In the iPhone 15 lineup, there are four models available, but for those who prefer larger phones, the decision comes down to the iPhone 15 Plus or the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

iPhone 15 Plus vs the iPhone 15 Pro Max

This generation of smartphones presents an intriguing dynamic, as the Pro and non-Pro models exhibit both similarities and differences. Particularly, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has distinguished itself from the entire lineup, including the iPhone 15 Pro.

Given these considerations, determining which of Apple’s larger phones suits you best can be challenging. To assist in making this decision, a comprehensive comparison based on specifications is provided below, so don’t stop reading.


iPhone 15 PlusiPhone 15 Pro Max
Weight 201g221g
Screen Size 6.7”6.7”
Resolution 1290 x 27961290 x 2796
ChipsetA16 BionicA17 Pro
Rear Camera48MP wide + 12MP ultra wide48MP wide + 12MP ultra wide + 12MP 5x telephoto
Front Camera12MP12MP
PriceFrom $899From $1,199
Colours Black, Blue, Green, Yellow, PinkBlack Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, Natural Titanium
ProsGreat performance, amazing battery life, huge screenBeautiful design, excellent photography, cutting-edge performance
ConsDoesn’t have the Action Button, still only 60Hz, older chipsetStarting price is high, charging should be faster, still doesn’t have the best zoom

The Price

The Price

Apple is one of the largest companies in the world and so you can be sure to find both these phones across the whole world, however they do come at two very different price tags. 

The iPhone 15 Plus is the cheaper of the two and its cheapest model, the 128GB option, will set you back $899. From there the price increases with each storage jump, so the 256GB model is $999 and the 512GB option is $1,199. Then on the other hand the iPhone 15 Pro Max isn’t even available in 128GB, it starts at 256GB instead, with a price of $1,199. There is also a 512GB option that costs $1,399 and finally the most expensive iPhone you can get is the 1TB option, which comes at a price of $1,599. 

The starting price of the iPhone 15 Pro Max is $300 more than the starting price of the iPhone 15 Plus, however this price gap is justified as the iPhone 15 Pro Max does come with double the storage. When you compare the 256GB iPhone 15 Plus model with the same storage iPhone 15 Pro Max it is only $200 more. 

The Design & Display

The Design & Display

At first glance, the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max appear quite similar, maintaining the big, flat-edged design seen in previous generations, albeit with slightly rounded edges this time around.

Both models now feature Apple’s Dynamic Island, resulting in a very similar front appearance, although the iPhone 15 Pro Max has slightly reduced bezels compared to the Plus variant.

The size difference between the two is minimal, with the Pro Max being slightly smaller in dimensions but slightly heavier than the Plus. While the Pro Max utilises titanium for its frame, distinguishing it from the aluminium of the Plus model, it also incorporates an additional camera lens and replaces the traditional alert switch with a customizable Action button.

Colour options vary between the two, with the Plus available in more vibrant hues, while the Pro Max offers more sophisticated titanium finishes.

Both phones adopt USB-C charging ports, a departure from Lightning, maintaining consistency in their bottom designs. Display-wise, they share a 6.7-inch OLED screen with impressive resolution and brightness. However, the Pro Max boasts an LTPO panel with a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz, enabling an always-on display feature that isn’t available on the Plus.

Overall, while both screens are commendable, the Pro Max’s higher refresh rate and always-on functionality make it the superior choice between the two.

The Cameras

The Cameras

The camera upgrades on the iPhone 15 Plus mark a significant advancement, with the main sensor now boasting 48MP, a notable improvement from the 12MP sensor found in previous models.

Similarly, the iPhone 15 Pro Max also features a 48MP main sensor, albeit with a larger size, surpassing the capabilities of the iPhone 15 Plus’s camera.

Both models retain a 12MP ultra-wide camera and 12MP selfie cameras. However, the key disparity lies in the zoom capabilities. Only the Pro Max includes a dedicated telephoto camera, offering an enhanced 12MP sensor with 5x optical zoom, outperforming the 3x optical zoom capability of the iPhone 15 Pro.

The Performance & Software

The Performance & Software

In 2022, Apple made a notable decision to differentiate its smartphone lineup, assigning older and less advanced chipsets to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, while reserving the latest technology for the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This trend continues with the iPhone 15 series.

Specifically, the iPhone 15 Pro Max debuts with the cutting-edge 3nm A17 Pro chipset, surpassing the iPhone 15 Plus, which retains the 4nm A16 Bionic previously featured in the iPhone 14 Pro. Consequently, the Pro Max’s chipset delivers superior speed and efficiency. Furthermore, the iPhone 15 Pro Max benefits from additional RAM, boasting 8GB compared to the 6GB in the iPhone 15 Plus.

While the iPhone 15 Pro Max exhibits exceptional power, its capabilities may exceed everyday needs, with few tasks demanding such high performance. Therefore, users can expect nearly equivalent performance from the iPhone 15 Plus in daily use.

The Battery

The Battery

Both the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max feature larger batteries compared to their predecessors, although the difference is marginal. Their battery capacities are also quite similar, with the iPhone 15 Plus sporting a 4,383mAh battery and the iPhone 15 Pro Max housing a slightly larger 4,441mAh battery.

In real-world usage, both phones deliver excellent battery life, surpassing not only previous iPhone models but also many other smartphones on the market.

According to Apple’s claims, the iPhone 15 Plus can sustain up to 26 hours of video playback or 100 hours of audio playback, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max boasts even longer endurance, with up to 29 hours of video playback or up to 95 hours of audio playback.

iPhone 15 Plus vs iPhone 15 Pro Max

Apple’s smartphone strategy is evolving, and the distinctions between its two flagship models in 2023 exemplify this shift.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max commands a notably higher price compared to the iPhone 15 Plus. This premium cost is justified by superior camera technology, processing capabilities, and the use of premium materials in its construction.

In contrast, the iPhone 15 Plus bears a striking resemblance to its pricier counterpart, boasting similar design elements highlighted by Apple’s innovative Dynamic Island. For users seeking a stylish, well-rounded, and generously-sized iPhone, it represents Apple’s most compelling value proposition yet.

While the iPhone 15 Pro Max stands out as Apple’s most powerful phone to date, its premium pricing may not offer the best value proposition for all consumers. In this context, the iPhone 15 Plus serves a crucial role, especially in times of financial constraint. 

Leo Beamers is an aspiring car collector born and raised just outside of the city in Cape Town and his interests include gaming, fast cars and enjoys cycling on the weekends.

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