iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: What are the differences?

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: What are the differences?
By: Tech Posted On: June 06, 2024 View: 6

This in-depth iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro comparison will give you clarity on what, exactly, are the differences between the two phones. We'll explore how the cameras differ, too — a popular request among prospective iPhone 15 buyers.

The iPhone 15 costs $799, but the iPhone 15 Pro is more expensive at $999. That being said, I know what you're wondering. Does the iPhone 15 Pro really have features that are worth the extra $200?

No, I will not tell you which phone to get. Instead, I'm going to tell you the differences between the two — and let you decide which device is best for you. Let's dive into this iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro face-off, shall we?

(Note: If you find that none of the models featured in the iPhone 15 series does it for you, you can always wait for the next iteration. Check out our iPhone 16 rumor hub. You may also be interested in our iOS 18 rumor hub, which details all the possible new iOS features that may hit your iPhone soon.)

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: price

The iPhone 15 has a starting price of $800 via Apple's official website — and it comes with the following specs:

  • 128GB of storage

  • 6GB of RAM

  • A16 Bionic chipset

  • 6.1-inch display

Keep in mind that you can get more storage, but it'll cost you. If you want 256GB of storage, the iPhone 15 will set you back $900. Speaking from experience, I'd recommend getting the 256GB variant, particularly if you love hoarding photos and videos. Otherwise, the 128GB model will haunt you with a "storage full" error, forcing you to delete your treasured media content within a year (or less) of use.

iPhone 15
The base iPhone 15 model comes with 128GB of storage. Credit: Stan Schroeder / Mashable

If you're a big spender, you can get the iPhone 15 with 512GB of storage, which costs $1,100. But if you have enough money to spend on that, you'd be better off upgrading to the iPhone 15 Pro with 256GB of storage, which is exactly the same price.

Speaking of the iPhone 15 Pro, it has a starting price of $999 via Apple's official website and comes with the following specs:

  • 128GB of storage

  • 8GB of RAM

  • A17 Pro

  • 6.1-inch display

The most expensive iPhone 15 Pro, packed with 1TB of storage, will set you back $1,500. But again, if you have that kind of money to blow, you might as well upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro Max with 512GB of storage, which costs $100 less at $1,400.

Again, I'd recommend upgrading to at least 256GB of storage if you have a treasure trove of media you'd like to store. However, if you don't mind deleting a few stuff along the way, or you have cloud storage, the 128GB variant should be fine.

iPhone 15 colors
Credit: Apple
iPhone 15 Pro colorways
Credit: Apple

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: design

Cue Sia singing "Titanium" at the top of her lungs! The iPhone 15 Pro's biggest selling point is that it consists of a titanium frame, making it lighter and more durable than its predecessor's stainless-steel chassis.

The iPhone 15, wrapped in an aluminum enclosure, doesn't have a hint of titanium. Womp, womp! It is, however, a little lighter than its Pro sibling (6.03 ounces vs. 6.6 ounces).

As far as colors are concerned, I'd argue that the iPhone 15's colors are more fun and lively.

iPhone 15 colors
The iPhone 15 comes in five fun colors. Credit: Apple

It comes in five colors:

  • Pink

  • Yellow

  • Green

  • Blue

  • Black

The iPhone 15 Pro is a little bit more low-key — more mature and sophisticated.

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iPhone 15 Pro colorways
The iPhone 15 Pro's colors are a lot more neutral. Credit: Apple

Its colors are more urbane, subtle, and minimalist:

  • Natural Titanium

  • Blue Titanium

  • White Titanium

  • Black Titanium

One subtle difference between the two phones is the iPhone 15 Pro's Action Button feature located on the left side of the chassis. The iPhone 15, on the other hand, still has a very boring mute switch instead. What's so great about the Action Button? You can customize it to launch any app or task you want.

For example, with my iPhone 15 Pro Max, I've set the Action Button to launch the Notes app since I use it so frequently, but the possibilities are endless. You can set up the Action Button to launch whatever app you want.

