Have an iPhone 7? You got the wrong iPhone

“It’s the smaller of Apple’s two flagship iPhones that makes all the compromises,” Zach Epstein writes for BGR. “The benefits of a device with a larger display have always been apparent to me, but there has never been enough to gain from a phablet to make me change my behavior and compromise. Then, the iPhone 7 Plus came along.”

“Apple now sells several different iPhone models, but there is only one iPhone. The iPhone. The device that offers users the best and most complete experience Apple envisioned for smartphone users within the confines of current technological limitations,” Epstein writes. “That iPhone is the iPhone 7 Plus.”

“The battery in the 7 Plus can easily carry you through a full, busy day,” Epstein writes. “Next up is the 7 Plus display, which is so much better than the screen on the iPhone 7 that it’s difficult to describe.”

iPhone 7 Plus
Apple’s flagship iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black, the world’s most advanced pocket computer

 
“Now we come to the second most glaringly obvious difference between the iPhone 7 Plus and the smaller iPhone 7: The camera,” Epstein writes. “The iPhone 7 Plus provides a much better overall user experience than the smaller iPhone 7.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Flagship. There can be only one.

You can have our 256GB Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus units when you pry them from our cold, dead hands.

As we wrote back on October 18th:

The iPhone 7 Plus is, by a significant margin, the best smartphone ever produced. It’s noticeably faster, has a noticeably better display, offers longer battery life and more storage, is now water-resistant, and captures better images and video than our iPhone 6s Plus units, which we loved until the day we unboxed our Jet Black 256GB iPhone 7 Plus units.

The last month for us has been an absolute joy on the pocket computer front. Of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Steve Jobs would be very proud.

SEE ALSO:
PC Magazine’s Miller: Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus is the best smartphone I’ve ever used – November 23, 2016
iPhone 7 Plus review: One month later – October 18, 2016
TechSpot reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus: Absolutely decimates the competition – October 12, 2016
AnandTech reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: ‘Unparalleled, a cut above anything else in the industry’ – October 10, 2016
Computerworld reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus: There’s never been a better time to switch to iPhone – October 7, 2016
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus: Editors’ Choice – September 20, 2016
Tom’s Guide reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Great upgrades, but one is greater – September 20, 2016
More evidence Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus is more than a modest refresh – September 20, 2016
Professional photographer Benjamin Lowy puts Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus cutting-edge camera to the test – September 20, 2016
Apple’s A10 Fusion chip miracle – September 20, 2016
The iPhone’s new A10 Fusion chip should worry Intel – September 16, 2016
Apple’s remarkable new A10, S2, W1 chips alter the semiconductor landscape – September 15, 2016
Wired reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘Fantastic’ – September 14, 2016
Sprint, T-Mobile: iPhone 7/Plus pre-orders up 4X over last year; Apple shares surge – September 13, 2016
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘A strong handset for sure’ – September 13, 2016
WSJ reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘Get over the headphone thing and upgrade’ – September 13, 2016
Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: It’s a great phone, but where’s my headphone jack? – September 13, 2016
The Verge reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘The future in disguise’ – September 13, 2016

31 Comments

  1. And this is enormously frustrating, as there is no way I will ever want to get used to that massive device. It was already frustrating when my 5S became due for a replacement that the smallest choice for me was iPhone 6S (SE didn’t exist at the time, and even when it appeared, it lacked 3D touch). Now, with the 7 / 7+, I will still have to compromise on features in order to get the device with the size that is reasonably small for me.

    My first iPhone was 5. I replaced it with 5S. I skipped 6, hoping that Apple would discover that there is a large group of people who don’t want large phones. It took them years to discover the market segment for “phablets”, so I figured, they’ll probably take some time to figure out that 5/5s was perfect size. Unfortunately, 6s came around and no regular-size phone came with it, and now, people like me have to make the painful choice of either getting a phone that’s simply too big (and 6s is, at least for me), or giving up on features in order to get the right size (SE, for now).

    My thumb is normal size; nothing like Trump. And even I can’t reach many parts of the screen on my 6s. This continues to be a source of frustration (compared to the previous 5s experience). It is simply quite annoying not to be able to have the features and technology available in the flagship.

      1. Try using the Reachability feature (Settings> General> Accessibility). It allows you to slide down the display for one-handed use. Hope this helps!

        PS: To use Reachability, you want to double-tap on the home button, not double-click. Good luck!

        1. Yes, it’s on, but it is a work-around for a problem that I would prefer not to have. It isn’t just about the reachability with the thumb. It is just about the size — it is simply too bulky. 5s was perfect for me.

          Ah, well….

            1. The response is in my post. SE doesn’t have 3D Touch, for one thing.

              Actually, even without it, I may have actually bought it (instead of 6s), had it been released at the time. But when 6s came out, there were no new small-size models anymore. The most recent one was 5s, so it was obvious that Apple has moved away from that small size, same as what they did with the original size (4s being the final model of that size). There was no way anyone could predict that, two and a half years later, they will resurrect the 5s size in SE. By then, I already had my 6s and made my peace with the bulky size…

        2. Reachability works really great for people who regularly type things that don’t use any of the bottom three rows on the keyboard.

          I am in the same position as Predrag. I bought a new iPhone, right after the release date, every other year beginning with the iPhone 3G until the iPhone 6 came out. I tried it and discovered that it was far too big for me to reliably use one-handed; trying to use the 6+ was a nightmare. For the first time, passed the purchase up, hoping that Apple would come to its senses.

