Apple’s iPhone 15 launched at the company’s fall event today, and I got to spend some time with the new smartphone. It didn’t get the flashy new titanium of the iPhone 15 Pro that Brian checked out, but it does have a new design that includes softer, more rounded edges and the introduction the dynamic island to a non-Pro phone for the first time.
The iPhone 15 is actually very impressive in the looks department; Apple went into details about all the material science magic it put into the new colored glass and anodized aluminum used in the cases during its presentation. The ultimate effect, and all most people need to care about, is that they look really good, like candy-colored confections in muted but fun tones.
Apple used the new pink color as its showstopper during the presentation, and the bubblegum/blush combo looked great in person, too. In addition to being a visual treat, the new phones feel much nicer in the hand than the last generation, owing to that slightly curved outer edge that your fingers seem to have a much nicer time wrapping around.
The iPhone 15 is still the lightest of the bunch, too, though the new titanium/aluminum frame combo on the 15 Pro means that the gap is not nearly as wide as it used to be in the weight department when comparing the two.
Apple has a more powerful processor under the hood in the iPhone 15: It’s the same one that is in the iPhone 14 Pro right now. That probably speeds it up a bit, but it’s hard to notice in such a short time, and I’m also comparing it to my own 14 Pro so they should theoretically be the same.
The 15 has a much-improved camera system, however, getting a 48 MP sensor, which outputs at 24 MP by default with Apple using the extra resolution headroom to perform some of its computational camera magic. In the demo hall, the camera seemed super impressive, and I think this is a good step-up for mainline iPhone users who might’ve felt more envy for their Pro peers’ photo prowess in the past.
USB-C is also obviously welcome, and makes no obvious change to the handling or physical footprint of the phone. Apple has capped it at USB 2.0 speeds on the 15, which is maybe annoying but not really an issue for most, since people probably hardly ever use their cable connection for data transfer anyway.
The iPhone 15 comes in two sizes, the 6.1-inch 15 and 6.7-inch 15 Plus, and it goes on sale this Friday, with shipments starting at the end of next week.