Forget the iPhone 8 and iPhone X — here are 7 reasons you should buy the iPhone 7 instead

From left: the iPhone 8, the X, and the 8 Plus.

From left: the iPhone 8, the X, and the 8 Plus.
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There are a ton of great phones you can buy this year. But if you’re intent on buying an iPhone in 2017, don’t bother with the new iPhone 8 or the high-end iPhone X coming in November.

I’ve owned an iPhone 7 Plus for over a year, and I’ve had a chance to try the new iPhone 8 and the 8 Plus as well.

I can easily say the iPhone 7 is hands down the best bang for your buck iPhone-wise – aside from the excellent but diminutive iPhone SE. I have not yet tried the iPhone X, but unless it blows me away, I’m not sure if it’s worth spending nearly double the cost of an iPhone 7.

Here’s why:

1. The iPhone 7 is more affordable than the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X.

The first but most important reason you should consider the iPhone 7 is its price tag relative to the other new iPhones.

The iPhone 8 starts at $699 – $150 more than the starting price of the iPhone 7 for a very similar phone.

The larger iPhone 8 Plus starts at $799, and the high-end iPhone X – if you can even find one when it becomes available on November 3 – will start at $999.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 7 starts at $549 – almost half the price of the iPhone X – and the larger iPhone 7 Plus starts at $669. Don’t get me wrong, these phones are still definitely considered “expensive,” but their prices are much more reasonable than those of the iPhone 8 and the X.

2. The iPhone 7 comes in more colors than the iPhone X does.

The iPhone 7 Plus in matte black.
YouTube/Marques Brownlee

The iPhone 8 comes in three colors: silver, gold, and space gray.

The iPhone X comes in just two colors: black and white.

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, meanwhile, come in five colors: jet black, matte black (the best color), silver, gold, and rose gold.

3. The iPhone 8 and the iPhone X have glass backs, making them more fragile and less resistant to smudges.

Be careful with the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X.
Justin Sullivan/Getty

Apple added glass to the backs of the iPhone 8 and the X so those phones can support Qi wireless charging – but as a side effect, those glass backs made them more susceptible to smudges and fingerprints, as well as fall damage. With the new iPhone 8 and the X, you’ll need to worry about both the front and the back of the phone cracking if you drop it.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 7 has the same aluminum unibody frame as the iPhone 6 line, which means you’ll need to worry about only the phone’s display cracking if you drop it. The metal backs on the iPhone 7 line are also more resistant to smudges and fingerprints compared with the glass backs of the iPhone 8 and the X.

4. The iPhone 8 and the iPhone X support fast charging and wireless charging, but both of those features require buying extra accessories, and you don’t need these charging methods in the first place.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

The iPhone 8 and the X support the Qi wireless-charging standard and fast charging for the first time, but you’ll need to buy Qi charging pads, which aren’t exactly cheap, and another $25 to $75 worth of equipment if you want to try fast charging.

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus use Apple’s standard Lightning cable, and that works perfectly fine.

5. The iPhone 7 Plus, the 8 Plus, and the X have similar rear cameras.

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If you care at all about photography, the rear cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus, the 8 Plus, and the X are nearly identical. The smaller iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are also great shooters, but the larger Plus models include a second telephoto lens so you can zoom without losing image quality.

iphone 7 8 x plus cameras

This is how Apple breaks down the camera specs of the iPhone 7 Plus, the 8 Plus, and the X. As you can see, all three camera systems are almost identical from a hardware perspective – the newer iPhone 8 and X have “slow sync” on the True Tone flash for better flash pictures, and the iPhone X has a slightly different aperture in the telephoto lens, but that’s about it.

The only other difference here is that the iPhone X’s rear camera has optical image stabilization for both wide-angle and telephoto lenses – this helps with sharper images and video, especially in low-light settings. The iPhone 7 Plus and the 8 Plus have OIS for only the wide-angle lens, not the telephoto lens. But again, this doesn’t make much of a difference for the user experience; iPhone 7 owners won’t feel as though they’re missing anything.

6. The iPhone 7, the 8, and the X have nearly identical front-facing cameras as well.

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The iPhone X’s front-facing camera is complemented by an all-new TrueDepth camera system, which includes a set of sensors required to operate the new Face ID system to unlock the phone and make purchases via Apple Pay. But the front-facing cameras across the three iPhone models – 7, 8, and X – are almost identical.

Again, here are the specs from Apple’s website:

iphone x 7 8 front camera

Based on Apple’s data, the iPhone 7 and the 8 – as well as their respective Plus models – all have nearly identical front-facing camera systems. The iPhone X has a more sophisticated front-facing-camera system overall, which also helps achieve some of those newer features like Face ID, “portrait lighting,” and Animoji, but none of those exclusive features on the selfie camera is a must-have just yet.

7. It’s the same great experience of using iOS.

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

No matter which iPhone you buy, you’re getting Apple’s first-class ecosystem, its security and updates, and its App Store, which has the best selection of apps. Since all of these iPhones run iOS 11, they all perform and behave very similarly. You’d be particularly hard-pressed to notice the differences between the iPhone 7 and the 8.

If you’re still having trouble seeing the differences among the iPhone 7, the iPhone 8, and the iPhone X, I highly recommend checking out Apple’s iPhone comparison tool.

But if you need further convincing, consider this: The iPhone 8 is basically a slightly faster iPhone 7 with a glass back for wireless charging. Would you spend $150 for those changes, especially knowing the phone doesn’t come with a wireless-charging pad?

Try everything and see for yourself, but know that I’m not convinced that wireless charging is worth investing in quite yet. Wait until charging systems are better, cheaper, and more ubiquitous – it’ll be a much better market by this time next year, for instance.

And if you’re holding out for the iPhone X, my question is this: Why? Sure, some of the features on that phone are exciting, but are they worth paying nearly double the price of an iPhone 7? That is a question you’ll need to answer for yourself.

Consider this as well: By this time next year, we’re going to be talking about an all-new iPhone, meaning the iPhone X will be less expensive and more available than it will be if you’re trying to get a new iPhone before the end of this year.

Simply put, there’s no real reason to obsess over the latest phone when there’s nothing wrong with the iPhone 7, last year’s “all-new” phone. It has an excellent design, a gorgeous screen, and great battery life. And at $549 to start, it’s a steal.