Thursday, October 05, 2023

Review: iPhone 15

Just as it was once a status symbol to wield an iPhone that shed the 30-pin connector for the Lighting Cord, as well as it was cool to have a notch, now suddenly Lightning-using iPhones are relics from the past. 

In joining the near-universal technological embrace of USB-C, the iPhone 15 marks another sea change in smartphone elitism. Now the time has come that Android and iPhone users can share chargers. It's a glorious future, and even had Apple not taken any more initiative to improve the latest iteration of iPhone, it would be reason enough for me to take the leap forward and upgrade.

But there is far more to appreciate than the new adapter. While nearly every new iPhone feels like it comes from the future when you first take it out of the boss, the feeling is even more pronounced than usual with the 15. It feels impossibly light, thin and looks stunningly sharp. The future is here, and it fits in your pocket

And yet, I entered my iPhone 15 future with a measure of hesitation,

After spending the past seven years with giant-sized Plus/Pro Max size iPhones in my pocket, it was a little jarring to shift to the base-model iPhone 15. While I thought I'd miss the larger screen real estate, I was surprised to see how quickly my eyes and thumbs adjusted to the 6.1-inch screen. I found that the lighter weight and diminutive wingspan wore out my wrist and hands much less than the bulky iPhone 14 Pro Max I had been using. The comparative minimalism felt freeing.

The device, which starts at $800, offers a Super Retina XDR display that looks gorgeous and holds up strong at maximum brightness without sucking away battery life at a distressing speed. the 60 Hz refresh rate was deceptively smooth.

Tugged along from the iPhone 14 is the Dynamic Island interface, which allows you to multitask and check out notifications without disrupting your flow.

I was bowled over with the camera setup, even while foregoing a telephoto lense. The 12 MP, 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom camera takes stunning photos, and especially gorgeous panoramic shots. The 8 MP selfie cam, which boasts a 26mm lens, was nearly as capable. 

While I hold firm that the current state of iPhone bliss can be had, to a degree, with devices dating as far back as the 12, there are clear reasons to upgrade from the 15 from not only that generation or earlier, but even the bold, beautiful 14 line. Also, due to the USB-C integration, it won't take as much convincing as usual for Android users to consider making the leap.

If you see an upgrade in your future, the 15 is one to keep an eye on, even if you're playing the long game and waiting for a price drop in the coming months, when the inevitable 16 comes knocking on the door. The future starts here.

 Apple sent loaner unit for review.

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