Come September, Apple and Samsung launch their flagship phone. Not just that, it’s the time for me to own the latest gadget. Two years back as Apple introduced its first large screen phone, I owned my first iPhone, the iPhone 6 Plus. Thanks to Tim Cook for not following the principles of Steve Jobs.
This time it was iPhone 7 Plus. Now, it’s been more than three months since I exchanged Galaxy Note 5 for iPhone 7 Plus. It was a big move – iOS over android / iPhone 7 Plus over Galaxy Note 7. Was iPhone 7 Plus a meaningful upgrade from Galaxy Note 5? Let’s explore.
Let me start with the best. Over these three months one thing that makes me proud of owning an iPhone 7 Plus is its camera. Typically, one of the reasons why I preferred the bigger sibling.
The moment I witnessed the ‘Depth Effect’ during the keynote on 7thSeptember 2016, I decided to go for the plus. The dual lens, 10x zoom & portrait mode makes it the best I have ever seen in a mobile.
The all new iMessage makes me fall in love with its new personalised effects. iMessage in Apple is more of fun. I can translate, use gif, maintain ‘To-Do’ lists and so on.
Design and Hardware
When I bought, I was disappointed to hold onto a design that’s three years old. When someone asks me, is it iPhone 6 Plus / 6S Plus, I explain that it is iPhone 7 Plus and that it has – new colours, refined antenna bands, additional camera bump, removal of 3.5 mm jack and removal of physical ‘Home’ button and that iPhone 7 Plus weighs 4g lesser than its predecessor.
Earlier Apple dropped my choice of space grey and introduced two new shades (Matte Black & Jet Black). I chose Matte over Jet. I’m happy about it.
Jet Black is more premium by making, as it undergoes nine stages of anodization and polishing before it evolves as one single structure of aluminium and glass. Apple themselves had acknowledged that Jet Black is prone to scratches.
Removal of 3.5 mm jack and the new lightning ear pods:
This was a game changer and a drawback. With my Sony MW 600 or Beats Powerbeats 2, I have hardly missed the 3.5 mm jack in these three months.
Further, I’m not a great fan of the Apple Ear Pods, it doesn’t stick onto my ears.
Home Button – 3D Touch:
One of the best improvements that could have happened is the removal of physical home button and replaced it with the solid-state component. The new home button has adjustable haptic feedback levels. I was comfortable from the word go. It still gives the feel of home button.
It’s the first water resistant model from Apple. Though I have not tested its authenticity, I still did manage to try few shots during rain. I do not have any problem as of now.
Apple has doubled its storage space (32GB, 128GB & 256GB). 16GB was more than sufficient for me as I regularly organise my photo albums, store limited videos etc. To me 32GB is a double bonus. This is one another reason why I chose Matte over Jet (Jet Black is available only in 128GB & 256GB).
I would say it’s a big leap from Galaxy Note 5. Not much of difference in the capacity [3,000 mAh in Note 5 against 2,900 mAh in 7 Plus], however the performance makes it last more than a day on an average.
But a big let-down is the time taken to charge the battery, it takes three hours or even more to complete a cycle (0% to 100%).
Could you believe, for the first-time Apple iPhone comes up with 3GB Ram and Quad core processor. Along with the new A10 processor, iPhone 7 Plus is a beast.
I would call it as the biggest let down. I was excited when ‘Mario’ was announced during the special event. I was waiting to play. Finally the day came, but it all lasted for few days. To play the whole game one needs to spend whopping amount of Rs.620/-. The game had poor interface, it needs connectivity to play and was expensive. With utter disappointment, I went onto uninstall.
Interface & Functionality
With iOS 10, Apple is power packed with features now. Though nothing is of great use on a day to day basis – More 3D touch options, redesigned Apple Music (I liked the older version), redesigned Apple Maps (Nevertheless, it’s of no use in India), improvised Siri (In India, its useful to set reminders and alarms).
The ‘Today’ page supports various widgets and provides immediate information. This page is also available in lock screen. However, it may not be as much as use of widgets in android.
The Notification window now enables to have quick reply and quick actions through 3D touch.
Audio & Video
iPhone now has an extra speaker and provides stereo effect. Though the output is great, I just felt louder and nothing much.
Video remains to have limited functionality. The video player hardly supports common video extensions.
I have enjoyed these three months with some proud moments and sometimes disappointing too.
Pros – Camera, Battery life, iMessage and Quick actions with 3D touch (more importantly has a better resale value)
Cons – Old design, Battery charging time and Mario
But for the use of stylus, I feel iPhone 7 Plus is worth the upgrade from Galaxy Note 5.