iPhone 16 Plus vs iPhone 15 Plus: Expectations

iPhone 16 Plus vs iPhone 15 Plus: Expectations

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Intro

Apple seems to be sticking to the iPhone Plus formula for yet another year, hence the presence of an iPhone 16 Plus model in the portfolio. The most logical question is: “How does the new phone stack against its predecessor.” A comparison article sprouts out of this question, and you’re currently reading it.Today we’re doing a quick preliminary comparison between the upcoming iPhone 16 Plus and last year’s iPhone 15 Plus. We expect those to be fairly similar, and we’re going to explore all the differences and similarities below. This includes dimensions, screen quality, battery life, camera system, raw hardware power, software features, and many more.

The usual disclaimer applies here as well. We’re using leaks, rumors, and our experience and knowledge in the industry to wrap up this comparison. Things may change, and some specs and/or features may differ in the official product.

iPhone 16 Plus vs iPhone 15 Plus differences:

Table of Contents:

Design and Size

Camera design change
We expect these two models to be very similar, at least when looked at from the front. The iPhone 16 Plus and the iPhone 15 Plus sport the exact same 6.7-inch display with a pill-shaped camera cutout and Dynamic Island capabilities.

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On the back, things look a bit different. The camera bump is different on the new model, it features a vertical design and bears some resemblance to the iPhone X camera, just with more substantial, beefier cameras in the vertical pill-shaped housing.

The iPhone 15 Plus, on the other hand, features the traditional square-ish camera design with diagonally-positioned main and ultrawide cameras.

The materials used in both phones are virtually identical, we have the same glass-aluminum sandwich as in the last couple of iPhone generations.

There’s another design change in the newer model, and it concerns the button layout. The iPhone 16 Plus is expected to come with an Action Button, and, most likely, a capacitive Camera Button as well. The old model only has the mute switch, apart from the usual power button and volume.

Regarding the color scheme, you can check out the expected colors for the iPhone 16 Plus below, as well as all the available hues that you can buy the iPhone 15 Plus in.

iPhone 16 Plus expected colors:

iPhone 15 Plus available colors:

Display Differences

Well. If we want to go the short route here, we’d say, “There aren’t any.” The display of the iPhone 16 Plus is expected to be nearly identical to the one found in the iPhone 16 Plus.

It’s a 6.69-inch LTPS OLED with a 60Hz refresh rate (a real shame in 2024) and a resolution of 2796 x 1290 pixels.

We can’t comment on brightness figures or color accuracy just yet. Stay tuned for some hard numbers after we get our hands on the iPhone 16 Plus. There might be a bump in brightness, but again, we have to wait and do the tests.

Performance and Software

A18 vs A16
The iPhone 16 Plus is expected to sport the new A18 chipset, manufactured using 3nm technology, which should contribute to power efficiency. The new model is also expected to have more RAM onboard to cope with the higher demands of the on-device AI we expect Apple to unveil with the iPhone 16 series.

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That being said, the iPhone 15 Plus is no slouch with the older A16 chip and will do just fine with 6GB of RAM for your day-to-day phone activities. One area where the new chipset will shine is, of course, synthetic benchmarks, and we will include those as soon as we test the new phone.

The software situation is somewhat of a mixed bag at the moment. We expect the iPhone 16 Plus to ship with iOS 18 out of the box, and the same OS should be available on the iPhone 15 Plus not long afterward, but there could be AI magic onboard the new model that the old chap won’t get.

Software updates are important as well. The industry is slowly moving toward longer support cycles (seven years on Pixels and Galaxy phones), so Apple is starting to lose traction here. We don’t know whether or not the new iPhone 16 Plus will have longer (than five years) OS support, but we expect at least five major updates, just like its predecessor.

Camera

No hardware changes
We expect the iPhone 16 Plus to retain the same camera system as its predecessor, namely a 48MP main camera coupled with a 12MP ultrawide. This might come as a disappointment to some, but Apple might have a trick up its sleeve with the upcoming AI features that we hear rumors about.

The change in camera positioning on the new model will allow the iPhone 16 Plus to record spatial video in landscape mode, intended to be viewed on the Apple Vision Pro. Something to keep in mind when comparing these two.

Overall, there shouldn’t be a major difference when it comes to photo and video quality, as the hardware is identical, but we will need to do some real world samples and camera comparisons to objectively judge that.

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Battery Life and Charging

A downgrade?
The iPhone 15 Plus comes with a relatively large 4,383 mAh battery (at least for the iPhone lineup), but the new model is expected to have a 4,006 mAh cell inside. This comes as a surprise, and it’s a clear downgrade compared to the previous generation.

Apple might have taken into account the new A18 chip’s efficiency (it’s a 3 nm chip), but more testing is needed to confirm this. We’re not sure why the downgrade in capacity was needed in the first place (if, of course, the leaked info is correct), and maybe it has something to do with the new chipset.

The charging situation will probably remain unchanged, which means that the iPhone 16 Plus will come with the same 27W max wired fast charging and MagSafe wireless charging as its predecessor.

Specs Comparison

Summary

It’s still pretty early to draw definitive conclusions, as the iPhone 16 Plus hasn’t been officially announced yet. But overall, looking at the specs of both phones and the features, the iPhone 16 Plus doesn’t seem like a substantial upgrade over the iPhone 15 Plus.

If you already own the latter, there’s little to no reason to upgrade. If you’re coming from an older iPhone or deciding to switch Android for iOS, the newer model might make sense, for it’s expected to land at the same starting price as the previous one. Stay tuned for our full comparison, tests and all, and the final verdict once the iPhone 16 series launches.



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