Buying an older flagship device at almost half its launch price has been a great idea for years. You get a fairly premium experience with fairly great performance but at a fairly reasonable price. Hence, in a month’s time when Samsung launches the Galaxy S21, the current Galaxy S20 will be a lot more accessible than ever. The case already applies to the iPhone 11 from last year, which is still a great buy for die-hard iPhone fans. However, buying a very old iPhone today may possibly be not a clever idea. Also Read - Apple’s Spring Loaded virtual event 2021 is set for April 20: New iPad Pros and more coming
You see, with iPhones, you are assured of the “new phone” experience for at least three years before the components start wearing out. By components, I point at both the hardware as well as the software. Hence, getting a two-year-old iPhone today sort of makes sense as it is likely to get three extra years of software support (the reason Apple still keeps selling the iPhone XR like hotcakes). That said, anything older than the iPhone XR starts becoming a risky investment, given that you still pay considerable money for an old iPhone. Take the iPhone 7 as an example. Amazon is still selling this old relic at a price of Rs 23,999. Also Read - Apple to hold special event on April 20, reveals Siri
iPhone 7 in 2020 is not good for anyone
The iPhone 7 has been one of the most popular iPhone models from Apple in the iPhone’s history — thanks to it losing the headphone jack for the first time. Despite the limitation, the iPhone 7 has always been a fairly good value for a premium smartphone. From 2017 to 2019, it was the iPhone model to go for if you wanted to step into the world of iPhones and Apple’s walled garden. Also Read - Worldwide PC shipments up 32% in Q1, Lenovo leads: Gartner
However, technology ages and so did the iPhone 7. The phone runs on the old A10 Fusion chip and while it still gets the latest iOS version, it might barely deliver the “iPhone experience” that you have long waited for. Moreover, at Rs 23,999, the phone barely offers any value compared to its Android counterparts.
For starters, the iPhone 7 still has the classic bezel design from 2014. Yeah, you still get the same design in the 2020 iPhone SE and even that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. That said, the iPhone SE is a phone from 2020 and it brings some of the modern stuff from the phones of 2020 at a reasonable price (new-age image processing, wireless charging, IP67 rating, and fast charging). The iPhone 7, in comparison, has the older A10 chip that can do the basic smartphone stuff well but don’t expect anything beyond that.
The battery life was sub-par when the iPhone 7 was brand new and in 2020, it barely matches up to the high standards set by today’s Android phones. If you are into photography, the iPhone 7 with its single 12-megapixel camera cannot match the multiple high-resolution cameras when it comes to performance.
If you are concerned about longevity, the iPhone 7 is on iOS 14, and given Apple’s past support cycles, it is likely to get the iOS 15 update as its last OS upgrade. A newer iOS on a five-year-old iPhone isn’t the ideal experience we suggest. Even if Apple delivers an extra year of OS upgrade, would you still be alright experiencing it on a tiny 4.7-inch display and a puny battery? Moreover, with 32GB storage onboard for the base model, you will be left paying for iCloud plans within weeks of its purchase.
What to do instead?
If you already have an iPhone 7 and don’t see any issues, you can continue using it until breathes its last. If you are in the mood to replace it with something else that has to be from the iPhone family, it is advisable to spend more and get the 2020 iPhone SE, if you are keen on:
a. Getting an entry-level iPhone just to get a taste of the Apple ecosystem
b. Seeking a compact smartphone in an age of giants.
If these two aren’t your primary concern and the budget is unrestricted, the iPhone XR is still a good choice. If you can spend more, the iPhone 11 offers great value too. Additionally, there are a whole lot of better Android phones at this price to choose from. The recently launched Moto G 5G isn’t as well built as the iPhone 7 but it is fast, supports 5G, has decent cameras, and a long-lasting battery life — all at a price of Rs 20,999. The Realme X3 is another notable phone if you seek flagship-levels of Android experience under Rs 25,000. The Redmi K20 Pro and OnePlus Nord at close to Rs 30,000 are great examples too.
The Android universe has a variety of choices under Rs 25,000 and you can get whatever catches your fancy. However, do not buy the iPhone 7 now.