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Apple really didn’t get into the booming phablet market until last year, and the release of the 6S Plus was a bit of a disappointment, since it was nothing more than a bigger version of the 6S. With the all new 7 Plus though, Apple are out to prove that they can do this phablet thing right. The iPhone 7 Plus has not only a larger screen than the regular 7, but also a bunch of internal improvements that make it a step above the regular model. Can Apple do phablets? The iPhone 7 Plus shows that they really can.
Why should you want one? Tons of power and speed, water resistance, improved battery life, better audio, the list is pretty endless. Then there’s that innovative dual camera tech as well. If you’re looking for a big phone with big specs, then the iPhone 7 Plus is going to be the device you’ve always dreamed of.
Key Features on the iPhone 7 Plus
First up, this is clearly an iPhone. Yes, it’s larger than normal, but it’s got the same skinny profile, sleek edges, and rounded curves that we all know and love. It’s a unibody glass and metal build, so it’s light and yet still sturdy and firm in the hand. There are a couple of differences between this and older models though. There are no longer antennae bands on the back, the rear is a blank, glass plate. And the physical home button no longer clicks because it’s now a vibrating haptic feedback pad.
Under the hood you’re looking at some nice internal upgrades. There’s a lot of power and speed here, screen specs are solid, it’s water resistant and has better audio and battery life. And then there are those cameras, a high res front facing device and a dual rear device.
You’re going to be paying a hefty fee for the iPhone 7 Plus, but you’re paying for specs, performance, and quality, and this is a solid investment. If you want bigger and better, then you want the iPhone 7 Plus.
Power and Performance Specs
We’ll begin with the all important issue of performance, and as usual we don’t have exact numbers from Apple. As far as we can tell the iPhone 7 Plus runs around a 2.2 GHz quad core processor, and we do know that there’s 3 GB of RAM and the new A10 Fusion chip set. Numbers aside, the 7 Plus is lightening fast and very, very responsive indeed.
Operating system is iOS, which is to be expected, and this is the new iOS10 version. It brings added speed and stability, alongside some nice new features. You can pick up your phone to wake it, you get better lock screen notifications, and menus have been cleaned up making them less crowded and easier to use than ever.
In terms of performance you’re looking at true, top end power and speeds. Even the most demanding of users will fin that the iPhone 7 Plus is responsive and fast with no hint of lag. This is a powerhouse of a phone.
This is a phablet device, so you’re getting a lot of screen real estate. The iPhone 7 Plus features a 5.5 inch display, giving you tons of room for typing, watching and reading. Do be warned though that one handed use isn’t comfortable, and that sliding this into your jeans’ pocket isn’t easy!
Resolution is fair, though not brilliant. You’ve got 1080 x 1920 pixels, working out to around 401 PPI. There are sharper screens around, but those numbers are slightly misleading. Combine that resolution with an LED backlit LCD screen that gives stupendous colour reproduction and IPS for better viewing angles, and you’re looking at a display that’s truly beautiful.
From HD video to high end gaming to simple web surfing, the display on the iPhone 7 Plus is big, bright and beautiful, and you’ll be more than satisfied here (despite what the resolution numbers might say).
The iPhone 7 Plus has a superb camera set, and one that budding photographers are going to love. Starting at the front there’s a full 7 MP cam, with auto face detection and HDR, perfect for the odd selfie or for video calling.
But the main event is at the rear. Here you’ll find not one, but two 12 MP sensors, that dual camera. This means that you can zoom into pictures without losing detail, giving you more or a DSLR feel. You also get optical zoom, HDR, simultaneous 4K video recording and 8 MP picture taking, and quad LED flash that makes taking pictures in low light a breeze.
If you love taking pictures, then this is the phone for you. Snaps taken by the 7 Plus are bright, sharp and highly detailed, even when printed, and the camera interface is simple enough for a child to use.
And the Rest…
With so many features we can’t mention all of them, but there are a few additional things to know. Firstly, the headphone jack issue: there isn’t one. Though Apple provide an adaptor so you can use your normal headphones, and you can always opt for wireless ear buds. However, headphones plug into the lightening charge port (where faster data transfer means better sound quality), meaning you can’t charge your phone and listen to headphones at the same time.
This is a water resistant phone, the IP67 rating meaning it’s fine in water of up to a metre in depth for up to thirty minutes. There’s also true stereo sound, with dual external speakers rather than the more traditional mono speaker. Finally, battery life has been vastly improved, with the new, larger battery offering up to 21 hours of use per charge.
|GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE|
|Status||Coming soon. Exp. release 2016, September 16|
|BODY||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||Type||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|
|CAMERA||Primary||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||7 MP, f/2.2, 1080p@30fps, 720p@240fps, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|SOUND||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.|
|COMMS||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|
|FEATURES||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)|
|Stand-by||Up to 384 h (3G)|
|Talk time||Up to 21 h (3G)|
|Music play||Up to 60 h|
If you like big phones, then the Apple iPhone 7 Plus is all your dreams come true. With fantastic performance specs, a beautiful screen, better battery and audio, and even new things like water resistance and that dual camera, this is a stunning device. If you’re shopping for a high end hand set, then this is the clear choice.
For connectivity there’s the usual Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G and 4G, though more LTE bands are supported for better 4G reception. Internally there’s only 32 GB of memory, which isn’t a lot, and you can’t add more external memory due to the lack of SD card slot. You will, however, get online storage with an Apple iCloud account.
Alrighty, what are our complaints? Nothing big, really. A little more screen resolution would be nice, but honestly, the picture is very good. That lack of headphone jack might be a deal breaker for some, but we like the better audio of the lightening port. All in all, we think that the iPhone 7 Plus is a fantastic phone, and we think you’ll love it too, so what are you waiting for?!
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.