iPhone 15: A fascinating device offering users an unparalleled experience

Apple’s latest flagship device is a combination of cutting-edge technology, feel-good design, top-notch performance, and remarkable camera capabilities

By Muzaffar Rizvi

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Apple has introduced three major upgrades to the iPhone 15 Plus — USB-C, a high-resolution 48-megapixel main camera, and processor update to the Apple A16 Bionic.
Apple has introduced three major upgrades to the iPhone 15 Plus — USB-C, a high-resolution 48-megapixel main camera, and processor update to the Apple A16 Bionic.

Published: Mon 30 Oct 2023, 1:31 PM

The iPhone 15 Plus lives up to its reputation as an exceptional smartphone as its combination of cutting-edge technology, top-notch performance, and remarkable camera capabilities make it a standout device in its class.

Apple has introduced three major upgrades to the iPhone 15 Plus — USB-C, a high-resolution 48-megapixel main camera, and processor update to the Apple A16 Bionic. These three changes make the iPhone 15 Plus a much more attractive phone than the iPhone 14 Plus.


Among the four variants — the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max — released in September, the iPhone 15 Plus is considered the most fascinating device launched by the Cupertino-based tech giant compared to the affordable (iPhone 15), the sexiest (15 Pro Max), and the powerful and portable (15 Pro).

The combination of a sturdier camera, a slightly larger battery, the switch to USB-C and that smooth feel of its design make it a versatile smartphone at a competitive price.


Packed with innovative features, the latest Apple device maintains its reputation as one of the most advanced smartphones on the market. It has pushed the boundaries of smartphone technology, offering users an unparalleled experience.

The combination of a sturdier camera, a slightly larger battery, the switch to USB-C and that smooth feel of its design make the iPhone 15 Plus a versatile smartphone at a competitive price.
The combination of a sturdier camera, a slightly larger battery, the switch to USB-C and that smooth feel of its design make the iPhone 15 Plus a versatile smartphone at a competitive price.

Powered by the A16 Bionic chip, the iPhone 15 Plus guarantees exceptional performance as this chipset, combined with its ample RAM and storage capacity, ensures smooth multitasking and fast app loading. Whether the buyers of new Apple’s new flagship product are gaming, editing videos, or running resource-intensive applications, the device effortlessly handles it all.

The battery life is also impressive, easily lasting a full day of heavy usage, and charging is speedy thanks to its fast-charging capabilities. The device has a slightly larger battery compared to the last year’s iPhone 14 plus and it would last longer than the iPhone 15 in standard use.

USB-C port on the new iPhones enables new work flows that were not possible before. It is an interesting feature that the users will enjoy in the new iPhones as they can charge their devices with the same cables as their cameras, games consoles as well as Macs and iPads. However, USB-C port in the 15 Plus is less advanced than the ones in the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max; it’s capped at 480Mbps data transfer compared to their 10Gbps.

The iPhone 15 Plus is still limited to two camera lenses on the rear but of these has improved with more powerful features as dual-lens cameras now have a main 48MP sensor compared to 12MP in the previous variant.
The iPhone 15 Plus is still limited to two camera lenses on the rear but of these has improved with more powerful features as dual-lens cameras now have a main 48MP sensor compared to 12MP in the previous variant.

The device, which is available in a selection of five matte colours — Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue and Black, offers advanced features such as 5G compatibility, enabling lightning-fast download and streaming speeds. The integration of Face ID technology ensures secure and effortless authentication while water and dust resistant feature provides a peace of mind in various environments.

Some media reports pointed out overheating issue in the iPhone 15 variants, but during our tests, our unit, fortunately, did not face any such issue. Apple took an immediate notice of the reports and said it has identified the issue, and will be patching things up in a software update.

Design and display

The 201 grams smartphone is a standard-looking non-Pro iPhone with only tweaks from previous designs. The edges are squared off, the corners of the screen are rounded, and there are two powerful camera lenses on the rare in a diagonal configuration. The main lens has jumped from 12MP to 48MP following a similar bump in the Pro models last year.

