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My iPhone 15 Experience: The Ultimate Phone You Could Ever Ask For

The creme de la creme of smartphone design

The iPhone 15 is one of my favorite phones in terms of design by far. What I love most about it is how light it is. Even though its frosted glass back is not any more slippery than any other matte glass surface, I find that because the device is so light, it can get a bit slippery. That’s why I always use it with a case on.But this is a phone that won’t ever get your hands tired. Holding the base iPhone feels effortless, which is a factor that is very important to me, especially considering I’ve upgraded from an iPhone 13 mini which is even lighter. However, the iPhone 15 weight compared to its size is even more impressive than the one of the mini. The only other iPhone I can think of having an even better size-to-weight ratio is the iPhone 15 Plus, much larger, yet still quite light. But I never even bothered to consider getting a big iPhone. I always liked compact phones, and I had some concerns that the new non-mini model might even be too big for my liking. Thankfully, I got used to the larger screen quite fast, and I realize it brings way more advantages even though it isn’t as pocketable as the mini.

The iPhone 15 Pro, despite using a titanium body, is still 16 grams (about half an ounce) heavier. Considering the two phones’ almost identical sizes, this is a difference you can still feel. And then if you hold the bigger iPhone 15 Pro Max in one hand and the iPhone 15 model in the other it is clear that the two are made with totally different types of users in mind.

Another feature I enjoyed on the iPhone 15 is the Dynamic Island. The iPhone 15 is the first non-Pro iPhone to get it. After four months of use, I find this feature very useful. It lets me interact with the music I’m playing more easily, the timer and the stopwatch are always present when in use, and when I’m in a call I don’t have to open the whole app to turn it on speaker or end it. This combined with having a USB-C charging port, another new convenience, makes an upgrade from the previous model worth it to me.

Durability of the iPhone 15

I’ve noticed that ever since the iPhone X, Apple’s phones have gotten much tougher. This is especially true when it comes to the glass of their displays. The iPhone 15 is another quite durable phone from Apple.

I have to admit, my butter fingers are very prone to dropping phones. I drop my phone almost every day. Up until now, the iPhone 15 has survived the challenge I present to it. There are some minor scratches on the screen, but that’s about it. However, the aluminum sides and glass back are way easier to damage, which is why I always have a case on and currently their condition is perfect.

I’ve challenged the camera lenses with drops a couple of times as well. I am pleased to report that there don’t seem to be any scratches, let alone a broken lens.

Is 60Hz really a dealbreaker?

A lot of people were concerned about Apple sticking with 60Hz displays on its non-Pro phones. I have used and reviewed quite a few phones with variable refresh rates, so I certainly have experience with different screens.

My opinion is that the smaller screen a phone has, the less you notice it has a lower refresh rate. This is especially true with the iPhone 15. I have never noticed any sluggishness, slower responses, or other indications that this phone could use a higher refresh rate panel.

It might sound controversial, but for me, 60Hz is just enough. This of course is totally dependent on what you use the phone for. I don’t often play games on it, so I don’t chase every single frame, and in most cases I can’t fully take advantage of a 120Hz refresh rate the way some other users might.

And when it comes to the UI, my experience shows a fast-refresh screen can make a larger difference on Android phones, but not so much on a current iPhone. A big part of that is iOS 17, which runs quite well and without any hiccups, almost defeating my need for a higher-spec screen.

But that’s not to say Apple didn’t upgrade the iPhone 15 screen at all. This display gets much brighter than before. That makes a huge difference when you’re in bright environments, and I can appreciate that. Using my iPhone 13 mini, I sometimes struggled to read things in direct sunlight. Now, with the iPhone 15, the struggle is no more.

Is the performance of the iPhone 15 good enough

The short answer is yes, and then some. Even though this device uses Apple’s last year chipset, it is an amazingly fast performer. Loading times are excellent, response times are on par with even more expensive phones, and photo and video capturing goes flawlessly.Having 6GB of RAM definitely makes a difference compared to my last iPhone 13 mini which only had 4GB, as the 15 is noticeably better at keeping up with anything you can throw at it.

Another difference the base iPhone has compared to its Pro relatives is its camera system. Here we have a dual, rather than triple camera system, with the same 48MP main camera sensor we had on last year’s iPhone 14 Pro.

