iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are Apple’s latest non-pro smartphones that come with a number of new features. But are they worth the upgrade if you have an iPhone 13? Follow along for an in-depth look at the iPhone 13 vs 15 for everything that’s changed.
Screen sizes and design
The screen sizes between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 15 remain the same at 6.1 inches. However, the 15 Plus offers a 6.7-inch option that wasn’t available with the iPhone 13 lineup without stepping up to the 13 Pro Max.
New with the iPhone 15 displays is the Dynamic Island and an outdoor brightness of up to 2000 nits.
Here’s the full look at the display specs for iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15:
The bezels on the iPhone 15 are also slimmer than the 13, which is what allows the very slight increase in pixels.
Size, weight, design
Overall, the physical design of the iPhone 15 remains very similar to the 13, but Apple has given the 15 more rounded edges for a more comfortable feel.
And as mentioned above, you’ve now got the larger iPhone 15 Plus option.
For size, weight, and materials, here’s iPhone 13 vs 15:
Of course, the new iPhones also come in new colors.
Performance – A16 vs A15 Bionic
Here’s a breakdown of the iPhone 13 vs iPhone 15 chip specs:
Both the A15 and A16 Bionic are powerful enough for almost everyone. But GeekBench offers a look at the performance difference between the A15 and A16 Bionic.
16% faster single-core score
21% faster multi-core score
29% faster GPU
When it comes to battery life, the iPhone 15 has one hour longer battery for video playback than the 13 and 5 hours longer for audio playback.
The iPhone 15 Plus offers 7 hours longer video use and 25 hours more audio than iPhone 13.
iPhone 13 vs 15 cameras
iPhone 15 and 15 Plus come with a 48MP main rear camera, next-gen portrait with Focus and Depth Control, Smart HDR 5, and more.
The iPhone 15/Plus main camera also has more powerful sensors and supports shooting both 24 and 48MP “super-high-resolution photos.”
The main new feature for video recording with the iPhone 15/Plus compared to iPhone 13 is Action mode.
The other new video features this year are reserved for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.
Apple’s TrueDepth front camera on the iPhone 15 gets a mix of upgrades found on the main rear camera.
iPhone 13 vs 15 I/O
The major change for iPhone 15 I/O is the switch from Lightning to USB-C.
Unfortunately, it’s only the 15 Pro and Pro Max that offer much faster transfer speeds with USB 3 support at up to 10Gbps. The 15 and 15 Plus have USB 2 speeds up to 480Mbps.
Two more differences between the iPhone 15 vs 13 include Bluetooth and UWB upgrades.
Whether the new iPhone 15 devices will support Qi2, Apple is saying yes but it’s a bit confusing.
So it’s also unclear if iPhone 13 will support Qi2.
iPhone 15 has two more advanced safety features than iPhone 13 Pro:
iPhone 15 colors
iPhone 15 and 15 Plus come in these five colors:
Storage and pricing
iPhone 15/Plus comes in these storage options:
128GB – $799 / $899
256GB – $899 / $999
512GB – $1,099 / $1,199
What’s in the box?
iPhone 15/Plus comes with the iPhone and a USB-C cable in the box.
If you need a power adapter, go with at least a 20W so you get fast charging for your iPhone.
iPhone 13 vs 15: Is it worth upgrading?
The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are fantastic smartphones, but whether upgrading from the 13 is worth it for you will depend on how you want to use your iPhone and what features you find important.
Reasons to consider upgrading to iPhone 15 or 15 Plus:
More powerful and capable cameras
Faster chip and more powerful GPU for mobile gaming
Crash Detection and Roadside assistance via satellite
On the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, Apple finally got rid of the Lightning port and replaced it with USB-C. This opens up a whole new world of convenience of connecting accessories and peripherals. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max go one step further, as the USB-C port on the pro models supports USB-3 speeds, enabling up to 10 Gbps data transfer speeds.
USB-C makes it easy to connect displays, external storage, cameras, and charge using the same cable as all your other devices. Here’s what you can do with your new iPhone and its shiny new port.
Why did Apple change from Lightning?
