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The New Apple IPhone 15: What's New and What's Not


November 11, 2023

Another year, another iPhone release! It's been about a month since the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro dropped. And like most of the population, including me, you must wonder, 'What's new about this model compared to the others?' I'm going to dive into the exciting features and advancements of the iPhone 15, as well as explore whether it truly lives up to the hype or is more of an incremental upgrade. Let's unravel the mysteries behind the latest release and discover what sets the iPhone 15 apart from its predecessors or if it's merely a repetition with a different color and number.

Current Issues

You would think that with how much Apple tends to hype up its new phone releases, it would go without saying that your phone shouldn't be burning up when you're using it. Yet, that's what current iPhone users have been experiencing. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro have encountered several notable issues since their release.

The flagship iPhone 15 Pro Max, priced at $1,200, has faced a significant problem with screen burn-in. Users have reported this issue on various platforms, describing how the display's brightness levels deteriorate to the point of being unusable within a few weeks of launch. Another primary concern is overheating, especially during activities like fast charging and intensive gaming, despite Apple's attempt to address it with the iOS 17.0.3 update. The persistent overheating issues and reports of screen burn-in suggest potential stability compromises due to the device's ambitious features.

Additionally, some experts attribute the problematic launch to Apple's decision to adopt a new titanium design for the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, indicating possible compromises in the thermal system design. Lastly, the iOS 17 software update has brought troubles, ranging from the device turning itself off overnight to various Wi-Fi issues and security vulnerabilities. These issues collectively raise concerns about the overall performance and reliability of the iPhone 15 series.

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What's New:

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max introduce a refreshed design with more contoured edges, offering a modern aesthetic and a different feel in hand compared to their predecessors, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Notably, the Pro models incorporate titanium bands around the glass front and back, replacing the stainless steel used in the previous generation. This change contributes to a lighter overall weight and enhances resistance to scratches and dings.

The titanium bands are meticulously finished through precision machining, sanding, brushing, and blasting, resulting in a distinctive brushed, matte appearance. The iPhone 15 Pro lineup is available in four colors: white, black, natural, and blue.

Remained the Same:

While the iPhone 15 Pro models showcase a redesign, certain aspects remain consistent with the iPhone 14 Pro models. The dimensions of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are similar but slightly thicker than their predecessors. The Pro lineup retains the all-glass front protected by Apple's durable Ceramic Shield material, known for its strength.

The characteristic pill-shaped Dynamic Island at the top of the display, housing the TrueDepth camera equipment, persists from the previous generation. Additionally, the Pro models continue the trend of slimmed-down display bezels for increased screen space. The familiar color options and the overall design philosophy maintain continuity with the prior-generation Pro models.

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Water and Dust Resistance

As someone who brings her phone everywhere, I've gotten into a couple of accidents with it in the five years it's been in my possession. Apple's implementation of a water- and dust-resistant iPhone has had to be the best upgrade since the iPhone 7, and that feature is (thankfully) here to stay. The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max boast an IP68 rating, signifying their robust water and dust infiltration resistance.

This certification ensures that these smartphones can endure submersion in water up to six meters (19.7 feet) for up to 30 minutes. In the IP68 designation, the '6' denotes exceptional dust resistance, indicating the device's capability to withstand dirt, dust, and other particulates.Meanwhile, the '8' underscores the high level of water resistance. The IP6x rating represents the pinnacle of dust resistance. While the iPhone 15 Pro can handle splashes, rain, and inadvertent water exposure, deliberate water submersion is advised against. It's crucial to note that water and dust resistance are not permanent and may diminish over time due to regular use.

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New Screen, New Me

What's New:

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max retain the impressive OLED Super Retina XDR display found in last year's models, offering consistent specifications such as a maximum brightness of 1000 nits, peak HDR brightness of 1600 nits, and peak outdoor brightness of 2000 nits. However, notable improvements include an increased resolution for the iPhone 15 Pro at 2556 by 1179 with 460 pixels per inch and the iPhone 15 Pro Max at 2796 by 1290 with 460 pixels per inch. The display features a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, vibrant broad color support, and True Tone technology that adjusts the white balance according to ambient lighting.

Additionally, there's a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, a Haptic Touch for responsive feedback, and a Dynamic Island that serves as an interactive information hub for notifications and app updates, expanding and collapsing based on user interactions. The Pro models also introduce ProMotion technology, offering adaptive refresh rates ranging from 1Hz to 120Hz, ensuring a smoother and more responsive experience. The Always-On display is another addition, keeping time and widgets active on the Lock Screen while conserving energy by dimming the wallpaper when not in use.

Remained the Same:

The iPhone 15 Pro models maintain the Ceramic Shield material for display protection, developed in partnership with Corning, offering enhanced clarity and toughness against scratches and wear. The Dynamic Island, housing the TrueDepth camera sensor and front-facing camera, remains a distinctive feature in the iPhone's design. While the display's layout and cutouts for the camera and sensors have evolved, Dynamic Island continues to be a central element in the iPhone's interface.

