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Apple pioneered the true smart phone, though some would argue that the manufacturer has become stale in recent years. But their newest offering, the iPhone 7, might just prove those doubters wrong. Yes, it’s got great specs, but we wouldn’t expect less than that, however, there are also some serious improvements here, ones that other manufacturers are sure to be aping in coming months. For those that want to stay ahead of the game though, the iPhone 7 is going to be the phone to have.
Why should you invest? So many reasons. It’s fast, powerful, has great cameras, awesome sound, decent battery life, and it’s waterproof as well. Plus you get some neat tricks thrown into the mix. The iPhone 7 is an all around great phone, and if you’re in the market for an iOS device, this is the solid choice.
Most people are already familiar with the looks of an iPhone, and the iPhone 7 is no exception to the general rule. It’s slim profiled, has sleek edges and smooth, rounded corners. You’re getting a unibody metal and glass build, giving you a lightweight and yet sturdy device. There are a couple of changes here thought. The camera bump sticks out just a little more, and the home button is haptic (it vibrates) rather than physical (so no clicking).
Aside from its attractiveness, there are some decent specs here. Nearly every component has been upgraded, there’s a new chip set, some nice new camera features, and, of course, the new water resistance feature. Plus, you get better sound, audio and battery life too.
The iPhone 7 isn’t going to come cheap, but iPhones never do. You pay for premium quality, stylish design, and great performance. But if you’re willing to make the investment, the iPhone 7 is a fantastic device, and one that even demanding consumers will love.
Let’s start with performance, since that’s important to most people. Apple generally don’t release specific numbers, but it looks like the 7 is running quad core processing power. It’s certainly got the new Apple A10 Fusion chip set, and 2 GB of RAM. Add all that up and you’re looking at a fast and responsive little hand set.
As you’d expect this is running iOS, and you’ll get the new iOS10 out of the box. That gives you more speeds and stability, as well as some new stuff. The user interface is even further simplified, with less crowded menus. There’s pick up to wake, so your phone automatically wakes up when you lift it. There are better lock screen notifications, and plenty more.
There are no complaints about performance here, but we wouldn’t expect any. The iPhone 7 is responsive to input, and very speedy, meaning that there’s no lag, no wait time, and even heavy users should be more than satisfied.
The 7’s screen is maybe the weakest link, but it’s not all that weak. Firstly, in keeping with Apple’s tendency to keep their devices small, you’re getting 4.7 inches of display space. That gives you more than enough room to type comfortably, and yet lets the 7 slide easily into your pocket. Larger screen fans will want to opt for the bigger iPhone 7 Plus model. Oh, and you do get the 3D touch tech that premiered on the iPhone 6S.
The bad news here is that there’s no true HD, and resolution numbers aren’t fantastic at 750 x 1334 pixels (about 326 PPI). Images aren’t as sharp as they could be, but the 7 compensates for that by having amazing colour reproduction. An LED backlit LCD screen and IPS (for better viewing angles) combine to make a flawlessly realistic reproduction with deep blacks and bright whites.
This isn’t the greatest screen around, it is, however, very pleasant to look at. Whilst pics aren’t quite as sharp as we’d like to see, those colours are really mind blowing, and most users will be more than happy with image quality.
On a more positive note, Apple’s camera set on the iPhone 7 is very, very solid indeed. Firstly, you’re getting a full 7 MP front facing cam, higher res than we’d expect to see, and that comes with auto face recognition and HDR.
Moving around to the rear and you’ll see the familiar sight of the 12 MP camera first seen on the iPhone 6S. However, there are some new things going on here, most notably the quad LED flash which makes for excellent low light level pics. You’ll also get the normal HDR, phase detection auto focus, panorama mode, and the ability to take 8 MP pics and record 4K video at the same time.
Simply put, the iPhone 7 takes great pictures. Whether you’re snapping away at school festivals or taking serious nature shots, you’ll find that your pics are beautifully rendered.
We can’t possibly mention all the extra features on the 7, but there are a few things we should address. Yes, the iPhone 7 is water resistant, it’s IP67 rated so can be submerged in up to a meter of water for up to thirty minutes. Battery life has been improved, with up to 14 hours of 3G use per charge. And rather than the usual single speaker, Apple have given the 7 dual speakers for true stereo sound when listening to music externally.
Then there’s that headphone jack, or lack of it. You can’t plug regular headphones into the 7, or rather you can’t without using the special adaptor that Apple supplies. Headphones go into the lightening charge port, which has faster data transfer and therefore gives you better sound. Alternatively, you can opt for Apple’s new wireless ear bud option. Do remember that plugging in headphones will mean that you can’t simultaneously charge your phone.
|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|
Apple’s new kid on the block is certainly the best iPhone to date. The iPhone 7 ticks all the boxes with great performance specs, a decent enough screen, solid cameras, and tons of special features. And it’s beautiful to look at as well. If you’re in the market for a top end device, and you’re a fan of iOS, then the iPhone 7 is going to be a fantastic buy for you.
Connectivity holds few surprises, you get Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, and 4G (though the 7 does support more LTE bands). You’re getting 32 GB of internal memory, which isn’t a ton, particularly considering that there’s no SD card slot, so you can’t add more. You will get an iCloud account for online storage however.
So, what don’t we like? We really would prefer higher screen resolution at these prices, though we’re happy with the great colour reproduction. A little more internal storage would be good, but you can pay for a more expensive model with more memory. All in all, we like the iPhone 7 and we think you will too. If you want a great phone with great performance, then this should be at the top of your list.
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.