iPhone 15 best new features: Seven reasons to upgrade in 2024

a side profile of the iPhone 15 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Every year, Apple has to compete with itself and convince users to upgrade to the next big thing. Last year, that meant the iPhone 14 Pro with its all-new Dynamic Island and a potent 48MP camera. This year, the iPhone 15 line takes what made last year great and runs with it.

The iPhone 15, with the Dynamic Island feature, new chips, USB-C charging, and more, seems like a worthwhile upgrade if yours is starting to feel a little slow. When you combine this with the brand new iPhone 15 colors, Apple is onto a winner. 

This is all before mentioning the iPhone 15 Pro and all the excellent features coming to it. Here are the best new features coming to iPhone 15 this year. 

iPhone 15 best new features: USB-C charging

A picture of the iPhone 15 USB C port

(Image credit: Apple)

It’s finally time. As impending EU legislation looms, Apple is all-in on USB-C for iPhone this year. That means no more Lightning ports and the end of the Lightning cable. 

The news will mean that the iPhone 15 will join other Apple devices like iPad and Mac which is useful, but it also means that existing hubs, docks, and cables you use with your previous iPhone are destined for the trash.

iPhone 15 Pro best new features: A17 processor

A picture of the A17 Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

The new A17 Pro chip is the first iPhone chip built on TSMC’s 3nm process and will be implemented exclusively in the iPhone 15 Pro line. That means a higher logic density that will make the new chips even faster and more efficient than the iPhone 14 Pro’s A16. It is faster at the same power draw as the old one, or more efficient at the same speeds. That means faster apps, better computational photography, and longer battery life. 

The standard iPhone 15 line will take the iPhone 14 Pro line's A16 Chip.

 iPhone 15 Pro best new features: Action Button

iPhone 15 Pro front and back

(Image credit: Apple)

Like the Apple Watch Ultra's Action Button, the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will be entirely removing a mute button in favor of an Action Button. Though it will initially be used to mute, it will have special functions depending on the app or your settings. 

You can use it to answer calls, play videos, and much more. 

iPhone 15 best new features:  Periscope camera Lens 

A close-up of an iPhone 14 camera setup.

(Image credit: iMore / Stephen Warwick)

The iPhone 15 Pro Max will get a new periscope camera. That means using angled mirrors like a periscope to bounce light into your iPhone camera’s lens. This allows a phone to have much higher levels of optical zoom without the need for a huge camera bump on the back of the phone. Apple will offer 5x optical zoom on the iPhone 15 Pro Max thanks to this new feature. 

iPhone 15 best new features: Dynamic Island

A close-up of an iPhone 14 Pro screen with the Dynamic Island displayed

(Image credit: Luke Filipowicz / iMore)

The Dynamic Island isn’t new. It was one of the biggest innovations of the iPhone 14 Pro — but it never made its way to the base-model iPhone 14 line up. However, it will be coming to all of the new iPhone 15 models. 

That will mean a less intrusive notch and some handy software integration with iOS 16 (and iOS 17). It can display timers, music, calls, and more seamlessly around the iPhone FaceTime camera.

iPhone 15 best new features: A quicker charge

Apple iPhone 14 Pro on a wooden surface outdoors.

(Image credit: iMore)

Though the battery is nearly identical in use to last year's models, the introduction of USB-C means the potential for a much quicker charge. The charger in the box appears to have a rather small charge rate but future cables could offer a much better charge time. 

iPhone 15 Wi-Fi 6E

Apple is introducting Wi-Fi 6E to the iPhone 15 this year. That would mean support for the 6GHz Wi-Fi band on top of the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands currently supported. 

For your iPhone, that will mean faster and more reliable Wi-Fi connections whether you're at home or out and about. It's something the latest MacBook Pro and iPad Pro already benefit from.

iPhone 15: The most exciting upgrade 

As far as I’m concerned, USB-C is the most exciting upgrade coming to iPhone this year. That will finally mean an end to hosting multiple chargers around the house and fumbling for the right cable every time you need power. Every single device in my home apart from the iPhone runs off USB-C, and I can’t wait to ditch the Lightning port for good.  

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9