The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus: New camera, Dynamic Island

The hardware gets a much-need makeover to take on a highly competitive market. And oh, USB-C.

by Justin Choo

It’s arguable that the Apple iPhone 15 and 15 Plus received more ‘significant’ updates than the Pro versions, and that’s down to quality of life features.

Top on Apple’s list of features is the industry-first colour-infused back glass. It’s strengthened with an optimised dual-ion exchange process, polished with nanocrystalline particles, and then etched for a textured matte finish. And like the Pro versions, the regular iPhone gets a contoured edge on its aluminium enclosure.

Admittedly the iPhone 14 eventually got overshadowed by Android phones in the same price bracket with features up the wazoo. The iPhone 15 corrects this with a Super Retina XDR display with enhanced HDR capabilities and a peak brightness of up to 2,000 nits for outdoor use (1,600 nits peak HDR).

The main camera has been upgraded with a 48MP sensor, which effectively gives it three optical zoom options–a separate ultrawide camera and a 2x crop from the primary sensor. Like the Pro versions, you can save photos at 24MP and retrospectively apply portrait mode to any photo you take, as depth data is always captured. Other software improvements include an improved Night mode and Smart HDR.

You can now charge your AirPods with your phone.

Traditionally, the iPhone gets the older chip, and in this case, it’s the A16 bionic, which is still pretty powerful. What’s more, it gets the Dynamic Island feature, which is slowly becoming a rather useful interactive overlay. Other updates, including the new USB port, are similar to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max (see Other Updates here). On paper, the changes bring the regular iPhone in line with market offerings and make it competitive enough, though it’s hard to say if it will fall behind as the race for ‘mid-priced’ flagships gets more heated by the day.

Prices for the iPhone 15 start from SGD1,299 (128GB), and pre-orders start on September 15. The phones will go on sale on September 22. It’s available in five colours: pink, yellow, green, blue, and black.