There’s only a couple of months to go until we expect to see the iPhone 16 Pro/Max (and other iPhone 16 models) announced, so I’ve been thinking about what I’m hoping to see this year.

In recent times, iPhone announcements haven’t been exactly revolutionary. The models are still pretty good, but I haven’t been particularly excited by anything Apple has had to offer in recent years – plenty of Androids have better cameras, including the Xiaomi 14 Ultra, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Google Pixel 8 Pro.

But, that doesn’t stop me daring to dream because I like using iPhones more than I like using Androids (don’t come at me). Here’s what I’d like to see in September, when we expect the latest Phone 16 Pro to be revealed, it’s not much, so I don’t see why Apple can’t grant all my wishes!

1. A much, much better selfie camera

Recently, I carried out a group test to discover which is the best smartphone for selfies. To my surprise not only was the iPhone 15 Pro Max not the best, it was quite clearly the worst. I take selfies all the time – even more now that I have a baby daughter to show off in them – so I was quite surprised. If they could sort this out alone, I’d be a bit happier.

2. A larger main sensor

There’s quite a few smartphones which have large sensors, such as the Xiaomi 14 Ultra. Considering Apple phones are pretty expensive, I don’t see why I should have to slum it with a tiny sensor. A bigger one would be better for detail, low light shooting, improving background bokeh and for my ability to go around telling everyone that I’ve got a big one. What’s not to like?

3. Higher resolution additional sensors

It took them a while, but Apple granted us a high resolution main sensor a couple of generations back. Now it’s time to extend that grace to the other sensors. The main sensor in the iPhone 15 Pro/Max is 48MP, with a standard output of 24MP. That’s great. The ultrawide and telephoto lenses only have 12MP sensors though. I want more!

Xiaomi 14 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max, cameras
More lenses, please – just like the Xiaomi 14 Ultra. Photo: Amy Davies.

4. A better and/or additional telephoto lens

Speaking of the telephoto lens, the one found on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, well it’s alright. But I’d prefer to actually have two if possible – a 3x and a 5x, just like we see on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Xiaomi 14 Ultra. Sometimes 3x is far more practical than 5x. I’d also like to see it perform a bit better, produce sharper images and be something I actually want to use all the time, too.

5. Better macro

When macro first came to iPhone, it was really good. Or at least I remember thinking “well, this is rather good.” Since then however, it’s been far eclipsed by other models. I’ve been particularly impressed by the Xiaomi 14 Ultra’s macro capabilities. I’ve taken photos with it that I think you’d be hard pushed to tell it’s not taken with a “real camera”. The Xiaomi uses a floating telephoto for macro mode, which is perhaps what helps it to outperform the iPhone quite so much. Other models, like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra have also got pretty good macro capabilities too. It’s time for Apple to catch up, again.

iPhone 15 Pro Max sample image, macroXiaomi 14 Ultra sample image macro
The Xiaomi 14 Ultra’s macro mode (right) is far superior to the iPhone 15 Pro Max (left)

6. The same camera set up on both the Pro and Pro Max models

I don’t understand why I have to be punished with a massive phone I don’t want just to get the best camera set up. Please put the same camera set up on the smaller and larger models to give me (and everybody else, I suppose) the choice to have something pocket friendly but still offering the best shooting ability.

7. Digital zoom that’s actually decent

I’m so bored of all these phones boasting that they have 100x, 120x or god knows what else they like to bang on about. When you look at images taken at those magnitudes, they are always rubbish and unusable, and who even needs to zoom that far anyway? What’s the point? Why not work on a digital zoom that is actually good, using computational wizardry or something – it must be possible by now. It doesn’t need to be 100-120x, I’d be happy with something normal like 15-20x, if it was actually useable. The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 25x digital zoom, but it’s rubbish. Improvements can be made.

