Apple had a systematic pattern of launching one new iPhone every year until 2014, when two new devices debuted, a regular iPhone and a larger-screen version of the same phone. This pattern changed slightly last year, when the plus version of the iPhone featured a superior dual camera, making it even more exclusive. This year, the brand went ahead and launched three new iPhones – the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and a special iPhone X.
The iPhone lineup has broadened and customers now have more options than ever. For a large group of people, the iPhone X won’t be affordable and thus, the remaining choices will be the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 and this year’s iPhone 8. Plenty of consumers would wonder, does the iPhone 7 & 8 merit the premium? Or an iPhone 6S can meet their needs even today! What if you already own the iPhone 7 series, should you upgrade to the 8?
iPhone 6S & 6S Plus
Launched in September 2015, the 6S and 6S Plus introduced 3D touch to the world. Although it’s arguable whether how useful or relevant the feature is, it was the major highlight of this generation of iPhone. The phone came with a processor upgrade and camera enhancements by maintaining the same design, like all the S models.
In terms of performance, the iPhone 6S still has the raw power to beat even flagship phones launched this year. For instance, the Geekbench score of an iPhone 6S (single-core) is still higher than Samsung’s 2017 flagship, the Galaxy S8. Even its camera is pretty decent but if you take a lot of pictures (specially in low light), the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus might be a better deal, more on that later.
With the launch of new iPhones this year, the 6S and 6S Plus have received a price cut and they now start from Rs. 40,000 and Rs. 49,000 respectively (without discounts). At this price point, these iPhones might still be worth it. And yes, this is the last iPhone generation to feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. With various discounts and offers, you may also be able to find the 6S near the 30,000 mark and possibly lower in coming weeks.
Key features missing in the iPhone 6s: Dual rear cameras, Wireless charging, Fast charging, Water resistance.
iPhone 7 & 7 Plus
iPhone 7 was expected to be a total design overhaul but it was just a rehash of the then two-year old iPhone 6 build. However, it packed enough performance prowess and camera enhancements to lure people into buying the phone.
The iPhone 7 & 7 Plus feature the powerful A10 Fusion processor and a better RAM, so the performance is significantly better than the 6S. With respect to camera, the phones have got a considerably good upgrade as well. In fact, the 7 Plus was the first iPhone to feature dual-rear cameras. Sensors in both the phones feature optical image stabilization, wider apertures for better low-light photography and various camera optimizations to make pictures look sharper.
This generation of iPhones were initiators for a lot of things: having dual-rear cameras, being water resistant and of course, removing the headphone jack.
If you can do without wireless and fast charging which the iPhone 8 offers, iPhone 7 / 7 Plus might be great phones to buy, even now. Both, the 7 and 7 Plus have received a decent price cut and their official prices start at Rs. 49,000 and Rs. 59,000 respectively. You can set a price alert on Pricebaba for these devices to spot further discounts & offers.
Key features missing in the iPhone 7: Wireless and Fast charging.
iPhone 8 & 8 Plus
iPhone 8 & 8 Plus debuted in this year’s special event along with the iPhone X. Even though the phones are minor design upgrades to last year’s iPhone 7, instead of bearing a ‘7S’ model name, they were introduced as the ‘8’.
The major upgrade in this generation of iPhone is the presence of a glass back which enables wireless charging. The phones now also possess a fast charging ability that promises to charge up to 50% in 30 minutes. iPhone 8’s camera is slightly improved from its predecessor and the dual camera setup featuring in the Plus variant now has OIS in both the lenses.
Apart from this, the processors in the 8 get a major upgrade which ensures future compatibility with Augmented Reality related upgrades. Given that Apple has shipped the same processor on the X and 8, it is likely that they expect future offerings to be compatible with these devices. However for normal usage, there is no apparent reason why the iPhone 6s or 7 would be obsolete in 2 years.
Looking at the specifications and features, it seems obvious that the new iPhone 8 won’t end up being a major upgrade to its predecessor for most users. However, if you feel wireless & fast charging upgrades are worth this price premium, you might consider opting for the phone. The iPhone 8 starts from Rs. 64,000 and its Plus variant starts from Rs. 73,000.
Now that you know the difference between each generation of the currently available iPhones, choosing one shall be easier. Just know your requirements and the price you are willing to pay, the model that fits this criterion is the one you should shell out money for.