iPhone 7 updated review

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Review: Updated: iPhone 7

Introduction, design and screen

Let’s get right down to it: if Apple had launched the iPhone 7 in place of the iPhone 6S last year, it would probably have been the phone of the year.

We’re used to the S variants of the iPhone being minimal upgrades – just the right amount of change to encourage a purchase by those with ageing handsets – and if the myriad changes on this new iPhone had arrived in 2015, it would have been fantastic.

Instead of the iPhone 6S, with just a 3D Touch screen in the way of new features and a few power boosts here and there, we’d have had a waterproof handset with dual speakers, a brighter and more colorful screen and a boosted 12MP camera that took better pictures than the one on the iPhone 6.

Changing the home button from a clickable entity to something that responds to pressure – and possibly even the loss of the headphone jack – would have been seen as innovative and alternative in a sea of identikit handsets.

And if Apple had thrown in the new Jet Black finish with a top-end 256GB storage model… well, that would have been a real challenger, a chance for the brand to cast off the ‘tick-tock’ mentality of keeping the smaller upgrades confined to the S variants, and remind us that it just makes great phones.

But that didn’t happen, and now the metronomic quality of Apple’s upgrades seems to have come to a halt – or the pendulum is stuck.

Picked up the new handset? Check out our iPhone 7 tips and tricks guide

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

Because with the iPhone 7 we’ve got another ‘tock’. The initial reaction of dubbing this an iPhone 6SS is unfair, as it’s more than just an S upgrade – but it’s not as much of a push forward as many would have expected given the large changes on the iPhone 4 and 6 in particular.

Although maybe there’s a second pattern emerging here – the odd-numbered iPhones keeping things incremental before the big changes on the even-numbered models. Either way, the iPhone 7 is another very good, but not great, handset from Apple.

Short on time? Then check out our video review of the iPhone 7

iPhone 7 price and release dateLaunched on September 16Price for 32GB starts at $649 (£599, AU$1,079)Cheaper than iPhone 7 Plus by $120 (£120, AU$150)

The iPhone 7 price starts at $649 (£599, AU$1,079) for the 32GB model. If you fancy upping your storage to 128GB you’ll need to shell out $749 (£699, AU$1,229) – which is the same cost as the 64GB iPhone 6S when it launched.

Power users, meanwhile, will want to check out the $849 (£799, AU$1,379) iPhone 7 with an iPhone-first 256GB of storage, giving you masses of storage space.

The iPhone 7 inherits the same pricing structure as the iPhone 6S when it launched back in September 2015 – at least in the US and Australia it does; for those in the UK the aftershocks of Brexit are being felt, with a £60 price hike for the iPhone 7 over the 6S.

Here’s our take on the iPhone 7 Plus in a video review

The iPhone 7 Plus, with its larger 5.5-inch display, bigger battery and dual-camera on back goes for a premium, too. Apple starts the price at $769 (£719, AU$1,229) for 32GB. That means the iPhone 7 is now cheaper by $120 (£120, AU$150), widening the price gap between the two.

In terms of contracts, we’re not looking at a cheap phone here. In the US, you’ll pay about $33 a month for the phone alone without a plan factored in. In the UK, the iPhone 7 starts at £43 per month with no upfront cost – that’ll give you 4GB of data and the lowest-spec model – that’s £9 per month more than the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on the same deal.

DesignWater resistance brings confidence in robustness of deviceSame design as previous two yearsHeadphone jack removal is inconvenient

The two big design changes on the iPhone 7 are big talking points: it can now survive plunges into a swimming pool, thanks to the water-resistant chassis, and the headphone jack on the bottom of the phone is no longer there.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

Let’s start with the biggest of those changes: the omission of the headphone jack. It’s a bold move from Apple – although calling it ‘courageous’ during the launch event was a bit much, and has led to some warranted memes – and one that could shake up the headphone industry.

The loss of this port will impact users in varying degrees: for some people it’ll be no more than a shrug before they get on with their day, because they only use the EarPods in the iPhone box – and those are still there, just with a Lightning connector.

For others, though, it’ll be an inconvenience, as they’ll need to attach the short white dongle to the 3.5mm jack on the end of their headphones in order to plug them into the Lightning port.

In a survey conducted over three commutes, we noticed that out of 60 people wearing headphones, 34 were using the bundled EarPods that Apple offers – given than many of those people might not have been using an iPhone, that’s a higher number than expected.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

Losing the headphone jack also severely limits those wanting to buy a new pair of headphones for use with their iPhone, given how much we all listen to tunes or watch films on our phones these days.