8. Better editing in the native app

There’s some editing you can do via the native Photos app. OK, there’s quite a lot. But where’s all the things that some other phones on the market can do, like object removal. Or a little bit of facial improvement (as long as it’s not too much and people end up looking plastic)? Who can be bothered to load up a separate app to sort out that kind of stuff? Not me, I want it right there within easy reach, dammit.

iPhone in hand in native camera app in portrait mode displaying an image of a dachshund dog yawning
Portrait detection should automatically recognise a dog . Photo: Amy Davies

9. Even better Portrait mode

One of my favourite things about the iPhone 15 Pro/Max is its ability to automatically recognise portrait subjects, to give you the option to add portrait effects after the fact if you want to, without having to go into the portrait mode specifically.

However, Portraits are still far from perfect. Or rather, I’ve seen better elsewhere. We’ve still got some reasonably shonky outlines around hair and so on, that others seem to have got just that little better. If Apple could make what they’re already doing even better, that would be great.

iPhone 15 pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra native photo app
Look at that lovely non-reflective, matte-black screen of the Samsung S24 Ultra (right). Image credit: Amy Davies

10. An improved screen

The iPhone 15 Pro Max screen is not bad. But things can always, always be better. I’d like it to be a bit brighter – all the better for viewing my images and videos. But what I’d really like is it for it to have the same kind of anti-reflective magic that the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has. While you’re there, Apple, you may as well make the bezels a little bit thinner so that more of the screen takes up the front of the unit – it’ll look nicer.

One thing I categorically do not want is for the screen to be bigger. I read a rumour that said the iPhone 16 Pro Max screen will be 6.9”. Who wants these enormous mega-phones? At 6.7”, I find the 15 Pro Max already too big – I struggle to type emails with it one handed, and that’s a real problem when you’re trying to multitask – send thoughts and prayers etc.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is 6.8”, and that’s too big too. When will it end? Just stop.

11. The ability to expand storage

OK let’s face it, this is never gonna happen, but a girl can dream. I’d like to be able to pop a memory card in and expand my storage. Apple is almost certainly never going to allow that because then it can’t sell me extortionately priced iPhones with more storage than I’ll probably ever need anyway. But regardless, it’s what I want.

12. Better battery life

It’s a bit of an old trope that iPhones have bad battery life. Things have moved on significantly in the last few years, and now it’s not so bad. But I still don’t feel confident going out for a full day somewhere without a battery pack, especially considering our whole lives – train tickets, credit cards, our ability to function as human beings – are on our phones. Apparently the bigger screen is going to enable a bigger battery. Yeah, well I don’t want that – I want a better battery without also having to invest in new trousers to fit the bloody thing in.

13. A shutter button

The iPhone 15 Pro Max debuted a new Action button, which I have set to launch the camera. That’s been pretty good in allowing me to quickly launch the camera app when I need it. However, of course, I’m still not satisfied. I’d love there to be a dedicated button purely for the camera, which you could perhaps quickly double tap to launch, and then single tap to actually take a picture. Then I could set my Action button to something else, too.

iPhone 15 Pro in hand pro menu showing option to switch on pro raw control
Toggle ProRAW control on in the settings menu of your iPhone. Photo: Amy Davies

14. More camera settings within the app

I’ve been moaning about this for a while. A lot of the camera settings for the iPhone aren’t in the app itself. You have to come out of that, unlock the phone, and dive into the general settings of the iPhone to make certain changes. Why? It’s convoluted and not very elegant. It could easily be changed, so why not do it?

15. One last thing – more exciting colours

This one’s a bit of a frippery, but hey, it’s worth an ask. The iPhone Pro series always seems to have the most boring colours. I’m guessing the insinuation here is that “serious” people don’t like bright colours – they like muted silvers and blacks. Well, piffle I say. I’m super serious about my photography, of course, doesn’t mean I don’t like bright red or bright purple or whatever else – make things a bit more fun, Apple!

So that’s my wishlist – just 15 things, not much is it? What would you like to see for the iPhone 16 Pro?

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