Home GADGETS iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14: last year’s Pro in disguise?

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14: last year’s Pro in disguise?


The iPhone 14, although a great overall phone, did not offer too much in terms of upgrades over the previous generation, but Apple’s new base model, the iPhone 15, is here to make up for that by improving in some key areas. The question is if it succeeds in that endeavor?

Most exciting of all is the new main 48MP camera, which should mean much better image quality both in taking stills and video. There is also the new A16 Bionic chipset that debuted with the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max but was missing from the less expensive models last year.

Other improvements include faster RAM, as well as adopting the Pro model’s design. But that’s enough chit-chat, let’s dive in deeper and see what the details are while we figure out how the iPhone 15 and iPhone 14 compare.
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14:

  • 4nm A16 Bionic chip vs 5nm A15
  • Almost 2x peak brightness (2000 nits vs 1200 nits)
  • Dynamic Island replaces the notch
  • Same storage options
  • 48MP main camera vs 12MP
  • Same battery size
  • Same charging speeds
  • USB-C replaces Lightning

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Two main changes: Dynamic Island and USB-C

Apple hasn’t made any crazy design changes in a while, and things are not any different with the iPhone 15. The most visible difference you will see between the two phones is the iPhone 15‘s Dynamic Island which it borrows from the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, replacing the iconic but outdated notch on the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus. There’s also the new USB-C port but more on that later when we talk about the charging capabilities.

The iPhone 15 comes with a new matte-textured back panel which meets the slightly more curved edge of the aluminum frame. Both of these are rather small changes from the iPhone 14 but we are excited to find out if the iPhone 15 ends up feeling different in the hand because of them.

Protection-wise, Apple seemed to imply that the new back panel is stronger than before. As for protection against the elements, we have the same IP68 water and dust certification.

Size-wise, the two phones are barely any different, with the iPhone 15 being ever so slightly lighter and in some cases smaller.

What about the colors? They are always a big part of a new iPhone launch. There are a total of five iPhone 15 colors:
Lastly, the unboxing experience of the iPhone 15 is a bit different compared to that of the iPhone 14. How? Well with new USB-C braided cables of course!

Display Differences

Nothing out of the ordinary

The iPhone 14 already comes with a great display. It gets sufficiently bright, contrast levels are superb thanks to the OLED panel, and the color calibration is one of the best in the game (if not the best), meaning you get accurate colors throughout all content.

The iPhone 15 one ups its predecessor in this segment with a higher 1600 nits peak HDR brightness and 2000 nits peak outdoor brightness (2x more than iPhone 14), so HDR content should be even more immersive and the display should be even easier to see in very bright conditions. That being said, the screen lacks one major aspect, which many Android phones have — a high refresh rate.
Sadly, the iPhone 15 does not come with a higher refresh rate than the regular 60Hz its predecessor had. This is arguably the biggest disappointment about the phone. Even a 90Hz (Pro models have 120Hz) would have been a nice upgrade to see here, but it seems Apple thinks it would bridge the gap between the Pro and non-Pro models just a tad too much. Besides the camera system, a higher display refresh rate is very likely one of the main reasons users opt for the more expensive models after all.As mentioned earlier while talking about the design of the phone, the long-lasting reign of the notch has finally ended, and it is now replaced by the Dynamic Island that first appeared with the iPhone 14 Pro.

Performance and Software

A16 Bionic and improved RAM
Last year Apple equipped the iPhone 14 with the same chipset that the iPhone 13 series came with, which was a controversial topic. This time around the company is doing the same thing, with the iPhone 15 rocking the company’s A16 Bionic chipset, which the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max also have.
The A16  chipset comes with minor improvements across the board, with slightly higher processing and GPU power, and better power-efficiency.

Software-wise, there are all the additional UI functionality and features that come with the Dynamic Island, which the iPhone 14 simply does not have. These mostly come in the form of neat real-time information bits about things like your timer, how long until your food deliver arrives, and more.

There is also the fact that the iPhone 15 comes with a 2-year free Roadside Assistance with satellite connectivity, much like the iPhone 14 came with a 2-year free Emergency SOS via satellite.

The iPhone 14 will get the iOS 17 update, which already comes preinstalled on the iPhone 15 series. iOS 17 improves on iOS 16 with an assortment of new features and even some new apps. There is a huge focus on communicating with others, as Apple has made FaceTime, the Messages app, and even sharing your phone number with others a much more seamless and rich experience. Make sure you read out iOS 17 article to get the full picture.


A new 48MP main camera and improved camera features

From 12 to 48MP

The iPhone 14 comes with a 12MP main camera that does quite well, but the iPhone 15 adopts a brand new 48MP image sensor for its primary camera. Users can shoot photos utilizing all 48MP for maximum detail in their shots, but the camera defaults to a 24MP image that balances out higher detail and quality with a more practical file size.

We suspect we will see noticeable differences when comparing the main cameras of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15so stay tuned for our camera tests to see how the two compare in real life and not just on paper.

A 2x zoom with more detail

One thing that has sorely been missing from Apple’s entry-level flagship was a telephoto camera. Well, with the much higher megapixel count, the iPhone 15 can crop in on the main sensor and achieve 2x zoom with quality similar to a real dedicated telephoto camera. The iPhone 14on the other hand, zooms in digitally, which usually results in deteriorated quality, although Apple does quite well on the software side to still make it look good.

Tweaked Night and HDR modes

Apple has made the colors more vivid and details sharper when shooting in Night Mode. Additionally, HDR mode should now produce more true-to-life colors and a more natural balance between light and dark areas in the image.

Audio Quality and Haptics

Apple’s iPhones are known for having some of the best speakers you can find on a phone. That statement stands true for the iPhone 14and given that Apple did not mention anything in particular about this aspect of the phone, so should the iPhone 15. We will let you know more when we get to pit this two bad boys against each other and test out their speakers first hand. The same can be applied to the haptics.

Battery Life and Charging

An unexpected upgrade

Prior to the announcement, there were some rumors saying we would see larger battery sizes with the iPhone 15 series, but those didn’t turn out to be true. We expect to see the same battery life that the iPhone 14 boasts, which would last most users a full day, with some left for the next in some cases.

Also, yes, the iPhone 15 comes with a USB-C charging port unlike the iPhone 14 and all other iPhones before it, but the charging speeds remain as those on the iPhone 14. That means 20W wired and 15W with MagSafe wireless charging.

Specs Comparison

Summary and Final Verdict

So, should you buy yourself an iPhone 15 or an iPhone 14? Well, until we get to spend some time with the new generation we can’t say for sure. It seems as though it largely depends on how much better that new main camera is, and whether the new camera features are enough to validate a purchase.

Of course, there is also the matter of the USB-C port, but at this stage it just feels like an afterthought when you factor in the lack of utilization. After all, it does not come with faster charging or transfer speeds, so the only thing it has going for it is its compatibility.

Then there’s also the fact that the beautiful display Apple has equipped the iPhone 15 with still does not support a display refresh rate higher than the standard 60Hz that the iPhone 14 has. At this point the iPhone 14 Proin fact, is starting to sound like a much more sound purchase decision, especially if found in good condition for a decent price.

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