Apple unveil the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
Apple unveiled its new flagship iPhone last night in a 2 hours keynote presentation in San Francisco. The iPhone 7 release date is set for Friday September 16 in 28 countries, including the US and UK, with iPhone 7 pre-orders opening a week earlier on Friday, September 9. The standard 7 prices are not too different from the 6s pricing.
- 32GB -£599
- 128GB -£699
- 256GB -£799
But what do you get for the major pounds you are putting up?
The iPhone7 is just as sleek as its predecessors, with the iconic rounded design returning for a third installment with the same 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm frame as the iPhone 6S. It's lighter though at 138g, down from 143g on the 6S. One of the big new talking points is its water and dust resistance, with IP67 protection bringing the new iPhone into line with the Samsung Galaxy S7. Anyone hoping for a flush rear to the new iPhone will be disappointed though, as the iPhone7 has a very noticeable camera bump. That camera bump is a little bit special though. It's molded from the aluminum frame of the phone and houses the antennas – removing the ugly bands of its predecessors on the black versions. On the other colors though, the bands are still noticeable at the top and bottom of the device.
There are two new colors as well, with the glass and aluminum Jet Black joined by the matte-finish Black option – the latter option also features a black Apple logo on its rear. You'll also get the choice of silver, gold and rose gold, but there's bad news for Space Gray fans: that option is no more.
Something else Apple has built into the design of the iPhone 7 is stereo speakers, with one at the top and one at the base of the handset. That gives you louder, clearer audio, which will be great for movies and gaming. Apple says the iPhone7 kicks out twice the volume of the 6S, as well as having an increased dynamic range.
Apple has removed the standard headphone jack – but it's not all bad news. You get a set of Lightning EarPods in the box, meaning you'll be able to plug in right away, while an adaptor is also included, so you can continue to use your current headphones if you wish. The AirPods also come with their own case, which houses its own battery providing up to 24 hours of playback, as it will charge the buds when they're sitting in it. Pairing the AirPods with the iPhone7 is easy: all you have to do is move the case near the phone and tap the on-screen prompt.
Apple has overhauled its camera tech for the iPhone7, bringing in a brand new 12MP sensor on the rear and upping the front-facing snapper from 5MP to a 7MP Facetime HD offering. The larger iPhone7 Plus comes with a dual-camera setup. The iPhone7 has a completely new camera system, and gains OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), something the iPhone 6S missed out on but which the 6S Plus boasted. The wide-aperture lens on the back lets in 50% more light, and it's 60% faster and 30% more energy efficient. There's a six-element lens and the two-tone flash now has four LEDs for 50% more light and a 50% further reach. It also features a flicker sensor for artificial light, for better picture results. Apple has also increased the camera's smarts behind the scenes, with the snapper adapting even better to the environment to automatically adjust settings for the best possible result.
Apple says the iPhone7 and iPhone7 Plus have the best battery life of any iPhone – and so they should. It reckons those upgrading from the iPhone 6S can expect, on average, an additional two hours from each charge.
Apple has stuck with the same screen size and resolution from the 6S for the iPhone7 - so at first glance there's not much to report. The 4.7-inch display sports a 1334x750 resolution, which in turns gives you a 326ppi pixel density. That served the 6S well, so you shouldn't worry about it on the iPhone7. However, crank up the brightness bar on the new iPhone and you're eyes will be in for a treat. Apple has upped the brightness of the display on the iPhone7, for an even brighter, bolder visual experience.
The iPhone7 has been groomed to launch alongside iOS 10, and it's a tremendous feature upgrade over iOS 9.3. It introduces a much smarter Siri that can command third-party apps, new Messaging functionality and a convenient Raise to Wake way of lighting up the phone. It doesn't stop with a software upgrade under the hood. iPhone 7 also gets a performance boost, with the phone packing a four-core, 64-bit Apple A10 Fusion chip. That's a big leap from just a dual-core processor in the iPhone 6S, with Apple saying the iPhone7 is 40% faster than its predecessor, and twice as fast as the iPhone 6.
It may not look like it, but Apple has redesigned its home button, making it more powerful than ever. It features the same pressure sensitive technology as the touchpad on the new MacBooks, as well as delivering taptic feedback.