iPhone 15 — big iPhone 14 mistakes Apple needs to fix

iphone 15 fan render
(Image credit: 4RMD)

If there's one thing that we learned from the launch of the iPhone 14, it's that Apple is creating more space between the regular iPhones and the Pro lineup. And I'm telling you right now that this gap needs to close with the iPhone 15

Reports that the iPhone 14 and iPone 14 Plus sales are slow compared to the Pro models are not a fluke. As you'll see in our iPhone 14 vs iPhone 14 Pro comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have lots of features the standard iPhones lack. We're talking about everything from the Dynamic Island and always-on display to the new 48MP main camera on the iPhone 14 Pro. 

I think Apple should course correct with the iPhone 15 and make it more "Pro" in order for more people to care. Here are 5 fixes and upgrades the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus need to stand out. 

It's time to add USB-C (finally)

USB-C and Lightning charging cables for phone on black background

(Image credit: Ivan Shenets | Shutterstock)

The good news is that Apple is rumored to offer USB-C across the lineup for the iPhone 15 series, as it needs to comply with a EU rule mandating the charging standard by the end of 2024. Apple has already said it is switching to USB-C, even though it has not given the exact timetable. Our money is on the iPhone 15 series in 2023.

There is one wrinkle, though. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max/Ultra are tipped to offer faster transfer speeds than the regular iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. As long as they all offer speedier charging speeds — an area where Apple has fallen behind Android phones — I'll be happy. 

Give us a faster refresh rate (seriously)

iPhone 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Yes, I know Apple calls its panel ProMotion on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro Max, but that doesn't mean iPhone 15 owners should have to live with a slower refreshing panel. I'm sorry, but in 2023, the 60Hz phone display found on the standard iPhone is not going to cut it. 

I'm sorry, but in 2023 a 60Hz phone display is not going to cut it.

The iPhone 15 could find a middle ground and offer a 90Hz display, which would make for smoother scrolling and animations. Heck, the Pixel 7 sports a 90Hz display for just $599, or $200 less than the iPhone 14. Or Apple could offer a 120Hz panel that isn't dynamic, where it can't scale all the way down to 1Hz. But I doubt that would happen. 

Bring telephoto zoom to regular iPhone 15

iPhone 15 Ultra render with rounded edges

(Image credit: @jonjuhan/Twitter)

Before you write off this idea as too Pro, please hear me out. The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Ultra are tipped to get an upgrade to a new periscope zoom camera, which could offer an optical zoom in the 5x to 6x range. This would allow the Pro phones to close the gap with the Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S23 Ultra. 

So where would that leave the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus? I would very much like Apple to hand down the telephoto zoom on the current iPhone 14 Pros to the iPhone 15 lineup. So you'd get a 3x optical zoom and 15x digital zoom. 

The regular Galaxy S22 packs a telephoto lens for $799 with 3x zoom and 30x digital zoom. So why can't the iPhone 15? Even if this doesn't happen, it's nice that the iPhone 15 is rumored to get the same 48MP main sensor (opens in new tab) as the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. 

Give us the Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 dynamic island phone call

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Here's one rumor that could very well come true. The regular iPhone 15 is tipped to feature the same Dynamic Island (opens in new tab) as the iPhone 14 Pro series. This replacement for the notch delivers real-time alerts and Live activities on the fly, which is pretty clever. And Apple has opened up this feature to developers, so you can get things like sports scores on the go.

I'm pretty confident the Dynamic Island will trickle down to the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus so Apple can make the most of this feature and more developers get on board with optimizing their apps to take full advantage. 

Bonus: Longer battery life would be nice

After testing all four models of the iPhone 14 for battery life (opens in new tab) , it was clear that the regular iPhone 14 was bringing up the rear. It lasted for a decent-but-not-great 9 hours and 28 minutes. That beat the Galaxy S22 (8:02) and Pixel 7 (7:14), but the iPhone 14 Pro turned in a longer 10:13.

Assuming that the iPhone 15 gets the hand-me-down A16 Bionic chip from the iPhone 14 Pro series, it should be able to last longer on a charge. The iPhone 14 Plus lasted a very good 11:57, but that was still a ways behind the iPhone 14 Pro Max, which endured for 13:39 and made our best phone battery life list. 

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.