iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, analysis: everyone is waiting for the Pro and it turns out that the ‘normal’ ones are the real surprise

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The annual event with the new iPhone models once again takes center stage in all the analysis tables. Also in ours: both the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max went through the meticulous process of knowing everything they give. And now it’s time to do the same with the more “economical” versions : I spent a week with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. The experience was better than I thought.

Quite continuous in terms of design, evolutionary in what is expected with the hardware and two sizes to choose from so that there are no fights. What do you want a smartphone contained in dimensions and weight? The iPhone 15 is a great choice. More screen? The iPhone 15 Plus. Both offer a similar experience beyond what multimedia playback entails ; with notable differences in comfort of use and manageability. Let’s see what they give of themselves.

Technical sheet of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus




OLED 6.1″ Super Retina XDR

2,556 x 1,179 px (460 dpi)

Up to 2,000 nits

True Tone, HDR

OLED 6.7″ Super Retina XDR

2,796 x 1,290 px (460 dpi)

Up to 2,000 nits

True Tone, HDR


Apple A16 Bionic

Apple A16 Bionic








147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8mm


160.9 x 77.8 x 7.8mm



iOS 17

iOS 17


Main: 48 MP, 26 mm, f/1.6

Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, 13 mm, f/2.4

(12 MP 2x telephoto lens thanks to the Quad Pixel sensor)

2x optical zoom

Main: 48 MP, 26 mm, f/1.6

Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, 13 mm, f/2.4

(12 MP 2x telephoto lens thanks to the Quad Pixel sensor)

2x optical zoom


True Depth 12 MP, f/1.9

True Depth 12 MP, f/1.9





USB-C (USB 2, up to 480 Mbps)

USB-C (USB 2, up to 480 Mbps)


Face ID

Dynamic Island

IP68 resistance

Emergency calls

Accident detection

Second generation UWB

Face ID

Dynamic Island

IP68 resistance

Emergency calls

Accident detection

Second generation UWB


From 959 euros

From 1,109 euros

Design: the most continuous Apple is revealed

There is not much to say in terms of design, since both models maintain the essence of previous generations. From the outside it is very difficult to recognize an iPhone 15 from an iPhone 14, at least if you do not contrast the design of the rear camera with the Dynamic Island on the front . There is an evolution here.

Both the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus affect the strategy of inheriting some of the key elements of the previous Pros. And finally we have the Dynamic Island in the new models, an option that, from my point of view, refreshes them and gives them certain advantages in terms of usability . Although the pill-shaped cutout does not add much more useful surface area compared to the notch, the fact that iOS 17 uses the capabilities of Dynamic Island to enhance control of what happens on the iPhone is positive.

Apple maintains the solid aluminum body, the straight edges and noticeably softens the edges: both the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus gain comfort in the hand , especially the larger model. The sensation offered is of the highest quality, they appear to be resistant and, although the double-sided glass does not eliminate slipping, the set does not neglect the grip either: the support is adequate.

IP68 resistance to protect both models from dust and water, they maintain the classic button assignment on iPhones (power on the right side and volume on the left), Apple leaves out the revision of the mute switch, maintaining the typical switch ( Personally, I prefer it), the nano SIM tray is still on the left side (the iPhone 15 offers dual SIM in Spain with an eSIM apart from the physical card) and another of the big changes of 2023 is located at the bottom: the USB C; perfectly centered and flanked by the holes for the external speaker and microphone. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus maintain the double stereo speaker with the secondary one placed in the headphone area.

The excellent design of the terminals is finished off with the back face made of hardened glass and tinted in a color consistent with the metal body . The pink seemed much prettier to me naturally than I expected, the green also suits it perfectly (or the white, although it is more classic). And with the photographic module protruding in the upper left area: as usual, both models are “lame” when placed on a flat surface.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus maintain IP68 protection against dust and water

Comparing both models in design makes it clear that their main difference is comfort in handling: the iPhone 15 Plus becomes very large. After my experience analyzing giant mobile phones, and several years using a Pro Max, my decision is clear: unless you value multimedia consumption and really need a larger screen, the iPhone 15 more than meets most of your needs . It is true that its autonomy is reduced compared to the Plus, a small inconvenience to be assumed in pursuit of greater comfort. The decision is in your hands, never better said.

