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Should You Buy an iPhone 15?

Posted by Mac of All Trades Tech Team on Nov 14th 2023

After Apple unveiled the  iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, along with the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, many now wonder whether the newer models provide sufficient improvements to warrant the cost of upgrading. If you are still determining whether the iPhone 15 is the best series for you but need help deciding, then this iPhone 15 buyers guide helps answer whether the iPhone 15 is worth buying or not.

Should I Buy an iPhone 15?

To narrow down the decision, start by looking at the entire iPhone 15 range — iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are practically identical in features, apart from the size difference and battery life. The Pro models are quite the upgrade from the standard versions, but there are some key differences between the iPhone Pro and Pro Max.

Superior Cameras in the Pro Models

Like the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, all the iPhone 15 models possess the same 48-megapixel (MP) camera, but with a slight upgrade. The iPhone 15 series has a larger sensor, allowing more light into the camera and improving overall picture quality, particularly in low-light situations. All the iPhone 15 models include a portrait function, which enables you to control the focus and depth. Additionally, the cameras support super high-resolution photos.

Looking at the specifications, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus only have a  12MP 2x telephoto lens enabled by the quad-pixel sensor, but the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have more advanced features. The iPhone 15 Pro has a 3x telephoto zoom, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max has an impressive 5x telephoto zoom with an innovative design.

Overall, the camera upgrades are excellent. However, if you upgrade from the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max, you'll only truly benefit if you opt for the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Convenient USB-C Addition

Everyone knew it was coming, but Apple finally had to change to a standardized charging port by replacing its iconic Lightning port with  a universal USB-C connection that some will love and others will hate. Although it offers convenience for those with other devices that support USB-C, it could create more hassle and confusion for Apple users with older devices that still take the Lightning charger.

This change will be environmentally beneficial in the long term, as there should now be less e-waste ending up in landfills, which aligns with Apple's commitment to being environmentally friendly. However, the choice might not have been theirs — the  new European Union regulations on standard chargers may have forced their hand.

The inclusion of the USB-C port introduces some iPhone 15 pros and cons. The charging and data transfer speeds are the primary concern. Thankfully, the iPhone 15 Pro versions have a USB-C that supports USB 3.0. It means no charging improvement, but the transfer speed is faster, at up to 10 gigabits per second. Unfortunately, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus only support USB 2.0, with transfer speeds limited to 480 megabits per second.

Handy Extra Features

Undoubtedly, the iPhone 15 series has handy and unique features that some will find highly useful and convenient. All the models now have a Dynamic Island, which was limited to the Pro models in the iPhone 14. This creates a more user-friendly window that includes helpful information. To improve usability, the familiar mute button is replaced by the Action Button that you can customize to perform actions such as opening the camera or turning the flashlight on.

The overall performance does not see much improvement for the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, but the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max have an excellent addition —  the A17 Pro chip instead of the A16 Bionic chip. The processing speed and gaming performance of the iPhone 15 Pro versions are noticeable for those running highly demanding applications and 3D games. However, the average iPhone 14 Pro user is unlikely to benefit from it.

iPhone 15 Pros and Cons

Everyone enjoys upgrading phones, and with the new Apple iPhone 15 standard options and 15 Pro versions out, iPhone users will ask themselves whether they should buy an iPhone 15. However, deciding on whether to take the plunge and pay for the latest version or hold off and buy a previous model is a choice that takes some consideration. The iPhone 15 has several notable pros and cons.

Here are some of the benefits of the iPhone 15:

  • Camera upgrades are highly apparent in the Pro versions.
  • The elegant new design and color varieties are refreshing.
  • Build quality is superb, particularly in the Pro versions.
  • The iPhone 15 series is lighter than the iPhone 14, but mainly the Pro versions.
  • Prices and storage spaces are predominantly the same as before.
  • Screen brightness upgrades and color accuracy make for pleasant viewing.
  • USB-C offers faster transfer speeds for Pro versions.
  • Software and performance are outstanding, but mainly in the Pro versions.
  • Several added extras, such as Roadside Assistance via satellite.

The iPhone 15 cons are:

  • Battery life is as expected, with no improvements.
  • Charging speeds see no improvements.
  • Slow data transfer speeds for iPhone 15 and 15 Plus.
  • The USB 3.0 supporting cable is an optional extra for the Pro versions.
  • Only the Pro versions have adaptive screen refresh rates up to 120Hz.
  • Color options are not standard between the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro.

iPhone 15 vs. 14 Comparison

If you compare the iPhone 14 to the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro Max, you'll notice many similarities between the phones. For instance, they have the same display sizes, there is no change in battery life, and the ultra-wide 12MP camera remains the same for all.

The similarities continue across other features and capabilities, like reusing the A16 Bionic chip in the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. Considering this, is the iPhone 15 worth buying, or should you choose a previous model, such as the innovative iPhone 12, which was only released in 2020?

Upgrading from the iPhone 14 to the iPhone 15 model overall does not offer sufficient benefits to warrant the money spent. You only see noticeable iPhone 15 differences from 14 and increased value if you upgrade from any iPhone 14 model to the iPhone 15 Pro Max since this model has the A17 Pro chip, a vastly superior camera with its 5x telephoto camera, faster data transfer capabilities and sleek titanium trimming.

Is the iPhone 15 Worth Buying?

This iPhone 15 buyers guide tries to break down the potential benefits of owning the new iPhone 15, but the essential question is, "Do I buy an iPhone 15, or are there alternative options?" For instance, your current smartphone may still perform just fine, especially if it still receives updates. Alternatively, you might want to purchase an iPhone 13 or invest in an iPhone 14, as these are still recent devices with excellent features.

With every new iPhone series release, Apple brings out a marginally better iPhone that offers enough incentive to entice users to upgrade. Even with seemingly drastic changes such as the USB-C port, you won't notice a vast difference if you upgrade yearly. Naturally, the modifications, such as the A17 Pro chip in the Pro series and the replacement of the mute button, are nice to have but will only stand out as essential for some.

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