Apple has announced the new iPhone 15 series at its Wonderlust event. There are some major improvements to the iPhone 15 series features this year including the new USB-C charging port, Dynamic Island on non-Pro iPhones, and a major camera revamp across the lineup.
The biggest features have arrived in the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max as both Pro models now get a big shift from the stainless steel frame to a more durable Titanium frame. Other than this, there is also an improved 48MP snapper on the iPhone Pro Max offering up to 5x optical zoom capabilities.
Let’s check out the different features of the iPhone 15 series.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus
Complying with the rumors, Apple has discontinued the iPhone 13 mini after launching the iPhone 15 series. There are four new models in the lineup – iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Let’s begin by comparing the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.
Design: iPhone 15 and 15 Plus
Retaining the screen size from last year’s standard iPhone variants, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus have 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR Display. However, the bezels have shrunk a bit and now have slightly more rounded edges along with a frosted rear glass panel and matte finish.
In a major departure from the standard variants of the iPhone 14 series, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus have received a major upgrade in the form of Dynamic Island. The notch alternative which appeared in the last year’s Pro iPhones has been ported to iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus this year.
On the back, there is no visual difference from last year’s iPhone 14 series and the new iPhone 15 series carries the same camera module orientation and a similar design.
As far as the display is concerned, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus display has 1,600 nits peak brightness as compared to the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus’ 1,200 nits peak brightness. The outdoor peak brightness has been bumped to 2,000 nits on both iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.
Interestingly, the iPhone 15 is just 1 gram lighter than the iPhone 14 and weighs 171 grams. In comparison, the iPhone 15 Plus is about 2 grams lighter in weight than its 14 series counterpart with a weight of 201 grams.
It seems that Apple has fully adopted the tradition of reserving last year’s chip for this year’s non-Pro iPhones. Following the trend, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are powered by the A16 Bionic chipset which we saw previously in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
The A16 chipset features a 6-core CPU with 2 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores. The chip has a 5-core GPU and a 16-core neural engine. Since Apple has retained the previous year’s chip, users can expect performance on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus on par with iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
Apple did not talk about any performance gains at the event because the A16 chip is not something new, and we have already seen its potential in last year’s Pro iPhone models.
A neat addition to the performance of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus is the new second-generation Ultra-Wideband chip. Apple says the new iPhones, using this chip, will be able to navigate to people and items like AirTags with Precision Finding.
Camera: iPhone 15 and 15 Plus
Apple has brought major improvements to iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus cameras. Bidding adieu to the 12MP primary sensor, both iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus now have the iPhone 14 Pro’s 48MP sensor with ƒ/1.6 aperture as the primary shooter. The two-camera module has retained the 12MP ultrawide snapper with ƒ/2.4 aperture. The switch from the 12MP sensor to 48MP is quite a big leap for non-Pro iPhones. The quad-pixel sensor and 100 percent Focus Pixels add up to deliver fast autofocus.
Apple has also revamped the portrait mode on iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. Users can now click portrait photos without switching to portrait mode. There are also improvements to the Night Mode and iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus now support Smart HDR 5 for vivid photos.
In the iPhone 14, Apple introduced a new Photonic engine. iPhone 15 retains the Photonic engine which is used for clicking 24MP super-high-resolution photos along with offering 0.5x, 1x, 2x optical zoom capabilities using the dual-camera module.
Colors: iPhone 15 and 15 Plus
At the stage, Apple said that this year’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus have an industry-first color-infused back glass with a matte finish. There are a total of five color options to choose from:
Also, Apple has discontinued leather cases for iPhones starting from the iPhone 15 series. Cupertino-giant has introduced a new material dubbed FineWoven, which is made from 68 percent post-consumer recycled content and significantly lower carbon footprint.
Battery and Charging
The biggest change coming to iPhones from this year onwards is the new USB-C charging port (RIP LIghtning!). Following the EU mandate, Apple has switched to the universally accepted USB-C charging port across the iPhone 15 lineup. Sadly, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus support USB 2 charging standard, which delivers data transfer speed equivalent to the Lightning port.
Moreover, there are no changes to battery life in the new iPhone 15 models. Here are the official battery specifications of iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus:
- iPhone 15: Up to 20 hours video playback, up to 80 hours audio playback
- iPhone 15 Plus: Up to 26 hours video playback, up to 100 hours audio playback
Pricing of iPhone 15 and 15 Plus
As it was rumored prior to the announcement, Apple has kept the pricing same for non-Pro iPhones this year. In the same tune, here are the pricing for iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus:
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max
Apple has been widening the gap between Pro and non-Pro iPhones for some time now, and this year is now different. iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max remain the head-turners at the Wonderlust event. Contrary to the popular opinion before the announcement, Apple has not adopted the Ultra moniker for its high-end iPhones. This year’s most expensive iPhone variant is still called the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The top-end iPhones have been upgraded with a Titanium frame and an advanced 48-megapixel primary sensor. Let’s delve into the details of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Design: iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max
With the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple has introduced a new Titanium frame, thus getting rid of the old stainless steel frame. Apple claims that the iPhone 15 Pro is the lightest Pro iPhone it has ever created, thanks to the use of the Grade 5 titanium. iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion technology respectively. In addition to a slight reduction in weight, the titanium frame also helps in thermal dissipation and allows easy replacement of the back glass.
