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9 months later, I nonetheless actually just like the iPhone 15. But I can’t advocate it

Green iPhone 15.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Apple launched the iPhone 15 collection in September 2023, which was already 9 months in the past. How time flies!

Earlier this month, Apple held WWDC 2024, its annual developer convention, the place the corporate showcases the subsequent spherical of software program updates — together with iOS 18. While the quantity of compatible iPhones for iOS 18 is loads, solely two will reap the total advantages of the AI-heavy software program replace: the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

That’s proper — even the newest iPhone 15, which got here out not even a full 12 months in the past, gained’t be getting the total iOS 18 expertise this fall. This is Apple fragmentation at its finest, so it begs the query: Is the iPhone 15 nonetheless ok at this level in 2024?

I haven’t picked up the iPhone 15 since I initially reviewed it again in October 2023. After WWDC, I made a decision to choose it up once more to look at it with a contemporary perspective.

What I nonetheless like concerning the iPhone 15

Green iPhone 15 in hand.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The iPhone 15 this 12 months underwent some fairly large upgrades in comparison with its predecessor, the iPhone 14. Thankfully, these adjustments nonetheless maintain up fairly nicely.

Apple modified the again glass to a matte end quite than shiny like earlier than. Personally, I like this matte glass as a result of for those who’re utilizing it bare, the matte end means fewer fingerprints and smudges throughout. This is because of Apple utilizing a “color-infused” glass again, although apart from the pink one, they don’t look too colourful.

I additionally actually love how light-weight the iPhone 15 is. Though my each day driver is the iPhone 15 Pro, which is lighter than its predecessor as a result of it makes use of titanium as a substitute of stainless-steel, I at all times felt that aluminum feels higher to carry over prolonged quantities of time. And with the extra curved edges this time round, it’s positively extra comfy within the hand.

A green iPhone 15 using the camera in landscape orientation.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The digicam enhancements on the iPhone 15 have been additionally stunning when Apple revealed it. It’s fairly on par with what I get on my iPhone 15 Pro. So, for those who don’t essentially want a devoted telephoto lens, then you may most likely get by with simply the iPhone 15.

Apple additionally gave the iPhone 15 the brand new Auto Portrait mode, which routinely captures depth knowledge even in regular images when an individual or pet is detected, permitting you to transform it right into a Portrait picture after the very fact. This is one in all my favourite options of the lineup, making it potential to show any fast snapshot of my daughter into one thing that appears even higher.

The show on the iPhone 15 appears fairly good too. Colors are brilliant and vibrant, and textual content is crisp and sharp. However, since I primarily use my iPhone 15 Pro, I do discover the 60Hz refresh charge on the iPhone 15 greater than I’d wish to. Most folks could not discover it, and it’s not one thing that impacts each day use, however it may be a bit jarring to return to 60Hz for those who’re used to 90-120Hz shows.

The iPhone 15 will quickly be outdated

Screenshots of Apple Intelligence features in iOS 18.
Apple

When Apple revealed iOS 18 at its WWDC 2024 keynote, it was very clear that Apple was going all-in on Apple Intelligence, its suite of AI instruments throughout all platforms. With iOS 18, your iPhone now has some cool new options, together with smarter Siri, new writing instruments, picture technology instruments, higher total search in Photos, the Clean Up software, and extra.

But there’s one large catch: Apple Intelligence can solely run on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Yes, although the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus got here out on the identical time, these two fashions gained’t be getting any Apple Intelligence options. Basically, Apple’s year-old cellphone gained’t even get the newest software program options come this fall.

Of course, there’s nonetheless quite a lot of new stuff coming in iOS 18 that doesn’t want Apple Intelligence. For instance, Messages can have RCS help and the flexibility to schedule messages to be despatched later. The house display shall be extra customizable by permitting apps and widgets to be positioned wherever, and the icons and widgets can have new appears. Control Center is getting its largest revamp in years, permitting customers to completely customise the structure and even change out the lock display shortcuts.

Examples of how iOS 18's home screen can be customized.
Apple

Still, there’s no denying {that a} very massive a part of iOS 18 will depend on Apple Intelligence. An instance is Siri — for those who’re utilizing an iPhone that will get iOS 18 however doesn’t get Apple Intelligence, will Siri stay, nicely, dumb? Because it appears like with AI, Siri will lastly turn out to be usable, however it should nonetheless be the identical outdated Siri for everybody who doesn’t have an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max.

I feel the iPhone 15 has set the file for the most recent iPhone that’s the quickest to be outdated. Sure, it’ll work superb, however you’re mainly going to be lacking half the options of the most recent software program replace. And at that time, is it even price utilizing?

A brief life for the iPhone 15

Green iPhone 15 showing home screen.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Before Apple had its WWDC 2024 convention, I might have mentioned that the iPhone 15 is an efficient iPhone for most individuals. After all, Apple gave it some large upgrades just like the 48MP primary digicam, USB-C, and even the Dynamic Island. And for probably the most half, the A16 Bionic is an efficient chip for fundamental duties that folks would use the iPhone 15 for.

But then WWDC occurred, and the A16 Bionic is clearly not ok anymore — a minimum of not ok to run Apple Intelligence (together with the dearth of mandatory RAM). Considering that the iPhone 15 begins at $800 and can solely have half the options of iOS 18 when it comes out within the fall, it’s simply not price it anymore in 2024.

Though it’s disappointing that Apple is making a year-old cellphone outdated already, it’s not precisely new. Apple has been leaving options off older iPhones usually. iOS 17 launched new FaceTime gestures that may set off 3D results in video calls, and solely the iPhone 12 and later bought this characteristic. Standby Mode was additionally just for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro fashions.

Still, Apple Intelligence is a major a part of iOS 18, and it’s not a small characteristic. It’s positively a transfer that can depart a bitter style within the mouths of many iPhone 15 and earlier customers.

So, for now, if you have already got an iPhone 15, you’ll be able to get pleasure from its full functionality till September. If you’re contemplating shopping for one now, it’s most likely greatest to attend for the iPhone 16 or a minimum of get an iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max if you wish to use Apple Intelligence in iOS 18.

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