Apple was fully invested in Lightning port ecosystem on the iPhone. However, it began adopting USB-C across Mac and iPad models since 2015 as a way to modernize PC connectivity. USB-C is versatile, carrying power and data with the same connector. And USB-4 / Thunderbolt offers even higher data transfer speeds.
At the same time, USB-C was becoming increasingly popular on the Android side of the smartphone market. But Apple stuck with Lightning on iPhone, partly because they were still stung from the backlash of 30-pin -> Lightning transition that happened more than a decade ago.
The forcing factor for Apple was the EU commission, who have passed legislation to reduce e-waste by enforcing USB-C as the universal connector for phones. That would mean Apple would at least have to make a special model of iPhone for the European market. That brings its own complications. Instead, Apple chose to just adopt USB-C across the board … and apart from the frustration of customers having to change out all their existing now-defunct Lightning cables, that brings a lot of benefits.
Universal USB-C Charging
Now that you have an iPhone 15, you are probably close to being able to use the same single cable to charge all of your devices. Almost all iPads have a USB-C port, and all Macs have been sporting USB-C for a decade. The newest Macs come with Apple’s MagSafe charger, but they can also be charged by plugging in to one of their USB-C ports too. The latest-generation Apple TV comes with a USB-C remote, and Apple just released new AirPods Pro with a USB-C charging case.
Apple sells its own USB-C charge cables, and the iPhone comes with a nice quality woven cable in the box itself. Unlike Lightning, USB-C is not proprietary. To charge your Apple gear, you can use any USB-C charging cable or accessory on the market. That includes cheaper USB-C cables, and USB-C cables of different styles and lengths. Anker has a very convenient dual 47 watt USB-C power adapter, for example.
To charge your iPhone at full speed, you want to use a 20-watt or 30-watt power adapter. You can safely use a higher wattage power adapter like the one that comes with your MacBook; the phone will automatically manage the power. Learn more about fast-charging iPhone 15 here.
Charge other devices with your iPhone 15 battery
Another cool angle of the USB-C charging story is that you can now use the iPhone to charge other accessories. The iPhone 15 can accept up to 27 watts through the USB-C port, but itself can also output about 4.5 watts. (Lightning could only manage a measly 0.3watts.)
This means you can actually use your spare iPhone battery to power and charge connected accessories. If your AirPods are running low, in a pinch, you can plug them into your phone and your phone will top up the juice in your AirPods case. You could even top up the battery of another person’s iPhone — but just be aware it will take a while.
Easily connect to external displays
With Lightning, you could only connect to external displays via a clunky dongle. With USB-C on iPhone 15, you can output to a screen directly. Use a USB-C to HDMI cable and show your iPhone screen on a 4K TV or monitor, with screen mirroring. If you are watching a movie in a video streaming service app, the film will automatically fill the TV dimensions with playback controls on the touch screen. Easily show off your photo library or conduct a presentation with Keynote by just plugging your phone directly into a projector.
One of the use cases Apple is pushing is positioning iPhone as a portable games console. Using the power of the A17 Pro chip inside, iPhone 15 Pro can run some top-end games with high graphical fidelity. Pair an Xbox or PlayStation game controller, connect your phone to a TV, and start gaming. The Apple USB-C Digital AV adapter is a good choice for this use case, as it allows for HDMI, power output for continuous charging and passthrough USB-C in one convenient dongle.
Expand your local storage with portable USB-C hard drives and SD cards
Connect a USB-C hard drive or SD card reader and browse files directly using the Files app on iPhone. If you go on holiday and take a dedicated camera with you, you can import photos directly from the SD card into your iPhone’s photo library. Then, empty the SD card and keep shooting while you edit and upload the pictures you’ve taken on your phone’s big touchscreen.
The iPhone 15 Pro Camera app allows you to record ProRes 4K at 60 FPS video directly to USB-3 storage. ProRes is uncompressed and the file sizes are huge, consuming gigabytes per minute of recording. But pairing your iPhone with a 1 TB portable SSD, you can record for a while before running out of space. This requires a USB-3 cable (not simply charge cable) to take advantage of the fast 10Gbps transfer speeds possible through the iPhone 15 Pro’s port.
