Should you buy the new iPhone 7?

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Now that Apple finally unveiled the mystery surrounding the new iPhone 7, it will be pretty fascinating to see how this gadget fares against other flagship models. The smartphone giant released the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus a year ago, and people were wondering what else could be done after these already great models. As we all know, Apple is trying to change the way we usually perceive smartphones. The removal of wired headphone jacks in exchange of Bluetooth-enabled wireless earbuds, for starters, was a very bold move. Others, like the dust and water resistance features, felt as if Apple was finally chasing Samsung and other smartphone firms in delivering units that can withstand natural elements.

Given all the flairs Apple promised with the new iPhone 7, the next question lies whether it is worth buying, when you just had a release last year. The answer might leave you a little surprised.

The Rumors and the iPhone 7 Hype

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iPhone 7 versus iPhone 6. Is it worth it?

The iPhone 6 series marked the first time Apple ventured outside its typical 4-inch smartphone zone. Users warmly welcomed this drastic change, made to adapt with the current smartphone landscape. New features, like the 3D Touch, were viewed as innovative, together with the upgraded camera, from the usual 8 MP to 12 MP. We also witnessed the prowess of iOS 9 and A9, of one of the most powerful processors in 2015. Critics even went as far as to say this might have been the best smartphone during the time of its release. While not perfect, Apple proved it can battle face to face with other firms on the market.

What’s the result of these upgrades? Over 10 million units shipped in the first week of release. These phones remained Apple’s flagship models, until iPhone 7 was announced this September. It is safe to say that the iPhone 6 series set very high expectations for the upcoming release of this smartphone. Added to the hype was the rumor that Apple might have something up its sleeve, given that 2017 is the 10th year anniversary of the iPhone product line.

Apple has been pretty predictable in terms of changing its design. The original generations mark the change in outer design (iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and iPhone 6). Meanwhile, the S versions improve the hardware component, most notably in iPhone 4s and iPhone 6s. Early speculations indicate that iPhone 7 might host a sapphire glass screen and will be bigger than the iPhone 6s. This idea erupted when a major supplier of Apple signed an agreement with Zhengzhou city government in China, to produce this kind of material for next iPhone releases. There were also speculations about the absence of a physical home button and a larger internal memory, up to 256 GB.

One of the more ambitious rumors is that iPhone 7 will host a mini-projector, for larger viewing. A 14 megapixel camera that works like a DSLR is also expected. While many of these speculations turned out wrong, some details were still correct, like the new home button, the dual camera and the expanded memory.

What We Know About the iPhone 7

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Rumors about the iPhone 7 have been circulating since 2015.

In terms of aesthetics, the iPhone 7 is similar to its predecessors. You get a 4.7-inch smartphone (5.5 inches for the 7 Plus), that has the similar feel as last year’s iPhone 6s. What is noticeable, though, is its elegant Jet Black palette. The glossy design made the iPhone 7 look like a slim obelisk. On the downside, it can be a smudge magnet, similar to Samsung Galaxy S7.

Apple claims that the iPhone 7 has HD Retina Display, which is 25% brighter than that of iPhone 6s’ screen. Its screen also sports Gorilla Glass 5, which makes this phone insanely durable against accidental falls. This is a welcomed development, granted that the iPhone 6 series are kind of slippery. We now bid goodbye to the conventional Home Button, in exchange for a pressure sensitive button, like a touch screen. It really feels weird and it might take some time before you get used to it. Fortunately, you can customize it to your liking. The 3D Touch was retained, thanks to the warm customer response when this feature was incorporated to iPhone 6s.

People will be happier, now that the iPhone 7 has a greater battery life, that translates into around 12 hours of LTE internet browsing. Apple did not disclose the actual battery capacity, but the company is known for improving on this department with every iPhone generation. The same can be said about the A10 processor, which Apple claimed to be 40% faster than last year’s A9. The iPhone 7 flaunts a 64-bit quad-core processor, that is battery friendly. Two cores are tasked for better performance, while the other two are high-efficiency ones, meant to conserve battery while running applications. This processor also allows the iPhone 7 to run taxing games.

The 16 GB base version is now thankfully removed, making room for the 32 GB. Apple’s move towards larger internal memory is a wise move, granted that the details in images now mean larger file sizes.

The 12 megapixel camera also remained, but the iPhone 7 boosted some upgrades most smartphones do not have. The optical image stabilization feature was enhanced, which allows you to take clear images even when your hands are shaking. Its increased aperture lets it absorb 50% more light through the lenses. This means good news for low-light photography. Especially considering that millennials take photos in various environments since the role of social media became more prominent.

Also, Apple’s take on dual cameras might pull some photography aficionados in switching to iPhone 7 Plus. This feature gives you more depth of field in your photos, and better zoom. The first camera is wide-angle with a f/1.8 aperture. Meanwhile, the other one has a f/2.8 aperture and monstrous 10x digital zoom, without compromising clarity. Note that the use of dual cameras is not new, since Huawei has been pulling this trick for quite some time now. Photos seen in Apple conference came with some very nice bokeh, though. The front camera was upped to 7 megapixels from the 5 megapixel shooter of last year’s iPhone 6s. These features might be Apple’s chance to reclaim the crown from its rivals, Samsung, Sony and HTC.

