After months of speculation, the iPhone 15 is finally official. And a lot of the rumours were on the money.
Now with USB-C, the new iPhones are slightly more affordable than we might have guessed (though still not cheap), and variously support upgraded designs and materials, with predictable tweaks to the camera and processors.
However, not all iPhone 15 models are created equally. Read on for all the details on the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Apple iPhone 15:
Apple iPhone 15 Plus:
Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted the price hike, saying that the iPhone is now so essential to people's lives, that they're willing to pay even more than the current prices.
"The iPhone has become so integral into people’s lives", Cook said on an earnings call to investors. "I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category."
All four models have contoured edges, but only the Pro and Pro Max get a new customisable action button which replaces the familiar side switch for silent mode. As rumoured, this new button will let you start voice memos, launch the camera, use shortcuts or do something else entirely, as you can designate it with tons of different functions. It should also make it harder to accidentally mute the phone, like the switch it replaces.
The iPhone 15 Pro models come in four colours – white, black, blue and natural. The 'standard' iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are much brighter – they come in pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. Apple has infused the colours through the back glass, which has a "textured matte finish".
Like the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus before them, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus don't have Apple's always-on display with ProMotion support. But they do have peak brightness of 2000 nits, which should help you make out what's on-screen on a sunny day. That's twice as bright (on paper) as the iPhone 14 models.
The screen sizes are the same as the previous range (either 6.1 inches or 6.7 inches), but the Pro models have slimmer bezels than their predecessors.
The Dynamic Island from the iPhone 14 Pro models is now across all the iPhone 15 handsets, giving you, well, dynamic access to your notifications around the camera lens at the top of the screen.
The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus get a 48-megapixel camera – quite an upgrade from the 12-megapixel shooter of the iPhone 14. It's joined by a new 2x telephoto option which gives you more zoom options. Now you don't need to shoot in portrait mode –just focus, and it'll draw in-depth information so you can easily turn the snap into a portrait later in the Photos app. Neat.
Both standard phones are powered by the A16 Bionic that was previously seen on the iPhone 14 Pro. The iPhone 15 Plus has a bigger battery, as you would expect, given that it has a bigger screen. Apple promises "all-day battery life" across the range.
As expected, the Lightning port on all four iPhone 15 models has been replaced by USB-C. That's thanks to a change in EU law that means all small electronics must adopt the standard. So you'll be able to charge all (or at least most) of your Apple gear with just one cable.
The iPhone 15 Pro models feature the A17 Pro, complete with a new GPU. The industry's first 3 nanometer chip has a 6-core CPU which is 10 per cent faster than its predecessor, a neural engine that's up to twice as fast, and USB speeds of up to 10Gbps. The new GPU is Apple's biggest redesign in the firm's history. It has 6 cores and is up to 20 per cent faster than its predecessor. Gamers should be in for a treat.
This all makes the iPhone 15 Pro more powerful, more efficient and more capable. That's the theory, at least.
The A17 Pro also includes a dedicated AV1 decoder, which enables more efficient, high-quality videos for streaming services. And the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max can output video at up to 4K 60 fps HDR.
The Pro models have mighty impressive cameras this year. The sensor is still 48 megapixels, but it's larger than the iPhone 15's. You get more focal lengths and next-gen portraits with two times better low-light performance. The 15 Pro has a 3x telephoto zoom, but the Pro Max takes that a step further, with a 5x optical telephoto zoom with a 120mm focal length, and a 25% larger sensor than the 15 Pro.
Impressive, but remember the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, for example, which launched at the start of 2023, already boasts a 10x optical zoom and 100x digital 'Space Zoom'. The telephoto zoom is welcome but it doesn't catapult Apple to the head of the pack.
The iPhone 15 Pro models also let you record spatial videos, which you can watch back using your Apple Vision Pro AR headset (should you have deep enough pockets and be able to get one upon release sometime in 2024).
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus come in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB variants, while the iPhone Pro has all the above plus a 1TB option. The Pro Max drops the 128GB option, so only has 256GB, 512GB and 1TB variants.
At WWDC 2023, Apple announced iOS 17, which has plenty of new features, which will all come to iPhone 15.
Check In will automatically send a friend a message when you get home, and share your phone's battery status and reception level, for peace of mind if they're trying to contact you. There's a new journalling app, posters that will appear when someone calls you, swearing comes to autocorrect, while StandBy turns your iPhone into a smart home display while charging. You can just say "Siri" instead of "Hey Siri" to summon the voice assistant, too.
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