The New and Notable Features of the iPhone 15 Pro & Pro Max

I once again upgraded to a new iPhone, going from last year’s iPhone Pro 14 to the new iPhone Pro 15 Max. In my latest video I take a look at some of the new features introduced in this year’s model – many of them centered around Apple’s move to a USB-C port.

I opted for the larger Pro Max, which boasts a 6.7-inch display. It’s been a while since I had a phone this large, the last one being the iPhone 7 Plus back in 2016. The reason I went for the larger phone this time was the 15 Pro Max’s superior camera system. The telephoto lens on the larger phone offers a 5x Zoom, compared to the 3x on the smaller variant. This provides around a 120mm equivalent for zooming in, which I found might be useful for my video work.

Surprisingly, as someone who prefers a smaller phone the larger size of the new Pro Max didn’t bother me. It felt comfortable, and I can type on it one-handed. The slightly thinner bezels do make a difference in the hand. Even though it’s heavier than my old 14 Pro, the 15 Pro Max feels lighter. This might be due to the materials used and how the weight is balanced.

Unlike prior versions, the new iPhones have an “action button” vs. a switch for silent mode. But it can now be configured to do other things. By default, holding it down toggles between silent and ring. However, you can customize the action button to perform different actions. I had fun setting mine to activate the Tesla fart machine, much to the amusement of my kids.

The most significant change is the shift from the proprietary lightning connector to USB Type-C. On the pro phones, that port can run at Gen 2, get a 10 gigabit speeds. As a full service port the phone can take power in, output to an external display, and work with USB data devices simultaneously when connected to a USB-C dock or hub.

For video professionals, the iPhone 15 Pro can record professional ProRes video onto external SSDs at up to 4k at 60 frames per second. The phone will output HDR, SDR, or LOG video.

The camera system of the iPhone has always been impressive. With the new iPhone, you can now switch between lenses at 4K 60 while recording. The new 5x lens offers a nice natural bokeh, but it requires a lot of light to get the best results. In low light conditions, the image quality isn’t as good.

Performance-wise, the new iPhone showed a 22% performance boost over the iPhone 14 Pro in gaming on the 3DMark Wildlife Extreme Test. But the phone tends to throttle significantly when under load, leading to a drop in performance after a very short period of time.

Battery life seems decent on the phone but it’s hard to say how long that experience will last given what I experienced with my iPhone 14 Pro which lost nearly 14% of its max battery capacity in less than a year. Apple did finally add a means of checking the battery’s charge cycle count in the about section of the settings app.

While the new iPhone doesn’t feel groundbreaking compared to its predecessor, it does offer several improvements. The 5x lens, the switch to USB Type-C, and the ability to record ProRes video onto external media are the most notable new features.

All About My iPhone 14 Pro’s Dying Battery..

Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a significant change in my iPhone 14 Pro’s battery life. Despite purchasing it less than a year ago, the battery doesn’t last nearly as long as it initially did. This is the topic of my latest video.

Curious, I delved into the battery health section of my settings and found that my battery health had dropped to 89%. It seemed to be decreasing by about 1-2% every two weeks. In fact since shooting this video on Friday my battery health has dropped another percentage point.

I wasn’t the only one experiencing this. A fellow tech YouTuber, Tech Daily, shared a similar experience with his iPhone 14 Pro on Twitter. This got me thinking about the factors that could be causing this decline.

Apple defines a functional battery as one that retains 80% of its original capacity after 500 complete charge cycles. A charge cycle is counted every time the battery is completely drained and recharged. For instance, if you use up half the battery and then recharge it, that counts as half a charge cycle.

Finding the charge cycle number isn’t straightforward. However, after navigating through the settings, I discovered that my cycle count was 329. This meant that, according to Apple, my battery was still functioning within its expected performance range and would not be subject to a warranty replacement.

I began to wonder if my charging habits were affecting the battery’s longevity. Like many others, I primarily use wireless charging. I’ve noticed that my phone heats up considerably when placed on a wireless charger. Additionally, when I need a quick charge, I use high-powered USB-C PD chargers, which also generate a lot of heat. Could this heat be impacting the battery’s lifespan? TechDaily suspects that might be his problem too:

Interestingly, the European Union is considering a mandate for phones to have user-replaceable batteries. This could be a game-changer, allowing users to easily swap out batteries and extend the life of their phones.

I’m curious to hear from others about their experiences with their phone batteries. Is there a correlation between wireless and fast charging and reduced battery longevity? Let me know in the video comments or on Twitter. It’s all anecdotal for now, but gathering more data might provide some insights.

8bitDo Controllers Now Officially Apple Compatible

8BitDo controllers are now officially supported by Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. I tested them on all three platforms in my latest video.

This compatibility eliminates the need for complicated workarounds to pair these controllers with iOS devices. Compatible controllers include the SN30 Pro, SN30 Pro Plus, Pro 2, the 8BitDo Ultimate Controller, and Light SE. 8bitdo has a compatibility page here for more information. Users may need to update their controller’s firmware first – even if they just purchased it recently.

The controllers can be connected via USB-C on iPads with a USB-C port, but iPhones or iPads with a Lightning connector must use Bluetooth connections. I found that they work just like Xbox and Playstation controllers once connected.

The 8-Bitdo controllers can be used with various games, including those on Apple Arcade, as well as game streaming services like Xbox Cloud Gaming. Users can remap controls and set up different profiles for their controllers using iOS settings or the 8-Bitdo Ultimate app, which allows for further customization on their more premium controllers like the Ultimate and Pro 2 controllers.

This new feature closes a big compatibility gap these controllers had since the beginning. Now if only we can get them working with Xbox and PS4/5 Consoles next!

iPhone at 15 – Original Box and Shopping Bag

The iPhone started shipping on June 29, 2007. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Incidentally I also got married that year so it’s easy to remember how many years I’ve been married based on the age of the iPhone :).

I posted this video on the extra’s channel the other day in recognition of the iPhone’s 15th birthday. It’s kind of a re-run as I made this short on the main channel a little while back.

Those of us suckers who bought an iPhone on release day also got a cool shopping bag to take it home in that you’ll see in the video. I called it the “mug me” bag as it clearly gave away its contents as you left the store. My original receipt was still in there too:

June 29, 2007!

My then fiancĂ© was on a trip with her family and I was bored. So I drove up to the Apple store and bought the phone. There were no lines and they had plenty of stock. Of course that would soon change in future iterations. AT&T’s activation servers that were set up specifically for the iPhone were so overloaded I couldn’t actually use the phone until the next day.

Back then it only worked on AT&T’s network and I had to switch from Verizon. What a mistake that was – the phone part of the iPhone didn’t work anywhere in my house! I had to get a “Femtocell” in order to receive phone calls which barely worked. As soon as Verizon got the iPhone on its network I switched back.

The phone had pretty slow data speeds.. 3G networks were prevalent at the time but the iPhone only supported “Edge” which was about a 135k bits per second – not much faster than a dialup connection. There was no front facing camera and the rear camera was pretty lousy.

I think I traded in my old iPhone at one point to save money on a new one. I regret that now. It sure would look nice on my gadget shelf!