With every launch, Apple fans and tech nerds worldwide wait eagerly to know what’s next for the iPhone. Thanks to numerous rumors floating around prior to the event, expectations from the latest iPhones this year were sky-high. Thankfully, the Cupertino giant didn’t disappoint. In fact, Apple went the extra mile this year to pack the iPhone 15 lineup with some amazing new features and cool wallpapers.
There’s a lot to uncover here — from introducing USB-C and Dynamic Island as a standard across the lineup to adding exclusive features to the Pro series, there are a host of hardware upgrades on the iPhone 15. Let’s look at the new features introduced to each model in the iPhone 15 series, along with information on price, availability, and more.
1. USB-C: Goodbye Lightning
Apple finally bid adieu to the exclusivity it held on the iPhone for years with the Lightning port. While the faster adoption can be attributed to pressure from the EU, it is certainly useful for general consumers.
Thanks to USB-C, you can now use the same cable to charge your Macbook, iPad, AirPods, and iPhone. Since USB-C is a common standard, you won’t have to carry a different cable to charge your iPhone. In fact, users can also use the Type-C cable to charge their AirPods Pro 2nd Gen or any other accessory using the new iPhone 15.
However, it’s worth noting that you still have to live with USB 2.0 speeds on the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. For those who don’t know, USB 2.0 is a data transfer protocol capable of transferring up to 480 Megabits per second.
If you want faster data transfer speeds, you must upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro series. Both the Pro variants support USB 3.0, which offers speeds of up to 10 Gigabits. That’s 20x faster compared to USB 2.0. However, users must purchase an optional USB 3.0 cable for the high speeds.
2. Dynamic Island for All
Debuted with the iPhone 14 Pro lineup, Dynamic Island helped iPhones stand out from the crowd. Apple has now brought this feature to the standard iPhone 15 and 15 Plus as well. Thanks to this, features like Live Activities are no longer limited to the Pro models. Apart from adding functionality, Dynamic Island looks much better than the older notch on the iPhone 14 — especially when paired with a suitable wallpaper. It also adds a sense of coherence to the entire iPhone lineup.
The display sizes across the iPhone 15 series remain the same as the previous generation. The iPhone 15 and 15 Pro feature a 6.1-inch panel, while the iPhone 15 Plus and 15 Pro Max have large 6.7-inch screens. However, the peak brightness gets upgraded to 1600 nits when playing HDR content and a whopping 2000 nits under direct sunlight.
Apart from this, Apple has trimmed down the bezels around the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max — making the display more immersive than ever.
3. Design and Build
The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus feature a textured matte finish, limiting glossy glass to just the camera island. Apple has infused the color of each iPhone 15 variant throughout the back using a special process. The glass on the back is also strengthened with an optimized dual-ion exchange process and is later polished with nanocrystalline particles.
Apple has also addressed issues reported by several users about sharp edges since the iPhone 12. The iPhone 15 series now gets contoured edges, both on the regular and Pro variants. This makes it nicer to hold — especially for long durations.
Titanium for the Pro
While the build materials remain largely similar on the standard iPhones, the Pro variants have received major upgrades. Starting from the new strong and lightweight titanium chassis — a first for the iPhone. Apple has used grade 5 Titanium alloy for added strength and reduced weight.
The Pro models also feature a new refined brush texture around the edges that gives it a more premium look. The titanium bands have a new substructure made from Aluminium bonded together using solid-state diffusion. The Aluminium frame helps with thermal dissipation, making it less warm during heavy usage.
Apart from that, the Pro models also come with a new repair-friendly design. The glass back can be easily replaced in case of damage, which results in less e-waste and a smaller dent in your pockets.
4. Action Button on the Pro Series
Along with the Lightning port, Apple also changed the iconic mute switch on the Pro models to make way for the all-new Action Button. Now, instead of a single-function switch to toggle between ring and silent, you can use the Action Button to access important functions quickly. Currently, you can activate the camera, flashlight, voice memos, and set Focus modes or assign custom shortcuts.
All you have to do is press and hold the button till you experience haptic feedback or see a visual cue in the Dynamic Island.
5. Cameras: Zoom Pro Max
Apple has also made the 48MP camera a standard across the iPhone 15 series (with the difference in sensor size and focal lengths). With the arrival of the 48MP camera, iPhone 15 users can now enjoy super-high-resolution photos and a new 2x telephoto option. It’s worth noting, though, that the 2x mode is a digital crop from the 48MP sensor and not optical zoom.
Night Mode photography and Portrait Mode have also been improved across the lineup. Smart HDR algorithms have gotten better as well — resulting in better overall camera output.
Pro Features for the Pros
Meanwhile, there’s a lot more happening on the Pro side. The Main camera can now switch between 24mm, 28mm, and 35mm focal lengths. Users can set any of these options as the new default. In addition to 48MP ProRAW, the Main camera can now capture 48MP HEIF images.
Apple also uses the LiDAR scanner to improve night mode output. ProRes video can now be recorded directly to an external storage drive (thanks to USB-C) and can go all the way up to 4K at 60 fps. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max also get the new Log encoding and ACES color profiles.
While the iPhone 15 Pro retains the 3x telephoto camera from last year, the iPhone 15 Pro Max gets a 5x zoom lens with a 120mm focal length. Apple has used an innovative tetraprism design to include a periscopic camera in an iPhone for the first time. There’s sensor-shift stabilization to prevent shakes when shooting with the telephoto lens.
The 5x zoom camera is a big upgrade considering the fact that several Android phones have had powerful zoom cameras for years now.
6. Processor Upgrades
Apple continues its tradition that started with the 14 series to equip the vanilla iPhone models with last year’s processors. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are powered by the A16 Bionic chip that features a 6-core CPU and a 5-core GPU. The processor also has a 16-core Neural Engine capable of nearly 17 trillion operations per second. In simple terms, this translates to better performance in day-to-day activities compared to the A15 Bionic on the iPhone 14.
A17 Pro Brings Console-Level Performance to Mobile
While the A16 isn’t breaking any records, Apple went all in with the industry’s first 3nm A17 Pro chipset for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple claims a performance boost of 10% along with a 2x faster Neural Engine With the A17 Pro compared to A16 Bionic.
But, the biggest upgrade comes in the GPU department. The onboard GPU is now 20% faster and features a new 6-core design that promises increased peak performance with better efficiency. A17 Pro also supports hardware-accelerated ray tracing that’s 4x faster than software-based ray tracing. This means you get a better experience with AR applications along with improved gaming performance.
Speaking of gaming, the iPhone 15 Pro is so powerful that AAA titles such as Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 4, Death Stranding, and Assassin’s Creed Mirage are all making their way to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. The A17 Pro also includes a dedicated AV1 decoder that translates to a more efficient, high-quality video experience for streaming services.
Excited for the New iPhone
Apple has packed some great features into the vanilla iPhone 15 and 15 Pro models. Despite the improvements, the price across the board has remained the same. The standard iPhone 15 starts at $799, and the 15 Pro retains its $999 price tag.
While the iPhone 15 Pro Max is priced $100 more than iPhone 14 Pro, the base variant gets a bump to 256GB. Users can pre-order the phones from September 15 and purchase them from stores starting September 22. Are you excited to get your hands on the new iPhone 15 series of phones? Let us know in the comments.
Last updated on 18 September, 2023
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