Something I've spent a lot of time thinking about since the iPhone 7 reveal keynote is how difficult is it to write about these new hardware releases year over year, or get that excited for them anymore. I was one of the idiots standing in line for the original iPhone, and at the time, this (now infamous) quote from Steve Ballmer about it being "the most expensive phone in the world" was totally true-

Since then, like many folks around here I'd imagine, I've been biting the bullet year over year to grab the new iPhone every launch day. It was easy to get supremely excited for the iPhone 3G as the achilles heel of the original iPhone was how slow Edge data speeds were which made consuming any kind of streaming media via cellular data really difficult. I remember being really blown away by being able to go from low bitrate music and Shoutcast streams (Wow, anyone remmeber those?) to full bitrate, high quality Pandora [Free] feeds and it feeling like magic.

The jump to the 3GS also felt significant, as the iPhone 3G was a little on the slow side- Particularly when juggling between big games or other resource-intensive third party apps. The 3GS felt blisteringly fast comparatively. The retina display on the iPhone 4 was something that was hard to believe until you saw it with your own eyes, but much like the first retina display iPad, it wouldn't be until the next revision that the super high-res screen would have a decent GPU matched to it, making the 4S feel significant.

iphone75colors-800x438

The wider screen of the iPhone 5 made a lot of sense, as did the eventual release of the iPhone 6 Plus, but I'd argue everything after the iPhone 5 has felt like annual borderline sidegrades as Apple struggles to find new ways to perfect a device that's already felt pretty perfect for years now. Looking back at my first impressions of the iPhone 6S last year, the killer features were faster Touch ID and the addition of 3D Touch (which hasn't really turned into a 'killer' feature at all, at least when it comes to third party apps and games). The device itself felt faster, but most of that seemed to come from Apple doubling the RAM which made multitasking work tons better.

This time around it feels even more difficult to fish for things to talk about. The iPhone 7 is effectively the same size and weight (OK, so it's 5 grams lighter) of the iPhone 6S, and while we all saw Apple's graphs showing how much faster the iPhone 7 is than the iPhone 6S, the difference is pretty difficult to discern in actual use. The iPhone 7 is faster, sure, but a part of me really misses how obvious the speed differences were from the jump between the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. To notice any actually difference now you've either got to compare load times of big beefy games or run synthetic benchmarks.

iphone7plus-lineup-800x628

The camera is similar in that while I'm sure the iPhone 7 camera is a nice advancement over the 6S, for what I use it for (which seems to mostly be taking photos of my dog and dumb stuff at estate sales) I can't tell much of a difference. The stabilization built into the camera on the non-Plus models this time around is probably the best addition, but if you've got a steady hand this might not make that big of a benefit to you. If you're photography minded the increased color gamut might be a big deal, as well as iOS 10's ability to shoot DNG RAW. Like most other things though, the vibe for everyone else is likely going to be "The iPhone 6S shot great photos, I guess the iPhone 7 shoots ... greater photos?" Of course if you opted for the iPhone 7 Plus the dual camera thing seems pretty cool, but I've always preferred smaller iPhones. I had the iPhone 6 Plus and it felt like a huge mistake.

There's also the elephant in the room of the missing headphone jack. The included Lightning ear buds work (and sound) effectively identically to last year's ear buds- You just plug them into a different hole on the phone. My better, traditional 3.5mm headphones work fine with the included adapter dongle. I'm not super worked up over the "missing" headphone jack personally, as I'm just using this an excuse to not put off buying some good Bluetooth headphones any longer. In my use cases, the only time the inability to listen to traditional headphones and charge at the same time is when using sleep headphones to listen to podcasts at night... But, I've tossed and turned while sleeping which led to the cord getting totally wrapped around my neck, so buying a Bluetooth pair feels alright.

iphone7homebutton-800x491

It's weird but I think the biggest feature of the iPhone 7, which people don't even realize yet, is the solid state home button. This time around the iPhone uses similar tech to that inside of Apple's laptops where they're able to cleverly emulate a physical button using vibrations from the taptic engine and pressure sensitivity. The taptic engine of the iPhone 7 doesn't feel quite as convincing as the emulated trackpad click on MacBooks, but it's still pretty neat. This seems like a big deal because it should mean an end to broken home buttons. Of all the people I've known with hardware problems with iPhones (aside from inevitable cracked screens) the problem practically everyone seems to have eventually is a unresponsive home button. With no moving parts, that should be a thing of the past.

