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Apple make great phones that regularly top best seller lists. However, it can be tough to justify an upgrade from last year’s model when iPhones are just so expensive. The new iPhone 7 though is a stellar upgrade, a definite improvement over last year’s 6S, and one that has a lot to offer. If you had any worries that Apple were slipping, then the 7 should put them to rest, it’s quite simply a fantastic phone.
Why should you buy one? Yes, you’ll get good performance and sexy styling. But you’ll also get some awesome cameras, and some very neat special extras too, like better battery life, water resistance, and all improved audio and sound. This is a great mobile, and one that any user would be proud of.
There can be no doubt that this is an iPhone. It’s got unibody glass and metal build, making it sturdy and yet lightweight, it’s got a slim profile, sleek lines, curved edges. But there are a couple of tweaks in design here. The home button is haptic now, rather than physical, so it vibrates when touched rather than clicking. And the camera bump sticks out just a little further, in a more rounded, ergonomic feature.
Apart from looks, the iPhone 7 still has a lot to offer, with all new internals and great upgrades. There’s more power, more speed, more battery life, and it’s also water resistant and has way better audio and sound than any other iPhone before it.
If you’re looking at the top end of the market for a device, then the iPhone 7 has a lot to give, and certainly deserves your attention. Yes, it’s going to be pricey, but you’re really getting what you pay for with this premium hand set.
A great smart phone has a great touch screen, so let’s start with the 7’s display. First up, you’re getting the same 3D tech seen on the 6S model. This is a 4.7 inch screen, so there’s enough space to type easily and yet the iPhone 7 still fits nicely in your pocket. As usual, Apple have reserved bigger screen sizes for the Plus range.
In terms of resolution the bad news is that this isn’t a full HD screen, with only 750 x 1334 pixels, so around 326 PPI. This results in a little loss of sharpness and clarity, but colour reproduction more than makes up for that. An LED backlit LCD screen means you get natural, deep,bright colours, and IPS means viewing angles are second to none.
Despite the lack of true HD this is a very satisfying screen, and most users will be more than satisfied. Colour resolution is amazing, and that 3D touch tech more useful than you’d imagine.
Performance specs are predictably excellent, though Apple as usual haven’t released exact processor numbers. The iPhone 7 does seem to have quad core processing, and definitely has 2 GB of RAM and the new A10 Fusion chip set on board. All of this makes for a very responsive and very speedy little phone.
Obviously you’re getting an iOS device, and you’ll be running the new iOS10 out of the box. This gives you a few nice changes. The interface is simplified, with less cluttered menus, lock screen notifications are far better, and you can now simply pick up your phone to wake it. Plus, of course, you get better speeds and security with a new OS version.
Bottom line time, and performance on the iPhone 7 is very, very good. Even hard core users should find that the 7 takes everything they can throw at it and just asks for more.
We’re not always impressed with Apple’s camera choices, but the iPhone 7 happens to feature some very solid cams. The front facing cam gets a full 7 MP, which is pretty high res, and also has HDR and auto face detection.
At the rear there’s the same 12 MP camera as seen on the 6S model, but you do get the addition of quad LED flash, which means low light level photography looks incredible. Then there are the usual additions: panorama, HDR, phase detection auto focus, simultaneous 4K video recording and 8 MP picture taking, etc.
If you love taking mobile pictures, then you’re going to love the iPhone 7’s camera set. Images are crisp and clear, low light pics are great, colour resolution is excellent, amateurs and pros alike should be more than happy here.
The 7 has plenty of extra features, and we don’t have room to mention them all. However, you should know that this is a water resistant phone (IP67 rating means it’s fine in water of up to a metre deep for up to thirty minutes). You’re also getting a larger battery, promising up to 14 hours of juice per charge. Oh, and dual external speakers means true stereo sound.
There is no headphone jack on the 7, a controversial decision, though Apple do provide an adaptor for your headphones, or offer a wireless ear bud option as well. Headphones plug into the lightening charging port, which transfers data faster and gives far better sound quality. But this does mean that you can’t plug in headphones and simultaneously charge your phone, which is bad news for 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|
iPhones are big business, and frequently the most popular hand sets around, and the iPhone 7 is set to be this year’s favourite. With excellent performance, great cameras, awesome sound and audio quality, and plenty of extra features, the first water resistant iPhone is a great mobile whoever you are. If you want a flagship phone, then look no further than Apple’s newest baby.
In terms of connectivity, you’ll get the normal Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, and 4G, but the 7 supports a wider range of LTE bands, improving 4G coverage. Internally you’ll get a massive 256 GB of on board storage, which is a lot, though Apple give you an iCloud account for web storage as well. There is no SD card slot, which means it’s not possible to add any external memory to the iPhone 7, should you happen to need it.
We don’t have many complaints here. The 7 is expensive, but you’re paying for premium here. That screen could be better resolution, but colour reproduction kind of makes up for that. The haptic feedback home button is strange at first, but you quickly get used to it. Really the 7 is a great device, and one that we’d be proud to call our own. If you want a fantastic new top end mobile, then check out the new iPhone 7.
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.