iPhone 15 Plus review – the island comes to the big middle child

2 weeks ago 28

Early Verdict

The erstwhile Plus was a spot similar an unloved stepchild, successful that it didn't merchantability successful the aforesaid fig as, for instance, past year's Pro Max. This year's exemplary gets each the aforesaid benefits arsenic the modular iPhone 15 – USB-C, the Dynamic Island, the A16 Bionic spot and a 48MP main camera – but could beryllium different large update that gets ignored by consumers successful favour of the biggest and champion iPhone available.


  • +

    Capable caller 48MP main camera

  • +

    USB-C (finally)

  • +

    Dynamic Island and thinner bezels


  • -

    No Action button

  • -

    Still 60Hz display

  • -

    Same information speeds arsenic 14 Plus

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iPhone 15 Plus: Two-minute preview

I've ever liked the iPhone's Plus line. The iPhone 14 Plus is simply a peppy big-screened instrumentality with 'good enough' photography and fantabulous artillery life, but nary 1 other seems to similar it similar I do. The iPhone 15 Plus, though, whitethorn person much sway.

Launching alongside the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, the iPhone 15 Plus gets a fewer updates that marque it look much similar portion of the nine than its predecessor did, changes that besides marque it much charismatic to would-be big-screen smartphone buyers.

Despite retaining the consecutive sides of the past fewer generations of iPhone, each of the iPhone 15 bid – including the 15 Plus – present person softened, much rounded edges. This whitethorn beryllium particularly important for the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus, since – successful my little clip with it – I recovered it to beryllium much comfy to clasp than erstwhile 'big' iPhones.

With the iPhone 15 Plus, you inactive get a 6.7-inch 60Hz OLED display, but present with the Dynamic Island that was exclusive to past year's iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, alternatively of a notch. It runs connected a much almighty Apple-made A16 Bionic chipset (again similar 2022's Pro iPhones), portion the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max person been bumped up to the adjacent much potent A17 Pro. Also, question farewell to Lightning; similar Galaxys, Pixels, and beauteous overmuch each different telephone retired there, the iPhone present charges via USB-C.

As for the all-important camera setup, you'll inactive find 2 lenses successful a diagonal layout, but the main sensor jumps from 12MP to 48MP; promising amended inactive representation prime successful a myriad of conditions – including debased airy and erstwhile zooming successful oregon taking representation shots – portion video stabilization has been improved arsenic a effect too. The representation sensor connected the iPhone 15 Plus (and iPhone 15) is not precisely the aforesaid arsenic the 1 recovered successful the Pro editions but it does get each the chill caller photograph tricks connected its much costly Pro cousin, including making immoderate photograph Portrait (even aft capture) and 24MP basal images.

With Apple nixing a 64GB retention enactment a mates of generations ago, you tin prime the iPhone 15 up successful 128GB, 256GB, oregon 512GB configurations, with 5 iPhone 15 colors to take from, each sporting caller color-infused solid backs.

Running iOS 17 retired of the box, the iPhone 15 Plus gains each the benefits we've been waiting to trial retired for months (ever since Apple archetypal showed disconnected the experience, backmost astatine WWDC 2023 successful June). From Contact Posters to Interactive Widgets and adjacent StandBy (previously thought to beryllium a diagnostic exclusive to iPhones with always-on displays); determination are a fig of quality-of-life improvements that long-time iPhone users volition admit connected the iPhone 15 Plus.

Thankfully, for each that is new, Apple has near pricing good unsocial this twelvemonth successful the US, portion the UK enjoys a notable terms drop, and the telephone becomes fractionally pricier successful Australia compared to past year's model. Available for pre-order this Friday (September 15) and on-sale the week aft connected Friday, September 22.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Plus review: Price and availability

  • Priced from $899 / £899 / AU$1,649
  • Pre-order from September 15
  • On merchantability from September 22

Although determination was a rumor of a range-wide terms emergence this year, the iPhone 15 Plus (along with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro) stays the people successful the US, meaning the modular 128GB exemplary starts astatine $899, conscionable arsenic the iPhone 14 Plus did, 1 twelvemonth earlier.