The new water resistance is really cool, but not something I'm going to be racing to test out. If nothing else, it's going to be nice not to need to be so paranoid with my iPhone. I recently went to a beer festival in the rain, and it was a little absurd how many people (myself included) were checking beers into Untapped [] with their phones in ziplock sandwich bags. Trusting that the iPhone 7 is in fact water resistant is going to be another hurdle, as I've been doing the sandwich bag thing with my cell phone for... decades now?

iphone7waterresistance-800x446

The onboard stereo speakers are another great improvement, but as someone whose iPhone is almost always on silent, it's not going to get much use in my house. I still wouldn't say the speakers are good enough that you'd want to listen to music on them (kind of like how you can now on the iPad Pro), but generally louder and clearer videos, podcasts, and other content is a welcome addition to how underpowered the onboard iPhone speakers have always been.

This all goes together to still feel like a supremely wish-washy conclusion of, yes, the iPhone 7 is obviously the best/most advanced/whatever iPhone yet, but explaining why that is feels like reaching. With the iPhone 4 it was really easy to be like, "All you need to do is look at the Retina Display and you'll want one." With the iPhone 7 it's more, "Well they say the camera is better and it's faster, its water resistant, but the headphone jack thing is kind of a pain in the butt." It doesn't sound like much of a ringing endorsement, but, consider the baseline here is the iPhone 6S which already is a pretty perfect phone, and this one is incrementally better.

iphone7display-800x570

It makes me wonder if people who write about new iPhones year after year are getting to the same place that people who write about high-end sports cars year over year. If you don't follow that scene, it's a lot like the Apple circle in that the same people are desperately trying to come up with new ways as to why this year's Corvette (or whatever car) is the best one yet. When, really, last year's 'vette was awesome, and, hell, I wouldn't complain about owning the one before that either. I guess I'm just not as good at getting super stoked over incremental improvements anymore?

What a weird place to be.

  • Daxmort

    So as someone that was gifted a 3GS for his 21st birthday (the year it came out), then upgraded to a 4S a couple years later, and just last year upgraded all the way to a shiny 6S Plus on contract (with an upgrade due)...

    It seems like a better idea to just keep paying off my 6S Plus instead of bothering with an incremental upgrade this year?

    • Taeles

      If your comfortable with your 6s+, definitely wait till next year for the ip8. Unless you really want the dual camera system which is the single most obvious reason for folks to go after this new phone.

  • Michal Hochmajer

    "OK, so it's 5 grams lighter"
    Oh, that's main reason, why they cut off headphone jack...just kidding. 🙂

  • nkx

    Get what your saying but felt depressed reading your post. I agree with what you said, but the longer battery will be a plus for gaming.

    • nkx

      But your right there is nothing to brag at all. Wonder how sales will do for this phone

  • John

    its not just the iPhone7. It's pretty much everything apple lately, including gaming. I tried to be excited for the watch, then the Apple TV refresh, etc. but they were all duds. Your first impressions article was sadly predictable, you've lost interest as much as we have. This whole scene is spent.

    • nkx

      Yeah Apple needs to do something refreshing. The prob is trying to upgrade each year does not make sense. I wish it was a every two year cycle

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      It's not that I haven't lost interest at all, it's that they've reached a level of perfection that's hard to top in a meaningful way.

