iPhone 7, “The Best iPhone Ever”, But Is It?
The new iPhone 7 isn’t exactly a surprise, thanks to the number of leaked specs and images over the past few months, but is it worth the upgrade?
Published: Thursday, September 8th 2016
Apple has finally taken the wraps off its latest and greatest, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are now officially here.
Both handsets follow the same design language of their predecessors. The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. So why would you even consider getting the 7 or 7 Plus?
What's Changed With The iPhone 7?
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus look very similar to their predecessors of the past two years. Available in the now standard silver, gold and rose gold finishes. Apple has also introduced two all-new black finishes, a beautiful black finish that has an anodised matte appearance, and a jet black finish with a deep, high-gloss look.
That's not the best part though, Apple has finally pulled a Samsung (and a Sony) and re-engineered the enclosure. This means that you finally have a water-resistant iPhone offering protection like never before against spills, splashes and dust.
The new iPhone features the brightest, most colourful Retina® HD display ever in an iPhone. Now with a wide colour gamut for cinema-standard colours, greater colour saturation and the best colour management in the smartphone industry.
An all-new, advanced, solid-state home button on the iPhone 7 is designed to be durable and responsive. The button works in tandem with the new Taptic Engine®, and provides more precise and customisable tactile feedback. Basically, this means that the home button isn't a physical button anymore, but is more like the Force Touch trackpad on the 12-inch MacBook.
New Advanced Camera Systems
Smartphone photography has improved in leaps and bounds over the past few years, largely thanks to the iPhone's great camera.
Lately though, Android handsets have taken over the mantle of the best smartphone cameras. Even including dual-rear facing cameras, something Apple has not done until now.
iPhone 7 Plus features the same 12-megapixel wide angle camera as iPhone 7 and adds a 12-megapixel telephoto camera. Together, these offer an optical zoom two to ten times the digital zoom for photos.
The 12-megapixel camera - found in both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus - includes optical image stabilisation and a larger ƒ/1.8 aperture and 6-element lens brighter enabler. Also, more detailed photos and videos, and a wide colour capture allows for a more vibrant finish.
Coming later this year, the dual 12-megapixel cameras will enable a new depth-of-field effect and will use both cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus to capture images.
There are also certain enhancements, such as Machine Learning, which separate the background from the foreground to achieve amazing portraits. This was once only possible with DSLR cameras and certain Android handsets (Huawei P9 and Hasselblad MotoMod we're looking at you).
Additional Camera Advancements Include:
- New Apple-designed Image Signal Processor, which processes over 100 billion operations on a single photo in as little as 25 milliseconds, resulting in incredible photos and videos;
- New 7-megapixel FaceTime® HD camera with wide colour capture, advanced pixel technology and auto image stabilisation for even better selfies; and
- New Quad-LED True Tone® flash that is 50 percent brighter than iPhone 6s including an innovative sensor that detects the flickering in lights and compensates for it in videos and photos.
More Performance & Battery Life
The single biggest complaint of any iPhone user is the battery life.
Apple claims to have solved this with their new custom-designed Apple A10 Fusion chip. The A10 Fusion’s CPU now has four cores. Two high-performance cores (two times faster than iPhone 6), and two high-efficiency cores that are capable of running at a fifth of the power of the high-performance cores.
Graphics performance has also improved. Now running up to three times faster than the iPhone 6 at as little as half the power. With a longer lasting battery, a new level of gaming and professional apps is now in reach.
Stereo Speakers, No Jack, EarPods and AirPods
Tired of the tinny sound from your iPhone when playing music out loud? The new iPhone 7 has stereo speakers which Apple says, "offer amazing and immersive sound that is two times louder than iPhone 6s. This provides an increased dynamic range of sound and a higher quality speakerphone".
How could they fit in two speakers though? Surely something had to go ... oh, right. Yup, you guessed it, bye bye 3.5mm headphone jack.
The new iPhone 7 comes with EarPods, connected to a lightning connector. This means it will use the same port used for charging or for transferring files from your iPhone to your Mac.
Apple has, however, included a 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter. This feature allows you to use what the company calls "old" headphones and accessories.
If wired headphones aren't your thing, then Apple has also announced their wireless in-ear earphones, the AirPods.
"AirPods are the first headphones to deliver a breakthrough wireless audio experience. With the new Apple W1 chip, they deliver innovative features including high quality sound, great battery life and automatic setup.” - Phillip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Apple Worldwide Marketing.
Schiller adds that AirPods are simple to use, with no switches or buttons. They automatically connect to all your Apple devices and let you access Siri with just a double tap.
Let's get this out of the way, they look just like EarPods with the cable lopped off, that's it. No major redesign and that's the problem. EarPods can be slippery buggers, especially when working out. If a wired pair of earphones can fall out that easily, then what will happen to wireless ones with the same slippery design?
Overall, the iPhone 7 is not a major change in design but does pave the way for 2017's 10-year anniversary iPhone which is expected to be the major design overhaul we're all so desperately waiting for.
So, Is It Worth The Upgrade?
If you've got an iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, then the biggest difference would be the waterproofing and the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack. Let's be honest, most of us would rather have a device which does have a proper headphone jack, so really, the only thing you're missing out on is the waterproofing.
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