Apple iPhone 7 review round-up: Here's what critics are saying

Even before the new Apple iPhone 7 models were launched amid much fan-fare, there were reports on why users could probably wait for next year.


Even before the new iPhone 7 models were launched amid much fan-fare, there were reports on why users could probably wait for next year. Tim Cook and the company, made the new iPhone 7 launch event look as exciting as possible, and the devices came with no surprises and had many features already seen on Android smartphones.

Though the device will reach Indian shores only next month, the initial reviews are out. Let's take a look at what tech enthusiasts and critics are saying about the new models.

The iPhone 7 came with no design changes and the reviews were quite clear on how Samsung now has the design edge over Apple. "Curved wraparound screen? Nope. Wireless charging? Not yet. Are you bothered that the new iPhone looks the same as last year's iPhone? If you are, I understand the feeling. The iPhone 7 doesn't feel like the "whole new thing." Does that bother you? Maybe. But is it better? Yeah, it is. Except for one small 3.5-millimeter thing," Cnet's Scott Stein writes. 

"But if you're looking at the iPhone 7 from the front, it's almost impossible to distinguish from the iPhone 6 or 6S. That's how similar the design is," Stein adds about the design.

Battery life is tricky and usually varies depending upon usage. However, most reviews seem to be happy with the battery life, so far. Re/code's Walt Mossberg states, "In my short test period, on both coasts, the new iPhones had great battery life. The bigger Plus easily turned in 13 to 15-hour days, often with power left in the tank, doing a wide variety of tasks. For instance, my test iPhone 7 Plus was at just a few minutes shy of 14 hours with 14 percent left when I got to my DC-area home after flying from San Francisco and using the phone heavily on cellular networks, and hotel, airport and airplane Wi-Fi. That’s a scenario I usually find to be a battery-killer. The smaller model was typically in the 12 to 14-hour range, even after hours of streaming video and music."

Apple iPhone 7 review round-up: Heres what critics are saying

However, the AirPods comes across disappointing to many, including the hefty price tag that it carries. "The $159 AirPods only give you five hours of music listening time and two hours of talk time between charges in a handy little white case that provides 24 hours of additional juice. Apple notes that it’s proud of those numbers and that a 15 minute charge in the case gets you another 60 percent of rated battery life. It adds that if you use only one AirPod for phone calls and keep swapping it out for a fresh one, you could talk on and on. Still, to me, they impose a limitation that standard, wired earbuds don’t have," Mossberg added.

Wired's David Pierce said, "It’s a quad-core processor, with two cores dedicated to running simple tasks and two to more taxing ones. That means if you don’t really game or watch high-res video on your phone, your battery life is going to be extraordinary. When I used the iPhone 7 for only simple things, I got more than 24 hours of life from the 7, and nearly 48 from the 7 Plus. As soon as I fired up Riptide GP: Renegade and streamed Halt and Catch Fire, I had to charge once during the day or be left stranded by 9pm."

Some also talk about the inconvenience it will cause while travelling.  BusinessInsider's Steve Kovach said, "When I was flying back to New York last week, I wanted to watch a movie on Delta's in-flight entertainment system. But I had shiny new pair of the Lightning EarPods, and Delta's system requires the standard jack. That means I had to pull out a second pair of regular EarPods that I had with me from my iPhone 6. Bluetooth was out of the question. I think that's going to be the biggest problem as people adjust to the death of the headphone jack. Listening to music through Lightning or Bluetooth headphones is a breeze on the iPhone 7, but Apple has ignored the fact that the rest of the world is using the original standard.

Siri stays one of the highlights and with the new third-party support, expectations have increased. Talking about Siri, he adds, "By double tapping one of the AirPods, you can activate Siri and use it just as you normally would. Although Siri still isn’t as robust as some other assistants, I was still able to do a lot with just my voice. Checking and sending text messages. Getting weather and sports alerts. Making a phone call. Siri is already at the point where you can do almost everything you want to do without looking at your phone, and the AirPods make using those features seamless."

