Apple iPhone 7 - Do the Upgrades Make It Good Value for Money?
The Apple iPhone 7 has officially launched and has been available for pre-order from the 9th September. The product is expected to hit our shelves in Australia by the 16th September, but is the new phone really worth the money it costs? Apple fans may be slightly more biased, but people wishing to try the new iPhone for the first time might not be so sure.
The new edition to the Apple smartphone range certainly has some benefits but also many drawbacks, so if you are looking to buy the new iPhone 7, is it really the best value for money smartphone you can buy? We have a closer look at what the new iPhone really has over its predecessor the iPhone 6 and 6s.
The first and most obvious addition has been the new colour scheme that Apple has applied to the new iPhone 7, it’s the main image on the website: a jet black coloured device. However, I’m sure this wasn’t enough to fool anyone that the company’s innovation department might be lacking. So, what are the immediate pros and cons we noticed?
|Water resistant||No headphones jack|
|Dual speakers (stereo)||Innovative camera (iPhone 7 Plus only)|
|Improved screen||Iterative design|
Depending on what you value in your handset will determine whether you believe the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to actually be an upgrade or not. On the plus side, the new device has a more superior camera, a better screen that improves user experience and an overall more desirable sonic performance.
On the negative side, the phone has removed its headphone jack alienating everyone who dislikes using Bluetooth headphones, its only included the new innovative camera in the Plus version and Apple have pretty much made the device look exactly the same as the past 2 years of handsets. Therefore the idea of upgrading will carry different weight to different people, but it’s easy to see why so many people would prefer to save money and stick with iPhone 6 this time round. At the end of the day status is a big thing when owning an iPhone 7 and when it looks the same as the iPhone 6 and 6s, customers don’t really feel their money offers that upgrade feel.
iPhone 7 Price
Finally Apple listened to its customer’s cries and removed the 16GB option from its line and in the new device you will have the choice of a 32GB, 128GB and a 256GB option. The different alternatives will be priced as follows:
- 32GB - $1,079
- 128GB - $1,229
- 256GB - $1,379
To be fair to Apple, these prices are the same as previous launches so there is some happiness around the fact that they are not charging customers more for the additional memory. However, in most people’s opinion it’s been far too long that they have been mocking customers with a 16GB option.
The screen size and dimensions are nearly identical to the previous model which is saddening, because as soon as you pop a phone cover onto the device you will struggle to tell the difference between the 2014, 2015 and 2016 model.
Besides the similarity in looks you wont be able to save money using your old case because this time around the new iPhone 7 has no headphone jack. This means that customers will have to fork out money for new headphones that are either Bluetooth or find a manufacturer which has developed lightning port headphones if they don’t feel like using the jack extension or basic earphones that come with the device.
One improvement to design is the removal of the antenna bands on the back of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, which gives the device a smoother appearance and continuous colour. Finally the one which many customers will be the most excited about is the fact that the new handset will be IP67 water-resistant, meaning you can’t go swimming together but you can fall in the pool or take a shower together.
New Home Button
The new button now has haptic feedback vibrations rather than clicking in. It still contains the finger print scanner as before but doesn’t give the satisfying click that most customers will have become accustomed to over the years. This area is a questionable change many Apple fans may not be so happy with.
It appears that Apple simply don’t care about sharpness when it comes to its iPhones, because they have still continued to use 720p screens that were found in phones during 2010. Their use of colour and bonding to the glass above help it feel not so bad, partnered with their use of LCD technology, however when comparing the sharpness of a Samsung Galaxy S7 next to the iPhone 7 it really does let the Apple side down miserably.
This shows customers that Apple isn’t thinking about adding virtual reality to its phones anytime soon either, or at least within the next 12 months, because the amount of pixels in the current screen simply can’t handle it. Yes, we are aware Apple focus on colour garmuts that are designed to make things pop off the screen but for the money this isn’t anything mind-blowing, virtual reality on the other hand would be more likely to impress customers.
Ultimately we could argue that the fewer amount of pixels means that battery life is extended, but the same 4.7 inch screen as found with the past three models prevent the phone from feeling like too much of an upgrade. Plus, when comparing to other manufacturers, it feels as though Apple have fallen short when their competitors have managed to solve this problem by providing higher quality screens and maintaining the same battery life as the iPhone.
Apple has made big improvements where music is concerned because where the headphone jack has been removed comes the replacement of an additional speaker. This means the iPhone 7 now has two, one at each end of the device meaning listening to music or watching a movie is greatly improved. Additionally, the lightning port has capabilities of carrying larger quantities of data not possible in a headphone jack, therefore allowing higher-quality music files to be experienced.
The new Airpod earphones that Apple has invented are its own proprietary wireless headphones which use Bluetooth. They differ slightly from others because they can determine when they are sitting in your ear or not via infrared sensors.
Finally we reach the camera, which unfortunately hasn’t changed much from the iPhone 6, besides a few alterations that will show some slight differences. The first thing customers will notice is that the camera protrusion has grown, making a flat lie on a table more of a wobbly affair.
The iPhone 7 still has a 12MP camera (and 7MP front facing camera), but the larger protrusion means that the handset can now take better low-light pictures, richer photos and achieve faster shutter speeds. However, besides these little tweaks there isn’t much more to talk about unless you are buying the iPhone 7 Plus making the standard model less exciting than its phablet bigger brother.
After the recent dip in iPhone sales we were all expecting something big from Apple to bring it back to fighting strength and whilst there is no law that states the company must change its design ever two years, it does make the customer feel more exclusive when upgrading to a new shape especially when they cost so much.
A new handset isn’t always about the look though, but then again the lack of changes in terms of internal upgrades almost feels flat too from the California based company. Yes, water-resistance is new but I’m sure many customers would prefer to have a higher quality screen rather than a phone they can now shower with.
What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments section below.