The iPhone 7: Is it worth it?


Adam Peng

By Shaan Dahar ’18, Contributor

The iPhone 7 comes with big hardware changes, like the removed 3.5mm jack and dual cameras on the Plus, but that is expected in this ever-changing tech landscape. Innovation and experimentation is expected, and success means followers. The iPhone was revolutionary when it was first released in 2007(!), setting a standard for smartphones in both OS structure and build. In fact, the HTC Dream—the first commercially available Android phone released a year after the iPhone—borrowed many similar features like applications for YouTube or Gmail as well as a slim, pocket-sized body.

With a large following as well, Google released their first Nexus phone in January of 2010. Samsung followed suit with the first Galaxy S in June of the same year. This competition gives way to smartphone companies rushing to beat out competitors, and issues ensued, but controversies such as “Bendgate” and issues with the touchscreen hardware (which Apple is being sued over) illustrated the company’s products suffering from a tighter schedule. Apple even saw their first sales decline when they released two more models of the iPhone 6—the 6s and 6s Plus—in 2015, and much of this is attributed to not just the issues of the previous model, but the smartphone market being dominated by Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One. iPhones may be among the most sold in America, but Android dominates the worldwide market, with Samsung owning the biggest shipment share since 2015.

Strategy Analytics January 2016

This isn’t to say that the iPhone line sells horribly; it’s one of the best-selling phone series in the US, but on a worldwide scale, companies like Samsung are well in the lead. Many consumers have either switched to Android, cannot afford Apple products and go to budget Chinese manufacturers, or simply don’t have iPhones available to them. If the issues above don’t prevent consumers from purchasing an iPhone 7, it may be that they don’t want to upgrade yearly, possibly believing there to be very little of an upgrade. Such was the case for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, whose Edge model had no upgrade aside from the curved screen.

This couldn’t be further from the truth for the iPhone 7. Tts A10 processor and 3GB of RAM are a definite improvement over last year’s 6 and 6s, and the dual rear cameras (only included with the Plus model) are a huge improvement over the iPhone 6s. Getting landscape views and panoramas this crystal clear might make you think you’re holding a DSLR camera—provided you’ve not zoomed in all the way. This year’s model is water resistant, but don’t expect to take a trip to Soak City and walk away with your phone intact: the iPhone 7 will withstand accidental drops and splashes, but it’s NOT WATERPROOF. The stereo speakers sound good as well, so if you’re in public and you’re sharing songs with friends, you don’t have to worry about the horrendously underpowered speakers on an iPod Touch. The storage has also been bumped up to a whopping 256 GB of storage, and the 16 GB model has been eliminated in favor of a base 32GB model. Being a man of many tunes, many photos, and many apps, this is great for a storage hound like me.

However, there are a few major issues present. The battery hasn’t improved from last year’s model and, in fact, has worsened. The Guardian writer Samuel Gibbs states that it “lasted an average of just over 14 hours between charges. I already thought the iPod Nano and Shuffle were overpriced, but this is ridiculous.

The iPhone 7 is a great piece of hardware bogged down by a poor battery life, the exclusion of a headphone port in favor of a proprietary port, and a hefty premium price. If the premium price is within your budget, and the issues above don’t deter you, then the iPhone 7 Plus is a great upgrade. If money isn’t a concern, I would recommend the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge ($670 and $780 respectively) which is just as powerful, has expandable storage, a better battery life, and the customizability of Android. However, if you can’t afford breaking the bank, then I’d recommend either the HTC 10 ($599), the Sony Xperia Z5 ($500) or, if you don’t want to switch OS, the iPhone 6s ($549).

I, personally, would go with the Galaxy S7, and jump ship from iOS to Android. The price tag of the iPhone 7, bad experiences with iTunes, and major bugs with iOS updates and syncing on iPod Touch and iPad have made me weary of Apple products.  My needs in a phone are storage for lots of music (at least over 32 GB), extra space for apps, pictures, and videos, and a OS that doesn’t make me format the phone to fix that syncing bug every other week where all my music is unrecognized by my iPod (even though it’s still on the phone). With an Android phone, you can simply plug your phone into the computer, load it with music, pictures, etc., and the option for a microSD card—SanDisk has microSD cards that go up to 200 GB—leaves storage options aplenty, so no more need to delete apps for pictures, music, and vice versa. If I want my music from iTunes, I can simply download the files, upload them to Google Play Music (along with the rest of my 144 GB library, FOR FREE), download the Google Play Music app on my phone, and download the songs from my library through the app. If I want to game on an Android phone, I have many of the same apps from the App Store, some Android exclusive games, and even the ability to emulate NES, N64, PSP, and more!




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