Apple is making it difficult to choose the right iPhone 7 model

It is easy to get lost in the decision making when choosing the right iPhone 7 to buy. First you have to decide the display size that you want, either an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. Next is to decide if you want the better dual camera capabilities in the iPhone 7 Plus. Then it is the choice of body color and the memory size. Apple is making it ever more difficult by making published and subtle differences between various iPhone 7 models.

Jet Black Model

Apple introduces new color body for each new generation. This year’s Jet Black color stands out from the rest due to its highly glossy finish. It might seems an obvious choice for those who want the gorgeous look. But Apple has clearly warn buyers that its high shine may show fine micro-abrasions with use.

To make matters worse, the “iPhone” name and regulatory labels at the back of the Jet Black model is prone to be ‘peeled’ off and transposed onto the protective device skin.

LTE Modem

For the past few iPhone generations, Apple uses only Qualcomm modem. Apple however chooses to use LTE modems from Qualcomm and Intel for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. iPhone 7 models A1660 and A1661 have Qualcomm MDM9645M modem inside and supports GSM/CDMA/WCDMA/TD-SCDMA/LTE. Models A1778 and A1784 use Intel XMM7360 modem that is compatible with GSM/WCDMA/LTE.

A test performed by Cellular Insights suggests that iPhone equipped with Qualcomm modem “had a significant performance edge” over the one with an Intel model.

At -121dBm, the Intel variant performed more in line with its Qualcomm counterpart. Overall, the average performance delta between the two is in the 30% range in favor of the Qualcomm

In addition iPhone with Qualcomm modem is compatible with more carriers. In the US, you can find iPhone 7 with Qualcomm modem from Verizon and Sprint. But please do verify the model if you’re particular about getting the most carrier compatibility for your iPhone 7.

32GB Significantly Slower

According to testing done by GSMArena and Unbox Therapy, the writing speed of the memory is significantly slower on the 32GB iPhone compare to 128GB or 256GB models. It can be 8x up to 10x slower in the tests.

Generally a lower capacity memory will have a slower read and write speed, but NOT 8x or 10x slower.  This suggests there are some hardware design differences between the 32GB version from the rest, some software bug or Apple is simply using a slower memory to improve its margin.

So not all iPhone 7 are born equal.