At its big event yesterday 12 September 2023, Apple made the vanilla iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus models official alongside the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. While the Pros may get most of the coverage for introducing new, never before seen features to Apple's mobile roster, the non-Pros have seen their fair share of upgrades this year as well.
USB-C is in of course, as mandated by the EU (although Apple won't admit that's why it's switching), and the Dynamic Island has made it to the non-Pro iPhones this time around.
The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus have screens with up to 2,000-nit peak outdoor brightness (twice as high as the previous generation, Apple says), a textured matte finish, a contoured edge on the aluminum frame, "all-day battery life", and five new colors. The devices are powered by last year's A16 Bionic chipset, as Apple is continuing to artificially differentiate between its Pro and non-Pro models as much as it can.
The main camera has a 48 MP sensor this time around, although it's smaller than what the iPhone 15 Pros have and even than the one inside the iPhone 14 Pro models from last year. Nevertheless Apple says it can shoot "optical-quality" 2x telephoto shot, in lieu of an actual telephoto snapper - since that is still limited to the Pro line. Interestingly, the default resolution is 24 MP, for "incredible image quality at a practical file size".
This camera system lets you take "next-generation portraits" with "sharper detail, more vivid colors, and improved low-light performance". And you don't have to switch to Portrait mode anymore. If there's a person, dog, or cat in the frame, or when you tap to focus, the iPhone will automatically capture depth information, so you can turn any image into a portrait later if you wish (and adjust the focus point). Night Mode gets "sharper details and more vivid colors". Smart HDR has been improved too, including for third party apps.
Emergency SOS via satellite is available in 14 countries already and is arriving in Spain and Switzerland later this month. Building on top of that, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus have Roadside Assistance via satellite, starting in the US through AAA. This will be free for two years after you buy your phone, with an intuitive interface that includes a short questionnaire to capture important details about your situation.
The iPhone 15 starts at $799 / €949 and the iPhone 15 Plus starts at $899 / €1,099, in both cases with 128 GB of storage. Pre-orders start on September 15 (this Friday) and the devices will be released on September 22. The handsets will be offered in pink, yellow, green, blue, and black.