It is strongly recommended that you watch the video version, because there are many operation demonstrations and sample comparisons, and the video is more intuitive than the pictures and texts.
The following is a video transcript, which has been adjusted for your convenience.
Hurrying slowly, I finally got the review out before the iPhone 15 Pro series was officially launched for sale.
Although time is limited, we still tested the imaging, C port, performance, memory and other aspects that you may be concerned about. This may be the most complete evaluation you can see currently.
The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max we got are in original color and blue respectively. In fact, the original color is a very low-key and versatile cement gray. The blue color is much more refined and high-end than the official website picture, and in dark light it is similar to the purple color of the previous generation.
I prefer the light-colored version, because the light-colored middle frame will make the screen border look narrower.
Speaking of the phone itself, the appearance changes of the iPhone 15 Pro series are all updates based on pragmatism. This is also the change in product design thinking after Jony Ive left Apple’s design team: design is no longer first, but practicality first.
The previously publicized titanium alloy arc-shaped middle frame and the narrowest frame in history have brought several new experiences:
The first is lightness.
Compared with stainless steel, the density of titanium alloy is directly cut in half. This makes the Pro series 19g lighter than the previous generation, which is equivalent to three one-yuan coins. Holding it in your hand, you can clearly feel the surprise.
Some people say it's only 19g, so don't brag about it. But like me, those with bent little fingers should be able to understand the weight of 19g.
As a lover of large screens, my fingers have been alienated from using mobile phones for more than 8 hours a day in the past few years. Reducing the burden on fingers is Apple’s starting point for changing materials, and it is also a pain point that you and I urgently need to solve.
In fact, the improvement in feel and weight reduction only contribute half of the credit. The arc design once again proves that the trend is a circle, and it is also a major contributor. The hand feeling is like dreaming back to the iPhone 11 era, much better.
The slightly curved edge of the screen will reflect a layer of high light, making it look more refined and give you a better touch when you slide back.
The narrowing of the front bezel to 1.5mm is not all about improving the appearance. It is to narrow the body size while keeping the screen size unchanged. This reduces the height and width of the fuselage by about 1mm each.
In terms of details, there are some changes worthy of your attention. Compared with the previous generation, the body thickness has increased by 0.4mm. The thickness of the lens module is the same on the 15 Pro and 14 Pro Max, both 12.05mm, while the 15 Pro Max is 0.3mm thicker.
In addition, we also noticed a hidden property of titanium alloy.
Apple emphasizes that the Pro series uses grade 5 titanium alloy. It contains about 6% aluminum and 4% vanadium, making it highly hard and corrosion-resistant. Compared with the previous generation of surgical grade stainless steel, which is 316 stainless steel, it has higher hardness. And Apple has used a new process to integrate the internal structure with the middle frame to prevent deformation caused by drops and bumps.
Compared with stainless steel, titanium alloy is less susceptible to fingerprints and oil stains. With PVD coating, it can be wiped clean immediately. In addition, we used a pin to scrape the surfaces of both. The scratches on titanium were lighter and less conspicuous than those on stainless steel.
The delicate, strong and durable titanium metal has made me look forward to when Apple will use it for MacBook again. Why do you say again? Because titanium alloy was a flash in the pan on the PowerBook G4 22 years ago. I hope Apple’s obsession with titanium remains unchanged after many years.
Not only are design trends a circle, but so is technology.
It’s 2023, and the two headlines in the digital world are actually C-port and 5G. Do you still dare to say that the three-body sophon does not exist?
The C port of the iPhone 15 Pro, based on the transmission speed of 10Gbps, is strictly USB 3.2 Gen 2. However, the naming of the USB interface is too confusing, and Apple is too lazy to explain it, so it simply calls it USB 3.
The C to C cable included in the package is made of white braided material, the same style as the iPad Pro, and is 1 meter long.
But you should note that this cable only supports the transmission speed of USB 2.0. We compared it with the USB 3 cable to transfer 2.89GB video. The original cable took 82 seconds, and the latter only took 4 seconds, which is a difference. 20 times. Friends who have data transmission needs still have to buy another cable.
The interface is advanced, but the charging speed is not, the same as the previous generation. However, the iPhone 15 series has added reverse charging, connecting headphones and watches through the C port, up to 4.5W, which can be used to recharge in an emergency.
The value of port C is not just to save time when transmitting data, or to carry one less cable when going out. It also brings new possibilities to the workflow. You can connect an external card reader or hard disk to retrieve data; or connect a monitor to cast the screen one step faster; or externally record 4K60 frame ProRes Log video to the hard disk to save space on the machine.
Another point is that you no longer have to bear the psychological burden of buying outdated products.