Connect hardware keyboards and wired internet
Sometimes, wireless doesn’t cut it — and you just need to plug in. USB-C on iPhone supports almost any basic accessory you can think of, without the need for special drivers or additional configuration. It’s all plug and play. That means you can connect a hardware keyboard will just work.
Or if you are podcasting on the road, you can record using a mini USB-C microphone. Another possibility is wired internet, using a USB-C to Ethernet adapter. And if you have a MIDI keyboard, you can make a song on the go with an app like GarageBand.
Wired headphones that work with your phone and computer
Since Apple dropped the headphone jack, much of the world has moved on to using Bluetooth wireless headphones like AirPods. But if you still prefer to plug in with a wire, using wired headphones with iPhone has been an inconvenient affair. Lightning earbuds worked with your phone, but nothing else.
Now, it’s all much simpler. iPhone 15 works with any USB-C headphones, including Apple’s new USB-C EarPods. These headphones will work with any computer with a USB-C port, so you can finally use the same wired headphones across your phone, iPad and Mac. An increasing number of high-end headphones and speakers also rely on USB-C connectivity these days.
Connect multi-port hubs
USB-C is very flexible and allows for data and power to travel over the same port. This means you can carry a single dongle, which is a multi-port hub comprising all sorts of IO. These are super convenient as iPad and Mac accessories, and now work with the iPhone too.
For example, this Anker 5-in-1 hub will work with the USB-3 USB-C port on iPhone 15 Pro and enable you to connect to external displays, connect to power, plug in USB accessories and an external display all at the same time.
The only thing you have to keep in mind is that the iPhone can output power to the hub at 4.5 watts. iPad and Mac can offer much higher bus-powered wattage, so if you are using them with the iPhone, you may need to also plug in an external power source.
Some of these capabilities were previously possible with Lightning but necessitated large, clunky, and special purpose adapters for each use case. USB-C is standards-based which means anything you buy will also work with other devices too. You don’t need to carry a special Lightning SD card reader anymore; the same USB-C peripheral will work just as well with your iPhone, iPad, Mac and any Windows PC or Android devices in the family as well. The universal connector life is finally here.
Apple has identified an iOS 17 bug which may affect the iPhone 15 upgrade experience today. During iPhone setup, the Transfer from another iPhone option may fail and leave your new iPhone in a state where it is stuck booting on the Apple logo black screen. Here’s what to do if that happens to you.
The bug affects iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro as these phones ship with iOS 17 preinstalled. However, it may also affect anyone switching phones that are running iOS 17 and use the transfer data option.
If you encounter the bug, during the transfer of apps and data, the new iPhone will get stuck in a boot loop on the Apple logo screen.
To resolve the issue, Apple says that you need to put the device into DFU mode and restore it using a computer.
To do this, connect your iPhone to a PC or Mac using a cable. Press the volume up, press the volume down, and then press and hold the side button. Keep holding the side button while iPhone reboots until it displays an icon on the screen that represents a computer and cable. It will look similar to this:
After you get the iPhone into DFU state, it will then show on your computer through the Finder, or through iTunes if you are connecting to a Windows PC (or older version of macOS). In Finder/iTunes, you will be able to Restore or Update; press the Restore button to reset the phone.
After the phone has been restored, you can start the setup process again. There may be an additional software update available.
Finally, you can try again. If you are upgrading to an iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Pro, you can set up using transfer data or iCloud backup. The aforementioned software update will have fixed the iOS 17 bug, so you can safely transfer data again and finish new iPhone setup.
However, if you are upgrading to an iPhone model earlier than the 15 series, a fix for the transfer data glitch is not yet available.
So, Apple recommends that you update using iCloud Backup instead. Make sure your previous iPhone has a recent iCloud backup complete (you can force this by going to Settings -> [your name] -> iCloud -> iCloud Backup -> Back Up Now). Then, on your new iPhone, start iPhone set up and choose the ‘From iCloud Backup’ option when it asks how you want to transfer your data to your new phone. Your iPhone should then finish setup successfully.
These steps are described in an Apple support document, which first revealed the existence of this iOS 17 glitch.
