Review: The iPhone 7 Plus – Does Size Matter?

Compared to my iPhone 5s,  the iPhone 7 Plus is a beast of a phone and when I was given the opportunity to review one by Three.co.uk, I couldn’t say no.

Bright yellow rose in a Devon garden
Spotted in a Devonshire garden

The biggest reason for this was that, being in the ‘varifocal years’,  mobile phone screen size has come to matter – A LOT.

Recently I’ve found myself accidentally deleting important lists from Evernote because I can’t darn well see what I’m doing on the rather small iPhone 5s screen.

Cwm George, Dinas Powys, South Wales
Cwm George, Dinas Powys

There’s another reason too – I HATE using mobile phones at my ear because I hate that ‘hot ear’ thing and having the useful combination of Tinnitus and mild hearing loss, I either have to risk a Tinnitus spike as I invariably leave the volume up too high or I can’t hear the caller on the speaker.

No such problems with the iPhone 7 Plus.  It offers brilliant (and nicely loud) speaker quality for calls – as good as any of the conference calls I had to sit in on during my marketing past.

And yes, I can see what I’m doing now, although arguably this problem could have been sorted by resorting to my iPad when out and about.

The 7 Plus is a big phone though and my question is whether the extra size of the handset would be a help or a hindrance.

Caitlin in Thurlestone Village
Caitlin in Thurlestone Village, Devon

I already have an iPad Air and the iPhone 5s and whilst all Apple products link seamlessly together, there is a risk of duplication or even overkill.

I want something which I can carry about with me and blog on the go without going skewy eyed or having to shout.  Arguably the iPad should be enough but I recently tried the MacBook Air which offers even greater versatility and the ability to take the whole office with me if needed.

Ieuan on Thurlestone Beach
Ieuan on Thurlestone Beach, Devon

The major downside of course is the cost of Apple’s products.  Top of the range they may be but that does come with a price premium which, when you’re a one woman business means you have to take some hard decisions when it comes to financial outlay.

In case you aren’t familiar with the iPhone 7 Plus’s main features, these are:-

*Display


The iPhone 7 Plus has a 5.5-inch Retina HD display which Apple says supports a wider range of colours for cinema standard display.

The iPhone 7 Plus
The iPhone 7 Plus

*Storage

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus come with three storage options, 32GB, 128GB and 256GB but there is no expandable storage.  The iPhone 7 is, however, 25% faster than the iPhone 6 due to the new A10 fusion chip.

*New Home Button


On this model there is force sensitive button rather than one which has to be physically pressed in.  It is similar to the Force Touch trackpads on MacBook laptops.

The iPhone 7 Plus next to the iPhone 5s
My current phone, the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 7 Plus

*No Headphone Jack


On this model you use the lightning port to connect your headphones.  Not a problem for me since, as a Tinnitus sufferer, I avoid headphones like the plague.  The phone does, however, have immersive stereo speakers.

*Splash and Water Resistant


An extra level of comfort this may offer but independent reviewers are still advising you to avoid your local swimming pool.


*Camera


The iPhone 7 has an upgraded camera with a f/1.8 aperture, a six element lens and a larger sensor. There is also a flash with four LEDs.  The iPhone 7 Plus has a dual camera set up with two 12-megapixel cameras.  One lens is a wide angle 28mm and the other is a telephoto 56mm lens which enables 10x optical zoom.  The front camera also has a bump to 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera for selfies and FaceTime video calling.

*Battery Life

It has the longest ever battery life in an iPhone. Apple claims that the iPhone 7 gives at least 2 more hours of battery as compared to iPhone 6s, while the bigger iPhone 7 Plus will offer at least 1 hour more of battery life than the 6s Plus.

*Colour Options


There are five colour choices – Black, Jet Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.

Of course with the iPhone 8 launch imminent, it will be interesting to see how these features adapt and change in the new model.

It looks like an upgrade for me has to be on the cards because Apple now say that iPhone 5’s will not support the next version of ios – ios11. The iPhone 5s will support it but some older apps will no longer work.

I found that whilst my 5s slips easily into a pocket when I grab it for the school run, the 7 Plus was less manageable without a proper carry case.

It is also a phone that I would not be happy to take on without decent mobile phone insurance. Currently I have my secondhand 5s covered by the home insurance.  This would be an extra, but necessary cost.

The main strength of the iPhone 7 Plus, as I see it, is the camera which makes it a definite go-to phone for bloggers – particularly for those with a major focus on Instagram.  The faster processor also means that this model is very quick indeed.

Storm clouds over Barry Island Beach in South Wales
Storm clouds over Barry Island Beach

I suspect I will bite the bullet (or Apple) and swop to the iPhone 7 Plus.  Big thanks too, to Three.co.uk for the loan.  I had no coverage issues at all whilst in the wilds of Devon – not even on a particularly windy Thurlestone Beach.

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