iPhone 15 review – new to the Island

2 weeks ago 45

Early Verdict

The caller modular iPhone 15 embraces what was erstwhile a Pro-only diagnostic successful the Dynamic Island, portion besides boasting a caller higher solution 48MP main camera, compared to the 12MP portion connected its predecessors. USB-C is present yet the iPhone's larboard of choice, but remaining stuck connected a 60Hz show and small successful the mode of promised artillery improvements clasp the iPhone 15 backmost from existent greatness it seems.


  • +

    Powerful A16 Bionic chip

  • +

    New 48MP main camera

  • +

    Finally USB-C


  • -

    Still 60Hz display

  • -

    Same charging and information speeds arsenic before

  • -

    No Action Button

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iPhone 15: Two-minute preview

Ring the bells, the time is here. Apple has opened the gates and fto a flood of journalists (including yours truly) and analysts into Apple Park to witnesser the uncover of its latest and top iPhones (plus a fewer extras). And portion it whitethorn not beryllium the astir almighty oregon exciting, there's thing to beryllium said for getting up adjacent and idiosyncratic with what volition apt beryllium the caller go-to telephone for perchance millions worldwide successful the coming months.

The iPhone 15 – as predicted – doesn't interruption the mold acceptable retired by its predecessors successful immoderate important mode and it enjoys each the upgrades you'd expect, positive 1 oregon 2 you mightiness not have. The iPhone 15 Plus is its larger sibling, portion the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max connection considerably much power, slicker screens, and much susceptible cameras. What other is new?

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

With the iPhone 15, you inactive get a 6.1-inch 60Hz OLED display, but present it sports 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.

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

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Running iOS 17 retired of the box, the iPhone 15 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.

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 review: Price and availability

  • Priced from $799 / £799 / AU$1,499
  • 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 (along with the Plus and Pro) stays the people successful the US, meaning the modular 128GB exemplary starts astatine $799, conscionable arsenic the iPhone 14 did, 1 twelvemonth earlier.

The iPhone 14 brought astir a notable summation successful terms compared to its predecessor successful the UK, truthful the information that pricing successful the portion has fallen backmost down is invited (the iPhone 15 starts astatine £799, portion the 14 started astatine £849). Australian pricing is marginally higher year-on-year.

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iPhone 15 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, 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 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 specsHeader Cell - Column 1
Dimensions:147.6mm x 71.6mm x7.8mm
Weight:171 grams
Screen:6.1-inch 60Hz (2532 x 1170) OLED
Chipset:Apple A16 Bionic
RAM:6GB (unconfirmed)
Storage:128GB / 256GB / 512GB
OS:iOS 17 (at launch)
Primary camera:48MP
Ultra-wide camera:12MP
Front camera:12MP
Battery:3,877mAh (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 review: Design

USB-C larboard  connected  the iPhone 15

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

At a glance, the iPhone 15 looks precise overmuch similar the iPhone 14, but person introspection reveals a recently crafted aluminum framework that mildly scrubs distant the crisp edges making the iPhone 15 (and larger 15 Plus overmuch much comfy to hold).

So agelong arsenic you similar pastels, this year's lineup of iPhone 15 colors includes 5 finishes (black, blue, green, yellow, 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. I particularly liked the caller Pink (very Barbie) iPhone 15.

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 and 15 Plus inactive person the classical ring/silent switch. If nary of your friends extremity up with the iPhone 15 Pro, you won't consciousness excessively near retired (Oh, what americium I saying? Most radical volition person the Pro oregon iPhone 15 Pro Max – you will consciousness near out).

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 connected the screen, 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.

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Hands-on iPhone 15 review: Display

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
  • 2532 x 1170 solution w/ 60Hz refresh rate
  • Dynamic Island alternatively of notch

Every year, we transverse our fingers successful the hopes that Apple volition yet propulsion its baseline iPhone supra the 60Hz threshold that the telephone enactment has held since forever, and each twelvemonth we are denied smoother viewing. While the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max proceed to flaunt their lineage's adaptable 120Hz refresh rate, the modular iPhone 15 remains stuck astatine 60Hz; it's functional, and it's fine, but it was already down the curve of adjacent acold much affordable competitors and that spread continues to widen. Give america a smoother screen, Apple!

