Apple has unveiled its latest offering, the iPhone 15, and it’s a device that raises an interesting question: Can something not entirely new still be an outstanding phone? In this review, we’ll delve into the iPhone 15’s design, performance, camera enhancements, and more to determine whether it’s a worthy addition to Apple’s lineup.
Design: A Familiar Yet Refined Look
The iPhone 15’s design might not scream “revolutionary,” especially if you’re comparing it to its predecessor, the iPhone 14. However, it’s not entirely without changes. The phone retains the same overall aesthetic, but Apple has smartly rounded off its corners, making it more comfortable to hold. The satin back, a first for non-Pro iPhones, adds a premium touch and a pleasant feel.
While the design isn’t entirely “all new,” these subtle refinements showcase Apple’s commitment to the user experience. It’s not just about looks; it’s about how the phone feels in your hand.
The Display: Bright but Stuck at 60 Hertz
The iPhone 15’s display has been enhanced to a dazzling 2000 nits, making it a delight to use outdoors. However, it’s somewhat baffling that Apple chose to stick with a 60 Hertz refresh rate in a world where 90 Hertz and 120 Hertz displays are becoming the norm. For most users, this won’t be a deal-breaker, as they might not even notice the difference. Still, it’s an odd choice considering the competition.
The Pro models get the coveted 120 Hertz “ProMotion” display, leaving the iPhone 15 with a seemingly outdated feature set. Apple’s decision to reserve the higher refresh rate for the Pro lineup may disappoint some, especially those looking for smoother scrolling and animations.
Performance: The A16 Bionic Holds Its Ground
Under the hood, the iPhone 15 houses the A16 Bionic chip, which may not be the latest and greatest, but it’s no slouch either. The A16 Bionic delivers impressive performance, handling everyday tasks, gaming, and iOS navigation seamlessly, even with the 60 Hertz display. For the majority of users, this level of performance will be more than satisfactory.
Additionally, the A16 Bionic’s efficient power management contributes to excellent battery life, debunking concerns about heat and battery issues that plagued earlier models. The iPhone 15 provides substantial battery life, and the iPhone 15 Plus takes it even further, offering the best battery life on any iPhone to date.
USB-C: A Long-Awaited Addition
While USB-C is far from a new technology, its arrival in the iPhone 15 is a welcome change. This universal port brings numerous advantages, from using the same cable to charge various devices to plugging into a wide array of accessories like monitors and keyboards. The decision to incorporate USB-C is a pragmatic one, aligning Apple’s devices with the industry standard. However, it’s worth noting that the absence of USB 3.0 data speeds may disappoint some, but it’s a minor trade-off for the average user.
Software Features: Small but Impactful
The iPhone 15 introduces several noteworthy software features. The inclusion of an ultra-wideband chip enhances the phone’s connectivity options, making it easier to find your device using an Apple Watch or locating friends on Find My. Additionally, the phone boasts impressive audio and video effects that work across various apps, providing a more immersive experience.
Apple Maps now supports downloadable offline areas, making navigation more convenient. Interactive widgets and an 80% battery charge limiter in settings add to the user-friendly experience, enhancing the iPhone 15’s overall appeal.
Camera: The Unusual Upgrade
One of the most intriguing aspects of the iPhone 15 is its camera setup. The phone sports a new 12-megapixel ultrawide lens and a 48-megapixel main camera. While this may not seem groundbreaking, Apple’s approach is unique. By combining binning and detailed transfer, the iPhone 15 produces impressive 24-megapixel photos by default, offering a noticeable improvement over its predecessor.
Even more interesting is the auto portrait mode detection feature. This nifty addition allows you to capture depth information in regular photos without switching to portrait mode. Whether you’re photographing people, pets, or any subject, the neural engine ensures that you have the flexibility to create portrait mode photos later. While it’s not a magic wand to fix out-of-focus shots, it’s a valuable tool for refining your photography.
Conclusion: A Subtle Yet Appreciable Upgrade
In the realm of iPhone upgrades, the iPhone 15 stands as a testament to Apple’s late-mover advantage strategy. It may not introduce revolutionary changes, but it stacks enough subtle improvements to make it an appealing choice, especially for those with older devices. If you’re rocking an iPhone 14 or even a 13, upgrading may not be a priority. However, for those who upgrade annually, the iPhone 15 offers a compelling package with notable design refinements, a capable A16 Bionic chip, and an enhanced camera system.
Furthermore, the adoption of USB-C and the inclusion of practical software features make it a device well-prepared for the future. Despite its 60 Hertz display, the iPhone 15 excels in various aspects, making it a solid choice for users seeking a reliable, user-friendly, and forward-looking smartphone. If you’re contemplating an upgrade, don’t hesitate to embrace the iPhone 15—it may not be entirely new, but it’s undoubtedly an impressive evolution in the iPhone lineup.