iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6s: Is Apple’s new handset worth the upgrade?

The iPhone 7 is here, and as you’d expect, Apple is saying it’s the best iPhone ever made. However, minus a few minor changes here and there, it looks pretty similar to the iPhone 6s, doesn’t it? So what has Apple done to make the iPhone 7 better than the iPhone 6s – and if you’ve already got a 6s, is it really worth upgrading? Here, we’ll take you through all the new features and specs of the iPhone 7, and compare them to the iPhone 6s – so you can see if it’s worth upgrading.

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6s: Design

From the outside at least, the iPhone 7 looks alot like the iPhone 6s before it, but if you look closer, you’ll notice a few minor changes. This time round, Apple has removed the antennae lines from the rear of the iPhone, and eagle-eyed users will also notice the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack – but we’ll get to that later. There are two new finishes for the iPhone 7 (a glossy Jet Black and matt Black) and the iPhone 6s’ Space Grey finish has gone. And one more thing, if you’re after a Jet Black iPhone 7, you’ll need to get it in 128GB or 256GB – Apple isn’t planning on releasing a 32GB version of the new finish.

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6s: Features


The iPhone 7 might use a 12MP camera  – just like the iPhone 6s – but Apple has introduced one or two changes that make it a better snapper overall. The iPhone 7 has an aperture of f/1.8, and that means it should be much better when taking low-light pictures. Pictures in less than ideal conditions will be improved further, because the standard iPhone 7 gets optical image stabilisation as well as the iPhone 7 Plus. What’s more, the FaceTime HD camera has moved from a 5MP unit to a 7MP unit, while a a quad-LED flash means flash pictures should be brighter, but more natural too.


Although some will see it as a step backwards, Apple has removed the 3.5mm headphone socket from the iPhone 7, citing ‘courage’ as the main reason for doing so. Whatever the reason behind the omission, Apple is at least shipping ever iPhone with a Lightning to 3.5mm adaptor, so the change shouldn’t impact you too much. The headphone jack hasn’t disappeared in vain either; the iPhone 7 now has two loudspeakers, so it can play music in stereo sound.


Several sources noted the iPhone 6s was more water-resistant than previous models, but the iPhone 7 makes it official with IP67 certification. That means it can be dropped in water of a metre depth, for half an hour, but it’s probably best to avoid testing this as Apple still doesn’t cover water damage in the iPhone 7’s warranty. 

Home button

This time round Apple has redesigned the home button, making it a Force Touch capable of haptic feedback. The result? It may feel like a mechanical button, but it isn’t one. Apple says the new feature could be used across iOS 10 and third-party apps to add another layer to the operating experience.

Apple iPhone 6s Plus review: The camera on the rear now has a 12-megapixel resolution, up from 8 megapixels last year

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6s: Specs


The iPhone 7 uses a A10 Fusion processor, and that means it’s by far the most powerful iPhone made – with Apple stating the new handset is twice as fast as the iPhone 6s. The A10 Fusion is a quad-core processor, but it’s actually split into two parts. Two high-performance processor handle the computing intensive tasks, while two other efficiency cores take care of lighter loads – and give you better battery life.

Battery life

The iPhone 7’s new A10 processor helps to give the new handset a speed boost over the iPhone 6s, but it also increases the time between charges. Apple says the iPhone 7 will give you two extra hours of battery life compared to the iPhone 6s. That works out to 14 hours of talk time, 12 hours of 4G or 14 hours of Wi-Fi browsing.


The iPhone 7 resolution is unchanged from the iPhone 6s, so it uses a 4.7 inch Retina screen with a resolution of 750 x 1334. However, Apple says the new screen is around 25% brighter, and has a wider colour gamut, so should looks considerably better.

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6s: Storage and price

Apple has shaken up the storage options for the iPhone 7, so you can now buy a handset with 32GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage. And yes, that means the the almost useless 16GB is finally gone – but so has the somewhat more expansive 64GB handset, too.

The iPhone 7 starts at £599 for the 32GB version, and then moves to £699 for the 128GB model and £799 for the top of the range 256GB handset. At the same event, Apple updated the memory options for the iPhone 6s, so you can now pick up a 32GB handset for £499 or a 128GB handset for £599.

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6s: Verdict

The iPhone 7 might look a lot like the iPhone 6s, but in truth it offers a collection of small changes and refinements over the previous handset. In isolation, each of those changes is pretty unremarkable, but combined they make a smartphone that’s a solid step up from the iPhone 6s. If you’ve got an iPhone 6s, features like the iPhone 7’s water-resistance, faster speeds and better battery life will have a noticeable effect on your day to day routine – and if you’ve got an iPhone 6 then the difference could be night and day.

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