iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Plus vs iPhone 15 Pro Max

You get a Dynamic Island, and you get a Dynamic Island.

iPhone 15

From
$1499
  • pro
    Dynamic Island
  • pro
    A16 chip and USB-C
  • pro
    6.1-inch Super Retina XDR Display
  • con
    No Action Button, Always-On or ProMotion
iPhone 15 Plus - Blue

iPhone 15 Plus

From
$1649
  • pro
    Dynamic Island
  • pro
    A16 chip and USB-C
  • pro
    6.7-inch Super Retina XDR Display
  • con
    No Action Button, Always-On or ProMotion
iPhone 15 Pro - Titanium

iPhone 15 Pro

From
$1849
  • pro
    Dynamic Island
  • pro
    A17 Pro chip, USB-C 3 and 1TB option
  • pro
    6.1-inch Super Retina XDR ProMotion Display
  • pro
    Action button and Always-On Display
iPhone 15 Pro - Blue

iPhone 15 Pro Max

From
$2199
  • pro
    Dynamic Island
  • pro
    A17 Pro chip, USB-C 3 and 1TB option
  • pro
    6.7-inch Super Retina XDR ProMotion Display
  • pro
    Action button and Always-On Display
  • con
    No 128GB option
Brodie Fogg
Sep 15, 2023
Icon Time To Read8 min read
Published on September 15, 2023

Now that Apple has officially dished the dirt on the iPhone 15 series, it appears there wasn't a lot left to the imagination after all the leaks and rumours. Once again, this year's iPhone ain't all that different to the last, at least not in any meaningful way. Last year, the Dynamic Island delivered a long overdue design update but that was exclusive to the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. This year, the Dynamic Island will be available on all four devices: the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Despite this, Apple has still managed to gatekeep a few fancy features for those willing to fork out for the Pro models.

Let's take a look at how each device in the iPhone 15 lineup compares before you rush out and place a pre-order:

Compare iPhone 15
  1. Price: iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro
  2. Plans: iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro
  3. Colours and materials: Titanium for Pro
  4. Performance: A17 Pro vs A16 Bionic
  5. Camera comparison: Better zoom on Pro Max
  6. Battery and charging: A Tale of Two USB-Cs
  7. Other featuresAction Button, ProMotion and more
iPhone 15 Pro
iPhone 15 Plus vs iPhone 15 Pro
Everything you need to know before purchasing iPhone 15
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Price: iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro

From $1,499 to $2,899

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of the iPhone 15 series, the first question you should ask is how much will each handset cost you. Other smartphone manufacturers have slowly been blurring the line between their budget and premium offerings, as is the case with the perfectly capable Google Pixel 7a when compared with the Pixel 7. But Apple still saves its biggest upgrades for those who pay for Pro. Here's the starting price for each iPhone 15 model this year: 

  • iPhone 15: Starts at $1,499
  • iPhone 15 Plus: Starts at $1,649
  • iPhone 15 Pro: Starts at $1,899
  • iPhone 15 Pro Max: Starts at $2,199

The closest competitors in the Android space right now are the Samsung Galaxy S23 and the Google Pixel 7. Currently, the Galaxy S23 starts at $1,099 for the 128GB model while the Pixel 7 has been discounted to $799 ahead of the Pixel 8's October release

Here's the complete list of Australian pricing for the iPhone 15 series:

Storage
iPhone 15
iPhone 15 Plus
iPhone 15 Pro
iPhone 15 Pro Max
128GB$1,499$1,649$1,849N/A
256GB$1,699$1,849$2,049$2,199
512GB$2,049$2,199$2,399$2,549
1TBN/AN/A$2,749$2,899

Plans: iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Plans are available through Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

Plans for the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are now available. Devices will ship on the 22nd of September when the iPhone 15 family officially goes on sale in Australia. Check out the cheapest plans below. 

iPhone 15 bannner - Reviews.org

iPhone 15 plans

iPhone 15 128GB (36-month plans)

The cheapest iPhone 15 plans available in Australia come from Vodafone. Handset repayments start at $41.62 per month for 36 months on Vodafone's Small Plan, which offers unlimited standard calls and text and 40GB of max speed data with no excess data charges (speeds are slowed to 1.5Mbps after your cap is reached.)

For a more comprehensive breakdown of Apple's standard smartphones, check out our full coverage of the best iPhone 15 plans available in Australia. 

iPhone 15 Plus plans

iPhone 15 Plus 128GB (36-month plans)

Likewise, the cheapest iPhone 15 Plus plan comes from Vodafone. The same Small Plan with 40GB of max speed data and unlimited standard national calls and texts will effectively cost you the same for the SIM itself, but the handset repayments go up to $45.80 per month for the 6.7-inch iPhone Plus. 

