Opinion: Is the iPhone 7 worth upgrading for or should I hold out?

By Matthew Dunn of news.com.au

A new jet black iPhone 7 next to an iPhone 6 at an Apple Store. Photo / AP
A new jet black iPhone 7 next to an iPhone 6 at an Apple Store. Photo / AP

It's been a few weeks since the iPhone 7 was released and I still find myself being asked if it is worth upgrading.

As the 7 Plus has been difficult to obtain due to a supply shortage, I have only been able to play around with the smaller iPhone 7 for the past couple of weeks.

So here are my thoughts based on my experience.

The first thing that stood out was the fact the iPhone had been designed to be water and dust resistant.

This is obviously welcomed news for those prone to accidents such as dropping your device into the toilet after a few too many frothies at the local.

In order to include this feature, Apple removed the physical home button and replaced it with a solid-state button, which works the new Taptic Engine.

While this might sound strange, the phone still has the appearance of a physical button with haptic feedback being offered as you press down.

This haptic feedback can be customised to offer different levels of vibration for the home button and it also offers another surprising benefit.

Realising the popularity of mobile gaming, Apple has capitalised on the haptic feedback to make the phone offer more vibrations during gameplay.

To put this more simply, when you shoot a machine gun in a mobile game, your phone will vibrate to better simulate this action - it's a small change that makes a big difference.

The iPhone 7 Plus camera zoom feature area is shown during an event. Photo / AP
The iPhone 7 Plus camera zoom feature area is shown during an event. Photo / AP

In addition to the physical home button having to be removed for waterproofing, Apple also had to part ways with the headphone jack.

This was obviously the most controversial move from Apple, but it's not actually that big of a deal.

Apple include wired headphones designed to fit the Lightning port and a 3.5mm headphones to Lightning adaptor in the box.

And for those wanting to charge their iPhone and listen to the music at the same time, there is an adaptor allowing for this dual functionality that can be purchased.

However, as someone who has been using third-party wireless headphones for sometime, I would be more inclined to encourage people to stop complaining and meet the rest of us in the future.

Apart from the removal of the headphone jack, the biggest change to the iPhone 7 is found in the new camera system.

While it doesn't offer the capabilities of the dual camera system of the iPhone 7 Plus, the smaller model does have some improvements.

The 12MP rear camera now has a larger ƒ/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilisation, which both allow for better lowlight photos and videos.

Additionally, the new Quad-LED True Tone flash adjusts colour tones according to the colour temperature of the room and is 50 per cent brighter than its predecessor.

The front-facing camera has also had a makeover, now offering the ability to do selfies in 7MP if you're into that sort of thing.

In addition to these major changes, Apple has also introduced a number of lesser known features.

Firstly, there is the inclusion of stereo speakers at the bottom and top of the iPhone 7, which allow for two times the volume of iPhone 6s.

Next, the iPhone 7 has the A10 Fusion chip - the most powerful chip ever in a smartphone.

Finally, all new Retina HD display uses the same colour display as the digital cinema industry and is up to 25 per cent brighter than the iPhone 6S.

So now for the big question: Is it worth upgrading?

Having used the iPhone 7 for the past couple of weeks, I can say some of the features are cool, but they are not necessarily enough to convince me it's worth upgrading.

If your plan was up or you desperately needed to upgrade, the iPhone 7 is decent.

But, I don't think the iPhone 7 is amazing enough for me to suggest you should race out and purchase the smartphone today.

While I haven't had an extended play with the iPhone 7 Plus, from what I have seen, it is the far better choice in terms of the these two latest offerings from Apple.

The 7 Plus' dual camera system and a longer battery life make it far more appealing and I am hoping to road test is shortly.

Like many of the people in world constantly battle with broken screens, I would have liked to see more of an effort to fix this common grievance.

I would have also liked to have seen some changes to appearance of the phone.

All in all, it's a solid offering from Apple and is OK if you need to upgrade, otherwise hold onto your cash or spend a little more to purchase the 7 Plus.

- news.com.au

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