- The iPhone 11 is right around the corner.
- But if you want to buy an iPhone right now, you should really consider buying the iPhone 7.
- It's the most affordable iPhone you can buy right now and one of Apple's best smartphone designs ever.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
We've been seeing rumors and reports of Apple's next-generation iPhone, presumably called the iPhone 11, for months now.
It will almost certainly be a stellar phone. But if you're in the market for an iPhone right now, there are several reasons you should consider Apple's diamond in the rough, the iPhone 7, instead of waiting.
You can save more than $550 by choosing the iPhone 7 instead of the next-generation iPhone 11.
The iPhone 7 is the most affordable iPhone you can buy right now.
The iPhone 7 starts at $449, and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $569. (It's significantly cheaper if you trade in another iPhone to get it. You can also find discounted iPhone 7 Plus models on Apple's refurbished store.)
Meanwhile, expect the iPhone 11 to cost as much as the starting price of the iPhone XS, which is $999, before taxes and insurance.
In other words, you'll save about $550 — more than the starting price of an iPhone 7 — by choosing an iPhone 7 instead of the next-generation iPhone.
Keep these prices in mind.
The iPhone 11 looks like it's going to have a whole new set of cameras, but the cameras on the iPhone 7 hold up surprisingly well in 2019.
The iPhone 7 features a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera and a 12-megapixel rear camera.
For comparison, the iPhone 11's predecessor, the iPhone XS, features a 7-megapixel selfie camera and two 12-megapixel rear cameras.
By all accounts, the iPhone 11 will feature three rear cameras for improved depth sensing — possibly setting the table for Apple's augmented reality play, which is expected to come to fruition in 2020 with the introduction of smartglasses that work with the iPhone.
But for right now, do you really need a smartphone with three rear cameras? Of course not. The iPhone 7 camera will give you excellent-looking photos with just one camera on the front, and one on the back.
The iPhone 7 has Touch ID, which is still the gold standard for unlocking your phone quickly.
Apple says Face ID — the facial-recognition system used to unlock the iPhone X, iPhone XR, and iPhone XS — is more secure than Touch ID.
But in my experience, Touch ID is still faster and more reliable than Face ID. Touch ID may not work if your fingers are wet, but Face ID has failed on me on plenty of occasions: It doesn't work when my face isn't at the right angle, but also, not once has Face ID worked when I'm wearing sunglasses.
Unless Apple's Face ID software gets a lot better this year, I expect Touch ID to remain the superior unlocking method for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, the iPhone 11 will almost certainly not have Touch ID, as Face ID appears to be Apple's new standard.
The iPhone 11 is expected to be powered by an A13 chip, but the A10 Fusion chip in the iPhone 7 is still incredibly fast.
The A10 Fusion chip powers the iPhone 7 — and also the new iPod Touch models announced this week. It's a powerful processor that can handle most tasks you throw at it with ease.
Of course, the A12 Bionic chip that powers the current iPhone XS is several magnitudes smarter and faster, considering it uses artificial intelligence and a neural engine to improve task efficiency. And Apple has reportedly begun production on the A13 chip that will power the iPhone 11, which will almost certainly be exponentially faster than last year's model.
But if there's one thing I've noticed in recent years, it's that there's hardly any difference between "fast" and "very fast" when it comes to iPhones. I remember thinking my iPhone 7 was lightning fast, but I never considered my iPhone X to be drastically faster than that phone, even though that was certainly the case.
Yes, the next-gen A13 chip will probably beat you at Scrabble. But the A10 Fusion chip is far from "weak" in comparison.
The iPhone 7 will almost certainly weigh less than the iPhone 11.
iPhones have only gotten heavier since the iPhone 7, which weighs just 138 grams.
The iPhone 8 weighs 148 grams, the iPhone X weighed 174 grams, and the current iPhone XS tips the scales at 177 grams. And the iPhone XR weighs 194 grams.
The iPhone 11 is expected to retain a similar form factor to the iPhone X and XS, but having more cameras on the back will almost certainly mean more weight.
Expect the iPhone 7 to remain the lightest iPhone you can buy in 2019 — and weight does make a difference, especially when you're carrying it around all day.
The iPhone 11 will run the same software as the iPhone 7.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 11 will both run on iOS, Apple's mobile operating system for iPhones and iPads. This means you're getting the same level of security, privacy, services and software updates straight from Apple, as soon as they're available.
Considering how last year's iOS 12 supported devices dating back to the iPhone 5S, it would be a surprise if this year's iOS 13 didn't support the iPhone 7.
The iPhone 11 will beat the iPhone 7 in some key areas, but the iPhone 7 is still a great deal.
To be clear, the iPhone 11 will have several advantages over the iPhone 7:
- Significantly longer battery life
- Wireless charging
- Portrait mode photography
- Video stabilization
- A display that supports HDR
- A more sophisticated camera system
Look at these features listed above. When the iPhone 11 becomes available later this year, you'll need to decide whether or not these features justify the price of a brand-new iPhone, compared to an older model like the iPhone 7.
Yes, the iPhone 7 will be three years old come September, but it still has a lot going for it: a light form factor, Touch ID, a great camera system, and of course a competitive price. For $449, you can save a ton of money by investing in the iPhone 7 instead of the latest model, and still get an incredible smartphone out of the deal.