With 6.7-inch OLED screen, the stylish device feels good in the hand — cool and smooth without being slippery. The display is more than big enough for gaming enjoyment as well as for TV and movie entertainment as Apple has squeezed in more pixels to improve resolution from 2,778 x 1,284 to 2,796 x 1,290 and significantly increased in maximum brightness up to 2,000 nits outdoor, which is good for reading in bright sunlight, especially in the summer or sunnier months.

The 201 grams smartphone is a standard-looking non-Pro iPhone with only tweaks from previous designs.
The 201 grams smartphone is a standard-looking non-Pro iPhone with only tweaks from previous designs.

Smart HDR 5 is another good feature in the iPhone 15 Plus that will help take brilliant photos in a wide range of conditions. It is a good addition and the users will definitely enjoy Smart HDR 5 effects on the latest device. The buyers would also like the introduction of Dynamic Island, the shape-shifting digital space that replaced the notch. It is more than just a gimmick and the users will definitely enjoy the feature to view notifications, change music, and even track things which they ordered online.

Camera up-gradation

The iPhone 15 Plus is still limited to two camera lenses on the rear but of these has improved with more powerful features as dual-lens cameras now have a main 48MP sensor compared to 12MP in the previous variant. The camera images reflect that Apple has designed ‘all-new sensor’ specifically for the non-Pro iPhone variants and it will help attract those who love photography with smart gadgets.

The iPhone 15 Plus takes excellent pictures in a wide range of conditions because of camera upgradation and introduction of Smart HDR 5 which is considered best technology to deliver remarkable shots.
The iPhone 15 Plus takes excellent pictures in a wide range of conditions because of camera upgradation and introduction of Smart HDR 5 which is considered best technology to deliver remarkable shots.

With a significant upgradation in cameras and introduction of Smart HDR 5, the iPhone 15 Plus users now can take vivid, high-quality images and produce excellent shots in difficult lighting conditions. However, video recording is largely the same and the users can record in up to 4k quality at up to 60fps.

Apple has also introduced 2x optical zoom for the first time in non-Pro iPhone, although it offers the 3x and 5x optical zoom options to iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max users. The result of 2x optical zoom is not bad and the iPhone Plus 15 users will be impressed with its quality and convenience while taking shots of natural beauty and human activities.

In conclusion, the iPhone 15 Plus takes excellent pictures in a wide range of conditions because of camera upgradation and introduction of Smart HDR 5 which is considered best technology to deliver remarkable shots.

Performance and battery

The iPhone 15, which is available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage capacity, is equipped with the A16 Bionic chip — one-generation old but it is still a very impressive chip that is faster than the latest Qualcomm, Exynos, and MediaTek offerings. The chip has a six-core CPU, five-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine and provides great performance even during the multi-tasking on the phone. There are no changes in RAM or storage capacity.

The iPhone 15 Plus operates on iOS 17 which is considered the world’s most personal and secure mobile operating system, packed with powerful features and designed to protect your privacy. New iOS 17 features include Contact Poster, Live Voicemail, Better location sharing in iMessage, Live Stickers for iMessage and a new Journal app for memorabilia and mental wellness, among others.

Apple’s latest flagship smartphone has a slightly larger battery — 4,383 mAh compared to 3,349 mAh for the standard iPhone 15. The device can handle a standard work day while constantly streaming music, sending messages and watching videos at lunchtime, and will end the day with up to 60 per cent capacity remaining.

The tech giant expects that the iPhone 15 Plus to last considerably longer than the iPhone 15 in standard use, predicting a battery life of 26 hours of video playback, dwarfing the 20 hours predicted for the IPhone 15 and 23 for the 15 Pro.

