iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were announced along with some other announcements at the Apple Event. I was eager to watch it solely for the iPhone, but soon after the event started, I realised how silly it was to have forgotten that I’d have to listen to certain phrases and keywords if I watch the event. I like the products (some of them, at least), but I don’t like Apple’s marketing.
I sent some tweets, while watching the event. This post is an elaboration (kind of) of my thoughts on the newly announced iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The two iPhones are water and dust resistant with IP67 rating. Any water damage, however, is not covered under warranty, which is not unusual. But I remember an iPhone user saying, “what’s the point of water resistance anyway?” I’m sure people like that will now talk about how crucial water resistance on a phone is. This won’t be a surprise, though, after going from “who needs a stylus anyway” to releasing a standalone one for $99.
The camera is the one that seems to have seen the most improvement. iPhone 7 has a 12 MP one with an F1.8 Aperture and a new sensor. The Plus model has two 12 MP ones – both new sensors. One of them is an F1.8 28 mm equivalent lens, and the other is an F2.8 56 mm equivalent one. Now a 2x zoom on the plus model is an optical one. There is also a slider to go from 1x to 10x with optical and software processing combined. The dual lens setup will also enable the addition and execution of a “Portrait” mode in the default camera app that will add a shallow depth of field to the resulting photo. But an F1.8 aperture would add a bokeh effect as well, so how better this Portrait mode does remains to be seen. The displays have the same resolution as those of the last models, but are brighter and have support for a wider colour gamut (which is another way of saying more saturated). How well they calibrate the display for it to be sRGB and not too over-saturated remains to be seen.
There are now two loud speakers implemented in a similar fashion to what HTC has done with the HTC 10, except there’s no Woofer and Tweeter, they’re just two speakers. I’m glad they didn’t “innovate” it. What’s more interesting is that the 3.5 mm headphone jack has been removed, probably to make room for the static home button. There’s a new home button, which is static and is pressure sensitive. It’s similar to the pressure sensitive trackpad on the new Macbook. There’s no click, instead it provides haptic feedback by using improved vibration motors. You get an earphone with lightning connector, and surprisingly there’s also a lightning to 3.5 mm analogue adaptor in the box, which has a price tag of $9 (surprising, again) in case you need a new one, which you probably will as it’s small and easy to lose. But the sound quality will be better with a lightning headphone.
I must say, I’m “overwhelmed” with admiration for their “courage to move forward” and their “belief in a wireless future”. What about using a wired headphone while charging, you ask? Wireless charging? Nope. But what about a wireless future? That’s limited to wireless headphones for now. What about fast charging? Nope. You can’t just top it off, and enjoy a few more hours of use. If it was there, then the few who buy an iPad charger for faster charging of an iPhone would not do it anymore. Would they? Talking about accessories, the adaptor issue will lead to accessories that help consumers to connect the charger and headphone at the same time. So there’s an adaptor for that, then an adaptor for lightning to analogue connection, then there is the headphone – talk about going wireless. Yes it is futuristic, but the implementation is a hurried one. They should have done it after implementing wireless charging. Apple has, however, made a set of earphones – “AirPods” – that are good with tech, but usability is not the best. They are easy to drop and lose, and not very fashionable, I’d say. Cost is “only” $159.
The battery backup will be slightly better. iPhone 7 has 2900 mAh battery, up from 1715 mAh of iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7 Plus has 2900 mAh battery, up from 2750 mAh of iPhone 6s Plus. I still cannot comprehend why a bigger battery cannot be embedded within a slightly thicker body, which will also reduce the camera bump. The bump is not even along the vertical centre. Anyway, another contributor to the battery life is, of course, the new SoC – “A10 Fusion”. It is essentially a quad core chip with 2 high performance and 2 low performance cores that will switch and run the task depending on the intensity. This is promising.
As expected there has been a “design overhaul”. The camera bump is wider. The antenna bands run along the top and bottom curves. And there are the different colours. That’s enough for a design overhaul. They must have put tremendous amount of efforts into it, I’m sure. On the plus side, you get 32 GB base memory, then 128, then 256. The 6s models have now gone to the second place, all the future shipments will have 32 and 128 GB internal storage options. It took a while for consumers to fill up their huge 16 GB of memory.
I must say it again; I like the products, not the marketing. Will I go for 7 or 7 Plus? No, I prefer Android. Should you? With better camera, faster performance, better battery life – yes. With no headphone jack, similar design – no; 7s will be a refinement. If you go for the 7 or 7 Plus, be careful in case you buy the Glossy black, or “Jet Black”, model. It is prone to scratches and fingerprints.
Now, here is a parody of the iPhone 7 video.