iPhone 15 Review Round-Up: Apple’s Base Model Gets DYNAMIC…
The iPhone 15 is now official, and the first batch of reviews are in. So what’s the verdict? Is the iPhone 15 a legit update or not? Let’s find out…
The iPhone 15 series is finally here. But what is it worth the wait? That’s what we’re setting out to find out today.
As usual, there’s four distinct models to choose from: the iPhone 15, 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and the flagship iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The focus of this post, however, is the base model iPhone 15 – usually the best selling model.
Here’s what we’re going to cover in this review round-up:
- Is the iPhone 15 a worthy update over the iPhone 14?
- What’s new inside the iPhone 15?
- How it’s different from the iPhone 14 (and the iPhone 15 Pro models)
- The new 48MP camera
- And, finally, whether it is worth buying.
Stick around until the end because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, as well as advice on the best place to buy an iPhone 15 right now.
Let’s get started…
iPhone 15 Reviews
- The iPhone 15 series is likened to mainstream crossovers in the car market, such as the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. They might not be the most cutting-edge or flashy, but they are reliable, practical, and will serve users well for several years.
- While Apple continues to sell many Pro models, the iPhone 15 series offers a balance of features for its price point, making it a suitable choice for a broad range of users.
- Design: More comfortable to hold due to rounded edges and matte finish.
- Performance: Powered by the A16 Bionic processor, ensuring smooth multitasking, gaming, and media consumption.
- Camera: 48-megapixel main camera offers improved photo quality. Ability to capture portrait mode shots without switching modes.
- Features: Dynamic Island display cutout replaces the notch, providing space for system alerts and ongoing information.
- Charging: Transition to USB-C is a welcome change, offering more universal charging compatibility.
- Battery Life: iPhone 15 Plus boasts impressive battery life, easily lasting through a full day of heavy use.
- Display: Lacks modern features like high refresh rate and always-on display.
- USB-C Limitation: While the shift to USB-C is appreciated, its data transfer speed is limited.
- Camera: Ultrawide camera remains unchanged, and there’s no dedicated telephoto lens. The 48-megapixel sensor’s full resolution might not be necessary for most users.
- Design: Color options are seen as dull and uninspiring.
- SIM: Only supports eSIM, lacking a traditional SIM card slot in the US.
The iPhone 15 stands out with its advanced features, improved battery life, and enhanced camera system. However, the transition to USB-C and the limitations in pro features and camera capabilities may be considered drawbacks by some users.
The phone is well-suited for those who are looking for a good, reliable iPhone with new features and are not concerned about having the most advanced pro features.
- Advanced Features: The iPhone 15 is more advanced than its predecessor, the iPhone 14, and has several distinctive features like a color-infused glass back, an improved Photonic Engine, and a Dynamic Island, an animated widget bar at the top of the display.
- USB-C Support: The new model supports USB-C instead of Lightning, which is convenient for charging multiple USB-C gadgets.
- Improved Battery Life: The iPhone 15 offers less range anxiety compared to the iPhone 13 Pro and matches the iPhone 14 in terms of battery life. It lasted from a 10 am meeting until around 8 am the following day with heavy usage.
- Enhanced Camera System: The camera system on the iPhone 15 offers more granular control over photos and has the ability to capture both 24-megapixel and 48-megapixel images. It also has an additional 2X optical zoom option.
- iOS 17 and Dynamic Island: The phone ships with iOS 17, offering features like transcribed voice notes in messages and improved autocorrect. The Dynamic Island feature, a live, clickable widget, is also a notable addition, providing real-time updates on various apps.
- USB-C Transition Issues: The transition to USB-C can be inconvenient in some cases, as not all USB-C cables and adapters are the same, and the iPhone 15 ships with a short USB-C to USB-C cable but no charging block.
- Limited Pro Features: The iPhone 15 lacks some of the Pro features, including a triple-lens Pro camera system and the most up-to-date A17 Bionic chipset found in the Pro models.
- Camera Limitations: While the camera system is improved, some of the resulting images aren’t stunningly better than the prior generation’s, and the 48-megapixel image feature is optimized for shooting at 1X in decent light.
- Non-Titanium Build: The phone is not built with titanium; users will have to opt for a Pro model for that upgrade.
- Comparative Performance: In some aspects, the iPhone 14 Pro is even considered a better phone, and the gap between the iPhone 14 Pro and the new iPhone 15 is slim.
The iPhone 15 is recommended for its superb design, excellent performance, and significant enhancements over its predecessor. It brings a big interface change with Dynamic Island and excellent camera upgrades.