Screen: 60 Hz is the only stumbling block

Both mount an OLED panel of excellent quality in all light conditions that the Dynamic Island boasts. The iPhone 15 are the first non-Pro to get this screen cutout, also the first to take advantage of the control options that iOS 17 gives to the front camera area. It allows you to control playback, iPhones show if Internet sharing is active and many more options. On the other hand, the front camera tends to get dirty with grease from your fingers : before taking a selfie it is always a good idea to clean it a little.

Beyond the Dynamic Island, which is still a small patch to take advantage of a useless area of ​​the screen, the panels mounted by Apple on the iPhone 15 offer excellent quality. Perfectly well calibrated in color temperature and saturation, very high contrast, without noticeable variations in hue when the viewing angles are forced, the maximum brightness rises to 2,000 peak nits outdoors, allowing content to be seen even in direct sunlight  ( Apple increases it from the 1,200 nits of the iPhone 14) and, in general, both phones make multimedia playback one of their greatest assets. Especially the iPhone 15 Plus, if only because of its larger usable surface area.

Few objections can be made to the panels mounted by Apple in its lowest range of iPhone 15 apart from those chosen, precisely, to differentiate these ranges. This is where the incomprehensible lack of ProMotion comes in: the maximum refresh rate of the screen remains at 60 Hz . In my opinion, and in the case of mobile phones that are in the line of 1,000 euros, having such a low refresh rate makes the visual experience with system animations, movement and game execution at the level of the mid-range. You can see the jumps when opening apps or the “scroll”, a detail that disturbs the great work of the panels.

The response to the touch is no problem, the screen frames continue to be generous and symmetrical, Apple still does not offer an always-on display or AOD (Always On Display) in the base models , the sharpness and detail are very high, TrueTone adapts the color temperature to ambient lighting conditions, Night Shift allows for more comfortable reading at night and the minimum brightness in complete darkness does not dazzle the eyes. The iPhone 15 have turned out to be very comfortable at night.

The iPhone 15 screen is protected with Ceramic Shield hardened glass, in principle resistant to scratches and minor bumps . During my analysis none of the models received any defects (fortunately). And, from my own experience using the iPhone 14 Pro without a screen protector, Ceramic Shield should provide enough guarantee so that the screen surface of the iPhone 15 remains in good condition for a long time.

Sound: USB C adds more versatility to audio

One of the big changes introduced by Apple in the new iPhone 15 is USB C, we were all clear about that before even starting this analysis. With the disappearance of the Lightning port, it is much easier to charge phones outside the home, since it is easier to locate someone with a USB C charger and cable than with a Lightning one. And this carries over to the audio .

In terms of wired sound, both the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro offer the high-quality audio we’re used to from Apple. Mobile phones have a digital output through the USB C port, not analog: to plug in headphones, it is essential that they have an external DAC (both in the headphones themselves and in the adapter cable). Beyond this drawback, which the iPhone 15 shares with the majority of the premium Android range, the sound produced by the protagonists of this analysis is clear, punchy, balanced and always dependent on the listening hardware; both from the external DAC and from the headphones.

Bluetooth audio remains at the expected level, especially with Apple’s own devices: I was using both the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus with my AirPods Pro without noticing the slightest drop in quality. Compatible with AAC and SBC codecs, both phones allow the use of almost all wireless headphones . Of course, to stream lossless audio from apps like Apple Music, you need compatible headphones connected through the USB C port.

Apart from the sound, the new iPhones also output video through USB C: just connect the mobile phone to a compatible monitor or TV so that the image from the smartphone is transferred to the big screen. This is very useful for presentations, multimedia playback or games, for example: with a connected Bluetooth controller, the iPhone 15 becomes a desktop console . The power of the Apple A16 Bionic supports this personality of the phones.

Let’s go with the external speakers. The iPhone 15 offers double stereo speakers: one at the bottom of the phone and another in the headphone area (upper area of ​​the screen). The sound emitted by the couple is very loud, it does not cause too much stridency at maximum volume and it does not resonate in the bass. Yes, a certain predilection for treble is appreciated. And with a maximum sound pressure of 88 dB (measured with an external app and mobile phone).