      • nkx

        Yeah they really need to revamp or create something new. It must be tough each year to thing of something new for somethings that already works

      • dancj

        I agree.
        Up till at least the 4s, they were great devices but there was obvious room for improvement. The new iPhone looks incredible - but it's still not enough of a boost from my also fantastic iPhone 6 to make me need to upgrade. But that's not a problem with the new iPhone - it's a credit to the older ones.

      • mindseyes

        They just need to wait if there not ready I rather see a delay then a rushed anything before Christmas sells. Samsung always releases earlier to try to win but I think more like wireless charging and maybe even some snap off speakers at the bottom that are Bluetooth? Something new I don't think Steve Jobs would be doing there phones the way new dude does it. All though he seems ok I feel it's more for profit then the actual Brand anymore. I think Steve Jobs would of just put that extra sauce in his recipes. It's just lacking a few more things and now payment plans that can change your unlimited grandfathered in minutes? I rather pay in full or sale my phone and buy one. Thanks

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        I bought my iPhone by paying in full?

      • mindseyes

        Also what about a new form factor especially after bend gate. I know they made it stronger last year but I'm happy with my iPhone 6 Plus I'm actually wanting the space and maybe and iPhone 7 at 256GB I'm maxed at 128GB lol with BioShock and more taking 5GBs usually

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Define "duds"

      • skylerolson

        The Apple Watch was a moderate success but even you have to admit the Apple TV was a big dud. Why would I spend $150 on a Netflix machine when I could nearly get an Xbox for that much?

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        If you don't have a need for an Apple TV, then I wouldn't expect you to buy one. Doesn't mean the product is a dud. I have both and the experience of the Apple TV for things like watching Netflix is night and day compared to doing it on my Xbox. For people who don't own and/or don't even want a game console, the Apple TV is awesome.

      • skylerolson

        Watching Netflix is watching Netflix... it doesn't matter where you watch it. And it's definitely been a dud with the average consumer.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        What makes you say that? I don't think they release numbers for the Apple TV but I could be wrong. Anyway, you still didn't really address my comment. If it doesn't matter where you watch Netflix, then why is the Apple TV a dud? It plays Netflix just fine.

      • Skyler Olson

        Ok just keep deleting my replies haha!

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Calm down, they got caught in the spam filter.

  • Ghostwalker

    Perfection would have been just making the body of the 5 larger, instead of rounding it off and making it look like every other device out there.

    • cuppy

      I don't know.. The sharper edges of the iPhone 4-5 actually hurts after prolonged one handed use so I kinda dig the new rounded edges abut more

  • Sandalfo

    you forgot the A10 chip and 3Gb of Ram on the iP7+

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      This is for the iPhone 7. I don't have an iPhone 7 Plus.

  • mcorleonep

    As expected, I'll hang on to my 2 year old 6 plus for at least another year.

    • Sick of Labour

      Same here. I wanted to be excited about the 7 but it's basically just a slightly faster 6S (on paper anyway).

      You could tell they were reaching this year during the press conference. Phil Schiller was having to go into extreme technical detail about the camera, the CPU, the screen, etc in order to make it sound like there were some significant new features in this year's model.

      Until we get something as disruptive as the Retina display or the GPS/compass or the finger print reader, etc it's going to get harder and harder for Apple to keep people buying new phones each year. Especially when they take away features like the headphone jack.

  • DreamCypher

    As someone who has their 128gb phone almost full, the 256 gb model is a nice feature also.

  • dancj

    I think the thing I'm most looking forward to is force touch - but that was actually last year's new feature.
    My iPhone 6 is still working really well for me though. I can wait till next year - then maybe the dual cameras and increased ram will come to the standard size iphone.

  • sakara214ever

    Yeah. I am really happy going from iPhone 5 to iPhone 7 plus. Unfortunately not everyone can buy every iPhone every 1-2 years. And i know A LOT of people who still own iPhone 4 or 4s and are so looking forward to upgrade.

