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5 features the iPhone 15 Ultra needs before I’ll buy it

With Apple’s WWDC 2023 happening in just a couple of months, that means that the fall season isn’t going to be far behind — bringing us the iPhone 15 lineup and Apple Watch Series 9. But this year, it may be different, as there have been rumors that Apple may introduce a new “iPhone 15 Ultra,” which may or may not replace the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

If Apple introduces an iPhone 15 Ultra, it would be a super-premium, top-of-the-line device, similar to the Apple Watch Ultra. Like the smartwatch, the iPhone 15 Ultra would have a higher price tag than the regular iPhone 15 and even iPhone 15 Pro, but it would also need features that would warrant such a price increase.

Here’s what I would like to see in an iPhone 15 Ultra — if it is actually coming.

Titanium body

iPhone 15 render by 4RMD

Apple used to use titanium as a premium material in the mainline Apple Watch Series, but it looks like that changed with the Apple Watch Ultra. It seems that titanium is now reserved only for the Ultra, while the main Apple Watch continues to just use aluminum and stainless steel casings (bring back ceramic, you fools!)

If Apple were making an iPhone 15 Ultra, then it needs to have a titanium body. Titanium would be an excellent material to make a premium smartphone, as it would be lightweight like aluminum but still extremely durable.

I’ve been using the iPhone Pro models for the past few years, and one thing I’ve noticed is that they are increasingly heavier each year. I would love a titanium phone that isn’t too heavy, yet more durable than the combination of stainless steel and glass. I’d also think that the titanium body would be easier and more comfortable to hold. Maybe I could even use it without needing a case? That would be amazing.

Longer battery life

Someone holding a purple iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The Apple Watch Ultra has about double the battery life of a regular Apple Watch Series 8. I think if Apple made an iPhone 15 Ultra, it should also have a larger capacity battery that can give us more life on a single charge than what is currently offered.

Think about it — if the body was made with titanium, it could be a little chunkier, like the Apple Watch Ultra. That would mean more room for a bigger battery. At least, I would hope. There are many Android phones out there, even in the low- to mid-tier range, that have 5,000mAh batteries, and they aren’t much different in size than an iPhone 14 Pro Max.

If an iPhone 15 Ultra demands a higher price tag, we should at least get more battery life out of it.

Less camera bump, please

A concept of an iPhone 15 Ultra by Jonas Daehnert on Twitter.
iPhone 15 Ultra concept render Jonas Daehnert/Twitter

I would love to see Apple make a titanium iPhone 15 Ultra that could be a little thicker for a larger battery. A thicker device could also help make that ungodly large camera bump a bit more flush with the rest of the phone’s body.

There was a concept rendering of an iPhone 15 Ultra several weeks ago, and one of the things that stuck out was the smaller camera bump. These things have gotten way out of hand in recent models, including the iPhone 14 Pro, and I honestly miss the days when the cameras were mostly flush with the rest of the phone. This could be possible if Apple made the device a tad chunkier. I doubt those camera lenses and sensors are going to shrink anytime soon, especially if Apple is adding more — like a periscope lens.

Really though, I would like to just put my phone down on a table and not have it wobble like a seesaw.

Give us the Action button

iPhone 15 Pro buttons CAD leak

One of the more recent rumors about the iPhone 15, specifically the iPhone 15 Pro, is that it will be replacing the mute switch with a multi-use Action button. I’m not completely sold on the mute switch going away, but I would love to see an Action button, preferably separate as a brand-new button.

The Apple Watch Ultra has an Action button, and an iPhone 15 Ultra could benefit from a new hardware addition as well. If it’s replacing the mute switch, it could be set up by default to mute the device, but it would be customizable by the user too. I would love to be able to remap a button to quickly launch the camera app so that I can capture spontaneous moments with my daughter easier (lord knows how many moments I missed because the lock screen button doesn’t want to work).

But people would be able to set it to do other things, too, like launch the flashlight, toggle dark mode, take screenshots or screen recordings, or even activate a shortcut or specific app. There would be so many possibilities on what you could use the Action button for, and it would be designed to make your life easier.

Much faster charging

iPhone 14 Pro Max surrounded by flagship phones.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

Historically speaking, the iPhone has never been that fast at charging compared to competing Android phones. The current iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 lineups have a maximum charging speed of 20W with a power adapter that is at least 20W or higher. According to some tests, you can achieve 25W to 29W charging speeds with higher output chargers like 30W.

But take a look at some of the fastest-charging Android phones out there. The “slowest” is the iQOO 9T with a 4,700mAh battery and 120W charging, so you can top it off in 20 minutes. One of the fastest is the Redmi Note 12 Explorer, which has a 4,300mAh battery that can be charged up to 100% in a whopping nine minutes with 210W charging speeds

If Apple is making an iPhone 15 Ultra, it would need to up the ante with way faster charging speeds. It’s 2023, and Apple’s still not even reaching 30W charging for crying out loud. It still takes about an hour or so to go from zero to 100%, even with USB-C to Lightning. An iPhone 15 Ultra needs faster charging to help warrant a higher price tag.

An iPhone 15 Ultra needs to be premium to warrant a premium price

There’s no guarantee that Apple is making an iPhone 15 Ultra — this is all based on speculation and rumors that are floating around. Heck, this could even still be just an iPhone 15 Pro Max, but with more differentiating factors from the regular Pro to be used as selling points.

But even if the iPhone 15 Ultra is just a pipe dream, I would love to see an iPhone with these features one day. Will it be this year? Or maybe sometime in the next few years? Who knows — we’ll just have to wait and see what Apple has in store for us in the fall.

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Christine Romero-Chan
Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade. She graduated from California…
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