The iPhone 15 is here and it comes with quite a few drastic changes. The 11-year-old Lightning charging port has been replaced by USB-C, the notorious notch at the top of the screen has disappeared to make way for the Dynamic Island, and on the iPhone 15 Pro models, the long-lived mute switch has been phased out for a programmable Action Button. It’s a lot! But which iPhone 15 model is best for you? And does any model have enough enhancements to make an upgrade worth the money? If you’ve been mulling these questions ever since Apple debuted the new handsets, don’t worry—I’m here to help. Below, I break down the differences between all four iPhone 15 models, which one is right for you, and whether you should upgrade at all.
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Updated September 22, 2023: The iPhones are now available and we’ve updated language and pricing reflecting the launch.
Should I Upgrade to the iPhone 15?
Our common answer to this question is actually a question we ask you: Is your current smartphone doing OK? If it’s performing just fine and you’re still getting software updates, then the answer is no. This is especially true if you have an iPhone 13 or iPhone 14—they’re still pretty recent! If you are having battery life issues but everything else is OK, then you may want to explore a battery replacement for a nominal fee first. We also have a guide to repairing your iPhone you may find helpful.
However, this year our standard answer is also slightly different. Apple has changed the charging port on the iPhone 15 range from Lightning to USB-C. If you have a bunch of USB-C devices and hate having to keep track of a separate Lightning cable, then the convenience might be worth the price of upgrading. Lightning accessories aren’t going to disappear overnight, but it’s also not worth investing in them anymore, as more and more accessory makers will strictly stick to USB-C.
If you’ve decided to upgrade, be sure to read our guide on how to sell your iPhone. You can use Apple’s Trade-In program, but you can likely get more money selling a handset yourself. Always back up your iPhone first, then factory reset it to wipe your data. When you get your new smartphone, read our guide on how to set up your new iPhone for more tips and tricks.
Choose Your iPhone
The iPhone 15 range includes the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus (7/10, WIRED Recommends) are exactly the same except for their size and battery life. The Pro models (8/10, WIRED Recommends), unfortunately, have one big difference outside of size, but we’ll get to that below. All of them come with a braided 60-watt USB-C to USB-C cable in the box.