Just like Apple did with the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, the company once again declared the iPhone 15 Pros as “the most Pro models ever.” A number of iterative improvements aside, their lighter builds thanks to the use of titanium was perhaps the biggest limelight hogger.
But with these improvements also arrived a price bump – the iPhone 15 Pro starts Rs 5K higher than the previous generation, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max is a whopping Rs 20K dearer. They may be the “most Pro” iPhones but they’re also the “most pricey” iPhones at the same time.
If you are feeling blue about Apple’s price hike, then maybe you should think twice. Maybe this year, you don’t need the Pro models at all. Here’s why.
They look more similar than ever
Let’s face it: many of us buy iPhones just to flaunt them around. The iPhone Pro models have always had a distinct appearance from their non-Pro counterparts, thanks to their triple camera setup at the back, and more recently, the fancy Dynamic Island. Apple cleverly added features that people can spot from even a mile away, ensuring that the Pro models stood out from the vanilla models.
But this year is different. The iPhone 15 now sports the Dynamic Island too, making its front almost indistinguishable from that of the iPhone 15 Pro. Sure, the Pro model has slightly slimmer bezels but that’s only noticeable when the phones are next to each other.
Meanwhile, the back now has a frosted glass texture, which is different from the glossy back of previous non-Pro models. The new matte finish is less of a fingerprint magnet than the shiny iPhone 14. But more importantly, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus now have rear panels that feel almost identical to their Pro siblings.
And it doesn’t stop there – the Black colour option also looks very similar to the Black Titanium colour option of the Pro models. So if you want to get as close as possible to the iPhone 15 Pro, Black is the way to go.
Who needs three cameras at the back?
The iPhone Pro models have always boasted three camera lenses at the back, with that one extra unit dedicated to zooming 3x optically on subjects. This year, they go even further and reach 5x, but they are not the only ones with zooming powers.
Apple claims that thanks to the new 48MP image sensor, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus can now zoom in 2X zoom with very similar image quality to a dedicated telephoto camera. In a way, this feature makes the new regular iPhones feel like they have a triple camera system instead of just two snappers on the back.
Then, there’s of course the 48MP resolution upgrade, up from the measly 12MP from 2022. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus take photos in the new Super high-resolution photo mode by default, which produces 24MP images that aim to offer a stunning amount of detail – again, similar to the iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max. While we are yet to see camera comparisons between the Pros and non-Pros, expect the differences to be thinner than ever before.
The iPhone 14 was a bit of a letdown when it came to brightness levels. It was dimmer than some of the Androids that cost the same. But the iPhone 15 has fixed that. It can now reach up to 2000 nits in peak brightness mode, matching the iPhone 14 Pro models. That means the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro should have a similar glow. The only thing missing from the non-Pro models is ProMotion (120Hz refresh rate), which is still a Pro-only feature. Maybe next year, Apple?
A17 Pro is not as big of an upgrade as Apple wants you to believe
Apple hyped up the performance improvements on the A17 at its keynote and even stuck a Pro suffix at its end this year for the first time. However, according to its own numbers, the A17 Pro is only 10 per cent faster than the A16 Bionic, which should be barely noticeable outside of geeky apps. However, the GPU is indeed 20 per cent faster, which is a respectable jump.
With the iPhone 15 narrowing the gap between itself and Pro models this year, Apple’s Pro label is more significant than ever this year. With the Pros starting at a whopping Rs 1.5 lakhs, they are now mostly for hardcore phone enthusiasts who have deep pockets and are actually excited about features like 10 Gbps transfer speeds, ProRAW images, and ProMotion. For most users, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are so good that they’d never feel like splurging on the Pro – unless they’re obsessed with having three cameras at the back.
The iPhone 15 starts at Rs 79,900, while the iPhone 15 Pro starts at Rs 1,34,900. Gamers and multimedia consumers can go for the iPhone 15 Plus over the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
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First published on: 16-09-2023 at 20:29 IST