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With all the functionality of a phone and the big screen tablet, phablets combine the best of both worlds. For the most part, Android dominate the market, but Apple want a piece of the action as well, with their iPhone Plus series. In truth the 6S Plus was nothing special, but the new iPhone 7 Plus might just be the device that we’ve all been waiting for. Apple are at the top of their game, and the iPhone 7 range proves that they’ve still got something to give.
Why should you buy one? Yes, you get good performance, but that’s to be expected. But you also get a fantastic camera set, longer battery life, and improved audio as well. And this is the first water resistant iPhone. For those shopping at the top end of the phablet market, the iPhone 7 Plus is going to be a top contender.
From first sight you know that this is an Apple product. The metal and glass unibody build is lightweight but feels solid and premium in the hand. The profile is slim line, the curves rounded, and the lines sleek. However, there are two important changes here. Firstly, the physical home button no longer clicks, it vibrates since it’s now haptic. Secondly, the antennae bands on the rear of the phone are no longer there, leaving the back smooth and continuous.
Legendary design aside, there are some amazing specs under the hood. Apple’s new chip set make this the fastest iPhone yet, and the new camera tech means pictures look incredible. There are audio and battery upgrades too, and the whole device is water resistant.
It’s no secret that iPhones are expensive devices, and this is no exception. But you’re paying for a premium quality hand set with fantastic performance. If you’re looking at phablets, then the iPhone 7 Plus should be at the top of your list.
We’ll begin with the screen, since that’s a phablets big selling point, and the 7 Plus has a five and a half inch display. Of course, that means portability is a bit of an issue, you can’t slide it easily into a pocket, and you’re not going to be using this with one hand. On the other hand, the viewing experience is awesome, and on screen typing is a cinch. There is also the same 3D touch screen as seen on the iPhone 6S.
So, resolution numbers, and this is an HD screen with 1080 x 1920 pixels (about 401 PPI). That’s not the sharpest screen in the world, but those numbers don’t really effect the overall display quality since this is a backlit LED LCD screen, so colour reproduction and light are both awesome. There’s even IPS, so viewing angles are wide and comfortable.
For watching HD video, for high end gaming, for simple web browsing, this screen is a pleasure to look at. And so much space means that everyday tasks are just easier.
You’ll be looking for great performance on a top end phone like this, and the 7 Plus definitely delivers. We suspect the 7 Plus is running about a 2.2 GHz quad core processor (though Apple rarely release actual numbers here). But we know that it has 3 GB of RAM alongside the new A10 Fusion chip set. All of this means that you’re looking at a device that’s lightening fast and very responsive.
Yes, it’s Apple, so yes, it’s an iOS hand set, and it’s running the new iOS10. The operating system is still intuitive and familiar, but there are some nice changes. Lock screen notifications are now better, and the new “raise to wake” function is a time saver. Plus, menus have been simplified down, and are now easier to use and cleaner.
There should be no surprises that performance is fantastic. You’re getting a phone that’s fast, responsive, and doesn’t lag, all of which is good news for high end users.
So, the 7 Plus is being touted as a great phone for photography, and so it is, thanks to its state of the art camera set. At the front you’re getting a 7 MP device with HDR and automatic face detection, higher resolution than we’d expect from a front camera.
Around at the back you’re getting the new dual 12 MP camera. The technical bits of this are complicated, but what a dual cam means in reality is that you can zoom in and out of pictures without losing any quality (like with a DSLR). There’s also quad LED flash for great low light pics, HDR, optical zoom, and panorama modes. Plus, there’s the ability to take 8 MP pics and record 4K video simultaneously.
If you’re looking for a phone with a great camera set, then you’ve found it. Add in an intuitive interface, and you’ll be loving the pictures that you take!
There are tons of extra features here, but we should single a few out. This is a water resistant device with an IP67 rating, so it’s good in water up to a metre in depth for up to half an hour. You’re getting better external sound since there are dual speakers for real stereo. And battery life has been improved, with the 7 Plus promising up to 21 hours of use per charge. Not bad at all.
As you may have heard, there’s no headphone jack here. Headphones are plugged into the lightening port, which has faster data transfer meaning you get better sound quality. You’ll get an adaptor if you wish to use your regular headphones, or you can always grab some wireless phones if you prefer. One word of warning though: you can’t plug in headphones and charge your phone at the same time.
|Technology||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE|
|Dimensions||158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 in)|
|Weight||188 g (6.63 oz)|
|- IP67 certified - dust and water resistant|
|- Water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes|
|- Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified)|
|Display||LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||5.5 inches (~67.7% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)|
|Protection||Ion-strengthened glass, oleophobic coating|
|- Wide color gamut display|
|- 3D Touch display & home button|
|- Display Zoom|
|Chipset||Apple A10 Fusion|
|CPU||Quad-core 2.23 GHz|
|Internal||32/128/256 GB, GB, 3 GB RAM|
|Primary Camera||Dual 12 MP, (28mm, f/1.8, OIS & 56mm, f/2.8), phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, 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, 32mm, 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-Ion 2900 mAh battery (11.1 Wh)|
With so many awesome phones to choose from, getting the best device can be tough. But the new iPhone 7 Plus, with it’s big screen, great performance, superb cameras, and fantastic audio quality, has to be one of the best. It’s even water resistant! If you’re looking to get a premium mobile, then the 7 Plus is going to be your best bet.
Connectivity is the usual, so that’s Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, and 4G, though more LTE bands are supported, meaning better and faster 4G service. There’s 128 GB of internal memory, which is a pretty good amount, but you can’t add more storage since there’s no SD card slot. You’ll get an iCloud account for online storage though, should you need it.
Alrighty, what don’t we like? Eh, screen resolution could have better numbers, but we’re being a bit picky, since the display is very, very good anyway. Some people aren’t going to like the lack of headphone jack either, though we think the audio experience has been improved. But truthfully, we think this is an amazing device. The iPhone 7 Plus has to be one of the best premium phablets on shelves, so if that’s what you’re looking for, all you’ve got to do is buy it!
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.