Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max review
Your favorite Retina OLED
The iPhones are known for their bright and color-accurate OLEDs with gigantic notches. And the iPhone 15 Pro Max does bring one of those, in fact, it lifts it straight from the 14 Pro Max. Yes, we are talking about the 6.7-inch LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED of 1,290 x 2,796 pixels or 460ppi density.
The screen supports ProMotion, the fancy naming for the dynamic 120Hz refresh rate, which means that the screen is able to go down to 1Hz for the Always-On and Standby features.
The iPhone's display also supports a wide color gamut, HDR10 and Dolby Vision video standards. The panel has the Dynamic Island pill-shaped cutout. It is protected by Corning's Ceramic Shield, which appears to have an oleophobic coating for enhanced smudge resistance.
Quite expectedly, the iPhone 15 Pro Max display supports True Tone adjustments, and it has the Haptic Touch feature provided by a powerful Taptic Engine.
We've completed our brightness test, and our measurements are in line with the iPhone 14 Pro Max's.
Apple has listed 1,000nits of maximum brightness in regular use with a boost to 2,000nits in bright outdoor conditions. The peak HDR brightness is listed as 1,600nits, which is weirdly lower than the outdoor one.
Just like on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, we couldn't exactly match Apple's maximum numbers, but this doesn't mean the measurements weren't impressive.
We captured 846nits of maximum manual brightness, which is great, and not many phones allow such high brightness for prolonged times. The maximum outdoor brightness we could measure was 1,787nits, which is pretty impressive.
The minimum brightness is incredibly low at 1.9 nits.
Max display brightness test
White test pattern, 75% fill (nits)
- Manual mode
- Auto mode
The iPhone has no color settings; its displays are carefully calibrated while the phone is still in the factory.
In terms of color accuracy, the iPhone 15 Pro Max targets the sRGB color space in most apps, including the one we use for testing purposes. And just like all other iPhones panels, this one has an outstanding color calibration out of the box. It remains color accurate even at the lowest possible brightness.
In a typical Apple fashion, you have no control over the refresh rate. It is a dynamic one, and it should drop down to 1Hz for static pictures and always-on/standby modes. Just like last year, web pages may scroll at a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, but any moving embedded content will be rendered at 60fps.
All benchmarks were capped at 60Hz, meaning there is no high frame rate support right out of the box, and it is up to the developer to unlock it. There are numerous HFR games in the App Store, though, so you can squeeze the maximum of this new GPU.
Streaming and HDR
The iPhone 15 Pro Max display is certified for both HDR10 and Dolby Vision support. The iPhone has all the necessary DRM certifications, as you would expect, allowing third-party services like Netflix or YouTube to offer HDR streams.
There is one more thing worth mentioning - Apple does its HDR video playback in a very flexible way since it's not necessary for the content to be displayed full-screen for HDR to work. It can just work on the portion of the display that has the video playing, which is a bit of a surreal experience the first time you encounter it.
There are a handful of smartphones that deserve praise for their haptics, and the iPhones are in this exclusive club. The Taptic engine provides accurate and pleasant feedback, and we loved it.
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max is powered by a 4,441mAh battery, a minor increase over the 14 Pro Max cell (about 2-3%). Apple likes to advertise the Plus model as the best one for battery purposes, but the LTPO OLED on the 15 Pro Max coupled with the new 3nm chipset should offer an even better one.
However, our new battery test shows that the iPhone 15 Plus does indeed have a small advantage over the 15 Pro Max, particularly in the web browsing and gaming tests, bumping up the Active Use Score slightly above the 15 Pro Max'.
Expand to reveal our legacy battery test (Endurance rating). How we test now.
The Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max is powered by a 4,441mAh battery, a minor increase over the 14 Pro Max cell (about 2-3%).
Apple likes to advertise the Plus model as the best one for battery purposes, but the LTPO OLED on the 15 Pro Max coupled with the new 3nm chipset should offer an even better one.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max scored a total endurance rating of 118 hours. It did great on our call test, lasting 25 hours, and it did exceptionally on the screen-on tests, scoring north of 24 hours on both the web and video playback tests.
