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Apple have long been king of the premium mobile phone, but with Androids getting better by the day, some have doubted whether the manufacturer still has what it takes to compete. Then along comes the new iPhone 7 and proves once again that Apple know phones. With great performance, beautiful design, and tons of added extras, this is the best iPhone yet.
What do you have to look forward to? Obviously you’re going to get good looks and fast performance specs, but you’re also getting the first water resistant iPhone. Battery life has been improved too, and the camera set is better than ever. In short, this is a phone to lust after, and even the most demanding of users is going to love the new iPhone 7.
In design not a lot has changed in the iPhone 7. There’s still the familiar slim profile, those sleek lines and gently curved corners. You’re still getting a unibody metal and glass design, making for a phone that’s both sturdy and yet lightweight. But on closer inspection you’ll see that the camera bump is more pronounced, and that the home button is no longer a physical button, but a haptic feedback pad (so it vibrates rather than clicks).
Under the beautiful cover you’re getting some nicely upgraded specs, including a new chip set, some great cameras, and stereo speakers as well. Add in better audio quality and water resistance and you’re looking at a real winner of a phone.
The iPhone 7, like all Apple products, is really a premium device, and you’ll pay premium prices. But that investment is really worth it if you’re an iOS fan, since the iPhone 7 is the best that Apple have to offer right now.
Display is the most obvious and important component of the modern smart phone, so let’s start there. Here you’re seeing a 4.7 inch screen, which is typical of Apple who prefer to reserve large screen sizes for their Plus line. This is a perfect size however, offering the compromise between easy on screen typing and easy portability, since the 7 slides nicely into your pocket.
Resolution wise there is some bad news: you won’t be getting a full HD screen on this model. With 750 x 1334 pixels you’re getting only around 326 PPI, so this isn’t the sharpest screen around. However, Apple makes up for this by giving amazing colour reproduction on an LED backlit, LCD screen with IPS for better viewing angles. Blacks are deep, whites are true, and images look extremely natural.
The lack of true HD will be disappointing for some, but the truth is that it’s tough to tell the difference unless you hold the iPhone 7 up against something like a Samsung Galaxy. And again, that colour reproduction is close to flawless, and makes the iPhone 7’s screen a joy to behold.
We don’t generally get concrete numbers from Apple on processors, but the iPhone 7 does seem to have a quad core processor on board, and it definitely has the new A10 Fusion chip set. Add in a nice 2 GB of RAM and you’ve got a phone that is extremely responsive to input, and that gets some impressive speeds.
As you’d expect this is an iOS device, and it’s running the newest iOS10 version out of the box. You’ll have better speeds and more stability, of course, but there are also some interface changes. The user interface is simplified, with menus being less cluttered. You’ll get pick up to wake, so your phone will wake from hibernation the second you pick it up, and better lock screen notifications as well.
Performance is fantastic here, and even the most demanding of users will have to agree with that. There’s no hint of lag, and the iPhone 7 can take anything you can throw at it. We expect great performance from Apple, but it’s nice to have those expectations met.
Most of us enjoy taking pictures with our mobiles, and the iPhone 7 gets some great snaps thanks to its very solid cam set. The front facing camera is an impressive 7 MP, one of the highest res front cams around, and includes HDR and automatic face detection.
At the rear you’ll see the familiar 12 MP cam seen on the 6S, but with some nice new features. The best of these is the quad LED flash, making for great low light condition photos. But there’s HDR, phase detection auto focus, and the ability to simultaneously record 4K video and take 8 MP pictures.
Amateur photographers and pros alike will love the camera set on the iPhone 7. Add in an extremely easy to use user interface, and it’s going to be close to impossible to take a bad picture with this phone!
We should mention a few more things here as well. Battery life has been improved, so you should get an extra hour or so of juice out of the iPhone 7. The device is water resistant as well, with an IP67 rating it’s good in water up to a metre deep for up to thirty minutes. And you’re getting dual external speakers, rather than the more traditional mono speaker, for better audio.
As you probably know by now the iPhone 7 has no headphone jack. Your phone will come with an adapter to plug regular headphones into the lightening charger port, or you can buy specially adapted headphones, or even invest in Apple’s new wireless ear buds. And that lightening port exchanges data faster than a headphone jack, meaning better sound quality for you, though remember that you won’t be able to charge your phone whilst you’re using your headphones.
|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 addition to Apple’s line up the iPhone 7 is going to be faster and better than any iPhone before it. Music lovers are going to love the improved audio, and everyone will appreciate better battery life. The first water resistant iPhone is an expensive buy, but you’re definitely getting what you pay for.
In terms of connectivity, there’s WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G and 4G (thought the 7 supports more LTE bands than ever before). You’re looking at 128 GB of internal storage, which is pretty good, though there’s no SD card slot so you can’t add more memory if you need it. You will get an iCloud account for online storage, however.
So, time for complaints, what don’t we like? The haptic home button does take some getting used to, but for us the real criticism is the display. We really do expect better screen resolution at this price point, though the colour reproduction goes a long way towards making up for this. If you’re looking for a top end flagship phone, then Apple’s new baby isn’t going to disappoint. The iPhone 7 is simply put a great device, and one that you’re going to love.
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.