How much life there is left in iPhone 7? what's next?
November 27, 2022 3:01 AM   Subscribe

I have an iPhone 7 with OS 15.7.1 that works fine and does everything I need. Will I soon need to upgrade the phone to be up to date with security patches?. Currently, the Apple store has a promotion so this could be a good time to upgrade, but I will be happy to stay another year with my iPhone 7 if it is still safe to use. And in case of an upgrade, shall I go with SE or 13 mini? the difference is £200. Thank you.
posted by slimeline to Technology (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: From this Ars Technica article it sounds like not all security updates will be available for iOS 15. But I imagine it will keep getting some at least until iOS 17 comes out (probably next fall).

You'll gradually find more apps that won't update, or won't be available, to install as iOS 15 gets older, but I expect it'll take a while.

There's not a lot of real difference between the SE and 13 Mini. The latter has:

* bigger screen
* smaller size
* an extra Ultra Wide camera (I've barely used mine)
* Face ID instead of Touch ID (I'm surprised how much I love this, on my first Face ID device; never want to go back)
* slightly better battery life

Aside from the last point, I imagine both will age at the same rate, having the same main chip. I think it comes down to how important the differences are to you, and how much impact the extra cost has on you. I am happy with my 13 Mini, and Ms Fabius is happy with her SE.

Note that the base SE comes with 64GB of storage, compared to 128GB for the 13 Mini. So if that amount is useful to you, the difference between SE 128GB and the 13 Mini is "only" £150.
posted by fabius at 5:23 AM on November 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

For comparison, the most recent iOS version that was the "end-of-life" version for some devices was iOS 12, which was the last version supported by iPhones 5S and 6. iOS 13 was released in September 2019, but Apple has released released security updates for iOS 12 as recently as August 2022.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:47 AM on November 27, 2022

Best answer: Note that iOS 15.7.1 was just released a couple days ago. You are still getting current security patches. (I'm sticking with my 6S+ for another year at least.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:02 AM on November 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Consider the fact that the current SE model is likely the last iphone ever to come with a home button. If that is important to you, I'd grab one of those ASAP.

I upgraded from an old iphone with a home button to an 11 last year (I'm in my 50s), and the transition away from the home button was fine - the new system is actually better than using the home button.

But I got my 83 yo mom the new SE, since she's less interested in learning new little techy things like that, and she was used to her home button.
posted by bluesky78987 at 6:58 AM on November 27, 2022 [1 favorite]

Unless you really, really need a small phone, the iPhone 12 (new, direct from Apple) is a much better option for normal users than the 13 mini (assuming that 64 GB of storage is enough). I think Face ID is inferior to a fingerprint sensor, but the dramatically larger screen on the 12 (and non-mini 13) is a worthwhile tradeoff.

Also, the iPhone SE has been used as a loss-leader by prepaid mobile companies, so they're very cheap on the used market. I'm looking at Swappa right now and the SE 2022 is a little over $100.
posted by meowzilla at 10:29 AM on November 27, 2022

Err, my last comment skipped over the fact that the 12 and the 13 mini cost the same right now, which is why I'm comparing the two.
posted by meowzilla at 10:31 AM on November 27, 2022

n.b. meowzilla, that listing is for a 2020 SE.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:34 AM on November 27, 2022

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