The new iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max have contoured edges and a brushed texture as compared to the previous generation.
On the front, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max look identical to last year’s Pro iPhones with Dynamic Island. But there are slimmer bezels and more screen area.
A major addition to this year’s iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max is the new Action Button, which has replaced the ringer/mute switch. Apple says that the action button can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks like launching the camera, initiating voice recordings, and even running custom Shortcuts.
Apple has positioned the Action Button at the same place where the mute switch used to be and the button will work as a ringer/mute switch by default.
In a major surprise, Apple has decided to call its latest chip – A17 Pro as opposed to the expected A17 Bionic. iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro are fitted with the new A17 Pro chipset which is the first Apple chip based on a 3-nanometer fabrication process. The A17 pro features a 6-core CPU (2 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores), a 6-core GPU, and a 16-core neural engine.
Apple boasts 10% faster CPU performance 2x faster neural engine and 20% faster GPU performance in the new iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. The A17 Pro can process up to 35 trillion operations per second. The new iPhones also offer hardware-accelerated ray tracing for graphic-intensive gaming, smoother animations, and AR/VR applications, and Apple says its hardware ray tracing is 4 times faster than software ray tracing technology.
Performance upgrades via the new GPU, hardware-accelerated ray tracking, and Apple’s shader architecture in iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max were highlighted on the stage by playing AAA console titles like Resident Evil Village and Resident Evil 4.
The A17 Pro also includes an AV1 decoder for quality-rich video streaming. Needless to say, the A17 Pro chip brings massive performance upgrades to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.
Apple spent quite some time on the Wonderlust stage to highlight the improvements in the camera department for iPhone 15 Pro models. First things first, Apple has further widened the gap between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max by including a new telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom capability in the elder sibling.
iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max feature a triple camera module with 48MP, ƒ/1.78 aperture primary camera, 12MP, ƒ/2.2 aperture Ultra-wide lens, and 12MP, ƒ/2.8 aperture telephoto lens. While both Pro iPhones have the same specifications on the specs sheet, Apple says the Pro Max model can zoom up to 5x at 120mm focal length as compared to the iPhone 15 Pro’s optical zoom capability of 3x maximum zoom.
There are no changes to the front camera from last year’s iPhone 14 Pro models, and you still get the same 12 MP TrueDepth front camera with ƒ/1.9 aperture.
Apple has introduced a new 24MP photo mode to iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the 48MP camera is not limited to just ProRaw format, which is a storage-hogging format. Instead, 48MP HIEF photos are supported now.
Like iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, Pro models also have next-generation portrait capturing capabilities with Focus and Depth Control.
Other camera improvements in the iPhone 15 Pro models include a new anti-reflective coating for minimal lens flare, enhanced three-directional optical image stabilization, improved night mode, and smart HDR 5 support.
Another highlight in the camera department is that iPhone 15 Pro models can now capture spatial videos for the upcoming Vision Pro AR/VR headset.
Colors: iPhone15 Pro and Pro Max
With the entry of the Titanium frame on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple has announced new colors to complement the brushed finish of the titanium metal. Here are the four color options for iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max:
- Natural Titanium
- Blue Titanium
- White Titanium
- Black Titanium
Battery and Charging
Like the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, both Pro models have also gained a new USB-C charging port. However, Pro iPhones have an edge over the standard iPhone 15 models. The USB-C port on iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max support USB 3 standard, which brings faster data transfer speed of 10 Gigabits per second. Since Apple did not mention any major battery life improvements on the stage, it is safe to assume that the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will deliver the same battery performance as last year’s Pro iPhones.
Here are the official battery specifications of iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max:
- iPhone 15 Pro: Up to 23 hours video playback, up to 75 hours audio playback
- iPhone 15 Pro Max: Up to 29 hours video playback, up to 95 hours audio playback
Pricing: iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max
With features like the new titanium frame, 3nm-based A17 Pro chipset, and the new telephoto lens in the iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple has hiked the prices of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Here is the official pricing for this year’s Pro models:
After months of speculations and leaks, the iPhone 15 series is finally here. Unlike iPhone 14’s modest upgrades over previous year’s iPhones, this year, Apple has offered some major additions across the lineup. Standard iPhone 15 models have gained the Dynamic Island and 48MP camera from last year’s Pro models, whereas iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro have ushered in a new era of titanium frames.
What is your opinion on the iPhone 15 series? Will you upgrade this year?
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Jibin Joseph is an editor at iGeeksBlog and has excellent attention to detail. He is a voracious reader, with interests ranging from philosophy and history to geopolitics and tech. When not reading or correcting grammar, you’d find him engaging in discussions about football. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @4ibin.