Every iPhone 15 Model Compared: Base vs. Plus vs. Pro vs. Pro Max
Apple's latest iPhone 15 series has four models with different features and prices. Here's how they stack up against each other, spec-by-spec.
Sareena DayaramSenior Editor
Sareena is a senior editor for CNET covering the mobile beat including device reviews. She is a seasoned multimedia journalist with more than a decade's worth of experience producing stories for television and digital publications across Asia's financial capitals including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. Prior to CNET, Sareena worked at CNN as a news writer and Reuters as a producer.
The iPhone 15 series is here. Apple unveiled four models at its Wonderlust event on Tuesday, alongside the Watch Series 9 and the Watch Ultra 2. This year Apple's iPhone 15 line again encompasses a base iPhone 15 and slightly larger iPhone 15 Plus, which offer comparable specs to one another. But the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, which are a tier above the base and Plus models, include a few differences that make the Pro Max stand out a little bit more this year.
Some features like the Dynamic Island, the shape-shifting cutout introduced in iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, are now available across the entire iPhone 15 line. The entire line has also now switched to USB-C for charging. But that's roughly where the similarities end, with each iPhone model standing out with its design, camera and other features.
For starters, colors vary across the entry-level and Pro lineups. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus come in brighter color options like pink, yellow, green and blue along with a darker black. However with the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max now coming in a titanium chassis, those phones come in darker shades that Apple is labeling natural titanium, blue titanium, white titanium and black titanium.
Additionally, Apple eliminated the toggle switch on the Pro models in favor of what it calls the "Action button." Essentially, it's a multifunction button that lets you program it for a wide range of tasks, like taking a photo or launching a timer.
Watch this: iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max: First Look
The aforementioned USB-C port arrives to the iPhone 15 line after a European Union mandate, which will allow the iPhone to make use of the same charging cables that power Android phones, recent iPads and other electronics. While all four models use USB-C charging as a standard, the speed of data transfer varies between base and Pro models. Only the Pro models support USB 3, which offers faster 10Gbps speeds. But if you want to take advantage of those faster speeds, you'll need to buy your own USB 3 cable since Apple ships all phones with just a USB 2 cable.
As for the cameras, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus have two cameras on the back, while the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max get three. You get a 48-megapixel wide lens, which has telephoto capabilities, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens with either regular model. The Pro models feature a 12-megapixel telephoto lens complete with 3x optical zoom. You can also shoot at multiple focal lengths with the Pro models: 24mm, 28mm and 35mm.
Further to that, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has its own exclusive camera perk via the upgrade to a new telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom, the most that has ever been included on an iPhone.
And like the iPhone 14 line, the iPhone 15 line includes different processors depending on the model. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus will run on the A16 Bionic chip, which debuted last year on the iPhone 14 Pro. Meanwhile the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max phones will ship with the new A17 Pro chip, which Apple says will make the higher-end iPhone better suited for graphics and gaming.
To check out more differences between the different iPhone 15 models, check out our specs chart below.