Forget iPhone 15 Pro — why you should consider the iPhone 15 Plus

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

The iPhone 14 Plus is the ugly duckling of Apple’s product line-up, with weak sales that suggest consumers aren’t that interested in a larger version of the standard iPhone 14. But with the iPhone 15 lineup on the way, and the impending launch of the iPhone 15 Plus, it may be time to give Apple’s plus-sized iPhone a try.

The iPhone 15 Plus hasn’t been getting a lot of attention from the rumor-mill, perhaps because its predecessor wasn’t as popular as it could have been. Then again, if last year is anything to go by, we’re looking at a phone that just happens to be a larger version of the iPhone 15. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially with the rumors of a price hike hitting the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Here’s why you should consider the iPhone 15 Plus as your next iPhone.

It's could be way cheaper than the Pro

iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro camera setup

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

One of the criticisms faced by the iPhone 14 Plus was the high $899 price tag, especially in light of how unexciting the phone looked on paper. We’re not expecting the iPhone 15 Plus to get a price cut, but we haven’t heard anything about the price rising either. That isn’t true of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, which are rumored to get a price increase of $100-$200 a piece.

We still don’t know whether the iPhone 15’s price will be going up, but rumor is that manufacturing costs could have risen by as much as 12%. If Apple passes all that extra cost onto the consumers, it would mean the iPhone 15 Plus’s price could go up by over $100. 

It wouldn’t be ideal if a price hike really does happen, but it would still mean the iPhone 15 Plus is noticeably cheaper than the Pro and the Pro Max models. Assuming a $200 price hike is accurate, an iPhone 15 Pro would cost $1,199, while the Pro Max would cost $1,299. That means you could be saving as much as $300 opting for the iPhone 15 Plus.

A bigger screen than the iPhone 15

iPhone 15 Plus CAD renders

(Image credit: 9to5Mac / Ian Zelbo)

We’re not expecting any major changes to the design of the iPhone 15 family, and the size of the phones’ respective displays are included in that. The iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are expected to have the same 6.1-inch display as their iPhone 14 counterparts, while the iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 15 Pro max are expected to stick at 6.7 inches. 

While there are no options for anyone wanting a smaller phone, those of you that prefer a larger display have to choose between the iPhone 15 Plus and the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Given the Pro Max’s high cost, and any potential issues with supply, the iPhone 15 Plus will likely be the best alternative for the full-screen experience.

That said, it's unlikely that the Plus will be getting more premium display features, like the LTPO display — which offers a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. In fact, we may not see a move from the 60Hz LTPS displays until the launch of the iPhone 17

All the iPhone 15 upgrades — but with a bigger battery

iphone 15 fan render

(Image credit: 4RMD)

The only major difference between the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus is size, and from what we’ve heard so far it’ll be the same situation this year. That means the iPhone 15 Plus will get all the same upgrades, including things like USB-C connectivity, the Dynamic Island, the A16 Bionic chipset, and potentially even a 48MP camera lens with a larger sensor — which helps capture more light.

Not to mention the fact that the rumours currently claim the iPhone 15 Plus will have a massive 4,912 mAh battery. That’s bigger than all the other three iPhone 15 models, including the iPhone 15 Pro Max. We don’t know how well it will perform yet, but since the iPhone 14 Pro Max has one of the best phone battery lives with a 4,323 mAh battery, the iPhone 15 Plus could give it a run for its money.

You will miss out on all the biggest upgrades coming to the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. So you might have to sacrifice a titanium frame, action button, 3nm A17 Bionic chip and all those other extra hardware flourishes. Being a non-Pro model means you won’t be getting a telephoto camera either. But if you can handle life without all the Pro upgrades, then the iPhone 15 Plus is still shaping up to be a significant upgrade over last year. 

There’s less chance of a shortage

iPhone 14 Plus shown held in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Trying to get an iPhone 14 in the weeks and months after launch was a nightmare — especially if you had your heart set on an iPhone 14 Pro or Pro Max. COVID-related production issues meant there was a limited supply of iPhone 14 Pro series phones, and combined with high demand it meant getting hold of one quickly was basically impossible. 

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus didn’t have quite the same problem, with significantly lower demand. No doubt due to the sheer lack of upgrades compared to the iPhone 13 that came out the year before. The iPhone 14 Plus was hit hardest by that lack of interest, with reports claiming Apple cut production by 70-90% within two weeks of release. A month later reports claimed Apple had stopped shipping iPhone 14 Plus panels, suggesting the company had more devices than it could reasonably sell.

We’ve already been hearing rumors about potential production issues with the iPhone 15 series — especially where the Pro models are concerned. While Apple anticipates lower demand this year, those reports still anticipate possible shortages.

If last year is anything to go by, there’s a very good chance the iPhone 15 Plus will be minimally affected by this. If only because there’s likely to be much lower demand for the phone. So if a worst case scenario does play out for the iPhone 15 Pro series, the Plus could prove to be a quick way to upgrade.

Everything that makes an iPhone an iPhone

iPhone 15 Pro Max mockup with thin bezels

(Image credit: Unbox Therapy / YouTube)

The most important thing to remember about the iPhone 15 Plus is that it is an iPhone. For a lot of people out there, that’s the most important thing of all. That means the phone is guaranteed to come with all the things you can’t get anywhere else. iOS 17, several years of software and security updates, MagSafe, some of the best computational photography software, and accessory support on a scale that would make a Google Pixel insanely jealous.

There’s also the topic of the A16 Bionic chipset. It may not be the A17 Bionic, but it’s certainly better than anything Android phones currently have to offer. Combine it with the giant battery that’s been rumored, and you have the potential for some fantastic battery life as well. We’re also likely to see fantastic photo capabilities, especially with the rumored 48MP lens.

So, yes, the iPhone 15 Pro Max might be worth the splurge. But the iPhone 15 Plus could be more than good enough for many shoppers. 

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.