If you need a new phone right now, sure, buy an iPhone 7. The little one starts at $649 for a mercifully doubled 32GB of storage and ranges up to $849 for 256GB, and the Plus starts at $769 for 32GB and goes up to $969 for 256GB. Make sure you factor in the extra cost of headphone adapters or Bluetooth headphones, because you’ll end up needing them. You’ll be fine, and your photos will be better.
But unless you’re eager and ready to live the early adopter life, you won’t actually be missing out on much if you don’t get an iPhone 7. This is an iPhone that lays a marker in tech history, and it will serve as the foundation for many important changes to how phones work and integrate into our lives. We’re going to remember the iPhone 7. It’s going to be the next iPhones that actually build a useful future on that foundation.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the best iPhones ever. And they are probably the best portable cameras ever made. The combination of wide gamut capture with wide gamut P3 display means that you have quite literally never seen images like this from a smartphone camera before. And that’s not to mention the massive front camera upgrade. The phones are fast, capable and functional, with nice upgrades to speaker audio, water resistance and a more durable home button.
I’m not sure if Apple’s iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus are the best smartphones ever, but these are easily the best iPhones ever, and they're excellent upgrade options for current iOS customers.
Let me be clear, the iPhone 7 is not the most advanced smartphone money can buy. I'd say it's the best smartphone of 2015, that's when Apple should have put it on sale instead of the iPhone 6s that added frivolous stuff like a pressure sensitive screen. Apple's still playing catchup with the six month old Samsung Galaxy S7. Well Samsung has moved on to incredible edgeless screens and virtual reality goggles, this iPhone 7 looks well pretty much identical to the two year old iPhone 6, aside from a new shiny black finish that's an incredible fingerprint magnet.
So, no, the iPhone 7 won’t blow your mind with its design or features. It’s still a fantastic phone. And philosophically, it feels like Apple is throwing open a door. The iPhone 7 might not be a revolution, but it might be the catalyst for lots of them. Your phone will be better in a few months, and even better a few months after that. And wouldn’t that be exciting?
The iPhone 7 is a very good phone with the sorts of logical, useful upgrades that Apple typically delivers with new hardware. I still have my quibbles with the iPhone 6-era design and it’s too bad that we’re going to be trucking along with it for another year, but the iPhone 6 was also Apple’s most popular phone by far so clearly actual people aren’t all that bothered by it.
We won’t know for months whether Peak iPhone or the headphone jack thing or both are going to affect sales, since Apple won’t be releasing opening weekend numbers and we’ll need to wait until January to get a full quarter of sales data. I suspect that many iPhone buyers will decide that the upgrades are good enough to justify the frustrations, but the fact remains that there are a lot of wired headphones out there, and the W1 chip that makes the wireless future seem Not So Bad will exclusively ship in Apple’s headphones at Apple’s prices.
What I want from Apple is to build devices that solve complex problems with simple solutions. I want them to make things more efficient for me as a user without going through any pain from using their products. That’s exactly what they provided with the iPhone 7 and AirPods.
Even if you want to judge these new iPhones based solely on their industrial design, the new black finishes alone would make me want to buy one. But what matters is what happens when you turn them on and use them. And in every regard, from performance to battery life to camera image quality to haptic feedback to water resistance to wide color gamut displays to sound quality from the speakers,3 the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are impressive year-over-year improvements over the 6S/6S Plus, and stunning improvements over the two- and three-year old iPhone 6 and 5S — which are the models most people considering the new iPhones will be upgrading from.
If you’re a loyal iOS user and due for an upgrade, it’s a no-brainer: Get this iPhone. If you’re perfectly happy with your current device, wait for it to break, preferably on its way to the bottom of a pool — and then get one. With Google’s new Nexus (or Silver Surfer) phones around the corner, wait a month or so to switch. Maybe, uh, hold off on that Samsung for a while.
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