The iPhone 15 brings last year’s Pro features to the masses

iPhone 15 header
Pictured: iPhone 15
// The iPhone 15 has recycled materials and a Dynamic Island
Fergus Halliday
Sep 12, 2023
bullet3 min read

Published on September 12, 2023

Apple has gone and made the iPhone 15 official, adding four new smartphones to its roster ahead of the holiday season.

The first cab off the rank here is the iPhone 15. While there's plenty that this entry-level option shares with last year's iPhone 14, the most obvious difference is that the 6.1-inch Super XDR display on this year's cheapest iPhone features now the Dynamic Island. This feature was previously exclusive to the Pro and Pro Max models, so it's nice to see it make its way into the more affordable end of the lineup.

Under the hood, the iPhone 15 comes powered by Apple's A16 Bionic processor. It's available in a variety of colours and storage options that range from 128GB to 512GB. There's a dual-lens camera on the back, which pairs up a 48MP main sensor with a 12MP ultrawide one, and a USB Type-C port on the end, which replaces the old Lightning connector. Depending on who you are, one of these improvements is probably going to be a much bigger deal than the other.

For those who prefer a bigger screen but don't want to shell out for the high-end models in this year's lineup, the iPhone 15 Plus is the obvious choice. It's got all the same bells and whistles as its 6.1-inch counterpart and is a lot cheaper than the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Like the iPhone 15, this one comes powered by the A16 processor, has a dual-lens camera on the back, a USB Type-C port used for charging on the side and a Dynamic Island on the front.

Naturally, the big difference between the two is that the Plus has a larger 6.7-inch display and a larger battery. Like its sibling, the iPhone 15 Plus is available in a variety of colours and storage options that range from 128GB to 512GB. 

In Australia, pricing for the iPhone 15 starts at $1499 while the iPhone 15 Plus starts at $1649.

Of course, the A16 Bionic processor found in both the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus is the same one seen in last year's iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. If you want the latest and greatest mobile processor that Apple has to offer, you're going to be looking at an iPhone 15 Pro at the very least. 

Everything you need to know before purchasing iPhone 15

The pro-grade counterpart to the standard iPhone 15 is almost identical in size, but it's made of sterner stuff and comes powered by Apple's new A17 Pro processor. This new processor supports ray tracing, courtesy of an upgraded GPU, and is said to offer 20% faster peak performance overall.

As with last year's Pro and Pro Max, those who opt for the premium skew will also nab themselves a third 12MP telephoto lens and a larger sensor. This year's Pro devices will also get support for Spatial Video capture later this year.

Unlike its predecessors though, the iPhone 15 Pro will come with a USB Type-C used for charging plus a new action key that replaces the mute slider. The new device is made of recycled aluminium with boasts thinner bezels than previous models.

Finally, there's the iPhone 15 Pro Max. In previous years, Apple's largest and most expensive iPhone has sometimes held a slight edge over the other Pro-grade models when it comes to photography. For instance, the iPhone 12 Pro Max featured a larger sensor than the iPhone 12 Pro did.

This time around, Apple is doubling down on that dynamic. The iPhone 15 Pro Max features a new "tetraprism" lens system that allows the main camera on the Pro Max to offer up to 5x optical zoom. Similar to the periscope lens systems of Android heavyweights like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, this will allow the iPhone 15 Pro Max to offer the kind of high-end zoom and telephoto lens photography that's always been out of reach for those keen to stick within the walled garden.

Both the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are available in many of the same sizes as their standard counterparts, plus a larger 1TB model. However, the iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at 256GB rather than 128GB this time around.

In Australia, pricing for the iPhone 15 Pro starts at $1,849 and the iPhone 15 Pro Max kicks in at $2,199.

All four new iPhones are set to go on preorder from 15 September, with the full launch slated for 22 September 2023.

Everything you need to know before purchasing iPhone 15
Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a Digital Content Editor for who specialises in technology, entertainment, gaming and pop culture. His work has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, Press Start Australia, The AU Review, Screen Rant, Superjump and more. You can follow him on Twitter.

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