Apple went all out with the iPhone 15 Pro lineup this year. The 2023 iPhones feature titanium edges, slimmer bezels, better cameras, a faster processor and a universal charging port.
But are these improvements enough to upgrade from 2022’s iPhone 14 Pro to the iPhone 15 Pro? Find out in this comparison.
Comparing the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro
The iPhone 15 Pro brings some significant underlying changes that aim to deliver a better user experience. Don’t dismiss the phone as a minor upgrade over the iPhone 14 Pro, even though the two models might look similar. Once you start using this year’s iPhone, you realize how all the changes add up.
Below is a detailed comparison between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro to help you decide whether to upgrade this year or not.
Table of contents: iPhone 15 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro
- Design: iPhone 15 Pro is all about titanium
- Display: Brighter and slimmer bezels
- Performance: A17 Pro vs. A16 Bionic
- Camera: Same hardware but superior results
- Battery: Same
- Connectivity and sensors: USB-C!
- Should you upgrade?
Design: iPhone 15 Pro is all about titanium
The iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro look quite similar, and the sizes are very close. Check out the dimensions:
- iPhone 15 Pro: 146.6mm x 70.6mm x 8.25mm; 187 grams; IP68, titanium edges, Ceramic Shield, Action button
- iPhone 14 Pro: 147.5mm x 71.5mm x 7.85mm; 206 grams; IP68, stainless steel edges, Ceramic Shield, Mute switch
At first glance, the iPhone 15 Pro and 14 Pro might look the same. But Apple has made several subtle but key enhancements that all add up to deliver a better experience. The new iPhone uses titanium edges, which feel a lot more premium in hand. It is also slightly more compact — despite packing the same 6.1-inch display — due to slimmer bezels.
More importantly, titanium’s lower density makes the iPhone 15 Pro 19g lighter than its predecessor. While this weight reduction might not seem like a big deal, it significantly impacts how the 2023 iPhone Pro feels, as it is a lot easier to carry around.
Apple also redesigned the iPhone 15 Pro internally. This will make certain repairs easier and cheaper. For instance, rear glass replacement now costs just $169 without Apple Care+, down from a whopping $499 for the iPhone 14 Pro.
On the iPhone 15 Pro, Apple also replaced the mute switch with a new Action button. While you can use the button to switch between silent and ringer modes, it can be customized to trigger the flashlight, record a voice note, execute a shortcut and more. These customization options make the Action button a lot more useful than the mute switch ever was.
Given all these improvements, don’t dismiss the iPhone 15 Pro as similar to the 14 Pro. All the upgrades add up to deliver a better end-user experience.
As for colors, the iPhone 15 Pro comes in muted colors due to its titanium build.
Display: Brighter and slimmer bezels
- iPhone 15 Pro: 6.1-inch, Super Retina XDR display, 2556 x 1179 pixels, 120Hz ProMotion, Haptic Touch, Always-On display, Dynamic Island, HDR10, Dolby Vision, 1,000 nits typical max brightness, 2,000 nits peak brightness outdoors
- iPhone 14 Pro: 6.1-inch, Super Retina XDR display, 2556 x 1179 pixels, 120Hz ProMotion, Haptic Touch, Always-On display, Dynamic Island, HDR10, Dolby Vision, 1,000 nits typical max brightness, 2,000 nits peak brightness outdoors
Surprisingly, there are no generational improvements between the iPhone 14 Pro and 15 Pro’s Retina XDR screens. They produce the same typical and peak brightness levels.
Apple might have used a more efficient panel in the iPhone 15 Pro, but that’s about it. The only notable change is that the iPhone 15 Pro has slimmer bezels, giving it a more futuristic look.
Performance: A17 Pro vs. A16 Bionic
- iPhone 15 Pro: A17 Pro, 3nm fab, 6-core CPU with 10% faster performance, 6-core GPU with 20% higher peak performance, 2x faster 16-core Neural Engine, dedicated AV1 decoder, USB-C controller, second-gen Ultra Wideband chip
- iPhone 14 Pro: A16 Bionic, 4nm fab, 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine, second-gen Ultra Wideband chip
Apple switched to Pro branding for this year’s A-series chip inside the iPhone 15 Pro. Based on TSMC’s 3nm fab, the A17 Pro packs a six-core CPU with a claimed 10% faster performance.
The six-core GPU features Apple-designed shaders and supports hardware ray tracing. It is more efficient than before, allowing longer peak sustained performance. More importantly, the GPU supports MetalFX upscaling, which Apple says will bring console-quality games to mobile. Other improvements with the A17 Pro include a 2x faster Neural Engine, a dedicated AV1 decoder for more efficient streaming of videos, and a second-generation Ultra Wideband chip.
Apple also equips the iPhone 15 Pro with 8GB RAM, 2GB more than the iPhone 14 Pro. This should allow the phone to keep apps longer in its memory to deliver a smoother experience.
