It’s the dawn of a new era for Apple smartphones, and heralding the change are Apple’s latest flagships, the iPhone 15 Pro and its 15 Pro Max variant. These two phones get a blazing-fast processor, a switch to more premium materials, and — most importantly— a USB-C port instead of the usual Lightning connector. The premium phones were updated alongside the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Max, Apple Watch Series 9, and Apple Watch Ultra 2.
It’s disappointing to see that Apple’s September 2023 event didn’t bring a major iPhone redesign, but this time it appears that Apple wants to focus more on internal upgrades than aesthetics.
For the Pro models, Apple has ditched stainless steel in favor of titanium, which is lighter, but sturdier and more resistant to corrosive forces. The side rails are polished with a brushed finish and look stunning, while the overall build is IP68-certified for dust and water resistance.
Apple has also trimmed the bezels, while the innards have been moved around to increase repairability, especially when it comes to screens. The mute switch is also gone, and we now get a mute button that can be assigned different shortcuts.
The screen is your usual Super Retina XDR OLED affair with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. The
Leading the wave of major upgrades is the A17 Pro processor ticking under that glass and metal chassis. This is the first smartphone system-on-a-chip (SoC) out there based on TSMC’s latest 3nm fabrication process.
To put it simply, the switch to a smaller 3nm fabrication process means higher silicon density, which ultimately delivers a significant hike in raw performance and energy efficiency. The A17 Pro features two performance cores and four efficiency cores, while the Neural Engine is twice as fast.
The upgraded 6-core GPU is 20% faster and also supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing to boost light and shadow reflections in graphics-intensive tasks. Apple says the A17 Pro’s raw firepower allows console-grade games like The Division: Resurgence and Resident Evil: Village to run on the
Interestingly, the USB-C port on the
In terms of cameras, Apple isn’t making any major upgrades when it comes to the megapixel figures, but has focused on making sensor improvements and software-side enhancements. The triple camera array includes a 48-megapixel optically stabilized primary snapper and a 12-megapixel sensor for ultrawide photography.
The big upgrade, however, is reserved for the zoom shooter. Instead of the 12-megapixel telephoto shooter on the iPhone 14 Pro, the
Apple says it has also merged the autofocus and optical stabilization parts into a single 3D stack that can perform 10,000 micro-adjustments per second, significantly higher than on the
Another cool trick is support for capturing Spatial Videos, which essentially combines footage from two lenses to create juxtaposed 3D videos ideal for viewing on the Apple Vision Pro headset. It can also record and natively save ProRes videos (4K resolution at 60 frames per second) on an external storage device. Finally, the ultrawide camera now supports macro photography.
Apple says it has also improved the night mode performance and has also given a boost to the HDR output. Another convenience for content creators is that the
Preorders for the
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