iPhone 15 Review: Don’t Sleep On It

iPhone 15 Review
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Hello fellows, this is my iPhone 15 review! This guy is the most affordable entry in Apple’s iPhone 15 series this year! Now, usually, if someone asks me which iPhone they should get, I always suggest the ‘Pro’ models, because they come with all the high-end tech and honestly, I kind of have always looked down upon the regular iPhone models as they don’t get to see much upgrades year after year.

But the iPhone 15 has changed my mind this time around. Not only does it get some of the “Pro” features this year, but I think Apple has really brought out a balanced flagship that is comparatively easier on your wallet! Let’s know more in my iPhone 15 review.

Before moving ahead, let’s go through the specs of the iPhone 15.

iPhone 15 Specifications:

  • Dimension: 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8mm, 171 grams
  • Display: 6.1‑inch OLED, Super Retina XDR, 60Hz refresh rate
  • Resolution: 2556 x 1179 pixels, 460PPI
  • Chipset: A16 Bionic (4nm) processor, 6 CPU cores + 5 GPU cores, 16-core Neural Engine
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB (non-upgradeable)
  • Operating System: iOS 17
  • SIM: Dual SIM (nano + eSIM), dual eSIM
  • Back Camera: Dual:
    – 48MP f/1.6 primary camera, 2x optical zoom, sensor-shift OIS
    – 12MP f/2.4 ultrawide camera, 120° field of view
  • Front Camera: 12MP front camera with f/1.9 aperture
  • Security: TrueDepth camera for FaceID facial recognition
  • Connectivity: 5G (sub-6GHz and mmWave), WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, GPS with Glonass, Galileo, QZSS, and Beidou, NFC, UWB
  • Other features: Water and dust resistance (IP68), Stereo speakers
  • Battery: Up to 20 hours of video playback, 7.5W Qi Wireless Charging, 15W MagSafe Wireless Charger (No adapter included in the box)
Buy iPhone 15 here

iPhone 15 Review:

Finally, the USB-C is here!

Okay, first of all, one of the most notable changes in the entire iPhone 15 series has to be the inclusion of a USB C port.

iPhone 15 USB Type-C port

The reason I say this is not just because I feel too lazy to carry a lightning cable around, not at all. But there were just so many limitations of the lightning port. For instance, with the USB C port, I can now connect my iPhone to an external display with an HDMI to USB C connector. Or better yet, I can now copy files to my iPhone directly from an SSD with USB C, how convenient is that? There is just no need for external OTG connectors.

However, it’s a shame that the data transfer speed is not as fast as the “Pro” iPhones. The port on both the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus is just USB 2.0, which means it’s slower than the iPhone 15 Pro series.

Loved the design

  • 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8mm, 171 grams
  • Ceramic Shield front, Glass back, Aluminum frames
  • IP68 dust/water resistant

Secondly, I love the design and build of the iPhone 15 this year. Now, don’t get me wrong, the iPhone 15 like the iPhone 14 or the iPhone 13 before that uses a Glass back with Aluminum frames, but this time we are getting a matte finish, which I totally dig. It has this soft satin finish that feels so smooth to the touch and it does not get fingerprints or smudges at all!

You can ask my video team how happy they are for not having to wipe off smudges every now and then while shooting compared to something like the newly launched Xiaomi 13T Pro, which is a pain in the neck.

Moving on, I am a small person with tiny hands and something like the iPhone 14 Pro Max or the 15 Pro Max has always been heavy and bulky for me. But, the compact size of the iPhone 15 is just so handy for me.

Compact Size

And trust me, this phone has the best weight distribution. It is also lightweight, all thanks to the aluminum frames, but at the same time, there is a good enough heft to it which makes it feel premium.

These subtle curved edges are also the icing on the cake, and the iPhone 15 is definitely one of the most comfortable phones I have held this year along with a few Motorola devices!

Color Options

I also love the choice of colors for the iPhone 15, Apple has some really cute color options for the iPhone 15. But at the same time, I think they look a bit washed out for my taste. Nonetheless, the Pink one I bought, I think, was the prettiest of the bunch.

