Upgrading from iPhone 6 Plus to iPhone 7 Plus

It’s been two long years since I got a new iPhone. It’s been a year since I bought a new cell phone (Nexus 6P). I’ve been bouncing back and forth between iOS and Android and now I’ll be committing to the Apple ecosystem – well mostly.

What’s new?

  • The antenna line on the back, below the camera is now wrapped along the top and to the side.
  • The home button is no longer a button. It is touch capacitive. I welcome this new feature, it’s been great for me. Not only has the fingerprint recognition improved, but it’s fast. You can set the feedback vibration in Settings > General > Home Button. You can set it from 1, 2, or 3. I have mine set to 3. The other settings were too “light” in the feedback.

    Home Button Taptic setting
    Home Button Taptic setting
  • There is no more headphone jack. Who cares? Great! It doesn’t affect me at all. I have a LG HBS 730 bluetooth headset. When I’m in the car, I use the bluetooth in the car for audio. If I’m riding my bike, I have a handlebar mount for the phone and I listen through speakers. But if I ever have to use the headphone jack, Apple has included and adapter that goes from Lightning Port to 3.5mm. I don’t see the big deal many people are making. The adapter itself is $9. If you lose it, it’s a $9 lesson. The phone also comes with the new Lightning Connector headphones. They cost the same as the old ones. If you don’t want to pay $29, wait for the fake ones to come out.
  • New color options: Apple Black and Jet Black. I got the Apple Black. I’ve always gotten the darker shade iPhones in the past. No more Space Grey, been waiting for the black color.
  • Storage size are doubled. They finally got rid of the 16GB base model and replaced it with 32GB. The 64GB is now 128GB and the 128GB is now 256GB. The price did increase by $20. I chose to get the 128GB model. My iPhone 6 Plus was 64GB and I didn’t get near capacity. I am considering ripping my old CDs once again and storing them on the phone just because I have a lot of room. Or set all my settings to high on the camera. After all, it can take 4K video at 30fps.
  • Speaking of the camera, the Plus model has two of them. One has a wide-angle lens and the other a telephoto. It can do 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom. I’ve taken some test shots indoors and can see a difference in quality. I am excited about the portrait mode feature where you can play with the depth of focus.
  • Though the 3D touch isn’t new, it is for me and those who upgraded from an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. I have yet to fully use this feature nor is something I was looking forward to. Luckily, you are not forced to use it. It’s just there if you need it. I’m still triggering it when I try to long press so I can move app locations.
  • Stereo speakers. There is now speakers on both top and bottom. I do hear a difference when I’m riding my bike. It is a welcomed new feature, something I’m thankful for but not excited about.
  • Raise to wake. I know this came with iOS10 but it’s exclusive for the iPhone 6S or higher, and the iPhone SE. My Nexus 6P already does it and it’s great to have it on my iPhone.
  • Water resistant. Great, but I never had issues with getting my phone wet to a phone that it’s damaged.
  • New processor, the A10 Fusion. This was by far the new feature I was excited about. It’s supposed to be twice as fast as my old iPhone 6 Plus and so far I can feel the difference. It also improves battery life where it uses the low-powered cores when it can. I don’t notice the difference in terms of battery life, it feels the same. I don’t run into issues with battery though because I tend to charge my phone whenever I can. In the car, in the office, at home. I’ve pretty much programmed my habits to try to charge when I need to or when I can.

There are other new features but those are what stood out to me.

Some headaches

  • My preorder didn’t go as smooth as expected. The first order went through online but when I checked the following Monday, the order was empty – even though I got email confirmations and order numbers. They placed it again on Monday and assured me that it will get to me by launch day. It did.
  • iCloud back up was corrupted. I tried to restore from an iCloud back up and failed. I ended up having to install iTunes on my PC then doing a back up of my old iPhone. Then I restored by plugging in the iPhone 7 Plus to iTunes. It took longer than expected and even after that I’m noticing some weird behaviors. For instance, my Apple Pay on my Apple Watch isn’t in sync with the phone. My contacts are missing some records. Mainly new numbers I added. So it looks like the back up is incomplete even though it said it completed. Thankfully, I back up my photos through Google as well. Those are intact. Overall, iCloud behavior is weird. It keeps asking me to log in and it keeps notifying me of a new device even after it already has. This is one service that Apple definitely needs improvement on.
  • Two factor authentication was a bit confusing during the activation of my new iPhone. When logging in on the new phone to restore from iCloud, this was the requirement. (insert photo) It’s telling me to approve it on a device running iOS10 or a computer running macOS Sierra (at the time, it wasn’t released yet). The problem is, I don’t have any other device. I clicked on “I didn’t get the code” and it gave me the option to send it via SMS. At this point I wasn’t sure if my old phone was deactivated and the new phone activated. If the new phone was activated, I won’t be able to go to my home screen to access my iMessage app to read the code. I sent the request for SMS anyway to see what happened. The new phone received the SMS message and it automatically entered the code and moved on to the next screen. Good job Apple, but please make the instructions less confusing.

    iCloud two factor code
    iCloud two factor code
  • I really wasn’t planning on another Plus model. I didn’t like the size. But in order to get the “better” camera, you’d have to get the Plus model.

Conclusion

It doesn’t look much different than the previous two generation phones but does it matter? What were you expecting? Wings? Horns? It would’ve been great if they added wireless charging or get rid of the Lightning connector in favor of USB-C. Otherwise, I’m happy with the changes. What’s even great is many of the cell phone companies are offering up to $650 credit when you trade in your old iPhone 6 or newer. I was able to bring my device payment plan from $35+ to around $9 monthly. I doubt I would get that much for my old iPhone, plus the hassle of selling it. I have been enjoying it specially after I’ve convinced myself to stopped switching between Android and iOS. The latest version of iOS has many great features as well. If you can take advantage of the trade-in, go for it. If you are using an iPhone older than the 6S series, do it. Otherwise, it’s not much different from the 6S series unless the features I mentioned above intrigues you.

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