Apple iPhone 15 Pro: An in-depth exploration of the cutting-edge flagship

Apple unveiled its range of new devices just a few weeks back in Cupertino that also included four new iPhones with its iPhone 15 series. The iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max – from lowest priced to highest are Apple’s latest new smartphones. The 15 Pro, which I have been using for a while now, sits between the regular iPhone 15 and the beefy iPhone 15 Pro Max. With a base price of Rs. 1,34,900 and going to Rs. 1,84,900 (of course there are deals and bank offers), let’s try and see what the iPhone 15 Pro really brings to thetable:

Design: The new iPhone 15 Pros come in grade 5 titanium framing instead of steel from earlier. They also sport matte finish glass at the back. The edges are also slightly curved and more tapered now. What all this meant, lighter and grippier devices that are more comfortable to carry around than the predecessor. The front has a 6.1-inch display with ceramic glass shield on top (and thinner bezels around it compared to the iPhone 14 series), Dynamic Island setup with the ear-speaker grille next to it. The right side houses the Power/lock key; while the left side locates the new Action button (replacing the Alert slider) as well as separate volume buttons and the SIM card tray. All these buttons feel nice and not super sharp to use in whatever way you’re holding the phone. On the bottom, you get the USB type C port (replacing the decade old lightning port), primary mic and one outlet of loudspeakers. Coming to the back, you get a triple camera system with dual tone LED flash and LiDAR scanner – all situated on a curved rectangular cutout that’s protruding from the body.

The phone comes in Natural Titanium, Blue Titanium (the one I used), White Titanium and Black Titanium. Thankfully, there’s no discolouration on the unit I have, but there have been some reports of it for the Natural Titanium colour. It weighs slightly under 190 grams and measures about one third of an inch. Despite being a little thicker, I definitely prefer how it feels in the hand over the iPhone14 series. Oh, and it continues the be IP68 water and dust resistance certifications from before.

Display: Featuring a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED (2556×1179) display with adaptive refresh rates of up to 120Hz. It’s not significantly different from before except being a little brighter as per Apple. This is a high quality display that does a good job of handling hgih resolution videos and images with colour calibration that we are used to seeing on iPhones by now. Watching something over Netflix or Apple TV+, you can see how well it handles darker scenes transitioning to really bright scenes without any colour retention from before. It’s usable direct sunlight without having to crank it to highest brightness either. By default, higher refresh rates ProMotion is enabled and the display does a fine job of keeping up with its during different use cases such as playing games or just regular scrolling inside apps.

Camera: The device sports a triple camera system on the back – 48MP (f/1.78) main camera, 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide camera and a 12MP (f/2.8) telephoto camera. The phone now takes 24MP shots from the main camera by default up from 12MP that used to be the case for years. The shots from the device look really sharp and detailed, slightly better if you zoom in to the photos compared to last year. You can shoot 4K ProRes videos but only if an external storage disk is attached even for a 1TB iPhone 15 Pro. There’s also a new log mode for videos that’s generally not seen on smartphones and gives a less processed and something to play around with plenty of details intact. The camera app is smooth to use and shows less shutter lag when processing regular shots or HDR. You can now change regular shots to portrait shots after taking a photo thanks to the new Image Processing chip and tweaked software in place. The 12MP (f/1.9) front-facing camera generally takes really good, well-toned shots for your social media use.

Performance and software experience: Running on iOS 17.0.2, the iPhone 15 Pro is powered by Apple’s A17 Pro (not “Bionic”) chipset (hexacore processor, Qualcomm 5G modem), which is the first chip based on 3nm technology on a smartphone; this is alongside 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage space (also comes in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB options). With the new Action button, iOS now allows you to set it to either mute or ring, or you can customize it to open any app or any particular action within an app using Shortcuts, which is a really nice and useful addition, in my opinion. What could make it even better is if Apple allows you to add another action by double pressing the buddon in addition to the current long-press. A new feature called StandBy mode allows you to turn the device into sort of a smart display when left in landscape mode while charging – giving you time, weather, alarm and your chosen widgets one screen. With Always on Display enabled, this is a nice little feature especially if you have a wireless charger stand to lap the device on. Apple has also improved the iOS keyboard’s autocorrection and learning abilities, but I am not sure I have noticed anything remarkably improved there, maybe it will be more apparent with longer usage. Another addition is under Messages, you can now swipe to right to reply to that message.

Widgets are now more interactive so you can check stuff or tap within a widget on your homescreen to do a task without having to open its app.

The phone handled day to day tasks, shuffling between apps, switching between videos and photos and installing and updating apps without any troubles. I didn’t see many frames drops or any delays to get such things done. For gaming, the phone can handle the most graphic intensive games such as Call of Duty and Genshin Impact at 60FPS, apparently its update for higher refresh rates is in the pipeline. Gaming playback is pretty smooth but I did notice the device heating up a big after 20 minutes of gaming.

Battery life: The phone comes with a 3,274mAh battery unit and comes with a USB type C to C braided cable in the box. It charged from 1% to full in about 2 hours, but noticeably got hotter during the 50% to 70% stage almost every single time. The phone lasted me a day quite frequently, leaving about 10% in the tank with low power mode not enabled.

Other bits: I found 5G performance to be generally reliable whether outdoors or indoors with very infrequent switches to 4G/LTE. Call quality, WiFi reception and GPS performance are top notch here. Also, the loudspeakers on the phone are really loud and punchy with a deeper bass that I can remember from before, definitely makes watching videos and playing games a better experience.

Verdict: Folks, the new iPhone 15 Pro does bring much awaited USB C to the iPhone with which you can attach a host of accessories (with USB 3 data transfer speeds), use sable cable to charge and transfer data as many Android phones, or simply use another phone to charge it. Though the design – look and feel – of the phone is better this time, there’s some thermals issue when the phone is being charged or you’re playing games, otherwise these things do get fixed quickly by Apple. Other than that, this is a really well performing high-end device from Apple that has industry-leading video camera capabilities, a great set of photo cameras and a solid display with reliable and strong haptics feedback to top it off. So, if you have an iPhone 14, does it make sense to upgrade already? Not quite. An iPhone 13 Pro, if it’s still in good condition, I would say nope, but earlier models, then yup, you’re gonna see some noticeable improvements and can look to upgrade with an exchange offer considering the online sale season has begun.