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Apple iPhone 15 Review: A well rounded compact flagship from Apple with some newer upgrades!!

Apple iPhone 15 Review

This iPhone brings attention to detail with some great features!!

The standard iPhone models are not much of an upgrade with each of its iterations throughout these years. The iPhone Pro models bring some exciting features like a ProMotion display, a newer dynamic island that was introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro (Review) and Pro Max, a 48MP triple camera setup, etc. But with the launch of the iPhone 15, Apple seems to bring some very worthy upgrades over its predecessor i.e. the iPhone 14.

The iPhone 15 carries a similar design philosophy as that of its predecessor but brings in a newer display with Dynamic Island, an Apple A16 Bionic chipset (seen on last year's iPhone 14 Pro models), a 48MP primary camera, better brightness levels and some more. However, the biggest highlight has been the USB Type-C port now instead of the Lightning port present in previous iterations of the iPhones. 

So is the iPhone 15 a worthy upgrade over the iPhone 14 and is it worth buying? Let's find out in the full review.

Apple iPhone 15 Design:

iPhone 15 Review

The iPhone 15 brings a similar design philosophy as the looks remain unchanged from the iPhone 14. The back has a smooth matte finish that provides good grip but catches fingerprints often. The camera layout is similar with both the main and the ultrawide cameras being placed diagonally with a LED flashlight and a single microphone in the square-shaped camera module. 

The square-shaped camera module is protected with a sheet of glass. All around the smartphone, there is an aluminium frame running all around and to the right side, there is the power/Siri button and to the left, there is the iPhone iconic mute switch, a dedicated SIM card tray and an eSIM card functionality (some regions in the US get dual eSIM card functionality) and the volume buttons. 

iPhone 15 Review

The iPhone 15 weighs around 171 grams which is identical to the weight of the iPhone 14 and is thicker at 7.8mm around the sides. The corners are rounded across the aluminum frame which makes it easier to hold in hands. At the bottom, there are the two speaker grilles and a newer USB Type-C port which is a good upgrade over the Lightning port on the previous generation of iPhones. 

On the top, there are no controls. There is a newer colour lineup for the iPhones - Pink, Black, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Pink. Like all other iPhones, this iPhone 15 has an IP68 rating which makes it dust and water-resistant. On the front, there is no notch present as on the iPhone 14 and now you get a Dynamic Island which comes straight away from last year's iPhone 14 Pro models and looks really attractive.

iPhone 15 Review

However, this Dynamic Island does eat up some space in this 6.1-inch display but it comes in handy as it brings some very exciting features. Around the sides, the bezels are very slim. In terms of display protection, you get Ceramic Shield glass and the back has Corning Gorilla glass. Overall, the build and design with the standout feature being the Dynamic Island and the USB Type-C port make it feel premium.

Apple iPhone 15 Display:

The iPhone 15 has a larger 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR (1179x2556 pixels) OLED display with a screen-to-body ratio of 19.5:9. Since the display is an OLED one, it has brighter colours and good viewing angles. However, this display does not have ProMotion technology as present in the iPhone Pro models, so you only get a standard 60Hz refresh rate in the display.

So you can definitely feel the difference while scrolling on the display of the iPhone 15 against the iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max which do come with ProMotion displays. Talking about the display, Apple has not specified any colour settings as you get a single setting called True Tone which distributes the colour equally well and covers the sRGB as well as the DCI-P3 gamut colour space. 

In terms of display brightness, the iPhone 15 offers a whopping peak brightness of 2000 nits and normal brightness is around 800-900 nits which is good. You also get good visibility under direct sunlight. Since there is no dedicated fingerprint scanner, there is the FaceID which works really well on iPhones. The display of the iPhone 15 has support for Dolby Vision and HDR so you can stream HDR content on OTT platforms easily. 

Overall, the display is great for multi-media consumption but the lack of the ProMotion smoothness is slightly disappointing.

Apple iPhone 15 Performance:

The iPhone 15 is powered by the last year's Apple A16 Bionic chipset which was present on the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, Apple could have provided the newer Apple A17 Bionic chipset which is present on the iPhone 15 Pro models but still, the performance is good daily and you would not notice much of a difference.