  • macatron

    Great article! It's exactly how I feel as well. I started my iPhone experience with the 3GS, then the 4S, 5S and now 6S. Each model felt better than the last, so it was always exciting to get the latest version. Now with my 6S, like you said, it feels like the perfect phone. I am interested in seeing what Apple has planned for their 10th anniversary iPhone, so I plan on waiting until next year before thinking about an upgrade. This issue isn't solely an Apple issue either. All smartphones are hitting a plateau. Other phone manufacturers are just handling it differently by adding gimmicky additions for each new model as well as adding more memory and processing power. Every time I see a new gimmick I go," hmmm, that's kinda neat, but I'll never really use it." Apple is thankfully skipping the gimmicks (so far), so the only real upgrades are simply incremental. We're definitely in a good place technology wise, so I guess we can look at our "issues" as first world problems. 😀

  • sabre31

    What baffles me is how stupid Apple is. So this is a third year with a plus model and the plus model demand out strips the regular model and yet they produce so many regular models and very little of the plus. So I can see them when 6 plus came out they didn't know how demand would be so they went conservative but once they saw demand back then my not increase plus production over regular. Especially this year where Plus has more memory and better camera. Don't get it. You can walk in and get a regular no issues but good luck on plus.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I've heard it's because the dual-camera on the Plus is more difficult to manufacture.

  • whitestatic

    The level of impact is directly correlated to how often you upgrade. The 6 platform and all moving forward will support 3 revs--the confusion here is that the 7 should have really been called the iPhone 6x (or some other letter). If you look at it through that lens, it's not that disappointing. The market needs to adjust expectations and the 7 is going to get hammered this year as it resets with the 8 next year (which will lead to the 8s and 8x, and so forth).

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I'd sort of like them to start over with naming conventions next year, just call it iPhone without the number and we can refer to which year it was released to differentiate them.

    • Sick of Labour

      If Apple are moving to a three year cycle I think it would have helped if they'd explicitly mentioned they were doing that. Just expecting people to infer this change isn't working very well as most people think the reason for the 7's underwhelming feature set is because they're saving the goodies up for next year's 10th anniversary model.

      Calling the phone the iPhone 6SE might have helped expectations too. And will next year's brand new model be the iPhone 7S even though it's a new shape? It'll probably be the iPhone 8 but you never know with Apple!

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        I can't even imagine the complaining if Apple only released iPhones every three years. It would make headphone jack-gate feel like a toddler crying because he can't find his blanky.

      • Gurney Halleck

        I believe he is positing that Apple is moving to a 3 years per new design revision (as the 7 is so similar to the 6/6S in body and size), and not a 3 year release cycle as you infer, but either way I don't see that seems likely. There seems to be a lot of confusion in this thread which I don't fully get because the convention has been #/#S for quite a number of years now with the only exception I am aware of being the release of the iPhone 6SE which brought back the 5S form factor and packed in most of the 6S internal goodies (which I think was a great idea.)

  • gaymerX

    I'm going to wait for the iPhone 7s+.

    • speedyph

      Me too 😎

    • Gurney Halleck

      That's how I'm doing this round too. 'VR been pretty happy waiting for the second gen of each new revision as it seems to be the most refined version of each of the new designs over the years.

  • iJayCee

    Thanks Eli... you could have just legitimately not written this with the same result. I'm getting increasingly dissatisfied with the amount of complaining. I read this site because I'm an iPhone gamer and I care about the hardware. I don't come to this site to read a description of the latest device you could play a trombone to. We noticed the speed differences before because mobile computing was awful. The general speed is close to instantaneous now so there won't be any instant gratification.

    • Maude St. Nubbins

      So what you're saying is that he should feign enthusiasm even if there's genuinely nothing to be enthusiastic about? The iPhone 7 is a bump over the 6, breaking a pattern Apple has established since the 3- 3s. My personal guess is that the big selling points (like eliminating the bezel) couldn't get the kinks worked out to meet their annual refresh, so we got an iPhone 6s2: electric boogaloo. There's nothing wrong with that, but seriously what is there to talk about?

