iPhone 15 Pro Review: enter the era of USB-C


iPhone 15 Pro Intro

This year, Apple has made quite a few big changes to the iPhone 15 Pro: a switch to titanium which made the phone so much lighter, some welcome camera changes that can up your photo game, and the world's first 3nm chip as well as a number of smaller improvements.

But it seems that as cool as those changes are it is actually the simple switch to a USB-C port — the same port all other gadgets use — that most people are really excited for.

And while Apple has tweaked and changed many things, battery life, the one area where everyone was hoping to see improvement, well... it hasn't improved much, if at all.

iPhone 15 Pro Unboxing


The box the iPhone 15 Pro comes in is nice and slim, but that also means that you don't get a charger there.
You do get a white, braided USB-C cable, however, this cable only supports USB 2 speeds, while the iPhone itself supports the faster USB 3 standard. So if you want to connect this to an SSD and transfer files at faster rates, you'd need to buy a USB 3 cable separately.

iPhone 15 Pro Design & Colors


The iPhone 15 Pro keeps the familiar compact 6.1-inch form factor, but while the overall shape and size remain similar, it is not exactly the same as the previous 14 Pro model.

First, Apple switches to titanium: a more durable and lighter-weight material used for the railing of the phone (the internal frame is still aluminum). Titanium replaces the shiny stainless steel rails we had before, and the reduced weight alone makes it worth it. The darker models still catch fingerprint smudges, but the lighter models do not, so keep that in mind.


The other big change is the new USB-C port on the bottom. To that we say: finally!

Apple has already been using USB-C for years on Macbooks and iPads, and Android phones also use a USB-C port, so this will definitely make our lives easier. No more cable clutter!

You also get faster transfer rates via USB-C at 10Gbps speeds, an improvement of 20X over the slow Lightning connector. Keep in mind though that the USB-C cable included in the box does not support these faster transfer rates, but here is a selection of the best USB-C cables for iPhone 15 Pro if you need these faster speeds.

iPhone 15 Pro Display


The iPhone 15 Pro sticks with a 6.1-inch screen size just as previous models, but the borders around the screen are now slimmer by one third. This is subtle but it helps achieve a more modern, edge-to-edge look.

The screen technology has not changed much: it's OLED, it's Retina, and it supports 120Hz ProMotion for buttery smooth scrolling. And yes, the Always-On feature from the previous model is of course also available.

iPhone 15 Pro Camera


Speaking of cameras, the ones on the iPhone 15 Pro have all gone through our new in-depth camera testing, with each getting its own score. You will find our iPhone 15 Pro's camera score in this review's 'Camera' section. Feel free to check out our PhoneArena Camera Score benchmark page for more details about our scoring process.
The iPhone 15 Pro comes with a very familiar looking triple rear camera system with a main 1X shooter, an ultra-wide camera and a 3X telephoto lens.
In terms of hardware and sensor sizes, all three cameras appear to have the same specs as the iPhone 14 Pro.

iPhone 15 Pro Performance & Benchmarks


Apple launches new chips with every iPhone release, but this year is special: the new Apple A17 Pro processor inside the iPhone 15 Pro makes the jump to a more advanced 3nm technology, which is a bigger leap than your average yearly upgrade.
Better yet: Apple has booked practically the full manufacturing capacity of TSMC, the only foundry capable of making these super advanced chips, so it theoretically has a big advantage over the competition.

This new manufacturing technology is cutting edge, and here are the exact improvements that Apple says we get:

1. 10% faster performance cores, fastest mobile CPU

2. 4-efficiency cores with unmatched with three times the performance per watt compared to competition

3. Neural engine 2X faster with 35 trillion ops per second

4. Dedicated engines for Pro features - ProRes codec, Pro Display engine, AV1 decoder for more efficient video experience

As you can see, the iPhone 15 Pro really delivers with big improvements in CPU speeds. The GPU also does better for long-term use and scores nearly 30% higher in our testing.
In the first weeks when it launched, an iOS bug left a few apps run rampant and overheat the iPhone. Thankfully, Apple quickly released iOS 17.0.3 that fixed those issues, and we no longer observe overheating issues.
The iPhone 15 Pro now also comes with 8GB RAM, more than the 6GB RAM used in previous models, but the same LPDDR5 technology.
You also have the new Qualcomm X70 modem here, which helps the phone get better and more consistent signal. You also have Wi-Fi 6E for the first time on an iPhone.

Another thing to remember is that the iPhone 15 Pro only works with eSIM in the United States, so you cannot just pop in your physical SIM card. International models, however, still use a regular, physical SIM card.

iPhone 15 Pro Charging Speeds


Speaking of the charging situation... USB-C is in!

This is a bigger deal than it may sound. USB-C on iPhones means we get closer to that one-cable-for-everything future, and we get far less cable clutter. But it also opens a world of possibilities. You can now easier connect an external drive directly to your iPhone or an SD card reader to transfer pictures from your DSLR or mirrorless camera to name just a few prospects.

iPhone 15 Pro Audio Quality and Haptics

Apple tweaks the loudspeaker quality of iPhones a little bit every year, and the last bigger change happened with the iPhone 13 Pro. The iPhone 15 Pro introduces some very slight tweaks to audio quality, but essentially it sounds very similar to the previous model. 

For haptics, for years Apple has treated us to the Taptic Engine, which has been a gold standard with its nice and tight vibration feedback. No changes on that front in the iPhone 15 Pro.

iPhone 15 Pro Summary


The iPhone 15 Pro comes with a lighter weight, which is a bigger upgrade than you may think, and Apple has upgraded the camera fixing the annoying over-sharpening issue from the previous model.
Other changes like the new USB-C port make life so much easier, and so does the new Action button. All of that also comes at the same starting price in the US, while in the UK and Europe Apple is even slashing the prices.
At the end of the day, the iPhone 15 Pro is a nice upgrade, but with some very specific features that you may or may not care about, and it doesn't changes the battery life which most people would care about.