It’s the question millions of smartphone owners ask themselves about once a year: Should you get the latest iPhone?
Apple revealed the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models last week, and like more new device launches these days, it looks pretty impressive. That said, is it worth making the financial commitment to upgrade?
The answer most likely varies based on your carrier, which phone you currently own and how much you’re willing to pay. Here is a look at what the new iPhone models have to offer and how they can benefit designers.
What It Looks Like
Apple often makes new color schemes available for its new iPhone models, and the iPhone 7 (left) and iPhone 7 Plus (right) are no different. The signature color of this wave of iPhones a glossy jet black that conjures images of a grand piano.
Of course, most people who get the new iPhone will want the cool-looking jet-black color, which may make it tougher to come by. Other colors this time around include a new matte black, along with old standards silver, gold and rose gold.
Outside of the new colors, the iPhone 7 models look very similar to the last generation of iPhones, with the familiar single button on the phone’s face.
You Don’t Need Jack
One of most newsworthy features of the new iPhone is actually an omission. Apple has removed the traditional 3.5 mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 models. Users must now either use wireless Bluetooth headphones, or connect their old headphones to the phone’s lightning port using an adapter that’s included.
There are pros and cons to this approach. On the negative side, this design feature will be a problem for anybody who often listens to music using headphones while also charging their phone. This won’t be possible with iPhone 7 using traditional wired headphones, although its improved battery life should help scale back frustration.
On the other hand, having no 3.5 mm headphone jack has helped Apple create a larger battery and its first water-resistant iPhone, which will be music to the ears of anyone who has ever accidentally got their iPhone wet.
The Feature Creatives Will Love
When it comes to the design and creative community specifically, the new iPhone’s camera will be one of the biggest selling points. Both phones have a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, but the larger iPhone 7 Plus model bumps that up a notch.
Those who sacrifice pocket space for the larger iPhone 7 Plus will be rewarded with an extra 12-megapixel telephoto lens, which works with the other lens for optical zoom at two times and digital zoom for photos up to 10 times.
Additionally, soon after the phone’s release, Apple will roll out an update to iOS. It will allow users to shoot photos with a DSLR-like depth-of-field effect, in which the background and the foreground are separated.
Photo lovers will also appreciate the new iPhone’s quad-LED flash that is reportedly 50 percent brighter than that of the iPhone 6s.
More Power in Your Hands
Another thing creatives will like about the new iPhone is its processing power. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are packed with a quad-core A10 Fusion processor, which will no doubt help with graphical output and performance.
According to Apple, the new processor runs up to three times faster than the iPhone 6, while using much less power, extending battery life.
Using powerful apps often requires plenty of storage, which the new models have – up to 256 GB is available. As always, of course, the models with the most storage are also the most expensive.
So Is It Worth It?
The new iPhones are definitely pricey, but there are some deals to be had. For example, T-Mobile is giving customers the iPhone 7 for free if they trade in an iPhone 6 or later. The caveat is you must completely own the phone you trade in, and it must be in good working condition.
Those who want to take advantage of that deal for the iPhone 7 Plus will have to pay $120 plus tax.
For designers who always want the latest and greatest in technology, the best move is probably to go for iPhone 7 Plus. It has the size to view graphics more clearly, it has very fast processing power and it has the cool dual-lens camera that will make your photo-loving friends envious.
On the other hand, if you don’t feel the need to have the latest model, it might be worth it to wait for a bit and see what sort of kinks arise and how they’re ironed out. You could then wait until next year and get the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus at a reduced rate, or hold out until the inevitable iPhone 7s models that will include further upgrades.