Apple Announces iPhone 15 & iPhone 15 Plus: Should You Upgrade?

For Apple enthusiasts who expect a revolutionary iPhone upgrade every year, the September 12 Apple "Wonderlust" iPhone event may have felt underwhelming. But while the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus don’t have any groundbreaking features, the 48MP camera, Dynamic Island, and USB-C port make them worth the upgrade—if you currently have an iPhone 12 or older model.

2023 Release Date for iPhone 15 & iPhone 15 Plus


  • Pre-order September 15
  • Available September 22

iPhone 15 Prices:

Despite adopting lots of iPhone 14 Pro model features, like the 48 MP camera, Dynamic Island, and the improved A16 chip, the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus are priced the same as last year’s models. Customers in the USA can get almost $650 off when they trade in an iPhone 11 or later model and may get even better trade in deals through their carrier.

iPhone 15

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  • $799 or $33.29/month for 128 GB
  • $899 or $37.45/month for 256 GB
  • $1099 or $45.79/month for 512 GB

iPhone 15 Plus

  • $899 or $37.45/month for 128 GB
  • $999 or $41.62/month for 256 GB
  • $1199 or $49.95/month for 512 GB

Related: Everything Apple Announced at Its iPhone 15 'Wonderlust' Event

The iPhone 15 & iPhone 15 Plus at a Glance

  • Dynamic Island instead of a traditional notch
  • A16 Bionic chip
  • USB-C port
  • Light pink, yellow, blue, green, and black color options
  • 48-megapixel main camera
  • All-day battery life
  • Emergency SOS and Roadside Assistance via satellite
  • Precision Finding for Find My Friends
  • Compatibility with MagSafe accessories and wireless chargers
  • Many recycled materials, including 100 percent recycled cobalt and copper foil
  • New 2x Telephoto zoom option
  • Live Activities
  • 2000 nits peak outdoor brightness
  • Super Retina XDR display
  • Automatically take portraits without switching to Portrait mode

The iPhone 15s Adopt Popular iPhone 14 Pro-Line Features

The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus don’t really feature anything that we’ve never seen before, but they updated many features that make this the best base-model iPhone yet. A lot of the features that we see came from the 2022 iPhone 14 Pro line. The iPhone 14 Pro cost $999+ at launch, so it is great to see these features on more affordable iPhones. 

The Dynamic Island, the 48  MP main camera, and the A16 Bionic chip were all benefits of buying the iPhone 14 Pro last year. They are now the main reason to upgrade to the iPhone 15 or iPhone 15 Plus, as long as you have an iPhone 12 or earlier model. For anyone who has a newer iPhone, like the 13 or 14, there might not be enough benefits to justify upgrading to these models. However, you may consider the iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max.

iPhone 15 & iPhone 15 Plus vs. iPhone 15 Pro & iPhone 15 Pro Max

It can be hard to decide which of the four new iPhones is best for you. Here is a quick way to compare and contrast features to help you decide:

iPhone 15 & iPhone 15 Plus Camera Features

As always, the new iPhones have updated camera features. The biggest is probably the 48-megapixel main camera that makes it easier than ever to capture beautiful photos with sharp details and great lighting. Plus, you can now use 0.5x zoom for Macro photography, 1x zoom (which is the default), and a 2x optical zoom. This is the first time that a two-lens iPhone has been able to pick from three different optical-quality zoom levels.

iPhone photographers and videographers will also be excited by an improvement to the front or selfie camera, better Night mode, and the ability to use zoom continuously in videos. Finally, there’s a new automatic Portrait mode that lets you take a portrait photo with its signature blurred background without manually switching to Portrait mode! Once a human or pet subject is detected, you will be prompted to switch modes, or you can turn your image into a portrait later on when editing in the Photos app. I am really excited about this because it’s hard to switch to the right mode and not miss the perfect photo moment, especially when photographing impatient subjects, like pets and children.

We are really excited to get our hands on the new iPhones. What about you? Keep an eye on our website as we'll be writing articles about how to use all these new features. Better yet, subscribe to our free Tip of the Day newsletter to stay up to date on all things Apple!

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Author Details

Olena Kagui's picture

Author Details

Olena Kagui

Olena Kagui is a Feature Writer at iPhone Life. In the last 10 years, she has been published in dozens of publications internationally and won an excellence award. Since joining iPhone Life in 2020, she has written how-to articles as well as complex guides about Apple products, software, and apps. Olena grew up using Macs and exploring all the latest tech. Her Maui home is the epitome of an Apple ecosystem, full of compatible smart gear to boot. Olena’s favorite device is the Apple Watch Ultra because it can survive all her adventures and travels, and even her furbabies.