iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Which one should you choose?

Macworld

The latest generation of iPhone landed in September 2023, with plenty to tempt those considering the platform for the first time or simply looking to upgrade from a previous model. But, there are choices to be made. Should you go for the standard iPhone 15, which offers pretty much everything most people want, or spend more to go Pro? Here’s what you should consider before clicking the Buy button. 

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Tech specs

iPhone 15iPhone 15 Pro (review)Display6.1-inch 2,556×1,179 460ppi Super Retina XDR OLED display; 1,600/2,000 nits peak brightness (HDR/outdoor); Dynamic Island6.1-inch 2,556×1,179 460ppi Super Retina XDR OLED display; 1,600/2,000 nits peak brightness (HDR/outdoor); Dynamic Island, ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate, Always On displayProcessorA16 BionicA17 ProStorage128GB/256GB/512GB128GB/256GB/512GB/1TBRear Camera48MP f/1.6 Main, 12MP f/2.4 Ultra Wide; 0.5X, 1X, and 2X zoom; Smart HDR 548MP f/1.78 Main, 12MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide, 12MP f/2.8 Telephoto, 0.5x, 1x, 2x, 3x optical zoom, Smart HDR 5Front Camera12MP TrueDepth, f/1.912MP TrueDepth, f/1.9Video Recording4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps, HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps, Cinematic mode, Action Mode4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps, ProRes video recording up to 4K at 60 fps with external recording, HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps, Cinematic mode, Action Mode, MacroBiometric SecurityFace IDFace IDWi-FiWi-Fi 6Wi-Fi 6ELTE5G5GChargingUSB-CUSB-CWireless ChargingYes, with MagSafeYes, with MagSafeBattery lifeUp to 20 hours video playbackUp to 23 hours video playbackBluetooth5.35.3Apple PayYesYesWaterproofingIP68IP68SIMDual (nano and eSim except in U.S. where there is no support for physical SIM cards)Dula (nano and eSIM except in the U.S. where there is no support for physical SIM cards)Dimensions5.81 x 2.82 x 0.31 inches
147.6mm x 71.6mm x 7.8mm5.77 x 2.78 x 0.32 inches
146.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.25mmWeight6.02oz / 171g6.60oz / 187g

As the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro are both from the same generation of devices, there are many similarities in the components they use. But, as you’d expect from the Pro suffix, the more expensive model comes with an array of improvements that earn it that title. 

The most obvious is the chipset, with the iPhone 15 sporting an A16 Bionic that first appeared in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max handsets. While this is a powerful base to power any device, the iPhone 15 Pro gets the new A17 Pro silicon, which Apple claims has a 10% faster CPU than its predecessor, a 20% faster GPU, and features 4x faster ray tracing too, the latter of which will keep gamers very happy.

In terms of battery life, Apple states that the iPhone 15 is capable of up to 20 hours of video playback, with the iPhone 15 Pro besting this at 23 hours. This is impressive when both are around the same size. The EU laws that forced Apple to drop its proprietary Lightning port have now come into force, with the iPhone range being the first to feature USB-C ports. The iPhone 15 gets the USB 2 standard and the Pro model is fitted with the faster USB 3 variant. 

Both feature IP68 waterproof ratings, support wireless charging and MagSafe compatibility, have 5G LTE and Wi-Fi 6 capabilities (although the Pro is 6E), and come in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB configurations. The Pro also offers a 1TB variant if you really need more space. 

For more advice read our iPhone Buying Guide and Best iPhone comparison chart.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Design & build

Apple continues to use the square-edge design that it introduced with the iPhone 12 series, albeit with a few refinements here and there. Both handsets are very close in size, with the Pro being slightly more compact but also a little fatter and heavier. Here’s how they compare:

iPhone 15: 5.81 x 2.82 x 0.31 inches (147.6mm x 71.6mm x 7.8mm); 6.02 (171g)

iPhone 15 Pro: 5.77 x 2.78 x 0.32 inches (146.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.25mm); 6.60oz (187g)

For the chassis, the iPhone 15 is made from aluminum with a color-infused glass back, while the 15 Pro uses the more premium Titanium with a textured matte glass back. Of course, you won’t notice this if you put them in a protective case, which at the current asking prices for either device would be a sensible idea. See our round-up of the best cases for iPhone 15-series.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

A new addition on the Pro is an Action button, which can be assigned a function from a list of options. It replaces the Mute switch on the iPhone 15, but can be programmed to do the same thing or enable Focus mode, open the camera, turn on the flashlight, start a voice memo as well as several other options. 

