The iPhone 15 is hitting store shelves next week, but not all Apple lovers are ready to turn in their old phones just yet. Many want to know if the latest generation of iPhones are worth the splurge.
At first glance, the iPhone 15 appears to share many of the same features as its less-expensive predecessors. However, the latest generation of the device includes a few new functions that could make a big difference in users’ lives.
Here are four things the iPhone 15 can do that your old iPhone can’t.
1. Charge faster with a USB-C connector
The iPhone 15 will come with a Type-C charging port, the same charging port built into the Samsung Galaxy and other Android phones. The change comes after the European Union passed a law requiring all mobile phones and other devices sold in Europe to come equipped with a USB Type-C charging port by the end of 2024.
In addition being more widely available as the new standard for wired connection of smart devices, USB-C chargers offer another advantage: speed. USB-C connectors ocan charge your phone significantly faster than Apple’s Lightening cable, while using the same amount of voltage. Also unlike Apple’s proprietary Lightening cable, a USB-C connector can be used on non-Apple devices.
2. Call AAA without cellphone or WiFi service
Using the new Roadside Assistance feature, iPhone 15 users can contact AAA in the event of a roadside emergency — even if they’re off the grid and don’t have access to a cellular network or WiFi. The satellite-enabled service allows AAA to message users directly and track their exact locations for service dispatches, according to Apple’s product announcement. A short questionnaire appears on users’ screens that helps AAA respond to potential service requests.
Access to Roadside Assistance is available for free for two years with purchase of a new iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro or iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple’s website shows. The service is “covered according to AAA membership, but is also available separately for nonmembers,” according to the company.
3. Zoom in (even closer) on subjects
The iPhone 15 offers the most powerful zoom capabilities yet of any Apple smartphone, according to Apple.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max features a telephoto camera with up to 5x zoom in, the longest optical zoom of any iPhone camera. The regular Pro version offers 3x optical zoom in, which is the same as the iPhone 14 Pro.
Digital zoom on the iPhone 15, goes up to 25x on the Pro Max, and 15x on the Pro.
Optical zoom refers to use of the camera lens to magnify an image, while digital zoom refers to the use of cropping to enlarge an image after it’s captured.
4. Take better portrait-style photos
If you’ve ever meant to take a portrait-style photo, snapped a picture of your subject and later realized your camera was toggled to the wrong setting, you’re in luck.
The iPhone 15 senses when a person (or pet) comes into your camera’s view and automatically captures photo depth information, allowing you to turn your photos into portrait-style pictures long after your subject leaves the frame. Regular photos on the iPhone 15 can be turned into portrait-style photos using the Photo app.
The upgraded portrait mode also features “sharper detail, more vivid colors, and improved low-light performance,” according to Apple.