Here are the cheapest iPhone 15 Plus plans available from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. 

iPhone 15 Pro bannner - Reviews.org

iPhone 15 Pro plans

iPhone 15 Pro 128GB (36-month plans)

Moving now into the professional price range, the iPhone 15 Pro is more expensive again. Vodafone's Small Plan is still the cheapest way to get it on a plan, but opting for the 15 Pro bumps the monthly handset repayments up to $51.36 per month over 36 months. That's a minimum cost of $1,893.96 for the first month of your plan and the cost of the phone itself. If you do stick it out for the full 36-months, you will pay $3,468.96 in total over three years. 

These plans are available on 24-month options too if you'd prefer to pay off your iPhone 15 Pro sooner. Head over to our round-up of the best iPhone 15 Pro plans for a more comprehensive breakdown of pricing options. 

iPhone 15 Pro Max plans

iPhone 15 Pro Max 256GB (36-month plans)

If you want the biggest iPhone available this year (and the best camera system,) you'll be looking at paying a little more than usual at its lowest price. That's because the iPhone 15 Pro Max isn't available in a 128GB storage option this year, only 256GB. Once again, the cheapest plan is Vodafone's Small Plan, but this time the handset repayments cost $61.08 per month. The minimum cost is $2,243.88 for your first month with Vodafone and the cost of your handset combined. 

Here's a snapshot of the cheapest 36-month plans available for the iPhone 15 Pro Max in Australia. 

Colours and materials: iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro

Matte finish for iPhone 15, Titanium for 15 Pro.

iPhone 15 lineup
  • iPhone 15/15 Plus: Black, Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink
  • iPhone 15 Pro/15 Pro Max: Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium, White Titanium, Black Titanium

Besides that nice Pink iPhone we're getting, it's hard to tell the major design differences between the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 14 at a glance. Close-up images reveal that the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus range sport a textured matte finish this year, which could be worth it for the lack of fingerprints alone. The rear is still made from glass, but its "colour-infused" which gives us that nice textured look. Otherwise, the iPhone 15 still rocks an aluminium frame. 

The iPhone 15 Pro, on the other hand, is made from Titanium. Titanium is both sturdier and lighter than aluminium and the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are leaning into this aesthetic with a slightly rugged brushed metal look. 

iPhone 15 Pro Max
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Performance: A17 Pro vs A16 Bionic

Last year's powerhouse is this year's weakling.

A17 Pro

This ain't your Daddy's Apple silicon. Most other years, it's easy to completely disassociate whenever someone from Apple starts talking percentages and neural engines and what have you but this year was different for a few reasons. Apple has welcomed its silicon smartphone processing chips to the Pro family this year with the A17 Pro (which, as the name suggests, is exclusive to Pro.) On paper, Apple claims the A17 Pro boasts a 10% increase in CPU speeds, neural engine speeds that are twice as fast and a 20% faster GPU and a 50% increase in yawns for those reading at home. But you can easily ignore those numbers this year, because Apple actually gave us something really impressive to demonstrate the A17 Pro's power. Later this year and early 2024, four huge AAA games will come to the iPhone 15 Pro: Death Stranding, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Resident Evil Village and the as-of-yet unreleased Assassin's Creed Mirage–all current-gen games made to play on high-end PCs and the latest video game consoles. Not streamed to the iPhone over the cloud, like Google Stadia or Xbox Cloud Gaming, complete games installed natively on the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, complete with "hardware-accelerated" ray tracing (modern rendering technology that creates incredibly realistic lighting and shadows.)

There are still so many questions to ask before we get too excited: how big are these game files? Are there other significant compromises made to port these titles to iPhone 15 Pro, or is the A7 Pro really just that powerful? We won't know until we have had a chance to review the iPhone 15 Pro, and a few of the games announced. 

Some more good news for those saving some simoleons with the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus: you won't get rorted on processing power like the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus will house an A16 Bionic chip, which powered last year's Pro series. So last year's premium is this year's entry-level option, which is nice. 

Camera comparison: iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom.

iPhone 15
  • 12MP 5x Telephoto lens exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • 2x optical zoom on iPhone 15 Pro
  • 5x optical zoom on iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Spatial Photos exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Identical camera systems on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus

While the camera premium is slowly going the way of the dinosaurs, the Pro models this year retain some premium camera features. Most notably, the iPhone 15 Pro Max comes out on top with a 5x 12MP Telephoto lens (3x Telephoto on the Pro,) and better zoom (5x optical zoom and 25x digital zoom.)

