iPhone 15 Plus vs iPhone 14 Plus: Dynamic Island evolution

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iPhone 15 Plus vs. iPhone 14 Plus

Intro


The iPhone 15 Plus is the second iteration of the resurrected "Plus" model officially unveiled at the 2023 iPhone event. It's Apple's take on the big-screen iPhone without the big price tag. 

What has changed since the reintroduction of the Plus with the iPhone 14 Plus? How do these two iPhone Plus generations stack up against each other? Read on to find out! We've put these two device through their paces in a series of meticulous tests. From real-life battery tests, through detailed display measurements, to synthetic and real scenarios performance tests, we've done it all!

This is our detailed comparison between the recently launched iPhone 15 Plus and its older sibling, the iPhone 14 Plus.

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iPhone 15 Plus: $50-$630 off with a trade-in at Apple

Looking for the bigger-sized iPhone 15 model? In that case, we suggest you consider the iPhone 15 Plus. The Apple store offers up to $630 off as a trade-in credit on a new iPhone 15 Plus.
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iPhone 15 Plus vs iPhone 14 Plus in a nutshell:
  • A16 chip vs A15 chip
  • Same 6GB RAM
  • Same screen size
  • Same storage options
  • Upgraded 48MP main camera
  • Dynamic Island
  • New color options
  • Same price


Design and Size


There are no major changes between these two when it comes to design. The big ones, obviously, are the pill-shaped camera cutout and Dynamic Island software feature, both these features have come to the iPhone 15 Plus, retiring the notch forever.

The other design change that's been in the pipeline for quite some time now and is sort of out of Apple's hands is the switch from Lightning to USB-C. The new standard will make things a bit easer when it comes to cables but the faster transfer and charging speeds are reserved for the Pro models.

When it comes to materials, the iPhone 15 Plus features the same glass and aluminum sandwich design as its predecessor, leaving the fancy titanium option for the Pro and Pro Max models. However, the glass back now has a textured matte finish, as opposed to the shiny glass on the iPhone 14 Plus, and there are new colors available on the new model.

iPhone 15 Plus Colors:
  • Black
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Blue
  • Yellow

iPhone 14 Plus Colors:
  • Midnight
  • Starlight
  • (PRODUCT)RED 
  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Yellow

In terms of pure user experience, when it comes to day-to-day usage, both phones offer exactly the same experience. In our real-life tests, which include handling, continuous use, one-hand operation, tests with and without a case, we found both phones identical. This shouldn't come as a surprise, from the outside, these two are nearly identical.

Display Differences

New pill-shaped cutout

There are no major changes in display size and resolution from the iPhone 14 Plus to the new model. The iPhone 15 Plus comes equipped with the same 6.7-inch OLED display clocked at the traditional 60 Hz refresh rate we know from the previous model. Both phones sport the same resolution - 2796x1290 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 460 PPI (pixels per inch).

Both phones seem to have virtually identical display with one huge difference - the notch! Or rather the lack of it in the iPhone 15 Plus. The phone borrows the pill-shaped cutout from the Pro models of last year, along with the Dynamic Island functionality. There's a slight bump in brightness as well, the iPhone 15 Plus can go up to 1,600 nits peak HDR, and up to 2,000 nits peak outdoor brightness.


Sadly, as already mentioned above, no ProMotion on the iPhone 15 Plus, just the regular 60 Hz refresh rate. This also means that there won't be an Always-on mode on the iPhone 15 Plus as Apple relies on ProMotion to manage battery life using that particular display feature.

Performance and Software

A step up but still a step behind

The iPhone 15 Plus is equipped with the A16 chipset from last year's Pro and Pro Max models, which means it technically has more processing power than the iPhone 14 Plus. The traditional tic-tock cycle continues, and this year's model ramps up the performance and takes it to the aforementioned Pro and Pro Max levels from last year.

The switch to the A16 brings some efficiency gains for the iPhone 15 Plus over its predecessor, as this chipset is built using a 4nm manufacturing process compared to the 5nm of the iPhone 14 Plus and the A15. 

Performance Benchmarks:


Geekbench 6
SingleHigher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Plus2629
Apple iPhone 14 Plus2170
Geekbench 6
MultiHigher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Plus6680
Apple iPhone 14 Plus5112
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Plus2986
Apple iPhone 14 Plus2817
3DMark
Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Plus2036
Apple iPhone 14 Plus2244

Both the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 15 Plus sport the same 6GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and the storage options remain the same between both models. When it comes to software, both phones run on iOS 17 with cool new stuff, including Phone, iMessage, and FaceTime updates, as well as the new NameDrop (what a cool name) feature. We have a dedicated iOS 17 review, so you can check it out as well, if you need the deep dive.

Emergency SOS via satellite is coming to the iPhone 15 Plus, along with a new feature relying on satellite communication - roadside assistance by satellite. As the name suggests, it uses satellite to send a message to AAA Roadside Assistance and get you out of trouble if there's no network signal present.

