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Introduction and specs
Apple’s non-Pro lineup is arguably the most cost-effective way for consumers to keep up with the most recent and polished Apple experience without breaking the bank. The newly introduced iPhone 15 and 15 Plus models come with a handful of meaningful updates. There’s little to no difference between the two feature-wise, so screen size, battery size and price seem to be the major differentiators.
Last year, the large screen and the large battery were not enough to justify the 14 Plus’ high price, and its sales were the lowest in the family. The Plus lineup may not have a much longer lifespan than the iPhone mini if the 15 Plus’ sales are as unexciting as the 14 Plus’. The future of the entire Plus series may be hanging on the success of this device that we have for review today.
It’s not like Apple set it up for success this year, either. Its launch price is €50 lower in Europe, which is a nice start, but the US pricing remains the same. And the fact that last year’s 14 Plus remains officially on sale will add an extra dimension to the inter-sibling rivalry that the 15 Plus will have to endure. In other words, if you are looking for a big-screen iPhone, you have an even wider choice this year.
But this year’s changes are a step above the usual yearly update cycle. This year marks the shift to USB-C port for the iPhone, and we couldn’t be happier. The convenience of sharing the same charging connector as every other phone brand out there is unsurpassed. Not to mention the wide host of accessories you can plug directly into the phone, allowing you to easily transfer files, output video to a TV/monitor or even reverse charge your smartwatch or earphones.
Apple iPhone 15 Plus specs at a glance:
- Body: 160.9×77.8×7.8mm, 201g; Glass front (Corning-made glass), glass back (Corning-made glass), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 6m for 30 min), Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified).
- Display: 6.70″ Super Retina XDR OLED, HDR10, Dolby Vision, 1000 nits (HBM), 2000 nits (peak), 1290x2796px resolution, 19.51:9 aspect ratio, 460ppi.
- Chipset: Apple A16 Bionic (4 nm): Hexa-core (2×3.46 GHz Everest + 4×2.02 GHz Sawtooth); Apple GPU (5-core graphics).
- Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 256GB 6GB RAM, 512GB 6GB RAM; NVMe.
- OS/Software: iOS 17.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.6, 26mm, 1.0µm, dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm, 120˚.
- Front camera: Wide (main): 12 MP, f/1.9, 23mm, 1/3.6″, PDAF; Depth: SL 3D.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@25/30/60/120/240fps, HDR, Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps), Cinematic mode (4K@30fps), stereo sound rec; Front camera: 4K@24/25/30/60fps, 1080p@25/30/60/120fps, gyro-EIS.
- Battery: 4383mAh; Wired, 50% in 30 min (advertised), 15W wireless (MagSafe), 7.5W wireless (Qi), 4.5W reverse wired.
- Connectivity: 5G; eSIM; Dual SIM; Wi-Fi 6; BT 5.3; NFC.
- Misc: Face ID, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer; stereo speakers; Ultra Wideband 2 (UWB) support, Emergency SOS via satellite (SMS sending/receiving).
Aside from the USB-C, the main camera is now a more advanced 48MP sensor with pixel binning, promising substantial improvement in image quality, with Apple promising great 2x zoom photos as well.
Although screen size remains the same – 6.7″, the iPhone 15 Plus now boasts almost twice as bright an OLED panel and finally replaces the old notch with the pill-shaped Dynamic Island. Even if you are not a fan of the software features revolving around the Dynamic Island, you can still appreciate the more modern and Pro-like look of the homescreen now that the sightly notch is gone.
Under the hood is last year’s pro chipset – the A16 Bionic. The chipset is still a powerful and well-optimized piece of hardware, and it offers faster performance than what the 14 Plus had.
Besides these changes, you still get the same ultra-wide camera without autofocus, and the screen is still 60Hz without an Always-On Display, which is a feature reserved for the Pro models. Speaking of Pro-only features, the USB-C port here provides only USB 2.0 speeds, and we don’t get the new customizable Action key on the left side of the device.
Unboxing the iPhone 15 Plus
Just like the rest of the iPhones, the iPhone 15 Plus comes in a modest box containing just some user manuals, a SIM ejector tool and a USB-C to USB-C cable for charging. US buyers don’t even have the pin for the SIM card tray as these iterations rely only on eSIM.
Even though you have to buy a new charger if you don’t already have one, the good news is you are not obligated to buy an iPhone charger. Any PowerDelivery charger should do the job. The recommended power output is 20W, but a 30W charger should provide even faster charging in the first 40-50min.