'The iPhone 7 Plus: is it a phone worth the cost?' is probably the question on your lips - and the answer is yes. In fact it's excellent, but there are a few caveats.

People will be quick to point out that not a lot has changed over the iPhone 6S Plus, and they'd be right. Apart from the waterproof body, extra power under the hood, dual cameras and questionable removal of the headphone jack, the two handsets are rather similar, especially visually.

There's not really any big innovation to speak of – although the Cupertino firm may point to the new camera engine and force touch home key - so the 7 Plus is another incremental upgrade, a bag of refinements making it two in a row from Apple since it introduced its first phablet in the iPhone 6 Plus.

While it may have not re-written the mobile landscape with the 7 Plus, Apple has taken the weaker parts of the 6S Plus and enhanced them on its new phone. The camera now feels supercharged over its predecessor, producing even better shots on a regular basis with minimum effort.

iPhone 7 Plus review

Battery life is improved, although not by much, and the waterproof design provides you with extra peace of mind that your expensive new smartphone will be able to survive a slip into the bath - whether that matters to you depends on how careless you are with your handset.

The price is high, especially if you're considering shelling out for the 256GB model, but the entry level 32GB iPhone 7 Plus is cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – so it's not as if Apple is going above and beyond all competitors.

The other potential sticking point is the lack of a headphone jack. The internet has been rife with opinion for and against the move Apple calls "courageous" – and it will be a matter of personal opinion as to which side of the fence you fall on. Bundled Lightning connected EarPods and a 3.5mm port adaptor soften the blow, but for some this will annoy.

iPhone 7 Plus review

Who's it for?

The iPhone 7 Plus is certainly the better of the two new iPhones. It has a bigger battery, dual cameras and more RAM under the hood, providing excellent performance and if your decision is based on specs alone you won't be disappointed with the iPhone 7 Plus.

The camera is a serious leap forward from previous iPhones, and with its easy-to-use interface it's perfect for those wanting a dependable yet simple snapper in their pocket which can perform well in pretty much any scenario.

Add to that the water resistance body and you've finally feel like you have an iPhone which can survive the little mishaps life throws at you, which is good news for the more active.

The large screen, enhanced performance and new dual speakers also make the iPhone 7 Plus great for those who like to game or Netflix on the go without the hindrance of headphones.

While this may be the better phone on paper, the iPhone 7 is the one which will likely appeal to a wider demographic with its more manageable form factor and lower price tag.

iPhone 7 Plus review

Should I buy it?

Apple has given the iPhone 7 Plus enough new features for it to be seen as the next generation iPhone, but it's a close run thing. If you currently have an iPhone 6S or 6S Plus you'll be much better off waiting for the iPhone 7S/iPhone 8 in 2017.

For those nearing the end of their two year iPhone 6/6 Plus (or Android flagship) contracts though the iPhone 7 Plus is a much more enticing proposition, and you'll appreciate the upgrades and performance boost much more.

There is a case to be made for saving yourself some money without losing loads of features and picking up the iPhone 6S Plus instead, but the upgrades on the iPhone 7 Plus - especially the dual camera - make it a much more impressive buy than the smaller iPhone 7, and when the upgrades come to the camera software a real worthwhile upgrade.

The iPhone 7 Plus isn't the only handset around, so before you splash the cash on Apple's latest big-screened smartphone check out some of its key rivals below.

iPhone 6S Plus

The true adversary of the iPhone 7 Plus is its predecessor: the iPhone 6S Plus. Is the new one that much better than last year's model? Yes, yes it is.

Starting with the biggest feature changes, the iPhone 7 Plus is water-resistant – a never-before-seen claim on an Apple smartphone. 

Next up, it's more powerful. Apple's latest runs circles around the previous iteration, thanks to its bolstered 3GB RAM and a move from two cores to four here.

Of course, it lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, but that aside, it makes up for it with an added speaker and an increased baseline of flash storage. In some respects, you're getting more for less.

iPhone 7

As usual, the iPhone 7 Plus has a smaller sibling. However, there's more than just size separating the iPhone 7 from the larger Plus.

Running down the feature list, the phones are nearly identical – down to the dual-speaker setup, Taptic-powered Home button, and the jump from two to four cores in their respective processors.

However, they do differ in ways that might impact your purchase decision. Most noticeably, the iPhone 7 lacks the dual-camera setup found on the iPhone 7 Plus that powers the bokeh-injected Portrait mode. If you haven't seen it, it looks awesome.

Next, the smaller iPhone 7 houses 2GB RAM compared to the 3GB RAM you'll find in the iPhone 7 Plus. Not a huge deal for most, but power users will need the speed to make this purchase last for the year (or years) to come.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Is Samsung's latest curvy phone still the best smartphone in the world? That depends who you ask. You don't need us to tell you that the worlds of Android and iOS are quite different.

But, their differences aside, these two phones are more similar than you'd first think. Both rock a 5.5-inch display, though Samsung's is an industry-leading QHD Super AMOLED display.

The iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge are nearly equal when it comes to camera potential and general performance. Each can power the most demanding apps and games of today and tomorrow without breaking a sweat. 

Where the S7 Edge pulls ahead is with its IP68-rating, which means it's totally dust and waterproof. Additionally, microSD support means that storage just isn't something you ever need to worry about.

But if those features don't matter to you, and if iOS 10 is your preferred platform, the iPhone 7 Plus will suit you better.

Google Pixel XL

Here's another competitor: the Google Pixel XL. It runs on Android, like the S7 Edge, but features a cleaner interface by way of Android Nougat and boasts more powerful specifications than most phones out there today.

Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the Google Pixel XL offers a 5.5-inch display and some might think that the two phones look quite similar from a distance. But get a little closer and you'll notice a lot of differences.

Firstly, the Pixel XL's fingerprint sensor is on the back of the device. And, it utilizes USB-C to charge instead of Lightning, the Apple standard.

On the inside, the Pixel XL features the new Snapdragon 821 and 4GB RAM, which helps to power Daydream, Google's ambitious take on mobile virtual reality.

The iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL are similar in price and, visually, bring a lot to the table for design aficionados. 

Your decision will likely come down to your allegiance to iOS or Android. Consider that these phones are currently the most powerful available on each side of the fence. You'll find certain OS-level exclusive features, but none that invalidate the value of the other. Each phone is a win.

Coming soon: Samsung Galaxy S8

A bigger screen, a higher resolution, a smaller form factor and a larger price tag. The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a lot got for it, and when it hits stores at the end of April it'll give Apple something to really think about.

You'll have to pay for the privilege with the Galaxy S8 costing more than the entry-level iPhone 7 Plus, and that's before we mention the bigger, even pricier Galaxy S8 Plus.

If you're already firmly camped on the iPhone side of the fence then you're unlikely to be too fussed about Samsung's latest offering, but if you're considering a switch you may want to hold out for our full S8 review.