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iPhone 15 Plus price

Apple introduced each 4 caller members of the iPhone 15 household to the satellite astatine its 'Wonderlust' lawsuit connected September 12, with the telephone going connected pre-order connected Friday, September 15. It'll past beryllium disposable to bargain a week later, connected September 22.

Of course, if you're already sold connected the committedness of the iPhone 15 Plus, past caput connected implicit to our iPhone 15 deals roundup, wherever we'll beryllium perpetually updating the champion offers disposable connected Apple's newest entrant successful the mobile market.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Plus review: Specs

The main upgrades autumn to a caller camera system, the Dynamic Island and USB-C, but here's a afloat breakdown of the hardware connected offer.

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iPhone 15 Plus specsHeader Cell - Column 1
Dimensions:160.9mm x 77.8mm x7.8mm
Weight:201 grams
Screen:6.7-inch 60Hz (2796 x 1290) OLED
Chipset:Apple A16 Bionic
RAM:6GB (according to the Xcode 15 Release Candidate via MacRumors)
Storage:128GB / 256GB / 512GB
OS:iOS 17 (at launch)
Primary camera:48MP
Ultra-wide camera:12MP
Front camera:12MP
Battery:4,912 mAh (unconfirmed)
Charging:50% successful 30 min (advertised), 15W wireless (MagSafe) oregon 7.5W wireless (Qi)
Colors:Black, blue, green, yellow, pink

Hands-on iPhone 15 Plus review: Design

iPhone 15 Plus

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • Similar dimensions to predecessor
  • Color-infused solid back
  • USB-C alternatively of Lightning

At a glance, the iPhone 15 Plus looks precise overmuch similar the iPhone 14 Plus, but person introspection reveals a recently crafted aluminum framework that mildly scrubs distant the crisp edges making the larger 15 Plus overmuch much comfy to clasp than the iPhone 14 Plus. It's besides somewhat lighter. 

So agelong arsenic you similar pastels, this year's lineup of iPhone 15 Plus (and iPhone 15) colors includes 5 finishes (black, blue, green, yellow, and a genuinely mesmerizing pink), each of which showcase caller color-infused glass, with the camera bump much seamlessly rising retired of the backmost panel. It's a bully look.

That aluminum framework besides present plays big to a USB-C port, wherever determination was erstwhile a Lightning port; meaning you should beryllium capable to complaint with conscionable 1 cable, if you already ain a modern MacBook and/or iPad – with the second yet ditching Lightning connected its basal iPad 10.9 (2022) exemplary past year.

If you opt for this much affordable iPhone, you volition announcement that it doesn't person that nifty caller Action button. No, the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 inactive person the classical ring/silent switch. I'm not against this aging power but it's decidedly not Action button-level useful.

Aside from a tweak to materials and colorways, the Ceramic Shield protecting the backmost of the telephone inactive plays big to a diagonal dual camera system, portion connected the front, you'll present find an iPhone 14 Pro-like Dynamic Island, wherever the notch erstwhile lived.

Apple continues to connection immoderate of the champion IP-rated extortion successful the business, quoting figures that really marginally surpass its IP68 certification against particulate ingress and promised h2o resistance.

The telephone is besides afloat of recycled materials from the 75% aluminum framework to precious metals, similar 100% recycled cobalt successful the battery. Apple has plans to marque its phones carbon-neutral too, but the 15 Plus is lone a measurement connected this peculiar journey.

iPhone 15

The classical silent/ring power looks the aforesaid connected the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.  (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Hands-on iPhone 15 Plus review: Display

iPhone 15 Plus

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
  • 2796 x 1290 solution w/ 60Hz refresh rate
  • Dynamic Island replaces notch

I find the larger 6.7-inch surface connected the iPhone 15 Plus rather pleasing and expansive (even if the bezels are not arsenic bladed arsenic they are connected the Pro) but it is frustrating that contempt besides having a Super Retina XDR OLED screen, the iPhone 15 Plus (and iPhone 15) are inactive stuck astatine 60Hz, portion the Pro models get buttery-smooth 120Hz ProMotion visuals. 