Power: the performance of the iPhone 14 Pro on the “basic” iPhone 15

That the iPhone 15 has the Apple A16 Bionic processor is a guarantee of quality and performance; Not in vain is it an SoC that has been offering very high performance in the iPhone 14 Pro. On a general level, the pair of phones in question performed just as well as my iPhone 14 Pro: fast in multitasking, with very high quality in games high resolution , I have not noticed an exaggerated heating even with more than an hour running Genshin Impact at maximum quality and, as a drawback, the one I mentioned in the screen section. Yes, 60 Hz undermines the perception that the iPhone 15 is capable of anything.

In practice they have shown themselves to be really fast, also when it came to running the performance tests: the two smartphones are at an equal level with the iPhone 14 Pro, their pure and simple numbers are notable. Of course, we already know that benchmarks do not determine the final experience with the smartphone .

Below I leave the comparative table of benchmarks executed on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.








Apple A16 Bionic

Apple A15 Bionic

Apple A16 Bionic

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (for Galaxy)





16 GB




2,587 / 6,423 (6)

1,728 / 4,469 (5)

2,508 / 6,306 (6)

1,982 / 5,492 (6)

1,914 / 5,049 (6)

2,019 / 5,308 (6)









11,646 / 8,280

11,409 / 8,458

12,463 / 8,195

13,926 / 12,788

13,765 / 9,226

14,018 / 13,968





They have no problem completing any task quickly, reliably and without overheating, even during demanding processes. During long gaming sessions I found both phones warm, but without making them uncomfortable to hold. When trying to drain the battery on one occasion, the temperature was somewhat more noticeable: with 15 continuous minutes of recording video in 4K, the degrees rose until it was close to the heat warning . Although, curiously, I only got this warning during the 30W fast charging of the iPhone 15 Plus: the iPhone 15 did not exceed the limits.

The iPhone 15 does not have problems with excess temperature: although they logically heat up when power is required, the heat does not become annoying at any time

Although at this initial stage the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are grabbing headlines due to abnormal heat during use, neither the iPhone 15 nor the iPhone 15 Plus gave me those problems: the temperature is within the ranges usual . As I said, the heat warning did occur, although only on the iPhone 15 Plus during fast charging.

In terms of connections, there is nothing that I missed: the calls were clear both from my side and from the other person’s , fast on WiFi and without transmission interruptions, the 5G showed itself equally well, both They allow you to be geolocated even without a battery thanks to the inclusion of Ultra Wideband (UWB), the Spanish models offer physical nano SIM, space for a second SIM in electronic format and geolocation is at the highest level.

Battery: a leap forward that extends the time between charges

The evolution from Lightning to USB C not only makes it easier to find a charging cable, we have already seen that it also expands the use of wired headphones: it is easier and cheaper to find good USB C adapters and headphones with built-in DAC. And it has another advantage, one that iPhone users have been asking for for a long time: reversible charging through the physical port .

The iPhone 15 can charge other phones by simply running a USB C bridge, it is a great advantage. In addition, we must welcome the charging of accessories directly from the smartphone . Who hasn’t had their watch or headphones battery run out and been left without using them just because they didn’t have an external battery? Directly to the iPhone 15 and that’s it. Now all that’s left is for Apple to enable reverse wireless charging .

The advantages of USB C are notable, Android users know that well. It’s a shame that we have had to say goodbye forever to receiving a charger with a new iPhone: only the USB C cable still comes in the box. Braided and of higher quality than previous models , at least in appearance. And in white, nothing about the colors of the cable matching the color of the iPhone .

Let’s go with the autonomy data. Obviously, the iPhone 15 Plus lasts longer on between charges than the iPhone 15; as long as the use is similar. I took both phones out of the house using them under 5G on social networks, I made intensive use of the camera, performance tests, navigation, I wasted many hours of streaming (basically under WiFi) and I also played games; both casual and graphically intensive shooters.

The maximum battery consumption was around 9% every fifteen minutes. During intense gaming and 4K video recording.

