Should you upgrade to an iPhone 15? In a bold new world where the iPhones are among the most value-for-money smartphones on the market, it’s not as easy to answer that question as before. While the iPhone 15 received truckloads of improvements over its predecessor, its prior generations now boast of the price advantage. The iPhone 13 is currently the best option for someone seeking a simple iPhone whereas the iPhone 14 offers a slightly improved experience with better cameras and Apple’s new personal safety systems. Hence, it’s no longer the case of the newest smartphone being the pick of the lot.
Well, this is where we come in.
Even though we have a divided opinion on the entire iPhone range, we have come to a conclusion to help you make the best purchase. And before you assume that our sanest answer will ask you to hold on to your old iPhone 13, we assure you that we have different answers based on various parameters.
Hence, in our iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13 comparison, we will take a look at specific categories to help you determine which smartphone best suits your needs. Check it out!
iPhone 15 Vs iPhone 14 Vs iPhone 13 – an in-depth comparison
For many people, especially in price-sensitive markets, the price can be one of, if not THE most, vital factor in deciding which smartphone to purchase. After all, whether your iPhone has a USB-C port or satellite connectivity takes a back seat when you’re living on a budget.
The iPhone 15 is right now the priciest of the lot and until the iPhone 16 comes out, that’s not going to change. Starting at HKD 6,899* for the 6.1-inch iPhone 15 and HKD 7,699* for the iPhone 15 Plus, these phones are quite pricey.
This is where the iPhone 14 Plus ends up being quite valuable. For the price of a compact iPhone 15 at HKD 6,899, you can get the iPhone 14 Plus with a massive 6.7-inch display. This phone offers an immersive display and a stupendously good battery life when compared to the iPhone 15. The standard iPhone 14 further drops the price down to HKD 5,999* but that doesn’t offer as much value for money as its plus counterpart, considering the entire package.
The iPhone 13, however, is the most appealing of the lot with its starting price of HKD 5,099*. We agree it’s not the latest iPhone you can buy but compared to the iPhone 15, you are saving quite a lot here. Not to mention, you have more exciting colours to choose from. Sadly, as Apple has discontinued the iPhone 13 Mini, the only option more affordable than the iPhone 13 is the iPhone SE.
Winner: iPhone 13
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The USB-C factor
It’s 2023 and Apple has finally moved to the USB-C connector with its latest iPhone. At first glance, it may seem like a big deal but the USB-C port doesn’t give the iPhone 15 any bragging rights. This is because of the slow USB 2.0 speeds that not only limit data transfer speeds but also restrict the phones to slow charging. The Lightning port now also adheres to the USB 2.0 standards.
Hence, the USB-C port on the iPhone 15 is only going to be of help if you have a habit of forgetting your charger at home, or if you are switching from an Android smartphone. Granted that the iPhone 15 can be charged via any USB-C charger that is easily available in every nook and corner of the world, but what about those who have already invested in Lightning port-based accessories?
That’s where the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 shine. For someone who already owns a bunch of Lightning port accessories, these phones will score higher on compatibility. The drawback of carrying your Lightning charger along remains but those already using an iPhone are probably accustomed to the Apple way anyway. Additionally, these iPhones also support wireless charging and there’s a high chance that you may have a wireless charging pad in your office or your car. You can even buy Apple’s MagSafe wireless power bank or any of the other cheaper alternatives to keep your iPhone juiced up without worrying about carrying cables.
Winner: Tie – iPhone 15 (because of its universal compatibility) and iPhone 14 (because of compatibility with Lightning accessories)
Weirdly, this is an area where none of the iPhones practically have any advantage over each other. The iPhone 13 uses the A15 Bionic chip with a 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU. The iPhone 14 also uses the same A15 Bionic chip but with a 6-core CPU and 5-core GPU. The iPhone 15 gets the A16 Bionic chip with a 6-core CPU and a 5-core GPU from last year’s iPhone 14 Pro. All of these phones rely on the 4nm chips that Apple has relied on for the last two years and the newer versions offer negligible performance gains.
Out of the three, the iPhone 15 is bound to have a slight performance advantage over the others. However, for most of your generic smartphone needs, all three iPhones have more than enough firepower under the hood to keep running things as smoothly as possible. For tasks like scrolling your social media feed, texting on iMessage or WhatsApp, editing photos and playing games, the iPhone 13 can still do things as smoothly as the iPhone 15. All credits go to Apple’s well-optimised iOS.
