4 things Apple could do to make the iPhone 15 the best phone for movies and music

Phone Arena
(Image credit: Phone Arena)

The iPhone 15 reveal event is less than a week away, and we have already rounded up plenty of rumours and speculation about the next flagship Apple smartphone. This new iPhone lineup, set to succeed the Award-winning iPhone 14 Pro and five-star iPhone 14, should continue the legacy of excellent AV performance that we expect from iPhones. Still, there are a few things we would like to see that would make the iPhone 15 the ultimate smartphone for movies and music.

Now, being realistic, we know that Apple probably won't implement all of these ideas, so consider this more of a wishlist of things that we would include if we were making our own dream iPhone - the iPhone AV perhaps? 

While there have already been some pretty significant upgrades hinted at for this new generation of iPhone, such as the much-anticipated switch to USB-C, thinner bezels and the dynamic island coming to the non-Pro models, these prospective features pertain solely to improving the picture and sound performance on the iPhone 15.

1. Better stereo speakers

Tablet: Apple iPad Mini (2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

Before we begin here, it's worth noting that the iPhone some of the best speakers of any smartphone, if not the best. Sounding richer, more detailed and more dynamic than most Android offerings, Apple has nailed the stereo speaker experience on its smartphones.

However, it could go a step further by upgrading the stereo speaker arrangement, and the iPad Pro is the perfect inspiration. The flat metal edges were first seen on the iPad back in 2018, with the iPhone adopting them in 2020 with the iPhone 12. While the iPad uses this design to effect by using the additional real estate on the edges to house extra speakers, the iPhone instead leaves that top edge unused. Could this be the ideal spot for a proper second set of speakers?

Current iPhones use the earpiece as a second speaker to create a stereo pair, and while this works, we wouldn't exactly call it the most balanced experience. The bottom-firing speakers are noticeably more powerful than the earpiece for example; so we propose a solution. 

We would like to see Apple include a second speaker along the top edge of the device in order to create a more powerful and balanced stereo speaker arrangement. We think that this, paired with the Spatial Audio support already found on the iPhone 14, could make the iPhone 15's speaker performance untouchable.

2. HDR10+ support


(Image credit: HDR10+)

Once again, we are turning to another Apple product for inspiration as to how Apple could improve the iPhone's performance. The Apple TV 4K 2022 model received HDR10+ for the first time, so now we reckon it's the iPhone's turn.

Currently, the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro support HDR10 and Dolby Vision, which is ideal for watching content on Apple TV+, Netflix and Disney Plus. However, including HDR10+ will be ideal for watching on Amazon Prime Video and Paramount+.

This seems like a simple and attainable upgrade, as we have seen plenty of other phones include this feature.

3. 120Hz on all models

Smartphone: Apple iPhone 14

(Image credit: Apple)

We have made our stance very clear on this matter. While the Pro models have had variable refresh rate displays up to 120Hz for many years now, the standard models on the other hand are still using 60Hz displays. Android phones that cost half as much as these devices are outfitted with higher refresh rate displays, so there's no real excuse for Apple not to include one on the iPhone 15.

While Apple will likely argue that the average iPhone user won't see the benefit of a higher refresh rate display, the reality is that it makes everyday operation, gaming and watching content much smoother and more enjoyable. 

Unfortunately, rumours have already begun that point towards a 60Hz display on the standard iPhone 15 and 15 Plus, which means that we may have to wait for the iPhone 16 for this display upgrade. 

4. A 21:9 aspect ratio display

Sony Xperia 1 V

(Image credit: Future)

This might be wishful thinking, but humour us. The Sony Xperia 1 V is one of the favourite phones we have tested this year, in part due to its unique aspect ratio. The 21:9 display is perfect for watching movies in their intended aspect ratio with no letterboxing required.

So what if Apple adopted this? Its OLED panels are rich, punchy and sharp, so the only way that we can think to make them even more cinematic would be to expand the aspect ratio. While this would have implications as to how iOS works and the general usability of the device, we can't help but fantasise about an iPhone with a 21:9 aspect ratio.

With the Plus variant iPhones making a grand return last year, Apple could trial this with the iPhone 15 Plus, as the narrower aspect ratio does increase usability on the larger models. In reality, this is a total pipe dream, but we certainly wouldn't be opposed to seeing an iPhone 15 with a 21:9 aspect ratio.


Read our full iPhone 14 Pro Max review

Check out our roundup of iPhone 15 rumours

And our list of the best iPhones

Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.