The New iPhone 7 Review
iPhone 7 Review Hands – On
The brand new iPhone 7 has been unveiled and is set for release on September. 16 2016. The device is not all that different in terms of external design from last years iPhone 6 and many leaks and rumors online have predicted most of the features that were announced. Nonetheless, the iPhone 7 is still a powerful new addition to Apples 2016 portfolio of smartphones which boasts stronger battery life performance, improved CPU / GPU tasks, a more refined user experience with the OS and apps ecosystem, 2 new sexy shades of black, and many other interesting upgrades to the new iPhone 7.
Here are the quick pros and cons of the phone.
(Please note: The review is an early review and opinions, perspectives, and experiences may change over time as Apple releases updates.)
- Powerful stereo output
- Optical zoom on the camera system
- Wider aperture of f1.8 now available
- Powerful A10 Fusion chip processor
- Somewhat water-resistant
- Great Apple ecosystem improved
- Design language not new
- Apple still playing catch up with hardware features
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
Apple has replaced the Space Grey variants with two different shades of black. We like it. There is the matte black and the glossy Jet Black options to choose from now. The Jet Black will be available for 128GB and 256GB versions of the iPhone now. This ensures that customers who go for the Jet Black know they are owning the best version of the iPhone possible.
Apple has decided to redesign the clicky home button which we all have come to love by making it non-clicky. Apparently, Haptic Feedback is the name of the game. Force Touch is a big feature Apple is selling (or 3D touch) which responds to the amount of pressure you apply with your finger. The home button on the iPhone 7 is a solid button along with the rest of the phone now which vibrates when touched. Apple figures that the vibration motor will give it the same feel as pressing into a clickable home button. Within the settings there is an option to increase the Haptic strength all the way to its maximum to bring back that deep click sensation as well though this will not be the same and we figure it uses an unnecessary amount of power. However, this can be a smart thing for Apple to do, we view this as a bit of psychological conditioning on all Apple iPhone 7 users to get used to the feel and function of the 3D Touch language. The power button on the right side, along with the volume keys (as well as the silence switch) are the same this year.
The phones dimensions are very similar to the iPhone 6. However, on paper the iPhone 7 is found to be slightly lighter than the iphone 6s. The iPhone 7 measures 6.63 ounces.
The lightning port remains on the bottom of the device as expected.
Goodbye head phone jack
The 3.5mm jack which we are all used to for many years now is no where to be seen! As purported by many leaks and rumors the truth has come forth. Apple decided to drop the 3.5mm port in favor of higher audio quality through the lightning charging port. Though users lose the ability to charge and listen at the same time in a traditional way (separate cables) Apple is introducing a 3rd accessory into the mix by forcing users to purchase an adapter to plug into the lightning port to allow listening to music while charging. How much this will affect users is quite unsure, but from initial responses many are not happy about this. We are sure, like many of Apples past decisions on dropping widely used technological features (ie. floppy disks) consumers would complain for a short while until readjusting to the situation. This may have triggered a change in audio design into the future and the life of our beloved 3.5mm head phone jack is coming closer to an end.
Display and Processor
Apple is still behind on the display but they do have their own merits. Though Android devices such as the Galaxy line up boasts Quad HD displays the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will not have that. The screen resolution and pixel density remain the same so the same specs of a 4.7 inch display (1334 x 750) Retina HD panel (325 ppi) is for the 7 while the 5.5 inch (1920×1080) Retina display (401 ppi) remains on the 7 Plus. The improvement Apple added in this year is the 25 percent increase in screen brightness, and a wider color gamut. The iPhone 6 and 6s Plus always had awesome color reproduction to begin with (despite not having Quad HD technology boasting other color protocols such as the Super AMOLED). Therefore, compared to last years offerings of iPhones we wont be seeing a huge visible improvement.
However, the processing power will be vastly improved compared to last years models. The new A10 Fusion processor cores are beastly. They are rated to be 50% faster than the A9 chips in the 6S/6S Plus models. This should be even more true when it comes to graphical performance. Apple claims that the GPU on board should be able to run “console-level gaming”. We will see what future tests holds in terms of this bold claim. We are confident that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is a significant upgrade in Cpu/Gpu prowess.
The camera in the iPhone 7 line is what perked our interest. On paper the megapixel count did not change much featuring a 12-megapixel sensor on the back and a 7 megapixel on the front supporting HD facetime. The real world usage difference comes from Apple finally implementing a wider aperture of f1.8, pixel size and their own implementation of a faster, more streamlined, post-processing function. The optical image stabilization should also help when taking pictures (normally hand held) and the wider aperture of f1.8 gives allows a full stop of light onto the sensor. The most important feature is the new image signal processor which uses a machine learned process to take pick the best shots using tone mapping, noise reduction, wider color gamut and re adjustment in size. The 7-Plus will be the only model that sports a dual camera (one being a wider angle camera featuring an equivalent to a 24mm lens on a full-frame camera) and the other lens being an f2.8 telephoto lens. We will see how they perform further down the road. iPhone’s have always had great snappers so we are not worried about performance. More-so, the improved hardware should only improve on the already great iPhone camera.
The battery life is claimed to be improved on the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 is stated to last an hour longer than the 6S Plus. The A10 processor has a big role in that improvement, as Apple finally implemented the big.LITTLE design language the company worked on for a long time. Though the 2 stronger core paired with 2 lower powered cores (for battery saving) has existed on Android phones for a long time, this is a welcome improvement to the Apple ecosystem.
Overall, the iPhone 7 is a great option for anyone looking for a new device and for die-hard Apple fans. Two new colors of black should perk some interests as well as a much more robust camera should help with other decisions knowing that the iPhone 7 will be a strong contender in the smartphone camera battle. The new A10 fusion processing chip-set is a powerful feature that should make real world differences in daily tasks, applications and especially in the gaming community. The iPhone 7 is another great step for Apple as we walk further down the technological line of improvement as we blur more lines and break limitations.
iPhone 7 Hands on