The new iPhone models have been unveiled. If you’re interested in buying one, you might be asking yourself: which model is right for me—the 7 or the 7 Plus?
Overall they’re pretty similar devices, but there are three main factors to consider.
Size, of course, is the most determining consideration. Let’s look how the two models stack up.
Screen: The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch (diagonal) screen, compared with a 5.5-inch screen for the Plus. A nearly one-inch difference at this scale is significant. There’s no doubt the Plus is better for web browsing, video streaming, and playing games.
Weight: The iPhone 7 comes in just under five ounces, while the Plus is about 6.5 ounces in weight. It’s highly unlikely that this difference in weight will be noticed unless you’re holding the device with one hand for an incredibly long time.
Size: The Plus is almost one inch longer and half an inch wider than the iPhone 7. This means that the Plus may not always fit nicely in pockets. It also means people with shorter fingers will have difficulty operating the device with one hand.
We recommend going into an Apple Store and comparing the two sizes side by side (you can use the 6s and 6s Plus models for now). Try using them with one hand and try fitting them in your pocket to help determine how you feel about the size options.
Internally, the two devices have almost identical specifications, but the camera is a notable exception—especially with this generation.
Lenses: The iPhone 7 comes with a 12-megapixel camera. The Plus now has two lenses—a wide-angle and a telephoto, both 12MP. This allows the device to take noticeably superior photos in certain conditions.
Zoom: The iPhone 7 features 5x digital zoom. As you probably know digital zoom is mostly useless. The Plus, however, boasts 2x optical zoom, as well as 10x digital zoom.
Video: Both models can shoot in 4K at 30 frames per second with optic stabilization and continuous autofocus. But only the Plus features 2x optical zoom and 6x digital zoom for video recording.
If you’re a photographer, the Plus is a worthwhile investment. If not, though, you likely won’t notice the dual-lens difference.
Apple did not reveal the sizes of the batteries in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. However, the company insists both devices have slightly superior battery life over their predecessors, regardless of milliamp hours.
According to Apple, the 7 has “up to two hours” longer battery life than the 6s, and the 7 Plus has up to one hour longer than the 6s Plus. Apple suggests up to 12 hours on 3G or LTE for the 7 and up to 3 hours for the Plus.
A one-hour average difference in battery life is not small, but it probably shouldn’t be your deciding factor, either. You can always buy a charging case or portable charger if necessary—and with typical use, both devices will last from dawn until dusk anyway.