The Giant That Is iPhone 7 Plus

I’m writing this on a iPhone 7 plus.

It’s an unwieldy device. So huge in my palms, it’s giving me pain. My right wrist aches from using it. The pinky finger on the same hand hurts. I’m still finding the right posture for maximum comfort. Given how things are now, I’ll take a position that solves the above mentioned problems.

The gigantic footprint means I will never truly love it. The most I can is to accept it. The size and the baggage of it all. It occupies a significant portion of my jeans. It’s too big to be used one-handed, but too long a shape to be comfortably held with both hands.

Why did I still get the phone (and hanging to it) in the first place then? Portrait mode.

Let’s not talk about the technical aspect of it and instead, focus our attention how much better our photos can potentially be. I haven’t been getting around often to truly test the capabilities of this mode. But from what I’ve shot so far, it’s a supremely usable function and most times, I’ve came away impressed at the kind of photos it took.

Sure, it’s not perfect (and it will never be). Some of the photos I took have some errors, especially at the edges where it struggles most. But it’s good enough to isolate the subject and bring the focus back to where it should be. When it works, it’s amazing. It gets them right more often than not.

That’s not to say I’ll stay with this, I call it Hercules, until the next iPhone refresh. I’m constantly casting an eye for someone to sell the iPhone 7 for a reasonable price. Even the iPhone SE appeals to me more. The eagerness to snug the latest iPhone (as with every new release) is still prevalent, but it’s dying out soon.

Where I used to avoid pre-owned electronics, I’ve gradually accepted them. It’s good for the environment and the pocket. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a used product, especially when I exercise due diligence to check the product and the credibility of the seller. Sanitize it thoroughly and it’s all good. The biggest concern is the weakening battery, but it shouldn’t worry me if it’s being used for just a few months at most.

Having said that, I’m using the jet black model bare. Without a case. I used a leather midnight blue case from Apple, but the slippery nature makes it harder to grip. It’s supposed to be easier to handle, but it just didn’t fit for me. The quality of the leather though, is top notch. Over time, I reckon it will develop a nice patina. Patina is the reason why I opted for a leather case in the first place, but I wouldn’t get to see and feel it. I returned the case to Apple and the whole process was seamless and speedy. Excellent customer service as you’d expect from Apple.

Jet Black is a terrific finish. It’s grippy, it’s glossy and it’s wonderfully polished. Is it because the last glossy finish was many versions back, and now it’s back in trend only because of the novelty factor? The back of the phone is smudged with fingerprint marks. Micro-abrasion happens all the time, but it’s being magnified here because of the close proximity of the device to our eyes. Other than under direct strong lighting, it’s hard to spot them. Buying a jet black model and putting them in a case is akin like buying a Ferrari and driving it with a cover wrapped over it.

Some would argue a case not just preserves the aesthetics, it protects the phone from accidental drop and damages. I agree, but an iPhone is pretty durable on its own and I handle them with care. I also understand the need to use a case due to the environment. To me, working in an office doesn’t justify a need to cover it up.

I’ve ponder about this issue for some time already. Whether to use it as it is – naked – or cover it up. Resale value will definitely be affected. Every buyer would want a phone that’s as close to the original condition as possible. Who would want a device that’s filled with scratch mark and abrasion and chipped corners. But is the trade off of getting slightly higher value when I sell it off worth it?

Life is about trade offs. I’ve made the decision to abandon my long-held view of never getting a gigantic phone. I’ve also use it bare despite concerns about scarring it.

How long will it last? Is it worth the trouble?

Only time will tell.