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iPhone 15 Pro Max Review: Cameras, iOS 17, and More

The iPhone 15 Pro Max sets a new standard for smartphones. It boasts top-notch materials and some of the finest smartphone cameras we’ve seen. It nearly reaches perfection, with only slightly higher pricing compared to the previous model, the absence of true fast charging, and Apple’s insistence on presenting 5x optical zoom as the pinnacle of smartphone telephoto tech. Nevertheless, these are minor issues that don’t significantly diminish the overall exceptional iPhone experience.

iPhone 15 Pro Max Review: Cameras, iOS 17, and More

NewForTech Opinion:

Pros:

  • Sleek redesign
  • Outstanding photography
  • Superb performance and gaming

Cons:

  • Slightly higher starting price (but more storage)
  • For extensive zoom capabilities, consider other options
  • Charging speed could be improved

iPhone 15 Pro Max: Quick Review

Apple’s titanium frame is both impressive and ergonomic. While titanium often brings thoughts of medical implants, it makes perfect sense for the iPhone due to its corrosion resistance, lightweight, and strength. The iPhone 15 Pro Max’s titanium body feels cool to the touch and offers a different feel compared to the previous model.

Apple made subtle but significant changes to the frame, introducing contoured edges that enhance the phone’s grip.

The removal of the silence/ring button in favor of a customizable button is a welcome change, adding versatility to the device.

The switch from Lightning to USB-C may frustrate some users, but it doesn’t affect the phone’s performance, and Apple provides a USB-C cable.

Under the hood, the iPhone 15 Pro Max boasts the powerful A17 Pro chip, bringing console-quality gaming to the iPhone. The high-definition Super Retina XDR OLED display now features smaller bezels.

Quick Review

The camera system, while appearing similar to the previous model, offers improved image processing and a versatile 24MP default image size.

While the optical zoom is limited to 5x, the image quality remains impressive, competing with phones offering higher zoom capabilities.

The combination of the 3nm chipset, power-efficient display, and smart power management results in excellent battery life.

In summary, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is Apple’s best offering yet, with a comfortable design, outstanding photography, fast performance, and enduring battery life, making it a top contender in the smartphone market.

iPhone 15 Pro Max Specs

  • Dimensions: 159.9mm x 76.7mm x 8.25mm
  • Weight: 221g
  • Display: 6.7-inch OLED
  • Resolution: 2796 x 1290 pixels
  • Refresh rate: Adaptive 1-120Hz
  • Chipset: Apple A17 Pro
  • Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
  • Rear Cameras: 48MP wide, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP telephoto w/ 5x optical zoom
  • Front Camera: 12MP

iPhone 15 Pro Max Price and Availability

  • Starting at $1,199 / £1,199 / AU$2,199
  • More storage in the base model (256GB)
  • Pre-orders open now, shipping from September 22

iPhone 15 Pro Max Price

StorageUS PriceUK PriceAU Price
256GB$1,199.99£1,199AU$2,199
512GB$1,399.99£1,399AU$2,549
1TB$1,599.99£1,599AU$2,899
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max base model has 256GB storage
  • It’s Apple’s most expensive iPhone
  • Various payment options available, starting at $33 per month in the US
  • Design, build, quality, and capabilities make it worth the price

iPhone 15 Pro Max Design

iPhone 15 Pro Max Design
  • Features a brushed titanium frame
  • Contoured edges for a comfortable grip
  • Lighter and slightly smaller than its predecessor
  • Thinner bezels for a larger display
  • Dimensions: 76.7 x 159.9 x 8.25mm
  • 19 grams lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max (221g vs. 240g)
  • USB-C port for high-speed data transfer
  • Front and back are protected with tough glass-based materials
  • Ceramic Shield on the front for added durability
  • IP68-rated for water resistance
  • Introduction of the Action button for added functionality and customization
  • The button can control Focus Mode, flashlight, voice memos, magnifying glass, shortcuts, accessibility features, camera, and more
  • Retains the familiar button layout with some tweaks
  • Overall design enhancements provide a lighter, sleeker, and more functional iPhone 15 Pro Max experience