While the A17 Pro is Apple’s fastest SoC yet, the performance jump it brings is not as big as those of the last few years. And the iPhone 14 Pro’s A16 Bionic is still more than fast enough for any use case you think of.
The problem with the A17 Pro is its increased peak power consumption. Coupled with the titanium frame and the lack of vapor chamber cooling, the iPhone 15 Pro appears to suffer from overheating problems. This is a cause of concern, especially if you live in an area with relatively high ambient temperatures. Apple plans to roll out a software update to fix the heating problem, possibly by limiting the chip’s clock speed. But we don’t know exactly how the fix will work, or when it will arrive.
Camera: Same hardware but superior results
- iPhone 15 Pro: 48MP f/1.78 primary camera with a larger sensor, second-gen sensor-shift stabilization, 12MP f/2.8 telephoto camera, 3x optical zoom; 12MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide with 1.4um pixels, Macro photography; next-gen portraits, LiDAR Scanner, Smart HDR 5, Adaptive True Tone flash, Cinematic mode (4K HDR@30fps), Action mode, ProRAW support, ProRes video recording, Log video recording, Macro video recording; Front: 12MP camera with f/1.9 aperture, autofocus
- iPhone 14 Pro: 48MP f/1.78 primary camera, second-gen sensor-shift stabilization, 12MP f/2.8 telephoto camera, 3x optical zoom; 12MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide with bigger 1.4um pixels, Macro photography; LiDAR Scanner, Smart HDR 4, Adaptive True Tone flash, Cinematic mode (4K HDR@30fps), Action mode; Front: 12MP camera with f/1.9 aperture, autofocus
On paper, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro have the same camera setup. You get the same 48MP primary, 12MP primary and 12MP 3x telephoto shooter. (The iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with a beefier lens that delivers 5x optical zoom.)
However, some major underlying changes and improvements give the iPhone 15 Pro a significant advantage over the iPhone 14 Pro. For starters, the phone shoots photos at 24MP by default, so the pictures have a lot more detail and sharpness.
Secondly, the new iPhone uses Smart HDR 5 to deliver better dynamic range. This ensures the iPhone 15 Pro photos don’t blow out the skies or other bright objects, which has been a common complaint with previous iPhones. Unlike the iPhone 14 Pro, Apple’s newest iPhone does a better job of properly utilizing the 48MP primary camera to capture better photos.
Video recording is also better on the newer iPhone, with support for Log video recording and support for the Academy Color Encoding System.
Connectivity and sensors: USB-C!
- iPhone 15 Pro: Emergency SOS via satellite, Roadside Assistance via satellite, Thread networking, high dynamic range gyro, car crash detection, dual eSIM slots, Bluetooth 5.3, precision dual-frequency GPS, USB-C (up to 10Gbps)
- iPhone 14 Pro: Emergency SOS via satellite, high dynamic range gyro, car crash detection, dual eSIM slots, Bluetooth 5.3, precision dual-frequency GPS, Lightning (up to480 Mbps)
The inclusion of USB-C on the iPhone 15 Pro is likely the biggest change you will notice first. But there are other enhancements as well. Apple expanded the satellite connectivity on its newest iPhones to offer Roadside Assistance through AAA in the United States and Puerto Rico. This year’s model also adds support for Thread networking, enabling the iPhone 15 Pro to act as a router for your smart home devices. And a newer Qualcomm modem means the phone can deliver better network reception and faster 5G speeds.
On the flip side, the switch to USB-C means you’ll have to ditch all your Lightning accessories and upgrade to new ones.
Battery life: No changes
- iPhone 15 Pro: Up to 23 hours of video playback, up to 75 hours of audio playback; MagSafe and Qi2 wireless charging support
- iPhone 14 Pro: Up to 23 hours of video playback, up to 75 hours of audio playback; MagSafe and Qi2 wireless charging support
Despite using a newer A17 Pro chip based on TSMC’s 3nm node, the claimed battery life figures of the iPhone 15 Pro remain unchanged from its predecessor. Considering the iPhone 14 Pro’s battery life was not as good as the iPhone 13 Pro, it’s disappointing to see Apple not making any improvements in this vital area for another year.
Both wired and wireless charging speeds also remain the same.
Should you upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro?
There are many compelling reasons to upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro from the 14 Pro. You get a better and lighter build quality, slimmer bezels surrounding the display, that customizable Action button and a USB-C connector. These improvements might seem small individually, but they all add up to deliver a better experience.
But none of these changes warrant an immediate upgrade from iPhone 14 Pro. Adding a 5x optical shooter, like the one in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, might have tilted the balance decidedly in the iPhone 15 Pro’s favor. (That’s supposedly coming next year with the iPhone 16 Pro.)
If you are happy with your iPhone 14 Pro, there’s little reason to switch to the iPhone 15 Pro. It won’t radically change how you use your phone, except if you are a pro user and could benefit from the improved video recording capabilities.
If you already decided to buy a new iPhone, check out our comparison between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max to help you decide between Apple’s two high-end models.