Apple iPhone 16 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max: All the differences to expect

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Intro

In just a few months’ time, the iPhone 16 Pro Max will succeed the iPhone 15 Pro Max and take on the mantle as the best and most advanced iPhone out there. Although there’s plenty of time until September and a lot can change, we seem to know a lot about the upcoming top iPhone model, based on rumors and leaks.
How is the iPhone 16 Pro Max shaping up against its predecessor, what’s changing, and what’s staying the same? Let’s see how the iPhone 16 Pro Max shapes up against the current best iPhone Apple has in its roster. 

iPhone 16 Pro Max vs iPhone 15 Pro Max differences:

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Important changes

The iPhone 16 Pro Max will inherit the same design language as the iPhone 15 Pro Max, employing the same titanium frame with a completely flat screen. 

The major difference between the iPhone 16 Pro Max and the iPhone 15 Pro Max will be size: the upcoming iPhone’s screen will grow to 6.9 inches across, a significant bump over the iPhone 15 Pro Max‘s 6.7-inch display. Apple will achieve this important display increase by simultaneously making the device bigger and slimming down the bezels as well. 

As per the rumors, the iPhone 16 Pro Max will measure 163mm in height and 77.58mm in width versus 159.9mm and 76.7mm for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, respectively. A small, but notable change, all things considered. 

The iPhone 15 Pro Max debuted with an Action Button instead of a mute switch and a USB Type-C port at the bottom, so those two features will be carrying over to the newer model as well. However, the iPhone 16 series will be scoring another button, dubbed the Capture button. This one will be a fully capacitive one and will reside on the right side of the device, below the power button. This new button will allow iPhone 16 users to easily zoom in and out, as well as capture photos or videos with a simple tap on the side of the iPhone. 

Colors-wise, the iPhone 15 Pro Max was available in four under-stated and titanium-inspired colors, namely Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, and Natural Titanium. We’ve heard that Apple might use another titanium processing technique that will make the iPhone 16 Pro Max glossier and also more capable of retaining colors. By the way, the device will be available in White, Gray, Rose, and Space Black.

Display Differences

As mentioned, the iPhone 16 Pro Max will come along with a significantly larger display, measuring at 6.9 inches across. Apple will achieve that by employing a larger frame as well as thinner bezels. A 6.9-inch display will make the iPhone 16 Pro Max the iPhone with the largest screen ever. 

Aside from the size, we don’t clearly expect any other major changes. We’re certainly getting a Liquid Retina XDR display with an OLED panel delivering superb colors, contrast, and exceptional maximum brightness. The screen will support 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate, which will be the fourth consecutive iPhone generation equipped with this tech; it makes scrolling through the interface and on-screen content way smoother.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max came with the Dynamic Island cutout, and there’s no doubt that the iPhone 16 Pro Max will utilize the same design language as well. What else could it score, realistically? Of course, it’s on everyone’s mind that we’ll eventually have all cameras and sensors neatly tucked beneath the display, it’s inevitable, but the iPhone 16 Pro Max won’t be it. 

Performance and Software

The age of 3nm
The iPhone 16 Pro Max will feature a second-gen 3nm chip, possibly dubbed Apple A18 Pro. This one will reportedly be built on TSMC’s second-gen 3nm manufacturing process, dubbed N3E, which allows for better yield and less defective chipset dies. Meanwhile, the current iPhone 15 Pro Max relies on the Apple A17 Pro, the first mobile chip to be built on a 3nm manufacturing technology. 

As one can imagine, we expect that the Apple A18 Pro will have better performance than the Apple A17 Pro. However, we’ve reached a point where we hardly need better performance, thus a much more essential “metric” is energy efficiency, or a chip’s ability to waste less power on a single task, which is crucial for battery life. In this line of thought, we hope that the second-gen chip will be a much more efficient one in comparison with its predecessor. 

Due to the heavily rumored focus on AI for both iOS and the iPhone 16 range, we expect that the iPhone 16 Pro Max will come with a much-improved Neural Engine to take care of all the generative AI features.

The iPhone 16 Pro Max will also support Wi-Fi 7, which will theoretically deliver 4X the data throughput speeds of the Wi-Fi 6E on board the iPhone 15 Pro Max. There will be a new 5G modem in the iPhone 16 Pro Max, the Qualcomm Snapdragon X75 5G, which will consume 20% less energy. 

