Apple iPhone 7 review
The Apple iPhone 7, announced on 8th September, with pre-orders from 9th September and available from 16th September, becomes the first iPhone to have a glossy finish. Our Apple iPhone 7 review uncovers a smartphone that meets the high expectations that were generated through the rumour mill.
Design - Glossy jet black
The Apple iPhone 7 simply oozes luxurious style and the new deep jet black with its high-gloss mirror-like finish is oh so desirable. Created through a new nine-step anodisation and rotational polishing process, it is almost impossible to see where the aluminium ends and the glass begins.
For those who do not like a glossy look, there is a new black added to the iPhone colour range and this has a matte finish and has been crafted from bead-blasted aluminium.
All of the iPhone 7 colour variants lose the antenna stripes across the back of the 7000 Series aluminium unibody. This gives the new iPhone 7 a more minimalist look, and one that will look futuristic well into the future.
The camera body is sculptured straight out of the aluminium unibody and this ensures that the camera bump does not detract from the overall look or feel. The Apple iPhone 7 is just 7.1mm thick and weighs 138g.
Display - Cinematic colour gamut
The 4.7” Retina HD Display is the brightest and most colourful display ever used on an iPhone. The screen is 25% brighter and the wider colour gamut uses the same colour space as that used in the digital cinema industry.
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The iPhone 7 display is LED-backlit, incorporates next-generation Multi-Touch, has a Taptic Engine and uses IPS technology to give wide viewing angles. In short, it is everything you could ever want in a display.
The display has a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels, which equates to 326 pixels per inch. Covered in an oleophobic coating, fingerprint smudges are reduced, which is handy when using the display zoom.
Durability - Water resistant
In another first, our iPhone 7 review finds IP67 certification for splash and water resistance. This means that owners can finely take their iPhone out and about, without the worries of using it in the rain or accidentally splashing it with water.
The new home button on the iPhone 7 has been completely re-engineered and is now a durable solid state button that is pressure sensitive. Tactile feedback is generated by the Taptic Engine, giving the same precise responsiveness that users would expect from a physical button.
Performance - A10 Fusion chip
The A10 Fusion processor is 2x faster than the processor used in the iPhone 6. The quad-core A10 Fusion chip has two high-efficiency cores that run on a 5th of the power, to save battery reserves. When processing speed is needed, two high-performance cores spring into action.
The A10 chip is complemented with the M10 motion co-processor and this gives up to 3x faster graphics speeds, compared to iPhone 6.
Phone Set Up
Getting started - Content transfer and security
The Move to iOS app makes quick work of transferring content over from an old Android smartphone. The internal memory has been boosted on the iPhone 7 and this now begins at 32GB. Higher memory variants give the option to choose an iPhone 7 with 128GB or 256GB of internal memory.
Potential consumers should be aware that the jet black iPhone 7 only comes with either 128GB or 256GB of memory.
Fingerprint security features once again and this time around, the 2nd generation fingerprint sensor has been built into the new home button.
Audio - Stereo sound and EarPods
Our iPhone 7 review finds built in stereo speakers that are 2x louder than the speaker used on the iPhone 6s, while also benefiting from an increased dynamic range.
As widely rumoured, the iPhone 7 does away with the 3.5mm headphone jack and is instead supplied with EarPods that use the Lightning Connector. A Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter is also included and for those who want to go wireless, AirPods will become available for purchase from late October.
iOS10, Siri and the internet
Siri gets an update and can now be used to voice type and send messages, set reminders, listen to and identify songs and give proactive suggestions. The new features of iOS 10 and Siri can be explored further in our iOS 10 review.
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The internet is embedded more than ever on the iPhone 7 and up to 3x faster 4G LTE, compared to the iPhone 6, is on offer. The new iPhone also supports up to 25 LTE bands, which basically means that 4G is available when roaming abroad, in more countries that ever before.
Camera & Video
Photography - 12MP with Quad-LED flash
The Apple iPhone 7’s camera has a single 12MP lens that has a f/1.8 aperture, that lets in up to 50% more light, compared to the iPhone 6s. This is in contrast to the iPhone 7 Plus, which has dual 12MP cameras for giving optical zoom.
In low light, the iPhone 7 camera works better than ever before, thanks to a quad-LED True Tone Flash. This is 50% brighter and illuminates further into the darkness. The flash adjusts according to the environments colour temperature and the camera lens is protected behind a scratch resistant sapphire crystal lens cover.
Many popular iPhone camera features are included, such as Autofocus with Focus Pixels, up to 63MP Panoramas, Burst mode, Timer mode, geo-tagging, Live photos and body & face detection.
Optical image stabilisation works to counteract the tiniest of movements and this offers up to 3x longer exposure, compared to the iPhone 6s. This is essential for taking photos in low light, when the shutter needs to stay open for longer in order to capture more light photons.
The advancements to the camera tech comes from the Apple-designed image signal processor (ISP), that is built into the A10 Fusion processor. When a photo is taken, the ISP powers more than 100 billion operations, along with machine learning, to ensure the results look amazing.
Video - 4K video recording
The iPhone 7 can record at a quality of 4K at 30 frames per second. Optical image stabilisation and continuous autofocus ensures quality results and videos can be edited in the iMovie app and shared instantly.
The video recording experience is further enhanced with 3x digital zoom, video geo-tagging and playback zoom. Slo-mo video is supported at a quality of 1080p at 120 frames per second, along with Time-lapse video recording.
When recording a 4K video, Apple iPhone 7 owners can take an 8MP still photograph at the same time.
Selfies and FaceTime
The iPhone 7 has a 7MP FaceTime HD camera with a f/2.2 aperture, Retina Flash and Auto HDR. The FaceTime camera can record video at a quality of 1080p. The FaceTime camera can also be used to make video calls over the cellular network or over Wi-Fi, to any other FaceTime-enabled device.
Power - An extra 2 hours
The longest battery life ever seen in an iPhone is on offer with the iPhone 7, with the battery lasting 2 hours longer than the one used on the iPhone 6s.
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The new Apple iPhone will give up to 14 hours of talk time, 10 days of standby, 14 hours of Wi-Fi internet browsing, 13 hours of video playback or up to 40 hours of audio playback.
Final thoughts: Demand for the Apple iPhone 7 in Jet Black is going to be high, so taking advantage of the one week pre-order period will be essential.
Written by: Michael Brown