Tempted by the New iPhone? 7 Points to Ponder Before You Pay Hundreds

Does the latest Apple offering have new features that justify the upgrade? Here’s how to decide if it’s worth it for you, and — if it is — ways to offset the cost.

Could it really be time for a new iPhone?

Just a year after it revealed the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple is expected to unveil its latest incarnation Wednesday: the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, along with a slew of new products including Apple TV upgrades, tech industry analysts say.

The hype around Apple products is enough to exert a pull like few other brands. In the nine months ending June 2015, Apple reported in its most recent quarterly earnings statement, it sold 183 million iPhones.

Maybe you bought one; maybe you clung to an older model and you’re ready for a big change; or maybe you’re an Android or Windows phone fan. But before you are sucked into the Apple vortex, stop and think.

Deciding whether to plunk down hundreds of dollars for the latest iPhone starts with what is important to you, says Money Talks News tech expert Dan Schointuch.

“Unless they’ve already identified some specific feature that they know they want, or their current 6 or 6 Plus is broken and not covered under warranty, then most people will probably be just as happy with the 6 as they would be with the 6S,” he said. The change from an iPhone 5 or 5S would be more substantial.

Still, if there is a feature that appeals to you, “it may be worth buying on that basis,” Schointuch said. For him, that feature is the camera, one of seven points to consider about whether the new iPhone will be right for you.

1. How important is the camera to you?

As earlier reported by Money Talks News, the new iPhone is expected to feature a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, which allows users to take higher-resolution photos than the 6’s 8-megapixel camera.

It’s also expected to have enhanced 4K video, about four times higher resolution than the 1080p in current phones.

For MTN’s Schointuch, the camera specs are important.

“I tend to upgrade my phone each year for the camera improvements,” he said. “My feeling is that 10 years from now, when I can’t even remember what made the 6S different from the 6, I’ll still have all of the pictures I took with my phones, and I’d like those pictures to be as good as was possible at the time.”

Also, big for selfie shooters, the front-facing camera will go to 5 megapixels and a flash, up from 1.2 megapixels and no flash, tech-watcher 9to5mac.com said. Software modes will allow for slow-motion video capture and panoramas, it said.

2. How much speed and battery life do you need?

Apple’s A9 chip coming inside the 6S and 6S Plus will pack thousands more transistors than the A8 chip in the 6 and 6 Plus. That means, says 9to5Mac, greater performance and more energy efficiency in a chip about the same size as the A8. It also will come with 2 GB RAM, instead of 1 GB. To you, it means the phone should handle the higher resolution photos and videos as well as improved game graphics with ease and without running down the battery faster.

Apple will continue to offer 16GB, 64GB and 128GB capacity phones, but the smallest will fill up pretty quickly if you keep a lot of 4K videos on it.

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