It's like waiting for your favourite TV show to return after a long hiatus but the new iPhone 15 range has been launched at the "Wonderlust" event. If you're in the market for a new iPhone or upgrade in particular, you probably have been awaiting all the details and how close the rumours are.
For me, I passed on the iPhone 14 last year, I was tempted to upgrade, mainly for the 48 MP camera but the hefty price bump, a nearly 16% increase in the UK, for an already expensive phone, made it easier to decide. I'm glad I stuck with my iPhone 13 Pro in the end and multi-generation upgrades are better anyway, you get more bang for your buck.
I am interested in the iPhone 15 Pro Max as an upgrade, not that I necessarily want the largest phone but we have known for ages that a periscope zoom was on the cards on the iPhone 15 Pro Max only, which could be really versatile and USB-C was long overdue, on all the new iPhones,
I don't usually watch these events live, they can be a bit much sometimes but my interest was enough that I wanted to follow along, so what exactly has Apple introduced today, with an interest in mobile photography in particular:
Double Tap, a gesture-based control to perform app actions, including taking a photo from an iPhone, on the all-new Apple Watch Series 9, just "tap your thumb and index finger twice". This is enabled by the neural engine in the new S9 SiP chip, which also powers the new on-device Siri.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus with Dynamic Island, a 48MP Main camera with 2x telephoto plus USB‑C, though with slow USB 2 speeds. Takes 24MP photos by default. Improved portraits, when photographing a person, dog, or cat in the frame, automatically capture depth information, without having to switch to Portrait mode, you can now tap to shift the focus between subjects, even after you take the shot. Night mode and Smart HDR have been improved. Powered by the A16 Bionic, which is faster, more efficient and smarter, plus a second-generation Ultra Wideband chip which can improve Find My performance. The 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays respectively, support Peak HDR brightness up to 1600 nits, with peak outdoor brightness can reach up to 2000 nits — twice as bright as the previous generation.
iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max with a new Action button, powerful camera upgrades, and A17 Pro for next-gen performance including hardware-accelerated ray tracing. The USB‑C connector is supercharged with USB 3 speeds — up to 20x faster than USB 2. The A17 Pro includes the biggest graphics (GPU) redesign in Apple’s history, without breaking down all the specs, it does seem like a big deal. Getting back to the camera system, the Main camera allows users to switch between three popular focal lengths — 24 mm, 28 mm, and 35 mm and you can choose a default length per your preference, plus supports 48MP HEIF images. iPhone 15 Pro Max provides the longest optical zoom ever on iPhone: 5x at 120 mm with a tetraprism design using a combined optical image stabilization and autofocus 3D sensor-shift module, Apple’s most advanced stabilization system yet, and 25x digital zoom if that wasn't enough. Also includes the Night Mode, Smart HDR improvements and next-generation portraits. New strong and lightweight titanium design.
My quick reaction is, not bad at all, the UK and EU pricing I gather, includes price reductions, the new iPhones look much more competitive at what they are being offered at, with a lot to like.
Those non-Pro models really should have ProMotion though, even a lesser version of it; much cheaper Android phones come with high refresh rate displays, such as the Google Pixel 7a, which is currently half the price, which makes scrolling and interacting with the interface more smoother and fluid, admittedly iOS is well optimized, so it is not essential, but at that price, it's not the best look.
The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus in general, otherwise, look like a nice package, the new telephoto 2x camera option courtesy of the 48MP sensor for what should be great quality is a nice touch, as Apple says, is like having a third camera, and the default 24MP photos, should give plenty of detail and options for editing. The pricing is still steep starting at £799, but with the option of trade-ins and contract upgrades, it's a much better option than last year, just Apple, add ProMotion next time, please!
The iPhone 15 Pro, back at better pricing in the UK and EU, unchanged in the US, is a nice upgrade, the A17 Pro sounds like a game changer, with faster data USB‑C speeds, a titanium finish helps bring the lightest Pro lineup ever. The main camera with three focal lengths is intriguing, 48MP HEIF images are I think a useful option as well as the full-on 48MP ProRAW plus the new default 24MP and all the other useful refinements, round it out, including the aforementioned display upgrades including ProMotion and Always-On display, that aren't new to this generation. The iPhone 15 Pro Max starts at 256GB, in the UK with a price cut compared to last year with the same storage.
All in all, I am looking at upgrading to iPhone 15 Max, for the 5x telephoto, the 2x option and the default 24MP plus trying out the full 48MP ProRAW, and other upgrades, I'll look at preordering on Friday, It would be exciting if I end up with the new phone. I'll post some updates, hopefully, blogging hasn't been my strong suit recently. Thanks for reading.