      • sabre31

        This article is spot on and Apple has been asleep at the wheel since Tim Cook took over. Nothing innovative and just a copy or rehash. I still don't get the large bezels when Samsung can fit bigger screen in smaller form factor and no wireless charging when everybody else has it. They are slowly copying android and not making anything new. They are falling into the blackberry syndrome. Minor changes to hardware and OS each year. And yes I do have an iPhone and android.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        But what should they add? It's not like if the iPhone had a smaller bezel anyone would have their minds blown. Apple has basically invented and perfected the modern smart phone form factor. I think their next innovation won't be an iPhone revision, and I'm pretty sure they know that.

      • sabre31

        They could add some basic changes like smaller form factor and wireless charging for starters but I agree. I think they hit the pinnacle and hard to change or do something different for now. I think the next innovation will be in bendable screens that Samsung and LG have been toying with.

      • Gurney Halleck

        Ocular implants (as in the EyePhone of Futurama fame)? ;p

        Though in all seriousness, an Apple designed eye piece and/or dedicated VR option might be interesting.

      • scottsoapbox

        If you shrink the bezels you can almost fit the 8+ screen in a 8 size body (height easily but it'd be a touch wider). THAT would be pretty sweet for those of us with that prefer the middle sized form factor. After that, though, I'm not sure what you can do beyond software and battery life.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Apple wait to add features until they feel like they're actually meaningful. Other phones have dual cameras, yet they don't do anything neat with them. It's just a gimmick. Apple has used the dual cameras to provide a camera experience that no other phone currently can. Similar with wireless charging. Apple isn't happy with where the tech is at yet, and if recent rumors are true, they're working on something that might blow all current wireless charging phones out of the water. I honestly don't see the appeal of wireless charging, I mean either your phone is sitting precariously on some charging pad on your nightstand or it's plugged in. What's the difference?

      • sabre31

        That's what Apple wants you to believe. Apple is a master at spinning things and marketing gurus. Other vendors are adding some nice features as well to their phones like Samsung does with their Note series as example.

      • sabre31

        Don't get me wrong I really like my iPhone. I am just saying they go be doing more then just minor changes. Seems that innovation has died with Jobs.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Why do so many people say that about Steve Jobs? It's like everyone has this skewed recollection of what Steve actually did in the past 15 years. You act like he invented some amazing new thing every 6 months. He was there for the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Those are the really groundbreaking releases by Apple in 15 years. And guess what? Tim Cook was right beside him for every single one! On top of that, Steve laid out a very detailed 5-year roadmap for Tim when he died, so while there's very obviously a different tone to Apple since Steve died, their major products are all things Steve was actively involved with before his death. This fallacy that Steve was some constant innovator (and I guess the only person at all of Apple capable of such?) is so weird to me.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        For instance?

      • scottsoapbox

        If that was true Apple would have waited until wireless audio was better quality to switch over to it (Bluetooth 5 for instance). It's funny that Apple is lauded for doing things first: courageous pioneer! or last: waited until the perfect moment! Even though you can't have it both ways.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Well, what do you think that W1 chip is for? Bluetooth wasn't getting better (and likely won't ever get better) so they layered their own shit on top of it, so at least when people are using Apple with Apple it works like Bluetooth has always promised its technology would work but never has.

  • http://WWW.LIFEASCINEMA.BLOGSPOT.COM SEAN SHIMMEL

    Eli, I like your style. Eloquent hesitation. Thanks for the first hand impressions... interestingly

  • FuZion

    My iPhone journey has gone like this;

    iPhone 4S > iPhone 5S

    That's all. I'm half toying over a 7, but I don't currently feel like it's absolutely essential. I'll hang in for some opinions to pop up.

    I'm not worried about the headphone jack since I've used Bluetooth headphones for just over 2 years now. I like wireless audio' but never been sold on the Apple buds. I'll probably stick with my Bose choice.

    Just my 2 cents.

