Apple will launch the next generation iPhone 7 later this year, and many consumers will be faced with a choice regarding which model of the smartphone to purchase. The phablet-sized version of the iPhone range has proved popular since Apple first produced the iPhone 6 Plus back in 2014, and this has been a valuable diversification of the iPhone series for the consumer electronics giant.
It is thus inevitable that Apple will release two models of the iPhone 7, with the California-based company keen to keep its product range relatively simple. It has indeed been a criticism of Apple’s great rival Samsung that it has overcomplicated its device range in recent years, and Samsung is expected to move to change this perception in 2016.
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By producing a phablet-sized iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is essentially attempting to appeal to two separate markets. Although the iPhone 7 Plus is technically the superior of the two devices, it doesn’t necessarily appeal to all consumers. Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will have advantages for various sectors of the consumer electronics purchasing population, and thus there are numerous factors to take into consideration before opting for one of the two handsets.
The first thing to bear in mind is that the iPhone 7 Plus will certainly retail at a higher price than its smaller cousin. The iPhone 6S Plus retailed at $100 more than the iPhone 6S for those consumers who purchased the contractual version of the handsets. And the iPhone 6S Plus still sells at around $120 more than the smaller version of the smartphone when purchased off-contract.
This pattern is likely to be repeated when the iPhone 7 is released, regardless of whether Apple decides to freeze the price from the earlier handset. So more frugal consumers will always be tempted by the smaller version of the handset, although value for money must be balanced against the features of the two smartphones as well.
Considering the larger size of the iPhone 6S Plus, Apple armed the the device with a superior display. The iPhone 6S Plus was the first full HD smartphone that Apple has ever released, with the standard iPhone 6S featuring a lesser screen resolution.
This trend will probably be followed again with the release of the iPhone 7, with Apple likely to once more ensure that the iPhone 7 Plus possesses a superior screen resolution. It is generally being tipped that the iPhone 7 Plus will have a quad HD screen, while the iPhone 7 will probably be upgraded to full HD. On the other hand, Apple has never seemingly felt under great pressure to follow the trends of the industry, so it could even simply retain the resolution from the existing iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
It should be noted that just because the iPhone 7 Plus will have a superior screen in terms of resolution, this does not necessarily translate to a superior user experience. Nonetheless, the pixels per inch rating of the iPhone 6S Plus was superior to the iPhone 6S, and it is reasonable to assume that this will be the case with the next generation smartphone as well. Considering its superior screen size, the phablet-sized version of the iPhone is certainly superior for viewing media, even though the extra price must be taken into consideration as well.
Size and weight
In order to incorporate the larger screen, the iPhone 6S Plus was naturally somewhat bigger than its smartphone cousin. The iPhone 6S Plus is around 20 per cent larger than the iPhone 6S, and also about 30 per cent heavier. Whether the 50g difference really represents a huge gulf between the devices is debatable, but certainly some people found the iPhone 6S Plus to be a little unwieldy. In particular, the device does not appeal to those with small hands, and iPhone 7 consumers should certainly bear this in mind.
Apple is likely to stick to identical screen sizes with the iPhone 7 series, which would suggest that both handsets will also be extremely similar in terms of size to their predecessors. Those wanting a more convenient handset may be advised to opt for the iPhone 7.
There aren’t huge differences between the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in terms of camera specifications, but the larger of the two handsets does feature optical image stabilization. This is expected to be repeated with the iPhone 7, so those wanting the ultimate camera specs should opt for the larger smartphone. On the other hand, it could be argued that the smaller iPhone 7 will actually be easier to wield as a camera.
Some early reports on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have suggested that the latter may benefit from a 256GB version that will be unique to the iPhone 7 series. Whether this is a red herring remains to be seen, and it certainly wasn’t reflected in the iPhone 6S, with both versions of the iconic smartphone having a maximum storage capacity of 128GB.
This is one area in which the phablet-sized version of the iPhone wins out by some distance. Apple armed the iPhone 6S Plus with a non-removable Li-Po 2750 mAh battery, while the smaller version was fitted with a mere 1715 mAh unit. This ensured that the iPhone 6S Plus outperformed the smaller smartphone by around 50 to 60 per cent across numerous categories. It is possible that Apple will attempt to close the gap somewhat when the iPhone 7 is released, but there is no doubt that the phablet-sized version of the handset will feature the significantly larger battery, and this may be factored into purchasing decisions.
The last thing to consider for those wishing to purchase the iPhone 7 Plus is that Samsung has been particularly associated with outstanding phablets. The Galaxy Note series has become both hugely popular and critically acclaimed, and The Galaxy Note 6, due for release in 2016, is certainly worthy of consideration. When no-one is 100 per cent sure what to expect from this handset as of yet, Samsung does have a significant lead on Apple in terms of specifications, even if the iPhone does have some advantages over the Galaxy Note.