The Apple Vision Pro compatible Spatial Photos feature is also exclusive to this year's Pro range, thanks in part to their LiDAR capabilities (a technology with other photography benefits.)

Otherwise, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus share identical camera systems, so you won't sacrifice anything if you're choosing between the two cheaper models. 

Battery and charging: USB-C

Smell ya later Lightning.

iPhone 15 USB-C charging
  • iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus: USB-C 2
  • iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max: USB-C 3

Yes, Apple is officially ditching Lightning this year for USB-C, as much as it would love to continue selling licenses to third-party Lightning manufacturers. And it would have gotten away with it if it weren't for that meddling EU. So now we have a totally unified charging and data transfer solution for all smartphones, right? Well, no. In fact, even in the iPhone's first USB-C smartphone family, there are some compatibility caveats. The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max are compatible with USB-C 3 speeds (up to 10Gbps transfer speeds) but the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will only take USB-C 2 (480mbps transfer speeds.) 

To make matters a little more confusing, the USB-C cable Apple ships with the iPhone 15 Pro is a USB-C 2 cable. To take advantage of the faster transfer speeds, you'll need to purchase a separate USB-C 3 cable. Apple currently sells a 1-metre Thunderbolt 4 Pro cable for $115. That's just the cable, no brick included. Sorry to break it to you. 

Still, USB-C on iPhone 15 has other benefits. For one, most of your non-Apple devices should already be using it if they were released in the last five years or so. Secondly, you can now use the USB-C to USB-C cable to charge your AirPods Pro from your iPhone 15.

Sorry, not your AirPods Pro, they still use a Lightning cable, the brand-new USB-C powered AirPods Pro that Apple quietly announced alongside the new iPhones which are functionally the same as last year's bar one or two very small differences. 

Other 15 Pro features

Lights, Camera, Action.

Action Button

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Action Button
  • Exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

ACTION! As the rumours suggested, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will inherit the Action Button of the Apple Watch Ultra, sadly without the same high-vis orange pizzazz. To be honest, it's an extravagant name for a button that essentially replaces the reliable side-mounted Ring/Silent switch. Yes, you can change its function with a number of quick access commands, like accessing the camera, or customise it with the Shortcuts app (which still isn't super user-friendly) but we would have been happier with an Action Button if it didn't mean losing the tactile Silent switch. Not sure if Apple knew, but we were kind of using that. 

ProMotion Adaptive Refresh Rate

  • Still a Pro exclusive

Apple's 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, ProMotion, is still a Pro exclusive this year. This one feels a bit old in 2023 when other manufacturers have moved on from selling 120Hz as a premium feature. There's no doubt that it makes a difference on iPhone, it would be hard to go back at this stage. But with so many other premium features to differentiate the 15 and 15 Pro, it would have been nice to see ProMotion make its way to standard devices. You can keep calling it ProMotion, nobody cares, honestly. Or just call it Motion, or better yet, just Adaptive 120Hz Refresh Rate or High Frame Rate. Don't overthink it, Apple. 

Specs: iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Plus vs iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 15 Pro Max

If you just want the raw specs without all the annoying chit-chat and smart alec comments, you can find a comprehensive spec comparison of the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max below.
Model
iPhone 15
iPhone 15 Plus
iPhone 15 Pro
iPhone 15 Pro Max
Price$1499 (128GB)
$1699 (256GB)
$2049 (512GB)
$1649 (128GB)
$11849 (256GB)
$2199 (512GB)
$1849 (128GB)
$2049 (256GB)
$2399 (512GB)
$2749 (1TB)
$2199 (256GB)
$2549 (512GB)
$2899 (1TB)
Release date22 September 202322 September 202322 September 202322 September 2023
Display6.1-inch Super Retina XDR Display6.7-inch Super Retina XDR Display6.1-inch Super Retina XDR Display6.7-inch Super Retina XDR Display
ProMotion (120Hz refresh rate)NoNoYesYes
Always-On DisplayNoNoYesYes
Resolution2556x1179 @460ppi2796x1290 @460ppi
Dynamic IslandYesYesYesYes
Action ButtonNoNoYesYes
ProcessorA16 Bionic ChipA16 Bionic ChipA17 Pro chipA17 Pro chip
Storage128GB
256GB
512GB
128GB
256GB
512GB
128GB
256GB
512GB
1TB
256GB
512GB
1TB
Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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