  • Rob LeFebvre

    sames

  • countBasil

    Something that would make me excited would be to be able to choose defaults for apps (eg iCab browser for URLs) and actions (eg reading list goes to Instapaper). I know that's an iOS thing, but it's an example of something that would actually make a difference in daily phone use...

  • cuppy

    Tbh, at this point in time, I think improvements and innovations in battery/charging/battery efficiency will be the biggest factor that will make me go wow. Not screen size, faster chip, or novelty gimmicks like Touch ID was when all it was good for was unlocking phone.

    So practical upgrades like water resistance and longer battery life on the iphone 7 is huge deal to me!

    • sabre31

      I agree quit making the phone thin and thinner for no reason. I would rather have a slightly thicker phone with bigger battery that lasts two full days min with heavy usage.

  • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

    That's a strange interpretation. I guess if you only want to stream Netflix, sure, it's not the cheapest option. If I want to drive from A to B then a Mercedes is a much more expensive way of doing that than a KIA. Does that make the Mercedes a dud, too? The Apple TV does everything it is advertised to do, and does it well. The added benefit of owning hundreds of apps for it already due to owning them on iOS is worth the extra cost for the extra functionality.

    I'll say this again. If YOU don't have a need for a full Apple TV, then you shouldn't buy one. But that doesn't mean it's a dud, unless your only interpretation of dud is its market share compared to other streaming boxes. Pretty simple! I love my Apple TV and could never go back to an older version of it, or even a more limited streaming box from another company. So again, if a product does exactly as advertised and the owner is satisfied with its functionality and the price they paid for it, what makes it a dud?

    • skylerolson

      It's really not that strange of an interpretation of a dud at all, really. It's fine if you like yours, but in mine and op's eyes it didn't match what we expect from Apple. App support is bleak at best, and will only get worse. And my point citing the sales comparison was it seems the average consumer agrees with op and I. That's fine if you don't think it was a "dud", but don't discredit op's opinion just because you don't agree with him.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        What the. App support is bleak at best? Do you even have a new Apple TV?

      • skylerolson

        Obviously not? I work at an Apple retailer and played with the demo quite a bit. You don't need to own one to see the app library is lacking...

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Yes you do because otherwise you never have the opportunity to use one day to day and explore the App Store. What you're doing is like passing judgement on an arcade machine by watching the attract screen, then coming online to tell everyone how smart you are.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Haha, app support is far from bleak. Just like iOS there's more apps and games than I'll ever be able to use in my lifetime. The fourth gen ATV is not even a year old, and that article was specifically talking about its surge in sales. Plus, it's data from Q1 of 2015 to Q1 of 2016. The new ATV didn't go on sale until the beginning of Q4 of 2015. So in one fourth the time of the other guys, ATV is 4th with 20% of sales, but 3rd and 2nd place are only at 22% sales. Which means Roku is 1st with 36%, and it's a well-known brand that's been around for 8 years. If ATV had just 3% more sales in that time, it would be in 2nd place. Would that then qualify it as "not a dud?" A difference of 3% sales? Not to mention, even at its higher price it's still selling just shy of the two cheapest options. As many people that are buying Fire TV or Chromecast are also buying new ATVs.

      • skylerolson

        Jared, are correct that the data is from q1 to q4 2015, but they included all Apple TV sales from that year, not just the new Apple TV. Eli your reasoning is ridiculous, I don't need to own an Apple TV to see the App Store. And you can have your own opinion on if the App Store on Apple TV is "bleak" but that doesn't mean that someone else can't have a different opinion. How come on toucharcade if someone has a differing opinion the editors jump them in the comments haha? Chill pill guys! 🙂

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        What's your rationale as to why we shouldn't be able to participate in the discussion on our own web site? I'm dying to hear this one.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        That's still not proving your point. Even the previous gen ATV was more expensive than its rivals, and had less functionality than the new version. And it STILL is right in step with its closes competitors at 20% sales. By your rationale, the iPhone is also a dud, as it only has 25% of the market share whereas Android has 70%.

