Should you upgrade to the iPhone 7? Here are the pros and cons

From memory to camera to headphones, here’s what you need to know if you are contemplating trading in your old iPhone for the latest model

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 September, 2016, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 September, 2016, 5:19pm

Should you fork overHK$5,588 or more to upgrade to the new iPhone? It’s a question many are asking themselves after Apple showed new editions of the phone at a media event in San Francisco on September 7.

The improved specs for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus editions include better battery performance, a more powerful chip, water-resistant body, more storage and a camera that has geeks like me drooling.

But if you have an iPhone 6 or 6S, do you really need any of that? Reselling your old phone, trading it in, getting a new contract or paying full price for the device is costly and an ordeal for many.

So buy the new one or stick with an old iPhone?

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If you have the iPhone 5S or earlier, it’s a no brainer. You want the latest technology, not a phone from 2013.

If you’ve got a more recent model, like the iPhone 6 or 6S, and are happy with it, then by all means hold onto it. The phone still works, isn’t too outdated, and the 6 and 6S run the latest apps, just like the 7.

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And for that matter, the entry-level model, the SE, which sells for HK$3,488, gives you all the cool stuff you’ll find on the iPhone 6S and 6 Plus, but at a lower price and with a smaller, 4-inch screen.

Two of the coolest new features being touted in the ads for the iPhone 7 are software enhancements, and they’ll work on older phones as well, as part of the iOS 10 upgrade.

Siri, the personal digital assistant, will now work with many of your favourite apps, including LinkedIn and Uber, and iMessages gets a new visual coat of paint. Your texts will have bigger fonts, and you will have access to funny stickers and new tools such as being able to draw pictures directly into texts.

For many, the biggest upgrade of them all will be the extra storage on the new phones. So many people get a 16GB entry-level phone, download some apps, take some photos and videos, and within weeks, they’re out of room.

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The new editions of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and the previous models, the 6S and 6S Plus, all have at least 32GB, which is twice the storage.

There is no way to upgrade your memory without buying a new phone, since Apple doesn’t offer expandable storage, like many of its rivals.

So if you’re out of memory, have a cracked screen, and your phone is sluggish, I’d certainly recommend getting the iPhone 7.

This could be a deal-breaker for many of you: the new edition iPhones ditched the long-standing headphone jack in order to make room and extend the battery life. Headphones now get connected via the Lightning charging port, or you can use wireless Bluetooth headphones. (To make it less painful, Apple is loading an adapter to connect older traditional headphones to the Lightning port.)

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Many online have expressed outrage at having to buy new headphones for the new iPhone and have raised concerns – how to charge the phone and listen to music at the same time?

Belkin International to the rescue. The accessories manufacturer announced a new device that would do both – charge while listening to music, with the US$39.99 (HK$300) Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar, which will be available on October 10.

The specs pretty much say it – a slightly lighter water-resistant phone, with longer battery life, better storage and an improved camera. But if your phone is fine and you’re happy with it, by all means, save the money and stick with what you’ve got.