iPhone 15 vs iPhone 14 vs iPhone 13: What are the differences?

16 February 2024

Robert Duke


iphone 15 with a question mark on the screen

In the ever-evolving landscape of smartphone tech, Apple continues to set a high watermark with each new iteration of the iPhone. 

With the recent release of the iPhone 15, many people are faced with the decision of whether to upgrade to the latest handset or to go for one of their other recent offerings. Here, we delve into the key differences between the iPhone 15, iPhone 14, and iPhone 13 to help you decide. 

Design and Display:

The iPhone 15 introduces a sleeker, more refined design with rounded edges and a slightly slimmer profile compared to its predecessors. The iPhone 14 has a similar design to the iPhone 15, while the iPhone 13 sports a more traditional look with slightly thicker bezels. All three generations have OLED HDR 10 displays and similar refresh rates, meaning you’ll get a super-smooth scrolling and viewing experience regardless of which one you go for. They also all have the same size screens, but the iPhone 15 has slightly more of a ‘useable’ screen area because of its ‘island’ notch. Bonus!

All in all, the iPhone 15 is probably a slightly cooler-looking handset, but there isn’t much between them when it comes to the visual output on the devices.


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Performance and Hardware:

Under the hood, the iPhone 15 is powered by the latest A16 Bionic chip, delivering unparalleled performance and efficiency. This chipset offers significant improvements in CPU and GPU performance, making the iPhone 15 ideal for demanding activities such as gaming and multitasking.

The iPhone 14, on the other hand, is equipped with the A15 Bionic processor, which, while still being one of the best chips on the market, doesn't quite match the performance of its successor. The iPhone 13 features the A15 Bionic chip as well, providing excellent performance but lacking the enhancements found in the A16, or in the enhanced A15 chip in the iPhone 14. Also, the graphics processor on the iPhone 13 isn’t quite as powerful as the two more recent models. 

Overall, the iPhone 15 does perform slightly better than the 14 and the 13, but for most people using their phone for normal day-to-day tasks, you probably won’t notice much of a difference.  

Camera Capabilities:

Apple has put more of an emphasis on improving their camera technology in its iPhone lineups recently, and the iPhone 15 is no exception. With an advanced triple-camera system, including a wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto lens, the iPhone 15 delivers stunning photos and videos in pretty much all lighting conditions.

The most significant improvement in the 15 is the increase from a 12MP rear camera to a 48MP version, which improves the quality of image capture noticeably. It also introduces new computational photography features, such as improved Night mode and an enhanced version of Smart HDR. While the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 also boast impressive camera systems, they lack some of the advanced features found in the iPhone 15.

This is one area where the iPhone 15 does deliver noticeably better results. If you’re really into your photography, the latest model really does shine. 

Battery Life and Charging:

According to Apple, the iPhone 15 offers all-day battery life, thanks to its efficient A16 chip and optimised software. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 also provide decent battery life but may not last as long as the iPhone 15 on a single charge.

In testing, the iPhone 15 lasted around 11 hours; which was about an hour and thirty minutes longer than the 14. Curiously, the iPhone 13 can, in some situations, actually last a little longer than the 14, which is a boon for those looking to keep costs down. 

Overall, the iPhone 15 is the best of the three for battery life, but the iPhone 13 actually punches above its weight for its price tag too. 

Price and Availability:

As with any new iPhone release, pricing plays a significant role in the decision-making process. The iPhone 15 commands a premium price tag, starting from £799, reflecting its cutting-edge technology and features. The iPhone 14 is a little cheaper at £699 and the iPhone 13 is £599 (although you may find better deals for each of the three devices online if you keep your eyes peeled).

Is the iPhone 15, iPhone 14 or iPhone 13 better?

In conclusion, the iPhone 15, iPhone 14, and iPhone 13 each cater to people with slightly different preferences and budgets. While the iPhone 15 stands out with its advanced technology and innovative features, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13 still hold their own with solid performance. Ultimately, the decision to upgrade will depend on individual needs and priorities.

If you’re a serious gamer or photographer, you may find the iPhone 15 offers enough of an improved experience to justify the extra outlay; however, the differences between the devices are less noticeable if you just use your phone for everyday browsing. 

It’s also worth noting that the differences between the iPhone 14 and 13 are pretty negligible in most cases, and with the iPhone 13 having a slightly better battery life than the 14; if you’re torn between those two, the 13 will likely give you more bang for your buck (again, particularly if you just use your phone for normal day-to-day activity).

One thing to keep in mind is, the iPhone 16 will be released later in 2024 (likely around September), and it'll have a number of improvements over the 15, including a more powerful processor and a better camera array. Will it be worth waiting for the iPhone 16? That'll come down to how urgent your need to upgrade is and whether you want to wait for the absolute cutting-edge handset.

We asked an AI tool to predict what the iPhone 16 would look like and it generated the images below. It seems that, similar to our thinking, it might not deviate too much from the 15. However it is interesting to see that in the first image on the left, there's a matte finish to the back of the handset which would be a bit of a shift from the casing seen on previous models. In the second image to the right, it shows a 3 camera array, which would be an increase from the 2 visible lenses on current models. 

iphone 16 image predicted by AI

You might also like:

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iPhone 15 tips and tricks: We show you how to get the most out of the latest Apple flagship handset. 

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