Apple today unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus at its ‘See You on 7th event.’ The new iPhones from the company are more of an ‘S’ upgrade than what their naming scheme and previous upgrade schedule from Apple suggests.
Design and Stereo Speakers
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come with the same design as the iPhone 6/6s, except that it comes with a cleaner looking back with repositioned antenna lines. The antenna lines have been moved to the top and bottom edges of the rear shell that not only helps in giving the rear of the phone a cleaner look but also helps in improving the modem’s performance due to less interference.
Another minor design change in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus include the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack from the bottom of the handset. It is now replaced with a secondary speaker grille at the bottom. While the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come with stereo speakers, the second speaker is actually located at the top of the phone. It is louder and features more dynamic range making them better than the speaker on the iPhone 6s in every way.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus also feature larger camera cut-outs at their rear, with the larger iPhone featuring dual 12MP sensor for some added features and enhancements to its imaging capabilities.
To make up for largely the same design, Apple will be offering the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in two new colors: Jet Black and Black. The former comes with a high gloss finish and a stainless steel Apple logo. The latter color is essentially your normal black color.
The new iPhones are also dust and water resistant with an IP67 certification.
Capacitive Home Button
The new iPhones also feature a capacitive home button with a new generation Taptic Engine. The taptic engine now provides feedback depending on the task you are doing and how you press down on the button.
New Retina HD Display
Both iPhones continue to feature a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch 3D Touch Retina HD display with the same resolution as their predecessors. The display is now 25% brighter and features wider color gamut. It also features color management so that you can tweak the colors of the display according to your liking.
A10 Fusion and RAM
The new iPhones are powered by Apple’s A10 Fusion chip. The quad-core chip features two high-performance chip that are up to 40% faster than Apple’s A9 chip. The other two cores are low power in nature and are geared towards power efficiency. To manage the workload between the high and low performance cores, Apple has designed a custom performance controller. The GPU is now also 50% faster than what is found on the A9 chip inside the iPhone 6s and up to 3x faster than the A8 chip inside the iPhone, all the while being 2/3rd more power efficient than its predecessor.
While the iPhone 7 continues to come with 2GB RAM, the iPhone 7 Plus features 3GB RAM. The additional gig of RAM will help the larger iPhone in quickly processing photos taken from its dual-12MP rear shooter.
Apple is giving the cameras on the new iPhones a major upgrade. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come with a primary 12MP shooter at their rear with a f/1.8 aperture 6-element and OIS. The larger camera sensor also features slightly bigger 1.3u pixels (vs. 1.22u on the iPhone 6s) that should further help improve low-light performance. There is also a Quad-LED True Tone flash that is now paired with a flicker sensor. It is now up to 50% brighter as well.
The iPhone 7 Plus sets itself apart from its smaller brother by having a secondary 12MP 56mm telephoto sensor at its rear. The telephoto sensor allows the iPhone 7 Plus to offer 2x optical zoom. While there are quite a few other Android smartphones in the market that come with a dual camera setup at the rear, none of them offer 2x optical zoom like the iPhone 7 Plus. In addition, the handset also offers up to 10x optical zoom.
The iPhone 7 Plus also features a new ‘Portrait’ mode in the camera that offers DSLR-like bokeh effect. The feature will not be available immediately to the iPhone 7 Plus though. Apple will add this feature to the phone with an update later this year.
The upgraded camera hardware is paired with a new ISP from Apple that is able to capture multiple images in only 25ms and merge them to output a single superior photo. Live Photos on iPhone 7 are also getting better as they will now make use of OIS. Apple is also making Live Photos API available to developers so that they can use it in their apps.
The front FaceTime HD camera has been upgraded to 7MP with features like deep trench isolation to reduce noise in your selfies.
Lightning EarPods and AirPods
Since the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus do not come with a 3.5mm jack, Apple is bundling lightning EarPods with the device.
Apple also launched wireless earphones called AirPods. Featuring the company’s custom design W1 chip, the AirPods offer up to five hours of battery life on a single charge. They also come with an IR blaster to automatically detect when they not being used to stop music playback.
Improved Battery Life
Apple has improved the battery life on the latest iPhones. It notes that the iPhone 7 offers up to 2 hours longer battery life when coming from the iPhone 6s, while the iPhone 7 Plus offers up to an hour longer battery life compared to the iPhone 6s Plus.
Apple is doubling the storage it offers on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus across the board. This means that the base variant of the new iPhones come with 32GB of storage, while the 64GB and 128GB storage variants are now replaced with 128GB and 256GB variants.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will go on pre-orders from September 9th (i.e. this Friday) in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, and a few other countries. The handsets will be hitting the retail stores on September September 16th.