USB-C port on the new iPhones enables new work flows that were not possible before.
USB-C port on the new iPhones enables new work flows that were not possible before.

In terms of charging, the iPhone 15 Plus is capable of fast charging depending on the adapter. With 20W or a faster adapter, Apple claims that 35 minutes of charging will get the iPhone Plus from zero per cent to 50 per cent power. However, the device will take approximately one and half hour for 100 per cent charging with 67W MacBook adapter.

It is also important to highlight that the iPhone 15 Plus is capable of reverse charging. If the iPhone’s USB-C port is connected to an Apple Watch or AirPods case, then power will flow in the opposite direction and recharge the connected device.

Overall Impression

In conclusion, the iPhone 15 Plus lives up to its reputation as an exceptional smartphone, which may come at a slightly higher price, but it is well worth the investment for those seeking an all-around premium smartphone experience. Curved edges, thinner form factors, matte-textured back covers, new cameras and the latest iOS 17 operating system indicate that the iPhone 15 Plus will definitely get the attraction of those who are unable to get Pro variant for any reason.

What's new in the iPhone 15 Plus?

• 48MP main camera

• Dynamic Island

• A16 Bionic chipset

• USB-C

• 2000 nits peak outdoor brightness

• Optical-quality 2x telephoto

• Five new colours

PROS

• Smoother design

• Big and bright screen

• Colour-infused rear glass

• More comfortable to hold

• Informative Dynamic Island

• A16 Bionic chip

• Excellent battery life

• Superb camera setup

• 48MP image sensor

• USB-C charging and data connection

CONS

• No zoom lens

• Occasional heat up issue

• One-year old processor

• USB port has slow data speed

• Ultra-wide camera is unchanged

THE VERDICT

The iPhone Plus remains an excellent device that sacrifices a few things to offer a sizeable, incredibly high-quality screen at an affordable price.

IPHONE 15 PLUS AT A GLANCE

PRICE

The iPhone 15 Plus was launched in September 2023, and starts at $899.

> 128GB: $899

> 256GB: $999

> 512GB: $1,199

COLOUR OPTIONS

Apple is offering the iPhone 15 Plus in a selection of five matte colours. The options are:

> Pink

> Yellow

> Green

> Blue

> Black

These options are far brighter than what you'll find the iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max in, but they're still quite understated.

Design

• Classic minimalist design

• Feels great in the hand

• May be too big for some

Screen quality

• Brighter screen for outdoor usage

• Dynamic Island feature introduced

Cameras

• Takes vivid and high-quality images

• 2x optical zoom for first time in non-Pro iPhone

• Smart HDR 5 delivers excellent shots in difficult light conditions

The iPhone 15 Plus operates on iOS 17 which is considered the world’s most personal and secure mobile operating system, packed with powerful features and designed to protect your privacy.
The iPhone 15 Plus operates on iOS 17 which is considered the world’s most personal and secure mobile operating system, packed with powerful features and designed to protect your privacy.

Battery life & charging

• Better battery life than the 14 Plus

• Lasts a full day

• Can charge a connected Apple Watch or AirPods case

Performance

• Year-old A16 Bionic processor, but performance was excellent

Tech specifications

> A16 Bionic processor (6-core CPU, 5-core GPU)

> 6.7-inch 2796×1290 460ppi Super Retina XDR display

> Dual-lens rear camera: 48MP f/1.6 Main, 12MP f/2.4 Ultra-wide; up to 2x optical zoom

> 12MP f/1.9 front camera

> Smart HDR 5

> 128/256/512GB storage

> Estimated battery life: Up to 26-hour video playback

> Fast charge: Up to 50% charge in 35 minutes with 20W adapter

> Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, 5G

> USB-C charging/data connection

> IP68 dust and water resistance (maximum depth 6m up to 30 minutes)

> Size: 6.33 x 3.06 x 0.31 inches (160.9 x 77.8 x 7.8mm)

> Weight: 201 grams

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com



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