TL;DR: If you’re looking for the absolute bare essentials, a used iPhone 7 is one of the best cheap phones you can get for the price. The iPhone 7 may look dated compared to an all-screen modern iPhone, but because it has a very low cost of entry, it is perfect for first-time smartphone users, kids, or anyone on a budget.
We’re now in 2022, and Apple’s latest iPhones are still as expensive as ever. While some folks have no problem taking out a second mortgage to get the latest and greatest features, others would rather save their money by sticking to previous-gen iPhones instead. In this post, we’ll examine the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in hopes that by the end, you should be in a much better position to decide if the iPhone 7 is still worth it in 2022.
iPhone 7 features, style, and build quality
The iPhone 7 wasn’t a giant leap in design from the previous generation iPhone 6S. Instead, it was more of evolution. The design received minor tweaks, like a more streamlined hump around the camera lens and an entirely new color/finish: Jet Black. Easily one of the rarest iPhone colors, the Jet Black option was discontinued the following year (likely because it was prone to scratches). Other iPhone 7 colors include Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, and Matte Black.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus displays are the same size as previous year’s models — 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches — but they were 25% brighter and show a wider range of colors. While this will probably only be noticeable when holding the iPhone 7 side-by-side with its predecessor, it is more noticeable when viewing photos snapped with the iPhone 7 camera (which also captures more color). The Retina displays also remain the same resolution as the previous year’s models, with the iPhone 7 equipped with a 720p screen, and the iPhone 7 Plus features a full HD 1080p screen.
Unfortunately, the iPhone 7 was also the generation that removed the headphone jack, requiring a dongle to listen to music through the Lighting charging port. While it may not sound like a huge deal, you will carry the dongle with you whenever you want to use your wired headphones, or invest in wireless Bluetooth headphones (Apple AirPods are a safe bet).
The overall size of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is also nearly identical to the last two generations of iPhones, dating back to the iPhone 6. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus weighs in at 138g/188g, a tad lighter than the previous-gen iPhone 6S/6S Plus. Other than that, they are your standard iPhone sizes, measuring in at: 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm for the iPhone 7 and 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm for the iPhone 7 Plus.
Both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus feature Apple’s A10 Fusion chip. It’s Apple’s first quad-core processor that features two high-performance cores, and two low-power cores that use less battery power for improved battery life. Otherwise, the iPhone 7 features the same 2GB of RAM as previous iPhones, and the iPhone 7 Plus is equipped with 3GB of RAM. This extra RAM in the iPhone 7 Plus helps immensely with multitasking — one of the iOS’s best features — allowing you to quickly resume opened apps without having them reload.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus comes in a few storage configurations: 32/128/256GB. While the 32GB model is the cheapest — and possibly the most enticing, you may find yourself running into low storage warnings faster than you’d think. Whether it’s Live Photos, 4K video, or the ever-growing size of apps and games, 32GB just wasn’t much storage in 2022. Since there isn’t a 64GB model, our advice would be to move up to the 128GB, or 256GB model for better future-proofing.
When the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus first launched in 2016, they were both running iOS 10. It’s been a few years since then, which means there have been several major platform updates since then. Today, both devices support Apple’s iOS 15 software. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will not be upgraded to iOS 16 when it is released in late 2022.
The camera on the iPhone has long been considered one of the best mobile cameras available, something Apple further cemented when the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were first launched. However, by 2022 standards, the iPhone 7’s low light performance isn’t the best. Newer iPhones like the iPhone SE, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS take advantage of Apple’s Smart HDR to improve sharpness and clarity in medium-to-low lighting conditions, while the entire 2019 iPhone 11 lineup has access to Night Mode for extreme low lighting conditions. For the vast majority of people who enjoy shooting outdoors during the day, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are perfectly adequate, even today.
iPhone 7 price and iPhone 7 Plus price
As we mentioned before, one of the most attractive aspects of buying a used iPhone 7 or 7 Plus is the price. It’s a great mix of helpful features and low pricing, which makes it easily one of the better values in our marketplace.
What is the iPhone 7 missing?
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are over 5 years old, which means there’s been plenty of new advancements to mobile technology that has developed since then. If you’re wondering what you’ll be missing out on by going with an older iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, we’ve put together a quick list highlighting notable hardware and software features you’ll find on more recent iPhones.
- Ultra-wide camera
- Space Gray color option from iPhone 6S
- Wireless charging
- True Tone display
- Portrait Mode (iPhone 7)
- Portrait Lighting effects (iPhone 7 Plus)
- Fast Charge
- 4K recording at 60fps
- Slo-mo 1080p at 240 fps
- Dolby Vision support and HDR10 content
- Smart HDR
- Night Mode
- Face ID
Is the iPhone 7 still worth it?
As you can see from this post, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are still worth buying in 2022. But, it really comes down to your expectations. Although they’re a far cry from the latest iPhones in terms of features and capabilities, they’re also a fraction of the price. In other words, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus make great options for anyone who only requires the basics.