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Apple's iPhone 15 lineup came out in September, and while most reviews are done shortly after a new device launches, we like to follow up with a longer term review that gives us an opportunity to provide a deeper dive into what it's like using these phones on a day to day basis for months.


MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera has been using his iPhone 15 Pro Max without a case to test durability, and the titanium frame has been holding up much better than stainless steel. Even after some minor drops, there are no scratches or scuffs to speak of.

There were reports of overheating early on with the iPhone 15 Pro models, but Apple has addressed this in software updates. The iPhone 15 Pro stays cool to the touch for the most part, even when playing games. It can heat up when charging at random times, but it's not a consistent issue.

Battery life is about on par with the iPhone 14 Pro Max battery life, and there doesn't seem to be much of an improvement.

With the iPhone 15 Pro models, Apple added an Action Button, and , well, it's not getting much use. It's hard to get in the habit of using a new button for things that we've done for years using other workflows.

As for the camera, the best feature by far is the automatic portrait mode that lets you adjust focus after an image is captured without having to turn on Portrait mode. It's fun to use, and you can tap on each subject in the photo to change the focus from the foreground to the background. The 5x Telephoto lens is also a useful addition.

Make sure to watch our full video for more thoughts on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, and let us know how it's performed for you over the last two months if you have one.

Article Link: Review: Two Months With the iPhone 15 Pro Max
 

ghanwani

macrumors 601
Dec 8, 2008
4,466
5,494
Wow, still overheating. I thought they had fixed that.

Edit: Adding time in video for those that only read the post and think I'm making stuff up.
TL;DR: It happens occasionally when charging (both wired and wireless) and when it does happen the phone gets very hot.
 
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New Mexico Bob

macrumors newbie
Aug 20, 2023
21
16
It's been an okay-ish upgrade from the 13 ProMax. My main issue has been with Apple Pay which is very spotty for me. Phone 13 was always reliable, but with 15PM I frequently have to use my watch as a backup. In hindsight, I should have waited at least one more iPhone cycle to see more of a speed and camera bump.
 

ShadowJade

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2014
119
148
My #1 complaint is the placement of the new Portrait mode photos in the portrait album...even if it is set to PORTRAIT OFF. My wallpaper randomly chooses a photo from my potrait album every time that I open one of 7 chosen apps, and every time the battery drops to a multiple of 5. I chose the portrait album because, unlike camera roll/recents, I take portrait mode photos with intent, or atistry. Now every photo with a human in it gets thrown in there, and they come up at random as my wallpapers. If I have the drop-down set to "Portrait Off", that picture should not appear in my portrait album.
 

Amazing Iceman

macrumors 603
Nov 8, 2008
5,177
3,850
Florida, U.S.A.
It's been an okay-ish upgrade from the 13 ProMax. My main issue has been with Apple Pay which is very spotty for me. Phone 13 was always reliable, but with 15PM I frequently have to use my watch as a backup. In hindsight, I should have waited at least one more iPhone cycle to see more of a speed and camera bump.
If it's just Apple Pay, then you have a different issue causing it. Spotty would be your Internet access, not Apple Pay itself.
 

ShadowJade

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2014
119
148
It's been an okay-ish upgrade from the 13 ProMax. My main issue has been with Apple Pay which is very spotty for me. Phone 13 was always reliable, but with 15PM I frequently have to use my watch as a backup. In hindsight, I should have waited at least one more iPhone cycle to see more of a speed and camera bump.
My immediate reply is why EVER use the phone for ApplePay? As an individual with almost $4,000 lifetime cash back, I only use my watch. I am actually a bit triggered when a merchant makes me pass them my phone as their drive-thru isn't equipped to tap by watch...or a bar won't let me come behind a bit to tap-just one more transfer that could invoke a dropped device.
 

Amazing Iceman

macrumors 603
Nov 8, 2008
5,177
3,850
Florida, U.S.A.
My immediate reply is why EVER use the phone for ApplePay? As an individual with almost $4,000 lifetime cash back, I only use my watch. I am actually a bit triggered when a merchant makes me pass them my phone as their drive-thru isn't equipped to tap by watch...or a bar won't let me come behind a bit to tap-just one more transfer that could invoke a dropped device.
I would hand my phone to nobody... there's no way to know what they can do to it while it's not within your sight.
 