Despite missing out on some Pro features, it delivers a truly lovely overall experience at a great price, making it a worthwhile upgrade, especially for those using older iPhone models.
- Upgrades Over Predecessor:
- The iPhone 15 brings numerous upgrades over the iPhone 14, making it a worthwhile purchase even for those owning an iPhone 14.
- It has a refreshed design, improved performance, and significant camera upgrades.
- The design is subtle yet significantly different, with a matte glass back and a smoother finish, making it delightful to hold.
- It has a stronger color presence in the aluminum frame, and the edges are slightly contoured, removing sharpness.
- Powered by the A16 Bionic processor, the performance is smooth and efficient, handling both mundane and heavy-duty tasks with ease.
- The device doesn’t heat up during intense gaming sessions and moves around the interface seamlessly.
- Dynamic Island:
- The introduction of Dynamic Island is a significant interface change, offering at-a-glance information or controls and adapting to what is happening on the iPhone’s display.
- It is intuitive and significantly better than the notch, changing the way users interact with their iPhone.
- The camera upgrades are one of the biggest selling points, offering greater detail with a 48-megapixel sensor and introducing a 2x optical zoom.
- The camera retains the super simple, point-and-shoot ease of use, and low-light shots are commendable.
- Battery Life:
- The battery performance is solid, promising 20 hours of video playback, and the brighter display and Dynamic Island do not seem to impact the battery life significantly.
- USB-C Introduction:
- The switch to USB-C is beneficial, allowing one cable to charge multiple Apple devices.
- It also allows the iPhone 15 to charge other devices.
- Lack of Pro Features:
- The iPhone 15 lacks some features present in the Pro models, such as ProMotion technology, resulting in a standard 60Hz display.
- It does not have an Always-On Display and a third camera lens.
- The display, despite being vibrant and bright, does not have the highest resolution in the flagship smartphone field.
- The lack of a higher refresh rate screen may be noticeable to some users, especially those switching from other flagship smartphones with at least 90Hz or 120Hz displays.
- USB-C Limitation:
- The iPhone 15 offers USB 2 support rather than USB 3, limiting some functionalities compared to the Pro models.
- Camera Limitation:
- Despite the camera upgrades, it does not offer the same functionality and framing options as the Pro models.
- The 2x optical zoom, although impressive, is not quite the 5x optical zoom found on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The iPhone 15 is a noteworthy upgrade, particularly for those using older models like the iPhone XR or 11. The enhanced camera system, the addition of a USB-C port, and the inclusion of features like the Dynamic Island make it a compelling choice.
However, the lack of an always-on display, the unchanged 60Hz refresh rate, and no significant improvement in battery life are areas where it falls short.
The design remains largely similar to previous models, but subtle changes in texture and contouring improve the hand feel.
The pricing is also more affordable compared to the iPhone 14, making it a value-for-money option for those considering an upgrade.
- Significant Upgrade: The iPhone 15 is a substantial upgrade from previous models, especially for users of iPhone XR or 11, offering several features that were exclusive to Pro models.
- Camera System: It boasts an excellent camera system with a 48MP main sensor, offering enhanced light-gathering capabilities, 2x zoom, and 24MP output, delivering high-quality photos.
- USB-C Port: The addition of a USB-C port for charging and data transfers is a highlight, aligning the iPhone with other devices and enhancing versatility and convenience.
- Dynamic Island Feature: The Dynamic Island feature, previously exclusive to Pro models, offers live activities and information at the top of the screen, enhancing user experience.
- Performance: Powered by the A16 Bionic processor, the iPhone 15 offers quick and efficient performance, capable of handling various tasks and delivering extra camera capabilities.
- Design & Texture: The contoured edges and grippier matte texture on the back glass make it nicer to hold, and the pastel color lineup is soft, subtle, and differentiated.
- Price: It is more affordable than the iPhone 14, offering value for money with its extensive list of features and improvements.
- Lack of Always-On Display: The absence of an always-on display is notable, especially when cheaper Android rivals have had this feature for years.
- 60Hz Refresh Rate: The display still operates on a 60Hz refresh rate, which might disappoint specs enthusiasts looking for a higher refresh rate.
- Battery Life: While offering “all-day” battery life, there is no significant improvement in battery performance compared to its predecessor.
- Missing Pro Features: Some features like the “action button” available in Pro models are missing, which could have been included in the standard models.
- Design Similarity: From a distance, the design is not significantly different from previous models like the iPhone 14, 13, or 12.
The iPhone 15 is a well-rounded device that brings several high-end features to a more affordable price point.
