iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14: The biggest upgrades

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14 comp image
(Image credit: Future)

Our iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14 comparison is here to break down all the biggest changes and also help you decide if it's worth upgrading. 

The new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus both offer the Dynamic Island for alerts and live activities, brighter displays and USB-C connectivity. And you get faster performance via the A15 Bionic chip. There's a handful of great camera upgrades, too, including a new 48MP main sensor. 

At the same time, the iPhone 14 is still a great phone, and it now costs $100 less. We can't make your buying decision for you, but we'll make sure you have all the iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 14 details you need to make the best choice for your needs. 

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: Specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 iPhone 14iPhone 15
Display6.1-inch OLED (base, Pro); 6.7-inch OLED (Plus, Pro Max)6.1-inch OLED (base, Pro); 6.7-inch OLED (Plus, Pro Max)
Refresh rate60Hz (base and Plus); 120Hz (Pro and Pro Max)60Hz (base and Plus), 120Hz (Pro and Pro Max)
CPUA15 Bionic (base and Plus); A16 Bionic (Pro and Pro Max)A16 Bionic (base and Plus); A17 Pro Bionic (Pro and Pro Max)
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB (all), 1TB (Pro and Pro Max only)128GB, 256GB, 512GB (all)/ 1TB (Pro and Pro Max only)
Rear cameras12MP main/12MP ultrawide (base and Plus); 48MP main/12MP ultrawide/12MP 3x telephoto (Pro and Pro Max)48MP main/12MP ultrawide (base and Plus); 48MP main/12MP ultrawide/12MP 3x telephoto (Pro); 48MP main/12MP ultrawide/ 5x periscope telephoto Pro Max)
Front Camera12MP48MP
Charging portLightningUSB-C

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: price and availability

iPhone 15 Pro Max

The iPhone 15 Pro Max (pictured here during a hands-on session at Apple HQ) is the only iPhone 15 getting a price increase. (Image credit: Future)

Apple kept the iPhone 14's prices in line with what it charged for the past few flagship iPhone generations, with a $799 basic iPhone 14, $999 iPhone 14 Pro and $1,099 iPhone 14 Pro Max. The only difference was that the $699 iPhone 13 mini got dropped in favor of a new $899 iPhone 14 Plus model.

However, prices beyond the U.S. did increase, with the U.K. pricing starting at £849 for the iPhone 14, £949 for the iPhone 14 Plus, £1,099 for the iPhone 14 Pro and £1,199 for the iPhone 14 Pro Max — all costing at least £100 more than the equivalent iPhone 13 models.

It's a similar story in Australia, where the AU$1,399 iPhone 14, AU$1,579 iPhone 14 Plus, AU$1,749 iPhone 14 Pro and AU$1,899 iPhone 14 Pro Max are all priced higher compared to last year's models, too.

In the U.S. at least, only the new Pro Max version of the iPhone 15 is getting a price increase. Every other model is the same starting price as its predecessors, so the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are staying at $799 and $899 respectively while the iPhone 15 Pro will start at $999. 

The outlier is the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which now starts at $1,199—a $100 increase over last year's model. 

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: Design and display

Apple iPhone 15 held in the hand.

(Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 14 family looks pretty similar to previous generations with some minor exceptions. All four versions are flat-sided phones with either a notch (on the basic models) or a Dynamic Island (for the Pros) containing the front selfie camera. 

You can get both Pro and non-Pro phones with 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch OLED displays (although no 5.4-inch option now that the mini is gone), with the Pro models also getting always-on display capabilities, a 120Hz ProMotion refresh rate and a higher peak brightness.

iPhone 14 Plus shown held in hand

iPhone 14 Plus shown held in hand (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone 15 still looks an awful lot like its predecessors, but it may feel different in your hands because of the new rounded edges on the back and front. It's also got a slightly different look on the back thanks to a new matte finish on the glass. 

The aluminum side rails and IP68 dust water resistance ratings on the iPhone 14 have made their way to the appropriate iPhone 15 models as well. 

Plus, Apple has ditched the old mute switch on the side of the iPhone for a new "Action Button" on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. This new button can be configured to do multiple things, like turn on the flashlight, activate a Focus mode, run a custom shortcut, or just mute the phone like the old switch did. 

