Devices – October 2016

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It has arrived! The iPhone 7 has hit the market and has Apple lovers across the globe smiling with delight as they camp outside stores to purchase the new device. Here, we ask ourselves if it is worth all the hype.

Launched last month, the iPhone 7 has been getting some flack online for its lack of innovation since the previous model. Make no mistake, this is the best iPhone on the market. Unfortunately it’s only a little bit better than the iPhone 6S.

Let’s start with the stand out features. The technology inside the device has been upgraded as expected which makes for a speedy experience. The handset includes the new A10 Fusion chip which is the fastest chip in an Apple device and as expected the new iPhone 7 is roughly 20% faster than the 6S which was released a year ago. Users will really see the difference when switching between apps, this is seriously impressive and those who are constantly switching between emails, music and social media will find this experience vastly improved.

You may have heard all the media flap about the removal of the headphone jack but what does this actually mean for users? Apple has included a pair of regular EarPods which come with a lightning adaptor, this is a huge pain for anyone who listens to music and charges their phone at the same time. The alternative is to splash out on a pair of Apple AirPods which are Bluetooth enabled and are apparently pretty good quality. If you don’t have the right ear shape you’ll be forever picking these up off the floor which isn’t going to help their lifespan. (TIP: don’t use them whilst washing up! They cost £159!).

The device is also now water-resistant and has much improved speakers for those that like watching video or listening to music content. These are both nice to haves but unless you like catching up on your Netflix in the bath they may not be a huge deal.

One tangible benefit I was really looking forward to was the improvements in battery life. Apple has claimed this is significantly improved from the previous models but the jury is still out on whether this is the case. Not having enough time to test battery life myself I have turned to the rest of the tech industry, the responses are mixed but there seems to be not a huge amount of improvement to justify the claims. Most phones at this end of the market will still fair better unfortunately. The good news comes when charging the device, here things are noticeable. Just from a 30 minute charge you’ll get a 25% boost in battery life.

If you are into your photography then you will be happy with the upgraded camera on the iPhone 7. It performs especially well in low light but combined with the water-resistance feature it now opens up a lot of new opportunities for the water sports/ beach lovers.

The big question is should you buy the iPhone 7? You are really going to have to love the new features to justify spending £599 + for the entry 32GB model. If you want the 128GB version you are looking at £699! If you think that sounds expensive then check out the 256GB device, that will set you back £799…. Ouch! Some will find this hard to justify considering all the 6S models will now presumably be reduced in price.

The rumours are already circulating about next year’s model, which marks the tenth anniversary of the iPhone range. Apparently Apple have big things planned… where have I heard that before?!! For now, I won’t be making the leap to the iPhone 7.

Vital Stats
Cost – £599(32GB), £699(128GB), £799 (256GB)
Features – Water resistant, better screen/ camera, no headphone jack, no ‘clicky’ home button
Verdict – Slightly better than an 6S