The iPhone 15 is an excellent smartphone that we’ve seen 95 per cent of before (in other Apple products). The only things that are “new” here are the colors and the 48MP camera. Oh, and the USB-C port, but USB is hardly a new thing – it’s just new for iPhone.
This might sound like a negative. But it’s not. The iPhone 15 is an excellent device, filled with excellent specs, good new software updates and a truly excellent camera rig. It’s a solid launch from Apple – as you’d expect – it’s just a bit boring, especially when it is announced in the same 60 minutes as its Pro siblings.
On the one hand, this is a very good product and successful launch from Apple. It has a big screen and big battery, without the big/Pro price tag. And that, as far as I can tell, is the iPhone 15 Plus’ sole purpose. With that in mind: it nails its brief.
On the other hand, when you ignore the bigger picture and focus on the biggest headline “iPhone 15 has USB-C” – it’s pretty damning too.
Anyway, let’s take a breath and get stuck into the iPhone 15 Plus and what it’s actually like to use below.
- 48MP Camera
- Great low-light photography
- Excellent battery
- Dynamic Island
- Only 60Hz Display
- Sluggish Charging Speed
The differences in size and weight between the iPhone 15 Plus and the iPhone 14 Plus are negligible: the iPhone 15 Plus is 0.1 mm taller at 160.9 mm compared to 160.8 mm, 0.3 mm narrower with a width of 77.8 mm against 78.1 mm, identical in depth at 7.80 mm, and lighter by 2 grams, weighing in at 201 grams versus 203 grams for the iPhone 14 Plus.
Apple retained the mute switch on the iPhone 15 Plus instead of adopting the new Action Button present in the 15 Pro models. This toggle has been a familiar feature since the original iPhone in 2007.
Apple also opted for aluminium in the iPhone 15 Plus, steering clear of the titanium used in the Pro models. It’s a neutral decision, neither a pro nor a con. (Though, there are reports of the iPhone 15 Pro devices running hot-to-the-touch, which could make old-fashioned aluminium a pro after all.)
The year’s standout in design feature is the colour palette. The iPhone 15 Plus is available in five new shades: pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. Some will find these shades appealing, with pink likely to be particularly popular.
The iPhone 15 Plus continues with the 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR Display found in its predecessor. However, Apple has enhanced brightness levels. Both the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus sport a typical maximum brightness of 1,000 nits and peak at 1,600 nits for HDR. A unique feature to these models is the 2,000 nits peak brightness outdoors.
In resolution terms, the iPhone 15 Plus offers 2796-by-1290 pixels at 460 pixels-per-inch (ppi), only a minor adjustment from last year’s model. This consistency ensures a similar visual quality.
Both the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus introduce the Dynamic Island, which wasn’t in the iPhone 14 Plus.
The standard iPhone 15 has a 6.1-inch display with a 2556-by-1179-pixel resolution and matches the 460 ppi of the Plus variant.
A potential sticking point? Apple’s persistence with a 60Hz refresh rate when higher rates are available elsewhere.
- Main: 48MP f/1.6
- Ultrawide: 12MP f/2.4
- Front-facing TrueDepth: 12MP f/1.9
The iPhone 15 Plus’s camera system is spearheaded by the 48MP main lens, a big step up from the iPhone 14’s 12MP. It’s reminiscent of the iPhone 14 Pro’s lens but not as good as the iPhone 15 Pro’s sensor.
The A16 Bionic chip powers this system, resulting in rapid processing and a myriad of photography tricks. The 2x optical zoom in the 48MP lens allows detailed close-ups. Using clever pixel combinations, the device outputs 48MP photos at 24MP, for more vibrant, detailed images.
Dynamic portrait photography is another ace up the iPhone 15 Plus’s sleeve. Shoot with the main camera and, given detectable depth info, you can transform your snap into a portrait later. Want some background blur or a focus shift? Easy.
The iPhone 15 Plus shines in low-light photography. The 12MP TrueDepth lens ensures crisp selfies, and with a new feature, selfies can adopt a portrait look.
iPhone 15 Plus VS Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4
There is very little difference between these images. However, we can see that the Samsung Z Fold4 oversaturates the colour while the iPhone 15 Plus reproduces more realistic colours. A good place to notice this is the wood that the LEGO is placed on.
Again the images are very similar and there’s not much that differntiates them. The iPhone 15 Plus is able to pickup more detail, you can see that when looking at the dust on the LEGO, however, the Z Fold4 produces a more vibrant image.
At 10x zoom, the Z Fold4 is the clear winner. The image is sharper and more detailed.
In low-light situations we can see the iPhone 15 Plus is able to create a brighter image. You can see that on the back part of the LEGO and the sheet behind. It’s brighter and looks like a more realistic white.
iPhone 15 Plus VS iPhone 13
There are no noticeable differences between the iPhone 15 Plus and the iPhone 13 at 1x zoom.
At 3x zoom we can see the iPhone 15 Plus produces a sharper, more detailed image.
In low-light situations we can see the iPhone 15 Plus is able to make the image slightly brighter, but there’s not much between them.
The iPhone 15 Plus is powered by the A16 Bionic chip, a 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine. This mirrors the iPhone 14 Pros’ configuration.
This technical ensemble ensures a responsive, swift user experience. Whether you’re gaming, diving into augmented reality, or performing intensive tasks, this 15 Plus handles it all with finesse.
The most significant difference between the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 is the battery capacity. With the 15 Plus’s 4,383 mAh, I’ve been consistently getting a full day’s use. This longevity is commendable, especially when compared to the iPhone 14 Pro’s less enduring battery.
Although I haven’t tested the standard iPhone 15, its 3,349 mAh battery, coupled with user feedback, suggests it doesn’t last as long as the Plus model.
On the charging front, the iPhone 15 Plus’s USB-C port isn’t blazingly fast. With a 20W charger, you get about 39% in 30 minutes. This is a tad slower than the iPhone 14 Plus. Wireless charging options are the same as before: 15W with MagSafe and 7.5W via Qi.
The iPhone 15 Plus offers a blend of Apple’s hallmark features and subtle upgrades, such as the 48MP camera, USB-C port, and Dynamic Island. But when set against its Pro siblings, it might feel less impactful.
Its design sees modest changes and introduces a new colour palette. The enhanced display brightness is a plus, but the continuous 60Hz refresh rate might feel outdated.
The A16 Bionic chip guarantees top-notch performance, and the 48MP main lens significantly uplifts photography. However, while the iPhone 15 Plus has a commendable battery life, the base model might not satiate power users. Despite USB-C’s introduction, charging speeds aren’t groundbreaking. The iPhone 15 Plus is a refined upgrade but not revolutionary.