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The iPhone 7 is here. But whether you actually need an upgrade is an incredibly important question.

If you’re a regular subscriber to The Good Shopping Guide, you’re probably already aware of the serious issues concerning sustainability, ethics and consumerism in relation to annual or biennial upgrade cycles. Planned absolence and technology’s life cycle are some of the things coming into direct focus the more environmental and ethical consideration grip the mainstream.

But putting all of that aside for the moment, how does the iPhone 7 compare to the iPhone 6? Generally the census suggests it’s an upgrade, but barely better or even necessary when compared to the iPhone 6. Victoria Woollaston wrote in Wired Mag that, “if you’re an iPhone 6S owner, there aren’t any features that should warrant an immediate upgrade”.

Poor battery life, similar look, lack of a headphone jack and price are a few shared criticisms as also expressed in The Guardian’s review and also that in Digital Trends.

In terms of an in-depth breakdown, CNET has given the latest iteration of the iPhone a 4.5 out of 5. Improved front and rear cameras, water resistance, a faster processor and increased onboard storage are cited as “the good”. CNET also references a slightly better battery, but as a whole many other notable reviews have gone the opposite direction on this issue.

So what’s the bottom line? We read in CNET: “The iPhone 7’s notable camera, battery and water resistance improvements are worthwhile upgrades to a familiar phone design. But ask yourself if you really need an upgrade… and if the Plus might be a better choice”.

Additionally, while the average product review score (taken from The Guardian, CNET, Wired and Digital Trends) gives a modest rating of 77.5, how does Apple’s iPhone 7 rank and compare for ethics? Perhaps this will make and break your decision.

Currently, the Apple iPhone sits second from the bottom for overall ethics in The Good Shopping Guide’s latest ethical comparison rankings. With a terrible Ethical Company Index of 48, there are certainly far more ethical brands out there. And in today’s day and age, questions regarding responsible supply chain should be a primary consideration when purchasing any product!

What this means is that you should really ask yourself: first, ‘do I need an upgrade?’ And second, given the complaints toward the iPhone 7, and its horrible ethical ranking, ‘is there not a better alternative?’

* To obtain a census view of and average product score for the iPhone 7, we assessed a spread of several popular and authoritative productive reviews published in WiredCNETDigital TrendsThe GuardianThe TelegraphtechradarIBTimesPC AdvisorT3, and Trusted Reviews.

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