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. Essentially, if you've seen the past 2 generations of non-Pro iPhone display, you've seen the iPhone 15's.

Or astatine least, almost. There is 1 important alteration to the presumption of the 6.1-inch sheet connected this year's modular iPhone: there's nary notch. Instead, the erstwhile Pro-only diagnostic that is the Dynamic Island present finds a caller location connected the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, making it a range-wide diagnostic for 2023.

Everything that the Dynamic Island could already bash tin present beryllium achieved connected the iPhone 15, 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 review: Software

iPhone 15

(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.

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. Even StandBy comes to the iPhone 15, which is simply a astonishment arsenic it was assumed to beryllium exclusive to iPhones with always-on displays (i.e. past year's and this year's Pro models). To beryllium clear, without Always On, you'll request to pat the surface to spot the iPhone 15's show successful Standby mode.

The iPhone 15 feels arsenic acquainted to maine arsenic the iPhone 14, adjacent with iOS 17. But it besides feels fresher acknowledgment the the caller Dynamic Island. There's a batch of accusation that tin look there, depending connected what you bash (directions, music, the presumption of your Uber ride). Essentially you extremity up with a pleasing premix of acquainted and caller and, I deliberation radical volition similar it.

Hands-on iPhone 15 review: Cameras

iPhone 15

(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 earlier it, but the iPhone 15'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 shots and representation photography. Not to notation amended stabilization crossed stills and video.

More importantly, the iPhone 15 tin present sprout 24MP images that really harvester the champion 12MP of accusation with the afloat details of that caller 48MP sensor. You besides get an effectual 2x optical zoom, which is not a zoom lens but takes the mediate 12MP retired of that aforesaid 48MP image.

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

I saw immoderate photography connected the iPhone 15 and adjacent took immoderate of my own, which looked good, but my abbreviated clip with the iPhone 15 is hardly conclusive. I'll present a verdict 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 photograph and saves the info. Later, erstwhile you spell back, you tin alteration the photograph into representation mode and adjacent prime which of your subjects is successful focus. 

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Hands-on iPhone 15 review: Performance & battery

iPhone 15

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • Apple A16 Bionic
  • Up to 512GB of storage
  • Same quoted artillery beingness the iPhone 14

With the iPhone 14 series, Apple created a larger disagreement than fans were utilized to, by sticking the basal iPhone 14 with the aforesaid Apple 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 gaining entree to past year's A16 Bionic, portion this year's 15 Pro models athletics the perchance overmuch much susceptible A17 Pro.

I tin accidental that the iPhone 15 feels, a slightest successful my abbreviated clip with it, conscionable arsenic responsive arsenic the iPhone 14 Pro. The A16 Bionic is simply a accelerated spot and I've ever had a hard clip maxing it out. I expect that to beryllium the lawsuit with the iPhone 15.

Storage remains unchanged from past year, with a baseline 128GB, a 256GB option, and a 512GB astatine the apical of the ladder (the Pro models present commencement astatine treble the storage). A communicative that's overmuch the aforesaid with charging – though (still unconfirmed) speech of a marginally larger artillery than past twelvemonth – paired with that newer chipset would suggest greater powerfulness efficiency, adjacent though the company's figures don't suggest arsenic much.

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 should inactive beryllium capable to past each time without issue.

Hands-on iPhone 15 review: Early verdict

With past year's CPU and the vestigial silent/ring switch, the iPhone 15 (and 15 Plus) mightiness look similar it's getting the abbreviated extremity of the smartphone stick. The world is that the A16 Bionic is inactive a wickedly accelerated mobile CPU. 

Also, let's not hide that the iPhone 15 did get some the USB-C larboard 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 that volition fto you bash galore of the aforesaid things you tin bash with the much costly iPhone 15 Pro (and Pro Max).

I don't cognize however things volition lavation retired successful testing, but I deliberation the iPhone 15 whitethorn crook retired to beryllium a precise charismatic and much affordable enactment for those who privation to participate the Apple iPhone sphere.

First tested September 2023

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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