The Apple A16 Bionic chipset is a hex-core chipset with 2x3.46 GHz Everest cores and another 4x2.02GHz Sawtooth cores coupled with a 5-core GPU. This chipset does feel like a good upgrade as it offers 7 per cent improved CPU performance and 20 per cent better GPU performance over the Apple A15 Bionic chipset. 

Apple iPhone 15 Review

Apple iPhone 15 Review

It is also built on an efficient 4nm process compared to the 5nm process of the Apple A15 Bionic chipset. The iPhone 15 comes with 6GB LPDDR5 RAM with 128/256/512GB of storage. In terms of daily activities like scrolling between web pages, playing games, shooting videos, taking images, etc. felt smoother. All heavy games like BGMI easily ran at the highest graphics settings. 

However, after gaming for a longer amount of time i.e. 3-4 hours, the back of the iPhone 15 felt quite warmer. The benchmark scores are the best in class. In terms of network connectivity, there is support for good carrier aggregation and almost all the bands of 5G. Overall, the performance and gaming are great except that heavy multi-tasking makes the back feel warmer.

Apple iPhone 15 Software:

Apple iPhone 15 Review

The iPhone 15 comes with iOS 17 out of the box. This version of iOS seems to be a good upgrade over the last version i.e. iOS 16 as there are quite some newer features like Standby mode, now you can share passwords between friends, offline maps access, and some newer widgets. The user experience remains unchanged with the home screen having a host of applications.

There is the usual Notification Centre where you can see the list of notifications if you swipe from the left side of the Dynamic Island and if you swipe from the right side of the Dynamic Island, there is the Control Centre which houses the expandable toggles. If you scroll towards the first page of the home screen, there is the Today page and scrolling at the last towards the left is the App Library. 

There are different modes present under Focus Mode which include Work, Personal, Driving, Do Not Disturb, etc. With the newer iOS 17, the widgets are very much interactive where you can make some changes into the app widget without actually opening that app. Now the interesting feature that gained a huge amount of attention is the newer Dynamic Island.

Apple iPhone 15 Review

This Dynamic Island is a pill-shaped notch which will show the microphone and camera indicators only. There are three Island modes to choose from - Standard, Active and Pop-Up Balloon. The Standard Mode shows only the camera and the microphone indicators whereas the Active Mode shows the information on the left side which is longer compared to the right side which shows alarms, events, etc. 

The Pop-Up Baloon is the mode which opens the application if you tap on the smaller animation which comes in handy. The Dynamic Island also supports some cool features like FaceID and charging animation, music and call information and you can incorporate any second application by adding a smaller icon on the left side. 

Apple iPhone 15 Review

With the iPhone 15, other newer features include the Check-In feature in messages where a person gets notified about his/her relative or a friend with proper location, battery level and call service status, there is the Live Voicemail where if you do not want to pick up the call so the smartphone on the other hand, will show the live text of the other person who has called and after that, you can take your decision of accepting it or not. 

The multimedia is handled by three Apple applications - TV, Photos and Music. There is also the Emergency SOS feature where service is text and can be used in case of emergencies, another new addition is Crash Detection where if the car crashes, it can contact the respective emergency services and for that, you need to enable the Call After Serious Crash setting under Emergency SOS.

Apple iPhone 15 Cameras:

Apple iPhone 15 Review

The iPhone 15 houses a dual camera setup which now houses the newer 48MP f/1.6 main camera which is tricked from last year's iPhone 14 Pro models and the secondary camera is a 12MP f/2.4 ultrawide camera which remains unchanged from the iPhone 14 launched last year. On the front, there is a 12MP f/1.9 selfie camera.

In terms of images taken during the day, the details look sharper, have a wider dynamic range, colours look natural without any oversharpening and noise is almost non-existent. By default, all the images are saved at 24MP but if you choose the dedicated 48MP mode, then definitely it has better contrast, slightly better details and dynamic range but it does introduce some noise in the background.

Though there is no telephoto camera as on the iPhone Pro models, this main camera can take 2x zoomed images which do have sharper details, excellent dynamic range and contrast but there is some amount of noise in the background also some oversharpening takes place. But at night, the main camera does a very good job in terms of details that look sharper and have good dynamic range and contrast. 

However, there is some amount of noise present in the background and shadows look slightly darker in some areas. However, all these shots have been taken with the Auto Night Mode which gets triggered automatically. Without the Night Mode, the images still have great details and dynamic range but there is a fair amount of noise present in the background but still, there is not much of a difference.

