Is iPhone 7 still good today?

The iPhone 7 was released by Apple in September 2016. Now over 7 years old, it may seem like the iPhone 7 is too outdated to still be a good smartphone option in 2023. However, there are some key factors to consider before writing off the iPhone 7.

iPhone 7 Specs and Features

The iPhone 7 was one of the first iPhones to lack a headphone jack. It also introduced water and dust resistance with an IP67 rating. Here are some more key specs and features of the iPhone 7:

  • Display: 4.7-inch Retina HD display (1334 x 750 resolution)
  • Processor: A10 Fusion chip
  • Storage: 32GB, 128GB, 256GB options
  • Rear Camera: 12MP wide-angle camera
  • Front Camera: 7MP FaceTime HD camera
  • Video Recording: Up to 4K video at 30 fps
  • Biometric Security: Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 hours internet use (LTE), 14 hours video playback
  • Water Resistance: IP67 rating (up to 1m depth for 30 mins)
  • Colors: Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold
  • Operating System: iOS 10 (upgradable to iOS 15)

The iPhone 7 was a significant upgrade over the iPhone 6s in terms of speed and camera improvements. The A10 Fusion chip brought much faster processing power, while the rear camera was upgraded with optical image stabilization, a brighter f/1.8 aperture, and improved image signal processing for better low light photos.

Longevity of Software Updates

One of the iPhone 7’s strongest assets in 2023 is its longevity of software updates from Apple. The iPhone 7 launched with iOS 10 and can support upgrades all the way up to iOS 15, the current version. Apple typically provides around 5 years of software updates for iPhones, meaning the iPhone 7 is still running a modern and secure version of iOS.

Software updates bring new features, security patches, and performance improvements to older iPhones. With iOS 15, the iPhone 7 gains useful capabilities like Live Text OCR, updated Maps, Focus modes, SharePlay in FaceTime, and more. The lifespan of software updates means you can count on the iPhone 7 feeling fresh for a bit longer.

Performance and Speed

Thanks to the A10 Fusion chip and optimized iOS software, the iPhone 7 still feels fast and responsive in daily use for common tasks like web browsing, messaging, basic gaming, and streaming media. Apple’s tight integration of hardware and software allows the iPhone 7 to handle iOS 15 smoothly.

Is the iPhone 7 as blindingly fast as Apple’s latest iPhone 14 models with the A16 Bionic chip? Of course not. But for general users, the iPhone 7 has enough power for typical daily usage and still feels quick enough thanks to iOS optimizations. Only demanding games and complex creative apps will push the iPhone 7’s limits.

Camera Quality

The iPhone 7’s 12MP rear camera and 7MP selfie camera may seem dated on paper, but can still produce nice looking photos and videos in good lighting conditions. The f/1.8 aperture lets in more light and the OIS stabilizes shots. 4K video recording at 30fps keeps the iPhone 7 relevant for casual video capture.

Camera technology has certainly progressed a lot since 2016, so the iPhone 7 won’t match the photographic prowess of newer iPhones. But its image quality remains decent and the camera is versatile enough to handle everyday shooting needs for social sharing. For many users, the iPhone 7 camera quality is “good enough” even in 2023.

Battery Life

Battery capacity degrades over time with lithium-ion batteries. So the 1960 mAh battery in the iPhone 7 won’t offer as strong battery life as it did when new. Light to moderate use on a full charge may last around 8-10 hours. Extending battery lifespan requires proper charging habits.

The iPhone 7 won’t have anywhere close to the endurance of an iPhone 14 model, but users can employ tricks like Low Power Mode, reducing brightness, and disabling unneeded background app refresh/location to squeeze more life out of an aging iPhone 7 battery. Carrying around a portable USB power bank helps keep it topped up.

Repairs and DIY Replacements

One advantage of the iPhone 7’s age is that replacement parts are inexpensive and repairs or DIY upgrades are reasonably achievable. A new replacement battery can be found online for under $20-30 to restore battery life. The display assembly, rear camera, charging port, speakers, and other components can be replaced for very affordable prices.

