iPhone 15 Pro Challengers: Google Pixel 7 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, More

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Apple released its iPhone 15 series at its “Wonderlust” event last week. And while the iPhone 15 came with some major considerable specs and feature bumps, most eyes stayed glued to the iPhone 15 Pro. For good reason. 

On the surface and from a distance, the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro seem similar. The new Pro iPhone comes with the exact same design, the same megapixel count on the rear and front cameras (48+12+12-megapixel and 12-megapixel in front) and the same sized 6.1-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate. But there are changes beneath that familiar surface.  Apple has used a titanium enclosure in the iPhone 15 Pro, giving it a different texture and also making it lighter. On the inside, the iPhone 15 Pro is powered by a new chipset, the A17 Pro chip, and while the megapixel count on the cameras may seem the same, Apple has improved the cameras on the new Pro iPhone, with larger sensors and better zoom (the iPhone 15 Pro Max gets a 5x optical zoom). The Silent switch on the side has been replaced by an Action button, which can be customised for different actions. And of course, the USB Type-C port replaced the Lightning port.  

But all of this comes at a steep price. The iPhone 15 Pro starts at Rs 1,34,900, making it one of the most expensive smartphones around. It also opens the door for a number of competitors, some of whom offer comparable specs, and some others who bring innovative form factors to the table. 

Here are five Pro-level challengers to the Apple’s latest Pro iPhone: 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: Ultra Specs, Ultra Special

Price: Rs 1,24,999

One of the unsaid rules of tech is that Apple’s flagship phones will always have to face a Samsung flagship device. That applies to the iPhone 15 Pro as well. Standing in its path is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. In terms of sheer specs, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a monster and seems to have an upper hand over the iPhone 15 Pro.  The phone comes with a bigger 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate and higher QHD resolution. It runs on one of the best mobile processors around, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, with RAM and storage going all the way up to 12 GB RAM and 1 TB storage, respectively. The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s cameras trump the iPhone 15 Pro in the sheer megapixel count — the phone has a quadruple-camera setup on the back comprising a 200-megapixel main sensor with OIS, two 10-megapixel telephoto cameras with OIS and 3x and 10x optical zoom, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor. This combo not only gives the Galaxy S23 Ultra some serious detail-capturing power but also very impressive zooming ability.  

A 12-megapixel selfie sensor on the front rounds off the camera goodness. The phone runs on a 5,000mAh battery with support for 45W wired charging (no charger, but) and wireless charging, and can see off a day of heavy use. It comes with Android 13 topped with Samsung’s OneUI, with assured updates. A big trump card up the S23 Ultra’s sleeve is the S Pen stylus, which allows you to scribble, draw and doodle on the device. It is a huge phone, with huge specs and huge performance. And looks the part too.

Google Pixel 7 Pro: Google’s Pro Phone

Price: Rs 74,999

The Pixel 7 Pro may come at a much lower price than the iPhone 15 Pro, but for many people, it is the ultimate Android phone, as it comes with software and hardware from one of Apple’s arch rivals, search giant Google. It is also the latest carving in the written-in-stone phone rivalry between Apple and Google, which goes all the way back to the first Nexus device. Although a new Pixel is looming on the horizon, the Pixel 7 Pro remains a formidable device. 

It comes with a bigger 6.7-inch LTPO AMOLED QHD display with 120Hz refresh rate. It is powered by Google’s own Tensor G2 chipset, which might not set benchmark records but is known for enabling smart functionality.  In the camera department, the Pixel is one of the few devices that can take on the iPhone, thanks to Google’s computational photography wizardry. The Pixel 7 Pro comes with a lot of camera power, with a 50-megapixel main sensor with OIS, a 48-megapixel telephoto sensor with OIS and 5x optical zoom (which you get on the iPhone 15 Pro Max only) and a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor. On the front, there is a 10.8-megapixel selfie sensor. The phone not only delivers very good pictures in terms of details but also serves up very clear snaps even at a staggering 30x digital zoom.  It comes with a number of smart features (live transcription, clear calling and so on) and runs on the cleanest and latest Android you can find, with assured updates.  

