Apple Announces iPhone 15 with Dynamic Island and USB-C

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By Andrew Utterback 

 

Apple has announced the iPhone 15 series at its “Wonderlust” event this afternoon.  This year the base model iPhones get the Dynamic Island from the 14 Pro models last year, as well as USB-C and camera improvements.

The 15 and 15 Plus feature the pill-shaped cutout at the top of the screen known as Dynamic Island. This was introduced last year and is a feature that I can’t wait to see in the hands of more people now.  Also from the 14 Pro, we have a peak brightness of 2000 nits in the sun and 1600 nits while viewing HDR content. The design of the 15 also gets an update, now with contoured edges, color infused glass with a matte finish (finally), and 5 new pastel colors: Blue, Green, Yellow, Pink, and Black. 

They both keep the same dual camera layout but now with the same 48mp main camera from the 14 Pro last year. The sensor features pixel binning (meaning it takes 4 pixels from a 48MP image and puts them together to make a smaller file with more detail), a 2x crop, and the suite of photonic engine enabled features introduced last year. Apple says that the 15 will now shoot better portrait photos, with an auto portrait mode that detects a subject in the photo, as well as depth information that is always captured, to turn any photo into a portrait. This lets you switch the focal point of the photo after it has been shot, using the depth info. The 15 also gets improved night mode and Smart HDR. 

Powering the 15 and 15 Plus is the A16 chip from last year’s 14 Pro, and it also features a second gen ultra wide band chip, which was first introduced in the iPhone 11 Pro.  In the keynote, Apple showed a man finding his friend as if she were an AirTag with precision finding in the Find My app. Definitely a feature we need to try. 

iPhone 15 gets “all day battery life” as well as a host of new safety features. Apple is bringing its satellite based, Emergency SOS feature to roadside assistance, partnering with AAA. It also gets improved audio quality on calls, and finally, USB-C. Lightning is finally dead after an 11 year run, in exchange for the universally adopted (even by Apple) USB-C port.  All thanks to the EU; we now have a universal charger, allowing for just one single “phone charger” for all to use. The USB-C ports on the 15 and 15 Plus are limited to USB 2 speeds (same as lightning), and there is no word on faster charging. 

The iPhone 15 starts at $799 and the 15 Plus starts at $899.  Both are available to preorder this Friday, September 15, 2023.

The major innovations were saved for the 15 Pro and Pro Max.  Go read my recap of those, posted on the Kennedale News home page.