iPhone 15 Plus review: introducing the Dynamic Island, USB-C, and more

Published on 10 October, 2023 - If you don’t have the budget to upgrade to the 15 Pro, the iPhone 15 Plus is an affordable option. With a beefed-up main camera, streamlined housing, and the long-awaited addition of USB-C, there’s a lot to be admired here.

Introducing the iPhone 15 Plus

Announced on 12 September 2023 during Apple’s ‘Wonderlust’ event, the iPhone 15 Plus was announced alongside three other models: the standard iPhone 15, the 15 Pro, and the 15 Pro Max.

Alongside its sibling models, the 15 Plus says goodbye to Lighting and welcomes USB-C, ditches the notch in favour of the Dynamic Island, and delivers some decent camera upgrades. With the iPhone 15 Plus released on the 22nd of September 2023, the question remains whether this is a worthy upgrade to the iPhone 14 Plus or not? Keen to weigh up your options, well we’ve got you covered below!

iPhone 15 Plus Specs





A16 Bionic


Hexa Core

Operating system


Memory (RAM)


Internals & battery





Battery capacity


Battery life

26 hours

Max charge speed

15W (wireless), 20W (wired)




Wide (rear)

48MP, f/1.6

Ultrawide (rear)

12MP, f/2.4

Selfie camera (front)

12MP, f/1.9


25x digital zoom, 5x optical zoom

Video recording

4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps





Super Retina XDR OLED

Screen size

6.7 inches

Screen resolution

2796 x 1290 pixels

Pixel density

460 ppi

Display frequency


Height & Weight




201 grams


77.8 x 160.9 x 7.8mm




Internal storage options

128GB / 256GB / 512GB

Source: https://www.apple.com/iphone-15/specs/

iPhone 15 Plus Design

Despite being a more affordable option for Apple enthusiasts, the design of the Plus 15 makes a solid impression. Even if you’ve discounted Plus models in the past, you’ll struggle not to be won over by the iPhone 15 Plus specs. The iPhone 15 Plus shares a lot of similarities with the 14 Plus, at least upon first inspection. However, it’s only the overall dimensions of the two devices that are comparable.

Here, you’ll find a sleek aluminium frame and gently curved edges making it a pleasure to hold. It’s also a couple of grams lighter than the 14 Plus, but you’re unlikely to notice much of a difference. Compare it to something like the Google Pixel 7 and the appeal of the iPhone 15 Plus becomes more obvious, with a more palm-friendly weight and dimensions.

If you’re genuinely thinking about purchasing this smartphone, you’ve probably already taken your pick from the line up of iPhone 15 Plus colours. You’ll find classic hues like black, black, and green in the mix here, but it’s the addition of eye-popping pink and yellow that stands out. Every shade looks great thanks to the inclusion of an infused glass back.

👉 Read more about the colours available in the new iPhone 15 series here: Introducing the new iPhone 15 colours


Unlike previous models, the iPhone 15 Plus now features a USB-C port as standard. If you’re tired of carrying out multiple cables to keep your devices charged, this addition can’t come soon enough.

Display and Screen

It might be a more budget-friendly option than the iPhone 15 Pro, but the 15 Plus goes a long way in ensuring users have plenty of screen space to work with. The iPhone 15 Plus screen size stands at 6.7 inches, much like the 14 Plus before it. While the iPhone 15 Plus features a Super Retina OLED display, don’t get too excited just yet. Sadly, the 15 Plus and flagship 15 model are both limited by a refresh rate of just 60Hz. If it’s first-rate visuals you’re after, I’d suggest you think about upgrading to the 15 Pro.

One welcome addition to the iPhone 15 Plus I particularly like is the inclusion of a Dynamic Island. Before now, the only other iPhones to feature this were the Pro and Pro Max from the iPhone 14 line up. With no notch impeding your view, you’ll have more fun editing photos, streaming videos, or simply browsing the web.

What About the iPhone 15 Plus Camera Setup?

Once again, it’s hard to discern any major difference between the camera array of the iPhone 15 Plus and earlier models from the 14 series. It’s a standard dual-camera setup here, but I found you get far more out of these sensors than arrays from previous models.

Unlike previous models that were limited to a 12MP wide sensor, the 15 Plus boasts an impressive 48MP main sensor. The ultrawide and selfie cameras now shoot in 12MP, making this a worthwhile consideration if you’re looking to up your photography game.

👉 Find out more about the iPhone 15 series camera capabilities here: iPhone 15 camera: what’s changed?


