IPhone 7 Plus Review - Is Bigger Better?

What Is iPhone 7 Plus?

“PLUS” Adjective. From the Latin plʌs, meaning more, positive; a surplus or gain. Apple has released a “plus” version of its iconic iPhone for the past 3 generations, and this one has to be the best one to date. reviews the new iPhone 7 you should buy, if you’ve got the hand and wallet size to match.

Think of this review as a companion to our iPhone 7 review which we encourage you to read, as it covers a lot of information that won’t be repeated here. Things like the new Taptic Engine, the water and dust resistance, and the death of the headphone jack.

At its core, the iPhone 7 Plus is just a 7 on steroids. The thing is though, the Plus improvements are in the most critical aspects of a smartphone experience.

  • Display
  • Battery
  • Camera(s)

First let’s take the iPhone 7 Plus display.

This iPhone 7 Plus display is almost and inch larger on the diagonal, and also steps up the pixel density by 23%! On the one hand this shines a big, bright light on one of my biggest gripes about the iPhone. It doesn’t let you run multiple apps side by side, like we see on the iPad or Android phones.

That said some apps do include split-view, which lets you be a little more productive, and there’s more functionality in landscape mode on the keyboard, ugly though it is.

Bigger is just better, and It’s kind of tedious to list all the ways this is true, so let’s all agree that it is!

Most Significant Upgrade Is The Plus Battery Life

Whilst the iPhone 7 battery is fine in this department, the Plus is very good. You may have wondered why we didn’t mention Apples refusal to go with a higher display resolution, after all this phones principle competition, the Galaxy Note 7, has a panel that’s 30% sharper, and much brighter.

Well staying put at only full HD and packing in a bigger 2900 mAh @ 3.82 V (11.1 Wh) battery, resulted in an iPhone that’s very hard to run dry.

I spent most of my time listening to at least an hour of radio streamed over Bluetooth, with about 2 hours of wireless hotspots serving a connected tablet or laptop, and 3 – 4 hours of the battery killing social, email and browsing cocktail.

iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus Display Timeout Disabled

Starting at a full charge around 8am, the iPhone 7 Plus routinely lasts me through midnight. In fact for the past few days I’ve been using this device with display timeout disabled. Or I’ll sometimes just put the phone down and forget about it, so it just glows and wastes battery, and it still lasts forever!

This is more than I can say for the iPhone 7, or almost any other smartphone.

iPhone 7 Plus Camera Improvements

The most significant bump for this years Plus is the one that holds the cameras. Previous Pluses brought added features, but this year the guts inside the optics hump are doubled!

2 separate sensors, each with its own lens. The standard camera is the same as on the iPhone 7, 12MP with Optical Image Stabilisation, a larger aperture and a 28mm lens. The other camera is also 12 MP, but trades aperture size for a 56mm lens.

Apple calls it a telephoto camera, but whatever the terminology, it’s really useful. When you zoom in using most smartphones, including the iPhone 7, all you’re doing is cropping the capture area, which makes the photo look like hot garbage.

iPhone 7 plus skyscraper

With this new camera lens however, the iPhone 7 plus let’s you get up to 2x magnification without cropping the image. You don’t need to be shooting a concert or a skyscraper to benefit from the convenience, sometimes it’s easier to frame a shot with zoom right in the viewfinder.

I’m not going to say this camera is perfect, as always low light brings out a lot of noise. As mentioned in the iPhone 7 review, I still prefer the Galaxy s7 camera to this one. Yet I have used the iPhone 7 plus camera for many shots, and I am yet to hear a single complaint.

Looking forward, when the phone depth of field effects come out of Beta, the Plus will have yet another arrow in its camera quiver. I don’t generally run beta software, but iMore has a great preview of this feature.

iPhone 7 Plus Hissing?

Finally, I have been asked about the dreaded hiss, and yep I hear it, but I really had to concentrate. This hiss is most probably a harmless phenomenon called “coil whine” that you sometimes also hear from wall chargers.

If it bothers you that much you can try swapping your iPhone at an Apple Store, but you should keep in mind that Apple still hasn’t actually acknowledged the issue, so your success may come down to who takes your appointment at the Genius Bar.

Should You Upgrade To iPhone 7 Plus?

Look I get it, big phones aren’t for everyone. Personally the iPhone 7 “minus” is almost the perfect size for me, because I like phones I can easily use with one hand. Comparatively the Plus is a monster, and I do think it’s bigger than it needs to be. Other companies can build waterproof smartphones with screens as big or bigger, so if design ambition is top of your list, you do have options else where.

However if the top of your list is having a new iPhone, and you want the absolute BEST iPhone, well the Plus is your pick. I realise this is a predictable conclusion to the review because after all that’s what the Plus was designed to be, but hey some companies achieve what they set out to.

In my view the iPhone 7 Plus is the iPhone most likely to keep you happiest the longest, even if it takes your wallet a little longer to recover.

Thank you for reading my iPhone 7 Plus review.

For a deeper dive into the new iPhone 7 features, check out My iPhone 7 review. Thanks for stopping by!