iPhone 7: Worth the Cost?

iPhone 7, Jet Black

iPhone 7, Jet Black

In 2015, Apple had sold 700 million iPhones. So it is no question that they will be selling millions more, due to the September 16th release of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. But amid questions of its waterproof capabilities, the new color, and a missing headphone jack, there might be some uncertainty on whether the new and improved smart phone is really worth the steep price. We’ll take a look at some of the best-selling phone’s new features, to help you decide if it’s really worth it to buy the iPhone 7.

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus start off in the same sizes as the iPhone 6 and 6s, but they definitely do not look the same. With a new complicated production process, the iPhone now looks smoother and more as if the phone was carved out of one block of metal, instead of many pieces constructed into a whole. It is available in the normal colors: silver, gold, and rose gold. Apple now offers two new colors: black and jet black. To the many confused consumers asking, “What’s the difference?,” black is matte while jet black is slightly darker and glossy. Apple claims that you won’t be able to tell where the aluminum ends and the glass begins. Jet black may seem very appealing to the eye, but it will be completely impossible to keep your jet black iPhone smudge and fingerprint free and its producer even admits that it is more easily scratched. Apple even recommends you buy a case for it, even though at that point it looks exactly like the iPhone 6.

The iPhone 7 is waterproof. But, don’t go and drop your phone in the pool just yet. The iPhone 7 is protected against spills, splashes, and dust. This means you can take it in the shower, sweat excessively onto it, and use it in the rain. But, it would not be smart to submerge it. If an iPhone is submerged, however, it should be there only for a few seconds. If you want to take underwater videos, then you should probably buy yourself a waterproof case. One of the reasons this iPhone is mostly waterproof is because of the lack of the home button. The home button looks the same, but is not a button anymore. It is a pad that is durable, responsive, and pressure sensitive, so that it gives you tactile feedback. This means that when you press the “button,” it feels just like pressing a button, even though it really just senses your touch. Overall, this just makes the iPhone more water-resistant, but doesn’t really affect experiences with the iPhone 7.

The new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus cameras are definitely improved. The new cameras have optical image stabilization, which reduces blur associated with motion, meaning it makes photos and videos as clear and stable as possible. With the f/1.8 aperture, it will absorb more light to produce better quality pictures in dim settings. A special flash also adjusts to the color temperature of the photo, to make things brighter. Videos and pictures taken from the front facing camera are better quality, as well as a new image signal processor that powers over 100 billion operations to recognize photos and adjusts things in accordance. And that is just the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 Plus has all those features plus another telephoto lens, that adds higher quality zoom and a depth-of-field effect that creates a controlled background blur. The photos also have a Retina HD display that uses more shades on the color spectrum, making your images more true to subject of the photo. These new additions to the already impressive iPhone camera make the 7 more attractive, but if you are not interested in professional smartphone photography, these things might not make much of a difference.

Inside the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is the A10 Fusion Chip, which gives iPhone users faster processing with less battery power. It has the longest battery life of any of the iPhones, and twice the processing speed of the iPhone 6. It also has more storage, up to 256 GB with the 7 Plus. With iOS 10, the iPhone is a lot more smoothly operated. Among many things, it has more texting shortcuts, organizes your photos for you, suggests apps based on what you’re doing in the day, and allows you to type in more than one language at a time without switching keyboards. While a faster phone might be nice, the iPhone 6 can get iOS 10 too, making this not very unique to the 7.

To all the music-listeners out there, the audio quality of the iPhone 7 is very important and they should not be disappointed- the 7 and 7 Plus both have internal stereo speakers, with two times the audio output as the 6s. But if someone wants to listen to music on headphones, they need to do something a little different. The new iPhone has taken out the headphone jack and instead includes headphones with the iPhone 7 purchase called EarPods that plug into the same place as the charger. This leads to two problems. How will you listen to music with your old headphones on your new iPhone? And how will you listen to music and charge your phone at the same time? The answer to the first question is there is a converter that comes with the iPhone 7 purchase that allows you to plug in your old headphones to your iPhone 7. And to those thinking that headphones AND a converter might be a little much to walk around with, listening to music with headphones and charging an iPhone 7 simultaneously will be a lot harder. This involves buying another converter for $40 called the “Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar” that lets you plug in headphones as well as a charger. And if you only have the old headphones, then you’re going to have to use the previously mentioned converter just to be able to plug into the Rockstar converter, which in turn plugs into your iPhone. That’s a lot of converters, just to be able to do something done so easily on the previous iPhones. It is the reason why a lot of people are turned off from buying the iPhone 7 and are wary of future iPhone products. Not to worry though- if you don’t want to use two converters just to listen to music, you can always buy Apple’s new and improved headphones- the AirPods.

AirPods are wireless headphones that you can use to to call, listen to music, and talk to Siri, meaning it’ll pretty much help you with anything that you can activate through voice control. While AirPods are not strictly with the iPhone 7, it is no doubt that they are a subject of interest among many iPhone 7 consumers and are a good accessory to the iPhone 7. They stay in your ears, have no connected wires, and you can access Siri with just a double tap on the side of either AirPod. They automatically turn and off when you put them into and take them out of your ears. The audio has a “rich sound,” according to Apple, and filters out background noise during calls and while talking to Siri to be able to better understand your voice. With the included portable charging case, the AirPods can last for the entire day, a fifteen minute charge giving up to three hours of charge. But without the charging case, you have five hours of charge. That is still fairly impressive, given their small size and capabilities. They also connect to all recent Apple devices, meaning the iPhone 5 and up. But all this for the whopping price of $159? You might be better off with the normal headphones and a few converters, when you see the price of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

The iPhone 7 is $649, and the iPhone 7 Plus is $749. Although they both include the new EarPods with the lightning connector(meaning they’re the new headphones that plug into the place where the charger goes), a lightning to USB cable, a USB power adaptor, and the headphone jack adapter, the price is pretty high. The iPhone 7 is over $100 more than the price of the iPhone 6s, and the iPhone 7 Plus is over $200 more than the 6s. The price is more than enough to make people buy an older phone for much less money.

The iPhone 7 has many interesting and attractive new features that might make this the perfect phone for any consumer. However one local iPhone 7 user complains about the complicated new notification center, and some people are noticing a hissing sound emanating from the phone while it is working on a hard task. The best options beside the iPhone 7 are to buy the iPhone 6 at a much cheaper price with a lot of the same features, or to wait for the iPhone 8 to come out so the technology is a lot less similar and more geared towards fixing whatever didn’t work with the iPhone 7. While it’s true the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus have many amazing new features, it generally isn’t that different from the iPhone 6, and way more expensive.