However, that doesn't mean, the devices are disappointing alltogether. TheVerge says they are the most terrific phones Apple has shipped. However, it quickly adds that this doesn't mean they seem incomplete, and as if Apple is setting the groundwork for next year's device. "The entire time I was using the iPhone 7, I felt like I had a prototype of next year’s rumored drastic iPhone redesign disguised as an iPhone 6. All those bold bets on the future are legitimately exciting, but here in the present using the iPhone 7 in a case feels a lot like using a iPhone 6S with a weirder home button and more adapters," The Verge's Nilay Patel writes.

However, he does add, "If you need a new phone right now, sure, buy an iPhone 7."

Apple has put in place an entirely new dual camera system for the iPhone 7 Plus with dual 12MP sensors. The iPhone 7 comes with a 12MP camera, and both feature optical image stabilisation, larger f/1.8 aperture (f/1.8 and f/2.8 for Plus model) and 6-element lens for brighter and more detailed photos as well as videos.

Techcrunch's Matthew Panzarino writes,"Images taken with the iPhone 7’s 12MP camera and its doppelganger on the iPhone 7 Plus look fantastic. Both phones now include optical image stabilization, which will help steady photos in shaky hands and could be useful for action shots."

Image: Reuters

Image: Reuters

"The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the best iPhones ever. And they are probably the best portable cameras ever made. The combination of wide gamut capture with wide gamut P3 display means that you have quite literally never seen images like this from a smartphone camera before. And that’s not to mention the massive front camera upgrade. The phones are fast, capable and functional, with nice upgrades to speaker audio, water resistance and a more durable home button," Panzarino adds.

The iPhone 7 comes armed with a new A10 Fusion processor, which is about 40 percent faster than A9. It is also paired with a new graphics processing chip, which is 50 percent faster than what we’ve seen in the A9.

iOS 10 also brings in some nifty features. Mashable's Lance Ulanoff writes "One of the other big iOS 10 highlights is the new Messages. Digital Touch, which was first introduced on the Apple Watch, has made its way to the iPhone. Now I can quickly add photos, videos, heartbeats, taps and even doodles to my messages. Many of the animations, though, are lost when I send them to someone not yet on iOS 10 or on an Android phone. The heartbeat I sent to my wife’s iPhone 5S showed up as still image of a blurry heart. I’m sure this will be a lot more fun when everyone upgrades."

On iOS 10, The Verge says, "Apple’s making a big bet on iMessage and Siri apps in iOS 10 but it hasn’t paid off yet. Apps haven’t been updated to use the Taptic Engine or the new wide color gamut display."

Apple has dropped 16GB and 64GB units, and will offer 32GB, 128GB and 256GB variants. This means the storage has been doubled. Finally, your iPhone will be water and dust resistant. This is definitely one of the most awaited features.

Andrew Cunningham of Arstechnica concludes, "The iPhone 7 is a very good phone with the sorts of logical, useful upgrades that Apple typically delivers with new hardware. I still have my quibbles with the iPhone 6-era design, and it’s too bad that we’re going to be trucking along with it for another year, but the iPhone 6 was also Apple’s most popular phone by far, so clearly actual people aren’t all that bothered by it."

John Gruber of DaringFireball concludes, "Even if you want to judge these new iPhones based solely on their industrial design, the new black finishes alone would make me want to buy one. But what matters is what happens when you turn them on and use them. And in every regard, from performance to battery life to camera image quality to haptic feedback to water resistance to wide color gamut displays to sound quality from the speakers,3 the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are impressive."

All in all, there seems to be a mixed bag of views about what's worth in the iPhone 7, and what's not. But all in all, it still seems to have a thumbs up from critics. However, they don't necessarily mean you need to get out now and get an upgrade, do so only if you need a smartphone right now.

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