iPhone 15 Series With USB-C Unveiled; Pro Models Get Titanium Body, A17 Pro SoC, 5x Optical Zoom Camera

  • The USB Type-C connector is the biggest upgrade for the iPhone 15 series.
  • The regular iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus now feature the Dynamic Island.
  • Pro models get the latest A17 Pro SoC and 5x optical zoom camera.

It is mid-September and time to talk about the new and shiny iPhones. Yes, Apple just announced its latest iPhone 15 series and there are a lot of changes it brings, even if some are just incremental. As usual, there are four new models in the series – the base iPhone 15, the slightly bigger iPhone 15 Plus, and then the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max.

The biggest change for the entire iPhone 15 line-up is the switch to the USB Type-C connectivity port, which is now a universally accepted standard. However, Apple has still managed to add differentiation between the regular and Pro models in terms of transfer speeds. There are many other significant changes that the new iPhones bring to the table, so let us dive right in to talk about them.

WATCH: iPhone 15 series, Apple Watch Series 9, Watch Ultra 2: First Impressions

iPhone 15 Pro, Pro Max: Titanium body, Action Button, A17 Pro SoC and more       

The iPhone 15 Pro models bring the absolute best that Apple has to offer. Both the Pro models feature a titanium body with a brushed finish and rounded edges. The glass at the back has a textured matte finish. All this adds to their gorgeous look and feel, while also making them lighter.

Source: Apple

The alert slider, which has been there since the first-generation iPhone model, is finally going and being replaced with the Action Button. This new button can be configured to perform quick tasks, like switching on the torchlight, camera or voice recorder. All you need to do is press and hold the Action Button to quickly launch those functions. But sadly, it can only be configured to perform one function, and there is no double- or triple-press function, which is a missed opportunity.

The latest A17 Pro SoC powers the iPhone 15 Pro series:

  • It is built on TSMC’s 3nm process.
  • It has a six-core CPU (two performance cores and four efficiency cores).
  • It has 19 billion transistors.
  • It has a six-core GPU with shader architecture and ray tracing.
  • It has a 16-core Neural Engine (2x faster with 35 TOPS).


Source: Apple

The CPU and GPU bring faster performance and better efficiency than the predecessor. But the biggest takeaway here is the ray tracing and improved mobile gaming capabilities that Apple spoke at length. Console games like Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 4 and Assassin’s Creed Mirage are coming to the iPhone 15 Pro, clearly showing how Apple is getting serious about unlocking the Pro models’ capabilities.

The next big upgrade comes in the photography department. Both smartphones feature:

  • 48MP main camera, 24mm wide, f/1.8 aperture, 1/1.28-inch sensor size with 1.22um pixels, sensor-shift OIS
  • 12MP sensor, 13mm ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 1/2.55-inch sensor size with 1.4um pixels, PDAF
  • ToF 3D LiDAR scanner (for depth)

The biggest difference between the Pro and Pro Max camera systems is in the zooming capabilities of the telephoto lens. Both feature a 12MP camera with f/2.8 aperture telephoto lens. But while the iPhone 15 Pro has a 77mm equivalent lens enabling 3x optical zoom, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 120mm equivalent lens enabling 5x optical zoom. This is enabled by the new tetraprism design and folded glass structure, allowing for a compact design compared to the bulky camera modules of competitors with periscope lenses.

Source: Apple

Utilizing the power of computational photography, the iPhone 15 Pro Max also offers seven different focal lengths – 13 mm using the ultrawide lens; 24mm, 28mm and 35mm from the main 48MP wide lens; and 48mm and 120mm using the 12MP tele lens. In the case of the 15 Pro, you still get seven different focal lengths, but instead of 120mm, you get a maximum of 77mm.

Apple has one more trick up its sleeve in offering differentiated features on the premium Pro models. The cameras can also capture Spatial Videos using the ultrawide and main cameras to create a 3D video. Users can then relive these memories on the Apple Vision Pro.

Source: Apple

In terms of other features, both the iPhone Pros feature LTPO Super Retina XDR displays with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, support for HDR10, and Dolby Vision, with a maximum peak brightness of 2000nits. The iPhone 15 Pro is offered in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage variants. The Pro Max model base storage starts at 256GB and goes all the way up to 1TB. Both smartphones are also IP68-rated for water and dust resistance. Besides the Satellite SoS and Crash Detection, Apple has also added Roadside Assistance via satellite feature. There is also a new second-generation UWB chip which will help in connecting with other devices such as iPhones, Apple Watch, and AirTag from up to three times farther away.

Source: Apple

Lastly, the iPhone 15 Pro series gets USB-C 3 with up to 10Gb/second transfer speeds. Users can also use USB-C to USB-C cable to charge the updated AirPods Pro and Apple Watch with the iPhone’s reverse wired charging feature.

Source: Apple

iPhone 15, 15 Plus: Dynamic Island, 48MP main camera and more

Coming to the iPhone 15 series there are two big changes compared to the iPhone 14 series. Both devices now come with the Dynamic Island, which is Apple’s pill-shaped notch. Leveraging the developer ecosystem Apple is expanding its utility to show more details such as sports scores, and even flight information, from timing to the gate and even seat details.

Source: Apple

With the iPhone 6s, Apple switched from an 8MP camera to a 12MP main camera. But since then, till the iPhone 14, there have been no major camera upgrades. So, the 48MP primary camera on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus brings a significant upgrade now. It also has a wider f/1.6 aperture over the iPhone 14 Pro’s f/1.8 aperture, enabling better low-light photography experiences. Making use of the larger sensor, the iPhone 15 also gets 2x lossless zoom support. The main camera is paired with a 12MP f/2.4 aperture ultrawide angle lens.

Source: Apple

Under the hood, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are powered by the A16 Bionic SoC from the iPhone 14 Pro series, which is already known to offer great performance. We have already covered the same in our iPhone 14 Pro review, and we can expect the same level of performance on the 15 series now.

Source: Apple

Apple iPhone 15 series pricing, sale date

With all the new changes, Apple has still managed to price the iPhones well. The base iPhone 15 model will retail starting at $799, whereas the iPhone 15 Plus will be available starting from $899. The iPhone 15 Pro, on the other hand, will start at $999. However, the iPhone 15 Pro Max sees a slight price change, getting dearer by $100, and will start at $1,199. They go on pre-order starting September 15 and will be available starting September 22.

Ritesh is a Global Content Manager with Counterpoint Technology Market Research. With over 10 years of experience, he is joining Counterpoint from BGR India where he was the Head of Features. At BGR, Ritesh also used to cover tech news, product launches, and review consumer tech. Ritesh is a science graduate from Mumbai University, with major in Physics. He followed his passion for tech, took up writing as a career and is also a well-known tech journalist in the industry.

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