The Lightning audio cable that I struggled with for a long time but still bought last year is now a thing of the past. Unless you buy a converter, it costs another 243 yuan. Now that there is a C-mount, it means that related accessories can be used for at least… ten years?
Along with Lightning, there are also silent picks. Apple calls it the Action key, so we just call it the A key.
Before getting started, I would worry about how to confirm that the phone is in silent mode. Apple took this into consideration and placed the mute icon permanently in the upper left corner.
However, when you turn on do not disturb, work, sleep and other modes, this icon is squeezed out, and you need to swipe down the control center to confirm. That's right, Apple has replaced the original mirror function with the mute function, making it easier for you to switch quickly.
In the settings, you can customize its trigger function, and the animation is very cool. It is very convenient to turn on the camera, flashlight, recording, etc. with one click. Among them, triggering shortcut commands is the most interesting.
After setting the command, you can listen to songs and identify songs with one click, clock in and out of get off work with one click, and even: Genshin Impact, start!
Now that Genshin Impact has been started, let’s talk about performance.
The A17 chip with 3nm process technology has changed its suffix from bionic to PRO, which sounds more professional and powerful. Judging from the GeekBench 6 running scores, the CPU single and multi-core are improved by about 11% and 9% compared to the previous generation, and the GPU is improved by about 20%.
Using the 3D Mark Wild Life benchmark test, the iPhone 15 Pro Max scored about 31% higher than the previous generation. The redesigned GPU has indeed improved significantly in measured scores.
A17 PRO uses hardware-accelerated light tracing technology, which is four times faster than A16 Bionic's software-based light tracing. Why should your next game console be a game console?
However, the light-chasing mobile games displayed at the press conference, such as Genshin Impact, Biochemical 4, Assassin's Creed, etc., are not yet online and will have to wait. Based on Genshin Impact 4.0 version, let’s take a peek at the actual performance of this chip.
Unfortunately, as of the time of posting the video, Performance Dog has not been adapted to iOS 17, and the frame rate cannot be measured for the time being. And this version has not yet adapted the light tracing effect for the A17 PRO.
But we can first look at the performance of clarity and temperature. At room temperature of 25°C, we came to Fontaine to run for half an hour, both on land and underwater.
The image quality options are all adjusted to the highest level, and the screen brightness is manually controlled at 80%. You can observe that the temperature fluctuations of the 15 Pro Max are greater than those of the previous generation, reaching a maximum of 48°C, which is radical enough. At 20 minutes, both dropped to around 40°C, and rose slightly at 30 minutes, hovering around 43°C.
At the corresponding time point, we also took screenshots at the same location to observe changes in image quality. But when you zoom in to view the details, there is no visible difference between the two, and the images are equally gorgeous and delicate.
The specific frame rate performance will be tested after the Performance Dog is adapted. Add the data to the comment area, and remember to collect it and pay attention.
Although neither the press conference nor the official website mentioned it, the memory of the iPhone 15 Pro series has been upgraded to 8GB. How is it different from the regular version and the 6GB version of the previous generation?
We opened 20 identical apps in sequence, entered the same secondary page, and observed the retention rate and fluency of the apps. The result is that the 14 Pro Max killed five apps, while the 15 Pro Max survived all of them, and the switching was smooth and silky.
For daily use, you don’t have to worry about killing the background.
Having said so much, we finally come to the most important upgrade of iPhone 15 Pro – imaging. Three cameras, take a look one by one.
The first is the ultra-wide angle. The hardware parameters are the same as the previous generation, also 12 million pixels and ƒ/2.2 aperture. Can more advanced algorithms make old trees sprout new shoots? Comparing the sample photos, we can find that the 15 Pro Max has lower sharpening, the picture is cleaner, and the colors are more natural and realistic. Looking at the white clouds, the HDR effect has also improved.
Next, let’s look at the main wide angle camera. The CMOS size and parameters are also the same as the previous generation, but the A17 PRO and new algorithms bring more playability.
There are more choices in shooting formats. By default, photos are output in HEIF format with 24 million pixels, whether still or live images.
Compared with the default 12 million pixel photos of the previous generation, the detail improvement is very obvious. After zooming in, you can clearly observe that the objectionable over-sharpening has disappeared, and the skin, grass, and sky have a stronger three-dimensional feel.
In the top toolbar, you can switch to the full-blooded HEIF format of 4800W pixels, or the ProRAW format of 1200W or 4800W pixels at any time.
The photo volumes of the four formats are shown on the screen. If you don’t know how to use software that parses RAW format to retouch pictures, then I suggest you choose the 4800W pixel HEIF format as your first choice. Recordings are richer in detail, less sharp, and take up a reasonable amount of space.
The playability is not only reflected in the rich photo formats, but also the customizable main camera focal length.
