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The best iPhone 15 alternatives: 6 phones to consider before you buy

The iPhone 15 looks great, but it's not for everyone.
September 15, 2023
iPhone 14 Pro Dynamic Island in hand with expanded music island
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Apple recently unveiled its latest flagship series, the iPhone 15 family. The latest iPhones bring quite a few features and a welcome move to USB-C. There’s a lot to love about them, but what if you aren’t sold on iOS or want something different? That’s what we are here for. Join us as we take a look at the best iPhone 15 alternatives on the market today.

1. Apple iPhone 14 series

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max purple back
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you’re looking for the best alternative to the iPhone 15 series, you might just want to stick with the iPhone 14 family. Sure, you’ll be dealing with slightly older hardware, but you’ll also save a good amount of cash. You’ll also get the same software eventually once the iOS 17 update rolls out.

The iPhone 14 family varies a bit depending on what model you get. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus have the most in common, as both use the same Apple A16 Bionic SoC and storage variants ranging from 128GB to 512GB. There are also the same 12MP wide and ultrawide cameras. Battery life is better on the Plus thanks to its larger size, and of course, the Plus has a larger 6.7-inch screen compared to the iPhone 14.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max jump up to an Apple A16 processor and have storage configurations as high as 1TB. They also have the same 48MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, and 12MP telephoto lenses.

Even if they are a year old, the iPhone 14 series holds up extremely well against the iPhone 15 and 2023 Android flagships. Just be aware you won’t get Apple’s Apple A17 on the Pro series or the A16 on the iPhone 14 and Plus. You’ll also be stuck with a Lightning port over USB-C.

Apple iPhone 14Apple iPhone 14
Apple iPhone 14
All-day battery life • Capable cameras • Great software support
MSRP: $799.00
The cheapest phone of the series
While the iPhone 14 isn't a massive upgrade over its predecessor, it's still a great phone overall. It has a great design, long-term software support, and a capable camera system. It also costs a lot less than the other phones in the series.
See price at Best Buy
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Unbeatable software support
Powerful SoC
Dynamic Island
See price at Best Buy
Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Premium design and build
Upgraded main camera
Dynamic Island
See price at Best Buy
Apple iPhone 14 Plus
Apple iPhone 14 Plus
SOS satellite system
Updated 12MP camera
Large-display base model iPhone

2. Samsung Galaxy S23 series

Samsung Galaxy S23 series family photo
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

While the iPhone 13 might be the most obvious alternative to the iPhone 15, the Samsung Galaxy S23 series is probably the best Android phone for most consumers. Not only does it have some of the best hardware available, but it’s also one of the most popular brands out there.

All three models share many of the same specs, including the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, wireless charging technology, 120Hz OLED panels, and water resistance. You’ll also find the same 12MP ultrawide camera, 3x telephoto camera, and 8K video recording. Of course, not everything remains the same.

The Galaxy S23 is a much smaller phone than the rest, which also means it has a relatively small 3,900mAh battery. Beyond the battery and display size, you’ll find the S23 and S23 Plus are nearly identical under the hood. You’ll get the same FHD+ resolution as well as the same 50MP main camera.

In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra pulls a much meaner punch. Starting with the camera, you’ll get a 200MP primary lens and a 10x hybrid zoom camera. There’s also a large 6.8-inch QHD+ display, a 5,000mAh battery, and an S Pen with an integrated slot.

The one area where Apple has a clear advantage is its update policy, though Samsung comes close. Samsung provides four major OS updates and five years of security patches. Want to learn more? Check out our guide to the Galaxy S23 specs.

Samsung Galaxy S23Samsung Galaxy S23
AA Editors Choice
Samsung Galaxy S23
Compact size • Brighter screen • Larger battery
MSRP: $799.00
The compact option in Samsung's flagship Galaxy S series.
With a brighter screen, a larger battery, and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 power, the Galaxy S23 is Samsung's best compact Galaxy S flagship yet.
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
New 200MP main camera
Beautiful display
S Pen functionality
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Large AMOLED display
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 power
Bigger battery

3. Google Pixel 7 series

Google Pixel 7 Pro snow white next to Google Pixel 7 lemongrass green
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Pixel 7 series is another great iPhone 15 alternative. While its specs might not be quite as powerful as some of the others on this list, it has one of the best smartphone camera experiences you’ll find. It’s also much more affordable, which is a nice bonus.

The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are both powered by the same Tensor G2 chipset, which adds plenty of machine learning and AI capabilities that help it shine.

The Pixel 7 is the smaller of the two, with its 6.2-inch 90Hz OLED display. Meanwhile, the Pixel 7 Pro is much bigger largely due to its 6.7-inch 120Hz pOLED screen. Other key differences include 8GB of RAM on the Pixel 7, versus 12GB on the Pro. There’s also a larger 5,000mAh battery on the Pro, while the Pixel 7 has a 4,355mAh battery.

The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro both have some of the best cameras that rival the iPhone 15 series, with the same 50MP main sensor and 12MP ultrawide camera. The Pro adds a 48MP telephoto lens to the mix as well. The front camera remains the same on both as well.