Dynamic Island Display

  • 6.1-inches Super Retina XDR OLED display
  • Static 60Hz refresh rate
  • Ceramic Shield protection, Dynamic Island

The display is also something that has seen an upgrade this year. This is a much brighter screen than its predecessor with a peak brightness of 2000 nits. Hence, even on a bright sunny day, visibility on the iPhone 15 is not a problem at all. And of course, I can’t miss the dynamic Island up top, which until now was available only on the ‘Pro’ iPhones.

iPhone 15 UI iOS

I know some people think, dynamic island is a huge gimmick, but I find it interesting and useful. I feel like it is one of those quality-of-life features that makes your experiences better!

Still 60Hz…

But of course, the 60Hz screen on the iPhone 15 is the biggest letdown, at least for me. I am used to using 120Hz screens and switching to a 60 Hz screen on this phone felt a little slower for me. I have been comparing this phone side by side with the vanilla S23 and every time I switch to the iPhone 15, I get reminded of the slower refresh rate.

iPhone 15 multimedia

Now, if you are someone who is upgrading from an older iPhone 11 or the iPhone X, or any 60Hz display phone for that matter, you might not feel that way, but it’s definitely noticeable to me!

Okay, looking past the 60Hz refresh rate, I love how loud the stereo speakers on the iPhone 15 are. For context, pitting it side by side with the Galaxy S23, the iPhone 15’s speakers are louder and they sound richer as well. I did feel like the mid-tones sometimes overpowered the highs, but that was only while I was listening to a couple of pop songs. Other than that, the speakers here are great.

Haptics

And so are the haptics. I have never missed a call here whether I am riding with the phone in my pocket, or whether it’s in my backpack, never. The vibration is not as strong while typing and I much prefer the feedback on the S23, but that is something I can overlook, honestly!

Battery Life

Okay, now I know I went on about how the compact size of the iPhone 15 is so awesome, but it also comes with a few downsides of its own. First is the relatively okay battery life on this phone. Normally, with general kind of usage the phone would give me around 5.5 hours of SOT, which means, it would last about a full day while I was limiting myself to social media and general usage. Putting some gaming and shooting videos into the mix, I’ve mostly had to charge the phone at around 6 in the evening.

A bit on the warmer side

Second, the compact form factor means that there is less space for heat to dissipate, so if you are doing something heavy-duty task like shooting 4k videos for a longer time or airdropping about 200 photos and videos to your laptop, the phone does heat up a little. Not in an overbearing way, but it does experience a rise in temperatures.

But the good thing is that because of the aluminum frames, the phone cools down faster as well.

Gaming

  • Hexa-core Apple A16 SoC (4nm)
  • 6GB LPDDR5 RAM, 256GB to 1TB storage (fixed)
  • Apple iOS 17 (upgradeable)

Surprisingly, gaming on the iPhone 15 did not make it heat up as much. The iPhone 15 features the A16 Bionic chipset inherited from the iPhone 14 Pro series and, if not the latest and greatest, this chipset is still among the most powerful. With this, normal everyday tasks run like a breeze, I could have 20 apps open in the background and the phone would not even stutter a bit!

iPhone 15 Performance and Gaming

Likewise, gaming was a pleasant experience on this device. I played PUBG for around 45 minutes straight and the phone’s temperature was a comfortable 37 degrees. Switching over to Genshin Impact for another 45 minutes also did not make the phone struggle with the phone resting comfortably at around 39 degrees. I played all of these games at the highest settings and the gameplay was smooth all the time! In fact, it was better than the Galaxy S23!

Even so, playing games on a bigger screen is always a more enjoyable experience, so you can go with the iPhone 15 Plus instead if you play games more often.

But the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus do miss out on hardware-level Ray Tracing and all those AAA console-level games that you get on the Pro series next year, but there will be few games at launch, so you are not missing a whole lot yet!

Updates

Likewise, software updates and everything is never a problem with iPhones and even if you choose to use this phone for the next 5-6 years, it is going to receive timely updates and run just fine.