In practice, though, I find it hard to judge astir consumers volition announcement the quality successful day-to-day use. However, dissimilar the iPhone 15 Pro Max, this display's Always On enactment is constricted and volition marque the acquisition of utilizing the caller iOS 17 Standby mode somewhat different. Instead of it staying (dimly lit) portion asleep, you'll inactive person to pat to aftermath the screen.

Beyond that, the Super Retina XDR OLED is simply a joyousness to behold successful person, a small brighter this twelvemonth – truthful Apple says (a 1,200-nit highest rises to 2,000 nits) – with the aforesaid solution arsenic its predecessor, producing the aforesaid 460ppi pixel density.

While the show sounds similar it's unchanged from past year, that's not the case. The iPhone 15 Plus (and iPhone 15) show present features the aforesaid Dynamic Island recovered connected the iPhone 14 Pro, 14 Pro Max, and the caller iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. Believe me, you volition not miss the notch.

Everything that the Dynamic Island could already bash (keep way of directions, music, your Uber) tin present beryllium achieved connected the iPhone 15 Plus, and iOS 17 volition hopefully proceed to adhd caller functionality implicit time, adjacent if Apple didn't person immoderate functionality to adhd during the motorboat event.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Plus review: Software

iPhone 15 Plus

iPhone 15 adjacent to iPhone 15 Plus (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • Runs iOS 17 retired the box

iOS 17 feels similar a comparatively insignificant upgrade, implicit the beefier features the institution introduced successful iOS 16, however, determination are a fewer (which our dedicated iOS 17 diagnostic covers) of enactment that assistance heighten the idiosyncratic acquisition connected the iPhone 15 Plus.

Contact Posters and NameDrop, real-time determination sharing (called Check In) successful Messages, automated blurring of nudity successful Messages and AirDrop, Live Voicemail (complete with transcription) Interactive Widgets, and a heap more.

The iPhone 15 Plus volition consciousness wholly acquainted to astir iPhone and iOS 16 users. Most of the large changes are embedded successful assorted features that don't needfully interaction the location surface by default.  Still, the instauration of the Dynamic Island does marque everything seem, fresher and marque new.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Plus review: Cameras

iPhone 15 Plus

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • 48MP main sensor
  • 12MP ultra-wide
  • 12MP front-facing camera

Design-wise, the camera strategy whitethorn look the aforesaid arsenic the iPhone 14 and 13 series' earlier it, but the iPhone 15 Plus's camera setup has a large secret. The main sensor that has – for the longest clip – clocked successful astatine 12MP, is taking a leafage retired of the iPhone 14 Pro's playbook and making the leap to a whopping 48MP sensor.

This introduces pixel binning to the modular iPhone photographic look for the archetypal clip and, alongside amended shooting successful each environments – including debased airy – should besides present amended prime 2x zoomed and representation photography. Not to notation amended stabilization, crossed stills and video.

More importantly, the iPhone 15 Plus (and iPhone 15) tin present sprout 24MP images that really harvester the champion 12MP of accusation with the afloat item of that caller 48MP sensor. You besides get an effectual 2x optical zoom, which is not a zoom lens but takes the mediate sub-section retired of that afloat 48MP sensor.

Beyond the megapixel bump, the iPhone 15 Plus's ultra-wide stands astatine 12MP, arsenic does the front-facing camera (even if it is present concealed wrong the Dynamic Island).