ShadowJade

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2014
119
148
I would hand my phone to nobody... there's no way to know what they can do to it while it's not within your sight.
I also hike a ton with my wife and use a pocket tripod for photos...people always offer to take our photos, but I always decline. They may be quick and willing to take our photo, but if a drop occurred during transfer they wouldn't be nearly as quick to pay for damages. I put my phone in guided access when I give it to strangers at gigs to pick songs from our band set list.
 

Lakersfan74

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2019
862
1,044
AirDrop seems crappy for me I don’t have my 12 any longer to compare. Sometimes I have to restart my phone and my iPad just to use it and work correctly.

15 is a worthy upgrade if you have the 12 or older. Likely skip the 16 and wait for the 17. Hopefully no more DI.
 
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ShadowJade

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2014
119
148
AirDrop seems crappy for me I don’t have my 12 any longer to compare. Sometimes I have to restart my phone and my iPad just to use it and work correctly.

15 is a worthy upgrade if you have the 12 or older. Likely skip the 16 and wait for the 17. Hopefully no more DI.
I use DI constantly for multitasking and following sports scores while doing other stuff. Love to have the mini-music controller hovering above my GPS in the car.
 

gund1234

macrumors 6502a
Feb 21, 2022
721
643
Two months is NOT long-term.

2 years is barely long term.

Go make a long-term review about the iPhone 11. Long-term reviews look at durability, repairability, product resilience, and support from the manufacturer. Anything else is short-term marketing hype and feature obsession.
in 2 years people will forget about 15 Pro Max.
World is moving fast, businesses want us to move fast so that we buy new stuff every year.
 
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ShadowJade

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2014
119
148
no mention how useless the action button is?
Actually the article did say they have a hard time getting used to using it. I set it up as my main shortcut when getting home at night...turns off driveway lights, turns on main house lights, turns on bedroom mode lights, turns on AppleTV and gets it ready on YoutubeTV.
 

MrSegundus

macrumors regular
Sep 23, 2021
192
316
I’ve been using my 15 Pro Max for the last couple of months and it’s barely any different than the 14 Pro Max I had before it. The Action Button isn’t revolutionary. In fact, I accidentally press it sometimes and accidentally mute my phone. Never had that problem with the switch. USB-C has been a non-issue since I use MagSafe for my charging needs. I feel like I paid for an iPhone 14 Pro Max a second time and feel kinda stupid, TBH.
 

centauratlas

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2003
1,808
3,739
Florida
A few things I like about the 15 PM over the 14 Pro:
1. Portrait mode later - this is a great feature
2. Spatial video recording now. Just little tests and I like having the option to have 3D video later.
3. 5X zoom
4. Larger battery compared to the 14 Pro.
5. USB-C - lightning was fine, but now it needs fewer cables.

I haven't used the action button yet.
 

risenphoenixkai

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2008
286
582
I upgraded from a 12 Pro Max and have absolutely no regrets. The 15 is way more comfortable to hold than the 12 was. The screen and cameras are massively improved from the 12, and I’ve found the Action Button to be very useful after setting up custom shortcuts for it.

I’ve been on a three-year upgrade schedule since the iPhone 6 (6 to X to 12 Pro Max to 15 Pro Max), and I’ve found that to be the ideal interval to make the upgrades actually feel worth it.
 

AndiG

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2008
907
1,632
Germany
So let's summarize the Apple inventions of recent years
- Dynamic island, failed
- Action button, failed
- Please keep up with the Android competition in terms of battery life
- Titanium frame, fingerprints and scratches

Is this the ouput of a trillion dollar company?
 

Fuzzball84

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2015
1,421
2,890
Iphone 16 Pro Max is going to be so much better than this, and the iPhone 17 Pro max, and the iPhone 18 Pro Max. But I think I'll hold on for the iPhone 20 Pro Max as it might have a half decent 9 inch screen.

I like the hardware, but detest the current naming schemes Apple have. Max? Max what? What's Pro?
 

ifxf

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2011
329
480
Issues moving from an SE:
  • flashlight turn on while in pocket due to apple having the flashlight on lock screen, finally disabled the touch to access face id
  • much more fussy asking for passcode, once a day I have to enter it
  • accidentally turned on cellular while traveling due to notification in dynamic island having an option. You would think after a dozen times dismissing the thing Apple would stop delivering the notification
  • battery much better
 
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