If I had a dollar for every nark who’s commented on my iPhone 15 announcement videos saying they’ve lost their way, the phone is the same as last year or anything along those lines, I’d be very rich, but still very angry, because that’s just such a stupid thing to say. Sure, the iPhone 15 looks similar to the 12, 13 and 14, but that matters not when we’re just lugging around these screens – what matters is what it can do.

Without question, the iPhone 15 is the biggest single year leap forward in three years. What Apple has done is put a strong focus on photography, while also pushing the Pro Models further as the indicator for what’s to come.

Yes, they are all USB-C. But where are all those idiot TikTokers who were saying BEFORE the phone was even announced that Apple would do this and that and restrict features without an Apple certified cable. In fact, that’s completely not true. There are two types of cable in the eyes of the iPhone 15. A standard cable, and a USB 3.0 cable which when used to connect your phone to a storage device or computer, will offer vastly superior data transfer speeds.

Apple has not offered a faster charging rate via USB-C, which in some ways I think is disappointing – but in reality I honestly don’t think the majority of people care much about charging speeds – they just care that it is charging.

The real revelation from Apple with USB-C is that these iPhone 15 devices will output power. So plug in your AirPods, or any other headphones, or even an Apple Watch charging cable, and your iPhone will pump out 4.5W of power to get them juiced up. I reckon that’s a cracking little hack – especially when travelling.

Of course a USB-C to USB-C cable comes in the box with your new iPhone 15, but – that’s just not enough. How do I bill the European Union for all my new cables. Hopefully this won’t be a major issue because we have other USB-C devices, but I found myself looking for a cable for my car and my office.

As per pretty much every year, the real standout “feature” of the iPhone 15 is the camera. And it’s across all four of them, just in different ways.

On the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus there’s still just the two lenses, a Wide and Ultra Wide. BUT – Apple has brought the 48 Megapixel sensor into these models and used that in a very cunning way.

When taking photos, you have the choice of 0.5x, 1x and 2x. The 2x isn’t a real “lens”, instead it triggers the camera to use the 48 MP lens and crop to a set area within that. Simple.

iPhone 15 Pro Max Camera Options

I think the presence of a 2 times zoom on these base model iPhones is a big win for the hip pocket – many people will get by with just that – not having to go Pro for the extra zoom.

However, on the Pro models, you do get the 3x zoom, but on the Pro Max a new prismic lens technology allows Apple to create a 120mm zoom, and it works really well.

Here’s your Ultra-Wide and Wide shots:

Then zoom in, and look how far you go, optically.

There’s some compression here on the site with the uploads, but let me tell you – it’s remarkable.

Having just said the 2x was a good reason to get the base models, the 5x zoom has made it compelling for anyone that takes more than the average number of photos to consider going all-in on the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Battery life is great, the Pro models have WiFi 6E, but the device gives zero indication you’re connected to 6E – unlike Samsung and likely others.

On the Pro models the other quite obvious thing is the weight. Thanks to the Titanium build around the outer edge, you will feel an immediate difference in the weight of the phone. In fact, the Pro Max has been my go-to, weighing in a what “feels” like a similar size to the 14 Pro I had been using.

It’s a weight saving of 19 grams, but it matters.

The other dramatic change to iPhone 15 comes only on the Pro Models. While the 15 and 15 Plus retain the classic “mute” switch, the Pro models sees that removed for the first time since the original iPhone in 2007, and replaced by a new “Action Button”.

This little button is programmable to a range of possibilities, including Shortcuts so you can theoretically make it launch any app on the phone.

I set mine to Camera, quick and easy way to launch the camera app – but then when I needed the phone on silence, I was left scratching around to swipe and tape to mute the phone.

Overall, it’s a great idea, but it’s execution should have allowed for the programming of the button to single, double and even triple tap. I’d have made the triple tap silence for sure.

Seems like an easy fix, that likely won’t come until iOS 18 unfortunately, but it does overall let the phone down just a touch.

Finally, from a design perspective, the screen sizes are the same, but the Pro models are a touch smaller and that’s evident in the slight reduction in the size of the border around the screen – its not dramatic, but it’s reduced.

iPhone 15 Pro (Left) compared to iPhone 14 Pro (Right)

In the fullness of time, we’ll do some more photo tests, with the new Portrait Mode and the low light and zoom performance well worth a market comparison, but overall, iPhone 15 is a winner.

An ever so gentle new contour to the edges makes it more comfortable in the hand, that Titanium finish dropping then weight and those new camera options on all models is a great set of features that should entice those iPhone X and 11 hold outs, and perhaps the odd iPhone 12 user too.