Apple is expected to have an all-new lineup of iPhones this year, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. As you can see below, the iPhone release schedule over the past seven years has been incredibly consistent. The iPhone X is a notable outlier in 2017, as is the iPhone 12 lineup, which was impacted by COVID-19 delays.
Here is a timeline of the latest iPhone release dates:
iPhone 14 Plus: October 7, 2022
iPhone 14: September 16, 2022
iPhone 13: September 23, 2021
iPhone 12: October 23, 2020
iPhone 11: September 20, 2019
iPhone XS: September 21, 2018
iPhone X: November 3, 2017
iPhone 8: September 22, 2017
iPhone 7: September 16, 2016
As we’ve seen in past years, the iPhone is Apple’s most important product release every year. This means the company will prioritize iPhone 15 production over all of its other products. If any supply chain challenges or hiccups were to emerge, Apple would delay other products before it would delay the iPhone 15 release date.
What’s new with iPhone 15?
As a quick refresher, we’re expecting a number of different changes with the iPhone 15 lineup this year. Here’s a brief rundown:
USB-C for charging on all models.
Slimmer bezels across the entire lineup.
The Dynamic Island will expand to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus.
A new titanium finish on the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to use a new A17 Bionic chip made using the 3nm production process. This will be the first time Apple has used 3nm production for chips, resulting in improved performance and improved efficiency.
iPhone 15 Pro Max will feature a periscope lens for improved optical zoom for the rear-facing camera.
iPhone 15 is coming, and these features will be worth the wait
Summer can be an awkward time to buy a new iPhone. Apple will release a new iPhone in the fall, but you’re ready to upgrade now. There’s really no bad time to buy an iPhone, but anyone who cares about having the best camera should consider what’s coming this year.
Apple usually unveils new iPhones in early September. There’s nothing wrong with buying in June through August, but try to take advantage of a good carrier promotion if you can.
Another thing to consider is how much of an early adopter you are. If you like iPhone 14 Pro features but prefer the iPhone 14 price, you could get the best of both worlds with the iPhone 15.
Apple is expected to bring Dynamic Island to non-Pro phones this year. iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus might even see the 48 MP camera upgrade that the main camera on the iPhone 14 Pro picked up last fall.
If you care about having the best camera in your pocket, the iPhone 15 Pro Max, in particular, might be especially appealing. After years of rumors, Apple’s most expensive iPhone is expected to adopt a periscope-style lens system for greater optical zoom. I can never get enough optical zoom on my iPhone, so this rumor is my favorite.
Last year, Apple released its most affordable big-screen phone, the iPhone 14 Plus, which also happens to be the lightest big-screen iPhone.
But iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max could see a reduction in weight thanks to a change in materials. Apple’s Pro line is expected to switch from stainless steel bands to titanium ones. The lighter material could make Pro phones more appealing to people who care most about the iPhone not feeling heavy.
This year’s key feature for the Pro line is expected to be a change to the mute switch, which could be quite interesting. We expect the existing mute toggle to be replaced with a button that will probably be customizable.
I care a lot about using my iPhone as a camera, so the potential to have a button that can launch the Camera app is high on my list of things to optimistically expect.
There’s one difference that might affect your decision to buy now or hold out. That’s the port situation. The iPhone has used Apple’s Lightning port since 2012. The iPhone 15 line is expected to replace the Lightning port with a USB-C port. That’s great news if you’re already charging every other device with USB-C, but it could be a factor in your buying decision if you prefer Lightning.
And one last thing to note: there’s a chance the iPhone 15 Pro will cost more than the iPhone 14 Pro. This gets rumored every year, but it could happen. Apple will likely discontinue the iPhone 14 Pro once the iPhone 15 Pro is announced, so that’s one more thing to consider. Bang for the buck.
Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 15 lineup in early September.
USB-C iPhone 15: The latest rumors and what to expect
A USB-C iPhone may have once seemed impossible, but the latest rumors suggest it’s actually coming sooner than you may think. Amid regulatory pushback and limitations of the Lightning connector, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are expected to switch to USB-C this fall. Head below for the latest details on what we know so far.
Regulatory pressure forces Apple’s hand
There are a number of reasons why Apple seems to have shifted its tune on releasing a USB-C iPhone. One thing that’s hard to overlook, however, is looming legislation around the world.