Nowadays, there aren’t so many improvements happening in smartphone cameras year to year. Still, Apple has tweaked some areas I can appreciate and I find the iPhone 15 is quite the camera performer. I notice the advantage of the extra megapixels more and more every day (the iPhone 15 defaults to 24MP shots, up from 12MP photos on previous models).

But to me, the most useful new feature compared to previous models is the 2X digital zoom, which is now just a tap away with a convenient preset in the camera app. This feature almost fully eliminates the need for a dedicated portrait telephoto camera! Apple’s processing crops out from the full resolution of the camera, and then enhances the photos with the data it gathered quite well. This isn’t a case of losing quality when zooming in digitally anymore, and that’s impressive.

Is the battery of the iPhone 15 any good

Apple’s iPhone 15 has the second-lowest battery capacity out of the four iPhone 15 models. The iPhone 15 Pro battery is slightly smaller, but it does have that 120Hz variable refresh rate display, which has proven to be power-saving. So… how much battery life does the regular iPhone 15 deliver? You can expect to get through the day easily, especially if you haven’t been doing any video calls or heavy gaming for more than half an hour. But that’s it. The iPhone 15 isn’t a two-day battery smartphone. And that’s alright.

Coming from an iPhone mini, this was still quite an improvement for me.

Can the battery get better? Yes, of course it can. But should it? Well, sometimes I find myself topping the battery off sometime during the second half of the day, just to be safe. This is not about whether it will last me to the end of the day, I just don’t feel comfortable having less than 50% battery, and I’d rather be prepared for some extra use if necessary.

Of course, having a smaller battery capacity also has some advantages. I use a 30W fast charger (the iPhone 15 officially supports 20W), and charging from 20% to 80% takes about 30 minutes. In the iPhone world, this is a decently fast charging speed, and I’m okay with it. And finally, there is the presence of USB-C, making every iPhone user’s life so much easier.

Do I have any other options?

Many competitors of the base iPhone have impressed me over the years in different ways. But when you want the whole package, the iPhone 15 still feels more polished and prepared for long-term use than the rest. One thing I am concerned about with many Android alternatives is a deterioration in performance after a year or two of owning them, an issue that I think is far less common with iPhones.Still, Google’s Pixel 8 is similarly priced and also comes with 128GB of base storage and comparable battery life. It does feature a 120Hz screen, which is an advantage over the iPhone. However, the iPhone is better in terms of performance and ease of use. Some might say the Pixel has the better camera performance, but for me, the differences are barely noticeable. Where you can notice a bigger difference is in the filming capabilities, and that’s where the iPhone is still the one with superior video and better audio quality.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 is supposed to be a great alternative too. This phone is also comparably compact, and its design seems to be inspired by the iPhone, especially looking at its flat metal rails. It is too early to tell whether the cameras of the Galaxy will perform better than the ones on the base iPhone. Also, it comes with the same amount of base storage, and lacks an advantage in that area. If I had to place a bet, I would say the Galaxy S24 should perform better after two years compared to the Pixel 8, but probably won’t stay as fast as the iPhone 15. At least, that is considering my current experience with Google and Apple’s older phone models.

Conclusion

I believe the iPhone 15 is probably all the phone most people could possibly need. It is well-built, runs great, has an excellent camera, and adequate battery life. It is also the cheapest device from Apple’s 15th gen iPhone series.In my opinion, at least 80% of people won’t ever take advantage of the extra features and more expensive hardware found on the Pro iPhones. In real life, there aren’t very noticeable differences in both speeds and camera performance. So why bother spending all that extra money?

Also, the base model iPhone, like most Apple phones, has proven itself over the years as being very reliable and long-lasting. This year’s Pro models had some major issues with overheating, and guess what? The cheaper, non-Pro iPhones didn’t.

Speaking of the longevity of a smartphone, I should advise potential buyers to carefully consider their storage options first. The 128GB of storage on the base iPhone 15 is definitely not enough if you are someone who captures photos and videos often (even more so if you transfer photos and videos captured over the years onto your new device). The 256GB storage model, however, should provide the perfect balance when it comes to price and performance.

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