It has no charger in the box but comes with a massive 5,000mAh battery and support for wireless charging. And it has that camera bar design that marks it out as a Pixel!

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5: A Phone To Flip For

Price: Rs 99,999 onwards

If you wish to get a phone that is not only different from an iPhone but most of the smartphones in the market and is up to spending a bomb for it, consider the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. Samsung’s latest addition to the Flip side of its foldables is better than ever, with a lot of substance added to its undoubtable style. It now comes with a Flex Window, a massive 3.4-inch Super AMOLED display that lets you do a lot without opening the phone. Flip the phone open and you will find a brilliant 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate. There is a lot of hardware muscle on board, the Flip5  is powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that we have seen on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, making it a proper flagship phone. 

The spec-chasing crowd might be disappointed by the Flip 5 having only two cameras on the back — a 12-megapixel main sensor with OIS and a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor – but they are both good performers. There is a 10-megapixel selfie sensor on the main display too, but you can use the rear cameras for selfies by flipping the phone shut.  The phone also has a (relatively small)  3,700mAh battery but comes with support for wireless charging, and runs on Android 13 out of the box with OneUI on top, with assured updates.  

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is stylish and compact, and it stands out from the usual boring design crowd.  

And it does all this while performing very well, if not spectacularly.  

iPhone 14 Pro: Old Pro, Still Packs A Punch (If You Can Manage To Get One)

Price: Rs 1,19,999 onwards

It might be a year old and on its way out, but the iPhone 14 Pro still comes with some serious spec power. It speaks the same design language as the new iPhone 15 Pro, although minus the Titanium build, action button and USB Type-C port. It too has a 6.1-inch LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, with an impressive 2,000-nits peak brightness. Its camera set-up not only delivers great photographs and videos but also matches the new Pro in megapixel terms — a 48-megapixel main sensor and two 12-megapixel sensors (a telephoto and an ultrawide), as well as a 12-megapixel selfie camera. 

It runs on a slightly inferior processor, the A16 Bionic chipset but it remains more than capable of handling whatever task you may feel like throwing its way and is considered good enough by Apple itself to power the iPhone 15. 

You also get wireless charging, dust and water resistance, assured software updates and now, a much lower price too. 

A point to keep in mind is that the iPhone 14 Pro is likely to go out of circulation very soon as Apple has officially discontinued it. But if you can get your hands on one, it remains a formidable performer, very much the old Pro of the iPhone zone, and more affordable too. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: The Pro-ductivity Boss 

Price: Rs 1,54,999 onwards 

If you wish to go all out and get a phone that is powerful, stylish and unique and is ready to spend money on it (well, you would if you are considering the iPhone 15 Pro), then Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a contender. The phone is the ultimate blend of power and productivity and comes with a book-like foldable display which when opened turns it into a tablet.  

It comes with a 6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate on the outside and a much bigger 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with 120Hz refresh rate and a massive 1,812×2,176-pixels resolution that reveals itself once you open the phone. Running this dual display show is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, one of the most powerful smartphone processors around. Samsung has pretty much thrown the spec kitchen sink at the Galaxy Fold 5 — the phone gets up to 12GB RAM and up to 1TB storage on board. 

The triple camera set-up consists of a 50-megapixel main sensor with OIS, a 10-megapixel telephoto sensor with 3x optical zoom and OIS and a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor. The phone also comes with two front-facing cameras, a 10-megapixel one on the cover display and a 4-megapixel under-display camera on the internal display.  The 4,400mAh battery might seem a little small to keep all this hardware goodness running, but it comes with support for 25W wired and 15W wireless charging, although with no charger in the box. 

The Fold 5 comes with Android 13 out of the box with OneUI on top with assured updates. Yes, it is big and bulky, but if you are planning on shelling out a massive amount of money on a smartphone, why not go for one that can be used as a phone that can also be a tablet?

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