I’ve had the iPhone 15 Pro for just over a month now and while I posted my initial review last month, I wanted to follow up with a few thoughts after some more time using the phone.
On the size downgrade
I went from the 14 Pro Max to the non-Max model this year and overall I’m happy with the change. Using the phone day-to-day is definitely better in my opinion, and the size is just easier to manage in the hand. I find the mini form factor to actually be too small to the point of inconvenience, but this 6.1” screen is very good for me and the reduced size is something I appreciate everyday when I put the phone in my pocket.
I do see a little less content on screen at a time, but thankfully my eyes are pretty good so I can drop the font size a bit and see a little more. After a month I’m used to it though and I don’t think about how I could see one more toot or a few more table rows in certain apps at once.
One thing I was a little worried about was watching video, which I do quite a bit on my phone. Obviously I could still see what’s going on, but I watch some sim racing channels and they have leaderboards and timings on screen with pretty small lettering, so I was worried I wouldn’t be able to read those on the smaller screen (I wasn’t able to read them on the iPhone 13 mini screen). Thankfully, that hasn’t been the case, when while of course things are smaller, they’re still in the range I can see them clearly, so it’s not been an issue.
Titanium is hot
I’m usually someone who wants a colorful phone, so I was bummed that the Pro line this year had basically no color in it, but I’m here to say that the natural titanium model looks fantastic.
Also, it feels really good in the hand. I find myself using the phone outside a case more often than before because it just feels good to hold, even if the back panel is slippery as hell and it slides off my leg or even seemingly flat tabletops if I’m not careful.
My biggest bummer with this phone is that battery life is not particularly great for me. I’m admittedly probably a heavier user than many people, but this thing chews through battery quicker than any phone I’ve owned since the 12 Pro (which I also thought was pretty bad for battery). I recently flew to England and it was miserable on the trip as my phone was struggling to find a cellular connection and I wasn’t at my desk and able to top up throughout the day. I really missed the Max phone on my trip.
But yeah, I’ve been on the Max phones for the last 2 years, and it’s hard for me to tell if this is simply what life is like for the smaller phones every year or if the 15 Pro is somehow worse than average.
There were news stories when the phone launched about how much heat it generated, and many in the Apple ecosystem brushed those reports off as junk reports that were just from people looking to make a controversy.
I don’t know about everyone else, but my phone is absolutely hotter than any iPhone I’ve used in recent memory. We’re well beyond the “Photos is indexing again” phase of the phone and it genuinely get quite warm to the touch when I use it anywhere that’s not an air conditioned space.
Is this related to my battery life? Am I a hack writer looking to make headlines? Maybe to the first and I really don’t think so to the latter. It’s just the warmest phone I think I’ve ever used.
This continues to be an absolute dream, and I went on my recent trip with 2 USB-C cables and an Apple Watch charger. It was great.
Also, at home we have two laptop chargers (both Dell, for what it’s worth) plugged in on either side of the couch. These cables charge basically every piece of tech in the house, from iPads to laptops to controllers and now to our phones. One of the surprising things my wife and I have enjoyed here is charging our phones with really long cables. It used to be our shorty Lightning cables meant our phones had to sit out of reach while they juiced up, but now we’re more free to use them if we need them with these much longer cables. I know you can buy longer Lightning cables, we just never did, and I bet most people reading this never did either.
They’re very good, but they really do feel like basically the same as what I had in the 14 Pro Max. A part of me does wish I had the 5x lens, so who knows, maybe I’ll do a stupid upgrade in a few months, but in general I like the additional resolution on the main lens, but it’s not game changing for me.
The action button
I have it set to launch the camera and I still think it’s higher up on the phone than it would be if they were adding it brand new today.
Overall I’m happy with the iPhone 15 Pro, and I found it to be a nice (if subtle) upgrade over the 14 Pro line. I do wonder if I’m going to get into a spot in early 2024 where the battery life burns me in some situation. I’ll be annoyed, I’ll know there’s more battery life to be had in the Max, and I’ll justify it with getting the 5x lens, so I’ll trade in my 15 Pro for a 15 pro Max. It’s stupid, and I probably won’t, but if there is one thing that makes me a bit bummed with this phone, it’s the battery life being nowhere near what I’m used to after a few years with the bigger phones.