Which iPhone 15 is right for you? A Detailed Comparison

Make an informed decision between iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro with insights into camera specs, video features, USB-C benefits, storage variations, pricing details, and upgrade considerations.

If you’ve been following Apple’s latest event, you’re probably aware of the buzz surrounding the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro. The impressive camera features and the sleek design of the iPhone 15 series are undoubtedly enticing. However, choosing the right model amidst the options available can be perplexing. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the features of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, considering not only photography but also other crucial factors that might influence your decision. Let’s get started!

1. Resolution Matters

One of the most significant upgrades across the entire iPhone 15 lineup is the maximum resolution of 48MP. It’s a refreshing change from the 12MP resolution we’ve been accustomed to. Nevertheless, there are critical details to consider:

  • Resolution Formats: All models can capture 48MP images in both HEIF and JPEG formats, resulting in economical file sizes of 5MB (HEIF) or 10MB (JPEG). The Pro models take it a step further by supporting 48MP Apple ProRAW images, which offer more dynamic range but result in larger 75MB files.
  • Default Capture: Despite the 48MP capability, the default capture mode for the main camera generates 24MP images by combining 12MP and 48MP output from the QuadBayer sensors. Even in Night mode, photos remain at 12MP.
  • Other Cameras: The ultra-wide and front cameras (available in all models) and the telephoto cameras (exclusive to Pro models) use 12MP sensors and produce 12MP images.

Camera Specifications:

CameraiPhone 15iPhone 15 PlusiPhone 15 ProiPhone 15 Pro Max
26mm equiv.26mm equiv.26mm equiv.24mm equiv.24mm equiv.
Sensor8x6mm sensor8x6mm sensor9.8×7.3mm sensor9.8×7.3mm sensor
Ultra Wide12MP12MP12MP12MP
Telephoto (3x,12MP
77mm equiv)
Telephoto (5x,12MP
120mm equiv)

If you’re after the highest resolution and image quality, the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are your best choices. However, the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus also offer high-resolution images.

2. Field of View Considerations

In previous iterations, one of the primary distinctions between iPhone models was the presence of a dedicated telephoto camera in the Pro line. While the ultra-wide camera is creative, users often resort to digital zoom, compromising image quality.

  • Standard Models: The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus lack a third telephoto camera. However, the main camera allows for a 2x zoom, resulting in a 12MP crop of the 48MP sensor. It’s worth noting that this Quad Bayer design captures slightly less color resolution compared to a 12MP Bayer camera.
  • Pro Models: The iPhone 15 Pro features a 3x/77mm equivalent field of view telephoto camera, similar to the iPhone 14 Pro. The standout, however, is the iPhone 15 Pro Max with its 5x/120mm equivalent lens. It employs a tetraprism design for image stabilization at long focal lengths.
  • Additional Main Camera Views: Apple emphasizes the millimeter equivalent measurements this time, allowing you to set the main 24mm equivalent camera to 28mm (1.2x) and 35mm (1.5x) equivalents, all outputting 24MP resolution images but computationally reframed.

3. 4K and HD Video Capabilities

Video recording capabilities remain consistent for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, capturing 4K video at various frame rates, 1080p HD video, and HDR video with Dolby Vision. Features like Cinematic mode and Action mode for stabilizing footage are available.

  • Pro Models: The iPhone 15 Pro models take it up a notch, supporting 4K/60fps video to an external SSD. They can also record ProRes video for greater dynamic range, making them suitable for professional video work.

4. USB-C or Not?

A significant change across the board is the replacement of Apple’s Lightning connector with a USB-C port. Nonetheless, not all USB-C ports are created equal.

  • Included Cable: The cable included with all models is primarily for charging and supports USB 2 data transfer at up to 480 Mbps, similar to recent Lightning connectors.
  • Pro Models: The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max boast USB 3.2 Gen 2 support, offering transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps. To leverage this, you’ll need a compatible USB-C cable, such as Thunderbolt 4 cables available from various sources.
  • Charging Other Devices: The iPhone’s USB-C port also allows you to charge other devices, such as Apple AirPods and Apple Watch.

5. Storage, Screens, and More

With higher-resolution images and ProRes video recording, storage capacity becomes a vital consideration:

  • Storage Options: iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus come in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB variants. iPhone 15 Pro offers 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB options, while iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at 256GB and goes up to 512GB and 1TB.
  • Screen Specs: All models feature Super Retina XDR displays with varying sizes and resolutions. The Pro models additionally support ProMotion with adaptive refresh rates up to 120Hz.
  • Wi-Fi: Regular models feature Wi-Fi 6, while Pro models offer theoretically faster Wi-Fi 6e.

6. Pricing and Considerations

Pricing for the iPhone 15 lineup might seem complex, with variations based on storage and model. Additionally, trade-in options and carrier deals can impact your choice:

  • Base Pricing: iPhone 15 starts at $799, with the iPhone 15 Plus adding $100 per storage tier. iPhone 15 Pro begins at $999, while iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at $1199 due to the higher base storage.
  • Trade-In Options: Apple offers trade-in values ranging from $40 to $650, and carriers provide various financing and trade-in incentives.

7. Stick with Your Current Phone?

If you already own last year’s iPhone 14 Pro, it’s worth considering whether the upgrades in the iPhone 15 series align with your needs. iOS 17 brings some camera enhancements to older models, making them viable options.

In conclusion, iPhones hold their value and utility for an extended period. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro offer exciting features, but it’s essential to assess your specific requirements before making a decision. Whether you choose to upgrade or stick with your current phone, the iPhone ecosystem continues to deliver innovative solutions.


Q1. What are the main differences between iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro? A1. The main differences include camera features, with the Pro models offering higher resolution and more advanced video capabilities. Additionally, the Pro models have USB-C ports and support faster data transfer speeds.

Q2. Which iPhone 15 model has the best camera? A2. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have the best cameras with higher resolution and additional telephoto options, making them ideal for photography enthusiasts.

Q3. What is the starting price for the iPhone 15? A3. The iPhone 15 starts at $799 for the base model with 128GB of storage, with prices increasing for higher storage capacities and the larger iPhone 15 Plus.

Q4. Can I use the iPhone 15’s USB-C port to charge other devices? A4. Yes, you can charge other devices like Apple AirPods and Apple Watch directly from the iPhone 15’s USB-C port.

Q5. Is it worth upgrading from the iPhone 14 Pro to the iPhone 15? A5. If you already own an iPhone 14 Pro and the new features of the iPhone 15 don’t particularly appeal to you, it might be worth considering sticking with your current phone, especially since older models still receive software updates.

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