While many are waiting for their iPhone 7 or 7 Plus to ship, are you one of those who are still unable to make a decision?I have personally been to the local Apple Store and tried out both new iPhones and I don’t feel like much of a need, unlike the Apple Watch, to upgrade from my current iPhone 6s Plus, that is used for around half a year since replacement, to the latest and greatest iPhone 7. Here are the top 5 reasons pulled me back to click the payment button.
1. Hissgate, In-line control and airplane mode bugs
There have been numerous reports on the “Hissgate”, which is said to be the next “Bendgate” we experienced in iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, that appears to be a hardware defect that comes with the new chipsets causing hissing or electric buzzing noise when the phone is loaded up with processor-intensive processes, games or apps.
Additionally, it was also reported that toggling the Airplane Mode can result in the loss of cellular service on iPhone 7. The root cause is said to be related to the new Intel modem chip but Apple is looking into this issue and according to user report, they are replacing the phone if problem persists.
One more glitch is related to the in-line control of the new Lightning EarPod. Some users reported that the control buttons on the Lightning headphones malfunction after being plugged in for a few minutes, causing songs to repeatedly play and pause and Siri to randomly be activated itself. According to report, Apple is working on a fix from the software side that could be coming in the next couple updates of iOS 10. (Edit: iOS 10.0.2 fixed this issue)Speaking of the headphones, it is reported that the sound quality of using the dongle bundled with the new iPhones is actually worse than that of the 3.5mm headphone jack. If you want to have good audio quality at least on par with previous generation iPhones, you may need additional investment to cash in over hundred bucks for a pair of headphone with Hi-Res audio through a Lightning port or get a pair of Bluetooth headphone. Of course there are budgeted ones but quality could be a trade-off. And as I mentioned in a tweet the other day, there will be more manufacturers joining the game and consumers will have more options at better value for money in near future.
2. Still no wireless charging
Speaking of headphones, the removal of 3.5mm headphone jack could frustrate some users like myself who will listen to music of podcasts with the phone plugged into a dock. Unless you are using the $39 iPhone Lightning Dock from Apple or a pair of Bluetooth headphone, you won’t be able to listen to music while charging in which you can do this on quite a number of Android smartphones for years.In my opinion, Apple is taking something away “with courage” and “free up spaces internally” but forgot to put something needed back inside.
3. Insignificant speed improvement for normal usages
The new A10 Fusion chip on iPhone 7 is performing amazing great on paper and speed tests comparing to previous generation iPhones and other flagship Android phones. But what about in the real world test? From the video below, the actual speed difference for normal usage is very insignificant.
From my personally experience in the Apple Store to tab on every apps, I could only see a slight speed improvement in launching apps and loading up certain games. Opening the camera is even marginally faster on my iPhone 6s Plus by around half a second. Certainly the 3GB RAM on the iPhone 7 could be a bonus for smoother heavy multi-tasking. But 2GB on the 6s is sufficient for current demand from day-to-day apps, web browsing and mobile games. In short, technically speaking, iPhone 7 is much faster; in real world, not much of a difference.
4. No Wow effect as no major design change
As we talked about in our prediction before iPhone 7 launch, there is not major redesign in iPhone 7 as Apple is likely to maintain a 3-year cycle for iPhone design. Unlike the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, there was a huge wow effect when you were able to get one on launch date when the supply was very constrained due to the major redesign in terms of outlook and size options.But this time, when I spoke to some customers in the Apple Store, especially for non-geek users, they are not very excited with this phone’s design, even new color options available. They may be interested in getting a new color like the Jet Black or Matte Black ones, but again, it’s black, not a new one like rumored Navy Blue, and there’s no supply at most times. This leads to our next reason below.
5. Lack availability and long shipping time
For those who pre-ordered the iPhone 7, you know the availability of Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus is scarce and immediately dropped to zero in minutes. Unless you are lucky enough to reserve with mobile carriers at launch day, or opt for the smaller variant, you are basically out of luck with no ETA possible at the moment. There was also a rumor here in Hong Kong that users reported they could only get their Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus in 2017 from carriers. Regardless of validity, there is indeed a strong demand meeting a scarcity over certain models.
But why not just stay with what I have at the moment for the even greater iPhone release at its 10th Anniversary in 2017, when you may be able to get a even faster processor, better camera, wireless charging, OLED screen along with the phone?
Despite the fact that there is significant battery improvement and OIS camera capability for the smaller iPhone 7 against 6s; better screen color; IP67 water and dust resistant; and dual camera with amazing bokeh effect from the Portrait Mode unlocked in the latest iOS 10.1 beta, and indeed it is appealing to those owning an iPhone 6 or 6s…But for hardware issues, software glitches and much affordable Lightning headphone options etc, I am not sold, at least for now, to trade in my iPhone 6s with excellent condition and AppleCare+ coverage for the iPhone 7 Plus but reserve the cash and contract with my current phone for the 2017 iPhone with major redesign and improvements.
But what’s your take? Are you still upgrading for each iPhone? Let me know what you think in the comments.