It offers a modern design, a bright and notch-free display, a powerful processor, and an upgraded camera system, making it a great choice for those wanting to join the iPhone family without breaking the bank.
However, potential buyers should consider the limitations in color options, refresh rate, zoom capabilities, and initial storage, and weigh them against their needs and preferences.
- Design & Display:
- Modern Design: The iPhone 15 features a refreshed design with newly contoured edges and a color-infused back glass, offering a more ergonomic feel and a modern look.
- Dynamic Island: The device has a Dynamic Island, replacing the notch, aligning it with higher-end models.
- Bright Display: The screen has a 2,000-nit brightness, making it suitable for use in sunshine.
- USB-C Port: The inclusion of a USB-C port is a welcome addition, aligning with European regulations.
- Performance & Software:
- Powerful Processor: It houses the A16 Bionic chip, providing robust performance for most tasks.
- iOS 17: The device comes with iOS 17 preinstalled, offering several quality-of-life improvements and new features like Contact Posters and Name Drop.
- Upgraded Camera: The main 48MP camera is a significant upgrade, offering excellent portrait features and 2x “zoom.”
- Improved Photography: The computational photography and upgraded image pipeline technology provide enhanced photo quality and new photography features.
- Value & Battery Life:
- Value for Money: Priced from $799, it offers good value, especially considering the design and performance upgrades.
- All-Day Battery Life: The device offers decent battery life, capable of lasting a full day with mixed use.
- Design & Display:
- Muted Colors: The available colors are more muted compared to the previous model.
- No ProMotion: The display does not support ProMotion, limiting the refresh rate to 60Hz.
- Performance & Storage:
- Heating Issue: The device tends to get warm after a few minutes of gameplay.
- Limited Base Storage: The base model starts with 128GB of storage, which may not be sufficient for all users.
- Limited Zoom: The 2x zoom is limited compared to the dedicated optical zoom on higher-end models and competitors.
- Lacks Macro Capabilities: The camera system lacks stronger telephoto and macro capabilities found in the Pro models.
- Battery & Charging:
- Smaller Battery: The battery is smaller compared to the Plus model.
- No Power Adapter Included: Users need to supply their own power adapter for charging.
Expert Analysis: Is The iPhone 15 Worth Buying?
The design of the iPhone 15, for the most part, remains very similar to before. But that was always going to be the case – Apple rarely messes with the macro design of its iPhones.
There are notable additions and improvements, however, so all is not lost.
The display has seen substantial improvements with the introduction of the Dynamic Island, replacing the notch, and offering a brighter and more vibrant viewing experience.
This is an update everyone will appreciate, whether they’re coming from an iPhone 11 or an iPhone 14.
But there are issues: there are multiple reports about the iPhone 15 overheating and experiencing battery issues.
In terms of performance, the iPhone 15 is equipped with the A16 Bionic chip. While not the most advanced in Apple’s repertoire, it delivers commendable performance, efficiently handling a range of tasks from high-end gaming to intensive video editing.
Make no mistake: the A16 Bionic is a powerhouse CPU; it was the one used inside 2022’s iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, so it is no slouch.
The camera system on the iPhone 15 represents a considerable advancement, featuring a 48MP main camera and innovative portrait processing capabilities. The photographic output is of high quality, as noted more or less across the board in the reviews, allowing for detailed and realistic images.
The battery life of the iPhone 15 is adequate, providing sufficient power to last through a day of mixed usage, aligning with industry standards for smartphones in its category. It’s not a big shift in any direction but it is still decent which means you don’t have to worry about running out of juice.
Is The iPhone 15 Worth It?
When considering value, the iPhone 15 offers a balanced proposition, delivering a range of high-quality features at a price point that is reflective of its capabilities. It’s the same price as last year’s model and it packs in a variety of updates and upgrades. This is all good stuff.
Bottom line? The iPhone 15 is well worth a buy in 2023 if you’re happy not having access to the more advanced features present on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. For 99.9% of people, the iPhone 15 is going to be all the phone you’ll ever need.
🔥 Best Place To Buy iPhone 15?
If you’ve liked what you’ve read so far, you’re probably wonder where the best to get the iPhone 15 is right now?
We’ve compiled all the data – and, trust me, there was a lot – to pull together all the best iPhone 15 deals right now (based on monthly cost and data allowances).
But as of right now, the two best deals for Apple’s iPhone 15 are currently available at Three. Here’s the details:
Three’s Best iPhone 15 Offers
- Unlimited Plan: £30 upfront, £41/month
- 5GB Plan: £30 upfront, £30/month