Tech Tryouts: How the New iPhone 15 Measures Up, According to an Apple User

Did I indeed experience newphoria?

So here’s the deal. I’m not one to keep up with the latest versions of tech gear. My ethos is, if it works, there’s no real need for a new one. This applies from home appliances to even smartphones—each addition at home is painstakingly researched, compared, and deliberated. However, I had the opportunity to try out the latest iPhone 15 (beyond the display counter!) and suffice it to say that it piqued my interest. 

Before we dive into my experience with the iPhone 15, here’s a little something that you might not know about Apple. As countries and corporations are running against the clock towards a greener future, the tech giant is not exempt from the race. In fact, they strive to achieve their carbon-neutral target by 2030. We’re still some years away from that, but they are already inching towards that goal. 

Aside from nixing the charging block from new phone purchases (because at this point, who doesn’t own one?), Apple is also using more sustainable materials. You name it: cobalt, copper, aluminium, even gold and rare earth elements, they are all recycled. Even the box encasing the phone is over 99% fibre-based, allowing the brand to get closer to their plastic-free packaging aspiration. 

Another applause-worthy effort by them? Happy news for the cruelty-free and vegan advocates—Apple has ended the superfluous use of leather in their accessories category. In its place is the all-new FineWoven material that mimics the finish of suede, supple and decadent to the touch. It uses 68% post-consumer recycled material and takes less carbon emissions to produce compared to its leather counterpart. 

The Turning Point — the USB-C Connector 

That’s all fine and dandy, but what about the iPhone 15? Exactly. That was only the beginning. Bear in mind that prior to the iPhone 15, I had my trusty iPhone XS, which is five generations behind. With each new release since the XS, I was hesitant to make the change. However, as soon as more information was released about the new lineup, I was sold. 

The USB-C Connector proved to be a godsend in more ways than one. First of all, I can now carry one single block and cable for all my charging needs. Between the iPhone 15, my MacBook, my headphones, and earphones, I’m set for the day. To be frank, this was enough of an advantage to convert me, but the perks continue. By virtue of the same feature, I can seamlessly transfer files between the iPhone 15 to my MacBook—which makes my work infinitely more convenient. 

X Marks the Spot — the Camera 

Let’s be honest. With every iteration of the iPhone, we all look to the camera specs. This time around, Apple uses a 48MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide camera, perfect for moments when you want to capture every single detail in a shot. But the real pull for me is the iPhone 15’s capabilities to produce next-generation portraits, even in Photo mode. The best part? I can tweak the depth in post-production, so I still have time to change my mind about the shot. On top of that, I can also change the focus point of a photo (just like in Cinematic mode!) even after the shot’s taken. 

The iPhone 15 also shines when it comes to Night and Action mode shots. Just take a peek at the shots taken at Kuala Selangor, where the fireflies are a main attraction. Between the pitch black darkness of 10 p.m., the fact that I was on a boat that was gently swaying, and the pollution that diminished the fireflies’ glow, I consider it a miracle that these are the output from the camera. 

A Change of Heart — the Dynamic Island 

When the Dynamic Island was first introduced, I was certifiably a sceptic. To me, a notch (or anything that resembles it) is a hallmark of technology’s past. And for those who are still on that boat, here’s what I have to say to you: It’s just a new feature that takes some time to get used to, and once you’re past that period of adjustment, you’ll find that it’s an indispensable element of the smartphone. Back then, the Dynamic Island was reserved for Pro models, and Pro models only, but now, you too can experience the wonders of the Dynamic Island. 

Especially for a multitasker, the Dynamic Island allows you to keep an eye out for other goings-on that take place in the background, without compromising your current activity. I could write this story while waiting for a cab and listening to music, and I could easily hop out of the e-hailing and music apps to continue working on the piece. All this while, I could continue keeping tabs on the car’s whereabouts and one tap away, choose different playlists. More and more developers are embracing this feature, so convenient integrations from your favourite apps are definitely on their way. 

I’ve had the iPhone 15 since the day of its launch, and to be honest, I never looked back. The change was seamless, and the new features such as the USB-C Connector, the cameras, as well as the Dynamic Island were just mechanics that needed time to acclimatise to. These qualities are not just icings on the cake—they are what seal the deal.