The iPhone 15 is here. Is it worth the upgrade?


Get the ins and outs on Apple's latest release

Earlier this year, Apple announced it would be launching iOS 17 in the fall, along with a new virtual reality headset, and a slew of other products. 

Now, the latest iPhone model – the iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 Pro, the iPhone 15 Plus, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max – have officially hit the market. 

“iPhone 15 and 15 Plus represent a huge leap forward with exciting camera innovations that inspire creativity, the intuitive Dynamic Island, and features like Roadside Assistance via satellite that make a real difference in users’ lives,” said Kaiann Drance, vice president of worldwide iPhone product marketing. 

“This is the most pro lineup we have ever created, with a state-of-the-art titanium design, the best iPhone camera system yet that enables game-changing new workflows, and the A17 Pro chip, which ushers in a new chapter of performance and games never before seen on iPhone,” said Greg Joswiak, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple. 

“iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max represent the best Apple design and industry-first innovations to help enrich the everyday experience of our users, while enabling them to unleash their creativity.” 

What’s new with the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max? 

There are a few key new features with the suite of iPhone 15 phones. Here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest ones: 

  • The Action Button: The toggle switch on the left side of the phone that Apple users have grown familiar with to choose between ringer and silent has been replaced by an “Action button.” The Action button will allow users to make several choices: access the flashlight or camera, use Shortcuts for more options, activate Focus modes, Translate, or Voice Memos, and activate accessibility features like the Magnifier. This feature is only available on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. 

  • Dynamic Island: The new phone also features a “Dynamic Island” bar across the top of the screen. This is helpful for when you’re ordering food, catching a flight, on a call, waiting for an Uber, exercising, and so much more. This feature will also be helpful for users to check the battery life of their AirPods or Apple Watch, rewind or fast forward during a podcast or change the song they’re listening to. The Dynamic Island is always visible as a header at the top of the screen. When a user has something going on, for instance, an Uber on the way, you can click on the banner at any time for more details on your ride – it gives all the features of opening the app without having to open the app.  Apple says that new apps are being added to the Dynamic Island on a regular basis, so users can expect this space to continue to evolve and become more helpful. 

  • Design and Colors: The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro have a 6.1 inch display and the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 6.7 inch display. This is the first iPhone model made with titanium, and according to Apple, “the toughest back glass in a smartphone and the industry-leading Ceramic Shield on the front.” This model is splash, water, and dust resistant, and designed with durability in mind. Apple users can choose between five different colors: pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. 

  • Camera: The new A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max allows for an updated camera that has the power of seven pro lenses, Apple says. Users can switch between three focal lengths – 24 mm, 28 mm, and 35 mm, and set their favorite as the default when they open the camera. The iPhone 15 Pro has a telephoto lens that captures images three times as close, while the Pro Max boasts the iPhone’s longest optical zoom. With any of the iPhone 15 models, users won’t have to set the camera to Portrait Mode anymore. Anytime there’s a person, dog, or cat in the image, users can adjust the photo to Portrait Mode after it’s been taken. 

  • Roadside Assistance: Apple users with any of the latest iPhone models will be able to contact AAA – even when they’ve lost cell reception or WiFi. The new phone uses satellite connectivity to provide AAA with the users’ precise location. Those who don’t have a AAA membership will still get access to the service for two years, while members will be able to link their accounts to their phones. 

  • Charging: For the first time in over a decade, Apple has updated the charging port on the iPhone. Users will have to charge with a USB-C cord – what’s currently used for Macs, iPads, and AirPods Pro 2nd Generation. With the new iPhone, you can also charge your Apple Watch or AirPods from your phone with the USB-C connector. All versions of the updated phone will also have improved wireless charging capabilities and longer battery life. 

  • Precision Finding: All versions of the new iPhone come with the Ultra Wideband chip, enabling a feature called Precision Finding. Now, when users share their location with friends in Find My Friends, the phone will use each friend’s precise location to help people locate loved ones at concerts, festivals, malls, or any other kind of crowd. 

A deal for pre-ordering

Though the iPhone 15 models have already dropped, some of the major phone carriers – Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T – are offering customers deals on the latest phone for pre-ordering. 

Here’s what the deals look like: 

  • Verizon: Save up to $1,000 on any iPhone 15 Series phone with a new line on Verizon’s Ultimate Unlimited Plan; new or existing customers must trade in an older iPhone to get this deal. Existing customers can upgrade to the iPhone 15 and get up to $830 off with certain trade-ins and on certain unlimited plans. 

  • T-Mobile: Trade in an older iPhone and save up to $1,000 on any iPhone 15 model. The new phone must be activated on a Go5G or Go5G Plus plan to get the savings. 

  • AT&T: New and existing customers can get the iPhone 15 for free, whether adding a new line or just upgrading, across all Unlimited Your Way plans. Customers must trade in an older iPhone to get the deal. 

Consumers can expect to see the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and Pro Max in stores and shipping starting September 22. 

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