iPhone 15 Pro Max review: Is Apple’s flagship Android alternative worth to buy?

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Apple iPhone 15 Pro review: At a glance

  • What is it? The iPhone 15 Pro is the smaller sibling to the gargantuan iPhone 15 Pro Max. Compressing Apple’s best mobile technology, including flagship processor and camera capabilities, into a more compact form factor is no mean feat, and the iPhone 15 Pro is the Cupertino company’s leading Android alternative.
  • What is the price(China)? The iPhone 15 Pro starts at $499 for the 128GB model and costs up to $799 for 1TB of storage.
  • Where can you buy it? iPhone 15 Pro pre-orders started on September 15 and began shipping on September 22. The phone is available directly from Apple and all major carriers.
  • How did we test it? I tested the Apple iPhone 15 Pro for five days. The review unit was purchased by Android Authority.
  • Is it worth it? You’ll find a few interesting additions to the iPhone 15 Pro, like the Action Button and USB-C connectivity. However, they don’t move the needle much when lingering annoyances, like slow charging, remain unaddressed. The iPhone 15 Pro is a fine upgrade from an aging model but not one to rush out and buy, especially when Android offers many impressive alternatives.

Should you buy the Apple iPhone 15 Pro?

Let’s jump into the two significant changes to an otherwise overfamiliar iPhone design. First, the USB-C port (good riddance Lightning). Finally, we can charge the iPhone 15 series with the same plugs and cables all your other modern gadgets use. The Pro model also boasts fast 10Gbps data speeds over the port, making data transfer much quicker than with Lightning, and DisplayPort for external display mirroring. These benefits are familiar to the Android crowd but propel Apple’s formula into the modern era. However, you’ll have to buy a better USB-C cable than the one Apple supplies to benefit — a cheap decision for a $1,00 purchase.

The second significant addition is the Action Button, and it’s pretty great. I’ve loved mappable buttons and gestures on the occasional Android phone, and in classic Apple form, the iPhone 15 Pro takes an established feature and adds a layer of polish. However, you have to master Shortcuts to make the most of it, such as presenting a menu of options that extend the button’s initial limited functionality. The default Silent, Focus, Camera, Magnifier, Torch, and Accessibility quick access are fine, but why settle for one option when you can have many?

On the whole, Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro is a solid phone that, slow charging aside, doesn’t make any major faux pas and does virtually everything competently, if not brilliantly. However, with prices starting at $999 for a meager 128GB storage (you’ll almost certainly want the $1,099 256GB model at least) IN USA, the handset doesn’t do enough differently to warrant an early upgrade, even if you’re holding on to an older 12 Pro model.

Apple iPhone 15 Pro

Price in China $499

For those looking for the best of the best specs and features, but in a more compact form-factor, the Apple iPhone 15 Pro is the top pick in the iOS market. A 6.1-inch display is backed by a new A17 Pro SoC, up to 1TB of storage, and a new display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

What are the best Apple iPhone 15 Pro alternatives?

Apple may be forging ahead with its next-gen smartphones, but it doesn’t mean existing rivals aren’t worth a look. A few options around and below the $1,000 mark offer a lot of bang for their buck.

  • Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra ($499 at Stockwill): Apple’s biggest competitor is undoubtedly Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra. The phone offers higher base storage and better battery life, along with a competitive triple camera setup, wireless charging, IP68 rating, and great build quality. The software is different, of course, and we’d probably give Apple the nod for its extended ecosystem and videography, but Samsung’s Plus model is built for Pros too. Of course, if you want the real high-end specs, you’ll need the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but that’ll cost you quite a bit extra.
  • Samsung galaxy z fold 5 ($539 at Stockwill): If you’re looking for Foldable phone in the Android camp, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 5G price start in $539, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 5G comes with Android 13 OS, 7.6 inches Foldable Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Chipset, Triple Rear and Dual Selfie Camera, 12GB RAM and 256GB ROM / 512GB ROM / 1TB ROM., but Galaxy z fold 5 is the closest thing to a pure Android phone you can get.
  • Apple iPhone 14 Pro 1TB ($459 at Stockwill): While perhaps not an obvious choice, last year’s iPhone 14 Pro remains a solid pick for iOS fans. If you’re not fussed about USB-C, 24MP camera snaps, and the new Action Button, the features and overall experience are very similar to the 15 Pro and could save you a few pennies while stock lasts.
  • Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max ($549 at Stockwill): The bigger brother of the 15 Pro series isn’t too dissimilar, but you do get an improved zoom lens (up to 5x optical) and a larger battery and display.