Apple recently rolled out iOS 17.2, bringing the promised AirDrop over the internet feature, along with improvements to StandBy mode, bug fixes, and also some new stuff in Apple Music. You can check out our article for a full rundown of everything that's new.

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And if you also want to reserve a front-row seat to countless movies and TV series, we suggest you sign up for Apple TV+. For just $6.99, the service allows you to enjoy new Apple Originals every month, with the option to stream on various Apple devices.
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Camera

Same old, but with more pixels

The main sensor from the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max has been transferred to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. Therefore, the iPhone 15 Plus has a clear pixel count advantages over its predecessor. The 14 Plus uses a 12 megapixel main camera with sensor-shift optical image stabilization, while the iPhone 15 Plus now has a 48-megapixel main sensor.

Main Camera



There some magic going on with the resulting images, they default at 24MP, apparently taking 12MP pixel-binned shots and adding additional detail to make them 24MP. The bigger sensors and resolution also allows for something that Apple calls Optical-quality 2x telephoto. 

In practice it's a 2x crop from the main 48MP sensor, resulting in a 12MP image with twice the focal length, or in layman's terms 2x. The new iPhone 15 Plus features improved image processing algorithms, especially in the Portrait department.

Zoom Quality




The new Optical-quality 2x telephoto mode on the iPhone 15 Plus does help with zoom shots but interestingly, the effect is much more noticeable at 5X zoom than in 2X. There are more details in the iPhone 15 Plus samples at that zoom range, and even though the new model performs better at 2X as well, the difference is less prominent.

Portrait Mode



The new 2X Portrait mode on the iPhone 15 Plus is definitely an improvement over the previous model, and can help you with framing if for some reason you can't get close enough to the object. It's a nice option to have, especially if you're into portrait photography.

Ultra-wide



The ultrawide camera has been carried over from the previous generation, so there's no difference between the two phones in that regard. We're looking at a 12-megapixel, 120-degree field of view camera on both the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 15 Plus. 

The selfie camera is also identical between the two models, namely the 12-megapixel shooter on the iPhone 14 Plus. You can check out some selfie samples below.

Selfies



Video Quality


Video Thumbnail

Do you see any significant differences in video quality between these two?

Audio Quality and Haptics


Again, no big changes in audio quality between the iPhone 14 Plus and the iPhone 15 Plus. We haven't tear down the iPhone 15 Plus yet, but we're pretty sure it uses the same loudspeaker, earpiece, and haptic motor from the previous model. Which isn't a bad thing.

We already know that the big size of the 14 Plus gives enough space for a decent speaker, and the results are very pleasing - defined, with a good bass, and almost no distortion at louder volumes. The same stereo speaker sits inside the iPhone 15 Plus, alongside the tight and responsive haptic motor.

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During our audio and haptics tests we found that both phones performed almost identical, namely - excellent! You won't miss a call due to lack of volume or slow haptics, and watching Netflix or just checking out a YouTube video are both pure joy audio-wise.

Battery Life and Charging

No change in battery size but efficiency has been improved

The iPhone 15 Plus bumps up the battery capacity ever so slightly compared to its predecessor, the cell inside is now 4,383 mAh (in comparison to the 4,323 mAh battery inside the iPhone 14 Plus). The new model is also equipped with the A16 chip, built on a more efficient 4nm manufacturing process, but keep the same 60Hz refresh rate on the display. How all this impacts battery life? Take a look at our battery benchmarks below.

Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Plus11h 14 min
Apple iPhone 14 Plus10h 53 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Plus16h 21 min
Apple iPhone 14 Plus14h 51 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 15 Plus11h 22 min
Apple iPhone 14 Plus8h 18 min

Now, the charging situation remains more or less the same, despite the newly acquired USB-C port on the iPhone 15 Plus. The iPhone 14 Plus supports up to 20W wired via the Lightning port, and that's enough to charge 50% of the battery in 30 minutes. Apple cites the same charging speeds for the iPhone 15 Plus with 20W charger, so sadly no change in charging speed (or transfer speeds for that matter, USB 3.0 speeds are reserved for the Pro models). You'll find the charging profiles for both phones below.

15 MinsHigher is better30 Mins(%)Higher is betterFull Charge(hours)Lower is better
Apple iPhone 15 Plus27%
55%
1h 32 min
Apple iPhone 14 Plus26%
54%
2h 19 min

Specs


We have summarized all of the major specifications highlights of the two models right below:


Summary and Final Verdict


The iPhone 15 Plus is an evolution, rather than revolution. Clearly, it adds some nice features over its predecessor, such as the pill-shaped cutout for the front camera, accompanied by the Dynamic Island feature, a bigger 48MP main camera, and a better chipset.

Other than that, we're looking at two very similar phones, with nearly identical size, battery, display, hardware and software capabilities. The price of the iPhone 15 Plus is also identical to the price at launch of its predecessor, starting at $899. Should you upgrade to the 15 Plus if you already have the iPhone 14 Plus? Probably not. But if you're coming from an older iPhone, and like big screens, solid battery life, and the convenience of a long support cycle, the iPhone 15 Plus is definitely a viable option.

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