Following online repair tutorials, an iPhone 7 owner can replace common parts themselves with a DIY approach. While not as easy as swapping out parts on older iPhones, the iPhone 7 was designed to still be fairly serviceable. This makes it feasible to keep the iPhone 7 running and usable for longer.

Used Price Point

With Apple and carriers no longer selling the iPhone 7 new, you can only get one secondhand. But this offers the benefit of much lower prices around $100-150 for an iPhone 7 in good condition on the used market. Considering brand new iPhone 14 models cost $799+, a used iPhone 7 provides tons of value.

The reasonable used pricing makes the iPhone 7 attainable for:

  • Those seeking an affordable secondary device
  • Teenagers or kids needing a first smartphone
  • Anyone wanting an iPhone on a very tight budget

While niche new old stock units may cost more, typical used iPhone 7 prices are quite budget-friendly compared to current iPhones.

Size and Design

The iPhone 7 retains the popular 4.7-inch display size that many users still enjoy over today’s larger screens. It fits nicely in pockets, hands, and bags. Those frustrated with the perennial size growth of flagship iPhones may appreciate the iPhone 7’s smaller and lighter build.

Its aluminum and glass design still appears modern, classy, and sleek despite some slight bezels around the screen. The physical home button also appeals to users who dislike the swipe gestures on newer Face ID iPhones. In terms of size and design, the iPhone 7 has aged gracefully.

Lack of 5G Connectivity

A downside to considering the iPhone 7 in 2023 is its lack of 5G connectivity. The iPhone 7 is limited to 4G LTE networks, not the latest 5G speeds. If you live in an area with strong 5G coverage, you’ll miss out on much faster downloads and streaming with the iPhone 7.

However, 4G LTE networks are still very robust in many regions. You may only notice slower speeds when downloading huge files or streaming high resolution video. For simple web pages, social media, standard definition video, and music, LTE provides enough bandwidth on the iPhone 7 for most people.

No Longer Receives Major iOS Upgrades

While the iPhone 7 can run the latest iOS 15 now, it likely won’t get any additional major iOS updates. Historically, Apple ends software support around 5 years after an iPhone model’s release. IPhones also lose compatibility when they can’t handle demands of new iOS versions.

This means the iPhone 7 will be stuck on iOS 15 and not get iOS 16 or later down the road. It will still receive important security patches and minor fixes through iOS 15, but no more new features. For some, this won’t matter. But heavy app users may feel limited in 2-3 years.

Missing Newer Camera Features

Recent iPhone cameras gain more advanced features that the iPhone 7 lacks, like:

  • Night mode for low light photos
  • Deep Fusion computational photography
  • Smart HDR 4 for contrast and texture
  • Photographic Styles picture profiles
  • Cinematic mode portrait video
  • Macro photography

The iPhone 7 camera is behind in these computational algorithms and hardware that recognize scenes to optimize imaging. You’ll miss out on some of the latest capturing capabilities leading to lower quality images versus modern iPhones.

No Face ID Biometric Unlocking

All iPhones since the iPhone X in 2017 use Face ID facial recognition to unlock the phone and verify identity. The iPhone 7 instead relies on Touch ID fingerprint sensing as its biometric authentication method.

Touch ID works well, but isn’t as advanced as Face ID. You also need to precisely place your finger which is less convenient than glancing at the phone to unlock with your face from any angle. But Touch ID gets the job done on the iPhone 7 adequately.

Lacks Dual-Lens Rear Camera

Modern iPhones have dual or even triple lens rear camera systems for added optical zoom, ultrawide shots, and portrait mode effects. The iPhone 7 is limited to its single 12MP wide lens, so it misses out on those extra photographic capabilities and benefits.

If you require advanced zoom or shooting modes and take lots of photos, the iPhone 7’s single rear lens will feel limiting. But it still enables standard portrait, landscape, and general photography needs for casual usage.

Not Compatible with MagSafe Accessories

Beginning with the iPhone 12 series, Apple introduced MagSafe which allows compatible cases and accessories to magnetically snap onto the back of new iPhones for wireless charging and data connections.

