iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14: Biggest upgrades to expect

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14
(Image credit: Matt Talks Tech/Tom's Guide)

If you want the latest iPhone, you'll want the iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro. But in 2023 there's going to be an iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro and maybe even an iPhone 15 Ultra.

We're still several months away from the expected iPhone 15 release date, but thanks to eager leakers we're already starting to see how the new iPhone is shaping up. There are some big improvements teased for both vanilla and Pro flavors of iPhone 15, although at their core they're likely to still share a lot of similarities with the iPhone 14 series.

Below, we're comparing all the iPhone 15 rumors so far with what the iPhone 14 offers, to help you figure out whether you want to spring for iPhone 14 now or be patient and wait until next fall for the iPhone 15. We can't make your buying decision for you, but we'll make sure you have all the iPhone 15 vs. iPhone 14 rumors and leaks as they stand right now. 

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: Real vs rumored specs 

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iPhone 14iPhone 15 (rumored and assumed)
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 Bionic (Pro and Pro Max)
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB (Pro and Pro Max only)128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 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 and Pro Max)
Front Camera12MP12MP (possible 2nd sensor on Ultra model)

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: possible price and availability

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.

iPhone 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Nobody's released rumors or leaks for the iPhone 15 prices yet, and it's likely far too soon for these decisions to be finalized anyway. Hopefully, there are no more price increases in store, but looking at some of the upgrades rumored, maybe Apple will feel justified in asking for even more money for its latest iPhones.

That said, if there is indeed going to be an iPhone 15 Ultra, Apple may offer it at a new, higher-than-ever price to justify the label, like we saw with the recent Apple Watch Ultra compared to the Apple Watch 8.

As for a launch date, we're pretty safe to assume Apple will show off the next generation of iPhones in September 2023. The Apple mid-fall product launch, where new iPhones make their debut, is effectively fixed in the tech world calendar at this point.

The Apple September 2022 event was held on Wednesday Sept. 7, right after Labor Day. So if the company kept to a similar pattern, we would see the iPhone 15 launch at an event Sept. 6, 2023. 

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: design and display

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

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We don't expect the overall look of the iPhone 15 to differ radically from the iPhone 14, but we could see some notable changes. These include solid-state buttons on certain models and curved edges on the back of the phone. The latter design tweak could make the new iPhones more comfortable to hold and use. 

The iPhone 15 may also utilize a new type of LTPO OLED display that will supposedly last longer than current OLED displays. Sounds ideal for those who want the best out of their phones for the longest possible time (i.e. everyone buying smartphones).

iphone 15 fan render

(Image credit: 4RMD)

Speaking of the screen, the iPhone 15's panel may be hiding a secret. Next year's iPhones could have Face ID under the display, although the selfie camera would remain exposed in a punch-hole cutout similar to early iPhone 14 concepts we saw

This does seem unlikely to us since under-display cameras are still in their infancy, and Apple, going by its previous tendencies, wouldn't want to compromise photo quality to rush to adopt new hardware.

iPhone 15 Ultra render with rounded edges

(Image credit: @jonjuhan/Twitter)

One other change to look out for is the alleged addition of titanium side rails to some of the iPhone 15 models, likely the Pro and Ultra models. This is a rumor we've heard for previous generations of iPhone, which obviously didn't come to fruition, but the continued whispers of Apple using this super tough metal seem to suggest it's still considering it.

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

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Further enhancements for the iPhone 15's cameras could include a new Sony-made sensor with enhanced exposure control compared to the iPhone's current Samsung-made camera sensors, and 48MP main cameras on the base models as well, but not the same one that the Pro phones use.

Apple could take things even further with a new periscope telephoto lens, possibly using parts from the same supplier as Samsung, which would allow for more than the current 3x optical magnification. It'll supposedly go up to 5x optical zoom (6x according to other sources), which beats a lot of the competition like the Galaxy S22 (which offers 3x zoom) as well as the current and upcoming iPhones. However, that's not enough to top the best telephoto photography phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and its 10x optical zoom. 

One annoying caveat is that this new periscope zoom camera could possibly be just for the iPhone 15 Pro Max model (or iPhone 15 Ultra, leaving the regular-sized Pro out in the cold and meaning there could be no major photography difference between it and the iPhone 14 Pro models.

A more outlandish rumor is that there could be two front cameras on the iPhone 15 Ultra model. We're not sure what the second camera would be for, but it could be there to take ultrawide shots or to help with Apple's rumored AR/VR ambitions.

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: specs

Beyond photography, there are some other rumors about how the iPhone 15 will (or won't) differ from the iPhone 14. For one, we'll apparently see another two-tier chipset situation with next year's iPhones, just like we saw this year with the A15 chip (from the iPhone 13 Pro series) in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, and the new A16 chip in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The regular iPhone 15 models are said to be getting the A16 chipset, while the iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with a fresh 3-nanometer chipset, which we'd assume will be called the A17 Bionic. That'll likely mean some iPhone 14 models could be just as powerful as some iPhone 15 models, although all will still probably outperform any comparable Android phones as has happened before.

iPhone 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We'd expect to see U.S. iPhone 15s to only be available with eSIM support, meaning no slot for a physical SIM card. That may still not be the case in iPhone models sold outside the U.S. though.

Finally, the iPhone 15 may add a long-requested feature and use a USB-C port instead of Lightning, since the EU is forcing all mobile device companies to adopt USB-C by 2024, and Apple's supposedly been prototyping USB-C iPhones for some time already.

While that's more convenient than the Lightning port that the iPhone 14 is stuck with, we may not see any difference in data or charging speed on the basic models according to one rumor. Only the iPhone 15 Pro/Ultra models are tipped to offer faster data transfers via USB-C. 

iPhone 14 vs. iPhone 15: outlook

Trying to decide between an iPhone 14 or iPhone 15 at this point is difficult. There's a lot we still don't know about the iPhone 15, so if you're in need of a phone sooner rather than later, it seems smart for now to just buy an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro rather than wait for the next new iPhone. 

Anyone who wants the best possible telephoto camera, performance, display and conveniences like USB-C, and also doesn't mind holding off on upgrading, is likely better off holding out for the iPhone 15. But if you need to upgrade sooner, the iPhone 14 series is a great option for shoppers now. 

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer 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.