Apple iPhone 15 review: An ideal upgrade for older iPhone users?

The iPhone 15 is a significant upgrade for iPhone 11, 12, or 13 users, as it features a 4nm Apple A16 Bionic chipset that delivers faster and efficient performance, an upgraded camera that can capture stunning pictures and videos, a smaller notch, and a Type C port that supports fast charging and data transfer.

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By Sumit Roy

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iPhone 15 review

Apple recently launched its latest flagship smartphone, the iPhone 15, at its Wonderlust event. The phone features an Apple A16 Bionic chipset, a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display, and a 48-megapixel primary sensor. The iPhone 15 128GB variant costs Rs. 79,900 in India. However, we bought the phone at an effective price of Rs. 44,990, including a trade-in Value for iPhone 12 worth Rs. 30,000 and an HDFC bank cashback offer worth Rs. 5000. Without further delay, let’s dive into the review.

Box contents

iPhone 15 box content 1

The iPhone 15 retail box includes an iPhone 15 128GB storage variant in Black color, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, a user manual, a SIM eject tool, and Apple stickers. The USB Type-C to Type-C cable is braided and feels much stronger than the cables Apple provides with the older iPhone models. 

Design

The iPhone 15 sports a Ceramic Shield front glass with an aerospace‑grade aluminum frame and a color-infused matte finished Glass back. The edges of the iPhone 15 are more curved than the previous models, which makes it easier to hold the device for a longer duration. Furthermore, the silent switch and volume rockers are present on the left side of the phone, while on the right, it has the power button. On the bottom, it has the much-awaited Type C port along with the speaker grill and microphone.

  • iPhone 15 design 1
  • iPhone 15 design 2
  • iPhone 15 design 3
  • iPhone 15 design with back case
  • iPhone design 5

Moreover, the device feels lighter in hand due to its weight distribution. However, the Camera bump is huge, and the phone doesn’t have balance when kept on a flat surface due to that. It seems, the bigger sensors made the camera module heavier, hence the bump. We have installed a back case and protective Glass for safety.

Display and Performance

The iPhone 15 features a 6.1-inch (2556 × 1179 pixels) Super Retina XDR display with HDR, True Tone, and 2000 nits of outdoor peak brightness. The display of the iPhone 15 offers a spectacular and immersive viewing experience. With the time we spent on the device, the display performance is excellent, especially the dark mode, which is pleasing to the eyes.

iPhone 15 display

However, it’s ridiculous not to include a higher refresh rate even after all these years and restrict such essential feature to just the Pro models, which we believe is a poor decision. Though the scrolling and overall navigation feel smooth as usual, it doesn’t seem right that Apple limits high refresh-rate displays to Pro models only, even in 2023.

On the performance side, the iPhone 15 is powered by an Apple A16 Bionic chipset that includes two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. Further, it has a 5-core GPU and a new 16-core Neural Engine, capable of nearly 17 trillion operations per second. The phone did heat up during the initial setup and also during charging. The battery charging was also interrupted at 80 percent due to the overheating. 

However, this usually happens during the initial days of usage, and it should decrease over time through software updates and optimization. Coming to the games, we played Tennis Clash, and it was surprisingly terrible and worse than the iPhone 12. It was dropping frames and laggy. We are not sure if the issue is with the game or something else.

Software

The iPhone 15 came with iOS 16.6 out of the box, and a software update was available to bump up to iOS 17.0.2. iPhone 15 series also includes a new feature called Dynamic Island, a small area on the top of the screen that can display useful information. For the iPhone 14 series, Dynamic Island is available only in Pro models. It felt a bit odd during the initial usage because of not having the notch. However, this little space has been utilized well by Apple. It displays useful information throughout the day, including Album Art from the music player (be it any music app), Hotspot notifications, and more.

iPhone 15 storage

In terms of storage, the iPhone 15 128GB variant uses almost 15GB of space by the System and OS, and the rest is available for usage. We have transferred all our data from the iPhone 12 to the new device and left with around 64GB of storage space.

Camera

In terms of optics, the iPhone 15 boasts a dual rear camera setup of a 48-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.78 aperture, OIS, True Tone flash, 2x Telephoto, and supports HDR video recording with Dolby Vision at 4K 60fps, Slo‑mo recording at 1080p 240fps, and Cinematic mode up to 4K HDR at 30fps. It also has a 12-megapixel 120-degree Ultra-Wide secondary rear camera with f/2.4 aperture. On the front, it has a 12-megapixel TrueDepth sensor with f/1.9 aperture.

The Camera UI has been upgraded with several new options. The primary camera defaults to 24-megapixel. It is advised to use the High-Efficiency mode to save space taken by the pictures. If we don’t use it, each photo takes up almost double the storage. The 24-megapixel images consume around 2.5MB if we use High efficiency and approx. 4.5MB on regular mode. It is a significant difference. There is an option to manually enable the 48-megapixel mode with lesser space consumption if we need the higher resolution, and it’s called HEIF MAX. However, we cannot use the HEIF MAX mode with Live Photos.

Here are the 48-megapixel camera samples taken during the day:

  • Day 48MP 2
  • Day 48MP 5
  • Day 48MP 4
  • Day 48MP 7
  • Day 48MP 3

Here are the 24-megapixel camera samples taken during the day:

  • Day 24MP 1
  • Day 24MP 6
  • Day 24MP 3
  • Day 24MP 5
  • Day 24MP 4

Camera samples taken during the day using portrait mode:

  • Day Cactus 24MP 1
  • Day Cactus 24MP 2

Here is the sample from the selfie camera taken during the day”

Day Selfie 1

Here are the 48-megapixel camera samples taken during the night:

  • Night 48MP 2
  • Night 48MP 1

Here are the 24-megapixel camera samples taken during the night:

  • Night 24MP 3
  • Night 24MP 2
  • Night 24MP 1

Here are the 12-megapixel camera samples taken during the night:

  • Night 12MP 4
  • Night 12MP 3
  • Night 12MP 2
  • Night 12MP 1

Camera samples taken during the night using zoom and ultrawide mode:

  • Night Zoom 1
  • Night UltraWide 1

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Gorgeous display
  • Excellent cameras
  • Feels light in the hand
  • Software improvements
  • Unmatchable iOS privacy features
  • No big notch
  • Type C Port

Cons:

  • No charger or other accessories in the box
  • Heating issue (Not sure if it will continue)
  • Poor gaming performance (Not sure about all games)
  • Huge camera bump
  • 60 Hz refresh rate

Conclusion

The iPhone 15 is a major upgrade for users running iPhone 11, 12, or 13, as it offers a 4nm Apple A16 Bionic chipset that is faster and more efficient, an improved camera system, a smaller notch, a Type C port, and a Dynamic Island that provides useful information. With the launch offers of an additional exchange bonus of up to 9000 and an HDFC card discount of 5000, the price should also come down significantly. 

Users of iPhone 14 can also benefit from the upgraded camera system, a smaller notch, and a Type C port, but they may not notice much difference in performance or features. They can wait till the refresh rate is bumped up on the regular models or for the next generation of iPhones.

Update: The heating issue has been resolved now.

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Sumit Roy

Editor-in-chief

1082 articles published
Sumit is the Editor-in-chief at OnlyTech. He loves to cover news about Windows PCs, Android, Smart Devices, and more. You can always find him experimenting with electronic devices when not in front of a computer.

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Congratulations bro. You explained about your new phone very well.

Enjoy!👍

Reply 6 Likes

Congratulations @Siva bro, for ur new iPhone 15 . purchase.. enjoy bro.🥳🎊🎉🔥😍

Reply 1 Like

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