I happen to be someone who got the recently released iphone7 and have since seen the countless posts and threads from people ragging on the phone who, for the most part, haven't even had a hands-on experience with it. Many question why anyone would want one. Given the ratio of haters to fans appears to be 99:1, I felt I should share my thoughts and experiences. After all, everyone is entitled to a public defender when they go to court, and so too should products be entitled to a public defender in the court of public opinion lol... I hope you'll at least read my reasoning before telling me I'm wrong :p
First, let me start with the price, something that justifiably will drive many off. I'm a bachelor, I have a good job, no kids, and even after my savings and rent/utilities I have a decent amount of expendable income. I say this not to brag, but to give context for my purchase. This phone is much like any tech we buy in my mind.
For instance, I recently put a GeForce Titan X into my PC in preparation for the coming wave of VR. Is this video card something I'd recommended to someone who makes a hobby of this sort of thing? Definitely, it is superb. Is it something most people need? Absolutely not, it's a foolish purchase for someone who doesn't plan to play cutting edge software, especially given how fast GPUs age.
Likewise, the coming new PS4's and Xbox1's are certainly upgrades and can be worthwhile purchases, but they certainly aren't necessary. One can also get a quality VR experience from the coming PSVR, but that doesn't invalidate the more technically impressive Oculus or Vive.
Basically, this is a quality phone (despite what many like to claim) that comes loaded with fun features and hardware, and for that reason it is expensive. For those of us who had previous models to trade in it is less pricey, but in the end you aren't getting it unless you're willing to drop a decent amount of money. If money is tight or you have savings/kids to save for, don't waste money on this. I would suggest the same for all new smart phones, as you can get a perfectly functioning older model of most phones for very little (though that varies by country).
The biggest complaint seems to center around the loss of the audio jack, something I myself was rather disappointed by initially. Now that I have the phone, though, they've sold me on it. For one, packaged with the phone is an audio jack adapter and a set of quality wired earbuds, something I think most people seem to miss. If you wish to keep using your wired earbuds, you certainly can. Meanwhile, I've come to really like the new wireless earbuds, and I'm not really sure why people complain about losing them... perhaps it is more difficult for women who don't always have pockets, but it's easy to store them and if one falls out to certainly notice. It seems likely to me that most of the people who misplace their earbuds are the same ones who would likewise replace their wired earbuds.
The important immediate difference this lack of audio jack produced is it allowed them to make better use of the space, which includes improvements in the speaker, battery, antenna, waterproofing, the Taptic Engine, and even allowed for the inclusion of a barometer (can detect changes in air pressure as subtle as a single flight of stairs), which can be useful for all sorts of apps and uses from exercise and climbing/hiking to travel.
Basically, almost nothing was lost (it actually still has three audio chips and outputs beautiful audio if you opt to use the wired adapter), and a great deal was gained.
The Home Button
From what I've seen this is the second biggest complaint, the issue being the perception that it lacks a true home "button" (it's merely an indented circle not separate from the rest of the phone), and that it doesn't properly "click". Again, this is something that should be experienced before it is criticized, and is in fact a very neat feature.
First, it uses the Taptic Engine to simulate the sensation of a button while not actually being a button. In the initial setup of the phone you decide between a few options for how strong you want the click response (or none at all), and assuming you choose to have said response you will feel a depression an hear a "click" even though they no such thing is happening. It's a really impressive piece of technology, as that bottom portion of the phone is touch sensitive, much like the touchpad of a laptop.
This change is very welcome for a few reasons: First, it means there's one less part of the phone to worry about breaking or wear over time (the home button was among the most common parts to break). Second, it makes the phone more waterproof than before. Finally, it allows for a very neat feature where the home button detects your thumb print and allows you to skip the password. I personally love that feature.
Overall, then, nothing lost and much gained.
Finally, there are many other features and improvements that I don't see people really talking about, so I thought I'd mention the ones I've noticed here.
Speed: This phone is faster than most I've ever had my hands on. I've yet to notice a moment's lag in just about anything I do, which I cannot say for previous models.
Screen: Unlike previous models, I find the screen is easier to read out in the sun. While it's no OLED Vita, it's a beautiful screen that I have no complaints about.
Speakers: The speakers are easily the best they've yet produced (a product of addditional space sans the audio jack). This phone is more capable of being far louder while remaining crisp and clear than most phones I've come across this size.
Thumbprint Recognition: This feature is super cool, basically allowing you to instantly access your phone by pressing the home button while anyone else (or even you yourself if you use another finger) has to type in the password. Works far better than I expected.
Internet Experience: This is something I noticed recently... It just performs amazingly well on the internet. It handles vgchartz as well as my PC (I've typed this thread with it), which is saying something as this site has been a nightmare for most of my mobile devices.
Wires the Same: Was very happy to learn they weren't redesigning the wires, so my iPad and phone can share the same one.
Waterproofing: This one is very much overdue, but the phone is finally water resistant. At this point you'd have to submerge it and leave it there for a bit for water to get in. Again, this improvement was made easier by removing the audio jack and home button.
Storage: A welcome large increase in storage, my model has 128gb (256gb available on larger model). Couple that with the iCloud which can automatically backup your pictures, videos, and entire phone if you so desire, and this is an exceedingly convenient phone for storage and use in general.
