Who needs iPhone 15? Annual iPhone Photography Awards includes winners taken on iPhone 7

iPhone 14 Pro Max Deep Purple and iPhone 14 Pro Space Black
(Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan / iMore)

If you were thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 15 - you might just be tempted to hold onto your old iPhone for now after seeing these photos.

The annual iPhone Photography Awards (IPPAWARDS) this week announced the winners of its competition, which is now in its 16th year, where it looks for some of the best photos taken on an iPhone.

The camera on Apple's smartphone has come on leaps and bounds since we could only take photos and nothing else back in the days of the iPhone 3G. But now, not only can you record video, slo-mo videos, add filters to what you've taken, and more, but there are also three whole lenses to help focus on certain subjects for example in certain modes like Cinematic.

With iPhone 15 Pro Max rumored to feature a new lens to help give better photos when zoomed in, you may have been waiting to upgrade. But once you see some photos in this competition taken with an iPhone 7 Plus, there's a small chance you may reconsider.

It's not over yet for older iPhones

IPPAWARDS - Tim Wheeler using an iPhone 7 Plus

(Image credit: IPPAWARDS - Tim Wheeler)

Scroll to the Abstract section, and you'll find the winner, Tim Wheeler, with his photo having been taken on an iPhone 7 Plus - and that's the same for the runner-up, Neil Nesheim as well.

These are amazing photos, and you can easily lose an hour simply scrolling through all of these while wondering why you are still struggling to take a decent photo of some plants in your garden.

The list goes on, with other winners including an iPhone 12 Pro, an iPhone XR, and even an iPhone X, proving you don't need Apple's best iPhone to take the best pictures. Granted, many of these may have been edited with a third-party app such as Pixelmator or Adobe Photoshop to help bring out the colors and the subjects even more.

IPPAWARDS - Linda Repasky - photo shot on iPhone 14 Pro

(Image credit: IPPAWARDS - Linda Repasky)

But it says a lot that something like the iPhone 7 Plus, released back in 2016, is still capable of taking amazing photos, and also how far we've come since.

Have these photos made you reconsider holding onto your iPhone for now? Let us know in the iMore Forums if that's now the case.

Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.


Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.