The standard iPhone 15 lineup has upgraded 48MP Main Cameras, a USB 2.0 Type C port, and the Dynamic Island. The external design didn’t change much, but there’s a lot to love about these new models, and there’s still a mute switch
Apple revealed the iPhone 15 lineup during the Wonderlust event on September 12, 2023. The two standard models received multiple updates that brought them closer to an iPhone 14 Pro, but still not quite “pro.”
iPhone 15 design
The iPhone mini is truly gone in 2023. The standard-sized 6.1-inch iPhone is accompanied by the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus with no feature differences between the two.
Apple introduced the Dynamic Island to the standard models, so now the notch is no longer an option. The Dynamic Island is a software element that masks the sensor housing for Face ID and the selfie camera, and it shows Live Activity animations for apps.
The overall design didn’t change much. The rear casing is identical, but the aluminum frame has a slightly rounded corner which should improve gripability.
The device still has a center aluminum frame that houses all of the integral components and motherboard in a separate space from the front and back glass. This increases reparability and keeps costs low if a user needs to replace the entire panel on either side.
The mute switch remains for standard models, which is situated above clickable, physical volume buttons. Rumors never panned out about capacitive buttons, but the mute switch did become an Action button on pro models.
iPhone 15 cameras
The Main Camera has an updated 48MP sensor that takes 24MP pixel-binned photos. This large sensor also enables a 2x zoom on standard iPhones for the first time.
Photos taken with the 48MP sensor are outputted as 24MP HEIF images, which ensures both high contrast and resolution. Subjects detected within the camera like people and pets will automatically enable depth data to be captured without switching to Portrait mode.
The Ultra Wide camera is still 12MP and didn’t gain any new features. Macro mode and other pro features are still reserved for Apple’s high-end devices.
Move to USB-C
Perhaps the biggest story about this product is the USB-C port. Apple finally transitioned the iPhone away from Lightning, but the port is still limited to USB 2.0 speeds for standard iPhones.
There isn’t any MFi program to speak of, so users can use any cable or peripheral without any need for official certification. Charging speeds haven’t changed either, so iPhone will still fast charge with a USB PD adapter at 20W or better.
Since USB-C is universal, users can connect other accessories like Apple Watch and AirPods directly to the iPhone’s port to charge them from the battery. This will deplete the iPhone battery at a fast rate, but can provide a small bit of charge in a pinch.
iPhone 15 Processor
These models inherited the A16 Bionic from the iPhone 14 Pro, which improves performance somewhat compared to the iPhone 14. There’s also a second-generation Ultra Wideband chipset for more precise finding at a distance, plus a Thread radio for improved HomeKit communication.
Customers worried about device speeds likely won’t purchase the standard models like iPhone 15 Plus. Modern apps won’t feel any different on recent Apple chipsets, but certain tasks may improve, especially those relying on the Neural Engine.