The 12MP ultrawide camera does a good job in terms of details which look sharper and have great dynamic range but there is quite an amount of noise present in the background in some areas. The colours have a natural tone without any kind of oversharpening. However, at night, the details look slightly softer and the dynamic range is not so wide. There is also some noise and sharpening taking place in the background.

However, the night mode does make the images look slightly overprocessed. In terms of portraits, the primary camera takes some very good portraits in both the 1x and 2x zoom levels. The subject separation from the background is well maintained and you get proper edge detection also. The human subjects have a natural-looking skin tone with good dynamic range and less noise is present.

On the front, the 12MP selfie camera takes some very good selfies which have sharper details and excellent dynamic range with good contrast. The selfies also have proper natural-looking skin tones without any kind of oversharpening. In terms of selfie portraits, the edge detection comes to be perfect with proper background blur and there is also the option to map the depth of the subject from the background.

In terms of videos, the iPhone 15 can record 4K videos at 60fps on its main and selfie camera whereas the ultrawide camera can record 4K videos at 30fps only. The videos from the main camera come out with an excellent level of detail, great dynamic range and colours that look well saturated. The level of noise is less in the background though which is nice since there is the sensor-shift stabilization working perfectly.

There is the Cinematic mode which works with 4K videos at 30fps on both the main and the selfie cameras. The videos from the ultrawide camera come out with sharper details, good dynamic range and contrast but there is some amount of noise present in the videos and sometimes oversharpening does take place. However, the colours look natural without any overprocessed look.

The videos from the selfie camera come out with great details and dynamic range, and colours look natural without any kind of oversharpening Colours look natural but there is some amount of skin smoothening that takes place in the videos since you get EIS, the level of noise is very less. Overall, the cameras are definitely better than the iPhone 14.

Apple iPhone 15 Battery Life:

Apple iPhone 15 Review

The iPhone 15 houses a 3349mAh battery which is slightly larger in capacity compared to the 3279mAh battery on the iPhone 14. In terms of normal usage which includes casual gaming for 1-2 hours, scrolling between webpages, etc. the smartphone easily lasts for one to two days and with heavy usage which includes playing games for longer hours, streaming social media, etc. the smartphone easily lasts for single day.

Apple iPhone 15 Review

However, in terms of charging, the charging speed still remains the same at 20W and just like all previous iPhones, you do not get the 20W fast charger bundled inside the box as you have to purchase it separately and use that 20W dedicated fast charger, you can reach from 0 to 55 per cent in 30 minutes but the full charge to 100 per cent takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes which is very much time-consuming.

Apple iPhone 15 Review

There is also the 15W wireless charging if you use a MagSafe wireless charger but it is standard at 7.5W if you use any third-party wireless charging system. There is also the reverse wired charging which is set at 4.5W and you can charge other devices using the USB Type-C to Type-C cable which is bundled inside the box.

Apple iPhone 15 Audio Quality:

The iPhone 15 comes with a dual stereo speaker setup that sounds adequately louder and clearer. The sound does not feel muffled even at the highest volume settings.


Apple iPhone 15 Review

Overall, Apple has put its best effort into this newer iPhone 15 as it feels like a much-improved product when compared to the last three years of the standard non-Pro iPhone lineup. This time some of the features of the iPhone Pro models have been trickled down to the iPhone 15 like Dynamic Island, 48MP primary camera, etc. which shows the right path in which Apple is moving.

One major upgrade compared to all previous iterations of the iPhone has been the USB Type-C port instead of the Lightening port. Other than that, you get a solid build and design, a good display with a set of stereo speakers, a powerful Apple A16 Bionic chipset, a good set of cameras, good battery life, and a feature-rich software experience. However, there are some areas where it could have been better.

In terms of back design, it still carries a similar design philosophy as that of the iPhone 13 (Review) and 14. Then the charging speeds are very slow and not in league with the competition that does offer 65/120W fast charging speeds, there is still no telephoto camera, and the low-light performance of the ultrawide camera needs some improvement.

One of the major saw points is that the display is still the standard 60Hz one as we had expected the ProMotion display as present in the iPhone Pro models. The iPhone 15 is a great solid, together product which seems to be a good upgrade over its predecessor i.e. iPhone 14. 



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