The iPhone 16 Pro Max will come with iOS 18 out of the box. The software update will be previewed at WWDC’24 and will reportedly be focusing on generative AI features, which are lacking on the iPhone. The iPhone 15 Pro Max will also receive iOS 18 this September, but probably not all AI features will be available on that one––we expect that Apple will keep some exclusive to the upcoming generation. 

Camera

New ultra-wide incoming

As the iPhone 15 Pro Max delivered a host of important camera features, chief among which is the new 120mm telephoto lens that delivers a 5.0x optical zoom to the iPhone camera. A year ago, the main camera of the iPhone Pro Max got upgraded to 48MP. With the iPhone 16 Pro Max, Apple could finally address one of the forgotten cameras that hasn’t recently scored any significant overhauls––the ultra-wide. 

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that Apple will be introducing a 48MP ultra-wide camera on the iPhone 16 Pro Max. This one will have a pixel size of 0.7um and a sensor size of 1/2.6″, a serious upgrade over the 12MP ultra-wide with 1.0um pixels and a sensor size of 1/3.6″ that Apple has used for years (and on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, too).

Aside from that, the iPhone 16 Pro Max could also finally deal with lens flare, which has been an issue on iPhones for a long time, especially during nighttime photography sessions. Thanks to a new anti-glare coating on the upcoming model, we might finally stop seeing reflections in our photos or videos. 

The iPhone 16 Pro camera might have a lighter and thinner lens on all cameras, which will further shed away some minuscule weight. This will be possible thanks to the use of molded glass lenses, which could slightly reduce the camera bump.

Audio Quality and Haptics

When it comes to audio quality, iPhone Pro Max devices are always up there with the best, setting the benchmarks for all other manufacturers to measure up against. The iPhone 15 Pro Max has great loudspeakers, which deliver superb sound, no matter if you’re browsing TikTok or taking a phone call on a loudspeaker. We will expect nothing less of the iPhone 16 Pro Max

The same generally applies to haptics, too. iPhones are arguably the best devices when it comes to haptic feedback, giving us precise and accurate vibrations that are sufficiently strong yet not overpowering. 

Battery Life and Charging

An even larger battery!

The iPhone 16 Pro Max will reportedly feature a much larger 4,676mAh battery in comparison with its predecessor, which featured a 4,422mAh battery. That’s a decent upgrade as far as intergenerational battery increases go, and would actually make the iPhone 16 Pro Max the iPhone with the largest battery ever. Paired with the faster and more efficient Apple A18 chip, this larger battery will hopefully deliver a much better battery endurance for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, making it a battery champ. 

Meanwhile, as mentioned, the iPhone 15 Pro Max comes with a 4,422mAh battery. This helps it deliver excellent battery life for its class. 

Charging-wise, we haven’t heard anything about a potential charging speed increase, but we hope to see one on the iPhone 16 Pro Max. The iPhone 15 Pro Max supports up to 25W of wired charging (slightly more with certain Apple chargers). MagSafe will be supported as well, but will most certainly be limited to 15W. 

There won’t be a charger in the box of the iPhone 16 Pro Max

Specs Comparison

The iPhone 16 Pro Max versus iPhone 15 Pro Max specs are available for full comparison here, but we’ve summarized the essentials for you below. 

Summary

So far, the iPhone 16 Pro Max is shaping up to be a logical improvement to the iPhone 15 Pro Max, delivering key upgrades in important ares like screen size, performance, AI, and battery life. At the same time, experiments like the Capture button will likely have gigantic repercussions for the future of the iPhone lineup going forward: it’s not every day that Apple introduces a new button on its bread-and-butter product. 

Thus far, we haven’t heard anything particular about a potential price increase, so it’s safe to assume that the iPhone 16 Pro Max will start at $1,199 for the 256GB version. That’s in line with previous iPhone Pro Max releases and means that you won’t have to shell out more of your hard-earned money for a top iPhone in late 2024.

Of course, if there’s an iPhone 15 Pro Max in your pocket, then you’ll probably have few reasons to upgrade to the iPhone 16 Pro Max


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