The iPhone 14 was the third best-selling mobile in the world in the first half of 2023, according to the consultancy Omdia. Its successor, the iPhone 15, is Apple's most affordable high-end phone. Even so, its price is not suitable for all pockets: part of the 959 euros. EL PAÍS has tested for a few days the terminal that, as more visible novelties, makes the leap to 48 megapixels and incorporates a USB-C connector. Here are its pros and cons.
An automatic portrait mode
With iPhone 15, the user no longer has to manually select Portrait mode before shooting. When the camera detects a person, dog or cat, or when you tap on the screen to focus on a specific point, it records depth information. Tapping an f-icon at the bottom left of the screen displays a preview of the portrait. Once the photo is taken, it is possible to activate or deactivate this mode, in addition to changing the focus point. This new option works well and is especially useful to focus on taking the photo instead of testing how it would look with different modes
Other camera improvements
Apple tries to take chest, year after year, in the photographic section. The highlight of the iPhone 15 is its new main sensor of 48 megapixels, which in the iPhone 14 was reserved for Pro models, and a two-magnification optical zoom. The terminal thus abandons the 12-megapixel camera present since the iPhone 6 of 2015. With the 48-megapixel sensor, a good level of detail is achieved. The photographs are sharp and realistic (especially during the day) and stand out for adequate dynamic range and good lighting.
The iPhone 15 keeps two rear cameras, like the iPhone 14; But internally its improvement is important, from 12 to 48 megapixels. Isabel Rubio
A mobile that charges with Android cables
The switch to USB-C will likely be welcomed by those with multiple cables at home or forgetful users. Now they can use to charge the mobile the same cable as their friends with an Android mobile, or with an iPad or a Mac, since Apple has brought the universal charging connector to the iPhone 15. The decision has come after the European Parliament announced that this port will be mandatory for phones and other mobile devices in Europe from December 2024. The USB-C cable that comes in the box of the iPhone 15 is braided and a priori seems more resistant than traditional Lightning cables.
The dynamic island
The iPhone 14 Pro premiered last year the dynamic island, which now reaches the base models. The iPhone 15 abandons the traditional notch (the notch at the top of the screen) and incorporates a pill-shaped hole that houses the front camera and the key components of Face ID, the facial recognition system of your mobiles. In this way, now gains importance a part of the screen that previously spent ignored much of the time. It shows useful information, reinforced with animations, when receiving a call, setting a timer, using AirDrop or listening to music; In the latter case, the song title, group, and playback controls appear.
Visualization could be smoother
The 15.6-inch iPhone 1's display still has a 60Hz refresh rate. This parameter refers to the number of times the screen refreshes per second. The larger it is, the smoother the experience: animations will be perceived more realistically and scrolling between different screens or applications will be smoother. While this feature may be unimportant to an average user, the decision to do without it already seemed difficult to justify last year with the iPhone 14. High-end terminals of the competition incorporate panels with a rate of 120 Hz for years. The same goes for the iPhone 15 Pro.
The iPhone 15 comes with a braided USB-C cable, which will also serve to charge any latest generation Android phone. Isabel Rubio
No always-on display
The iPhone 14 Pro premiered a mode to have the screen always on, even when the mobile is at rest. Something that allows the user to view the time at all times or if you have notifications without having to constantly unlock the mobile. The iPhone 15 lacks this feature. Despite this, not everything is inconvenient for the screen, which can reach a maximum brightness of 2,000 nits outdoors. Something that facilitates, for example, reading in direct sunlight.
No telephoto lens and few improvements with ultra wide angle
Some users may miss a telephoto lens on the iPhone 15. Also, compared to the iPhone 14, the results with the 12-megapixel ultra-wide don't seem to have changed much. While Apple promised improvements in night mode with this sensor, in low light conditions a little less noise and a higher level of detail are missing.
New port, same data transfer rate
It is likely that most users will never connect their mobile to a computer to transfer data. In case they do, the switch to USB-C gave hope for improvement, but it has not been so. On the iPhone 15, the USB-C connector keeps inside the same USB 2 interface that the iPhone 14 and earlier had, with the old Lightning connector. It falls short of the Pro models – which do make the leap to USB 3, with a data transfer speed 20 times faster. The change of connector also means that the previous Lightning cables and accessories will be obsolete; And, unless an adapter is purchased for the new phone, they will generate a lot of e-waste.
This is how satellite SOS works
Another novelty that arrives in Spain, along with the premiere of the iPhone 15, is the emergency message service via satellite – now also available on the iPhone 14. To activate this function, you have to enter the settings of the mobile and choose the option "SOS emergency via satellite". "The iPhone can help you establish a satellite connection to contact emergency services when it is not possible to make a normal call," says the terminal.
EL PAÍS has made a demonstration. To use this service, you have to look for a place with an unobstructed view of the sky. The mobile displays a signal indicating the direction of the satellite and the user must rotate with his phone until the signal is as strong as possible. Then you will start chatting with the emergency service, which will ask for important information such as your location or if you know the causes of a car breakdown. If the drill were real, after answering these questions, emergency personnel would send the necessary help.
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