Which model should you buy?

Original release date: September 22, 2023 | Storage capacity: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB | Screen size: 6.1 inches | Features: A17 Pro chip, Always-on 120Hz ProMotion display, USB-C port (USB 3.0), Titanium frame, 3x telephoto lens | Color options: Natural Titanium, Blue, White, Black | Dimensions: 5.77 x 2.78 x 0.32 inches | Weight: 6.60 ounces

The iPhone 15 Pro is the model we’d currently recommend for most people. Yes, its starting price of $999 might be steep, but a smartphone is a long-term investment. If the question is “which iPhone is most likely to keep you happy for the next three to five years,” we think the iPhone 15 Pro’s advantages over the standard iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are meaningful enough to be worth the extra $200.

For one, the iPhone 15 Pro’s textured titanium frame feels higher-quality than the aluminum one on the base iPhone 15. It’s also a bit heftier than the standard 15 at 6.60 ounces, but it’s light overall and its slightly curved edges are pleasing to hold. It runs on the faster A17 Pro chip, which won’t make a huge difference with everyday tasks but is more futureproof. Already, some graphically demanding games like Death Stranding and Resident Evil Village only work on the Pro series. There’s also a new Action button, which replaces the old mute switch and can be customized to quickly perform tasks like launching the camera or turning on the flashlight. And while each iPhone 15 has a USB-C charging port, the Pro models support faster data transfer speeds (with the right cable).

Both the iPhone 15 Pro and the standard 15 have 6.1-inch OLED displays that are equally sharp and bright. The Pro’s screen, however, has an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz. This can make scrolling web pages, playing games and streaming video look noticeably smoother. Not everything will play at 120Hz, but the effect is hard to give up once you’ve seen it. The display is also always-on, which lets you view notifications at a glance, without having to physically touch the device.

The other big upgrade is the camera system. The iPhone 15 Pro has a trio of rear cameras: a 48-megapixel main camera, plus 12MP ultra-wide and telephoto shooters. That last one is the biggie, as the regular iPhone 15 lacks a dedicated telephoto lens entirely. The Pro’s main camera has a larger sensor as well, it’s a bit better in low-light environments and it supports portrait mode at night. You also get a macro mode for close-ups and other enthusiast features like the ability to shoot ProRAW. If none of this terminology means anything to you, the regular iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are still great point-and-shoot cameras. But the 15 Pro is better, especially if you take your photos with a little more intent.

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