International media has begun reviewing the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro prior to their general release on Friday, September 22nd. The key change in this year’s iPhone is the introduction of a USB-C port, replacing the Lightning port. The Pro model, on the other hand, boasts upgraded specs, improved cameras, a titanium body, and the addition of an Action Button.
The iPhone continues to follow a two-group sales strategy this year, with the regular models being the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, differing only in screen size at 6.1 and 6.7 inches respectively. They come in 5 colors and offer the Dynamic Island feature for the first time, along with the A16 Bionic chip.
The flagship models are the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, which have different screen sizes and varying zoom capabilities of 3x for the Pro and 5x for the Pro Max. They feature the A17 Pro chip, an always-on display, an Action Button on the side, and a lightweight aluminum body. The selling prices are the same as the iPhone 14 for all configurations except the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which has eliminated the 128GB option, resulting in a higher starting price.
Overall, reviews highlight the changes compared to previous models, with minimal changes noticeable when compared to the iPhone 14. However, if compared to the iPhone 12 or iPhone 13, the differences are more substantial.
Camera-wise, the main camera in the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus has been upgraded to 48MP with 2x optical zoom, resulting in sharper and better-cropped images. Users can choose between 24MP and 48MP in the 1x mode, while the ultra-wide remains at 12MP. Another new feature is the ability to edit the focus point in Portrait mode for previously taken photos. The front camera and video mode remain similar to previous models.
The camera setup for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max includes additional telephoto lens options of 35mm, 28mm, and 24mm, catering to users familiar with different camera settings. They also offer 3x and 5x optical zoom respectively. The design reflects a periscope-like construction, allowing for a slimmer phone compared to other smartphones with long zoom capabilities. Testing shows that even at 5x zoom, the image captures good detail, with pros and cons in different lighting conditions, skin tones, and color accuracy when compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra and Pixel 7 Pro.
Video-wise, the Pro models, particularly in Cinematic mode, support up to 3x zoom with standard image detail and color accuracy.
Battery life might not be a strong selling point for the iPhone 15 this year, as Apple claims it is similar to the iPhone 14. Continuous web browsing tests on the Pro model showed an improvement of approximately 11 hours, slightly better than the previous model. General usage throughout the day still leaves some battery life remaining.
The significant change this year is the inclusion of USB-C. While the iPhone 15’s data transfer speeds are limited to USB 2.0, it supports 27W charging and can connect to a 4K60Hz monitor. The iPhone 15 Pro, in comparison, has USB 3 support, resulting in faster speeds. Various reviews state that for users with other Apple devices, the shift to USB-C brings convenience as they no longer need to search for a Lightning cable solely for the iPhone.
Other notable features include the Action Button, which replaces the side switch for muting. This feature is only available on the Pro model and may take some getting used to, as it requires a slightly firmer press. Some users