Is it Still Worth Buying a Used iPhone 7?

Updated on June 28, 2023

Updated Feb 24, 2023 - We took another look at a used iPhone 7 today to see if it's worth buying for all you deal-seekers. While this iPhone no longer receives software updates from Apple, find out why it might still be a good phone for you in 2023.

iPhone 7 design and feel

When you pick up an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, you’ll notice it still feels fresh, sleek, and clean. It isn’t the newest Apple design anymore, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still feel insanely modern and nice. This is also the last iPhones to have a full metal body, so it feels different from newer iPhones that usually have a glass back. Aside from material, you'll probably be surprised by the iPhone 7's size and weight. Newer iPhone models have been made to have bigger, dazzling screens and larger batteries, but the iPhone 7 had just a 4.7-inch screen and weighed only 4.87 ounces despite having the heavier metal material.

There are different colors available—as with any iPhone—so you can pick one that best complements your personality. Many people are fans of the all-black versions, but my personal favorite is the (PRODUCT)RED edition, which was made in partnership with the (RED) organization which provides AIDs relief to Africa. Not only does this version of the phone have an incredible cause behind it, but it also looks awesome :D

iPhone 7 camera quality

Since we're 6 generations removed from the iPhone 7's camera technology, we don’t think it’s necessarily fair to compare it to phones like the iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Note10—both of which have night modes and multiple lenses. But the iPhone 7 still has a perfectly capable camera if you're just looking to take a few simple photos that aren't going to win you any awards. You’re obviously not going to be taking any pro-grade pics with this and if you're doing a side by side photo comparison with later iPhone generations, you're going to find more sharpness, color capture, detail and lighting on the latter.

That said, since this is an iPhone, it will take good pictures—all iPhones do. Android phones, alternatively, are a little trickier to compare camera quality because every manufacturer has a slightly different color palette—some Android manufacturers like Samsung are known for saturated colors, while others reproduce dull colors that make certain scenes look super stale. But thankfully, photography is something Apple has always done consistently. Colors have always looked true-to-life—as they should—considering how much capital Apple has invested into their camera software. So, if you buy a used iPhone 7, don’t expect its camera to be comparable to newer iPhone cameras, especially in dark environments. It won’t have as many neat tricks up its sleeve, either, but if you’re shooting in a well-lit environment, expect pictures to look great with those true-to-life Apple photo colors we have all come to love and respect.

Reading tip: We wrote a lot of buying guides about iPhones, so if you want to know about the best used iPhones or read an iPhone XR vs. XS comparison, we got you covered :)

iPhone 7 battery life

Similar to camera quality, you shouldn't expect the iPhone 7 to beat any recent iPhone models in battery capacity. And this is true, but it isn’t necessarily because batteries have gotten better. Newer iPhones will have on average better battery life simply because most of them are bigger. The iPhone XR can get almost 2 full days on a charge, but the phone itself is much thicker, with a display size one and a half inches bigger than the iPhone 7.

Size can be a dealbreaker for many iPhone users: some prefer smaller phones and for others anything under 5.7" won't cut it. But keep in mind that the smaller iPhones usually come with a smaller battery size. Ever since the inception of the iPhone, people have become accustomed to charging their device at the end of each day, so most people don’t really need an iPhone with more than a day’s worth of battery life—and the used iPhone 7 should have no problem lasting you a full day. If you want more battery life, the iPhone 7 Plus can probably get you through two full days if you’re a light user.

All used iPhones on Back Market come with at least 85% of their original battery capacity. If you prefer to start with a fresh new battery, you can also shop for iPhones with new batteries.

iPhone 7 screen resolution & quality

This is another area that if you compare the iPhone 7 to newer iPhones, you really won’t see a difference in terms of quality. The smaller iPhone 7 display will still allow you to enjoy quality picture even with less pixel resolution. But more recent iPhone models have much higher resolution screens, meaning screen and picture quality will stay more consistent in different sizes and zooming environments. You'll also have higher nit brightness capabilities on newer models, so the iPhone 7 might be harder to see when the sun is shining on the screen.

At the end of the day, Apple has upgraded iPhone screens through several generations, providing a much more vibrant, clear, and smooth display to their users. You won’t notice individual pixels, but you might notice slightly better color contrast in the newer OLED screen technology. If you don't value high screen quality in your phone, then you're likely going to be just as happy with your iPhone 7 than with any later models.

Verdict: should you buy an iPhone 7?

We won't sugar coat it, the iPhone 7 leaves a lot to be desired if you're comparing it to recent models like the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13 or iPhone 14. If you're looking to spend the least amount on an iPhone, and you're a fairly minimal smartphone user, then the iPhone 7 is no doubt a great option you can find for under $100. On the other hand, if you're a heavy app user, share content frequently on social media or love to game, then you're better off looking for a more recent smartphone.

However, one of the biggest factors you need to consider is that the iPhone 7 no longer supports iOS updates as of the end of 2022. So some of the apps might be missing features or might not be supported at all in the future. If that's a dealbreaker for you, then you can still save big on a slight better iPhone with the iPhone 8, which is still expected to receive the latest software updates through the end of 2023.

Similar iPhones you may want to buy

Not sure if you want to get an iPhone 7? If that's the case, here are some comparisons of the iPhone 7 versus other similar iPhone models.

You can also use Back Market's phone comparison tool to compare any smartphone model that you might be interested in.

Frequently asked questions about the iPhone 7

1. Is the iPhone 7 out of date?

The iPhone 7 was released in September 2016, so at this point it's over 6 years old, meaning Apple will no longer support this series with software updates. The latest iOS update that the iPhone 7 received was the iOS 15.7 security update released on Oct 31, 2022. The iPhone 7 will not receive the most recent iOS 16 update.

2. Will the iPhone 7 still work in 2023?

Even though the iPhone 7 is no longer supported by Apple's iOS updates, that doesn't mean you still can't use it in 2023. The iPhone 7 will still work on different carrier networks in the US and you'll still have access to apps on the Apple Store. However, without the updated software updates, the apps on the iPhone 7 might be missing some features or might not work at all in the future.

3. How much is the iPhone 7?

As of the beginning of 2023, you can find a refurbished iPhone 7 on marketplaces like Back Market starting at around $65. That's about 85% off compared to its original starting price at $449 in 2016.

Is the iPhone 7 out of date?

The iPhone 7 was released in September 2016, so at this point it's over 6 years old, meaning Apple will no longer support this series with software updates. The latest iOS update that the iPhone 7 received was the iOS 15.7 security update released on Oct 31, 2022. The iPhone 7 will not receive the most recent iOS 16 update.

2. Will the iPhone 7 still work in 2023?

Even though the iPhone 7 is no longer supported by Apple's iOS updates, that doesn't mean you still can't use it in 2023. The iPhone 7 will still work on different carrier networks in the US and you'll still have access to apps on the Apple Store. However, without the updated software updates, the apps on the iPhone 7 might be missing some features or might not work at all in the future.

How much is the iPhone 7?

As of the beginning of 2023, you can find a refurbished iPhone 7 on marketplaces like Back Market starting at around $65. That's about 85% off compared to its original starting price at $449 in 2016.

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Written by Blanca Marín

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