Are you a real iPhone fan? Prove it. Which iPhone 15 did you buy? Did you go for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, with the best telephoto zoom camera? Or did you pick an iPhone 15 Plus with a splash of color, reminiscent of the old days of the coolest iMac computers Apple ever made. Of course, it’s a trick question, because real Apple fans know that there is only one real choice (and that’s probably why it sold out).
Am I an Apple fan? My relationship with Apple is more complicated than fanaticism. From an editorial perspective, I want Apple to make the best phones possible because I want the best phone possible. Ditto Samsung, Google, and Motorola. I root for everybody, because that’s the best environment for competition. Competition is what makes the phone industry better.
On the other hand, I worked for Apple a long time ago, at an Apple store in the Chestnut Hill mall near Boston. I worked there before the iPhone was launched, in the days of the iPod nano. It was only for a couple of years, and that was a lifetime ago, but I had to pass a group audition to get the job. If I’m declaring my Apple bona fides, that’s a good start.
Before that, I owned Apple products for years and years, dating back to the Macintosh IIsi desktop box, beige with a rainbow-colored Apple logo. I had an iBook before a Macbook, and a Powerbook before a Macbook Pro. I’ve been a customer a long time, and sometimes I buy weird Apple stuff.
I didn’t just buy an iPod mini, I bought the official Apple socks for that mini iPod. I still have one. I bought the weird iPod shuffle that had no buttons at all, and I got the Special Edition chrome version of that terrible player. Even diehard fans have forgotten that one.
I’ve owned every iPhone, and I waited in line for the first, second, third and fourth. Then, I started working for Samsung on its phone reviews team, but I still bought every iPhone. I just wasn’t seen standing in line for them.
Choosing between Apple and Android first
When I left Samsung in 2017, I had to turn over all of the phones they gave me, so I headed directly to the Apple store and bought an iPhone 7 Plus in the Product (RED) color. I felt out of place buying an iPhone after six years shilling for Samsung, so I wanted to contribute to charity as well as Apple’s bottom line. That was a great color; I hope Apple brings it back to every iPhone, even the Pro models.
Since then, I purchased an iPhone 11 Pro Max, then an iPhone 14 Pro a few years later. In between, there was a Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, and more recently a Galaxy S23 Ultra. I’m equivocal with my phone choices.
Truthfully, I can’t decide in which world I prefer to live. Apple makes my life easy, and my friends and loved ones mostly live there. Android makes my life fun, and my friends can find me on other apps besides iMessage.
That said, of course I’m buying an iPhone 15 series device. I’m trading my iPhone 14 Pro to AT&T for $1,000, divided over the next three years of my contract. If I leave early, even a year or more, I’ve still saved a few hundred bucks.
I need the best possible iPhone cameras
Which iPhone model did I buy? It wasn’t an iPhone 15, or an iPhone 15 Plus. I love the colors on the new iPhones, even if some of my colleagues think Apple should have gone bolder. But great color is not enough for a true iPhone fan. As good as the iPhone 15 seems to be, a real fan needs more.
I need more camera, obviously. I’m not sure if my next iPhone will be the best camera phone you can buy, but I expect it will be a very, very close race. I expect my iPhone will take great photos that I can edit, share, and print. Yes, I print photos. I have two different printers for the task, and a professional print shop I prefer.
For that, I need the best camera Apple makes. That means I don’t just want an iPhone 15 Pro, I need the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Sadly, I’m not quite convinced by that telephoto camera. It uses a very small sensor, a fraction of the size of the big, 48MP main camera. Even if it can see farther than any iPhone before, how good will those photos be? Not great, I’m assuming.
The new 3D optical image stabilization should help, and I’m plainly curious to see what Apple can pull off. Samsung has achieved some extraordinary results with its 10X zoom lens, but the photos aren’t spectacular. They are blurry and lack detail. The images are just better than you’d expect, for a smartphone zooming so far.
Apple isn’t using a sensor that is meaningfully larger than Samsung’s longest zoom, so I’m curious if Apple can produce images that are actually worth showing off.
The color that tells everyone I have the new iPhone
Okay, so I need to buy the iPhone 15 Pro Max because no lesser iPhone camera will do. What color did I buy? Again, there is only one choice, if you’re a real iPhone fan.
In every iPhone generation, there is one signature color that has not appeared on an iPhone before. This year’s iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max come in black, white, blue, and natural titanium. I’ll give you one guess which color I chose. Of course, I chose the newest hue, naturally.
See, the iPhone doesn’t change much from generation to generation. This year represents the biggest physical change since the iPhone 12 series. The sides are a bit more rounded. There are, um, other differences. I’m not sure. I don’t have my phone in hand yet, I’m only going by what I saw on Apple’s video.
What I saw made me think one thing, over and over, especially as Apple ran its focus over the curves and shine of the natural titanium iPhone 15 Pro. I thought – that looks expensive. I was sure that Apple would charge more for the titanium finish. I thought the natural titanium would be a premium model, maybe with more RAM or some other bonus.
When I found out the price, I can’t say I was relieved, but I was resolved. I needed the iPhone 15 Pro Max in natural titanium. There was no other choice. It has the best iPhone cameras, and it is the most unique iPhone color. It’s the one that stands out among the iPhone 15 pack. If you’re a true iPhone fan, the iPhone 15 series that you’ll remember in the years to come is the one I bought. Good luck finding one of your own.