Apple today officially announced the new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus during a special event held at the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, California. Retaining last year’s 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch display sizes, respectively, the new devices include notable features including Dynamic Island a refreshed design, a USB-C port, and a 48-megapixel main camera.
Apple has expanded the Dynamic Island to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, bringing over the pill-shaped and hole-punch cutouts for the TrueDepth camera system replacing the bygone notch. Like the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the iPhone 15 devices’ Dynamic Island is the new home for quick actions, including music playback control, AirPods status, system alerts, and more.
iPhone 15 design
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus iterates over their predecessors’ industrial design with a refined build and a fresh palette of colors. The front and back cover glasses are now finely rounded, arching into the subtly curved aluminum chassis with smoother edges unlike the flat sides on prior iPhones. In addition, Dynamic Island also allows Apple to ever-so-slightly shrink the overall bezels surrounding the display, just like it did with last year’s iPhone 14 Pro.
Apple says the back glass cover is now polished with nanocrystalline particles before being etched with a special material for a new matte finish like the Pro iPhones. The back glass on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus feature deeply infused colors, making them available in new finishes that include black, pink, yellow, green, and blue.
The Super Retina XDR displays on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are better than ever. Both phones can now reach peak HDR brightness of up to 1,600 nits, compared to 1,200 nits on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. Maximum typical brightness is higher too, now with a maximum of 1,000 nits compared to 800 nits on their predecessors. There’s a new peak brightness specifically for outdoor use, which further increases maximum brightness to 2,000 nits.
iPhone 15 cameras
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus boast significant main camera improvements thanks to an all-new 48-megapixel sensor. The new sensor incorporates a quad-pixel layout, combining captured light data from four pixels into one large pixel for better performance and lower noise in low-light scenarios. The main camera now captures 24-megapixel images by default, combining data from two pixels into one for finer details. The typical 12-megapixel image size is also available.
With the increased resolution, Apple is also bringing optical zoom for the first time ever to non-Pro iPhones, allowing 2x telephoto zoom by cropping into the center 12-megapixel region of the new sensor. Portrait photos take advantage of the new camera on the iPhone 15. Portrait pictures can now be captured without having to switch to the dedicated Portrait mode, as depth information is automatically captured when people or pets are detected in the viewfinder. Night mode and Smart HDR 5 are improved too, resulting in lower noise and more true-to-life images in all light environments.
Performance on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus takes a step forward with the A16 Bionic chip, replacing last year’s A15 Bionic on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. Built on the 4-nanometer process, the A16 Bionic brings over welcomed improvements in addition to better performance including higher transistor count, better Image Signal Processor (ISP), and 50% more memory bandwidth.
Roadside Assistance via satellite is a new feature that builds on the foundations of Emergency SOS via satellite. When iPhone 15 users find themselves stranded by the highway without cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, they can connect to AAA, the United States’ largest roadside assistance provider, to seek help. Like Emergency SOS, stranded users will have to send information in a questionnaire via satellite to AAA so that they can be helped.
USB-C finally makes its way to the iPhone. Both the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus feature the universal connector, so users can charge all of their Apple devices with a single cable. Users who also own an AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case can use a USB-C to USB-C cable to power up the charging case from the iPhone’s battery. Wireless charging gets an upgrade too with the adoption of the Qi2 standard.
The new second-generation Ultra Wideband chip from Series 9 and Ultra 2 is here, with improved location accuracy. Apple says the new Ultra Wideband chip provides up to 3x better locating range than before. Advanced machine learning models allow a dramatic improvement in Voice Isolation during phone calls, even in very noisy and loud environments
iPhone 15 starts at $799 and iPhone 15 Plus starts at $899. Pre-orders will start in the United States and other regions on Friday, September 15, with shipping to commence on Friday, September 22.