We’ll have to wait until Friday to get our hands on Apple’s new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but while we’re waiting, we can check out all of the reviews that are starting to drop today. Here’s a roundup of the best ones we’ve read so far.
Walt Mossberg over at The Verge says he was impressed with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, but also “annoyed” and “impatient” all at the same time. He has good things to say about battery life, the new iSight cameras, displays, and performance.
However, Mossberg was also disappointed with the lack of headphone jack, and the fact that the iPhone 7 series looks almost identical to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s series at first glance.
The iPhone remains an outstanding smartphone, and this latest model makes it even better in many ways. And, unlike rival Samsung, Apple isn’t beset with the very serious problem of exploding batteries. But the whole audio jack thing makes choosing the iPhone 7 more difficult than it might have been.
You won’t go wrong buying the iPhone 7 if you can tolerate the earbud issue, especially if you’re on an installment plan like Apple’s that just gets you a new iPhone every year. You could get the iPhone 7 and then the big redesign next year, as long as you keep paying the monthly fee.
But, despite the undisputed improvements, this new iPhone just isn’t as compelling an upgrade as many of its predecessors. Some might want to wait a year for the next really big thing — and maybe a better audio solution to boot.
Steve Kovach for Business Insider also bemoans the lack of headphone jack on the iPhone 7 series, which he believes is going to take a lot of getting used to. He also criticizes “how little the design has changed.”
Nevertheless, he says it’s the best smartphone you can buy today — mostly thanks to iOS 10.
iOS 10, which comes with the iPhone 7 and launches on other iPhones this week, is the biggest update to the iPhone software I’ve seen in years. Notifications are better, widgets have richer information, and iMessage has been revamped from top to bottom to become its own mini social network.
None of the competitors have that advantage, and unless Android cleans itself up, the iPhone will always remain on top.
As for the iPhone 7, it’s the best phone you can buy. I don’t recommend upgrading if you have an iPhone 6s, but there are enough improvements here to make it a worthwhile upgrade for just about everyone else.
Reporting for TechCrunch, Matthew Panzarino reviewed the new Jet Black iPhone 7, which is prone to scratching easily — as Apple has warned. Panzarino gushes about the new iSight camera just like other reviewers, as well as performance.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the best iPhones ever. And they are probably the best portable cameras ever made. The combination of wide gamut capture with wide gamut P3 display means that you have quite literally never seen images like this from a smartphone camera before. And that’s not to mention the massive front camera upgrade. The phones are fast, capable and functional, with nice upgrades to speaker audio, water resistance and a more durable home button.
Nicole Nguyen of BuzzFeed praises the many improvements Apple has made with this year’s iPhone refresh, including the water-resistant designs and the new cameras. However, Nguyen also points out that the Jet Black model “scratches so easily.”
In many ways, the iPhone 7 feels like an “s” or an “in-between” device. The design of the phone is mostly unchanged. It’s the same 4.7-inch size for the 7 and 5.5-inch size for the 7 Plus. The home, mute, power, and volume buttons are exactly where you’d expect them to be. If not for the larger camera bulge, 6s cases would fit just fine.
But the truth is the killer feature — being able to check your emails in the SHOWER, for goodness’ sake — is completely hidden from plain sight. In fact, many of the iPhone’s innovations are all in the details, which, one might say, is very Apple indeed.
David Pogue of Yahoo thinks Apple is really pushing boundaries with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and that they’re the best a smartphone can be in 2016. He loves the new stereo speakers, the improved Retina HD displays, and the cameras.
By now, everyone recognizes that the annual cycle of adding an earth-shattering, life-changing feature to each new smartphone model is over. There’s nothing as big as an app store or Siri left to add.
So what’s left for manufacturers to add each year? Refinements. Better camera, better speed, better sound, better screen, better battery life, better software. Water resistance.
And that, in fact, is exactly what Apple has added to this year’s iPhone. Not just some of it—all of it. And within the bounds of physics and materials, that’s just about as far as a 2016 smartphone can go.
Reporting for The Wall Street Journal, Geoffrey A. Fowler says iPhone 7 isn’t the most advanced smartphone money can buy. However, he says the improvements Apple has made “actually matter,” and make the iPhone 7 an upgrade worth making.
Apple’s iPhone 7 actually lags behind Samsung: Its LCD has the same old thick border, while Samsung’s OLED screens go right to the edge. Those Samsung screens also cram in more than three times the pixels, making them amazing for looking at photos and text, and useful for new inventions like virtual reality.
Is it worth upgrading your two-year-old (or older) iPhone? Yes. Will many of us want to sell the 7 next year when Apple introduces Mr. Ive’s 10th-anniversary edition iPhone X Deluxe OLED in ceramic poppy red? For Apple’s sake, I hope so.
Engadget’s Chris Velazco also warns us about the Jet Black iPhone 7, and says it look less than 24 hours for his review unit to see scratches. With continued use, “those little nicks have only multiplied,” he adds.
Still, if you don’t mind that (or you choose another color option) and you’re not going to miss the headphone jack, the iPhone 7 is still a worthwhile upgrade.
If you can get over the all-too-familiar design and the no-headphone-jack thing, then the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are serious contenders for best smartphones, period. Note that I used the word “best,” not “most innovative” — neither of these devices is groundbreaking. We’ve seen many of these features (or features like them) pop up in rival phones already. That headphone jack thing aside, most of the choices made in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus feel like safe ones. There’s nothing wrong with that, but no matter how good the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are (answer: very, very good), Apple already has us all wondering what next year’s iPhone is going to be like.
So, there you have it; iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus may not be the biggest upgrades we’ve seen to iPhone, but they’re both spectacular smartphones that are well worth your hard-earned cash. Have you ordered yours yet?