Wednesday, June 12, 2024

5 reasons why you shouldn’t buy the iPhone 15 Pro

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Blue Titanium iPhone 15 Pro leaning on park lamp post.Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Apple’s iPhone 15 series came out last September, including the base model iPhone 15, the larger iPhone 15 Plus, the higher-end iPhone 15 Pro, and the top-of-the-line iPhone 15 Pro Max. These are Apple’s latest offerings, at least until the iPhone 16 comes out later this year.

Contents

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Limited telephoto camera
  • Slow charging speeds
  • There are tons of great alternatives
  • The iPhone 16 Pro is coming soon

I got my iPhone 15 Pro on launch day, and it’s been my daily driver ever since. I picked a Pro model over the standard one because I like having the triple-lens camera system and the new Action Button. But I only went with the smaller iPhone 15 Pro instead of the Pro Max because I prefer more compact phones.

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As much as I like my iPhone 15 Pro, it does have some shortcomings that are difficult to overlook. If you’re thinking about getting the phone for yourself, here a few reasons not to buy the iPhone 15 Pro.

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Mediocre battery life

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

One of the worst things about the iPhone 15 Pro is the battery life. Apple only put a 3,274mAh battery inside, which is very small compared to the competition.

How small? The Samsung Galaxy S24, the base model of the S24 lineup, has a 4,000mAh battery. The OnePlus 12 has an impressive 5,400mAh cell inside, and even the Google Pixel 8 Pro has a 5,050mAh battery. Compared to other flagship Android phones, the iPhone 15 Pro is quite laughable in terms of battery size.

When I first got the iPhone 15 Pro, the battery life felt a little worse than on the iPhone 14 Pro I had before. But after a few weeks of use, it seemed to even out. In my original review, I noted that the iPhone 15 Pro had about 20% to 30% battery left by the time I plugged it in around 9 p.m. on most days.

However, as of this writing, my iPhone 15 Pro’s battery health shows that the capacity is now 96% with 242 cycle counts. On most days, when I’m just at home and not spending hours at Disneyland, my typical use now has the battery down to about 50% by the time I’m done working around 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (I start around 8:30 in the morning.)

It feels like the battery life has been much worse lately; I often need to charge up earlier in the evening. And on days when I do a lot of driving (connected via Bluetooth to my car and with a dash cam) or spend the day at a theme park, I definitely have to pull out my portable battery pack for a midday charge.

It’s also disappointing to see that my iPhone 15 Pro’s battery capacity has already dropped so much, and it has not even been a full year yet. After using other flagship Android phones, I wish the iPhone 15 Pro would last a full day without having to be plugged in at some point.

Limited telephoto camera

Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Again, one of the reasons I always go for the Pro model of the iPhone is because I like having a telephoto camera lens. It’s not my most used lens, but it’s very handy when I come across some cute wildlife in the city streets and want to get a photo without scaring it.

For a few years, Apple ensured that both Pro models had equal camera hardware. But with the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple reverted to giving the larger Pro model the best possible cameras while compromising on the smaller Pro.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has Apple’s new tetraprism telephoto lens, which is basically a periscope camera. This lens gives the iPhone 15 Pro Max a 5x optical zoom capability, which means better detail and image quality when you zoom in.

The iPhone 15 Pro, on the other hand, does not have the new periscope lens, likely due to size constraints (the Pro Max has more room to fit the lens inside). So, unfortunately, the smaller iPhone 15 Pro has the same telephoto lens as its predecessor, which means it only gets up to 3x optical zoom.

The fact that Apple limited the periscope telephoto lens to the larger model is a letdown. Why? Because not everyone who wants a great smartphone camera wants a gigantic phone. At least I didn’t, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that matter.

Slow charging speeds

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The iPhone 15 lineup marked the first iPhones to use USB-C. With this change, people thought that maybe the iPhone would finally get faster charging speeds. After all, there are Android phones out there that can get up to 80-watt to 100W wired charging via USB-C!

But no, despite switching to USB-C, Apple did not improve the charging speed at all. While the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max have faster data transfer speeds over the base model iPhone 15, the charging speed is the same across all four models. And what’s that speed cap? The same 27W as before.

For a flagship device, the 27W charging speed is disappointing. Competitors definitely have Apple beat here. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus and Ultra both have 45W wired charging, and the OnePlus 12 has an impressive 80W wired and 50W wireless charging speeds.

Sure, Samsung’s base model, the Galaxy S24, is only 25W, but that’s the base model — Apple could have at least made the Pro models have a bit faster charging speed.

There are tons of great alternatives

Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

I’ve already mentioned it a few times, but there are some fantastic alternatives to the iPhone 15 Pro that you should also consider. As long as you are also open to using Android, that is.

If you were thinking about getting the iPhone 15 Pro because it’s a small flagship, then the Samsung Galaxy S24 is a good option. It’s cheaper than the iPhone 15 Pro and still has a triple-lens camera system and better battery life, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chip is very impressive.

The OnePlus 12 is another great alternative. The triple-lens camera is fine-tuned with Hasselblad for improved color profile and white balance. Battery life is incredible, and you get superfast 80W wired and 50W wireless charging. With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 paired with up to 16GB RAM, the OnePlus 12 is a real powerhouse, and you can get it for less than an iPhone 15 Pro.

The iPhone 16 Pro is coming soon

ZONEofTech

Still really want the iPhone 15 Pro? Well, you may want to wait a few more months because the iPhone 16 series will launch and there will definitely be an iPhone 16 Pro.

The iPhone 16 Pro rumors are already indicating that it will be more exciting than the iPhone 15 Pro. For one, the size of the iPhone 16 Pro could be going up to 6.3 inches from 6.1 inches, which isn’t huge, but could still be noticeable. The advantage of this is that Apple will be able to use the extra space from the body to fit in a periscope lens, giving the iPhone 16 Pro 5x optical zoom like the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Another upcoming feature will be the new Capture button, which will be on the bottom right edge of the frame. This button sounds like it may work as a camera shutter button, with the possibility to customize it like the Action button.

These are just a couple of things to look forward to with the iPhone 16 Pro. Honestly, they are reasons why I would hold off and wait a few more months if I didn’t already have an iPhone 15 Pro. We’ll find out for sure in September.

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