After months of speculation, the iPhone 15 is finally official. And a lot of the rumours were on the money.
Now with USB-C, the new iPhones are slightly more affordable than we might have guessed (though still not cheap), and variously support upgraded designs and materials, with predictable tweaks to the camera and processors.
However, not all iPhone 15 models are created equally. Read on for all the details on the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
iPhone 15 at a glance
- USB-C charging instead of Lightning
- Dynamic Island on all models
- New AV1 decoder on the iPhone 15 Pro models
- 48MP camera comes to standard iPhone 15
- New periscope zoom means a bigger camera bump on the 15 Pro Max
- Starting price: £799 / $799 / AU$1499
- On sale now
iPhone 15 release date
The iPhone 15 was announced at Apple's 12th September event.
iPhone 15 pre-orders went live on 15th September, with the handsets going on sale on Friday 22nd September.
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iPhone 15 price
The iPhone 15 starts at £799 / $799 / AU$1499, and the 15 Plus at £899 / $899 / AU$1649 – those are for the 128GB models.
The iPhone 15 Pro models start at £999 / $999 / AU$1849 for the Pro and £1199 / $1199 / $2199 for the Pro Max.
- iPhone 15: £799 / $799 / AU$1499 (128GB); £899 / $899 / AU$1699 (256GB); £1099 / $1099 / AU$2049 (512GB)
- iPhone 15 Plus: £899 / $899 / AU$1649 (128GB); £999 / $999 / AU$1849 (256GB); £1199 / $1199 / AU$2199 (512GB)
- iPhone 15 Pro: £999 / $999 / AU$1849 (128GB); £1099 / $1099 / AU$2049 (256GB); £1299 / $1299 / AU$2399 (512GB); £1499 / $1499 / AU$2749 (1TB)
- iPhone 15 Pro Max: £1199 / $1199 / AU$2199 (256GB); £1399 / $1399 / AU$2549 (512GB); £1599 / $1599 / AU$2899 (1TB)
Those prices are actually lower than we were expecting – rumours said the range would get more expensive this year.
Apple CEO Tim Cook even paved the way for a price hike, hinting that the iPhone is now so essential to people's lives, that they're willing to pay even more than the current prices.
"The iPhone has become so integral into people’s lives", Cook said on an earnings call to investors. "I think people are willing to really stretch to get the best they can afford in that category."
Ultimately, the iPhone 15 proved a little more affordable than we thought, making up for the slight price hike we saw last year with the launch of the iPhone 14.
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iPhone 15 pay-monthly deals
As ever, while some people will certainly buy the new iPhone outright and pair it with a SIM-only deal, most buyers will pick up the iPhone 15 on a pay-monthly deal.
Even though the iPhone 15 isn't actually out yet, there are already some pretty big differences between the deals being offered by different carriers. You'll find the latest, lowest prices below:
iPhone 15 design
The biggest design change is that the iPhone 15 Pro models (the Pro and Pro Max) are now made of aerospace-grade titanium. This makes them very durable, while also incredibly light – the lightest Pro models ever, according to Apple.
All four models have contoured edges, but only the Pro and Pro Max get a new customisable action button which replaces the familiar side switch for silent mode. As rumoured, this new button will let you start voice memos, launch the camera, use shortcuts or do something else entirely, as you can designate it with tons of different functions. It should also make it harder to accidentally mute the phone, like the switch it replaces.
The iPhone 15 Pro models come in four colours – white, black, blue and natural. The 'standard' iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are much brighter – they come in pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. Apple has infused the colours through the back glass, which has a "textured matte finish".
Like the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus before them, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus don't have Apple's always-on display with ProMotion support. But they do have peak brightness of 2000 nits, which should help you make out what's on-screen on a sunny day. That's twice as bright (on paper) as the iPhone 14 models.
The screen sizes are the same as the previous range (either 6.1 inches or 6.7 inches), but the Pro models have slimmer bezels than their predecessors.
The Dynamic Island from the iPhone 14 Pro models is now across all the iPhone 15 handsets, giving you, well, dynamic access to your notifications around the camera lens at the top of the screen.
iPhone 15 specs
The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus get a 48-megapixel camera – quite an upgrade from the 12-megapixel shooter of the iPhone 14. It's joined by a new 2x telephoto option which gives you more zoom options. Now you don't need to shoot in portrait mode –just focus, and it'll draw in-depth information so you can easily turn the snap into a portrait later in the Photos app. Neat.
Both standard phones are powered by the A16 Bionic that was previously seen on the iPhone 14 Pro. The iPhone 15 Plus has a bigger battery, as you would expect, given that it has a bigger screen. Apple promises "all-day battery life" across the range.
As expected, the Lightning port on all four iPhone 15 models has been replaced by USB-C. That's thanks to a change in EU law that means all small electronics must adopt the standard. So you'll be able to charge all (or at least most) of your Apple gear with just one cable.
The iPhone 15 Pro models feature the A17 Pro, complete with a new GPU. The industry's first 3 nanometer chip has a 6-core CPU which is 10 per cent faster than its predecessor, a neural engine that's up to twice as fast, and USB speeds of up to 10Gbps. The new GPU is Apple's biggest redesign in the firm's history. It has 6 cores and is up to 20 per cent faster than its predecessor. Gamers should be in for a treat.
This all makes the iPhone 15 Pro more powerful, more efficient and more capable. That's the theory, at least.
The A17 Pro also includes a dedicated AV1 decoder, which enables more efficient, high-quality videos for streaming services. And the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max can output video at up to 4K 60 fps HDR.
The Pro models have mighty impressive cameras this year. The sensor is still 48 megapixels, but it's larger than the iPhone 15's. You get more focal lengths and next-gen portraits with two times better low-light performance. The 15 Pro has a 3x telephoto zoom, but the Pro Max takes that a step further, with a 5x optical telephoto zoom with a 120mm focal length, and a 25% larger sensor than the 15 Pro.
Impressive, but remember the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, for example, which launched at the start of 2023, already boasts a 10x optical zoom and 100x digital 'Space Zoom'. The telephoto zoom is welcome but it doesn't catapult Apple to the head of the pack.
The iPhone 15 Pro models also let you record spatial videos, which you can watch back using your Apple Vision Pro AR headset (should you have deep enough pockets and be able to get one upon release sometime in 2024).
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus come in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB variants, while the iPhone Pro has all the above plus a 1TB option. The Pro Max drops the 128GB option, so only has 256GB, 512GB and 1TB variants.
At WWDC 2023, Apple announced iOS 17, which has plenty of new features, which will all come to iPhone 15.
Check In will automatically send a friend a message when you get home, and share your phone's battery status and reception level, for peace of mind if they're trying to contact you. There's a new journalling app, posters that will appear when someone calls you, swearing comes to autocorrect, while StandBy turns your iPhone into a smart home display while charging. You can just say "Siri" instead of "Hey Siri" to summon the voice assistant, too.
iOS 17 will land this autumn and will feature on all models of iPhone 15.
iPhone 15: early thoughts
So far, the iPhone 15 range looks impressive but it's fair to say that it will likely feel like an iterative rather than substantial update compared to the iPhone 14.
We're excited about the AV1 technology and how it'll impact video quality from streaming services on the Pro models, and USB-C is certainly a change that we agree with long-term.
Last year we gave the iPhone 14 Pro Max our What Hi-Fi? Award for best premium smartphone. Will this year's range still prove to be the ones to beat? Look out for our full reviews coming soon.
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