The Apple iPhone 15 Plus is a great choice if you think the Pro models are too pricey. While the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max do feature a more powerful processor and cameras, the Plus is more affordably priced (and cheaper than last year's model). You also get a bigger screen compared with the iPhone 15, but the other features remain the same. Best of all, you get most of the features of last year's Pro model, including a new 48MP camera, the A16 Bionic chip, and Dynamic Island.
- A16 Bionic chip with 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
- 6.7-inch OLED (Plus) or 6.1-inch display
- 48MP main camera, 12MP Ultra-wide, main (f1.6) and ultra-wide (f2.4)
- IP68 water and dust resistance
The iPhone 15 Plus is very slightly smaller than last year's model. The difference is minuscule, though. The two biggest design changes are the frosted back and Dynamic Island. I love that Dynamic Island is now available for non-Pro devices, and users will love the improvements with iOS 17. Of course, the most significant change is the switch from the Lightning port to USB-C. Bear in mind that it's not the fastest USB-C version available, and transfer speeds are capped at 480Mbps. In comparison, the Pro models will do 10Gbps. Another not-too-visible change is the addition of the Ultra Wideband chip that lets you locate your buddies with Find My Friends. But bear in mind they need to have an iPhone 15 and above, too. The balance of the phone feels the same, and well distributed. The new rounded edges feel better in hand, too.
Like last year's models, don't expect features such as the Always On display and 120Hz Pro Motion display. These are reserved for the Pro line. That means that despite the phone's powerful hardware, games have a 60fps cap. I still think having a 90Hz display would be a nice compromise, though. That said, the peak brightness of the 6.7-inch OLED display now goes up to 2,000 nits (from 1,200 nits) outdoors. You also get Wi-Fi 6E support, and 35W of fast charging. Our video playback battery test with the display and volume at 100% gave me around 7hr 2min. This is less than last year's iPhone by more than an hour, and it's likely due to the brighter display. Apple's own numbers rate the phone at 26 hours. You'll end up with around 56% charge after 30 minutes with a fast charger based on my testing.
The main upgrade for the iPhone 15 Plus is obviously the cameras, which also utilises iOS 17's new features. You can take a picture first, and change it to portrait mode afterwards. Optical zoom remains at 2x, but the new 48MP camera (similar to last year's Pro) automatically performs pixel binning for great low-light shots. You can also shoot in HEIF MAX mode for 48MP picture, but there's no RAW. Still images are great, and my shots look detailed. The iPhone 15 Pro (our review is coming) does perform a little bit better in low-light and HDR, but most images, especially shot in the day, are similar. Honestly, you can't go wrong with the cameras on the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. Phone performance is also zippy, and I had no issues playing games such as Genshin Impact, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, or Marvel Snap.
Prices start from S$1,299 for the iPhone 15, and S$1,449 for the iPhone 15 Plus. The iPhone 15 Plus is my recommendation if you want a big-screen phone that can take great pictures. But don't let me stop you from getting the iPhone 15 if you prefer a more modest 6.1-inch display. Get it from Apple, Shopee, or Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Apple.
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