It’s been one month with Apple’s newest iPhones, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, Two phones that you’d be forgiven for already considering forgettable, as they look the same as the iPhones we’ve seen over the past three years.
However, you might be surprised to know that these are some of the most upgraded phones I’ve seen from Apple in quite a long time. So here I sharing my full One Month later review of iPhone 15 and 15 Plus going through it’s design, software, battery life and performance with some camera sample test.
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Table of Contents
iPhone 15 Design and Build
The design of the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, though initially reminiscent of their older counterparts, boasts subtle changes that have solidified them as my favorite non-pro iPhones in terms of form factor.
When considering dimensions, both models share the same size from the front – the regular iPhone 15 with a 6.1-inch screen and the 15 Plus with a larger 6.7-inch display. Despite this familiarity, a noteworthy difference stands out – the absence of the notch.
Both the iPhone 15 and the 15 Plus showcase Apple’s new pill-shaped cutout, aligning them with other smartphones that have embraced a notch-free design for years.
This alteration introduces one of Apple’s latest features, Dynamic Island, which, while not revolutionary, proves to be a meticulously executed enhancement. Dynamic Island, essentially a multitasking and notification capability within iOS, streamlines the tracking of open apps in a visually appealing manner.
The animations are well-integrated, striking a balance between playfulness and subtlety, avoiding the excess that could make it bothersome. This feature, with its attention to minor details, contributes to an overall creative upgrade, enhancing the iPhone experience.
Delving into additional design elements of the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, a standout visual change is the introduction of a satin finish on the back. Marking a departure from the glossy, fingerprint-prone surfaces of previous non-pro iPhones, this alteration imparts a mature and stealthy appearance to the phones.
The frosted back, paired with a brushed aluminum frame, results in a clean and sophisticated aesthetic. Apple’s subtle rounding of the frame’s edges, a departure from the historically squared-off 90-degree angle, adds a nuanced touch.
While seemingly minor, this design adjustment significantly enhances the phones’ comfort for prolonged use, making the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus not only visually appealing but also ergonomic devices.
iPhone 15 USB Type-C
It’s important to highlight that the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus come equipped with a USB Type-C port – a detail that might easily slip one’s mind given the absence of groundbreaking new functionalities accompanying this IO shift. Surprisingly, there aren’t even faster charging speeds to tout.
The primary advantage, at least for now, is the convenience of bidding farewell to the need for carrying lightning cables in addition to your other connectors. While this may seem like a small perk, it undeniably adds a layer of practicality, making the transition to a USB Type-C port a subtle yet welcomed improvement.
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iPhone 15 and 15 Plus Display
Let’s delve into the discussion about the displays of the iPhone 15 and the 15 Plus. Addressing the elephant in the room, it’s undeniable that both flagship phones, launched earlier this year, still feature 60 Hz panels.
For those ready to unleash their criticism, I understand the frustration. It seems perplexing that the leading smartphone manufacturer is persisting with 60 Hz displays in its new devices. Apple has a track record of holding onto antiquated design elements, such as sub-1080p LCD panels long after the industry shifted to full HD Plus OLED displays.
The transition to USB Type-C was also a delayed move. Despite this history, one month later, the question arises: does the fact that the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus have a 60 Hz panel significantly impact the user experience? Surprisingly, for most users, the answer is no.
Apple has consistently excelled at aligning its hardware with software, ensuring a smooth and jitter-free experience on iOS. This has made the 60 Hz refresh rate more tolerable, even in 2023. Many users upgrading to the iPhone 15 or 15 Plus are transitioning from older iPhones with the same refresh rate, making it a familiar aspect.
While it may be challenging to revert after experiencing the buttery goodness of Apple’s ProMotion, the slower refresh rate hasn’t posed as much of an issue as anticipated after one month of use.
In terms of display performance, both models shine with top-notch resolution and quality, as expected from Apple’s xdr OLED technology. The screens deliver excellent contrast and accurate color rendition, enhancing the enjoyment of content consumption.
The primary discrepancy lies in screen size. After a month of use, the regular iPhone 15 provides sufficient screen real estate for a strong and immersive user experience. On the other hand, the iPhone 15 Plus, with its larger display, offers a more engaging experience, especially for gaming or video watching.
However, this comes at the cost of comfort, as it is less ergonomic for one-handed use. Ultimately, the choice between the two models depends on your phone usage habits. For productivity-oriented users, the regular iPhone 15 is a solid choice, while gamers and avid video watchers may find the larger display of the Plus model more fitting despite its handling challenges.
iPhone 15 Performance and Gaming
The performance of the iPhone 15 and the 15 Plus, Powering these devices is Apple’s A16 Bionic chip, the same processor introduced in last year’s iPhone 14 Pro lineup. While it may not be the latest A17 Pro chip, it’s still a significant upgrade, especially when compared to the regular iPhone 14’s stagnant processor from the previous year.
