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6 reasons why you shouldn’t buy the iPhone 15

A green iPhone 15 lock screen.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

The Apple iPhone 15 series was introduced last year and includes the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max. These are Apple’s latest phones until the iPhone 16 series is announced this fall.

The iPhone 15 would typically be an excellent choice for users who don’t require all the additional features of the iPhone 15 Pro series. However, there are several reasons why you should no longer consider this phone. Some of these reasons are related to the phone itself, while others are associated with where we are on Apple’s iPhone release schedule.

Let’s take a look at why you shouldn’t purchase the iPhone 15 at this point in 2024.

It still has a 60Hz refresh rate

Apple Journal app on an iPhone 15 Pro.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

A phone’s refresh rate affects how smooth its display’s animations appear. Unfortunately, Apple’s most affordable smartphones have remained at 60Hz for a while, while other models, like the iPhone 15 Pro series, have upgraded to 120Hz. The number is how many times the display refreshes in a second. A lower number isn’t very pleasant for mobile gamers who want to go beyond playing basic card games and play games that need better refresh rates.

While there’s been no indication that the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will surpass 60Hz, it’s entirely possible. The Pro models have had 120Hz since the iPhone 13 Pro in 2021.

At this point, if you’re after mobile gaming on a (slightly) smaller budget, you’d be better off getting the budget-priced Google Pixel 8a, which has a 120Hz refresh rate.

Get ready for mediocre battery

Purple iPhone 14 (left) and a green iPhone 15.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

As an iPhone 15 Pro Max owner, I appreciate my phone’s excellent battery life. Regrettably, the iPhone 15 demonstrates subpar battery performance.

The iPhone 15 provides a battery life of up to 20 hours, which is shorter than the iPhone 15 Plus (up to 26 hours), iPhone 15 Pro (up to 23 hours), and iPhone 15 Pro Max (up to 29 hours).

The battery comparison between the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus is especially concerning. Both phones offer the same features, but the iPhone 15 Plus, with its larger display, boasts significantly longer battery life. The iPhone 15 doesn’t have horrible battery life, but if you want a phone that will refuse to die, the iPhone 15 isn’t for you.

Just look at the alternatives

Samsung Galaxy S24 in Marble Gray leaning on post.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

I mentioned the Pixel 8a, with its 120Hz refresh rate, and the iPhone 15 Plus, with its 6.7-inch screen. However, other iPhone 15 alternatives exist, including the iPhone 15 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S24, and OnePlus 12 — just to name a few.

The older iPhone 14 also stands out as a substitute for the iPhone 15, offering similar specifications at a lower cost depending on where you purchase it. For those on a budget, opting for the iPhone 14 over the iPhone 15 could be a wallet-friendly way to enjoy similar features for less.

Looking at alternatives is an important part of any buying decision, and that’s no different if you’re considering an iPhone 15 as your next phone.

It doesn’t support Apple Intelligence features

Summarization of notification and emails on iPhone with Apple Intelligence.

Earlier this month, Apple announced Apple Intelligence. Described as “AI for the rest of us,” the heavily anticipated new tool will eventually be available in the upcoming iOS 18 update after beta testing.

Do you want to know where Apple Intelligence is never coming? You are correct: the iPhone 15 (and iPhone 15 Plus) and any other phone older than the iPhone 15 Pro.

You may not want AI integrated into your smartphone right now. Still, as AI technology develops, it could offer various benefits, such as improved personalization, smarter virtual assistants, and enhanced user experiences through features like image recognition and language translation. If you plan to keep your smartphone for a long time, considering the advantages of AI integration before buying a new phone could be beneficial in the long run.

The iPhone 16 is coming soon

iPhone 16 mockup with vertical slim camera module.
iPhone 16 renders MacRumors

Another reason not to purchase an iPhone 15 shouldn’t come as a surprise. In a few weeks, Apple will almost certainly announce and release the iPhone 16. Plenty of exciting rumors exist about each phone in the iPhone 16 series, including the standard one.

For example, both the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus are expected to feature a pill-shaped rear camera island that will remind you of the design seen on the iPhone X. For a few years, Apple’s more affordable phones have had a diagonal camera layout, so a refresh is welcome.

The iPhone 16 might feature an Action button similar to the one found on the iPhone 15 Pro series. This physical button allows easier access to favorite Shortcuts and essential system tools such as the Camera or Voice Memos.

Rumors suggest that all iPhone 16 models may also feature a new capacitive button to replace the physical buttons found on current models. This button could utilize haptic feedback to simulate a physical button press.

The iPhone 16 is also expected to feature a variation of the A17 chip found in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, plus an improved battery. This should mean Apple Intelligence will be available for the entire iPhone 16 lineup, not just the Pro models.

Rumors suggest the new iPhone lineup will change iPhone color choices. The iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus could be available in seven colors: pink, blue, yellow, green, black, white, and purple.

And don’t forget, a 120Hz refresh could also be in the offering.

Wait a little longer and get a better deal

A green iPhone 15 in hand in front of plant.
Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Let’s say you really like the iPhone 15 and have decided that’s the model to buy, regardless of the alternatives and what may come with the iPhone 16.

Apple will no doubt continue to sell the iPhone 15 after releasing new iPhone models. When this happens, the price of the iPhone 15 is expected to drop by at least $100 if purchased directly from Apple and possibly even more if bought from a third-party retailer. This is the price drop that happened when the iPhone 15 replaced the iPhone 14 in the lineup as Apple’s best entry-level iPhone.

If you can wait just a few weeks, this is a path to consider. The new iPhone should be released before the end of September, which is really not that far away.

As you can see, there are several reasons not to purchase an iPhone 15 or at least delay your purchase. If you’re looking for more alternatives, check out the year’s best phones.

Bryan M. Wolfe
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
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