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The best iPhone 15 alternatives: 6 phones to consider before you buy
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
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.
2. Samsung Galaxy S23 series
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.
3. Google Pixel 7 series
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.
4. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
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.
5. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5
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.
6. Sony Xperia 1V and 5V
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.
Pro camera features
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.