Despite not featuring the absolute latest from Apple, the A16 Bionic chip packs a substantial punch, ensuring smooth navigation through iOS without any lags. Intensive gaming barely fazes these phones, showcasing the impressive horsepower under the hood. What sets these models apart is their hyper-efficient performance, highlighting Apple’s prowess in optimizing hardware and software integration.
However, one of the standout aspects of performance on the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus is their exceptional battery life. Both phones excel in this department, with the regular iPhone 15 outperforming the Pro models, mainly due to the absence of features like ProMotion and the ability to have an always-on display.
The efficiency in battery management becomes a notable advantage, offering users extended usage without compromising on performance. In a world where battery life is a critical factor in overall satisfaction, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus deliver a commendable performance, showcasing the balance Apple strikes between power and efficiency in its devices.
iPhone 15 Battery Life
The battery life on both the iPhone 15 and the 15 Plus remains superb even a month into usage. On the regular iPhone 15, I’m consistently getting around 7 and 1/2 hours of battery life, a commendable performance for a phone of this size.
This essentially guarantees me all-day battery life, even on days when I’m heavily engaged in content consumption. For those who consider themselves power users, the iPhone 15 Plus is a true gem. I’m consistently experiencing a day and a half worth of battery life on this device, a genuinely impressive feat.
It’s remarkable how challenging it is to actively deplete this battery within a single day, and I’d be genuinely impressed if one could achieve it. Despite being the middle child of the fleet, the Plus model’s extraordinary battery life is starting to command attention, adding another layer of appeal to the overall package.
The impressive battery performance on the iPhone 15 and the 15 Plus further solidifies their standing as reliable and long-lasting devices in the ever-evolving smartphone landscape.
iPhone 15 Camera Test
It may be that the true standout feature of the iPhone 15 and the 15 Plus lies in their camera capabilities, an area where Apple has quietly but significantly upgraded. Both phones are equipped with a new 48-megapixel main sensor, a substantial leap from the 12-megapixel sensors of the past.
The main sensor is complemented by an improved ultra-wide lens and a front-facing selfie camera. What sets the new larger sensor apart is its built-in two-times focal length, creating the impression of having three cameras on the back.
This is made possible by the quad-pixel sensor, enabling seamless cropping without noticeable quality loss, resulting in a highly effective zoom that produces sharp 12-megapixel images. The photos captured by both phones are truly exemplary, showcasing Apple’s refined computational photography skills. The images are detailed, color-accurate, and possess a natural warmth, avoiding the overprocessing often seen in digital photography.
The real strength of the iPhone 15 and the 15 Plus, however, becomes apparent in their video capabilities. Apple continues to dominate in this arena, particularly in 4K footage. The quality is consistently impressive, managing sharpness, colors, dynamic range, and stabilization seamlessly. What sets Apple apart is the effortless user experience – with just a press of the record button, the phone takes care of focusing, stabilization, and processing in an instant. This ease of obtaining high-quality video every time is a testament to Apple’s prowess and stands as a significant advantage.
While the regular iPhone 15 and the 15 Plus may lack access to some of Apple’s newest video features, like shooting in ProRes log, which is undoubtedly powerful but mainly appreciated by camera enthusiasts with access to video editing software and color grading skills, the standard 4K video provided by these iPhones is more than adequate for the vast majority of users. Apple’s dominance in the video recording arena remains a standout feature, making the iPhone 15 series a compelling choice for those who prioritize capturing high-quality photos and videos on the go.
Is iPhone 15 worth upgrade?
Despite their strikingly similar appearance, the iPhone 15 and the 15 Plus have undergone substantial enhancements 2023. A month into using them, I find these to be among the best non-pro iPhones I’ve had the privilege to experience. Surprisingly, when considering value, they might outshine even the iPhone 15 Pro lineup. While lacking the high refresh rate screen, a point of disappointment for some, these models offer all the core features consumers seek at a more affordable price point.
In my personal opinion, the regular iPhone 15 stands out as one of the best value smartphones currently available. Priced at $799, it’s an absolute powerhouse and a compelling upgrade for anyone rocking an iPhone 12 or older. The iPhone 15 Plus, priced at $899, is in close proximity to the $999 starting point of the 15 Pro. However, it emerges as a more attractive option, especially when compared to the new starting price of the 15 Pro Max. For those in pursuit of a larger device with impressive battery life, the 15 Plus offers a compelling package.
As we move forward, only time will unveil the true performance and longevity of these devices. However, one thing is clear – the iPhone 15 and the 15 Plus have positioned themselves as formidable contenders, delivering enhanced features and notable value in the realm of non-pro smartphones.