iPhone Pro’s Titanium Finish Stands Out in First Look at Device

In the first hands-on testing of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, the new materials and charging port stand out as the most distinct changes from last year’s models.

(Bloomberg) — In the first hands-on testing of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, the new materials and charging port stand out as the most distinct changes from last year’s models. 

The new phones’ use of titanium along the sides, which replaces stainless steel, is an attention-grabbing addition. The material is meant to make the phones more lightweight and durable, and that comes across immediately when you hold the device.

After unveiling the iPhone 15 lineup on Tuesday, Apple offered demonstrations to attendees at its Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California. The new product — especially the higher-end versions — represents one of the company’s biggest upgrades in years. And Apple is counting on the new features to help reverse a rare sales slump.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook appeared on the demo-room floor, taking selfies with attendees and getting up close and personal with the handsets on display. He has described the iPhone 15 Pro as the culmination of “Apple innovations, advancing features across design, camera, performance and more.” 

But much of the attention Tuesday focused on a more mundane change. When grabbing the new phone, attendees immediately flipped the device upside-down to examine the new USB-C port.

The connector is a switch from Lightning, which the iPhone has used since 2012, and the change is bound to irk some consumers. But the technology offers faster data-transfer speeds, at least on the higher-end iPhones. And Apple didn’t have much of a choice in the matter: The switch to USB-C was mandated by the European Union, and it didn’t make sense for Apple to produce a specific iPhone just for that market. 

Read More: Apple to Change iPhone Port for First Time in 11 Years

Aesthetically, the new connector makes little difference, but the disappearance of the Lightning port still felt like a big occasion for the technology enthusiasts and analysts gathered in the demo room. 

The sizes of the Pro and Pro Max remain unchanged from the previous generation, at 6.1 inches and 6.7 inches. One twist: The colors on the higher-end phones are actually more muted than on the cheaper iPhones, giving the titanium more of a chance to shine.

The entry-level models — the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus — feature pastel versions of pink, blue, green and yellow, in addition to black. Seeing all the models side by side, the regular iPhone colors definitely provide more of a pop.

The technology behind the new colors is something Apple highlighted as well. During the presentation, the company explained that metal ions were used to dye color into the glass on the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. The effect is clearly visible when you hold the phone in your hand and get up close to the frosted glass black.

Of course, the biggest features of the iPhone 15 Pro are ones you can’t immediately see. The A17 chip, Apple’s fastest in-house smartphone processor, will make it a more powerful gaming device. It supports a technology called ray tracing — a buzzy topic at the Apple event — that enables smoother graphics and improved color accuracy. 

Pricing was also a big source of discussion among attendees. Most iPhone models will stay the same level this year, but the Pro Max will get a $100 bump to $1,199. One caveat: The device now starts with 256 gigabytes of storage, compared with 128 on the prior generation.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.