Is iPhone 7 worth the upgrade? If you're currently rocking an iPhone 6s, here's what you need to know!

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are Apple's latest and greatest, but what does that mean for people who already own iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus? The shapes are the same. The display sizes are the same. They both run iOS 10. If you aren't on a yearly upgrade program, and you don't have money to burn, the answer will come down to whether or not any of the new features are worth it to you. So, are they?


iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus came in silver, gold, rose gold, and space gray. iPhone 7, though, comes in (matte) black instead of space gray, and adds a new, (glossy) jet black to the mix.

  • If you really want one of the new blacks, you might want to upgrade.

Water resistance

iPhone 6s was subtly redesigned to include a gasket and seals, so while it wasn't officially "water resistant" by any claim or standard, it was better able to resist minor, incidental contact with liquid than any previous iPhone.

iPhone 7 is officially IP67, which means it's designed to withstand dust and liquids. The liquid part is the key, though. While Apple hasn't released the definition for their liquid protection, it's equivalent to the original Apple Watch and so should survive splashes and even full subversion into water. You won't want to use it for shark diving, or as your daily underwater camera, but it can save you when you might otherwise have lost your phone.

  • If official water resistance is important to you, for spills, rough work conditions, or any reason, you might want to upgrade.

Speeds and feeds

iPhone 6s has a 64-bit dual-core Apple A9 processor with integrated M9 motion sensor hub. Until very recently, it was the best smartphone silicon on the planet. It's paired with with 2 GB of memory and 16 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB of storage.

iPhone 7, though, has the A10 Fusion. It's still 64-bit, but it has dual dual cores. It intelligently switches from two powerful cores to two power-saving cores, depending on the task at hand. That means you'll get an extra two hours on average from an iPhone 7, and an hour on average from iPhone 7 Plus. Backing that up are 2 GB for memory for iPhone 7 and 3 GB for iPhone 7 Plus, as well as 32 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB of storage.

  • If you want even more power, more storage, and even more battery life, you may want to upgrade.

LTE support

iPhone 6s supports up to 23 bands of LTE Advanced, which can hit a theoretical 300 Mbps.

iPhone 7, on the other hand, supports 24 bands LTE Advanced, which can hit a theoretical 450 Mbps.

There's a difference this year, though. Not every iPhone 7 supports every networking technology the way previous generations did. With iPhone 7, if you want support for Verizon or Sprint's CDMA network in the U.S., or CDMA in China, you need to buy the version of iPhone 7 that includes it.

  • If you need the additional LTE bands and live in an area with LTE advanced 450, you should consider upgrading.


iPhone 6s has a really good 12 megapixel rear-mounted iSight camera that can take 4K video. On iPhone 6s Plus, it's got optical image stabilization (OIS) for better low light photos and far more stable video. They've also got 5 megapixel front-mounted FaceTime cameras.

iPhone 7 also has a 12 megapixel, 4K camera but with a faster f/1.8 aperture for even better low-light. Also, iPhone 7 has OIS now as well, so standard photos are every but as good as the bigger version. The front-facing camera is 7 megapixels now, for better selfies. The big difference, though, is the second camera on the back of iPhone 7 Plus. It's an f/2.8 telephoto lens that allows for 2x digital zoom and a depth effect Apple calls Portrait Mode, which simulates DSLR-style blurred backgrounds.

  • If cameras and photography are at all important to you, you may want to upgrade.

Home button

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have the traditional, mechanical Home button, some version of which has shipped with every iOS device since the very first. It's satisfyingly clicky, but it can wear out with repeated use, and some people fear that so much they use AssitveTouch to avoid using it entirely.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 have a virtual Home button. It uses similar technology to the Force Touch trackpad on the Mac, or 3D Touch on iPhone. The advantage is, it should be far more resilient and last longer than the mechanical button, and it can be programmed to provide different feedback depending on the app you're using at the time. It does require direct finger contact, though, so won't work if you're wearing regular gloves or otherwise can't make contact.

  • If you hate the idea of a virtual Home button, you may not want to upgrade.

Headphone jack

The 3.5 mm headphone jack has been a mainstay on every iPhone since the original, including iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, however, don't have a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Instead, Apple expects you to use the included Lightning EarPods or 3.5 mm to Lightning adapter, or go Bluetooth with something like Apple's AirPods

  • If a 3.5 mm headphone jack is important to you, you may not want to upgrade.

Should you upgrade from the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus?

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 Plus were released in September 2015. Their antenna lines are much more prominent on the back, there's no black or jet black color option, the Home button is still mechanical, and the wireless support isn't quite as fast or broad. The cameras are still good, but not as great, and the A9 still packs a punch, but not as big a punch as the A10 fusion.

You have to really want one of the new colors, the new radios, or the new cameras to consider upgrading.

Still undecided?

If you're still not sure about upgrading to an iPhone 7, ask questions below or jump into our iPhone discussion forums and the best community in mobile will happily help you out!

Then, once you know, let me know why — or why not —in the comments so everyone else can benefit from your thoughts!