Since the iPhone 7 pre-dates MagSafe, you won’t get any benefits of the growing MagSafe ecosystem. Cases won’t align and snap on perfectly. You also can’t leverage unique MagSafe chargers and docks.

Weaker Security Updates Over Time

iPhones get regular iOS software updates with security fixes and patches. But as the iPhone 7 ages, it will become less of a priority for Apple’s security teams. Critical vulnerabilities that emerge affecting older hardware or software may take longer to address.

Without as much emphasis on patching and protecting the aging iPhone 7 as new models, there is some increased risk of security holes over time. This could lead to potential malware, hacking, data leaks, or identity theft issues down the road.

Difficult to Find Good Condition Used Units

Considering the iPhone 7 is over 7 years old now, many used units have worn batteries, scratches and dents, damaged screens, faulty buttons, and other problems.

Sourcing an iPhone 7 in decent condition takes patience and scrutiny while shopping secondhand. Units listed in “good” condition may still have issues not reflected accurately or apparent until you get the device.

It helps buying used locally so you can inspect beforehand. Otherwise buy from reputable electronics resellers with generous return policies in case you need to send it back.

iPhone 7 Used Prices By Condition

Condition Price Range
Broken/Cracked Screen $20 – $50
Poor Condition $50 – $80
Good Condition $80 – $120
Very Good Condition $120 – $150
Like New Condition $150 – $200

Lacks Wireless Charging

Newer iPhones support Qi wireless charging by placing the phone on a charging pad or stand. This eliminates fussing with cables for a more seamless charging experience.

The iPhone 7 has no wireless charging capabilities natively. You must use a traditional Lightning cable for wired charging instead. However, special wireless charging cases can add this feature.

Weaker Network Support Over Time

Carriers phase out older wireless networks as they build next generation infrastructure. AT&T already shut down its aging 3G network in early 2022. This impacted older iPhones, including the iPhone 7, losing data services.

Verizon will sunset its 3G network at the end of 2022. Then T-Mobile will stop their 3G network in mid 2023 followed by the end of 3G on the Dish Network in 2023. When these deprecated networks go dark, the iPhone 7 may have no data connectivity.

You’ll need to research what networks in your area will still work with the iPhone 7 to avoid losing service. In regions where 4G will be viable for longer, the impacts will be reduced.

Durability Issues Over Time

iPhone screens, buttons, speakers, mics, cameras, and other components can wear down with heavy long term use. Water damage or drops/impacts also degrade hardware. Battery capacity similarly declines over time.

As an iPhone ages these durability issues compound, especially if not well cared for. Any heavily used iPhone 7 will feel much less reliable and study compared to new out of the box.

Proper cases, screen protectors, and avoiding damage can extend the iPhone 7’s lifespan. But performance and component failures inevitably increase outside of warranty coverage.

Limited Internal Storage Options

The iPhone 7 originally came in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage options. Even the max capacity is small compared to newer iPhones offering 512GB or 1TB internal storage.

Lower storage requires diligent photos/video backup and limits installing large apps plus games. Streaming media helps minimize needed free space. But any used iPhone 7 will feel cramped for hoarders of content.

No Support Options From Apple/Carriers

Good luck finding any support from Apple or cell phone carriers for an iPhone 7 in 2023. Since it’s a vintage device, Apple won’t repair or service it. Carriers like AT&T and Verizon also won’t waste time supporting such an old iPhone.

If you run into issues or problems with an iPhone 7 now, you’ll be forced to rely on unauthorized/third-party repair shops. This route can be problematic due to questionable workmanship and lack of accountability or warranties in some cases.


The iPhone 7 remains a surprisingly decent smartphone option even in 2023 for the right kind of user on a strict budget. It runs iOS 15 smoothly, offers adequate performance for basic usage, takes fair photos, and features a classic small size.

However, there are certainly compromises in speed, battery life, camera capabilities, connectivity, longevity, storage, durability, and support compared to modern iPhones. Weigh these carefully against the benefits of the iPhone 7’s low used price.

For those simply seeking basic calling, messaging, web access, and media features in an iPhone form factor, the iPhone 7 still delivers. It can serve as a temporary solution until you can afford a newer iPhone model with more bells and whistles down the road.