Display

The displays for fall 2023 are much closer than on the iPhone 14 series, as this time around the iPhone 15 gets the Dynamic Island that first appeared on the 14 Pro devices. So, looking at the two iPhones, you’d be hard-pressed to spot any difference. There are a few though, with the Pro model featuring an Always-On display and the smoother 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate, although the latter is only really noticeable when you’re scrolling through lists or pages. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Aside from these additions, you’ll find a 6.1 inch Super Retina XDR panel in either model, with a 2,556 x 1,179 resolution and 440ppi, HDR, True Tone, Haptic Touch, wide color display, and typical max brightness of 1,000 nits or 1,600 nits in HDR and 2,000 nits in outdoor mode. 

Colors

Color schemes do differentiate the devices, with Apple offering the iPhone 15 in Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Black. 

Apple

While the 15 Pro is available in Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium liveries. 

Apple

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Cameras

The iPhone 15 has a healthy upgrade over the iPhone 14 in the camera department. This time around Apple has fitted a 48MP f/1.6 sensor in the main camera, leaving behind the 12MP unit it used for the past few generations. This is paired with a 12MP f/2.4 Ultra Wide sensor, which combines to offer 0.5x, 1x and 2x optical zoom capabilities. There’s also Sensor-Shift optical stabilization to keep things crystal clear, Smart HDR 5, portrait lighting, Night mode and other cool photographic features. It’s a great combination that will satisfy most people, who just want an excellent camera with a few options. 

As is traditional, the iPhone 15 Pro has a three-camera array on the back, comprised of a 48MP f/1.78 main, 12MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide, both of which are very similar to that on the iPhone 15, alongside the 12MP f/2.8 Telephoto sensor that allows for macro photography as well as video. There’s also a 3x optical zoom option, meaning you’ll be able to photograph subjects very close and quite far away with the Pro model. (Only the iPhone 15 Pro Max gets the 5x optical zoom).

Apple

Something sure to interest photographic enthusiasts is the Apple ProRAW mode which gives you a huge amount of control over how the image can be edited. 

Apple hasn’t upgraded the front-facing camera though, so you’ll find a 12MP f/1.9 TrueDepth sensor in either one.

On the video side of things, both iPhones can record video up to 4K at 60fps, feature Cinematic and Action modes, and have Night mode time-lapse, slo-mo, and regular slo-mo modes, plus audio zoom and shift-sensor stabilization. The Pro adds ProRes recording, Log video recording, Academy Color Encoding System, and macro video, which is great, but will probably only be a big deal if you’re a keen videographer. 

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Price

As these are the latest iPhones, prices are at the higher end of the market. Here’s how the two compare when bought directly from Apple:

iPhone 15

128GB: $799 / £799 / AU$1,499

256GB: $899 / £899 / AU$1,699

512GB: $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$2,049

There are also deals to be had if you look at third-party retailers. We have deals on more models in our Best U.K. iPhone 15 deals and Best U.S. iPhone 15 deals round ups.

Retailer
Price
$829.99
Product
Price

iPhone 15 Pro

128GB: $999 / £999 / AU$1,849

256GB: $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$2,049

512GB: $1,299 / £1,299 / AU$2,399

1TB: $1,499 / £1,499 / AU$2,749

Again, you may find some good deals if you shop around:

Retailer
Price
$999.99
Product
Price

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Verdict

These are both excellent examples of Apple’s vision for a modern, premium smartphone. While the iPhone 15 Pro comes replete with all the bells and whistles you’d ever want, we can’t help feeling that for the majority of people this will be overkill. If you want a great iPhone that will last you years, take great photos and videos, perform well in day-to-day duties, and basically give you the tried and tested iPhone experience, then the iPhone 15 is the one to buy. 

But, if you intend to spend lots of time gaming, shooting macro video or fine-tuning the edits on your photographs, then the iPhone 15 Pro has your name written all over it. 

