iPhone 15 Pro review: Pushed to the edge


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The latest Pro iPhone from Apple Inc. is a study in refinement. A lighter Titanium band, a new GPU built for gaming, and new USB-C support help the iPhone 15 Pro hold its edge as a premiere smartphone.

With a new Titanium frame, the iPhone 15 is nine percent lighter than its predecessor. The rounded edges feel great to hold in the hand and an inner aluminum chassis works to keep the weight down to a minimum.

The display itself is the same from the 14 Pro but framed by slimmer bezels. Its peak 2000 nits brightness makes it easy to view in even direct sunlight and the ProMotion 120Hz display keeps scrolling smooth.

A brand new feature is the new Action button. Replacing the old Silent Mode toggle, the Action button is a multipurpose button that can be mapped to turn on the Camera, Flashlight, Voice Memo, Magnifier or a Shortcut. It can still be used for Silent Mode and features a strong haptic when turned on and off.

However, with only single press mapping, the Action button isn’t the most helpful. Apple doesn’t give an option to map the button for a double press or triple press which limits its functionality for no reason.

The new 3nm A17 Pro chip is said to be 10 percent faster than the prior chip and now includes a 6-core GPU that’s twenty percent faster than the A16 Bionic. With features like ray tracing and mesh shading, Apple hopes to lure gamers to the Apple ecosystem with AAA titles. Games like Resident Evil Village and Resident Evil 4 will drop this year to demonstrate console-level gaming on the iPhone 15 Pro, an incredible feat that makes the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max a potential console gaming platform.

Gaming had great results in our tests but can come at a price of both battery life and heat. Genshin Impact can hit 60FPS but the iPhone 15 Pro can heat up the chassis and glass to a concerning degree. Downloading the full game in app drained the battery 15 percent and caused the phone to heat up even further. It’s clear that the performance gains for the A17 Pro are tied to its higher power consumption which in turn yields hotter temperatures. If Apple is advertising its latest Pro phones as gaming devices, it should invest in a better cooling solution in future models.

Photography is a winner on the 15 Pro. While the camera lenses are the same as the 14 Pro, new software techniques like the standard 24MP photo, post photography depth control, and Smart HDR 5 help to shoot better photos than the previous model. New focal lengths like 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm help preserve sharpness and clarity better than zoom controls.

The most significant change in the latest iPhone series is the switch to USB-C. For videographers, the iPhone 15 Pro can now shoot ProRes 4K 60FPS video direct to an attached USB-C SSD for incredibly detailed footage that can be instantly transferred for editing. In addition, the USB-C port is now open to multiple storage reader peripherals and supports the DisplayPort standard to output at 4K/60Hz.

The iPhone 15 Pro is a complete refinement of the 14 Pro. The device can suffer when pushed to its limits, but its robust functionality is one that will keep Apple’s Pro series as the pinnacle of mobile devices.

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