities and differences.

Both phones have a Dynamic Island instead of a notch. That’s not a new thing for the Pro model, but it is for the standard iPhone 15. They also both have contoured edges, in place of the flat ones seen on the previous models, and they have a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port.

So, in a lot of ways they look quite similar to each other, but the iPhone 15 Pro has a more premium finish, as this has an Apple Watch Ultra-style Action button in place of a mute switch, and titanium sides rather than the aluminum of the iPhone 15.

iPhone 15 review images

The iPhone 15 has a lower refresh rate (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The dimensions of these phones are similar though, at 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8mm in the case of the iPhone 15 and 146.6 x 70.6 x 8.3mm in the case of the iPhone 15 Pro. Though the Pro model is heavier at 187g to the 171g of the standard iPhone 15.

As for the screens, both phones have a 6.1-inch 1179 x 2556 display with 461 pixels per inch and a high peak brightness of 2,000 nits. However, while the iPhone 15 Pro has a 120Hz screen, the iPhone 15 is stuck at 60Hz. So the refresh rate is the main display difference.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: cameras

iPhone 15 Pro review back flat angled camera

The iPhone 15 Pro has an extra camera (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The iPhone 15 has been upgraded to a 48MP main camera, which is one of the major improvements of this model over the iPhone 14. However, it's still just a dual-lens phone, with the same 12MP ultra-wide and 12MP selfie cameras as last year.

As for the iPhone 15 Pro, that has a triple-lens rear setup like its predecessor, specifically a 48MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 12MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom.

So it has a telephoto camera, which the iPhone 15 lacks, and is uses a different sensor for the main snapper (even though both are 48MP).

In practice, we've found that both handsets are capable camera phones, but if you want one of the best camera phones, you'll want to choose the iPhone 15 Pro.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: performance

iPhone 15

The iPhone 15 has an older chipset (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Until recently you could expect the same chipset in a standard iPhone as a Pro model, with the only potential power difference coming from the amount of RAM. But Apple didn’t do that with the iPhone 14 series.

Instead, the company gave the Pro models its latest and greatest A16 Bionic chipset, while the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus adopted the A15 Bionic from the previous generation of Pro iPhones.

The same thing has happened this year, with the iPhone 15 getting the A16 Bionic, and the iPhone 15 Pro getting a new A17 Pro chipset.

The A17 Pro has a 20% more powerful GPU than its predecessor and a 10% faster CPU, so this should make the iPhone 15 Pro a far more powerful phone. That said, the A16 Bionic is no slouch, so the standard iPhone 15 doesn't feel underpowered.

Beyond that, the iPhone 15 Pro also has more RAM, at 8GB, compared to 6GB in the iPhone 15.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: battery

iPhone 15 Pro review USB-C angled handheld

Both phones charge via USB-C (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The iPhone 15 has a 3,349mAh battery and the iPhone 15 Pro has a 3,274mAh one, so this is one area where the standard iPhone 15 actually has an advantage, albeit a negligible one.

This hasn't translated into better life though. In fact, the iPhone 15 Pro can last for up to 23 hours of video playback according to Apple, while the standard iPhone 15 can only manage 20. This difference is presumably due to the Pro phone having a more efficient chipset and a variable refresh rate (which can drop very low when 120Hz or even 60Hz isn't needed).

In our own tests, we found that both phones should comfortably see you through a day of mixed use. Both phones also charge via USB-C, which is a change for the iPhone line, as previous models have a Lightning port.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: verdict

The iPhone 15 Pro has a more premium build than the iPhone 15, as well as a higher refresh rate display, a more powerful chipset, more RAM, an extra camera for telephoto shots, and better battery life.

On the other hand, the screen size and resolution and the general overall appearance is much the same on both phones. And, of course, the iPhone 15 Pro is more expensive; with a price premium of $200 / £200 / AU$350.

Both of these are excellent smartphones, with both achieving 4.5 stars in our reviews, but the iPhone 15 Pro is a significantly better phone in a number of areas.

More iPhone 15 articles

James Rogerson

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.