iPhone 7 or 7 Plus — Which One Should You Choose?

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This question seems to of concern to a lot of people each year. The same question was asked when the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus debuted, and again a year later, during the 6S and 6S Plus launch. This year things are a bit different though — the specs of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are much closer to each other in two important regards. So which one should you choose?

Why You Would Want to Upgrade to the 7 or 7 Plus

There is one major reason for getting a new iPhone — the new camera. Realistically speaking, if you’re on a 6S or 6S+, you won’t get much benefit from the newer model, unless you shoot a lot of photos. The sensor still has 12 MP, but the new lens is now f/1.8 instead of f/2.2. It’s also a bit wider now — 28.77 mm in the 71 vs. 29.92 in the 6S and 6S Plus. Both sizes also get OIS2 and low-light photography is much improved. To clarify — the wide-angle lens and sensor on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is exactly the same.

If you’re on the 6S, then you will get a bit more battery life, probably on par with the iPhone SE — this could be a worthwhile upgrade for some of you.

6 and 6 Plus users should seriously consider upgrading for the speed increase alone.

If you need your iPhone to be splash proof then you don’t have much choice — only the iPhones 7 conform to the IP67 standard.

Why You Should Get the 7 Plus Instead of the 7

The big reason to get the 7 Plus is of course the second camera. In addition to the 28 mm (28.77 to be precise) lens, you get a second one — 57.09 mm, although Apple calls it as a 56 mm. Whatever. The sensor is a bit smaller — the sensor behind the 28 mm lens is 1/3″ sized while the 56 mm lens is 1/3.6″. It also doesn’t have OIS. It does give you the freedom of two focal lengths in one camera. If you’re into photography, the 7 Plus is a no-brainer.

The 5.5″ iPhone also gets better battery life. Much better in fact. I switched to it from the 4.7″ model a year and a half ago solely for that reason. With the 4.7″ iPhone 7’s improved battery life, I would probably go back to the smaller size, if not for the second camera in the larger model. When the day comes when battery life on the smaller iPhone is on par with the larger one, and they both get the same cameras, I’m switching back.

The keyboard in the 5.5″ model is also easier to type on, if you do a lot of that sort of thing, but the device is less comfortable to use. The larger screen does make it easier to read on it however — both the internet and ebooks.

Why You Shouldn’t Bother Upgrading

If you’re on a 6S or 6S Plus and don’t care for the camera or slightly increased battery life, then don’t bother — you’ll be fine for another year. The only reason I’m upgrading my 6S Plus is the camera. I also like the new Home button.

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users — if you don’t care for performance, 3D Touch, slightly improved battery life, or the new cameras, then don’t bother either. Rumour has it that the 2017 iPhone will be a much bigger upgrade.

If you absolutely need the headphone jack and don’t want to use the Lightning adapter.


In the meantime, I can’t wait to go out and get some RAW test shots, comparing it to JPG.


The feature image was shot with an iPhone 6S Plus.

  1. Apple officially states 28 mm.
  2. Optical Image Stabilisation.

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