The Pro models also retain ProMotion technology for adaptive refresh rates, adjusting based on on-screen content for optimal performance. The Always-On display, introduced with the iPhone 14 Pro models, continues to provide convenient access to time and widgets while conserving battery life by turning off the display when not in use.

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A17 Pro Chip

Powering the iPhone 15 Pro models is the cutting-edge A17 Pro chip, representing a leap forward as Apple's inaugural processor constructed using the groundbreaking 3-nanometer process. This powerhouse chip features a dynamic 6-core CPU comprising two high-performance and four efficiency cores alongside a formidable 6-core GPU.

Impressively, the GPU outshines its predecessor, the A16 Bionic, by a remarkable 20%, while the CPU boasts a 10% increase in speed. The 16-core Neural Engine takes the spotlight, delivering an astonishing performance of nearly 35 trillion operations per second—twice as fast as before.

Apple's A17 Pro marks a groundbreaking redesign in Apple GPUs, introducing hardware-accelerated ray tracing for an unparalleled gaming experience. This innovation enhances graphics fluidity and lighting realism, making the iPhone 15 Pro the first capable of handling console-quality games such as Resident Evil 4 and Death Stranding. Notably, the A17 Pro's Geekbench benchmark results showcase its superiority over the A16 Bionic, achieving a single-core score of 2,908 and a multi-core score of 7,238.

On the memory front, the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max boast an upgraded 8GB of RAM, a 2GB increase from their predecessors, ensuring seamless multitasking and enhanced performance. In terms of storage space, the iPhone 15 Pro kicks off with a generous 128GB, while the Pro Max starts at an even more substantial 256 GB. Both models offer an expansive 1TB storage option for those craving extra room, providing users with ample space for their digital treasures.

Safety Features

This feature was recently introduced when the iPhone 14 came out, but Apple decided to keep it. iPhone 15 models possess the intelligence to discern a severe car crash, springing into action by automatically initiating a call to emergency services in cases where the vehicle's occupants are seriously injured or unable to reach their phones. Leveraging the iPhone's GPS, the system can identify sudden speed changes, while the microphone plays its part by recognizing loud sounds characteristic of significant car crashes.

Notably, this Crash Detection feature extends its reach to the Apple Watch, creating a seamless collaboration between the iPhone and the wearable device. Together, they synchronize efforts to promptly alert emergency services when an unfortunate accident occurs, transforming the iPhone into a proactive safety companion.

Apple has also designed a groundbreaking Emergency SOS via satellite feature that changes iPhone connectivity in critical scenarios, leveraging Globalstar-operated satellites as a lifeline when standard Wi-Fi or cellular connections are unavailable. In open spaces with few obstacles, a user-friendly walkthrough assists in holding iPhones optimally for satellite connection. Apple's compressed messaging protocol facilitates swift communication, delivering emergency messages in as little as 15 seconds in treeless environments.

Upon activation, Emergency SOS via satellite prompts users with crucial questions for relaying essential details swiftly to emergency personnel. Responses are directed to local emergency services or routed to Apple-trained specialists at relay centers, who can liaise with emergency services on the user's behalf. Primarily designed for dire situations, the satellite feature also updates Find My Location during off-the-grid adventures, offering peace of mind to friends and family during camping or hiking. Apple provides this service free for two years for iPhone 15 users, with future pricing undisclosed. Additionally, Apple introduced Roadside Assistance via satellite for U.S. iPhone users, enabling contact with AAA for help in areas without cellular or Wi-Fi and incurring no extra charges for satellite usage. This multifaceted emergency and practical satellite service combination enhances the iPhone 15's capabilities, ensuring users stay connected and supported in diverse situations.

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Action Button

The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max shake things up by introducing the dynamic Action button, replacing the traditional Ring/Silent switch above the volume buttons on the left side. Apple's ingenious design allows users to personalize the Action button, unleashing a realm of possibilities.

Dive into the Settings app to configure this button to your liking, assigning it a range of functions that align perfectly with your unique preferences. This intuitive feature injects a burst of versatility into the iPhone experience, making your device not just a gadget but a personalized tool tailored to your needs.

These are just a few new features that come with the iPhone 15 model. Like most years, Apple has mainly focused on improving its camera models (that stove-like camera interface isn't just for show). You can now take better portrait-style photos, Zoom in (even closer) on subjects, call AAA without cell phone or Wi-Fi service and even charge your phone faster with a USB-C connector. The new iPhone has some subtle changes this year, but if you've been looking to upgrade your phone for a while, it won't hurt to consider buying this phone once all the glitches are resolved.

Williana Serve
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Williana is currently a freshman in college. She likes to learn new things especially involving Law & Advocacy. When she’s not doing schoolwork, she can be found watching TikTok, YouTube, or reading.