iPhones are the most awaited Apple products every year, and this year was no different. The iPhone 15 Series was launched on 12th September in Apple Park in Cupertino, California. The new lineup consists of four models like last year: the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
This new iPhone 15 series brings several noteworthy changes over the iPhone 14 Series, which was considered a lackluster upgrade over the iPhone 13 Series. However, The new iPhone 15 brings improvements over the previous generation with various changes.
It has a new camera system, A16 Bionic vs. A15, and a newer design; if you’re wondering what changes this brings to the table from the iPhone 13, read on to find out.
iPhone 15 Specifications
- A brighter screen with 2000 Nits of peak brightness and the exact ~1250P resolution
- A16 Bionic (from last year’s Pro model)
- 6GB of RAM
- Dynamic Island to replace the notch
- Same storage options
- New 48MP primary camera with 2X lossless zoom
- Smart HDR 5
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 13
With these new specs, the iPhone 15 looks like a good upgrade from its two-year-old predecessor, so let’s see the differences between both phones in detail.
With the iPhone 14 Series, we saw Apple had replaced the notch with Dynamic Island for its Pro lineup of iPhones. With the iPhone 15 Series, Apple has replaced the notch with the Dynamic Island on the base series. This is the most significant change you can notice between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 15.
In addition, the iPhone 15 is now in a matte finish as opposed to the glossy of the iPhone 13. The other major difference is the charging port, which has been replaced from Lightning to USB-C. However, the base iPhone 15 supports only USB 2.0 transfer speeds, while the USB 3.0 is reserved for the Pros.
Additionally, Apple is also changing the cables to color-matching braided USB-C cables. This means the color of your iPhone 15 cable will correspond to the phone color you got.
Other than these, everything else in the design of the iPhone 15 is the same as the iPhone 13. The IP68 water and dust resistance is still there, and the rear design looks the same. Structural changes to the aluminum sides and rear glass exist, and the iPhones are now more comfortable to hold.
They retain the classic flat-side look of the iPhone, but it’s no longer at the expense of comfort. There are also minor improvements to the Wi-Fi speeds and the 5G modem. The second-generation ultra-wideband chip helps with location precision and tracking.
The iPhone 13 came with a 6.1″ OLED display. It had a peak brightness of around 1200 nits (800 in High Brightness Mode) and a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. Sadly, besides a brightness increase, the rest of the specs are still the same on the iPhone 15. The resolution is similar, with approximately 1250P on both, but the 15 goes up to 2000 Nits outdoors.
The peak brightness in High Brightness Mode is still around 1600 Nits and fixes the key brightness complaint with the iPhone 13’s display.
It is still a 6.1″ OLED display with a maximum refresh rate of 60hz, and there’s no support for LTPO. However, the display now has the Dynamic Island replacing the notch, which is a good change. The screen still supports the Dolby Vision HDR standard across several popular streaming platforms. To finish the multimedia, both have a set of stereo speakers- and there’s nothing much separating the two in this category.
Apple is known to avoid using technical terms in their launch events as much as possible. This means we do not know the RAM of the iPhone 15 yet. However, as the iPhone 14 had 6GB of RAM, it will be the same this time.
The iPhone 13 had 4GB of RAM and the A15 Bionic processor. The iPhone 14 came with the same processor and 6GB RAM, which led it to being called a disappointing upgrade. However, The iPhone 15 has 6GB of faster RAM with LPDDR5. With this upgrade, the iPhone 15 will feel faster and can handle more tasks simultaneously compared to the iPhone 13 from 2021.
In addition, with the iPhone 15, we will see an upgrade to the processor from the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 13 to the A16 Bionic. This processor was also seen with the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. And since the A16 was built on a 4nm node, Apple crammed in 1 billion more transistors than the A15 Bionic.
The A16 Bionic hits the 5500 mark in the multi-core Geekbench test, and it’s just short of 2000 for the single-core test. These figures are 1700 and 4500 for the A15 Bionic on Geekbench 5.
The GPU of the A16 Bionic is much better, and the efficiency of the 4nm node will also beat the iPhone 13’s A15. In other specs, we also see improvements in Bluetooth and the 5G modem. The Bluetooth has gone from 5,0 to 5.3, and the new 5G modem is faster and more energy efficient.
Software-wise, the iPhone 15 will come with iOS 17 Out of Box. This update will also be coming to the iPhone 13 soon. This means both phones will get the new features and changes Apple announced at the WWDC event earlier this year. It brings interactive widgets, which make them more practical and not just aesthetic.
iOS 17 includes changes to the Messages app with new iMessage features, a new calling screen that lets users customize it however they want, and much more. The update also introduces a new app called Journal, which does as the name suggests. The app lets you write down your thoughts and set reminders to do it.
There’s a new feature, StandBy, which activates when you set your phone in landscape orientation while it’s charging. It converts it into a digital photo frame, and you can also access widgets and interact with them from the UI.
Using the neural engine, the iOS 17 Update also brings a better autocorrect and sentence prediction system. There are also Live Stickers, which you can create within the iMessage app. The update also brings the Name Drop feature, which uses AirDrop‘s proprietary technology to share your contact info with another iPhone if you bring them close to each other. AirDrop will continue via iCloud if you move away from a device.
The iPhone 13 came with a dual rear camera setup consisting of two 12MP sensors, a 12MP primary camera, and a 12MP Ultra wide for a wider perspective in the frame. However, the iPhone 15 will come with a 48MP primary camera and a 12MP Ultra-wide, as seen on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max.
The new 48MP sensor is about 1/1.55″ in size, matching the popular Sony IMX890 sensor. The larger front camera supports OIS and autofocus on the iPhone 15. Note that both the wide-angle cameras don’t have autofocus, so there’s no Macro mode on either model.
This new primary camera sensor significantly improves image quality over the iPhone 13. Apple added features like 2X zoom portrait shots, Smart HDR 5, and 4K 60FPS ProRes videos for a better camera experience. The shutter speed is apparently faster now. We will also see better image output due to the photonic engine Apple introduced with the iPhone 14.
You can also shoot Dolby Vision HDR video on both models at 4K60 FPS. However, the iPhone 15 can do cinematic mode videos at 4K 30FPS; the 13 is stuck with 1080P. The 15 can also take action mode video, which the 13 doesn’t support.
On the iPhone 15, the phone automatically captures depth information. You can later convert any photo into portrait mode and even change the focal point.
While the battery capacities are mostly the same, at around 3300 mAh, the iPhone 15 should outperform the iPhone 13. The 4nm SOC is more efficient, and the 15 is a much newer phone.
The 13 series will have some battery degradation from age, and the iPhone 15’s more efficient display materials should also help with power efficiency.
The difference could be marginal, but the more efficient Bluetooth and 5G Modem could help, and small changes add up to more screen-on-time in the end. Apple didn’t explicitly state charging wattage, so we assume it’s the same as last year at 20W, despite the switch to USB Type C. It supports maximum USB C 2.0 speeds, like the lightning connector on the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 15.
If you currently own the iPhone 13, you can feel a noticeable improvement in many areas with the iPhone 15. It has a brighter display for better outdoor visibility and image quality due to bigger camera sensors and more advanced image processing.
It’s a significant photography improvement, thanks to Smart HDR 5 and the new primary sensor, which is larger in size. While you won’t feel too many performance improvements from the A16, the extra RAM, which is also faster, will likely help significantly with multitasking.
The USB C port also removes cable clutter while carrying multiple devices. But suppose you’re looking for a dramatically new experience. In that case, the competition from OnePlus and Samsung offer much better hardware, or it could be worth it to shell out more money on the Pro models, which offer a lot more.