The results are clear: the day of autonomy is common in both, generally a day and a half with moderate use and more than six/seven hours of screen time . On the iPhone 15 Plus the figure can be extended to up to three days using it with containment and under WiFi. During a Sunday away from home, I left in the morning with the battery charged and returned at night, after an intense day of photography in Barcelona, ​​with a 53% charge. During hardcore gaming sessions the battery discharge on both usually drops to around 9% discharge every fifteen minutes . According to data provided by 3D Mark, the iPhone 15 has a 3,349 mAh battery and the iPhone 15 Plus has a 4,383 mAh battery.

Time to calculate loading times. For the tests I used the MacBook Pro’s USB C fast charger with 61 W power and the braided cable that the phones come standard with:

  • 5 minute charge : 8% battery on iPhone 15 and 9% on iPhone 15 Plus.
  • 10 minute charge : 20% battery on iPhone 15 and 21% on iPhone 15 Plus.
  • 15 minute charge : 31% battery on iPhone 15 and 32% on iPhone 15 Plus.
  • 20 minute charge : 42% battery on iPhone 15 and 42% on iPhone 15 Plus.
  • 25 minute charge : 52% battery on iPhone 15 and 51% on iPhone 15 Plus.
  • 30 minute charge : 61% battery on iPhone 15 and 60% on iPhone 15 Plus.

How strange that the loading times are even between two mobile phones with such different capacities, right? I thought the same. And I analyzed the charging power during all sections: the iPhone 15 Plus charges at about 5W more power than the iPhone 15 (reading taken on the smart plug). In the initial half of the process, the power negotiated by the iPhone 15 is a maximum of 25W; with 30 W for the iPhone 15 Plus. Above 50% load it drops to 20 and 25 W respectively. And when it reaches 80%, recharging stops, whether or not the battery protection mode is active: the last stretch can take up to an hour. Especially since with the fast charger it is common for iPhones to show the warning that an excess temperature has been registered. It hasn’t happened to me with a lower power charger (like my iPad Pro at 20 W), although the charging times are longer.

Photography: the lack of telephoto is better covered than it seems

The strategy of subtracting potential from the most basic models materializes again in the iPhone 15, and Apple finally increases the megapixels of its main sensor: from the 12 latent megapixels in the iPhone 14 we go to 48 megapixels in the iPhone 15 , identical number to last year’s iPhone 14 Pro (and the same as this year’s Pro). Of course, the fact that the resolution corresponds does not imply that the main sensor of the iPhone 15 is the same as that of the Pro: it is smaller ; which on paper decreases the abilities to capture light and detail. On paper, in practice things change.

The photographic section of the two models that I was analyzing is identical: you will get the same quality in the images and videos taken regardless of whether you get an iPhone 15 or an iPhone 15 Plus . These have the now usual double rear camera placed diagonally and protruding noticeably from the body. Its photographic characteristics are summarized in:

  • Main chamber . 48 megapixel sensor, optics with f/1.6 aperture value, focal length equivalent to 26 mm and optical stabilization by sensor shift. Allows you to automatically save the image in 24 megapixels or 12; with shooting at the maximum capacity of the sensor, 48 megapixels. Always with the image and video processed.
  • Ultra wide angle camera . 12 megapixel sensor, optics with f/2.4 aperture value, 13 mm equivalent focal length and 120 degree field of view. Images are always saved at 12 megapixels and processed.
  • Front camera . 12 megapixel sensor, optics with f/1.9 aperture value, 23mm equivalent focal length, Deep Fusion and TrueDepth.

The photographic experience with both phones was at a very high level, both for the results and for the native possibilities of the shooting app. Apple still does not offer completely manual settings, although you can always complement the lack with applications like Halide, one of my favorites (for a fee, something common in the iOS ecosystem). There are no major differences in the interface with respect to previous versions apart from assigning focal lengths to the lenses, the welcome automatic portrait mode in default shooting or the inclusion of an electronic level to know when the shot is parallel to the horizon . Small details that complement the most important hidden part: the improvement in image and video processing.

The jump in resolution from the 12 megapixels of the iPhone 14 to the 48 megapixels of the iPhone 15 means that shooting with the main camera covers most of the requirements. And that is very positive, since this camera is a true all-rounder: the results in most situations are impressive, even at night . This versatility and capacity makes recommending a non-Pro iPhone even more accurate: neither video nor image taking is far behind in general terms.