          By the time the iPhone 6S came out (with no hint of the pending SE), my old phone needed replacement, so I had no choice. Even after a year of practice, I still hit the S key most of the time when I am aiming for the A. I have chronic joint pain in my right thumb from the constant strain. When I am holding something in my left hand, I have to put it down before I can go back in an app (like MDN) that has the back button in the upper left corner.

          I would normally be looking at getting whatever new model comes out this Fall, but I can see no point in spending all that money for a device that is either years behind the times (SE) or just as painful to use as my current iPhone.

          Huge phones may serve many folks just fine, but there are a lot of us who would prefer another choice. Before the iPhone 6 came out, I was an advocate for choice–if people wanted to buy big devices, Apple should sell them. I never imagined that it would be the existing user base of people who preferred the classic size who would be denied an up-to-date choice.

    1. “And this is enormously frustrating, as there is no way I will ever want to get used to that massive device…”

      When you are committed to one company and one ecosystem, there is no other choice other than to eat what you are served or truly hope they will listen to you. You must accept the compromises, even if they are artificial or self-serving to the manufacturer.

      Which do you think is most common and likely?

    2. I am a big proponent of the small/medium/large iPhone philosophy, too. I just moved up from an iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5S (I get the hand-me-downs from my kids), and the 5S is a great phone. The three generation jump makes so much difference, and I am still three generations behind!

      But, Predrag, you appear destined for perpetual annoyance. While it seems likely that Apple can improve on the SE in terms of bringing the 4″ iPhone up-to-date relative to the larger models, you need to acknowledge that the smaller phone is unlikely to ever have full feature and performance parity with the larger, flagship iPhones. First, the SE category is targeted at a lower price point. Something has to give. Second, the SE category is physically smaller. Something has to give – dual cameras, battery capacity, etc.

      Our focus needs to be on the choices that Apple makes going forward – the compromises made when designing new versions of the SE category.

      1. I totally agree with you. When it comes to my phone, I’m clearly destined for the perpetual annoyance. If we were to assess the level of that annoyance, it may well me comparable to the waxy shoelaces getting undone more often than usual, rather than the massive construction site on my way to work extending my daily commute by 30 minutes each way. In other words, I did choose 6S, and have had it for over a year. It is still a great phone; just a bit too big for my personal taste. I’m hoping Apple updates SE with something more contemporary (feature-wise), but will still replace my 6s with 7s when it arrives.

        1. In my opinion, the limited screen real estate of something like the 6SE makes for a more compelling reason to include UI-expanding features like 3D Touch on such devices than on the larger ones. Of course, good UI principles often tend not to align with driving profitability through “premium” features….

    3. The 5s is right for single handed use. Nuff said.

      I have two. Will probably keep them for a couple more years.

      I understand screen images and photo capabilities, but don’t care about that on my phone because, “It is just a phone with browser and email.”

  2. As an AAPL investor I say, great pitch for the higher margin device. I hope many people take the author’s advice. As an Apple customer I say, thanks but no thanks. The “right” phone is the one I wish to buy. I’m pretty happy carrying the smaller sized iPhone and using an iPad for tasks that need a larger screen. Come to think of it, having customers buy two iOS devices is great for AAPL stock also!

    1. I used to feel that way. But my recent move from the iPhone 4 to the 5S has already radically changed my behavior. Prior to this switch, I used my iPad 3 a whole lot and charged it every day. Since the switch I seldom use my iPad 3 at all. I have not opened it in days.

      I had been planning on purchasing a new iPad this year when Apple released the next generation. But, based on my positive experience moving to the 4″ display on the 5S, I believe that I may opt for the iPhone 8 or 8S, instead. Given the choice between a new iPad or an iPhone with a 4.7″ or 5.5″ display, I am leaning towards the iPhone 8/8S.

  3. I will never own a PHABLET for a phone. The 7 is plenty large enough. If I want a larger screen I grab my iPad…I hoping the premium 8 is way smaller than the Plus and almost the same size as there 7…(within a 1/4 inch)

  4. My father has had a plus since they released them and whilst they’re great phones, they’re just too big for me, I have used them and don’t like them. It annoys me that there are compromises made to the non-Plus models just because of size. I don’t mind paying more, but why should I have to compromise on such an important factor just to get those extra functions?

    1. Perhaps you are looking at this the wrong way. The non-plus iPhone models reflect what Apple can reasonably provide in the smaller form factors. The plus model enables Apple to provide extra functions. So you are not “compromising” down, you are “gaining” by going up. Glass half empty or half full??

      Eventually, the continuing process of miniaturization will enable the migration of new features and higher performance down into the smaller form factors. But the plus will always provide more volume to add extra features, greater battery capacity, etc.

      When you buy a subcompact vehicle, you cannot reasonably expect the cargo capacity of a full-size SUV.

  5. Considering how little the plus uses the 2X camera sensor, I couldn’t justify the huge size of the plus. There are apps that can fake depth of field effects almost as well. The iPhone 7 is the perfect size. Reduce the bezels, give me a 5″ 1080p screen and I’ll buy the 8.

  6. I have a 6+ now and love it. HOWEVER I’m NOT going to spend $1000+ on a smart phone. Just as I’m NEVER going to spend $30,000+ on a new car. Profit margins in high-end products are deplorable.

  7. I recently purchased an iPhone 7 over the iPhone 7 Plus due to pocketability. As much as I wanted the camera on the 7 Plus, I was “forced” to stick with the size that would fit my lifestyle. Hopefully, the elimination of bezels will allow the next Plus model to be similar in dimensions to the existing regular model.

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