Apple is proud of the bold move of removing the audio jack. But in pretty much every other aspect they've seemingly taken the conservative route. On the outside, the new iPhone looks basically the same as the iPhone 6/6s.
This is Apple's first water-resistant handset, first quad-core processor, first pair of stereo speakers on a phone.
Once you wrap your head around the missing audio jack (it's not the end of it, you can get a designated adapter for your favorite headphones), the Apple iPhone 7 is a major upgrade. IP67-certified water-resistant body. Bigger and brighter camera with OIS. New FaceTime cam. Stereo speakers. Faster processor and 50% GPU performance increase, more RAM. New pressure-sensitive Home key powered by a new taptic engine. Revised storage options
Apple doubled the storage capacity on all three flavors, so it finally starts at 32GB, the other two being 128GB or 256GB. Unfortunately, fast or wireless charging still doesn't mean anything to Apple, which is a shame in 2016.
Unboxing the Apple iPhone 7
The Apple iPhone 7 comes in a very familiar box, which packs an A/C adapter, a Lightning cable, and a pair of EarPods ending on a Lightning plug.
There is also a Lighting to 3.5mm adapter so you can continue using your headset of choice. You can get extra adaptors from Apple if you like to have a designated adapter for each of your headphones.
It does not come with the wireless airpods in the box,wireless airpods come at an extra cost the iPhone7 is exactly the same size as the 6s. The new flagship managed to somehow lose 5g down to 138g.
Design and build quality
There are two other visible changes to the iPhone 7's unibody design: the camera hump is bigger but also more discreet and, of course, there is no audio jack.
iPhones has introduced a new color option, and the 7th is no exception. Apple has retired the Space Gray paint job in favor of two new Black options. Just Black is the new matte black flavor featuring the same grippy finish as its Space Gray predecessor, while the Jet Black is a true blast from the past.
The Jet Black iPhone 7's glossy finish looks amazing and evokes fond memories of the iPhone 3G and 3GS. It is only available for the 128 and 256 GB models, which suggests Apple considers it the premium color option.
Unfortunately, the Jet Black edition is highly scratch-prone and picks up fingerprints in no time. Even Apple admitted the Jet Black phones are not for everyone as their shiny looks are rather easily ruined by scratches unless protected by a case.
Handling the iPhone 7 is a pure pleasure - it's very thin and lightweight, while the 4.7" screen makes it one of the most compact flagships out there. Even though the iPhone 7 is rounded in shape, the matte finish provides a secure enough grip, while the waterproofing will take your worries away even if you do drop it in water. Quite expectedly, opting for the Jet Black one will require some extra care, but we must admit it looks even better than its matte counterparts.
At the bottom of the iPhone 7, there is the Lightning jack and two grilles. Teardowns have revealed that there is a mic behind both of these grilles, but one is joined by the phone's primary speaker, while the other sits next to a seemingly unused space inside the phone. Apple responded to that and claims it's a barometric vent, which is used to allow access to the ambient air for the barometer sensor in the otherwise water-tight body of the iPhone 7.A notable omission on the bottom is the 3.5mm audio jack but more on that later.The top of the iPhone 7, on the other hand, is perfectly clean. The left side of the iPhone 7 has the well-known mute switch and the two volume keys. The right one houses the power/lock key, and the nano-SIM ejectable slot. Finally, the back of the iPhone 7 shows the only visible change - the new antenna bands moved to the top and bottom. The camera lens is bigger and is less protruding and there is a new quad-LED true-tone flash around.
The small hole between the lens and the flash is the third microphone found on board the phone - most probably the one that is used for noise-cancellation during calls.
The front of the Apple iPhone 7 is familiar, though there are a few surprises beneath the surface. Above the screen is the earpiece, the new 7MP FaceTime camera and a bunch of sensors.
The earpiece now doubles as a speaker, part of the two speaker setup introduced with the iPhone 7. The second speaker is where it has always been - at the bottom under a nicely carved grille.
First, there is no longer a button. It's a flat round piece, which does not physically sink in when pressed. Instead, it's connected to Apple's updated Taptic Engine inside the phone. The iPhone 6s also had a Taptic engine but the module was much smaller.
Thanks to the taptic engine, the key is pressure sensitive and can differentiate between pressing and tapping.
The Taptic Engine works nice and creates a nice illusion of a real click. You can even configure the force of the feedback. It may take a few days to get used to the new clicks, but once you do, and trust us - you will, you'll hardly miss the old physical feedback.
Apple is hiding the real reasons for removing it. They didn't really need to get rid of it because they don't have an industry-wide standard to replace it with except... Bluetooth.
While the display may hide an improved panel, it still has the same specs in terms of size and resolution: a 4.7" unit with a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels (that's 326ppi). It's a LED-backlit IPS LCD screen with RGB matrix. It's also 3D Touch-enabled, a technology we first saw on the iPhone 6s.
The new Retina display is 25% brighter and conforms to an even wider color gamut (cinema-standard) though few users will notice a change. Those are the upgrades over the already excellent screen that the iPhone 6s had.
The blacks offered by the new Retina screen are deep and combined with the high brightness, the screen scores an excellent contrast ratio of 1225:1.
Apple offers the so-called Night Shift mode which adjusts the colors in your device's display to make sure that your eyes aren't exposed to the bright blue light after sunset. You can choose the exact start and end hours and your screen will be yellow-ish during that time.
In bright sunlight the iPhone 7 screen faired exceptionally well and remained legible all the time.
The iPhone 7 is equipped with a non-removable Li-Po 1960mAh battery, which is about 15% beefier than the one of the iPhone 6s. There is also the new energy-efficient Apple A10 Fusion chip, which combined with the new battery and optimized iOS 10, should offer a longer battery life than before.
The iPhone 7 also supports the latest Voice over LTE (VoLTE), HD Voice and Wi-Fi calling protocols, but those are carrier dependent features so not everyone will get to enjoy them.
The iPhone 7 uses a proprietary Lightning connector for wired data transfers, charging, and audio. There is limited USB Host support - you can attach some certified accessories or access your digital camera storage via proprietary adapters sold separately. You can pair a Bluetooth keyboard to the phone should you need this sort of peripheral.
Now that there is no 3.5mm audio jack on board the phone, you can use the provided Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter to continue using your favorite pair of wired headphones with the iPhone.
Or you can get Apple's new wireless AirPods. The most interesting thing about them from connectivity point of view is that they come with an extra chip Apple calls W1, which makes Bluetooth pairing much faster and easier.
It's a proprietary chip but we may see other certified MiFi Bluetooth headsets come with it down the road as well. We'll have to wait and see.
- Screen Size: 4.7 inches
- Screen Type: LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen
- iOS 10.0.1, A10
- 32GB Storage, 2GB RAM
- 12MP Camera, 7MP FaceTime HD
- 3D Touch, Fingerprint sensor (Touch ID)
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