Shall I buy an iPhone 7 or get a new battery for my iPhone 5 or 6? That is the question thousands of people are asking themselves across the world. The iPhones 5 or 6 may have batteries that by now are not lasting as long as you might want, while the new iPhone 7 will beat them hands down as far as energy lifespan is concerned.
If you get a replacement battery for your existing smartphone, you might find you then have everything you need, while saving a small fortune!
Now, if you are really keen on a smartphone with no headphone jack – something not too many people want to lose, apparently – then the iPhone 7 is definitely for you. Apple’s new phone is proving to be the company’s most controversial handset yet, thanks to the lack of this one feature – some say the lack is actually a feature.
The iPhone 6 headphone jack is in the red circle. The iPhone 7 has no headphone jack. In 10 years time, will that little hole be as obsolete as floppy disk drives are today?
Why iPhone 7 has no headphone jack
Apple wouldn’t get rid of something for no practical reason – it cannot be purely a fashion statement or a move just to seem cool and sophisticated, can it?
Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of marketing, when asked why the headphone jack was dropped, said:
“Some people have asked us why we would remove the analogue headphone jack. It’s been with us a really long time and it comes down to one word: courage. Our team has tremendous courage.”
At first this sounds like pure hype – just hot air using a word (courage) that sounds nice. You also need courage to jump off a cliff, put your hand in a fire or drink pure kerosene, but that does not mean they are clever things to do. Schiller’s comment became a joke on social media across the world.
However, his follow up argument perhaps explains a bit more. He said the new smartphone comes packed with new technologies, faster processors, etc., which all fight for space. The headphone jack was deemed less vital for the handset than other more important hi-tech components.
An adaptor can connect your wired headphones. However, when you charge the phone you have to use the same port – so you cannot charge and listen to wired music at the same time.
By dropping the jack we get a longer-lasting battery and the A10 Fusion processor. The future is wireless. So, why hold onto an analogue connector that has been used in devices since the mid 1960s. It had to go, Apple insisted.
If you purchase the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, you will find a pair of Lightning EarPods in the box, much the same as the EarPods found with previous iPhone versions, but these new ones are wireless – they are designed for use with the Lighting port instead of the traditional 3.5mm jack.
For those who rely on wired headphones, they will not be able to listen to stuff on their phone while charging the handset at the same time.
However, you also get a Lighting to 3.5 adaptor, which you can use to connect your wired headphones to. It does not look particularly nice and also means you have to walk around with an extra cable – something else you are at risk of losing if you are not careful. For those who like listening to music on the go, the whole arrangement is definitely a step in the wrong direction.
Apple says it will also sell wireless headphones that iPhone 7 users can buy – they’re called AirPods, which are much like EarPods, but they’re wireless and connect to your handset via Bluetooth.
For £14.99 I can get a new replacement battery for my iPhone 6, including the tools. (Image: amazon.co.uk)
So: An iPhone 7 or new battery?
I looked at all the pros associated with getting an iPhone 7 and weighed them against not having a headphone jack, and have decided to get a new battery for my iPhone 6. It is a pretty good device, does everything I think I need, but could do with a bit more battery life now.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus sell from £599 and £719 respectively. A replacement battery for my iPhone six costs about £15. To convince me to spend many hundreds of pounds I would need something considerably superior to my iPhone 6 with the new battery replacement – I don’t think the iPhone 7 is ‘considerably’ superior.
Video – iPhone 7 & 7 Plus
This Everything ApplePro video talks about the new handsets that Apple has launched.