Comparing iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max: Is the Upgrade Worth It?

It has been three years since the debut of the iPhone 12, a device that marked a significant shift for Apple with its new design and a presentation style reminiscent of the iPad Pro. Recently, I compared my brand-new white iPhone 15 Pro with my friend’s blue iPhone 12. The question arises: Is it worth shelling out 1,256 euros, or is it a regrettable expense? Let’s delve into it below.

It’s not typical to upgrade iPhones with every new generation. This is quite evident, given that the smartphone industry has reached a pinnacle of development, making incremental improvements year by year. Consequently, upgrading every two to three years, or sometimes even longer, often makes the most sense.

iphone 15

Therefore, in a three-year cycle, owners of the iPhone 12 series may be contemplating an upgrade. For those with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the most logical choice might seem to be the iPhone 15 Pro Max. But are there substantial differences? Let’s explore them below.

Aesthetic and Physical Distinctions

When it comes to visual disparities, the first notable observation is that the iPhone 12 Pro Max doesn’t feel drastically different in hand compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The design trend we’ve seen in recent iPhones began with the iPhone 12, and apart from minor changes in the 15 Pro, such as the incorporation of titanium, the essence of both devices remains largely the same.

The primary differences lie in the materials used; the iPhone 12 features a stainless steel frame, whereas the 15 boasts a titanium version. Additionally, on the side, we still have the familiar on/off switch from the iPhone 12 Pro Max, while the latest generation iPhone now features an action button. At the bottom, the iPhone 12 retains the Lightning connection port, a port that we bid farewell to with the introduction of USB-C in the 15th generation. However, if you desire the highest speed standards offered by the iPhone, you’ll need to purchase a cable priced at 79 euros. Not exactly a budget-friendly option.

Let’s also touch on the dimensions of both devices. Specifically, the iPhone 12 Pro Max measures 16.8x78x1x0.74 cm and weighs 226 grams, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max is slightly smaller at 15.88×7.67×0.83 cm and weighs 221 grams. Despite the 15’s titanium build, it’s only five grams lighter than the 12, although it might give the impression of being much lighter.


The screen size has remained constant since the first-generation Pro Max, with both models featuring a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR screen. However, there have been some internal changes, which we’ll discuss below.

Firstly, the latest iPhone generation boasts a screen with slightly higher resolution, offering 2,796×1290 pixels, compared to the 1,778×1,284 pixels of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Consequently, this translates to an increase from 458 pixels per inch to 446 ppi. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the iPhone 15 Pro’s screen incorporates the always-on display feature, a notable addition absent in the 12th generation, although the standard 12 models also lack this feature. Both models continue to support HDR, Wide Color (P3), Haptic Touch, True Tone, and a contrast ratio of 2 million to one.

Lastly, let’s discuss brightness. The iPhone 12 Pro reaches a maximum brightness of 800 nits, with 1,200 nits for HDR content. These are already impressive figures, but Apple has significantly upped the brightness game with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, offering a peak brightness of 1,000 nits and 1,600 nits for HDR content, with the potential to reach a staggering 2,000 nits. These values are a substantial improvement over the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which falls far short in this regard.