Sure, you can buy regular 3.5mm headphones, but then you’ll have to connect the adaptor. If you want to get something directly compatible you’ll either need to go Bluetooth or Lightning-ready – and there are fewer decent models available to buy in that latter category.

AirPods

You could, of course, try the new Apple AirPods, which have been developed on a new wireless standard. A quick Public Service Announcement: you DO NOT need to buy these to get audio on the iPhone 7.

Three separate people have told us that that’s what they thought was the case when Apple launched them – that’s something the brand needs to clarify soon.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

There’s also another reason not to buy them: they’re incredibly expensive at $159 / £159 / AU$229, and all they really do is cut the wire from the EarPods you get in the box.

The sound quality doesn’t feel like it’s much better, and while the ability to tap one pod to activate Siri, or remove a Pod and have the sound instantly stop, is cool, it’s not really worth the cash.

Plus, there’s also the fact that they don’t look the most elegant in the ears – and if you struggle with the fit of the EarPods, these things are going to fall out all the time.

They do have a lot of charge, come with a cool magnetic carry case (which also adds 24 hours of charge, to the point where we’ve not even come close to running ours down during the review) and free you from the wires… but these feel more like reference designs for future wireless Apple devices than the must-have iPhone accessory.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

The overall design of the iPhone 7 is actually rather impressive when you consider some of the changes that have taken place. The waterproofing always add thickness, as the seals will need some space within the device.

The new dual speakers, which fire out of the earpiece and the bottom of the phone, also needed somewhere to go, which starts to explain why the iPhone 7 is 7.1mm thick… the same as the iPhone 6S, and 0.2mm more than the iPhone 6.

Perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that these features aren’t the first of their kind to market, but there’s something unexciting about the iPhone 7 being waterproof. It’s been done already by Sony on the Xperia Z and Samsung on the Galaxy S7, and those phones combined impressive design with the reassurance that you could sling them in a lake and still have a working phone.

It’s a really nice feature to have, and to iPhone users it’ll be a complete novelty – although they’ll be aware that many Android-toting pals will have had the feature for a while. But it’s a necessary move from Apple, and it’s good to see.

The home button, that iconic design from Apple that’s endured throughout the years, has changed dramatically too: it’s no longer a clickable, physical entity, but a sunken point on the front of the phone that responds to the force of your touch.

Initially, it seemed terrible, something that would be impossible to get used to; the loss of the dependable, pressable button was awful, and we kept getting no response when trying to get back to the home screen from within an app.

But then, suddenly, it clicked (well, not physically), and it felt like a completely natural motion. After a while we forgot what was happening, and when you remember that nothing is moving beneath your finger it’s quite an odd sensation.

Despite the same / slightly higher prices (UK readers can thank Brexit for that one), Apple has doubled the storage sizes on offer with the new iPhone, with 32GB, 128GB and 256GB options. While it’s nice to be able to move files on and off your phone, these new capacities kind of put the debate over why the iPhone doesn’t have a microSD slot to bed – it’s not needed any more.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

The overall design of the iPhone isn’t anything new really – unless you’re looking at the jet black version. This darker version has the antenna bands colored in, a black iPhone logo and a weird shine to the plastic.

It’s kind of like an iPhone 5C was given the Pretty Woman treatment, if that makes any sense.

This model does scratch very easily though, so you’ll need to sling it in a case the second you get your hands on it… which rather defeats the object of owning it in the first place.

The iPhone’s design hasn’t changed a great deal from the 6S, with the only significant alterations other than the loss of the headphone socket being the larger and more protruding camera lens, and the two speaker grilles at the bottom of the phone.

These dual grilles are deceptive though – only one actually fires out sound, while the other is entirely aesthetic, perhaps trying to distract us from the lack of the headphone jack.

As it’s so similar to the iPhone 6S, it’s familiar for most iPhone users. The screen is a little hard to reach with one thumb, but not overly so – and the strong build quality in the volume and silencer switch is still as evident as ever.

Apple knows how to put together a smartphone, and it’s done so effortlessly again here.

Screen25% brightness boost and more colors are hard to spotSharpness is still far lower than competitorsContrast ratio for movie watching could be better

The main change to the screen on the iPhone 7 is the brightness and color, as it’s otherwise identical. The same 4.7-inch 1334 x 750 resolution display is on offer here, meaning that if you hold it side by side with something like the Galaxy S7 Edge, you’ll notice the lack of sharpness.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

However, in day to day use you won’t notice much wrong with the screen at all, as even at the HD resolution on offer you’ve still got a large amount of pixels, so internet browsing and movie watching is still clean, clear and crisp enough.

