Apple finally got with the program and put USB-C on its new iPhones, but how do they compare to Android phones from the likes of Samsung and Google, where USB-C is nothing but old hat?
The iPhone 15 and 15 Pro models Apple announced at its “Wonderlust” keynote have various other updates and niceties aside from a new port — like new cameras, Dynamic Islands up and down the line, Roadside Assistance through the satellite function, and an Action Button and lighter titanium build on the Pros — but these still look quite like iPhones until you plug in a charger. And just like many years prior, USB-C represents yet another iPhone adoption that Android phones have had for years.
So it’s a good opportunity to look at how the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro (and their bigger Plus and Max counterparts) compare in other avenues to the top class of Android phones. What else have the new iPhones borrowed from Android phones? How do they meet or exceed the specs of their flagship competition from the likes of Samsung and Google?
Here, we’ve compiled a list of specs to put the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max head-to-head with the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Ultra, Pixel 7, and Pixel 7 Pro 7 to see how they compare on paper. Specifications may never tell the whole story, but they are certainly fun to look at, especially when you’re considering an upgrade or switching sides.
While there’s some spec parity across these “standard” phones from Apple, Samsung, and Google, the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus are still stuck with 60Hz screens and no always-on display functionality. They also lag behind in RAM. Apple has not officially confirmed, but MacRumors reports the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus have 6GB like last year’s 14 generation, with only the Pro versions getting an upgrade to 8GB. Though, to be fair, iPhones have always gotten by on less memory than Android phones thanks to their tight software integration with iOS.
But what the new iPhones definitely can’t touch Samsung and Google on is pricing. The standard Pixel 7 remains one of the best values in smartphones today, especially with how frequently it’s on sale and discounted to as low as $449. This may not matter as much if you always buy your phone from your carrier, but when shopping full-price for an unlocked phone, a $350 price disparity is hard to deny.
The comparison with the iPhone 15 Pro models is a bit more interesting, with the titanium builds making this year’s Pro iPhones a little less of a boat anchor in the weight department. They match the Ultra / Pro flagships from Samsung and Google at 120Hz refresh, and their new USB-C ports with USB 3 allow for faster data transfers and the use of SSDs — which videographers and photographers may find quite helpful for on-the-go workflows. And while the iPhone 15 Pro Max did get $100 more expensive, at least you’re getting a larger 256GB of storage to match that higher price.
What do you think of the new 2023 class of iPhones? Is it a snoozer of an update year, or are the smattering of small changes enough to compel you? I, for one, welcome our new USB-C overlords. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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