iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus – Smaller is Better

Among the sea of articles comparing the technical features of the iPhone 7 to the iPhone 7+, none seem to drive into living with with one over the other on a day to day. Despite the enhancements the Plus received, there is a certain je ne sais quoi that makes the iPhone 7 an objectively better phone.

Why?

I have been a “Plus” user since its inception in the iPhone 6 platform. I made a direct hop from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6+, so I never used the 4.7” iPhone outside of quick
interactions. The bigger phone wasn’t just newer and cooler, but had more screen real estate for added functionality, better battery life, and the gap widened with an even better camera in the 7. I was convinced that the iPhone Plus was the better way to go. You sacrifice the affectionate size for some added bonus. But I was wrong (don’t tell my girlfriend)!

A week ago I made the switch over to the smaller phone (and from Verizon to T-Mobile). Using the iPhone 7 feels way more natural than the micro-tablet that is the 7+. Within minutes I knew I liked the 7 better. It fits in your hand better, it’s easier on the eyes (for some reason), your thumb can dart around the screen with more efficiency and precision. Typing on it seems more accurate, despite the smaller keys, and I make less mistakes. Everything about it feels right. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the iPhone 7 Plus per se, but the iPhone 7 just feels… right. Even reading on the 7 seems better and I can’t figure out why since the screen is smaller (maybe the font formatting on screen).

On most electronic devices, when it comes to screen size, bigger is better. But that doesn’t appear to be the case with iPhone – the bigger screen is just unnecessary. The iPhone is, after all, a phone! And the iPhone Plus is a mini tablet you can make calls on. It’s less comfortable and even the graphics and UI feel weighted down on the 7 Plus compared to the 7. The one thing I’ll grant the iPhone Plus is due to its bigger size, it’s easier to grip on. I found the iPhone 7 more susceptible to slipping from your hand if you’re not paying attention.

What about all those “Plus” features?

Forget them. Even the extra battery life. I was nervous at first that it wouldn’t be enough, but it is. There is a minimal difference in day-to-day batter on the iPhone 7, and since most people keep a charger around, it’s moot. That extra camera lens you’ll use a fraction the time? It isn’t helping you. If you’re in the market for a new phone and you’re asking yourself “which should I get?” Get the iPhone 7. It’s like a sports car and the Plus is like a pickup truck. It’s nimbler, easier to handle, more enjoyable to use. Hell, I can finally lay on my side in bed and browse on my phone with one hand!

Soon, the iPhone 8 will peak its shiny new head around the corner. Supposedly, it will sport a bigger screen but with a similar shell size to the iPhone non-Plus. If it feels as natural in the hand as the 7, it’ll be fantastic. I never realized how much I missed the days of 1 handed cell phone use until I went back to the 7. It’s how phones are meant to be interacted with. One hand! Not this desperation of “will my thumb reach over thereeeee?” stuff. You pull out your phone to get a quick hit of information, and the Plus makes that cumbersome (unless you’ve hands of Andre the Giant).

So all in all, living with both phones, I’m glad I now have the iPhone 7 instead of the iPhone 7 Plus. The Plus is great (iPhones are great devices), but there’s something about the iPhone 7’s small size that has enhanced my experience in a big way.

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