Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus first impressions: If you love the iPhone, this one's a notch above the old one

Apple launched its latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in India just in time for Diwali, when shopping is at an all-time high. At the launch event in San Francisco last month, Apple showcased the latest edition of the iPhone smartphones. We finally got our hands on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The devices we received were a Gold iPhone 7 and a Black iPhone 7 Plus.

Design and Build02-phone-apple-iphone7

If I’d to comment on the design and build of the newest iPhones, I’d go by face and side of the device. The front, with the position of the home button, front facing camera, screen and the speaker and proximity sensor are identical compared to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

The Home button is functionally and physically different, but visually they’re identical in construct to the Home button on the previous iPhone. Unlike the button you could physically press, in case of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, it’s a pressure sensitive button that doesn’t get pressed. What the OS does though, is it activates the new Haptic feedback component to give you a real-time feedback experience.

The highlight of the new iPhone has got to be – Black. Black or Jet Black, depending on your preference with matte or gloss. And the device colour is reflected in the rear. Here the changes are evident. Antenna bands that were visible across the device in the earlier iPhone are perfectly camouflaged. To give a feel of how the products feel, Black feels like the iPhone you interface with. Jet Black which is a richer black, is glossy, and feels quite like the OnePlus X Ceramic Black. Despite being glossy, it’s not slippery on skin.

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The layout of buttons is identical too. But the buttons are mechanically sturdier. On the bottom of the device, the speaker grille is now symmetrical with perforations on either side of the lightning connector. And as you’d know, the 3.5mm audio jack is missing. The box comes with an adapter that lets you use your existing audio accessories. The default headphone though comes with a lightning connector.

Display

iphone7-display

As Apple usually does, pixel density is kept constant. The iPhone 7 comes with a screen size of 4.7inch (1334 x 750 pixels) while the iPhone 7 Plus has a screen size of 5.5inch (1920 x1080 pixels). The differentiator though is a wide colour gamut display.

A wide colour gamut implies a wider colour range. The more colours you capture on a better sensor is rendered useless if your printers and displays can’t reproduce them. It’s like having a superior mic when speakers around can’t reproduce them. Over the years, as sensors got better, user experience was still limited by limitations in the display. With a wide colour gamut display, Apple aims to get users impressed.

Chipset, RAM, Storage

Apple iPhone 7 A10 Fusion chipset

The new iPhone devices are powered by the latest Apple A10 Fusion chipset, which Apple says is twice as fast as the iPhone 6. The A10 Fusion chip has a four-core processor with 2 high performance cores and 2 high efficiency cores. This enhances overall processing performance of the device.

With the latest devices, Apple has gone ahead and doubled storage options. From the initial 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions in the 6s and 6s Plus, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are available in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB versions. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are run 2GB and 3GB RAM, respectively.

OS and Connectivity

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With the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, 3D Touch gets a significant level of importance. Although the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6 Plus also featured 3D Touch since iOS 9, the level of incorporation of this pressure sensitive feature has expanded. Now you could just press on the calendar app icon to see your next meeting or event planned instead of initiating the app. Similarly, you could press on your browser icons (Safari and Chrome) to open a new normal tab or an incognito/private tab.

The latest iPhone 7 and 7 Plus has also increased the LTE bands it supports and speeds up to 450Mbps. Along with dual band WiFi 802.11ac support, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC for Apple Pay and no FM radio.

Camera

Cameras need a special mention here. Although in terms of megapixels, Apple ‘still offers’ just 12MP there are some changes. Apple says it has redesigned the camera module with a six-element lens, and better integration of hardware and software in the iPhone 7 Plus for optical zoom to go up to 2x and digital zoom that lets you go upto 10x, while video could go upto 6x.

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If you’re into photography, then the iPhone 7 Plus would let you capture a significant amount of depth and range, thanks to the dual-camera setup comprising a f/1.8 28mm for wide and f/2.8 56mm for telephoto sensors.

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To complement the focus on imagery and photography, Apple has added a four-colour LED flash for enhanced compensation of light and warmth. Both devices also feature a 7MP front camera. The devices support 4k video recording, have optical image stabilisation and can record at 1080p.

Battery

Compared to the iPhone 6s (1715mAh) and iPhone 6s Plus (2750mAh), the new iPhone 7 (1960mAh) and iPhone 7 Plus (2900mAh) has improved battery capacities. Apple says the iPhone 7 gives you 2 hours more charge compared to the iPhone 6s, while the iPhone 7 Plus would give you an hour more worth of charge.

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Conclusion

All said and done, it’s worth noting how subtle elements of the device such as the two black options have become the buzz online. The black options of the device do bring with it an identity of their own. The Jet Black, despite being glossy is pleasant to hold. The Black though, is similar to existing iPhone devices in terms of texture.

If you’re a long-time iPhone user, you would notice the new Home button, which isn’t pressable anymore. Real-time feedback, though, makes it feel like it is a tactile button. This construction reduces mechanical wear and tear and could increase longevity of the device.

That brings us to the primary question – iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus?

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That’s a dilemma in the true sense, but the answer is pretty straightforward. This is just our first impression of the two devices. Tech2 will put up a much more detailed, objective and practical piece to help you choose between the two devices if you’re looking to upgrade.

Till then, if you love large screens and love photography, you’d be amazed at the capabilities of the dual-camera setup in the iPhone 7 Plus. On the other hand, if you’re someone on the move, needs to be reachable longer with a lot of typing and responding to emails, requiring productivity, the iPhone 7 just helps you do that better.


Published Date: Oct 10, 2016 08:57 am | Updated Date: Oct 10, 2016 08:57 am