iPhone 15 Plus review: everlasting showstopper

The iPhone 15 Plus goes big on battery and brawn

iPhone 15 Plus review back angled corner 21:9
(Image: © Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

TechRadar Verdict

The previous Plus was a bit like an unloved stepchild, in that it didn't sell in the same number as, for instance, last year's Pro Max. This year's model gets all the same benefits as the standard iPhone 15 – USB-C, the Dynamic Island, the A16 Bionic chip and a 48MP main camera – alongside exceptional battery life. If you can get past the 60Hz display, this is a top-tier big-screen phone worth considering.

Pros

  • +

    Exceptional performance

  • +

    Superb battery life

  • +

    Clean software with long update roadmap

Cons

  • -

    No Action button

  • -

    Still only 60Hz display

  • -

    Same data / charging speeds

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

iPhone 15 Plus: Two-minute review

Ever since Apple committed to releasing a quartet of iPhones – starting with the addition of 2020's iPhone 12 mini – that fourth entry has always felt like it's struggled to find favor with audiences in the same way as its siblings. The Minis and Pluses of the last three years have consistently been the weakest performers of each batch of iPhones in terms of sales. And yet – similarly to last year's iPhone 14 Plus – the new iPhone 15 Plus offers an expertly rounded experience blended with impressive battery longevity in a cocktail you're unlikely to find anywhere else.

Launching alongside the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max, the iPhone 15 Plus gets a few updates that make it seem more like part of the club than its predecessor did; changes that also make it more attractive to would-be big-screen smartphone buyers.

(We've also reviewed Apple's other newest iPhones, so check out our full iPhone 15 review, iPhone 15 Pro review, and iPhone 15 Pro Max review, if you want an in-depth look at what each of those entries brings to the table.)

iPhone 15 Plus review back angled

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Despite retaining the flat sides of the last few generations of iPhone, all of the iPhone 15 series – including the 15 Plus – now have softened, more rounded edges. This may be especially important for the 6.7-inch iPhone 15 Plus, since the last few generations have been tricky to wield one-handed and this small design revision has a huge impact on hand-feel, comfort and ease-of-use.

With the iPhone 15 Plus, you still get a 6.7-inch 60Hz (yep, still 60) OLED display, but now with the Dynamic Island that was exclusive to last year's iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, instead of a notch. The phone runs on a more powerful Apple-made A16 Bionic chipset (again like 2022's Pro iPhones), while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max have been bumped up to the even-more-potent A17 Pro. Also, wave farewell to Lightning; like Galaxys, Pixels, and pretty much every other phone out there, the iPhone now charges via USB-C.

As for the all-important camera setup, you'll still find two lenses in a diagonal layout, but the main sensor jumps from 12MP to 48MP, delivering better still image quality in a myriad of conditions – including low light, when zooming in and when taking portrait shots, while video stabilization has been improved as a result too. The image sensor on the iPhone 15 Plus (and iPhone 15) is not exactly the same as the one found in the Pro editions but it does get most of the cool new photo tricks found on its more expensive stablemates. This includes the ability to make almost any photo a Portrait shot (even after capture), and it sports a bump in base output image resolution to 24MP (up from 12MP).

With Apple nixing a 64GB storage option a couple of generations ago, you can pick the iPhone 15 Plus up in 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB configurations. There are five iPhone 15 colors to choose from, all sporting new color-infused glass backs. In my time with the green Plus (and black iPhone 15), I think this make it one of the best-looking iPhone finishes in recent memory.

Running iOS 17 out of the box, the iPhone 15 Plus gains all the benefits we've been waiting to test out for months (ever since Apple first showed off the experience, back at WWDC 2023 in June). From Contact Posters to Interactive Widgets and even StandBy (previously thought to be a feature exclusive to iPhones with always-on displays, which the Plus still lacks); there are a number of quality-of-life improvements that long-time iPhone users will appreciate on the iPhone 15 Plus.

Thankfully, for all that is new, Apple has left pricing well alone this year in the US, while the UK enjoys a notable price drop, and the phone becomes fractionally pricier in Australia compared to last year's model. The iPhone 15 Plus is available as of Friday, September 22.

iPhone 15 Plus review: Price and availability

  • Priced from $899 / £899 / AU$1,649
  • On sale from September 22
  • US pricing the same, UK cheaper, Aus pricier – YoY

Although there was a rumor of a range-wide price rise this year, the iPhone 15 Plus (along with the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro) stays the course in the US, meaning the standard 128GB model starts at $899, just as the iPhone 14 Plus did, one year earlier.

While the 128GB model technically undercuts Samsung on price, the pricing of the 256GB build ($999 / £999 / AU$1,849) places it directly up against the base Galaxy S23 Plus, whose name similarly emphases the phone's larger-screened design in relation to the standard Samsung Galaxy S23. The Pixel 7 Pro is also similarly priced, and continues to find itself discounted below the Plus; especially now that its (slightly pricier) successor – the Pixel 8 Pro – has freshly arrived on the scene.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
iPhone 15 Plus price
128GB$899£899AU$1,649
256GB$999£999AU$1,849
512GB$1,199£1,199AU$2,199

Apple introduced all four new members of the iPhone 15 family to the world at its 'Wonderlust' event on September 12, with the phone going on pre-order on Friday, September 15 and on sale a week later, on September 22.

Of course, if you're already sold on the promise of the iPhone 15 Plus, then head on over to our iPhone 15 deals roundup, where we're constantly updating the best offers available on Apple's newest entrant in the mobile market. Otherwise, read on if you need more convincing.

  • Value score: 3.5 / 5

iPhone 15 Plus review: Specs

The main upgrades fall to a new camera system, the Dynamic Island and USB-C, but here's a full breakdown of all the hardware on offer.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
iPhone 15 Plus specs
Header Cell - Column 1
Dimensions:160.9 x 77.8 x 7.8mm
Weight:201 grams
Screen:6.7-inch 60Hz (2796 x 1290) Super Retina XDR OLED
Chipset:Apple A16 Bionic
RAM:6GB
Storage:128GB / 256GB / 512GB
OS:iOS 17 (at launch)
Primary camera:48MP f/1.6 w/ sensor-shift OIS
Ultra-wide camera:12MP f/2.4 w/ 120º FoV
Front camera:12MP f/1.9
Battery:4,383mAh
Charging:20W wired, 15W wireless (MagSafe), 7.5W wireless (Qi)
Colors:Black, blue, green, yellow, pink

iPhone 15 Plus review: Design

iPhone 15 Plus review back angled corner top

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • Similar dimensions to predecessor
  • Color-infused glass back
  • USB-C replaces Lightning (finally)

At a glance, the iPhone 15 Plus looks very much like the iPhone 14 Plus. But closer examination reveals a newly crafted aluminum frame that gently scrubs away the sharp edges, making it much more comfortable to hold than the 14 Plus. It's also slightly lighter (by three grams, at 201g).

So long as you like pastels, this year's lineup of iPhone 15 Plus (and iPhone 15) colors includes five finishes (black, blue, green, yellow, and a truly mesmerizing pink), all of which showcase new color-infused glass, with the camera bump seamlessly rising out of the back panel. It's a good look, and probably one of the most refined iPhone finishes ever.

That aluminum frame also now plays host to a USB-C port, where there was once a Lightning port; meaning you should be able to charge with just one cable, if you alread