The endurance rating denotes how long the battery charge will last you if you use the device for an hour of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. More details can be found here.
The scores are in line with the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Video test carried out in 60Hz refresh rate mode. Web browsing test done at the display's highest refresh rate whenever possible. Refer to the respective reviews for specifics. To adjust the endurance rating formula to match your own usage patterns check out our all-time battery test results chart where you can also find all phones we've tested.
The iPhone's retail bundle contains no charger. All recent iPhones support fast wired charging via USB Power Delivery and fast wireless charging with the MagSafe-certified chargers.
According to Apple's official specs the iPhones, the 15 Pro Max included, support up to 20W wired and up to 15W wireless charging. Apple is advertising all iPhones, no matter what their battery capacity is, to recharge about 50% in 30 minutes with its 20W adapter.
We have completed our charging test with Apple's original 20W power adapter, and the times are a match to the 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 15 Pro Max recharged up to 23% in 15 mins, 46% in 30 mins and 80% in 60 minutes.
You can get somewhat faster charging if you get a 30W charger, as in this case, the iPhone 15 Pro Max will charge with up to 25W of power, at least in the early charging phase, and you can charge up to 30% in 15min and up to 56% in 30min.
A full charge with the 20W charger required 1 hour and 49 minutes and it's about the same even with a faster charger. Typically for Apple, topping up the last 5% took about half an hour. And do bear in mind that we carried out this test without Optimized Charging, which would slow down the last few percent points even further.
- in 15 min
- in 30 min
- Time to full charge (from 0%)
If you want to get the maximum longevity out of your iPhone's battery, the Optimized Battery Charging option in Battery settings should help. It allows the iPhone to adapt its charging curves to your charging patterns (mostly related to overnight charging and your sleep routine), so it minimizes the time the battery spends at 100%. It will charge quickly (well, iPhone-quickly) up to 80% and will then only finish things off just before it thinks you're going to need the phone. Upon reaching 100%, the phone stops using the charger, and no electricity goes in.
The new iPhones support one new Battery Health option, which should prolong its lifespan even more - it is 80% Limit. This will make the iPhone charge 80% and never go up. This way, you can fast charge however and whenever you like, and your battery will stay healthier thanks to the lower cycle count.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max supports wireless charging up to 7.5W with generic Qi-compliant charging pads. Apple would prefer you to use their MagSafe magnetically attached accessory, which should max out at 15W.
Reverse wired charging is available - the iPhone will detect the device with more battery juice and determine whether it needs to act as a power bank or as a charge receiver. The reverse charging power ranges from 4-4.8W, and if you connect something like AirPods or Apple Watch, it charges them with 2W of power.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has no advancement in the speaker department. It uses the same hybrid stereo speaker system we've experienced in previous generations. There is a dedicated speaker at the bottom of the phone, while the earpiece acts as a second speaker.
Both speakers are quite loud with similar sound quality. And the sound from them is nicely balanced.
Apple has assigned speaker roles for when they are playing in portrait orientation - the top speaker serves as the right channel, while in landscape orientation, the output is adjusted to match the phone's orientation. In any case, each speaker will still output some of the 'opposite' channel, but at a much lower volume.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has the same speaker system like on the 14 Pro Max, and it is not surprising it offers a Very Good loudness (a hair shy of Excellent), and an impressively rich sound output across the board - bass, vocals, treble.
Use the Playback controls to listen to the phone sample recordings (best use headphones). We measure the average loudness of the speakers in LUFS. A lower absolute value means a louder sound. A look at the frequency response chart will tell you how far off the ideal "0db" flat line is the reproduction of the bass, treble, and mid frequencies. You can add more phones to compare how they differ. The scores and ratings are not comparable with our older loudspeaker test. Learn more about how we test here.
- 28 Nov 2023
Could you please compare it with xiaomi 13 ultra?
- 18 Nov 2023
Yes you can buy the iPhone 15 pro max or maybe even 14 pro max...but just know feature wise samsung dominate but clean UI Apple is best. If your a heavy user your phone will be warm. But the 15 series heat is from the soc, so make sure to check room ...
- 16 Nov 2023
Which Photographic Style did you guys use on the photos?