        And it's not about disagreeing, it's about having a discussion. You made a statement, and you are failing to back it up. Whenever I hear "You guys just can't handle people with different opinions!" I know that that person just doesn't have anything left to add to the discussion. Might as well just say "You guys are just big, stupid, meanie heads!!"

      • loophole

        Whoa... did you guys delete my post because you didn't agree with it?!

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        I haven't deleted any comments, and there's nothing stuck in the mod queue. Maybe there was an error posting? Are you the same person as skylerolson?

      • loophole

        Weird... It showed up for a bit and now it's gone. And I'm not haha.

  • vectorarchitekt

    I love the haptic home button. I like the more frosted silver and slightly thicker feel than my old 6.

  • Daniel Schroeder

    I couldn't handle the size of the 6, so the SE (is it not the 5SE?) was heaven sent. I can only hope that they continue releasing 5-sized phones, even if they're not sporting top of the line specs.

    The lack of a headphone jack is inconvenient, but not a deal breaker. The size of the phone itself, and the camera bulge, is, unfortunately.

  • sabre31

    Do you game at all on your phone? I can see if just calls and text but playing games or browsing the web is tough on a small screen now for me.

  • Gurney Halleck

    I agree with much of this article. Thanks for the insights Eli. I am totally happy with my 6S 128gb. The doubled capacity is a big plus for me as I am content heavy most of the time and often run out of space. Additionally, though it's not a total redesign, the body does appear to have changed marginally and appears to be a better housing with the lens cavity being designed in as opposed to just popping the lens through a hole in the body which i like. The larger aperture of the camera and addition of stabilization are pretty big improvements for me too, as well as the water resistance being added. That said, I would love to see something like Qualcomm's Quick Charging tech compatibility (or equivalent), a transflective (clear in daylight/ultra low battery consumption) screen technology, added compatibility with the Apple Pencil. I agree it's hard to improve upon the already very high state of the technology, but some of the most basic phone features I enjoyed back on my Pocket PC are still sadly absent in the iPhone (I.e. Native ability to reliably group text more than 9 people.) I would use custom txt lists in the built in txt app on Pocket PC to routinely text different 1000+ size groups which I could save for texting to same groups without effort. Perhaps my most desired feature would be

    All in all, I'm super happy to game on my 6S screen size/body size have become an acceptable trade even though part of me still longs for the (imho) more appealing and tactile body design of the 5/5S (I think the 6SE was a great idea and I would have bought one if it was released when I had to resign my contract.)

    I am curious, a lot of people seem to be saying that next year will be the iPhone 8. Is there any evidence they will skip the 7S version and go to an entirely new design next year for the iPhone? Is this because it will be the 10th Anniversary of iPhone? I am going to stick with my 6S for another year simply because it already does everything I want it to do so well. Also because my carrier AT&T no longer offer contract options and will be forcing me out of my Grandfathered 5gb to unlimited data plan and functionally totally unlimited phone/txt that I have retained for many years. The new "upgrade plan" option actually costs a lot more money for me because when I would buy on contract the phone would be mine to sell later. Each time I have upgraded in the past (I always bought the maxed out version since the 3GS) I have been able to sell my phone for the price of the new phone maxed out on contract and with Apple Care essentially meaning I have been able to upgrade for free for many years now. With the new pricing plans everyone has to pay essentially full retail for the phone as a payment (not insignificant when factoring monthly payment of $47 for the maxed out 6S/7$) is tacked on to the phone service. Yes this lets you upgrade every year without additional costs, but it's hardly free since nobody is benefiting from the contract discount. It costs over $400 in payments for the year till you get to upgrade, then you don't get to sell the phone or receive any credit for it, you just keep paying an extra $47 per month. IPhones are now more expensive than ever since the elimination of service provider contracts. The "Apple upgrade program" essentially killed my 'free upgrade program' as it is.

    I love gaming on iPhone, and I look forward to see what they will do with the 7S/8, or whatever they will name it.