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Which iPhone 15 model should you get?

So, you’ve been saving up for a new iPhone, but now you’re unsure which one to get. We’re here to help you out with that decision. Here’s what you need to know about the new Apple iPhone 15 series!

What’s new on all models?

Before we look at each variant’s unique features, let’s look at what the entire iPhone 15 series shares.

  • Dynamic Island all around. The notch is no more for this generation!
  • In markets where it’s available, the phones all come with two years of Emergency SOS by Satellite, Crash Detection, and the new Roadside Assistance. Apple will start charging after two years, but it didn’t mention how much the fee will be.

  • The second-generation ultra-wideband chipset enables precise tracking of both devices and nearby friends via the Find My app.
  • Extra protection via IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. These phones can handle a maximum depth of six meters for up to 30 minutes.
  • Textured matte finish for all models!

  • They all get Ceramic Shield glass on the front and a new nano-coating on the camera lenses to reduce lens flares.
  • The 48-megapixel cameras on all iPhone 15 models capture pixel-binned 24-megapixel photos by default. And with the Photonic Engine, you should expect improved dynamic range and sharpness. There’s also a new 2x zoom option available, which should offer sharper images than other 2x optical cameras Apple offered before.
  • These new handsets can automatically switch to Portrait mode when a person, dog, or cat is captured in the frame. You can even adjust the focus point after taking the photo!

  • All four phones get the usual Face ID, MagSafe support, and 5G connectivity. 
  • You can now charge your Apple Watch or the new Apple AirPods Pro via the USB-C port.

The Pro & The Pro Max

Of course, some shared features are exclusive to the Pro iPhones (as there are those with the base models). Let’s check out those out here!

  • Apple introduced the lightest Pro iPhones this year by using a new lightweight yet sturdy titanium in its body. The bezels around the screen are slimmer, too.
  • You get four color options: Black Titanium, White Titanium, Blue Titanium, and Natural Titanium.

  • They run on Apple’s newest A17 Pro chipset, which gets an enhanced graphics processor. You can expect high-fidelity graphics and hardware-accelerated ray tracing. That should make it possible to play AAA titles like Resident Evil Village and Assassin’s Creed Mirage. 
  • The mute switch is out, and the Action Button is in! This customizable button allows you to enable different apps or actions (including Shortcuts).

  • Support for USB-C 3.0 standard. That allows data transfer speeds of 10 gigabits per second. (But you need to buy a cable that supports this separately.) This allows you to connect these iPhones to external displays, storage, and more.
  • The triple camera array on the back is somewhat similar on both models (but we’ll have more on this later). You get a 48-megapixel primary sensor, which now supports a full 48-megapixel HEIF images instead of just ProRAW. That means you can now use these images out of the camera without tweaks. The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max get 12-megapixel ultra-wide and telephoto sensors. 
  • There are multiple focal lengths available on these Pro phones (24mm, 28mm, or 35mm). And you can set your favorite focal length as your default option.

  • ProRes video recording now supports up to 4K/60p when recording on an external device (like an SSD). And in the future, you can record Spatial Video for the Apple Vision Pro.
  • Both still get 120Hz ProMotion display for smoother scrolling and use.

Get the iPhone 15 Pro Max if…

Why choose the Pro Max over the standard Pro? There are a few reasons.

  • It has a larger 6.7-inch display and battery. Apple promises up to 29 hours of video playback.
  • The iPhone 15 Pro Max’s base storage option is 256GB. This is the only one in the series to get that.
  • The only iPhone 15 model to get a telephoto sensor capable of a 5x optical zoom (or a 120mm equivalent). This camera also gets a new 3D sensor-shift stabilization model for more stable photos and videos.

Get the iPhone 15 Pro Max if you want the best camera setup on a new iPhone. Or you want the larger display, access to faster data transfer speeds, and the new Action Button. You must be willing to pay more for this model, though. It’s the only one to get a USD 100 price bump, starting at USD 1,199.

Get the iPhone 15 Pro if… 

Now, if the Pro Max’s advantages aren’t too high up on your priority list. Here’s why you should pick the iPhone 15 Pro.

  • You might want to save a couple of hundred dollars with this phone. You still get the faster data transfer speeds, most of the camera’s features, and the new Action Button. 
  • It comes in a more “compact” 6.1-inch form factor. For someone with smaller hands, this would be more manageable to hold than the Pro Max.
  • And maybe you’re looking for a 128GB option model. (Maybe. I won’t say you are.)

It will have a smaller battery, of course. So, you’re promised to get up to 23 hours of video playback on this one. The optical zoom is also at 3x instead of the Pro Max’s 5x. But you should consider the iPhone 15 Pro if you want that more manageable size, most of the Pro features, and the slightly “cheaper” starting price. It’s the same as last year’s model at USD 999.

The Base & The Plus

Now maybe you’d want to save a bit more, there are also the base iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus to consider. And there aren’t admittedly that much difference between these two. But let’s take a look at what you can expect from both of them.

  • Like the Pro models, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus get better peak brightness. They get up to 2,000 nits peak brightness outdoors. You shouldn’t have an issue reading outside on a sunny day.
  • Both iPhones get the A16 Bionic processor that runs on last year’s iPhone 14 Pro models. 
  • USB-C also comes to these standard models. But they are restricted to the USB 2 standard. That means they get the same 480 megabits per second data transfer speeds as the Lightning connector.

  • These iPhones get fun colors! It comes in pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. Apple embedded the color throughout the glass to create a stunning finish for these phones.
  • The 0.5x ultrawide lens is available on these phones. But they don’t get the telephoto.

Get the iPhone 15 Plus if… 

The iPhone 15 Plus is for you if this is what you’re looking for:

  • You want the larger 6.7-inch display.
  • A longer battery life over the base model with up to 20 hours of video playback.

Last year’s model was considered to have some of the best battery life in the series, so we’re expecting you’ll get the same experience here. If you don’t need the Pro features but want that bigger screen and better battery, you can get the iPhone 15 Plus starting at USD 899.

Get the iPhone 15 if…

Pick up the base iPhone 15 for the following reasons:

  • You want a more manageable 6.1-inch device.
  • You just need the new iPhone and don’t need the “best of the best” features.

If size matters the most to you and you want those fun new colors, the iPhone 15 might be the best bet for you. You can get this at a starting price of USD 799.

Should you even upgrade?

The straightforward answer typically is you shouldn’t if your current phone is working fine and you’re still getting software updates for them. If you’re still on the iPhone 13 or iPhone 14, it might not be time to upgrade. If you’re dealing with battery issues, consider looking into getting that replaced first.

But there’s a bit more nuance this year. With the iPhone 15’s switch to USB-C, it could be worth making the move. If most of your devices are already USB-C and that Lightning connector has been a thorn in your side, you might want to upgrade. Lightning accessories won’t go out of style quickly. But it won’t make sense to invest in them. If you’re building around USB-C, it might be time to switch.

Which iPhone are you planning on getting? Let us know on our social media accounts!