But that button's only available on the iPhone 15 Pro models. Perhaps the biggest design change to the whole iPhone 15 lineup is that the Dynamic Island, once unique to the iPhone 14 Pros, is now present on every model of iPhone 15. If you were developing Island envy from watching your pals pull out their Pros, soon you can enjoy Apple's odd little design choice on any iPhone 15 you please.

iPhone 15 Pro Max USB-C port

Say hello to USB-C on iPhone 15. (Image credit: Future)

The only other design change that rivals it for impact is Apple's switch to USB-C charging. That's right, you can say goodbye to your Lightning cables when you upgrade to an iPhone 15—the new iPhone 15 USB-C port that the EU forced Apple to add will let you charge and share files via USB-C, which means increased file transfer speeds vs. older iPhones too.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: cameras

The iPhone 14 brought two major camera upgrades with it when it replaced the iPhone 13. The first was an auto-focusing selfie camera on all four models, and the second was a 48MP main camera on the Pro models.

iPhone 14 Pro

The iPhone 14 Pro (pictured) sported a 48MP main camera that's now available on all iPhone 15 models. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple is democratizing that 48MP shooter, because now every iPhone 15 model comes with a 48MP main camera. However, there are still differences in sensor quality that set the iPhone 15 Pro models apart from their less expensive siblings in the camera department.

iPhone 15 Pro Max cameras

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has a new "tetra prism" telephoto lens which offers up to 5x zoom. (Image credit: Future)

In fact, the Pro models of iPhone 15 get a few camera upgrades all their own. Both can shoot in different focal lengths now (24mm, 28mm and 35mm) and the iPhone 15 Pro Max sports a new "tetra prism" telephoto lens which offers up to 5x zoom and a 120mm focal length.

Apple claims this camera is so big it requires more space than the iPhone 15 Pro can spare, which is why you'll only find it on the most expensive iPhone 15 Pro Max. 

Both Pro models also get some software-based improvements not shared by their cheaper siblings, including a new Photonic Engine for better night shots and the assistance of the A17 Pro chip powering the new Pro iPhones.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: Chipset

The iPhone 14 was the first to debut with a split chip distribution which saw the base models keeping the old A15 chip while the iPhone Pro models got the newer, faster A16.

As we suspected, it's another two-tier chipset situation for the iPhone 15. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus ship with the A16 chip which powered last year's Pro phones, while the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max come packing Apple's all-new A17 Pro chip.

Apple A17 Pro chip schematic

(Image credit: Apple)

This is a big deal for specs heads because the A17 Pro is Apple's first slice of silicon built on a 3-nanometer process, a feat the company claims is a first for smartphones. Whether that's true or meaningfully novel is less important than what it means for you, and what it means (in short) is a faster phone. 

While the A17 Pro still sports a 6-core CPU like the A16, Apple claims its up to 10% faster and its 16-core Neural Engine can function up to twice as fast as its predecessor. But the A17 Pro sets the Pro models of iPhone 15 apart from their predecessors in more ways than that. 

Notably, it has a redesigned GPU with 6 cores instead of the 5 you get on the old A16, and Apple claims its up to 20% faster. In addition to new features like better video quality (thanks to a new AV1 decoder) and the ability to do things like output HDR video at 4K/60 frames per second, the iPhone 15 Pro with an A17 Pro chip can support hardware-accelerated ray tracing.

That's significant if you like gaming on your phone, because Apple claims the A17 Pro's hardware-based support for ray tracing and Apple's own engineering work to optimize performance should allow you to play modern games like Resident Evil Village and Assassin's Creed Mirage on your phone.

iPhone 15 A17 Pro gaming demo showing AC Mirage

(Image credit: Apple)

We got a glimpse at what that looks like during Apple's big iPhone 15 showcase, and if these Pro models prove to be great gaming machines in our real-world testing (as opposed to on Apple's stage) they could bring some serious competition to even the best gaming phones

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: outlook

Trying to decide between an iPhone 14 or iPhone 15 at this point is difficult, because we haven't yet had a chance to do a full review of the new phones.

But at a glance, it's pretty clear what you're paying for if you upgrade to these new phones. On the basic models you're getting that 48MP main camera, the Dynamic Island, a faster chip and a redesigned exterior. Splurge for an iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max and you're getting even better cameras, the power of the new A17 Pro chip, and the questionable utility of the new customizable Action Button.

So anyone who wants the best possible camera, performance, display and conveniences like USB-C is likely better off holding out for the iPhone 15. But if you need something a little cheaper, the iPhone 14 series is and will remain a great option for some time.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

  • mocaptain
    Your article indicates the front camera of iPhone 15 has a 48MP resolution. Though I've seen that information in other recent articles, I don't think it's accurate. Pretty sure the front camera resolution is 12MP, same as iPhones 11 through 14.
  • mocaptain