I really hope Apple brings the dual-camera system to the iPhone 7, not just the iPhone 7 Plus

BY Evan Selleck

Published 2 Feb 2016


The iPhone 7 Plus might have a big advantage in the camera department when compared to the iPhone 7. But is that a good thing?

At some point this year, probably in September, Apple is going to announce new iPhones. Another safe bet is that Apple is going to launch an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus. Those two devices will have a lot in common, including colors, and probably a majority of their specifications. But, to me, it’s more about the differences this time around.

That’s not to say that there aren’t differences in, say, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, or the pair of devices that came before those. Apple made tweaks to iOS so that things show up differently on the larger iPhone 6s Plus, and then there’s the difference in the camera, which is probably a big deal for some folks out there.

Back when Apple introduced the 6 Plus, they did so with optical image stabilization. When it comes to cameras on smartphones, this is an understandable major bullet point. OIS is a great addition, and when Apple announced it for its iPhone back then, I got pretty excited. But then almost immediately bummed out when Apple confirmed the feature wouldn’t be making it down to the iPhone 6.

Imagine my surprise when the same thing happened with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

I expect, or perhaps it’s still just hope, that Apple is going to bring optical image stabilization to the iPhone 7 this year. But, I think that’s going to happen because it’s going to leave out another major camera feature with its upcoming flagships. This time around, I think it’s a much bigger deal.
If the rumors are true, then Apple is making a major shift in its camera technology for the iPhone 7 Plus, by introducing a dual-camera system. This is something that HTC has already done, and of course we’re going to hear all about that later this year if Apple does indeed feature this change, but I don’t think that’s all that important. Yes, it’s been done before — it’s a cool feature, and more companies should be adopting it.

(And they will.)

I’ve used the 6 Plus, and the 6s Plus, and I can honestly tell you that I’m not a fan. I’m not a huge fan of smartphones with big displays anyway, but when it comes to Apple’s phones I’m a much bigger fan of the smaller variant. I went out of my way to try those bigger phones, knowing full well that I’m not a fan of big displays, because I wanted OIS on my phone. But, eventually, the display size just wasn’t what I wanted, especially not for my daily driver, so I gave up OIS to go back to the iPhone 6s.

I really want that dual-camera system. Apple’s focus on photography in its smartphones has always been exceptional, and I think they’re going to do some great things with that feature. I liked it well enough on the HTC-branded One M8, but I legitimately think Apple can do it better. So when the rumors started cropping up that it was going to be a feature that was delegated only to the iPhone 7 Plus, well, I was bummed out all over again.

If Apple brings optical image stabilization to the iPhone 7, I feel like they’re doing it because they know they’re not bringing the dual-camera system to the device. A weird trade-off, of sorts. I don’t think Apple can’t figure out how to get that dual-camera system on the iPhone 7 just because it’s a smaller frame. HTC got its Duo Camera system in a phone with a 5-inch display — not much bigger, but they got it to work.

Apple can get it to work, too.

On top of that, I don’t think Apple has to make other features, especially one as big as this, to differentiate the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. They’re differentiated by their size, to start, and then by the subtle tweaks to the software to match the bigger screen. Throwing in something like a dual-camera system, which is an incredible feature, to make it stand out seems like borderline overkill.

I want that rumored dual-camera system — it’s honestly one of the features I want more than any of the other rumored elements, but I know that I’m not going to buy the larger handset just to get it. Or I might, and be unhappy unless I’m using the camera.

But what about you? If you prefer the smaller of the two devices, will you consider switching to the larger device to get the dual-camera system?