Which is the best iPhone worth buying

iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 - is it still worth buying?

Kris Wallburg

The iPhone SE 2020 has shaken up the market for mid-range iPhones. Have the older iPhone models such as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 lost their place on the market? Or are they still worthwhile for iPhone fans with a smaller budget? We answer this question in this guide.

EnlargeThe iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are in direct competition with the new iPhone SE.

With new features and a redesign, the iPhone 12 has given many tech enthusiasts and Apple fans an opportunity to think about purchasing the new model. The prerequisite for this is a well-filled wallet, as we know, new iPhone models come with a corresponding price tag. But not everyone can (or wants to) afford to spend a four-digit amount on a new smartphone. You don't have to do without an iPhone, because although Apple itself only has one iPhone model on offer for less than 500 euros, namely the iPhone SE, various third-party providers still offer the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models for sale. You can find out here whether these models are still worthwhile.

iPhone 7 in the Macwelt price comparison

iPhone 8 in the Macwelt price comparison

iPhone 7/8 - already outdated?

Compared to current top smartphones, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 no longer look particularly modern. This is mainly due to the fact that the "screen-to-body ratio", i.e. the proportion that the screen takes up on the front of a smartphone, has increased significantly in recent years. Even mid-range smartphones from the Android world now consist almost entirely of displays, and clearly visible screen edges are rarely found. Smartphones are also getting bigger and bigger, the 4.7-inch displays of our "retro" models are very small by today's standards. The plus versions with 5.5 inches are more in line with the current standard. A small display doesn't necessarily have to be bad, however; ultimately, the size of the smartphone is a matter of taste. If you would like to read even more details about both models, take a look at our reviews:

iPhone 7 (2016) in the Macwelt test

iPhone 8 Plus (2017) in the Macwelt test

iPhone vs. Android

Comparing iPhones and Android smartphones is always difficult because they are two completely different ecosystems. If we compare the pure technical data, you will find that you can also buy the latest Android smartphones with significantly more features for the price of older iPhones. Instead with Google's Android instead of Apple's iOS. You know for yourself whether iOS is worth the extra charge for an iPhone to you. But since you are reading this article, let's assume that you would like to buy an iPhone.

iPhone SE: The tough competition from in-house

Until recently, it was relatively easy to recommend the iPhone 7/8 even in 2021. They are good everyday smartphones for all those who do not always need the latest and simply a reliable companion for the day. But for a few months now, Apple has made it difficult for the market to get the iPhone 7/8 to the market. Because everything these older models can do, the new iPhone SE can do much better, and for a reasonable price.

iPhone SE in the Macwelt price comparison

To list all the features of the iPhone SE again would go beyond the scope of this article, but I would like to refer you to our test. But in short: The iPhone SE looks like the iPhone 7/8, but has a better camera and the fast A13 Bionic processor. It will be supplied with software updates for the next few years and is therefore much more future-proof than an iPhone 7/8. The current version of iOS is still supported by all iPhones from the iPhone 6S, but the older models will lose support from Apple in the next few years. First the iPhone 6S, which is unlikely to receive an update to iOS 15, then the iPhone 7. But you have at least two, possibly three to four years until then.

That speaks for an iPhone 7/8

The price

The biggest selling point for the iPhone 7 is the price. An iPhone 7 with the smallest memory size (32 GB) can be found in the Macwelt price comparison for just under 300 euros, i.e. 150 euros cheaper than an iPhone SE. Mind you, with less storage, 32 gigabytes is very little even for iCloud users. The next memory size of the iPhone 7 is 128 GB, which is available for around 400 euros in the Macwelt price comparison. The iPhone 8 is having a harder time, because new it is about as expensive as the iPhone SE. And why should you buy an iPhone that looks exactly like the SE, but has fewer features for the same price.

The size

Yes, the iPhone SE's 4.7-inch display is the same size as that of the older models. With the plus models of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, you have the option of getting a larger version. 5.5 inches doesn't sound like much more at first if you hold the smartphones next to each other, but the difference is clearly visible.

EnlargeiPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in size comparison.

There is no larger version of the iPhone SE. A larger display also means a higher price, the iPhone 7 Plus with 32 GB costs around 400 euros in the Macwelt price comparison (128 GB: around 500 euros), the iPhone 8 Plus with 64 GB is around 600 euros. But especially with the iPhone 8, it is questionable whether the surcharge is worthwhile, after all, the much newer iPhone XR is already available for the same price. However, the larger models have one advantage, they come with a second camera lens. The telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom helps when photographing subjects that are further away.

Refurbished: save money with a guarantee

Finally, we need to talk about refurbished equipment. These are used iPhones that have been reconditioned by professionals and are sold with a guarantee. Refurbished iPhones are available from all sorts of retailers, including Amazon and Aldi in regular promotions. The advantage of reconditioned devices compared to classic used goods is, in addition to the professional processing, the aforementioned guarantee, which is usually two years. Refurbished devices are significantly cheaper than new goods, an iPhone 8 Plus only costs around 400 euros when refurbished instead of 600 euros.

You can turn your previous smartphone into cash using a used exchange. Apple offers its so-called "Trade In" program for this purpose, which, however, offers rather poor conditions. Depending on the age and model, other services such as Flip4new, Rebuy or Zoxs pay significantly more attractive prices for a used device. WirKaufens and Rankauf also offer cash for used smartphones and many other electronic devices. When you buy a new iPhone, you can therefore save on the bottom line if you no longer need the smartphone you used to date and it is gathering dust in a drawer.