Wondering what other features come with the new iPhone 15 series? Read: The best iPhone 15 features.

iPhone

​Macworld Macworld

The latest generation of iPhone landed in September 2023, with plenty to tempt those considering the platform for the first time or simply looking to upgrade from a previous model. But, there are choices to be made. Should you go for the standard iPhone 15, which offers pretty much everything most people want, or spend more to go Pro? Here’s what you should consider before clicking the Buy button. 

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Tech specs

iPhone 15iPhone 15 Pro (review)Display6.1-inch 2,556×1,179 460ppi Super Retina XDR OLED display; 1,600/2,000 nits peak brightness (HDR/outdoor); Dynamic Island6.1-inch 2,556×1,179 460ppi Super Retina XDR OLED display; 1,600/2,000 nits peak brightness (HDR/outdoor); Dynamic Island, ProMotion 120Hz refresh rate, Always On displayProcessorA16 BionicA17 ProStorage128GB/256GB/512GB128GB/256GB/512GB/1TBRear Camera48MP f/1.6 Main, 12MP f/2.4 Ultra Wide; 0.5X, 1X, and 2X zoom; Smart HDR 548MP f/1.78 Main, 12MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide, 12MP f/2.8 Telephoto, 0.5x, 1x, 2x, 3x optical zoom, Smart HDR 5Front Camera12MP TrueDepth, f/1.912MP TrueDepth, f/1.9Video Recording4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps, HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps, Cinematic mode, Action Mode4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps, ProRes video recording up to 4K at 60 fps with external recording, HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps, Cinematic mode, Action Mode, MacroBiometric SecurityFace IDFace IDWi-FiWi-Fi 6Wi-Fi 6ELTE5G5GChargingUSB-CUSB-CWireless ChargingYes, with MagSafeYes, with MagSafeBattery lifeUp to 20 hours video playbackUp to 23 hours video playbackBluetooth5.35.3Apple PayYesYesWaterproofingIP68IP68SIMDual (nano and eSim except in U.S. where there is no support for physical SIM cards)Dula (nano and eSIM except in the U.S. where there is no support for physical SIM cards)Dimensions5.81 x 2.82 x 0.31 inches147.6mm x 71.6mm x 7.8mm5.77 x 2.78 x 0.32 inches146.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.25mmWeight6.02oz / 171g6.60oz / 187g

As the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro are both from the same generation of devices, there are many similarities in the components they use. But, as you’d expect from the Pro suffix, the more expensive model comes with an array of improvements that earn it that title. 

The most obvious is the chipset, with the iPhone 15 sporting an A16 Bionic that first appeared in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max handsets. While this is a powerful base to power any device, the iPhone 15 Pro gets the new A17 Pro silicon, which Apple claims has a 10% faster CPU than its predecessor, a 20% faster GPU, and features 4x faster ray tracing too, the latter of which will keep gamers very happy.

In terms of battery life, Apple states that the iPhone 15 is capable of up to 20 hours of video playback, with the iPhone 15 Pro besting this at 23 hours. This is impressive when both are around the same size. The EU laws that forced Apple to drop its proprietary Lightning port have now come into force, with the iPhone range being the first to feature USB-C ports. The iPhone 15 gets the USB 2 standard and the Pro model is fitted with the faster USB 3 variant. 

Both feature IP68 waterproof ratings, support wireless charging and MagSafe compatibility, have 5G LTE and Wi-Fi 6 capabilities (although the Pro is 6E), and come in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB configurations. The Pro also offers a 1TB variant if you really need more space. 

For more advice read our iPhone Buying Guide and Best iPhone comparison chart.

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Design & build

Apple continues to use the square-edge design that it introduced with the iPhone 12 series, albeit with a few refinements here and there. Both handsets are very close in size, with the Pro being slightly more compact but also a little fatter and heavier. Here’s how they compare:

iPhone 15: 5.81 x 2.82 x 0.31 inches (147.6mm x 71.6mm x 7.8mm); 6.02 (171g)

iPhone 15 Pro: 5.77 x 2.78 x 0.32 inches (146.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.25mm); 6.60oz (187g)

For the chassis, the iPhone 15 is made from aluminum with a color-infused glass back, while the 15 Pro uses the more premium Titanium with a textured matte glass back. Of course, you won’t notice this if you put them in a protective case, which at the current asking prices for either device would be a sensible idea. See our round-up of the best cases for iPhone 15-series.