Design score: 4.5 / 5

iPhone 15 Pro Max Sustainability

  • Apple focuses on sustainability in products and packaging.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max features 100% recycled aluminum and recycled cobalt in its battery.
  • Apple adopts earth-friendly materials, like FineWoven, for cases and MagSafe Apple Wallets.
Sustainability

iPhone 15 Pro Max Display

  • 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED screen with ultra-thin bezels.
  • Same 2796 x 1290 resolution and 460ppi as the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
  • Maximum brightness of 2000 nits for outdoor use.
  • Wide color gamut and 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio for rich visuals.
  • Promotion support for smooth scrolling.
  • Always-on functionality with minimal power consumption.
  • A missed opportunity for Apple Pencil support.

Display score: 4.5 / 5

iPhone 15 Pro Max Cameras

Cameras
  • Dedicated 5x optical zoom camera.
  • A new 48MP primary sensor.
  • Enhanced portrait photography features.
  • The 48MP sensor offers improved image quality.
  • Innovative pixel-binning technology for 24MP images.
  • Excellent color accuracy and sharpness.
  • Versatile digital lenses from 13mm to 120mm.
  • User-friendly depth of field adjustments.
  • Night and low-light photography improvements.
  • Impressive video capabilities, including 4K 60fps ProRes.
  • Apple Pencil support still missing.
Enhanced portrait photography features.

Camera score: 5 / 5

iPhone 15 Pro Max Performance

iPhone 15 Pro Max Performance
  • Powered by the A17 Pro chip.
  • 8GB of RAM for efficient multitasking.
  • Improved base storage options.
  • Exceptional gaming performance with console-quality graphics.
  • Console game compatibility with the use of external controllers.
  • Smooth and responsive user experience.
  • Efficient 4K video editing in iMovie.
  • Supports 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6E, and Ultra Wide-band.
  • Enhanced call quality and Wi-Fi speeds.
  • Satellite services for emergency and roadside assistance.

Performance score: 4.5 / 5

iPhone 15 Pro Max Review: Software

  • Ships with iOS 17.
  • Notable quality-of-life enhancements.
  • Limited major changes.
  • StandBy’s feature enhances bedside functionality.
  • New Contact Posters extend Lock Screen features.
  • Name Drop uses AirDrop for contact sharing.
  • FaceTime gestures add fun interactions.

Software Score: 4.5 / 5

iPhone 15 Pro Max

iPhone 15 Pro Max Review: Battery Life

  • Similar battery life to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
  • Slightly increased battery capacity.
  • USB-C charging with data speeds up to 10Gbps.
  • No power adapter is included.
  • Efficient battery management for up to 28 hours of mixed-use.
  • 50% charge in 30 minutes with an optional 20W USB-C adapter.
  • Supports Qi and MagSafe charging.

Battery Score: 4 / 5

iPhone 15 Pro Max Review: Verdict

  • Sets new standards in smartphone excellence.
  • Outstanding cameras with minor zoom limitations.
  • Premium titanium design and ergonomic curves.
  • Impressive 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display.
  • iOS 17 brings quality-of-life improvements.
  • All-day battery life with no fast charging.
  • Consider if you want the best iPhone and love large phones.

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  • Review: Kingston XS2000 Lightning-Fast USB 3.2 Gen2x2 SSD

Should I Buy the iPhone 15 Pro Max?

AttributesNotesRating
ValueHigher cost but more storage4.5 / 5
DesignTitanium body with smooth curves4.5 / 5
DisplayBigger and better screen4.5 / 5
CameraOutstanding camera collection5 / 5
PerformanceFast A17 Pro chip enables console gaming4.5 / 5
SoftwareiOS 17 with quality-of-life improvements4.5 / 5
BatteryAll-day battery life but no fast charging4 / 5

Buy It If:

  • You want the best iPhone with exceptional cameras.
  • You prefer larger phones with top-tier displays.
  • Excellent photo quality is essential.

Don’t Buy It If:

  • You’re on a budget; explore the iPhone 15 or last year’s iPhone 14 Pro.
  • If you require more zoom capabilities; consider Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
  • Fast charging is a priority; competitors offer quicker speeds.

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