Wondering whether you should get the vanilla iPhone 15 or this year’s Budget Plus? We are here to help you. They both have their quirks and strengths, but the good news, however, is that the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus offer a substantial upgrade over their predecessors, so whatever you decide to acquire, you’ll be welcomed with a measurable improvement in performance, efficiency. , display quality and, to some extent, camera performance.
But before making a more nuanced comparison, we suggest you take a quick look at the technical data sheets.
If you are reading this article here, we will assume that you have not yet decided on the size. But the difference is obvious. The 15 Plus will appeal to anyone who wants a big-screen experience and doesn’t mind the extra weight. The Plus tips the scales at 201 grams, which is quite heavy but still lighter than the Pro Max.
Naturally, the vanilla 15 is a much more compact and lightweight alternative. The 15 will definitely appeal to old-school iOS users who were used to smaller iPhones in the past.
It might not seem that big on paper, but the difference is obvious in person.
Aside from the difference in size and weight, the two don’t have any noticeable differences in terms of design and construction. After all, they both belong to the same family, so there is no generational difference.
Both iPhones feature new and improved displays compared to their predecessors, but the difference between them is limited to size and resolution. Naturally, the 15 Plus gets a larger screen with a higher resolution, but retains the same 460 ppi as its smaller counterpart.
The duo’s displays are based on the same technology and support the same features: HDR10, Dolby Vision, 10-bit color depth and both carry the Super Retina XDR OLED branding. Both also benefit from the new Dynamic Island.
Even in actual use, the two panels are almost identical. In our testing, both reached their maximum brightness peak in the mid-1,600 nits in auto mode and reached just over 800 nits in manual mode. Color accuracy is superb in both cases.
So, as you can see, size is the only thing that separates the two, and it’s obvious which one is suitable for which user.
The winner of the battery endurance race was not as clear as expected. Usually, larger phones tend to have longer battery life because they can hold larger batteries. And for the most part, that’s still true here.
The iPhone 15 Plus scores points 111 hours overall in our endurance tests, while the vanilla 15’s score is 98 hours. But this is mainly due to the 15 Plus’s longer standby and call time.
Looking closely at the results, the 15 and 15 Plus don’t look much different, as the on-screen results are barely different. The 15 Plus runs longer in browsing, while the 15 Plus performs better in the video test, but not by much.
Perhaps the 15 Plus screen uses disproportionately more power because it’s larger and has a higher resolution. Although historically the latter rarely makes much difference in actual usage.
Regardless, the conclusion that can be drawn from the results is that the 15 Plus may be suitable for people who tend to leave their device idle for longer periods of time, while power users who rack up time more easily screen will not notice much difference.
Keep in mind that battery deterioration over the years is less felt on a larger battery, so this may be a reason to opt for the Plus if you want to get a few years of use out of your new one. iPhone.
To our surprise, the iPhone 15 Plus charges faster than the iPhone 15. However, to some extent this makes sense because larger batteries tend to charge faster because they can maintain a higher voltage Longer.
Overall, though, you may feel little difference between the two. During the first 15 minutes, the 15 and 15 Plus charged just as quickly, while after 30 minutes the vanilla model was even slightly faster. Still, the 15 Plus completes a full cycle about 16 minutes faster.
Contrary to what many think, the speakers on the two handsets are quite different. Sure, they use the same hybrid setup, and both are well balanced, but for some reason the smaller iPhone has slightly more powerful speakers.
Anyway, the difference is rather negligible, but the sound adjustment cannot be neglected. There is a noticeable difference in bass and treble. The larger iPhone seems to have more bass and delivers fuller sound, while the vanilla iPhone 15 makes voices heard better, but at the cost of a slight ringing at higher volume. However, we prefer the 15 Plus.
You can compare how the two iPhones sound under controlled acoustic conditions with the samples below. Just make sure you have your headphones on and the volume at maximum level.
Since both handsets run on the same A16 Bionic chip, based on the same 4nm node, there is little to no difference in short benchmark tasks. The 15 Plus consistently outperforms the vanilla 15 in all benchmarks, but the difference is statistically insignificant. This is likely because the 15 Plus has a slightly larger body and can maintain higher clock speeds for longer.
But since the benchmarks work in short periods, the results do not show a huge difference.
Geek bench 6
Geek bench 6
Comparing cameras is quite simple. Both devices feature an all-new 48MP main camera, which offers a significant upgrade over last year’s standard iPhone 14 lineup, but there’s absolutely no difference between the ability of both handsets to operate in daylight or low-light scenarios.
The new 48MP sensor produces excellent photos in almost any scenario, even at night, without resorting to the dedicated Night mode. On the other hand, Night mode seems to improve overall image quality, but it is rarely triggered by software.
iPhone 15 Plus: 0.5x • 1x • 2x
iPhone 15: 0.5x • 1x • 2x
Even cropped samples from the 2x zoom are excellent, but the ultra-wide camera leaves more to be desired, especially after dusk.
iPhone 15 Low Brightness: 0.5x • 1x • 2x
iPhone 15 Low Brightness: 0.5x • 1x • 2x
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t make a decision based on camera performance, as both handsets offer the same quality overall.
This also applies to video recording.
Here’s a look at how the iPhone 15 Plus’s main camera compares in image quality to the iPhone 15 in our image comparison tool.
And here’s how the iPhone 15 Plus main camera compares in video quality to the iPhone 15 in our video comparison tool.
As you can see, it’s not just about size. Of course, getting the larger 15 Plus has some pros and cons due to its larger size, but there are other things to consider here. For example, the price. MSRP for the 15 Plus is €1,100/$899 (in Europe/US), while the 15 asks significantly less – €950/$800. That’s about a $150 difference, which some users may not justify. Especially if you don’t mind having a more compact device in your pocket. After all, the iPhone 15 is the cheapest possible entry into the 2023 Apple ecosystem, and it’s also the closest to your years-old compact iPhone.
On the other hand, the iPhone 15 Plus makes a compelling case because it’s slightly better in some ways. It’s able to maintain higher clock speeds for longer, it’s slightly faster when it comes to charging, it offers a little longer battery life, and of course it has a larger screen. big.
No matter how we say it, the deciding factor remains display size, because for the most part you’ll get a nearly identical user experience. It depends on whether you want a big-screen iOS experience or prefer something more compact.
- The biggest screen.
- Charging slightly faster.
- Slightly longer battery life
Get the iPhone 15 Plus for:
- Smaller dimensions and lower weight.
- The lower price.
Get iPhone 15 for: