Apple’s new iPhone has a couple of differences from the 6s. It has a faster CPU, no headphone jack, improved camera, and no home button. Only Apple can remove so much and call it innovation. Is there truth here? Is there innovation with removing all of these things we have become so used to? At the end of the day is the iPhone 7 a worthy smartphone and is it superior to the iPhone 6s?
I upgraded from an iPhone 6s which means I am getting almost two years of refinement with the device and the processor. The good news is that the speed improvements are noticeable. On my 6s, apps were starting to feel a bit sluggish and opening the camera and switching between the camera modes highlighted this issue.
With the 7 everything is a bit snappier but at the same time, it also heats up more. The 6s would get hot under load too but it feels like the 7 reaches higher temperatures faster than the older phone. I will see if this continues to happen over time.
Goodbye Phone Jack
The big controversy with this phone is that there is no headphone jack. Apple suggests that they removed the headphone jack for the sake of innovation. If Apple really wanted to push everyone forward, they would have dropped the headphone jack and their proprietary connector and gone with USB-C for both headphone and charging; this is a change I would fully support. Instead, we have Apple pushing headphones that are either wireless or use their own adapter which is convenient since they recently bought a headphone company.
Apple has made a big deal about its cameras over the past few generations of devices and the 7 is no different. While the 7 Plus gets the better update with two cameras, the 7 gets optical stabilization and a larger sensor. The ability to take photos in low light is easily accomplished with the 7 and pictures in broad daylight look great. At the end of the day this is a very good camera and it certainly does what it needs to do but I can’t tell a huge difference between my old phone.
I was a concerned when I saw the changes to the home button. Switching to the taptic engine instead of an actual button is actually a risk for Apple. However I am glad to report it’s not really an issue and actually it feels quite natural. Apple did a good job with this change and for anyone who was holding off on purchasing this phone because of the home button changes, go ahead and buy the phone as you won’t regret it.
Battery life with the phone is average and it can easily last a workday but I would happily take a slightly thicker phone for significantly longer battery life. On a long day at a the office the battery can come up a little short. If you run up against battery issues regularly with your iPhone7 I recommend giving this a try. It is worth the $99.
Waterproof, Sort of
Here is another improvement over the previous iPhones.
If you happen to fall in the pool, or spill coffee over your phone, this iPhone will survive. However don’t take it for a swim on purpose. Apple says it’s not designed for that sort of water exposure. And keep it away from salt water.
If it does get wet, Apple advises wiping it with a dry cloth and ensuring it is totally dry before opening the SIM tray and leaving it at least five hours before charging it. Don’t try to blow dry it because it won’t like the heat. And don’t shove something into the Lightning port to dry it because the folk at the Apple Genius Bar won’t like that if something goes wrong.
The iPhone 7 is a very good phone but if you have a 6s, it may not be worth upgrading. But if you have a iphone 6 (not the S) or earlier and you want to stick with Apple the upgrade is a good deal.