iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: Totally “game-changing” but not for the reasons you expect

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro: Totally “game-changing” but not for the reasons you expect
Like I wrote in one of my most recent stories, although Apple might not be known as the “father of modern smartphone innovation”, Cupertino certainly isn’t a stranger to giving us meaningful upgrades. And although sometimes these upgrades might seem easy to overlook, thanks to flashier changes to the iPhone, it doesn’t mean they aren’t a big deal.

Today, I’ve decided to talk about the under-appreciated new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro features that (I believe) will end up making a bigger difference to your day-to-day iPhone use than you realize.

From a super-powerful USB-C port that turns iPhone into a pro camera and a gaming console to dramatically lower repair costs, here are the top new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro features that deserve praise but flew under the radar.

USB-C might really be the best new iPhone 15 feature but not for the reasons you expect: Apple took the EU’s “lemons” and turned them into a killer lemonade

The iPhone 15’s Reverse wired charging via USB-C might be a better idea than Reverse wireless charging

Undoubtedly, the most useful new USB-C feature on iPhone 15 must be the ability to use your iPhone to charge your AirPods and Apple Watch.

No, it’s not the Reverse Wireless Charging we asked for but it might be even more practical, considering you can simply connect your accessories to your iPhone via a cable and place them in your pocket/bag until they are charged.

iPhone 15 Pro is a gaming console now (thanks to USB-C)

Thanks to the new USB-C port, you can now connect your iPhone 15 to an external display, and controller, which makes it about as flexible as a Nintendo Switch.

Meanwhile, Apple is bringing PC-grade titles to the iPhone, like Resident Evil 4 remake, Death Stranding, Assassin's Creed Mirage, and The Division Resurgence to the iPhone 15 Pro (not the vanilla models), which means even hardcore gamers will be impressed by what the new A17 Pro chip and USB-C port can do in tandem.

Bear in mind that according to reports, Apple’s A17 Pro chip in the iPhone 15 Pro seems to be running quite hot. In other words, you’ll get the best out of it only if you can keep it cool during long gaming sessions. An external MagSafe fan might help.

iPhone 15 can now replace your $1,000 video camera (again) thanks to USB-C

You can also use the USB-C port on iPhone 15 to connect an external SSD or even a micro SD card (via a card reader). This would help professionals/enthusiasts shoot ProRes, LOG videos directly on an external drive, and then color grade and edit the videos in a software like Final Cut.

The ability to record ProRes, LOG videos with iPhone 15 Pro means Apple’s flagship can now act like a replacement for certain dedicated video cameras. Of course, it all depends on your workflow and demands, but I’ve already seen some stunning short films and videos shot on iPhone 15 Pro on YouTube, and the quality is stunning.

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  • iPhone 15 with USB-C also lets you connect and use an external microphone, even through a dedicated audio interface

  • USB-C on iPhone 15 also allows you to connect to a TV and play your favorite movies without worrying about the Wi-Fi connection via AirPlay

  • And if that wasn’t enough, the iPhone 15’s USB-C port even lets you connect directly to your internet router via an Ethernet cable (adapter is required)

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are now significantly cheaper to repair in case you break your rear glass (again, thanks to the EU)

I’m sure this one flew under most people’s radar, but in another “thank the EU” upgrade, Pro iPhones are now dramatically cheaper to repair.

The design change affects the rear glass of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in particular, which is now much cheaper to replace thanks to a new (repairability focused) internal design demanded by EU legislations. I don’t know about you, but I see this design change as more important than any other physical upgrade to the iPhone 15 Pro.

  • The iPhone 14 Pro Max’s back glass costs $550 to repair due to the impractical old internal design, while this year’s iPhone 15 Pro Max rear glass repair is only $200

  • In the UK, the iPhone 15 Pro rear glass repair price is down to £199 from the whipping £600 of the iPhone 14 Pro

  • The biggest difference is seen in the EU where the iPhone 15 Pro Max back glass repair is down to €220 from €670 with iPhone 14 Pro Max

iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro Max now take DSLR-like photos and videos even if you aren’t a pro

Another huge iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro upgrade this year comes to the camera. The catch here is that in order to appreciate the camera upgrades on iPhone 15, you must’ve hated the camera of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 (which I sort of did).

In other words, if you only take photos and videos that go on Instagram and TikTok with a heavy filter on top, then you might not even care. However, if you are a photography and videography enthusiast or even a professional, this year’s upgrades to the camera of the iPhone 15 series are massive for you, because we’ve been wanting for them for years:

  • HDR is finally great on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro as Apple’s flagships no longer overexpose the bright portions of photos (sky, neon signs, etc.), which makes photos taken in challenging conditions look much better than before

  • Apple’s new 24MP standard for taking photos finally makes iPhone photos look less oversharpened and processed, and more detailed than ever, which brings them far closer to DSLR photos

  • Apple’s upgraded Portrait mode is super-smart and will be many people’s new favorite feature; it triggers automatically, and lets you change the focus point of your photos; something particularly impressive are the Portrait mode photos coming out of the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 5x zoom camera, which might be too long for portraits, but gives some stunning results

  • While standard videos don’t seem to be changed, iPhone 15 Pro now lets you record ProRes, LOG videos (with an external SSD), which brings Apple’s video quality to a whole new level if you are a professional or an enthusiast

iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max make history as the lightest iPhone upgrade ever (and that matters)

The cherry on top of the underrated iPhone 15 Pro upgrades is the fact that Apple’s premium flagships are now significantly lighter than before thanks to Apple’s move from stainless steel to an aluminium-titanium frame mix.

You need to hold the new iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max to appreciate this change, and holding your phone is basically the thing you do the most with it (duh), so this is a real-world upgrade many will come to love.

Whether you like using your phone with or without a case, the 20g weight drop in iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will be something you notice. Well, at least if you’re upgrading from heavy phones like the iPhone 13 Pro/Max, iPhone 14 Pro/Max, or Galaxy S22/S3 Ultra. A phone like the vanilla iPhone 15 is still noticeably lighter than the Pro models.

Although they might not be as flashy to talk about like a 100x zoom camera, or a brushed titanium frame, there are changes that make Apple’s iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro a big step-up over older models. This is especially true for the vanilla iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, which I recently called “the biggest iPhone upgrade since the iPhone X”.

USB-C opens up so many new doors for iPhone 15 and especially iPhone 15 Pro, while more like DSLR than ever camera makes the new iPhones a no-brainer for photography and videography enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, the stratospherically lower rear glass repair costs for iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max mean you can finally rock your super premium iPhone without a case - at least if you don’t mind shelling out “only” $200 for a glass replacement (as opposed to $550).

And lighter iPhones are something we haven’t seen since… literally forever, which makes the 20g weight drop on iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max huge news for those who find Apple’s recent premium flagships way too heavy.

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