The iPhone 14 is a really good phone. But it's not a five star phone. In our iPhone 14 review, it lost a star because it isn't really that big an upgrade over the iPhone 13; it's a tock in the tick-tock cycle of iPhone releases.
So what would make the iPhone 15 a tick rather than a tock and earn it that all-important fifth star? I have some suggestions.
1. Inviting everybody to Dynamic Island
I love the Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max: there's a playfulness to it, a little bit of whimsy in an otherwise pretty sober and serious device. Having it across the entire iPhone 15 range would encourage more developers to experiment with it, and that means more fun for everyone.
2. A periscope lens
An iPhone with a periscope lens has been predicted for years now, and it's right at the top of my wish list now that the iPhone 14 Pro cameras have been upgraded: the optical zoom is still the weak point of the iPhone camera for me, and a periscope lens would enable Apple to deliver something better. When it arrives it's almost certainly going to be in the Pro and Ultra rather than across the range, but I hope Apple doesn't limit it solely to the Ultra.
3. Always-on for every iPhone
The always on display in the Pro and Pro Max is brilliant and brilliantly useful, especially when you combine it with focus modes and widgets: having a phone that subtly changes depending on what you're doing, and which supports live activities from third-party apps such as sports apps and Uber, is a real game-changer. This is an area where in its cheaper iPhones at least, Apple is lagging far behind Android phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S22.
4. Better battery life
Let's be honest. It's still crap, isn't it? We're coming to the end of 2022 and I still have phone battery anxiety if I'm going outside for any period of time.
Not just because it means one less cable connection to deal with, although that's definitely valuable, but also because it's much, much faster than Lightning. The iPhone 14's Lightning connector has a maximum speed of 480Mbps; the Thunderbolt USB-C in the iPad Pro can do 40Gbps. Lesser iPads with USB-C aren't quite so fast, but they still leave Lightning's USB 2.0 speeds in the dust. That matters if you're shooting very high res video on an iPhone Pro or Pro Max, and it would be a welcome upgrade for the iPhone 15 Pro and Ultra.
6. Twin selfie shooters
As we reported last month, a Twitter tipster claims that the iPhone 15 could be getting a second front-facing camera. That would enable much wider selfies, and it'd be particularly brilliant for group/family selfies, which are currently the most frustrating kinds of selfie to shoot on an iPhone.