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The first reviews of the Apple iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are arriving. and the most talked about is the new Pro Max tetraprism camera with USB-C.
The iPhone 15 Pro lineup was unveiled during Apple's Wonderlust event on September 12 as part of the annual refresh of the company's most important product line. Pre-orders opened very quickly, with deliveries starting on September 22nd.
The new models feature 48-megapixel rear cameras, although the iPhone 15 Pro Max features an exclusive tetraprism lens that extends the telephoto lens to 3x zoom. instead, the optical zoom becomes 5x.
It's all based on the new A17 Pro chip, a change to the naming convention that matches additions like hardware-accelerated ray tracing.
Perhaps more importantly, there has been a shift from Lightning to USB-C, which allows charging across more physical connections and also increases file transfer speeds from the iPhone in the first place. Changes in video support are also expected to benefit creative professionals, especially the ability to record ProRes video to an external storage device.
While early buyers are preparing for their orders to arrive, the first reviews about the model have begun to appear.
CNBC's review of the iPhone 15 Pro models begins with praise for using titanium for the outer frame instead of stainless steel, in part because it makes the phone lighter. “Apple Pro phones have been getting heavier since 2019, but this phone bucks the trend,” the review said.
“The difference in weight is minor, but will make a difference for many people, making daily use more enjoyable – and marathon TikTok and YouTube sessions less tiring.”
The Pro Max's camera is also praised for its use of “an excellent new type of 3D image stabilization that prevents blurry shots as you zoom in,” as well as its increased zoom. This makes it “a reason to choose the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max over the cheaper but lighter and smaller iPhone 15 Pro.”
Gizmodo's proposal initially states that Apple “does what the Google Pixel 7 Pro doesn't,” referring to brightness and performance. While other Android devices can do ray tracing, Apple's collaboration with game makers is commendable.
In terms of performance, the A17 Pro “outperformed the best Android flagships: Pixel 7 Pro— which will soon be replaced by the Pixel 8 Pro— and Galaxy S23 Ultra.”
The camera's seven focal lengths and new 5x optical zoom have also been increased on the Pro Max, with the latter performing “on par” with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's zoom.
The new models are described as “no upgrade required” for existing iPhone users, such as the iPhone 13 Pro user, as they “still have a lot of runway ahead of them.” However, for potential Android users, it is believed that “Google will have to do something extraordinary with the Pixel 8 Pro if it wants to keep its users away from the iPhone.”
Engadget mentions the weight loss of the iPhone 15 Pro Max as the model level “always” felt too heavy.” Some things have been corrected by the use of titanium and minor changes in size.
“Along with smaller bezels, overall design changes make the iPhone 15 Pro Max a little more comfortable to use with one hand,” the review continues, adding praise for the brushed metal finish.
The new Action button has been called a “blessing and a curse” because using the multi-function button to open the camera is much faster than traditionally moving around it. “On the other hand, it wasn't always easier to reach the Action button, and while it's easy enough to identify by its size, I found myself accidentally pressing the volume keys a few times.”
As for the camera, the Pro Max “provides crisp landscapes and portraits in daylight and shows slight improvement at night.” Video quality “remains arguably the best in the industry, and cinematic mode videos are still as aesthetically pleasing as ever.”
iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are available to order now, starting at $999 and $1,199 respectively, and will begin shipping on September 22.