Apple Pay: This service began with the iPhone 6, and it appears to work remarkably well now. I was in a Best Buy recently and it somehow detected that I was making a purchase automatically and asked if I'd like to pay with the card I gave Apple. While I once would have viewed this as a novelty it has actually become very useful as, with the dang chips they're putting in all cards, it has become a much faster means of payment.
Earbuds: Despite the complaints, this is a definite strength. They kept three audio chips for the purpose of providing beautiful audio, provided everyone with an audio jack adapter and a set of wired ear buds, and have the option of wireless earbuds if such a thing appeals to you (give it a try, it'll grow on you). This should truly please everyone if they get past the initial shock of the absence of an audio jack, something I didn't believe I'd be able to do beforehand but was quickly swayed on.
Easy Transfer: For those of us that owned an earlier model iPhone one need only back it up to their PC and install it onto the new iPhone 7, transferring in only a few minutes everything from your old phone onto the new one and not needing to go into any store to activate it.
Motion Sensor/Barometer: From my few days with the phone I can say that it appears to have the best motion sensors yet, and with the addition of the barometer this seems to have all the capabilities of something like a Fitbit, so there will undoubtedly be some really great apps making use of these shortly.
iTunes/App Store: If you've owned any apple product prior to this you can transfer your purchase onto this phone and easily keep all your devices synced automatically if you so choose.
Microphone: The Microphone has been improved, allowing people to hear you better and improving the speakerphone or FaceTime experience.
Battery: The battery, again as a result of additional space minus the jack, is better than any I've previously seen. I've now been continuously on the internet for more than 2 1/2 hours waiting for my car to be repaired, and my battery is still north of 80% with screen at maximum brightness. Probably my favorite improvement.
Shape/Size: The phone is remarkably thin and light for all it offers, and I think they've achieved the perfect shape and size with the smaller model of iphone7. Everything is in reach, it's easy to hold, still a large screen, easy to type, and thin enough to be hardly noticeable in the pocket. I feel the larger model is a little too big, but others might prefer it.
Camera: This is where most of the money goes, and again they offer a better camera than you'll find anywhere else on the mobile market. It really blows my mind just what this tiny camera is capable of... it's just exceptionally impressive.
Concluding Thoughts/Apple Criticisms
So, with all that in mind I have to say from personal experience that this is indeed a fantastic phone; probably the best I've yet had. I realize it's become in fashion to hate all that Apple does as tends to happen with anything that becomes exceedingly popular, but I feel people really aren't giving this phone a fair chance. Just to prove I'm not some Apple fanboy, here's a list of facts and complaints:
-I've never bought an Apple computer, preferring to make my own PC.
-Apple intentionally makes it difficult to repair their phones without help (though virtually everyone does this now, including our beloved Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft)
-The wired are clearly designed to decay unlike any wired I've ever seen... anyone who has owned one knows what I'm talking about, and it's clearly just a way of sapping more money from the consumer. That's something Apple has always been good at.
-Their unique wires essentially require that you buy them straight from Apple, as the few available alternatives I've purchased from China are garbage and tend to fall apart immediately or not work at all.
-The phone is still too darn fragile (true of all Apple products), and one has to imagine that is by design. Repairs clearly serve as an additional source of income for Apple as well as an incentive to upgrade, which explains why they have tried to make it more difficult for 3rd parties to repair their products.
-While it's becoming dated and a non-issue, their problems with adobe and lack of Flash has long irritated me.
-I noticed they've made it very difficult to purchase things with amazon video, as it's not allowed on the devicewhich forces you to go directly to amazing via the web browser and find the video you want. This is to encourage you to use iTunes instead.
-While I know this probably isn't a problem for most people, with each passing iTunes update they've been inching towards making it impossible to add music from a CD to your iTunes, essentially requiring you to purchase it directly from them. I haven't tried in a while, but I have a lot of CDs and I know that's going to piss me off.
-I've noticed mandatory Apple software tends to work rather poorly on windows or any non-iOS. Again, I imagine this is intentional.
-Power button on the side... I hit it accidentally all the time and just prefer it on the top.
-Their constant damn updates. A recent update would ask you either to update now or remind you later (only two options) but when you'd press the latter it would spring up a clock and calendar and ask you to basically schedule it until you again told them to fuck off. You'll immediately begin noticing that shit stops working until you update though, so eventually you have to cave even if you don't like the changes. That really bugs me.
Anyway, while those Apple issues always irritate me, the inescapable truth is that's this is a stellar phone with some of the best features and hardware we've yet seen in the market. I certainly wouldn't recommend it for everyone, but most of the criticism of the iPhone 7 is completely unfair. As far as I'm concerned after my first week with it, the only legitimate criticism at this point is the price, but with all they stuffed into this phone it's not nearly as unreasonable as one would think... I've seen people comparing the cost to a PS4, but I'd ask them to compare the cost of a laptop with the same specs as a PC (the laptop is always far more expensive). Miniaturizing is expensive, especially when it's quality hardware specifically designed to fit your phone.
That's about it, then... Just thought people might like to read the opinion of someone who actually owns the phone. There's plenty of great options in the mobile market at lower prices, but that doesn't mean the iPhone 7 isn't great itself. ;)