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: display

The iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Pro actually share the same display size: 6.1 inches. If you want something bigger (e.g., 6.7 inches), consider getting the iPhone 15 Plus or the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

iPhone 15
Dynamic Island is here to stay. Credit: Stan Schroeder / Mashable

They also have the same resolution: 2,256 x 1,179 pixels

Although the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Max share the same screen size, they do not have the same display tech. For example, the iPhone 15 does not have ProMotion technology nor does it have an Always-On display — but the Pro model has both of these perks.

What's ProMotion? It's just a fancy term for, "This phone has a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz." In other words, the iPhone 15 Pro has a zippier display that adapts to your workflow. If you're simply scrolling through an article, the refresh rate will slowdown. However, if you fire up a fast-paced mobile game, the refresh rate will pick up.

Conversely, the iPhone 15 has a refresh rate of 60Hz, which will feel slower only if you've ever owned a phone with a refresh rate of 90Hz or higher. And for the uninitiated, an Aways-On display lets you get information like time, widgets, and more at a glance because — well — the screen is always on. I can't say the same for the iPhone 15.

Both have the snazzy Dynamic Island featured at the top of the display, and plus, the duo can climb to a peak brightness of 2,000, according to Apple.

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: cameras

Cameras are one of the biggest selling points smartphones, and as you might have guessed, the iPhone 15 Pro has an edge over the iPhone 15. Here's a break down of the camera specs:

iPhone 15

  • Wide camera - 48MP

  • Ultrawide camera - 12MP

  • Selfie camera - 12MP

  • No telephoto

iPhone 15 Pro

  • Wide camera - 48MP

  • Ultrawide camera - 12MP

  • Selfie camera - 12MP

  • Telephoto - 3X optical zoom

Unlike the iPhone 15 Pro, the iPhone 15 does not have a telephoto lens, which means that zoomed-in shots will have a dip in quality. It's also worth nothing that the iPhone 15 Pro's ultrawide lens has a slightly wider aperture, which means low-light shots in dim environments should have a better outcome.

iPhone 15 Pro
If you're a telephoto lens stan, you're going to want to go Pro. Credit: Stan Schroeder / Mashable

The iPhone 15, unlike the iPhone 15 Pro, does not support macro photography, Apple ProRAW, nor Night Mode portraits. (This isn't to be confused with Night Mode, which the iPhone 15 does have. It's just not available for portrait mode.)

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: performance

The iPhone 15 Pro, without a doubt, is zippier and beastlier than the iPhone 15, thanks to its new A17 Pro Bionic chip. Meanwhile, the iPhone 15 sports the chipset featured inside the iPhone 14 Pro models: the A16 Bionic.

iPhone 15 Pro
The iPhone 15 Pro is more of a powerhouse. Credit: Stan Schroeder / Mashable

Truth be told, the A16 Bionic is still a stellar, breakneck chip that is actually overpowered for what's needed for mobile tasks, so imagine the herculean power behind the A17 Pro.

Without getting into the weeds of things, just know that the A17 Pro is capable of cutting-edge AI computations and graphics. So much so that high-fidelity games like Resident Evil Village and Death Stranding are available on the iPhone 15 Pro. Assassin's Creed Mirage will also be available on the iPhone 15 Pro, but the release is June 6.

It's also worth noting that the iPhone 15 has 6GB of RAM while the iPhone 15 Pro has 8GB of RAM. This means that latter will do a better job at juggling multiple tasks simultaneously (e.g., switching between a bunch of apps should be faster).

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: battery life

Apple ran a video playback test on the iPhone 15 and it lasted 20 hours on a single charge.

Compare that to the iPhone 15 Pro, which lasted 23 hours on the same test.

iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 15 Pro: Which should you buy?

To sum it all up, the iPhone 15 Pro has an Action Button that I believe is totally underrated — the iPhone 15 doesn't have one. Plus, the iPhone 15 Pro has a better camera system. If taking better zoomed-in shots are important to you, it'd be worth it to shell out an extra $200.

If you enjoy mobile gaming, with the iPhone 15 Pro getting a GPU boost from its A17 Pro chipset, the upper-tier model is a better choice for you.

However, if neither of those bells and whistles tickle your fancy, you'll be fine with the entry-level iPhone 15.

Topics iPhone

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