One problem caused by the increase in sensor area is that the focal length is getting wider and wider, otherwise the thickness of the lens group cannot be controlled. We published a video two years ago, analyzing the disadvantages of the main camera becoming wider and wider. To put it simply, it’s difficult to compose a picture and it doesn’t look good when photographing people.
The solution for the iPhone 15 Pro is to give several preset focal lengths through digital cropping. Click Save Settings in the settings, and then select the focal length you like, so that every time you enter the camera, the main camera will default to this focal length.
For the same scene and shooting distance, you can see the difference in the native 24mm, 28mm and 35mm images. The latter focuses more on the subject and reduces cluttered information entering the frame.
Some friends may be curious, isn’t it the same if the main camera of the 14 Pro series is manually pulled to the same focal length? Actual testing found that the two are indeed very close in terms of image quality, and the 15 Pro series is better in terms of ease of switching.
We haven’t finished talking about the playability yet, the new portrait mode is also one of them. With formats within 24 million pixels, the iPhone can automatically identify people, pets, and various items, and then automatically capture the depth information of the environment.
You can directly click the aperture icon to blur the background in the shooting interface, or you can adjust the focus point and blur level in the photo album after taking the photo. To put it simply, you shoot first and then focus, and you can adjust the degree of blur as you like.
Finally, we come to the telephoto lens.
Due to space limitations of the fuselage, the 15 Pro is unable to insert a quadruple reflective prism like the Pro Max to achieve 5x optical zoom. At the same shooting distance, you can see how far the Pro's 3x zoom is from the Pro Max's 5x zoom.
In addition, there is also a gap between the two in terms of the farthest zoom distance. Pro is up to 15 times, Pro Max is 25 times. But I think this magnification is meaningless. The photos taken are like this, without any sense of beauty.
As far as my personal preference is concerned, the Pro Max's 5x zoom is more to my liking. With a stronger sense of space compression, you can take close-ups or minimalist pictures.
In addition, this 5x telephoto lens can take photos normally in low light and also supports night mode. With a powerful algorithm, you can press the shutter in a noisy preview frame and you can get a photo with true colors, clear and clean colors, and it's magic.
It is worth mentioning that all three lenses of the Pro version use nano-coating. From the same angle, you can see that the glare of the 15 Pro series has become weaker, especially in the main camera.
The above mentioned are some changes that ordinary users can perceive and know, and there are also some functions that are aimed at professional imaging workers or that are temporarily unavailable. Let’s take a quick look at them here.
First, it can be connected to Capture One to take photos online, which is beneficial to e-commerce photographers.
Second, the video supports Log format. Simply put, negatives that have not been color-corrected have greater tolerance. Comparing the adjusted log video with the straight-out video, you can notice the difference in dynamic range between the two.
Third, you can connect an external hard drive and shoot ProRes log video up to 4K60 frames, making it a perfect card camera. It just takes up an astonishing amount of space, about 12GB per minute.
As for the heavy and novel space video shooting, it is not yet available to experience. After this function is launched, I will give you a detailed explanation.
After the release of the iPhone 15 series, there were endless voices that badmouthed Apple. Such as loss of innovation, boredom, and dullness.
Is this really the case?
After experiencing and reviewing the iPhone 15 Pro series, I think it is the most innovative generation after iPhone X. However, invisible upgrades are greater than explicit updates. However, it is only available in the Pro series.
There is a term in psychology called "delayed gratification", which means not satisfying one's desires immediately, but choosing to wait in order to obtain greater rewards in the future.
In my opinion, the iPhone 15 Pro series creates another form of "delayed gratification." At first glance, or when you first get started, you may think: That’s it? But the many long-term lines buried by Apple will allow the iPhone 15 Pro series to continue to provide users with satisfaction and possibilities in the next three to five years.
A17 PRO brings a 3A masterpiece to a mobile phone platform for the first time.
The space video shooting function puts the ability to recreate the world into your hands for the first time. I hope that when I go home during the Chinese New Year, I can use it to save my family and the old house I lived in on my phone. Years later, I believe this is an irreplaceable asset.
What Apple didn’t say at the press conference was that there was an implicit upgrade. The iPhone 15 Pro series is the world’s first mobile phone to support the Thread protocol.
It is a new generation of low-power, low-bandwidth smart home transmission protocol. Because this protocol is so new, the current application scenarios are still unclear. Apple’s move is more like taking precautions and wanting to build mobile phones into the hub of future smart homes.
Therefore, regardless of the sluggish growth of the smartphone market, regardless of whether the head-mounted display product will open a new narrative chapter, the iPhone 15 Pro deserves to be regarded as an innovative product.
When mobile phones and consoles are indistinguishable from each other, when mobile phones become creation and connection tools in the world of head-mounted displays, when mobile phones become your home Jarvis, the iPhone 15 Pro series will be traced back to the beginning of it all.
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