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The iPhone 15 Pro Max’s titanium body, 5x optical zoom steal the show

At the demo zone outside Steve Jobs Theatre it was clear what were the most interesting products launched at the Apple Event. Minutes after the keynote got over, the middle table was the centre of all the jostling, while the two tables flanking it vied for attention from the journalists and analysts. The middle table housed the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max phones with their titanium chassis and three-lens camera modules. Clearly the most interesting of all the products launched at Apple Park on Tuesday.

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max first impressions

No wonder it took me a while to get to hold of the new iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max and when I did I could make out these two phones were much lighter than their predecessors. I use the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the 15 Pro Max was lighter by a few grams for sure. But I was expecting the titanium chassis to make it look like something that’s fallen off a space ship. That it was not. It was very clearly an iPhone, though a bit shinier than earlier models.

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The design was very similar to the iPhone 14 Pro, with two changes. One, this one has a USB-C port at bottom making it very different from iPhones that have come out in the past decade. Then, these phones have an Action Button on the left, replacing the earlier mute toggle. The Action Button is easily customisable via the settings and it lets you use it to activate the camera, or voice memo or seven other actions with just a long press. To me this is a feature that will right away find adoption as it is a natural extension of how people would use a button like this.

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Now for the camera. To start with, the iPhone 15 Pro has a 3x optical zoom while the iPhone 15 Pro Max gives 5x zoom. I tried the zoom on both and it gave some stunning clarity despite the synthetic lights of the demo zone.

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Interestingly, while the iPhone 15 series now gets 48MP cameras, the Pro series continues with the 48MP camera it has before with a more powerful processor that offers better uses of computational photography. While this was explained in some detail in the keynote I can’t comment on how better all this will be before we get to use the new camera in all kinds of conditions.

Read | Here’s everything Apple announced during its ‘Wonderlust’ iPhone 15 keynote

For the record, Apple slipped in a reference to Spatial Videos which these phones will be capable of recording soon. However, you will have to wait a few months to use it.

The iPhone 15 Pro series also has a better processor which gives Apple the confidence to call it the best gaming phone out there. I tried a few minutes of gaming on the floor and I could immediately sense that the graphics were really smooth with the A17 Pro chip Apple has loaded on to these flagships.

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If you ask me, Apple seems to be wooing the gaming segment too now with the Pro series phone. This seems like a good strategy given that this is a large segment of users who are not that sensitive to pricing if they get the best experience.

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iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus first impressions

For those who don’t want to go the whole hog of what Apple has to offer, the iPhone 15 offers a much more affordable entry point. The phone now offers a coloured glass body which is quite unique and stylish. The colours are a bit on the flashy side, but there is always the black to fall back on.

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The dynamic island, which debuted last year with the Pro models, now makes its way on to the regular iPhones and this could be a good reason for regular users to upgrade. The camera is also better with 48MP now as the default. I was actually stunned to see the clarity of some of the shots Apple has preloaded on these phones. And since it is shooting at such high resolution, you can zoom into the frame and still get stunning crops. In fact, Apple has sort of institutionalised this with a 2x zoom that works without an additional lens. It just uses the 48MP shots to crop into a tighter frame. And these images are pretty neat with no noise and superb detail.

iPhone 15 Pro Max The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max feature the Bionic A17 Pro chipset. (Express photo by Nandagopal Rajan)

The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are powered by the A16 Bionic, which is quite powerful as we saw with the iPhone 14 Pro models last year. But the fact is that they are last year’s processors and this could put off some new buyers. After a few years where all iPhones had the same processor, Apple is now distinguishing its regular iPhones and Pro models with different processors. With the new generation of Apple processors, which are so powerful anyway, it’s hard to differentiate from regular use anyway.

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The writer is in California on the invite of Apple

© The Indian Express (P) Ltd

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