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Some iPhone 15 owners are complaining that it overheats while charging

Published Sep 26th, 2023 10:21AM EDT
iPhone 15 Pro in Titanium Blue
Image: Joe Wituschek

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After an A17 Pro review indicated the iPhone 15 Pro models can overheat while gaming, some buyers have identified another instance where the new iPhones might become too hot to handle. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max reportedly overheat while charging, although it’s unclear how widespread the issue is.

Heat is one of the iPhone’s worst enemies. It’s not just about potentially hurting the user. Heat can impact battery life and battery health, whether the source of excessive heat is the sun or internal components.

We’ve already seen experiments showing what heat does to iPhone and Android devices. My iPhone 14 Pro went through a strange throttling experience that persisted even after the phone cooled down, for example.

The iPhone 15 Pro features a powerful A17 Pro chip that can put out massive performance. However, the first review out of China showed that the handset can overheat during resource-intensive use, such as gaming. The chip’s top speed will also temporarily drop as the software throttles performance so the heat can dissipate.

But the phones shouldn’t overheat while charging in normal conditions.

As a reminder, the iPhone 15 models might ship with USB-C connectivity instead of Lightning, but they do not support faster charging speeds. You still get the same 20W charging speed estimate from Apple. That means you can push charging to almost 30W with bricks that support at least 30W speeds.

That said, it looks like various users have iPhone 15 models that experienced overheating while charging. 9to5Mac’s Ian Zelbo is the latest one, saying the iPhone 15 Pro Max is “almost too hot to touch while fast charging.”

Apparently, the left side and a small portion of the back on the left side are the hottest points. That’s where the logic board sits. Zelbo noted that once the phone’s charge reached 70%, it cooled down significantly so it was comfortable to hold. The handset was still hotter than normal though.

Previously, Joanna Stern mentioned iPhone 15 Pro Max overheating while charging in her review. As Stern noted, Apple had no comment on the matter.

Separately, Max Weinbach said the iPhone 15 Pro Max is too hot around the frame to hold while charging.

As a reminder, the iPhone 15 Pro design brings over a new type of metal frame. The Grade 5 titanium band is bonded to the aluminum frame inside the phone. Apple explained that the new metal structure will help to dissipate heat. The iPhone 15 models do not feature any sort of extra cooling aside from graphite sheets that should move heat from the logic board to the rear-facing glass.

It’s unclear how many iPhone 15 buyers have dealt with overheating while charging. Also, from the reports above, the iPhone 15 Pro Max seems more likely to overheat than other models. Either that or everyone has been buying the larger handset this year, so the sample size is larger.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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