Winner: iPhone 15
The iPhone 14 has impressed everyone with its all-day battery life and Apple is promising the same kind of stamina for the iPhone 15. That’s not a bummer considering iPhone 14 users have enjoyed long-lasting battery life for a year now. The iPhone 13 also offered all-day battery life when it was new and with the latest optimisations of iOS 17, it’ll still be able to last long on a single charge.
However, if you have the means to spend around HKD 6,899 (the price of a brand-new iPhone 15), the iPhone 14 Plus makes for a tremendous deal in this department. The iPhone 14 Plus offers an incredible battery life of up to two days if used cautiously. If battery life is your top concern, this is the best iPhone to buy at the moment. Granted, the iPhone 14 Plus has the Lightning port, but with its bigger battery, you’ll have to charge it a lot less frequently than the vanilla iPhone 15. You may not even need to carry any charger or power bank outdoors, even if you are a heavy user.
Winner: iPhone 14 Plus
This is one aspect where the iPhone 15 is bound to offer the best experience of the lot.
The new 48-megapixel main camera coupled with the improved ISP on the A16 Bionic chip will offer greater improvements in picture details and low-light imagery. The same benefits are also likely to be applicable to the videography performance. Basically, you can expect the same levels of camera performance exhibited by the iPhone 14 Pro. The iPhone 15 also allows post-capture editing in Portrait mode, auto Night mode and auto Portrait mode.
This doesn’t mean you’ll be dealing with horrible cameras on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13. As long as the lighting conditions are good, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 can go toe-to-toe with the iPhone 15’s cameras. Even in low light conditions, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 can do a good enough job of keeping your subjects sharp (though the smaller sensor could result in the inclusion of grains). Additionally, the iPhone 13 loses out on the Action Mode and the high-resolution Cinematic mode available in the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15.
Winner: iPhone 15
The difference is the most evident here.
The iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 have the same 6.1-inch OLED display with a refresh rate of 60Hz and a peak brightness rating of 1,200 nits. These displays are great for indoors but not so much when you are outdoors. Plus, you have that obsolete display notch eating up a lot of the space without being productive.
The iPhone 15 shakes things up here. It also has a 6.1-inch OLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate but the peak brightness goes up to 2,000 nits. The benefits of the brighter display should be visible when watching HDR content or viewing the display outdoors. The Dynamic Island still takes up as much space as the notch but its clever features make that blocked space useful with app progress notifications in real-time.
Winner: iPhone 15
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: The final verdict
For the overall pick, the iPhone 15 is our top choice right now. If budget is no bar, there’s nothing better than the iPhone 15. With its upgraded cameras, brighter display (with Dynamic Island), USB-C charging port and a more fine-tuned chipset, you can’t get a more well-rounded package than the iPhone 15.
However, if pocketing the latest features isn’t a priority, then our second recommendation goes to the iPhone 14 Plus. It costs the same as a brand-new iPhone 15 but its gigantic size greets you with an immersive display and superb battery life.
Lastly, the iPhone 13 is a good deal for someone who wants to step into the world of iPhones or upgrade from any iPhone older than the iPhone 11 but has a tight budget. It has everything you need for a solid iPhone experience and is available in a dash of interesting colours.
*These prices are applicable for the 128GB variant.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Which colours are available for the iPhone 15 and iPhone 13?
The iPhone 15 is available in blue, pink, yellow, green and black. The iPhone 13 is available in blue, pink, black, white and red.
– Is the iPhone 15’s camera better than the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13’s cameras?
Yes, the iPhone 15’s camera system is better than the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13’s cameras. The iPhone 15 has a 48-megapixel main camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera.
– How is the iPhone 15’s design different from iPhone 14?
The iPhone 15 is lighter and has gentler curvature on its edges. It also features the new Dynamic Island.
– What is the major difference between iPhone 15 and iPhone 14?
The iPhone 15 gets a slightly refined design, a more powerful A16 Bionic chip, a new 48-megapixel main camera, the Dynamic Island on the display and a USB-C connector.
(Hero and Featured Image Credits: Courtesy Apple)