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The Apple iPhone 15 has been released, leading to the annual internal debate: should I upgrade? It’s a difficult question to answer, and a lot depends on the age and condition of your current phone and how you use it. However, generally speaking, it’s easier than ever to keep using your phone for five or more years before its age really starts to show.
If you’re still using an iPhone 11 or XR — which are great choices, by the way, well done — and you’re perfectly happy with its performance, then you can probably get another year or so out of your investment. This is especially true if dwindling battery performance is your main concern — battery replacement is much cheaper than buying a new phone.
There’s another consideration this time around: USB-C. It replaces the Lightning port that Apple has included on its phones for the past decade, so you may need to find solutions for any proprietary Lightning accessories you’ve been using. That will be a hassle for some, but in the long run, the switch to USB-C comes with significant advantages. You’ll be able to use the same charger as your MacBook or share a power cable with your friend who has an Android phone. Most USB-C accessories also work with the iPhone 15 — suddenly, the SD card reader you use with your laptop can plug right into your phone. It’s a beautiful thing.
All this is to say, if you are ready to upgrade, then this is as good a time as any. While the iPhone 14 series offered only a few new features — mostly reserved for the Pro models — this yearNo matter whether you’re considering a pricier Pro or a standard iPhone 15, the iPhone 15 series comes at a similar cost to the 14 at its launch. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are priced at $799 and $899, with the 15 Pro starting at $999. However, this time around, Apple has done away with the $1,099 Pro Max with 128GB of storage, so the lowest price of entry is now $1,199 for the 256GB Pro Max.
While many people may offset the cost with carrier promotions or spread payments over two or three years, purchasing any of these phones still constitutes a significant investment. If now is the time to upgrade, we’re here to help you make the right choice for your investment.
### The Best iPhone for Most People
Screen: 6.1-inch 2556 x 1179 OLED, 60Hz refresh rate / Processor: A16 Bionic Cameras: 48-megapixel f/1.6 main with sensor-shift IS, 12-megapixel ultrawide, 12-megapixel selfie / Battery: not advertised / Charging: 27W wired, 15W wireless MagSafe, 7.5W Qi / Weather-resistance rating: IP68
The iPhone 15 is a bit of a remix. It picks up some new bits from the previous generation’s Pro models, like the Dynamic Island and an A16 Bionic sensor, and adds some flavor of its own with a new high-res image sensor and that much-touted USB-C port. It’s not entirely new, but it’s a solid step up from the iPhone 14 — in short, exactly the kind of update we’ve come to expect from the non-Pro iPhone series.
The 15 doesn’t get everything that the 14 Pro introduced. The always-on display that keeps your dimmed lock screen, well, always on is still reserved for the 15 Pro and Pro Max. The 48-megapixel sensor on the 15 and 15 Plus is new but is physically smaller than the one used by the Pro phones. And the iPhone 15 is still stuck with a standard 60Hz screen in a year when most midrange Android phones come with at least 90Hz displays.
The iPhone 15 offers compelling features for those upgrading from earlier models. The new camera’s 2x crop zoom is great for portraits, and the Dynamic Island conveniently displays important information at the top of the screen when needed. While the transition to USB-C may initially be inconvenient, it represents a positive change in the long run.
The iPhone 15 may not be the most groundbreaking phone of 2023, but it offers a sensible combination of updates for its price. While the Pro models may be more suitable for those seeking the latest technology, the iPhone 15 is a reliable choice for everyday use, photography, and long-term performance.