Tom Sykes: iPhone 15 Pro Max — First Impressions
Apple has officially launched the iPhone 15 Pro Max, the most advanced iPhone to date. It boasts an impressive array of new features, including a powerful 5x Telephoto camera, a sleek aerospace-grade titanium chassis design, USB-C compatibility, a versatile programmable Action button, and a whole lot more.
Here are my first impressions of the iPhone 15 Pro Max over the course of the first 24 hours that it has been available.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max is noticeably lighter than its predecessors. The new titanium chassis, which also features contoured edges, makes the device Apple’s lightest Pro model ever. Surprisingly, in my opinion, the brushed chassis feels more premium in the hand than the polished stainless steel found on the iPhone 14 Pro series, and the new, thinner edges make the device feel bigger, with the closest edge-to-edge display on an iPhone to date.
A downside to the new titanium chassis is that it is definitely a fingerprint magnet, but this is the trade-off for not using a case.
The new camera system on the iPhone 15 Pro Max is definitely one of the device’s biggest selling points. The iPhone 15 Pro Max provides the longest optical zoom ever on an iPhone: 5x at 120mm, and the 48MP Main camera, which features a new 24MP super-high-resolution default, allows users to capture images with sharper detail, more vivid colours, and shoot with better low-light performance. Standard 24mm images shot on the iPhone 15 Pro Max don’t look any different to those shot on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but the zoom capabilities of the new device are incomparable to any previous iPhone.
New with the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max is a programmable Action button, which replaces the switch found on the side of previous iPhone models that was used solely to toggle between ring and silent. With the Action button, users can set the button to a range of functions when it is pressed, such as opening the Camera app to quickly take a photo, switching on the flashlight, open the Magnifier app, or start a voice memo recording.
For me, the most exciting part of the Action button is its availability to run shortcuts, which automate a wide variety of things — for example, you can program so that when it is pressed, it trigger Siri, open an app, or even control smart home devices through HomeKit.
In the iPhone 15 series, all four models make the switch from the Lightning connector to USB-C. Consequently, previous iPhone chargers with Lightning connectors will not be compatible with these new models. Personally, this doesn’t bother me too much – I use MagSafe charging almost exclusively, plus I quite like the fact that my iPhone, iPad, and Mac now all share one charging cable. However, for those who are less invested in the Apple ecosystem, the absence of Lightning charging could pose an inconvenience.
Here’s a more in-depth look at what’s new with the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max: Apple unveils iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max with Action button, A17 Pro chip, 5x Telephoto camera, more
Overall, the iPhone 15 Pro Max isn’t a huge upgrade over the previous-generation, although the new chassis, improved camera and Action button do make the device a worthy upgrade, especially for those who skipped last year’s iPhone 14 Pro Max and haven’t yet experienced features like the Dynamic Island, Apple’s Always-On display or 120Hz ProMotion technology.