As stated earlier, Apple finally took a note from its counterparts and released a unit that is dust and water resistant. Whether this feature is reliable or not, remains a mystery, but it’s a known fact that Apple delivers on its promises. Perhaps the most drastic change is the absence of headphone jacks. Yes, Apple begins to kill the ubiquitous and resilient 3.5 mm jack, with iPhone 7. The bottom portion of the phone hosts stereo speakers, but nothing for the headphones. Instead, Apple gives you an adapter for your traditional ear accessory. However, you cannot listen to music and charge your phone at the same time. New Bluetooth enabled wireless earbuds will come later, which are expected to cost around $159.

Pre-Release Reception

Apple needs some strong marketing ploy to convince iPhone users to ditch wired headphones.
Apple needs some strong marketing ploy to convince iPhone users to ditch wired headphones.

We can say the smartphone industry is nothing but saturated at this point. In most markets, people have already transitioned from feature phones to these powerful gizmos. With that, Apple needs to have a game changer, since two-thirds of its revenues come from smartphone sales. Added to the pressure is the company’s negative sales growth in the first quarter of 2016. Make no mistake, the company has still made billions of dollars, but it showed it isn’t resistant to the market forces at this point.

Tim Cook claims that iPhone 7 is the world’s most advanced smartphone, yet others have long accomplished what this unit only now has. The upgrades are surely solid, very good even, but nothing extraordinary. It’s been awhile since we saw something jaw-dropping from an iPhone release. The iPhone 4 was the first Apple smartphone to host Retina Display, 4s had Siri and iPhone 6 jumped to the phablet market. People had iPhone 6s last year, and it will take some great features for them to drop it for iPhone 7.

Of course, Apple made several updates to this upcoming unit. However, these felt like mandatory updates to the screen, camera and processor. We rarely hear complaints about these features, because Apple does great in these departments. People will be surely happy with the improved battery life and added water resistance, yet what else can the iPhone 7 offer? We are anxiously waiting for the next bomb that will make buyers go gaga over Apple again.

The AirPod, which will come as accessory for the iPhone 7, also met polarized reactions, despite the excitement this truly wireless headset caused. A bit expensive, yes, but the AirPod will give a very futuristic vibe to the iPhone 7. However, for people to accept them, the pros have to outweigh the cons. Apple is well known for having a knack for making their products thinner and lighter. They already ditched the usual USB charger for Type-C ports, and the Disk Drive for their super slim MacBooks. Unfortunately, Bluetooth headphones are notoriously known for being subpar, when compared to their wired counterparts.

Also, the public is less than forgiving upon hearing the news of this radical change. Over 300,000 people petitioned against removing the headset jack, but to no avail. However, Apple seems to have heard the complaints and provided a Lightning adapter. Yet, that alone was not enough to quell negative public reaction over the internet.

The pre-release setbacks do not undermine Apple’s reputation as a reliable seller. Queues in pre-order are already full. Some places experience supply issues, due to overwhelming demand. In fact, you will get a unit in November if you order now, proving Apple is still a smartphone company to reckon. It will be very interesting to see how Cook’s team will market iPhone 7 in the months to come. First week sales are normally hype-induced, but a steady cash flow can make or break this product, in the long run.

This is also the first time Apple will battle head on with Samsung, in terms of flagship releases. Samsung had the Note 7 released this August. Unfortunately, the battery issues with this smartphone rendered the company to recall the units and suspend sales. For Apple, this might be their chance to convince some Android users to finally switch to the safer iOs. It remains unknown whether the iPhone 7 will be free of issues that plagued the iPhone 6 two years ago. Nonetheless, Apple might be able to use Samsung’s predicament to its advantage.

Pricing

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This is the most expensive iPhone so far

Pre-orders started on September 9, and the iPhone 7 was available for purchase starting September 16. It is available in five colors – rose gold, gold, silver, black and jet black. Below we listed the prices of a contract-free iPhone 7 in USA.

iPhone 7 Price in USA without contract:

iPhone 7 Model: iPhone 7 Price: USA
iPhone 7 32GB $649
iPhone 7 128GB $749
iPhone 7 256GB $849
iPhone 7 Plus 32GB $769
iPhone 7 Plus 128GB $869
iPhone 7 Plus 256GB $969

Note that prices will vary depending on the country you live in. You may also get this on contract. Contact your carrier for postpaid plans of the iPhone 7.

Should You Buy the iPhone 7?

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Let us set one thing straight first, before we address this question. There is no doubt that the iPhone 7 is a valid update to the iPhone 6s from last year. Apple’s newest smartphone has some nice ideas after all, albeit it made baby steps in terms of upgrades.

Ultimately, the answer depends on your needs. If you are not much of a gamer, nor a photographer, it is advisable to keep your iPhone 6s in hand for a while. Added to the above reasons is if you are really not that keen on the removal of the headphone jack. Nonetheless, if you are someone who regularly seeks improved performance and need protection against forces of nature, the iPhone 7 is for you.

We hope this article is helpful. Voice your thoughts in the comment box!

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