Apple has reduced the distance between the Pro and the non-Pro like never before: yes, the superior ones have better shooting hardware, and more cameras, but the shots can be generically equivalent in quality

The iPhone 15 only takes photos in compressed format: either heic or jpg, ProRAW is left for the higher models (other applications can save in RAW). The iOS application allows you to choose whether to save by default at 12 or 24 megapixels: the choice will depend on whether you want to save some space or are interested in obtaining the best possible quality automatically . In addition, there is the option to mark the save at the maximum resolution of the sensor, 48 megapixels; always in compressed format (or heic or jpg, with the “Heif max” mode). I took most of the shots I took for this review at 48 manually with 24 chosen by default. The former usually do not weigh more than 10 MB, the latter tend to stay below 6 MB.

During the day, the main camera of both phones shows off with muscle in both key aspects: both hardware and software. The new iPhone 15 sensor takes shots with very high sharpness, even in background details: each element is still perceived quite clearly after maximizing the image . This is most noticeable in the shots to “Heif Max”; without the automatic ones losing quality, always better at 24 megapixels by default.

The colors of the scene are nailed to the originals, very high dynamic range, the focus is really fast and the detection of the subjects helps to ensure that people are always in focus automatically . As a personal wish, I would like Apple to implement autofocus with tracking set by the user, just like the Google Pixel does: click on the screen and the camera constantly keeps the chosen point focused. For shots with animals and children it would be really good.

Despite the logical difficulties due to the high light contrast, the iPhone 15 camera managed to offer a good quality image while maintaining a very high level of detail, even in dark areas. The automatic HDR was not too aggressive, the color temperature and white balance are correct and all with a weight of 5.5 MB in 48 megapixels. Too bad the main camera app doesn’t save in ProRAW.

The HDR risks something more in this shot, coming out with a note: blue sky nailed to the real thing, the textures of the stone are perfectly perceived even in the dark areas. At 48 megapixels in Heif Max.

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus do not have a camera equipped with a telephoto lens, but they manage quite well by applying the cropping trick to the 48 effective megapixels of the main sensor. All these photos are saved compressed to 12 megapixels: if you apply some zoom to the capture, use the wide angle, night mode or portrait mode, the camera will save at a maximum of 12 megapixels . In terms of quality, the 2x zoom can be used without problem, even the 5x; always at the risk of seeing some pixelation in the image. Both the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus max out at 10x hybrid: image crop and digital zoom.

At night the results are very good, although always with exceptions. If the scene is evenly illuminated, the iPhone 15 can take photons from its sleeve, even without activating night mode. They keep the white balance nailed and even preserve great background detail, such as text. Watercolors usually appear with zoom, something inevitable.

When the light is not uniform, the camera has many more problems. The night mode comes into action trying to expand the dynamic range at the cost of some sharpening and watercolors on the dark areas. With the activation of night mode all images are saved at 12 megapixels with a large loss of information along the way.

The portrait mode on the iPhone maintains the quality of the usual cropping and blurring, being effective not only with people, but also with animals and certain objects. It does release a novelty that is really useful: once selected in the camera settings, the sensor will save the depth information whenever it detects a person in the foreground ; offering the option to adjust the focus point from the Photos app. With iOS 17, it is no longer necessary to use external applications such as Spotlight to choose the amount of blur or the area that will remain out of focus.

The front camera offers no differences with respect to previous models, so there are no major changes in quality: the self-portraits are natural, good outlines, accurate colors and tones, and great treatment of light and detail. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro include the option to illuminate the face with the screen flash and the front camera can record video up to 4K and 60 fps.

To know the quality of the photos, there is nothing like passing them through the magnifying glass in their original size and without editing: I leave all the images I took with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus in this link to Google Photos .

When it comes to video recording, both the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus perform like a premium range in terms of quality, image stabilization, resolution and sharpness. From my tests, they have nothing to envy of the Pro, at least as long as the main camera is used: it allows up to 4K and 60 fps. The results with the wide angle are much more timid, it is generally better to refrain from using said sensor.

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