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Apple seem to have been resting on their laurels as of late, with iPhones becoming ever more similar, but the iPhone 7 is set to break that trend. With top end Androids nipping at their heels, Apple needed to do something special with the newest iPhone release, and they haven’t disappointed. Controversial as it may be, the reliance on a lightening port rather than a headphone jack certainly makes the iPhone 7 different from the rest.
Why should you invest in the 7? Obviously it gets great performance and speeds, and there’s beautiful minimalistic styling too. But then there’s great cameras, awesome stereo sound, and it’s water resistant too. If you’re in the market for top of the line devices, then the iPhone 7 is definitely worthy of consideration.
From first glance it might be tough to differentiate the iPhone 7 from the older 6 models. It’s got the same slim lines, thin profile, smooth curves. However the camera bump is more pronounced here, and the physical home button is now haptic (meaning it vibrates rather than clicking when pressed). With full metal and glass unibody build, the iPhone 7 is lightweight and yet still feels firm and premium in the hand.
Looks aside, you’re getting some nice internals, with most major components getting upgrades over the 6 models. Speeds are better with the new chip set on board, and cameras have had little tweaks to improve your user experience. Then there’s water resistance and stereo speakers as well.
The iPhone 7 is going to set you back a pretty penny, but it is a top of the line flagship device, and you do get what you pay for. If you’re an iOS fan (and maybe even if you’re not), then the iPhone 7 is sure to please.
As a rule Apple don’t release exact processor specs, but the iPhone 7 appears to have quad core processing power as well as the new Apple A10 Fusion chip set. RAM is 2 GB, which is more or less what we’d expect to see, and the combination of all these things makes for a phone that’s fast and very responsive to user input.
Of course being an Apple product the iPhone 7 is running iOS, and in this case you’re getting the newest iOS 10 version. You’ll have new features such as better lock screen notifications, and the ability to wake your phone by simply picking it up. However, the user interface has been simplified as well, with pull up menu bars being less cluttered and altogether easier to use.
If you’re looking for a real work horse then you’ve found it. Performance here is excellent as we’d expect from a top of the line phone. The iPhone 7 can take anything that you throw at it without a hint of lag, so even the more demanding user should be more than satisfied.
Moving on to that display, and there’s good news and bad news here. Firstly, you’re getting a 4.7 inch screen, which is fairly typical of Apple, who value portability over huge display space. However, 4.7 inches is more than enough for easy on screen typing, and we’ve got to admit that the 7 slides into the pocket more easily than many larger high end phones.
The bad news is those resolution numbers, since you’re still not getting full HD display power here, let alone 4K. You’re looking at 750 x 1334 pixels, working out to around 326 PPI, so this isn’t the sharpest screen around by a long shot. But the 7 makes up for that by being an LED backlit LCD screen with the purest, deepest colour resolution we’ve seen.
When compared to other high end models the display here lacks a little clarity, but again, those colours are amazing, and for many that’s what matters. Pictures actually look alive with deep blacks and true whites, and the iPhone 7 is a pleasure to look at.
The camera set here is very solid indeed, with both cams performing well. The front camera is a 7 MP device, which is higher than we’d expect to see, and it comes complete with HDR and auto face detection as well.
At the back you’ve got the same 12 MP camera as on last year’s model, but with some extra features sweetening the deal. The user interface is easier to use than ever, and there’s the addition of quad LED flash meaning that even dark inside photos come out great. Then there’s the usual HDR, phase detection autofocus, panorama modes, plus simultaneous 8 MP picture taking and 4K video recording.
In short, the iPhone 7 takes excellent pictures, whether you’re an amateur or a pro. If you love taking snaps with your phone, then the iPhone 7 isn’t going to be a disappointment.
And what else does the iPhone 7 have to offer? Well, Apple have eschewed the more traditional single speaker in favour of dual speakers, giving stereo sound, and meaning that your music will sound better than ever. Plus, the 7 is IP67 rated, so it’s water resistant up to one meter in depth for up to thirty minutes.
But the real elephant in the room is the lack of headphone jack. You can use special headphones to plug straight into the lightening charging port, giving better audio quality than a 3.5 headphone jack (though this means you can’t simultaneously charge your phone and listen to music), and Apple has included an adaptor for your regular headphones. Or you could invest in Apple’s new wireless headphones. Sure, it’s a change, but the result is actually better sound quality, though the lack of headphone jack is still going to bother some.
|Technology||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE|
|Dimensions||138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in)|
|Weight||138 g (4.87 oz)|
|- IP67 certified - dust and water resistant|
|- Water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes|
|- Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified)|
|Type||LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||4.7 inches (~65.6% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||750 x 1334 pixels (~326 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Ion-strengthened glass, oleophobic coating|
|- Wide color gamut display|
|- 3D Touch display & home button|
|- Display Zoom|
|Chipset||Apple A10 Fusion|
|Internal Memory||32/128/256 GB, GB, 2 GB RAM|
|Primary Camera||12 MP, f/1.8, phase detection autofocus, OIS, quad-LED (dual tone) flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 8MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama)|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60/120fps, 720p@240fps|
|Secondary Camera||7 MP, f/2.2, 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|Alert types||Vibration, proprietary ringtones|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|- Lightning to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter incl.|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||v4.2, A2DP, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS|
|NFC||Yes (Apple Pay only)|
|USB||v2.0, reversible connector|
|Sensors||Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer|
|Messaging||iMessage, SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email|
|- Siri natural language commands and dictation|
|- iCloud cloud service|
|- MP3/WAV/AAX+/AIFF/Apple Lossless player|
|- MP4/H.264 player|
|- Audio/video/photo editor|
|- Document editor|
|Battery||Non-removable Li-Po 1960 mAh battery|
|Talk time||Up to 14 h (3G)|
|Music play||Up to 40 h|
As the newest release the iPhone 7 is obviously the best iPhone yet. But it deserves its flagship position, giving great performance, taking fantastic photos, and of course, having that famous Apple minimalistic design. This is a big investment, but for many the iPhone 7 will be more than worth it, and you’ll definitely be getting high end performance.
Connectivity wise you get the normal WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G and 4G, though the addition of more LTE bands should mean wider 4G reception. Internally there’s 128 GB of memory, which is a fair amount of storage space, though this being Apple you can’t add more external storage. You do get an Apple iCloud account for storage on the web though.
So, what don’t we like? That’s pretty tough. We would like to see a higher resolution screen at this price point, though that colour reproduction really is excellent. And the haptic feedback home button takes a little getting used to. On the whole though, we’re fans. For anyone looking for a great iOS device, the iPhone 7 is going to be a fantastic buy.
by Dan Forster, Mobile Phone Expert
Dan is our mobile phone review expert helping customers make better buying decisions. With a passion for technology and taking things apart Dan single-handedly reviews all the phones listed on the TigerMobiles.com website.