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

A new addition on the Pro is an Action button, which can be assigned a function from a list of options. It replaces the Mute switch on the iPhone 15, but can be programmed to do the same thing or enable Focus mode, open the camera, turn on the flashlight, start a voice memo as well as several other options. 

Display

The displays for fall 2023 are much closer than on the iPhone 14 series, as this time around the iPhone 15 gets the Dynamic Island that first appeared on the 14 Pro devices. So, looking at the two iPhones, you’d be hard-pressed to spot any difference. There are a few though, with the Pro model featuring an Always-On display and the smoother 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate, although the latter is only really noticeable when you’re scrolling through lists or pages. 

Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Aside from these additions, you’ll find a 6.1 inch Super Retina XDR panel in either model, with a 2,556 x 1,179 resolution and 440ppi, HDR, True Tone, Haptic Touch, wide color display, and typical max brightness of 1,000 nits or 1,600 nits in HDR and 2,000 nits in outdoor mode. 

Colors

Color schemes do differentiate the devices, with Apple offering the iPhone 15 in Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Black. 

Apple

While the 15 Pro is available in Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium liveries. 

Apple

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Cameras

The iPhone 15 has a healthy upgrade over the iPhone 14 in the camera department. This time around Apple has fitted a 48MP f/1.6 sensor in the main camera, leaving behind the 12MP unit it used for the past few generations. This is paired with a 12MP f/2.4 Ultra Wide sensor, which combines to offer 0.5x, 1x and 2x optical zoom capabilities. There’s also Sensor-Shift optical stabilization to keep things crystal clear, Smart HDR 5, portrait lighting, Night mode and other cool photographic features. It’s a great combination that will satisfy most people, who just want an excellent camera with a few options. 

As is traditional, the iPhone 15 Pro has a three-camera array on the back, comprised of a 48MP f/1.78 main, 12MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide, both of which are very similar to that on the iPhone 15, alongside the 12MP f/2.8 Telephoto sensor that allows for macro photography as well as video. There’s also a 3x optical zoom option, meaning you’ll be able to photograph subjects very close and quite far away with the Pro model. (Only the iPhone 15 Pro Max gets the 5x optical zoom).

Apple

Something sure to interest photographic enthusiasts is the Apple ProRAW mode which gives you a huge amount of control over how the image can be edited. 

Apple hasn’t upgraded the front-facing camera though, so you’ll find a 12MP f/1.9 TrueDepth sensor in either one.

On the video side of things, both iPhones can record video up to 4K at 60fps, feature Cinematic and Action modes, and have Night mode time-lapse, slo-mo, and regular slo-mo modes, plus audio zoom and shift-sensor stabilization. The Pro adds ProRes recording, Log video recording, Academy Color Encoding System, and macro video, which is great, but will probably only be a big deal if you’re a keen videographer. 

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Price

As these are the latest iPhones, prices are at the higher end of the market. Here’s how the two compare when bought directly from Apple:

iPhone 15

128GB: $799 / £799 / AU$1,499

256GB: $899 / £899 / AU$1,699

512GB: $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$2,049

There are also deals to be had if you look at third-party retailers. We have deals on more models in our Best U.K. iPhone 15 deals and Best U.S. iPhone 15 deals round ups.

Retailer

Price

$829.99

View Deal

Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide

Product

Price

Price comparison from Backmarket

iPhone 15 Pro

128GB: $999 / £999 / AU$1,849

256GB: $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$2,049

512GB: $1,299 / £1,299 / AU$2,399

1TB: $1,499 / £1,499 / AU$2,749

Again, you may find some good deals if you shop around:

Retailer

Price

$999.99

View Deal

Price comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwide

Product

Price

Price comparison from Backmarket

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro: Verdict

These are both excellent examples of Apple’s vision for a modern, premium smartphone. While the iPhone 15 Pro comes replete with all the bells and whistles you’d ever want, we can’t help feeling that for the majority of people this will be overkill. If you want a great iPhone that will last you years, take great photos and videos, perform well in day-to-day duties, and basically give you the tried and tested iPhone experience, then the iPhone 15 is the one to buy. 

But, if you intend to spend lots of time gaming, shooting macro video or fine-tuning the edits on your photographs, then the iPhone 15 Pro has your name written all over it. 

Wondering what other features come with the new iPhone 15 series? Read: The best iPhone 15 features.

iPhone 

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