Certain realities will always govern our lives. For some, it’s money that holds them back; for others, it’s time; and then there are those who are swayed by the opinion of other people.
I am here to present one such opinion: Do not buy the iPhone 8, or 8 plus, or even the X that looks like it was conceived with neo-human technological aesthetics in mind. That’s right. You heard me. Do not buy the latest offerings by Apple. Consider, instead the iPhone 7.
What the hell, you’re probably wondering. Forego the pinnacle of innovation in smartphones in favor of a year old design? Resist the cool looking iPhone X that looks at your face and opens up like magic?
I am not talking off the top of my hat. I will be presenting adequate reasoning to support my case. In fact, by the end of this article, I will convince you that the practical choice would be to invest in the iPhone 7. And if you already have one, hold onto it for dear life and don’t let go.
The iPhone 7’s performance in India, given its price and specifications, has been stellar. And for once, I don’t recommend upgrading. We’ll see exactly how this turns out.
Let’s get to it, then.
Flexing Muscles and Tech Specs
The first and most obvious breakdown appears in its tech specs. As the new iPhone models walk the ramp, one can clearly imagine these to be massive improvements when it comes to new features and technological capabilities. So let’s take a look at what these new players on the block have to offer. Here, we’ll crunch everything from the display to the design and help you make the decision.
Retina Display and Screens
All iPhones come with their signature Retina display – a term coined by Apple to refer to screens having an intensely high pixel density, which is 300 or more pixels per inch. The effect? Your eye cannot tell the difference between individual pixels and these screens will show you really pretty images that never tessellate.
The iPhone X has the super retina HD display, while the 8 and the 7 have to contend with the ‘normal’ retina display. But, that’s not much of a downer, really.
The iPhone X also has an OLED screen, with a 5.8-inch display. The size is nice for those who’re used to the iPhone 7, since it’s only 5.2mm taller. But, the illusion of its size comes with the phone’s ‘no-bezel’ design, and the fact that the home button has been removed completely.
The iPhone 8 Plus, in terms of size, is larger; about 14.8mm larger, in fact. But, the home button is intact in this model. At first glance, both the iPhone 8 and 8 plus look like their predecessors – the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. There aren’t any revolutionary changes to the design. Besides, both of them (the 8 and the 7) have a 4.7-inch display, which doesn’t make the upgrade worth it just yet.
The iPhone X, on the other hand, looks stunningly futuristic with its highly enhanced screen, and major design improvements that are reminiscent of the iPhone 4 launch in terms of the revamp. It’s OLED screen is an upgrade from the IPS LED screen. It’s sharper, allows for richer colours and deeper blacks, and has Dolby vision with full HDR10 support.
In this regard, at least, the iPhone X looks quite lucrative, while the 8 does not seem to be anything special at all.
All three phones – the X, the 8 and the 7 have the same 12MP configuration. However, the X again outshines the other two with its wide-angle and telephoto capabilities. The 7MP front camera for the X is naturally amped up, with its TrueDepth sensor for FaceID capabilities and far outshines the relatively normal 5MP configurations on the other two phones. Again, the 8 does not outshine the 7 in any manner.
Chipset and Speed
The iPhone X and 8 feature the new A11 bionic chip, which means that they are faster than their predecessors. No surprises there, as the upgrade in the very least needs to be substantial in some aspects at least.
The new chipset is pretty cool, since it crams 6 cores (4 low performance + 2 high performance) built with a process that enables Apple to stack more transistors in the device. This also increases battery life substantially. Apple’s claiming that the X has two hours more battery life than the 7. The iPhone 8, unfortunately, can make no such claims.
But is this speed bump worth changing your phones? Nope, you will not notice the difference unless you heavily indulge in apps that specialise in content creation – music production, graphic design and so on. If you want to simply surf Facebook and Instagram, the iPhone 7 is a better and more reliable bet. The usability of the iPhone 7 is not hampered at all with the latest iOS 11 upgrade, and gives access to its all new features without a hitch.
FaceID, Wireless Charging & Animoji
Wireless charging is now a reality, thanks to the iPhone 8 and X and their glass backs. But, as fancy as that may sound, this is actually more of a hindrance, unless you already own charging mats and other devices that support wireless charging. And if you’re thinking of getting Apple’s own AirPower mat, you should know it’s an expensive addition to an already expensive phone.
Additionally, wireless charging actually takes up more time than conventional methods, so this feature is still more of a novelty than a utility. I’d pass up on this.
Moving on, FaceID is Apple’s new security feature that only exists in iPhone X. Samsung has boasted of this for awhile, but it was relatively easy to fool the technology using photos. Things are slightly different with the iPhone X. The TrueDepth camera can trace the contours of a face more effectively, making the security feature far more effective.
The iPhone 7 and 8’s Touch ID features are the same when compared, and are solid in terms of utility. FaceID really seems gimmicky, and needs to prove its usefulness over time. The iPhone X doesn’t appear to be superior at all in this aspect.
What about Animoji, then? This refers to an emoji that uses your face as a template and then superimposes all kinds of cute looking faces on top of it. One minute you’re a unicorn, the other minute a monkey. And sometimes, talking poop too!
Now, this is certainly interesting and quite unique, but if you were to look at the utility, we can’t think of anything much beyond funny conversations and its novel appeal.
Clearly, the iPhone X is making room for the Augmented Reality wave and related support – but as far as the upgrade from the 7 is concerned, this still doesn’t hold that much weight.
Statistics, Price and Track Record
If looking at the tech specs wasn’t convincing enough, let’s take a look at some compelling numbers.
For the first half of 2017, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were the most popular choices, followed by Samsung’s Galaxy Grand Prime plus and…the iPhone 6s.
In the month since the launch of iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, sales reports tell us that they’re doing poorly. In fact, they are both being outsold by the iPhone 7! This is a rarity, but the gizmo-obsessed have spoken. They simply don’t see the merit in upgrading, especially when it comes to additional costs.
This brings me to the cost, which is the clincher.
The iPhone 8 starts at Rs 64,000 in India for the 64GB version. The 256GB version is priced at Rs 77,000. The Apple iPhone 8’s Price in India, meanwhile, starts at Rs 73,000 for the 64GB version, while the 256GB version will cost Rs 86,000.
Now take a look at the iPhone 7’s prices. When launched in India, the iPhone 7’s price was Rs 60,000 – now, with the new players on the block, the price has dropped to as low as Rs 37,479 with certain discounts.
The iPhone 7’s 128GB variant, which is originally priced at Rs 65,200, gets a discount of 8 per cent along with a Rs 12,000 cashback on sites like Paytm mall.
I don’t think I need to rehash the stupendous prices for the iPhone X, but I’ll do it to make a point anyway. With the release primed for November 3, iPhone X’s 64GB storage version is priced at Rs 89,000 in India and the 256GB version will cost Rs 1,02,000.
There are, in fact, several hilarious articles out there recommending that you take a round trip to places like Dubai to buy this phone. Even with the airfare and a cheap night’s stay, you might end up saving!
Much like the curious case of Benjamin Button, the iPhone 7 still shows its appeal despite its age. As an informed consumer, it is your choice whether to take our opinion or not on your purchase.
My opinion on this matter is quite reinforced with all the facts at hand. For those using devices like the iPhone 5 and 5S, the iPhone 8 may just be a good upgrade – but the 7’s track record, sales and tech specs all beat the new phone hollow. Even if you’re looking to buy a new phone, the 7 definitely delivers the bang for your expensive buck.