Cameras

  • Dual camera setup at the back
  • (48MP wide, 12MP ultrawide)
  • 12MP TrueDepth camera with Face ID

Lastly, let’s talk about cameras! Now, just like every year, you are not seeing the most upgrades here, but there are a few welcome changes that I absolutely adore on the iPhone 15 starting from the new 48MP sensor. Do note that this is not the same sensor that we find on the iPhone 15 Pros, but it is a capable one nonetheless.

iPhone 15 Dual Camera

Portraits

Because this is a higher res sensor Apple has been able to add a 2x lossless zoom option in it and you can get some nice details in 2x shots. I found this particularly useful while taking portraits. Before, the iPhone 14 was only limited to shooting 1x portraits and the subjects would look distorted. But now, you can shoot 2x portraits, without a loss in quality and better subject focus and depth in the background.

Daylight

Likewise, the normal shots from the iPhone 15 are nice and detailed too with very pleasing contrast levels. You get pixel-binned 24 MP images by default and the detail levels here are amazing. Then again, it sometimes makes the pictures unnecessarily warm, which does not look very good in some scenarios.

 

Nighttime

And this holds true for the nighttime images as well. The iPhone 15 manages to capture some great details and contrast in nighttime shots. It also manages glares a bit better than the S23.

Ultrawide

You get a 12MP ultra-wide lens too which obviously is not able to manage as many details as the primary camera, but I like how it manages similar color science to that of the primary images.

Selfies

Selfies, on the other hand, come out much more pleasing from the S23. I have said this a couple of times before too, but iPhones generally tend to make brown people look more “richer brown” than they normally are and I don’t like that. However, that’s not the case with my iPhone 15 Pro Max both in selfies and portrait shots, so maybe an update can fix this.

Videos

When it comes to videos, I have said this multiple times iPhones are the best in business and here too the iPhone 15 brings out some great stable videos even at 4k 60 fps. I like how Apple lets you switch between normal and ultra-wide and even 2x mode while shooting at 4k 60 fps as opposed to Samsung or last year’s iPhone 14 which limits that to just 4k 30 fps. But I do wish you could switch between the front and back cameras while shooting, that could come really handy while vlogging.

Likewise, you can shoot up to 4k 30 fps cinematic videos from the iPhone 15, and comparing it side by side with the Galaxy S23, you can see how the iPhone is able to separate the subject and the background better, and even the blur looks more natural here in comparison to the Galaxy S23.

I know the Galaxy S23 can even shoot 8k videos, which is a different kind of flex, but I think 8k videos are not very practical even at today’s date, so I would very much like to reserve it for the future!

And sadly you also don’t get features such as ProRes and Apple Raw here, but even though I have the iPhone 15 Pro Max as my daily driver, I never ever have used it, so I am fine with it.

iPhone 15 Review: Conclusion

Okay, so is the iPhone 15 worth it and is it the best compact phone in the market right now? My iPhone 15 review says ‘yes’. It is not as expensive as “Pro” iPhones but delivers a great experience. It has a brighter display than last year, a faster chipset, a new camera, and more importantly it comes with USB-C now, which as I mentioned before is extremely convenient to have.

iPhone 15

All in all, I think, if you are okay with not having the most cutting-edge tech from Apple and just want a great Apple experience on a relatively lighter budget, the iPhone 15 is a great option right now!

iPhone 15 Review: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great Display with Dynamic Island
  • 48MP main camera
  • Arrival of USB Type-C
  • Powerful performance

Cons

  • The refresh rate is still at 60Hz
  • No telephoto camera
  • Messing skin tones on selfies
  • Average battery life
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design and Build
9
Display
9
Performance
9
Back Camera
9
Front Camera
8
Audio and Haptics
9
Battery
7.5
Value for Money
8
iphone-15-reviewThe vanilla iPhone 15 sits at a balanced state of performance, camera and features. Although it's not as great as its Pro and Pro Max segment, users wanting a compact phone with a versatile software and camera can go for it. And the bathtub notch finally bids a farewell with the arrival of the 'Dynamic Island'. While the 60Hz screen is here to stay.