There's been a lot of controversy around the iPhone 15 release lately, with plenty of loyal Apple fans making the jump over to Samsung instead and purchasing the flagship Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra model. Many consumers aren't sure if the latest smartphone is really as great as Apple has implied, and I have to be honest that as a photographer, I have no interest in buying the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
What I'd really like to talk about, though, is the reported sub-par and questionable performance of the iPhone 15 Pro when it comes to gaming. In a recent YouTube video uploaded by popular unboxer, TheRelaxingEnd, a game test of the iPhone 15 Pro model uncovered some serious lagging issues and the device seemed to struggle during what should have been a basic Genshin Impact fight.
This is surprising, especially considering that the iPhone 15 Pro is equipped with an Apple A17 Pro chip. TheRelaxingEnd noted in the video below that they were using the highest resolution settings at 60FPS while game testing with Genshin.
Despite being someone who has always preferred Samsung and Huawei devices, I'm usually willing to give Apple products the benefit of the doubt. Could it be that iOS 17 is to blame for the shoddy performance and not the phone itself? Have most apps and games even been updated yet to be fully optimized for the iPhone 15 Pro? If so, Apple might not be to blame in this instance.
It's worth noting that other games like GTA and Call of Duty Mobile all seemed to work smoothly with the iPhone 15 Pro in the video, but strangely, no gaming or performance issues have been flagged on any other iPhone 15 models, only the Pro version.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max has been shown to run Genshin Impact perfectly fine in other gameplay videos from different streamers, so why is it just the Pro that seems to be struggling? iPhone 15 gamers on Reddit have also reported overheating issues, so this could potentially be another root of the problem. 9to5Mac has also reported that the iPhone's Titanium casings can contribute to overheating since the material has less mass for heat absorption compared with stainless steel devices.
On the plus side, it seems there are ways around this issue and plans for it to be eventually fixed. HoYoverse, the company behind Genshin Impact, has announced that the next Version 4.1. update of the game will have support for Apple's MetalFX upscaling technology, offering faster response times for smartphone gamers.
This doesn't necessarily guarantee a fix for the issues highlighted in TheRelaxingEnd's video, but it's something at least. Many smartphone gamers have been speculating with the hopes that the new update can render ray tracing, which Apple says the iPhone 15 Pro is more than capable of thanks to the A17 chip.
iPhone 15 Pro alternatives for gamers
If gaming on your smartphone, as opposed to a console or handheld PC, is important to you – then you might want to stray from Apple entirely and consider some of the best gaming phones on the market instead. For example, I've tested several phones from Chinese manufacturer Doogee, and you would be surprised how well they perform for such an affordable price.
There are other contenders like the latest ASUS ROG Phone 7 Series (and the 7 Ultimate), Xiaomi's Black Shark 5 Pro gaming phone, and not forgetting the Nubia Red Magic 7 to name just a few. The best part about these phones is that they're optimised to bring you the best possible smartphone gaming experience with extra fans to keep your phone cool and the best performance settings, so you'll never have to deal with Genshin lag ever again.