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Hands-on with iPhone 15 Pro Max: Flexible focal points

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iPhone 15 Pro Max Whether fans like it or not, Apple has unveiled its iPhone 15 series, which will serve as the standard for all future devices for the ensuing 12 months. Fortunately, this year’s update is a little more thrilling than some of the earlier ones. Even for an Android user like myself, the iPhone 15 Pro Max variant in particular offers a number of upgrades that make the phone genuinely intriguing.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

iPhone 15 Pro Max: What's new?

The iPhone 15 Pro Max immediately reminds you of the previous three Pro Max models. But this time, a picture doesn’t speak a thousand words. Apple made a number of exterior improvements that alter how it feels in the hand and eventually improve it.

In place of the stainless steel chassis from prior years, this new model features a titanium chassis. This iPhone 15 Pro Max is actually lighter than the iPhone 14 Pro Max because titanium is stronger but lighter than stainless steel. It still weighs 221g, however this is an improvement over the 240g weight of the model from the previous year.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

As opposed to the sharp corners that Apple has utilized since the iPhone 12 series, the sides of the phone where the chassis meets the glass have also been slightly rounded. A better in-hand feel is produced by the combination of these softer corners and reduced weight. The 15 Pro Max seems to finally address the most of my complaints about how the Pro Max models haven’t been ergonomically comfortable for years.

Noticeable camera upgrades: Better zoom, more focal length range, automatic portraits

Although the camera module on the iPhone 15 Pro Max appears comparable, the optics have been much improved. With a bigger picture sensor and modified pixel binning, the 48MP main camera now produces 24MP images instead of 12MP. Apple also gives users the option to shoot at a closer framing without using a digital zoom by using in-sensor crop. The primary camera still shoots at 24mm by default, but you can now change to a tighter 28mm or 35mm by tapping the “1X” button on the camera UI.

This adjustment is intended to appeal to professional photographers, the majority of whom find the use of 24mm to be a little difficult. It’s too broad for portrait photos when taking pictures with “real” cameras, yet it’s not wide enough for landscape photographs.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

There is also a brand-new 5x camera that employs periscope lens technology that Apple refers to as “tetraprism.” In essence, light waves bounce off the camera sensor four times before they reach the ISP, possibly going via a magnifying glass on each bounce. The lens in this technology is not mounted in the phone’s body sideways like the Periscope zoom lens, but the basic idea is the same. The 3x telephoto lenses found on the previous two iPhones have been replaced by this. Be aware that this new 5x lens is only available on the Pro Max variant; the smaller iPhone 15 Pro will continue to use the 3x telephoto lens.

iPhone 15 Pro Max

A interesting new feature that takes advantage of Apple’s computational photography is added to all four iPhone 15 phones. Now that portrait mode is available, you can just take photos as usual and the phone will automatically gather portrait mode data if a person is in the frame. The “normal” photo can then be converted to portrait mode after the fact, allowing you to tweak the focus point and digital bokeh. This function worked flawlessly during my little testing, and I believe it will be quite useful.

New customizable Action Button

iPhone 15 Pro Max

The alert slider button from previous iPhones has been replaced by a clickable button that Apple calls the Action Button in the iPhone 15 Pro Max and its smaller Pro brother. This button is still used by default to put the phone on vibrate or quiet, but it is now also programmable. You may program it to open applications or perform specific tasks, such starting a voice recording. There are several options, and you may also establish Apple Shortcuts.

Not another Lightning

Finally, the much-rumored switch to USB-C has taken place. All four iPhone 15 models made the changeover, although only the Pro Max model features USB-C 3.0, which offers 10Gbps data transfer rates. While the discontinuation of the Lightning cord will probably irritate casual users, most serious users will be delighted because the USB-C port is just better port. Apple’s own laptops and iPads all use USB-C, after all. In addition, you now have charger that is almost universal if you utilize products from other manufacturers, which frequently use USB-C.

New chip with curious branding

The A17 Pro chip, the newest piece of Apple silicon, powers the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max as promised. This 3nm chip is actually a first for the sector, and it’s clear from benchmarks that it will be far more powerful than the current market leader, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (and presumably Snapdragon 8 Gen 3).

But the company’s decision to alter the naming structure seems strange. The “Bionic” moniker appeared on the past few iPhone chips (A15 Bionic, A16 Bionic, etc.). The Pro designation implies that, like Apple’s M silicon, future iterations of this new processor may include modifications. A17 Max or A17 Ultra chips for a more potent iPhone might be coming along the road.

Thinner bezels too

The iPhone 15 Pro phones also feature thinner bezels, although you won’t really see them unless you compare them to an earlier iPhone. The 15 Pro Max manages to marginally reduce the Pro Max model’s width in comparison to last year’s thanks to a slightly narrower bezel.

A nominal price increase?

Compared to the $1,099 starting price of the previous two Pro Max models, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is more expensive at $1,199. The base 15 Pro Max model does, however, also include 256GB of storage as opposed to 128GB. Apple is quick to point out that the price of the 14 Pro Max from last year at 256GB is still $1,199. This indicates that Apple only dropped the 128GB base model rather than actually raising prices.

The base model of the iPhone 15 Pro is still available for $999 and has the same 128GB of storage as its predecessor. The iPhone 15 series will go up for presale on September 15 and begin delivery on September 22. Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, and Black Titanium are the available colors for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.

An actually exciting iPhone release?

Overall, I think the iPhone 15 Pro Max brings enough new to be exciting. I am very interested in testing out the zoom lens and the new 35mm focal length, and I welcome the superior in-hand feel. However, I can’t say the same for the other iPhone 15 models, which only feature minor updates by comparison. Still, they’ll be among the Best iphone you can get this year, especially if you’re upgrading from a much older model.

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