iPhone 15: release date, price, features, and everything you need to know
After months of speculation, the most highly anticipated phones of the year have arrived, with Apple having now officially unveiled the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
It’s the standard iPhone 15 that we’ll be looking at here, so if you’re curious about the release date, price, design, or the various specs and features of Apple’s most affordable new phone, you’ve come to the right place.
For our early impressions of the iPhone 15, head over to our hands-on iPhone 15 review. You’ll also want to check out our hands-on iPhone 15 Plus review, hands-on iPhone 15 Pro review, and hands-on iPhone 15 Pro Max review for a detailed look at the rest of Apple’s iPhone 15 lineup.
Highlights in the iPhone 15 include a Dynamic Island in place of the notch, a new 48MP camera, and yes, a USB-C port. But there’s plenty more that’s new, too, so read on for everything you need to know. Alternatively, scoot over to our Apple event 2023 live blog if you want to see what else was unveiled.
What you need to know
- Starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,499
- Now sports the Dynamic Island
- New color-infused rear glass
- New 48MP main camera
- Apple’s A16 Bionic chipset
- Lightning replaced by USB-C
Apple released the iPhone 15 alongside the iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Here’s how all four models compare:
iPhone 15 release date and price
The iPhone 15 was announced on September 12, 2023 at Apple’s September event. The device became available to pre-order on Friday, September 15, and will begin shipping on Friday, September 22.
The phone starts at $799 / £799 / AU$1,499, for which you’ll get a model with 128GB of storage. If you want 256GB, it will cost you $899 / £899 / AU$1,699, while 512GB comes in at $1,099 / £1,099 / AU$2,049.
US and UK pricing numerically match this year, marking a welcome price drop year-on-year for UK buyers. The phone is a little pricier year-on-year in Australia.
If you’re interested in buying the iPhone 15, head over to our iPhone 15 deals page for a roundup of all the best offers available now. Alternatively, check out the below links for a quick look at the best iPhone 15 preorder deals currently live.
- Apple: up to $650 off with a trade-in rebate
- AT&T: save up to $1,000 with a trade-in
- Best Buy: up to $1,000 off with a trade-in
- Boost Infinite: iPhone 15 Pro w/ unlimited data for $60/mo
- Verizon: $1,000 off iPhone 15 Pro with any iPhone trade
- Sky Mobile: Get the iPhone 15 on Sky Mobile from £34 per month
- Vodafone: Get the iPhone 15 range from £18 per month on Vodafone EVO
- Vodafone: Save up to £821 with Vodafone Trade-in
- Apple: Trade in with Apple to save up to £715
iPhone 15 design
The iPhone 15 is quite a departure from the iPhone 14 before it, especially from the front, as there’s no longer a notch – instead, the phone has a Dynamic Island, much like we saw last year on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. This year it’s a feature that all four new models have.
That leaves the iPhone 15 looking a lot more modern than its predecessor, and that’s not the only change, as it features a color-infused glass and a USB-C port, instead of Lightning.
The iPhone 15 is available in five shades, and as usual it has an IP68 rating, meaning it’s dust-proof and water-resistant. It has an aluminum frame and comes in at 147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8mm and 171g – for reference, the iPhone 14 is 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.8mm and 172g, so this new model is almost imperceptibly larger but lighter.
iPhone 15 colors
Apple has opted for a suite of pastel iPhone 15 colors this year:
iPhone 15 display
The iPhone 15 isn’t a big upgrade when it comes to the screen, as like before it has a 6.1-inch OLED display. The resolution is 1170 x 2532 – very similar to the iPhone 14, while and peak brightness has jumped from 1,200 nits to 2,000 nits. It’s still 60Hz, though.
That’s slightly disappointing, especially the refresh rate, as only the very cheapest new Android phones tend to have a refresh rate that low. But the overall display quality should be high, as it was on the iPhone 14.
As usual, the screen is also protected by Ceramic Shield, which is designed to offer increased protection against bumps and scrapes, plus iOS 17’s StandBy mode is support by both standard iPhone 15s.
iPhone 15 cameras
One of the biggest upgrades this year comes in the form of a new camera, as the iPhone 15 has a new 48MP main sensor. This has an f/1.6 aperture, and – using the depth data acquired at capture – can retroactively turn standard shots into portrait shots.
The rest of the cameras are similar to before, with the iPhone 15 sporting a 12MP ultra-wide camera and a 12MP front-facing snapper.
Video can be shot in up to 4K quality at up to 60fps too, so this sounds like a strong camera setup, though if you want a telephoto lens you’ll have to opt for a Pro model.
iPhone 15 performance
The iPhone 15 is equipped with an A16 Bionic chipset, which we’ve previously seen in the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Those phones are among the most powerful handsets on the planet (albeit beaten now by the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max) so the iPhone 15 shouldn’t be lacking for power.
Apple doesn’t reveal how much RAM its phones have, so we’ll need to wait for a teardown before that information is known, but the iPhone 14 has 6GB and we’d guess the iPhone 15 probably has the same amount.
An improved Ultra-Wide Band chip enables proximity finding of friends using Find My too.
iPhone 15 battery
Apple also doesn’t reveal battery capacities, so that’s something else we’ll have to wait longer to learn, but the company has said that the iPhone 15 will last for up to 20 hours of video playback, 16 hours of streamed video, and 80 hours of audio playback. That’s the same as the quoted figures for the iPhone 14
For reference, in our iPhone 14 review, we found the phone lasted through more than a full day, so the iPhone 15 will hopefully do even better.
We can’t talk about the battery without talking about the new way you charge the phone either, as Apple has finally switched to USB-C, ditching its long-standing Lightning port. As for charging speeds, the iPhone 15 can be juiced at up to 20W, and it also supports wireless charging (including the new Qi2 standard for wireless charging).
However, we don’t yet know how valuable the latter feature will be, given the lack of Qi2-certified wireless chargers available to buy right now. Essentially, Qi2 takes the built-in magnets feature of Apple’s MagSafe technology and opens it up third-party manufacturers. This could mean that – when they eventually come to market – Qi2-certified wireless chargers will be capable of charging Apple’s latest iPhones at 15W; something that only MagSafe chargers have been able to do in the past.
Despite Apple confirming that its iPhone 15 models support “future Qi2 chargers for wireless charging,” though, the official tech specs page for the iPhone 15 Pro says that the device (and presumably all other iPhone 15 devices) supports “MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W” and “Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W.”
This could mean that Apple might continue to intentionally limit non-Apple, 15W-capable wireless chargers to 7.5W, in a bid to maintain healthy MagSafe sales. In a fairer world, though, we’d hope to see Apple make 15W wireless charging available across the board.
iPhone 15 software
The iPhone 15 ships running iOS 17, which is the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. Changes here include Contact Posters, a Live Voicemail feature, and all sorts of other things. However, you won’t need to buy an iPhone 15 or one of its siblings to get these things, as every model from the iPhone XS onwards is eligible for the update.
More iPhone 15 articles
- iPhone 15: everything you need to know
- iPhone 15 Plus: everything you need to know
- iPhone 15 Pro Max: everything you need to know
- iPhone 15 price: should you go for iPhone 14 instead?
- iPhone 15 deals: the best offers to look out for
- iPhone 15 USB-C: everything you need to know
- iPhone 15 Pro Max camera: 7 big upgrades
- 15 things we learned at Apple’s September 2023 event