Would you make the upgrade to the iPhone 7?


Photo Credit: Photo via Flickr.com under the Creative Commons License

Showing off the new jet-black color and dual camera system, the iPhone 7 (left) and iPhone 7 Plus (right) serve to intrigue loyal Apple customers.

By: Mia Banks, Fall Reporter

On September 7, 2016 Apple released the latest generation of iPhones: the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Controversial developments have customers wondering whether or not they should upgrade from the iPhone 6.

Water Resistance

The design of the iPhone 7 is very similar to last year’s iPhone 6S and the prior year’s iPhone 6, all featuring a rounded aluminum body. In contrast, the new iPhone 7 is now water resistant, which means one can wet it without worry; however, Apple does not recommend anyone go swimming with their new iPhone 7.

The iPhone 7 has an Ingress Protection rating of 67; this means the phone is fully protected against dust, and will survive in water at a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. The iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus and 6s Plus models are not water resistant at all.

New Camera and Speaker

Also new is a dual camera system for the iPhone 7 Plus. The dual camera allows for optimal zoom for average photos, 12 megapixels at wide-angles, and the ability to take portrait-style shots.

Additionally, both versions of the iPhone 7 include an all-new stereo speaker, which Apple claims is 2x louder than the iPhone 6s speaker.

Colonia High School senior Krishna Patel, who was the previous owner of an iPhone 6, but is now the owner of an iPhone 7, claims that Apple was indeed telling the truth in their claim that the iPhone 7 is louder; Patel shared, “I would always get frustrated when I would try to play music from the speakers in my iPhone 6 because the sound was always so faint, even if I turned the volume all the way up. I don’t have that problem with my iPhone 7. The speakers are so loud that sometimes my phone will vibrate when I’m listening to fast-paced, energetic songs. I’d say that’s a good thing because I’m actually getting the high quality that I paid for.”

In addition to the new speakers, Apple has also incorporated two new variations of the color black to their original line-up of iPhone colors: matte-black and glossy, jet-black. Since the release of the iPhone 7 models, the new jet-black color has brought about the most discussion.

Patel, who owns the jet-black version of the iPhone 7, has commented, “I like the darker black color because it really just blends in nicely with the screen and makes my phone look really uniform; however, I really hate the gloss. The phone is a fingerprint magnet, and on the first day I got it, the back of it got scratched while it was in my purse. I was forced to put a case on it, but I feel like that defeats the purpose of choosing a color. The jet black color was on back-order, so I had to wait an extra two weeks after the release date to receive it. If I had known better when I was ordering it, I would’ve gotten the gold color, the same as my iPhone 6.”

In fact, Patel isn’t the only person who shares this opinion, according to MacRumors.com, the matte-black iPhone stands as the most popular color, accounting for 46% of iPhone 7 sales. The jet-black color, despite its initial popularity within the first 24-hours of release, only accounts for 23% of iPhone 7 sales.

No Headphone Jack

But what is perhaps the most notable development of the iPhone 7, in comparison to the iPhone 6 and 6s, is the eradication of the universal 3.5 millimeter headphone jack. That’s right, Apple has eradicated of one of the most important ports in the history of portable electronic devices. Now, if consumers wish to listen to music through their iPhone, they must either own wireless, bluetooth headphones, or, they must use the headphones provided by Apple, which plug into the lightning charging port of the iPhone. While many loyal Apple consumers became outraged upon hearing the news of this development, others were fairly optimistic.

Contrasting the audio ports between the iPhone 6 (top) and the iPhone 7 (bottom), the two phones are stacked.

Colonia High School senior Nitya Shah doesn’t think that the removal of the universal headphone jack is big deal; she states, “I was surprised at first, and thought I’d hate the [iPhone 7], but now that I see people who have it, it seems like a normal iPhone that I’d like. I sometimes listen to my music with headphones in after school while doing homework, but my battery is sometimes running low so I also have my phone plugged in to charge. If the headphone jack is gone, I can’t do the two things simultaneously. But I think I’d be able to adapt pretty well as time goes on.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook, would probably agree with Shah, in the sense that over time, the general consumer is likely to become accustomed to the dramatic change in the iPhone’s design. Apple has pioneered modern-day consumer electronics; for example, they were the first to develop a laptop that lacks a disk drive, and customers have surprisingly taken a liking to the new device. PCMag.com has rated the MacBook Pro with retina display one of the best laptops of 2016.

In the end, although Apple consumers may miss the comfort and practicality of the previous iPhone 6 and 6s models, the iPhone 7 offers many interesting and promising features. The question is, will consumers take the risk and give the iPhone 7 a chance?