While I didn't person a accidental to instrumentality immoderate photos with the iPhone 15 Plus, I did spot immoderate archetypal photos connected its large 6.7-inch display. They looked truly bully and the level of item you get with the combined accusation of the 48MP sensor and binned 12MP stills is impressive. I'll present a verdict connected it successful my afloat review.

There are immoderate neat caller bundle tricks successful the camera that present let you to sprout successful representation mode with your modular camera. Basically, you commencement with a modular photo, the telephone recognizes that determination are radical and that there's extent successful the representation and saves the info. Later, erstwhile you spell back, you tin alteration the photograph into a representation shot, and adjacent prime which of your subjects is successful focus. 

iPhone 15 Plus

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Hands-on iPhone 15 Plus review: Performance & battery

iPhone 15 Plus

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • Apple A16 Bionic
  • Up to 512GB of storage
  • Battery beingness is unchanged from the iPhone 14 Plus

With the iPhone 14 series, Apple created a larger disagreement than fans were utilized to, by sticking the basal iPhone 14 and 14 Plus with the aforesaid A15 Bionic spot that had been range-wide a twelvemonth prior, portion the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max received exclusive entree to the much almighty and powerfulness businesslike A16 Bionic. For 2023, that two-tier processor inclination continues, with the iPhone 15 Plus (and iPhone 15) gaining entree to past year's A16 Bionic, portion this year's 15 Pro models athletics the perchance overmuch much susceptible A17 Pro.

I lone spent a abbreviated clip with the iPhone 15 Plus but it did relation good done a tiny acceptable of tasks that included immoderate photography and photograph editing (trying retired the caller representation features). I person nary uncertainty that the phone's A16 Bionic tin grip beauteous overmuch thing you tin propulsion astatine it and if it behaves the aforesaid arsenic it did successful past year's Pros, it inactive has plentifulness of clout to instrumentality connected adjacent caller Android flagships successful benchmark battles.

Storage remains unchanged from past year, with a baseline of 128GB, a 256GB option, and 512GB astatine the apical of the ladder (the iPhone 15 Pro besides starts astatine 128GB portion the Pro Max starts astatine 256GB). The artillery mightiness beryllium somewhat larger (Apple is not saying) but the artillery beingness is unchanged from past year.

Apple inactive quotes 50% complaint successful 30 minutes and the aforesaid 15W and 7.5W wireless charging speeds for MagSafe and the Qi-standard respectively, but beyond that, your iPhone 15 Plus should inactive beryllium capable to past each time without issue. And, yes, it should outlast the smaller and cheaper iPhone 15.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Plus review: Early verdict

With past year's chipset and the venerable silent/ring switch, the iPhone 15 Plus mightiness look similar it's getting the abbreviated extremity of the smartphone stick. The world is that the A16 Bionic is inactive immoderate wickedly-fast mobile silicon. 

Also, let's not hide that the iPhone 15 Plus has a somewhat updated and softer design, the USB-C port, and adjacent the fungible (and fun) Dynamic Island.

Best of all, it present has that large 48MP camera and it's backed by each sorts of caller iPhone camera tricks, which volition fto you bash galore of the aforesaid things you tin bash with the much costly iPhone 15 Pro (and Pro Max).

For those who privation big-screen iPhone amusive without the expense, the present much almighty iPhone 15 Plus whitethorn crook retired to beryllium a winning choice. Plus, it looks stunning successful pink.

First tested August 2023

Curious astir however it compares to its motorboat siblings? You tin besides work our hands-on iPhone 15 review, hands-on iPhone 15 Pro review and hands-on iPhone 15 Pro Max review for much insight.

Lance Ulanoff

A 35-year manufacture seasoned and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered exertion since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a erstwhile Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, earlier that, Editor successful Chief of PCMag.com and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He besides wrote a popular, play tech file for Medium called The Upgrade.

Lance Ulanoff makes predominant appearances connected national, international, and section quality programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, Fox News, Fox Business, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC. 

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