New cell phones have gotten a lot of buzz lately, for decidedly different reasons. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 got pulled off the shelves when it started randomly catching on fire. The Google Pixel is widely popular (and appears to take some wickedly good pictures). The iPhone 7 got a lot of press for an odd reason, because the media perceived they didn’t make enough changes from the last model.
Although I was a Blackberry guy for many years, I switched to an iPhone 6 or 7 years ago. I’ve been pretty happy with the various iPhones over the years. They may not be as customizable as an Android phone and they don’t have that awesome Blackberry keyboard. But with very few exceptions, they just work. I have very few issues with software or hardware. For those reasons, I chose to upgrade to an iPhone 7 plus. I previously had the iPhone 6 but decided to upgrade to the big version for a couple of reasons. For starters:
More Screen Real Estate
I use my phone as my primary device, much more than my iPad. So, the ability to have more real estate was appetizing. I’m still not sure if it outweighs the more cumbersome size of the device. I had surgery on my elbow 2 years ago to alleviate some hand problems, but my thumb still doesn’t have the full range of motion. That means there are certain parts of the screen I can’t reach when using the phone one-handed.
When I turn the phone into landscape mode (on its side) I get much more functionality. I get a bigger keyboard and I get the ability to scroll through e-mails with a big preview screen.
The new iPhone 7 plus has two cameras. That opens up a bunch of interesting possibilities. First, since one lens is a telephoto, it gives the user the ability to zoom in to a much greater degree. And, it creates some versatility since the two lenses work together. This gives you the ability to take great mid-range shots and great close-up shots. I still find zooming all the way in makes the picture too grainy.
The camera also does really well with low light pictures. This is a significant area of improvement over previous iPhones. If you’re a camera nut, this is absolutely the feature that makes the iPhone 7 plus worth it.
Lastly, the iPhone 7 plus picks up a new portrait mode that creates pretty awesome pictures with stunning depth of field. I don’t mean great depth of field for a phone. I mean great depth of field, period. Here’s a couple of examples my best friend David took of his dog Luna.
The Rest Of It
Not to downplay the rest, but I’m not the right guy to judge processor speed, pixel count, etc. I think the screen looks awesome. The battery life on the phone is great. I had an iPhone 6 Plus for a short period of time and I was really pleased with the battery life as compared to the iPhone 6. The iPhone 7 Plus continues that trend.
It’s a pricey phone that can hold a ton of stuff (up to 256gb). I’m still amazed that my phone can hold as much as most MacBook Air hard drives.
It’s harder to say whether this one is “worth it”. Some of it depends on the cost of your upgrade. A lot has changed in how cell phone companies sell new phones to customers. I think the iPhone 7 Plus delivers a lot of value, especially if you value picture quality and screen real estate. I don’t think anyone would blame you for waiting to plunk down more cash for a new phone. The next generation iPhone is supposed to have much bigger changes.
That being said, I think the phone is ultimately worth the price. Like many iPhones before it, the phone just works. You won’t find many problems with the phone. iOS has gotten a bit buggier than it used to be, but it’s still really robust.
And, those pictures…..
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