Everyone has been so busy talking about the iPhone 7 Plus’ dual lens camera that they missed the extra ~2 hours of battery life on the base iPhone 7 vs its predecessor. That seems like a stronger selling point than a telephoto lens for many users. People who value internet usage over photography should think twice before jumping to a 7 Plus.
The 7 Plus has a bigger battery too, but the mah delta is narrower on the phablet (150 mah) than on the base model (245 mah) by 6 percent. For data hungry users (almost everyone) considering the jump to 5.5″, the accumulated short-term benefits of better battery should outweigh the perceived long term value of a handful of marginally better photos. It comes down to how many times you ended up needing more battery vs. wanting more zoom or bokeh (basically, background blur)? Those extra drops of juice will add up to a full drink’s worth of usage before you know it.
Both models’ cameras get optical image stabilization and a stronger flash so they’ll perform dramatically better in low light—with and without flash—than than the previous generation; the extra telephoto lens will matter but not in every photo. I mean, how many of these photos were better because of the second lens, really? Admittedly, the optical zoom is a factor for large prints but let’s be honest, when was the last time you printed a smartphone photo bigger than 8×10″?
Unless you prefer the larger screen already, carrying around a bigger iPhone 7 for a second lens you won’t use as much as the modem probably isn’t as substantive a benefit for buyers with smaller hands or less photographic sensitivities (read: camera snobbery).
That said, I do have an 11-month old, i.e., more significant photographic requirements than most people!