In many ways, the Pixel series feels like an Android-based version of the iPhone. Just like the iPhone 15 series, Google is known for its minimalist approach. It’s easy to use and it just works, even if it doesn’t have quite as many bells and whistles as more feature-packed phones like the S23 Ultra. Even better, the Pixel 7 is just $599 and often goes on sale for even less. The Pixel 7 Pro is $300 more, but that’s still quite affordable for what you get.

Google Pixel 7Google Pixel 7
AA Editors Choice
Google Pixel 7
Tensor G2 processor • Upgraded camera • Low price
MSRP: $599.00
Value for money like no other
The Pixel 7 is a flagship Pixel for everyone. It offers the next-gen Google processor, some terrific specs, and a reasonable price. You can upgrade to the Pixel 7 Pro if you want a larger display and even better cameras.
Google Pixel 7 ProGoogle Pixel 7 Pro
AA Editors Choice
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Best Google camera • High-quality display • Big battery
MSRP: $899.00
The Pixel 7 Pro is the top-of-the-line phone on Google's roster.
The Google Pixel 7 Pro takes the best features from the Pixel 6 Pro, and makes them even better. Enjoy numerous camera upgrades and some fun new software tricks, all for the same cost as the last-gen Pixel phone.

4. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 buttons and flex window
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Looking for something different? The Samsung Galaxy Flip 5 might be worth a look. It’s much more pocketable than Apple’s offerings, for starters.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5 looks like your average phone when unfolded, with its sizeable 6.7-inch AMOLED display. When folded in half, it slips right into your pocket. Even better, there’s a 3.4-inch Flex Window screen on the front that still lets you check messages, control music, run full apps, and much more.

Under the hood, you’ll get an overclocked Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 2 processor, the latest from Qualcomm. Of course, it’s not all perfect. Battery life is okay at best and there’s no dust protection. It’s more fragile than the iPhone 15 and other conventional phones. Even the camera feels a little like a compromise.

There’s just a 12MP wide and 12MP ultrawide camera on the back, with a 10MP front camera. There’s no telephoto or anything. Thankfully, the photo quality is still great, just not quite as good as you’ll get from the iPhone 15 series and some of the others on the list before this.

Still, the Galaxy Z Flip is a great phone and is perfect for those who want something that stands out as different from the crowd.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
AA Editors Choice
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
Huge new Flex Window • Excellent build quality • Solid rear cameras
MSRP: $999.99
Samsung's thinnest, most refined clamshell-style foldable yet
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is Samsung's fifth-generation clamshell foldable phone, complete with a 3.4-inch asymmetrical cover display, revamped gapless hinge, and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset.

5. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 folded in hand
Ryan Whitwam / Android Authority

Want even more screen real estate than Apple can offer? Look no further than the Galaxy Z Fold 5. On the outside, it looks like a fairly normal 6.2-inch phone, but unfolding it reveals an interior 7.6-inch tablet-sized display.

Just like the Z Flip 5 before it, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor backed by 12GB of RAM. The camera is also excellent, and pretty much the same as you’d find with the non-Ultra members of the S23 series. You get a 50MP primary, a 10MP 3x telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultrawide sensor.

On the flip side, this is an expensive device at around $1,800. It’s also thick, heavy, and has pretty medicare battery life. Just like the Flip, it’s also likely to be a bit more on the fragile side due to its foldable design.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
AA Editors Choice
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
New hinge finally folds flat • Bright, vibrant displays • Powerful multitasking features
MSRP: $1,799.99
The most powerful folding phone gets even stronger
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 improves on the folding platform with a more reliable hinge, stronger glass, an IPX8 rating, plenty of storage options, and a big, bright display.

6. Sony Xperia 1V and 5V

Sony Xperia 1 V homescreen in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Sony isn’t as popular as the other companies on this list, but the Sony Xperia 5 V and Xperia 1 V () are still quite capable iPhone 15 alternatives. Unlike Samsung, the only real difference between its two variants is the screen size. The former has a 6.1-inch FHD+ display, while the latter is a 6.5-inch 4K OLED panel.

The latest Xperia flagships have the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC found on almost every phone on this list. There’s also the same 5,000mAh battery, which is absolutely massive for a phone the size of the 5 V. Sony also has an excellent camera package, with a 52MP main sensor backed by a 12MP ultrawide and a 12MP telephoto lens.

The biggest downside is the price tag. The Xperia 1V can be currently purchased for $1,399, while the more recently announced 5V is expected to start around $1076. That’s a lot to pay for a phone that only has 128GB storage and a software policy that falls behind the rest with just three years of OS updates.

See price at Manufacturer site
Sony Xperia 5 V
Sony Xperia 5 V
A ton of power
Big battery
Multimedia focus
Pro camera features
See price at Manufacturer site
Sony Xperia 1 VI
Sony Xperia 1 VI
4K display
microSD slot
Big battery

iPhone 15 alternatives: Honorable mentions

Looking for more options? Here are two more worth an honorable mention:

  • Google Pixel 7a ($477 at Amazon): While it’s not much cheaper than a Pixel 7, the Pixel 7a is a great phone if you can find it at discount. You’ll get the same Tensor G2 as the main flagships, a great camera, and three years of OS updates with five years of security patches.
  • iPhone SE (2022) ($429 at Amazon): The iPhone SE is a great alternative for budget shoppers who want to stick with the iOS platform. Its design might be very small and quite dated, but you still get a powerful A15 chipset and an excellent software update policy that exceeds anything you’ll find in the Android world.