Apple iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Plus: Which phone should you buy?

Abhi B.
The Apple iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are the same yet different devices. (Image via Apple)
The Apple iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are the same yet different devices (Image via Apple)

Apple recently revelaed its latest iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. While it's easier to decide between the Pro and Pro Max (5x optical zoom), the same is not the case with the base variants in the lineup. Apart from the size, these devices are nearly identical in almost every aspect. But there's more to it than meets the eye.

There are several key differences between the 15 and the 15 Plus that can help consumers make their choice. These are subtle but essential. If you are curious about the differences between these two, read on ahead.


Apple iPhone 15 vs iPhone 15 Plus: Key differences explained

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In this article, we will compare Apple iPhone 15's base models to make it easier for everyone. Apart from the difference in size, they also vary in terms weight and battery capacities. Let's take a look at the complete specifications and spec-by-spec breakdown of the non-Pro models below.


Complete specifications of iPhone 15 and 15 Plus

DeviceiPhone 15iPhone 15 Plus
ProcessorApple A16 Bionic, 5-Core GPUApple A16 Bionic, 5-Core GPU
RAM6GB6GB
Display6.1-inch OLED Super Retina XDR6.7-inch OLED Super Retina XDR
Main cameras48MP f/1.6 main, 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide48MP f/1.6 main, 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide
Front camera12MP TrueDepth camera12MP TrueDepth camera
Optical-quality zoom2X2X
Video recordingUp to 4K 60FPSUp to 4K 60FPS
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
SoftwareiOS 17iOS 17
Battery3,349mAh4,383mAh
Charging speedUSB-C (20W), MagSafe, Qi2USB-C (20W), MagSafe, Qi2
Dimensions147.6 x 71.6 x 7.80mm160.9 x 77.8 x 7.80mm
Weight171g201g
IP ratingIP68IP68
PriceStarts at $799Starts at $899

Design and dimensions of iPhone 15 and 15 Plus

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The device's nomenclature is easy to understand. The iPhone 15 is the compact variant of the two, whereas the 15 Plus is the plus-sized variant. The latter gets the same size display as the top-end 15 Pro Max. Both these iPhones are 7.8mm, but while the 15 is 147.6mm tall and 71.6mm wide, the 15 Plus is 160.9mm tall and 77.8mm wide. That's quite a jump, which is also reflected in the weight of these devices.

The vanilla model weighs 171g, whereas the Plus model weighs 201g. The difference might be minimal, but it makes its presence felt when you have to use the iPhone 15 Plus for a prolonged duration when gaming or streaming a movie. If the additional weight and bulk put you off, the base model is a no-brainer. On the other hand, if you want a larger display iPhone without breaking the bank, the 15 Plus should be your pick.

Apart from these differences, these two models are identical when it comes to design. Apple is offering both of them in the same colors: Blue, Pink, Yellow, Green, and Black.


Display

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Speaking of near-identical design, the 15 and 15 Plus also look the same from the front. This year, the tech giant has equipped them with a Dynamic Island display. The base model has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR screen, while the iPhone 15 Plus has the same panel but is larger at 6.7-inch.

Both displays are OLED panels with support for True Tone, HDR, and 2,000 nits of peak brightness. Ultimately, it boils down to the user's personal preferences, whether they want a bigger display for streaming and gaming or a compact form factor that is more portable and ergonomic.


Cameras

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When it comes to cameras, both iPhones are again identical. They feature a dual camera setup on the back comprising a 48MP f/1.6 primary sensor and an ultra-wide 12MP f/2.4 secondary lens. Even on the front, they have the same 12MP TrueDepth camera for selfies and video calling.

Users get Smart HDR 5 and next-generation portrait imaging with the 15 and 15 Plus. Additionally, Apple has added 2x optical-quality zoom to both iPhones. It means users can shoot .5x, 1x, and 2x zoom images with these models. The rear and front cameras can record videos in 4K at up to 60fps.


Hardware and software

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The 15 and 15 Plus run the latest iOS 17 out of the box and have the same internals. So, you get the same usage experience and performance regardless of your chosen device. They are powered by the hexa-core Apple A16 Bionic chipset from the last year, and a 5-core GPU and a 16-core Neural Engine back the processor.

Accompanying the chipset is 6GB RAM and up to 512GB of storage. The A16 Bionic was one of the best-performance SoCs last year, and it continues to be a powerful processor in 2023. And if performance is your main criterion to pick one, you can go ahead with either model since they are identical in this department.


Battery

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Battery capacity is the only other differentiating factor apart from the dimension, weight, and display size of the 15 and 15 Plus. While Apple has not announced the battery capacities, a recent leak has alleged that the 15 Plus has a 4,383mAh battery, and the vanilla iPhone has a 3,349mAh battery.

The Cupertino-based tech giant has revealed that the 15 Plus can last up to 26 hours while playing a video, and the 15 offers up to 20 hours. These iPhones feature a USB Type-C charging port and support for wireless charging via MagSafe and Qi2. The 15 and 15 Plus support fast charging via a 20W or higher capacity charger, which has to be purchased separately.


Bottomline

While the Apple iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are nearly identical prima facie, the company has made a clear distinction between the two. Those who need a compact iPhone without compromising on performance and power should go with the 15. On the other hand, the 15 Plus is for heavy users who need a longer-lasting battery and a bigger display panel for gaming or multimedia.

It's clear that it ultimately boils down to the user preference. The vanilla 15 starts at $799, whereas the Plus variant starts at $899. Both are already up for pre-order and will start shipping on September 22.

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Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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