If you’re someone who’s shooting throughout the day, you’ll welcome the addition of pixel-binning technology to the iPhone 15 Plus. Along with ensuring those low-light photos look their best, you’ll benefit from improved optical stabilisation when capturing portraits or shooting in video.


At the heart of the standard iPhone 14 models lay the powerful A15 Bionic chipset. Here, the iPhone 15 Plus is built on the A16 Bionic, which was previously used in the iPhone 14 Pro. This might seem like a downgrade from the A17 chip used in the 15 Pro, but you’re getting plenty of bang for your buck here.

Although the Bionic A16 chip falls slightly short of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, it still performs most devices on the market using chipsets like MediaTek and Qualcomm. In my experience, you’d struggle to push this smartphone beyond its limits. That being said, I’m talking about everyday usage like switching between photo-editing and Safari browser windows. Storage and RAM also remain unchanged from the iPhone 14 Plus, with three standard options available.

There’s a slight increase in battery capacity compared to the iPhone 14 Plus, but the difference is pretty negligible. After a full charge, you should get around 26-30 hours of use from your device if you’re doing little more than web browsing. If you’re someone who spends a lot of time shooting videos and editing images, you can expect to run down your reserves more quickly.

You’ve got a few different charging options to take advantage of. According to Apple, you can expect a half-charged battery in as little as 30 minutes. During my test, this proved to be pretty accurate. Want to do away with wires entirely? MagSafe charging is your best bet with speeds of up to 15W. However, you’ll probably struggle to get your battery to a decent level quickly if you rely solely on a Qi charging pad.

What About Software?

If, like me, you religiously download the latest iOS release, you might have trouble seeing what all the fuss is about regarding iOS 17. When iOS 16 first dropped, the improvements were huge. Here, the changes are more subtle, but they’re good to have all the same.

The best iOS17 upgrades are going to help you with everyday interactions. The Live Voicemail feature means you’ll be able to read a transcript on your screen as someone leaves a message in your inbox. Inline replies also make it easier to stay on topic during longer message exchanges, while the Check In feature is handy for friends and family looking for peace of mind. If you’re looking for anything more substantial, you won’t immediately find it here. However, after spending a little time with the iPhone 15 Plus, I did start to appreciate all those minor background tweaks that had been made.

How Much Does the iPhone 15 Plus cost?

Despite being more affordable than the 15 Pro, the 15 Plus doesn’t come cheap. Head to Apple and you’ll find a starting iPhone 15 Plus price of £899. You might be thinking about sticking to the 14 Plus, but you’ll still have to shell out at least £799 if purchasing one directly from Apple.

Looking for a more budget-friendly solution? At Back Market, you can pick up a refurbished iPhone 14 Plus from as little as £579 (price dated on 10/10/2023). As well as making a big saving, you’ll be doing your bit for the planet. The fewer brand-new devices we buy, the less e-waste we generate. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about second-rate quality when purchasing pre-loved products. Back Market’s expert network of certified refurbished sellers work meticulously to ensure every device is in full working order before it’s listed on our platform for purchase.

If you’re after more peace of mind, you’re in luck. Every product listed for sale at Back Market comes with a 12-month warranty. If you decide to send your device back for any reason, you’re free to return it to the seller within 30 days and get your money back.

Is the iPhone 15 Plus Worth Buying?

It’s tempting to reach for the latest iPhone as soon as a new series drops. While it’s true that the iPhone 15 Plus has a few nifty upgrades from its predecessor, there’s not a great deal to justify making the £899 investment in a new device. Sure, the 15 Plus boasts a souped-up camera array and the addition of USB-C and the Dynamic Island is long overdue. However, the iPhone 15 Plus size remains largely unchanged from the 14 Plus. Furthermore, despite swapping out the A15 Bionic chipset for the A16, I struggled to notice much of a difference in everyday performance.

It also struggles to hold its own against similarly priced models from other brands like the Samsung Galaxy S23. While the Galaxy S23 might be slightly smaller, it trounces the 15 Plus when it comes to charging speeds and general performance. If you’re looking for something cheaper with improved photography specs, the Google Pixel 7 is also a better option.

Ultimately, you need to consider whether the addition of USB-C and the Dynamic Island is worth the cost of forking out for a brand-new handset. A few minor tweaks to the build quality of the phone make it a more ergonomic choice, but it makes more sense to keep hold of your current 14 Plus or seek out a refurbished one instead.


Written by Haziq,  Tech Expert for Back Market UK, Ireland & Australia

When not fighting the good fight for environmental sustainability, Haziq loves making reviews of everything and anything tech-related.

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