After multiple years of back and forth, the European Union officially reached an agreement for a “common charging port” standard. Starting in 2024, all smartphones sold within the 27 countries of the EU will be required to use USB-C for charging. This includes the iPhone and even peripheral accessories like AirPods.
Apple has pushed back against legislation that would make a USB-C iPhone mandatory. The company argues that such laws stifle innovation and actually lead to more environmental waste.
After the EU agreed on its legislation, lawmakers in the United States voiced their support. Many called on the US to pass something similar. Senator Elizabeth Warren has echoed this call in a post on Twitter, saying:
Consumers shouldn’t have to keep buying new chargers all the time for different devices. We can clear things up with uniform standards—for less expense, less hassle, and less waste.
Consumers shouldn’t have to keep buying new chargers all the time for different devices. We can clear things up with uniform standards—for less expense, less hassle, and less waste.https://t.co/rbxLleahIj
In early October, the legislation in the EU was formally adopted following a full vote of the European Parliament. The law was passed with an overwhelming majority, with 602 votes in favor, 13 against, and 8 abstentions. Under the law, there are exemptions for products that are too small to offer a USB-C port.
Finally, to complete the process, the USB-C law was officially recorded and went into effect on December 27, 2022. Under the law, companies have until December 28, 2024, to comply with the mandate with new smart introductions.
This could technically give Apple until 2025 to formally comply with the USB-C regulations, but the expectation is that it will do so earlier than that.
Will the iPhone 15 use USB-C?
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo first predicted in 2019 that Apple would release a port-less iPhone as soon as 2021, but that didn’t come to fruition. It’s easy to see why – wireless technologies simply aren’t reliable or powerful enough to completely replace a connector like Lightning or USB-C. Charging speeds aren’t as fast, data transfer is slow and unreliable, and consumer adoption just isn’t there yet.
A port-less iPhone is still in the works and is something being internally tested at Apple, but we wouldn’t expect to see it launch to the public this year or next year.
The Lightning connector is also starting to show its age. When it was first unveiled in 2012 with the iPhone 5, Apple’s Phil Schiller touted that it would be the “modern connector for the next decade.” It’s been a decade since that announcement, and it’s clear that Lightning is falling behind USB-C in things like charging speeds and data transfer speeds.
So that leads us to where we are today. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted last May that the iPhone 15, coming this year, will feature a USB-C port for charging and data transfer. This report was eventually corroborated by Bloomberg, which also said that the iPhone 15 may switch to a USB-C port next year.
In an interview, Apple marketing exec Greg Joswiak even went as far as to say Apple will have no choice but to comply with the EU legislation, effectively confirming that iPhone with USB-C is coming sooner rather than later.
Finally, 9to5Mac has exclusively obtained CAD files of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, confirming that the devices do have a USB-C port instead of Lightning. This has also been corroborated by other iPhone 15 images leaked on Twitter.
Interestingly, several reports have said that Apple is looking into ways it could still retain some amount of control over the iPhone’s accessory ecosystem. One report suggested the iPhone 15’s USB-C port could have certain features limited to Apple-certified cables.
In March, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that the switch to USB-C will enable faster charging speeds for the iPhone 15. These faster charging speeds, however, will reportedly limited to USB-C cables certified by Apple. Currently, iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 support up to 20W of maximum charging speed, while Pro models support up to 27W.
The European Union, however, is already pushing back at Apple’s rumored plans to limit the iPhone 15’s USB-C port for non-MFi cables. In response to the rumors, EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton wrote a warning to Apple saying that it would be “inadmissible to restrict the interaction with chargers.”
When will the USB-C iPhone 15 be available?
Apple is expected to release the iPhone 15 with USB-C later this fall. As of right now, Apple’s release plans seem to be on schedule. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro lineups are expected to be announced and released in September.
USB-C iPhone 15: Wrap up
A USB-C iPhone is sure to make many consumers happy, particularly those who already own an iPad or Mac that also uses USB-C. That being said, with the sheer number of iPhone users, Apple will undoubtedly face criticism for changing the iPhone’s charging connector — even if a switch to USB-C is ultimately the right decision and is long overdue.