There’s also 3D Touch in the mix again – it’s an identical system to that on the iPhone 6S, where the handset can detect the amount of pressure your finger is exerting on the screen. We were promised loads of apps that make use of this, but while most icons will do something when force is exerted, it’s not often very useful.

How you view this screen depends on what phone you’re coming from on – if it’s the iPhone 6 or lower, then you’ll love the display, as it’s brighter, more colorful and just as crisp as before. If, however, you’re moving from something like the LG G4, then you might struggle with the lower res, as side by side there is a drop.

This is where Apple sets out its stall when it comes to its screens: it’s not about the sharpness, or the number of nits of brightness – it’s how the display looks when it’s in your hands that matters.

And to that end, the iPhone 7 is a step forward. The screen is more colorful – not in an overpowering technicolor way, but just in terms of richness, with the depth of color matching that of the cinema screen.

The brightness is also improved in the right way – again, it’s not overpowering, but more of an upgrade in the right way, giving you an easier look at the screen when it’s as bright as it can go.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

The white balance of the display is also improved to a warmer tone – there were rumors that Apple was going to be using the same True Tone display as seen in the iPad 9.7, and it feels like elements of that are true.

One thing Apple badly needs to sort out, though, is its auto brightness feature. The current setup is to blind you if you look at the phone in the dark, where other phones are more adept at dropping right down to the lowest possible brightness to save you from burning out your retinas.

Apple will maintain that it’s done enough with the screen to make it a great viewing experience without packing in too many pixels and forcing the battery to work hard unnecessarily.

To a degree that’s right, but in truth if this is the best that can be done on battery life then it’s something of a problem, as the iPhone 7 isn’t stellar in that department.

That’s the feeling that comes across when watching movies on the new iPhone: it’s fine, but nothing special. The contrast ratios don’t feel as clear and crisp as on some other phones, and the size is a little small compared to others.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

Perhaps that’s an unfair criticism. The size of the screen is precisely what attracts some people, and as such it’s presumably acceptable for media.

However, the size of the phone should be able to accommodate a larger display, pushing closer to the edge of the handset rather than the amount of bezel used. Of course, it’s terribly naive to just say things like ‘make the screen bigger!’ ‘Put in more battery!’ ‘Shove in more pixels!’ as everything is a trade-off.

But, as other brands seem to have managed it, it seems that thinner bezels are at least possible.

Talking of watching movies, the dual speakers that Apple has popped into the new iPhone are a real upgrade. The location at the top and bottom is a little weird, given that they fire in different directions, but the sound quality is much better than before.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

They don’t have the impressive sound quality of the speakers on the iPad Pro, but that has extra chambers and four speakers, so that’s understandable.

The audio is a little on the tinny side, but for just showing off a YouTube video or watching a movie in a quiet room they’re more than fine. It’s not a perfect setup for listening to music – there needs to be more bass for that – but Apple has pushed things forward well here.

Specs, iOS 10 and performanceNew A10 Fusion processor offers huge, industry-leading performanceMusic playback still excellent in all formsiOS 10 is a bit more complex, but usable

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

The iPhone 7 comes with the new A10 Fusion chip, once AGAIN the biggest, whizziest and shiniest chip Apple has ever put in a phone.

This time though it’s a quad-core affair, with two cores used for the high-powered stuff and two for the tasks that don’t need full power. The intended result is for the phone to last longer when you’re just checking your email – but we didn’t see much evidence of that.

However, the speed of the iPhone isn’t a problem – that’s for sure. There’s very little you can throw at this phone that it can’t handle, be it quick photo adjustment in Adobe Photoshop, or more heavy video processing on the go.

The stats bear this out as well. We usually run Geekbench on every phone we review, but the developers have just upgraded this to Geekbench 4, so we’re not sure if the numbers correlate.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

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To be sure, we also ran the new software on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and the iPhone 6S. The results were rather startling: despite having fewer cores and reportedly less RAM, the iPhone 7 was 4% faster than the S7 Edge.

More predictably, the iPhone 6S is about 20% slower than the new model – something you can see in our speed test, where both phones just run through a selection of apps.

How does this translate to real-world performance? Well, the aforementioned speed of opening and closing apps is impressive, but that’s not the whole story.

Where the iPhone 7 really comes to the fore is when you’re just ripping through different apps, opening up music before browsing the web and then playing a game.

It’s quite a feat to produce something that plays back music or podcasts so well, and with such decent sound quality, as well as rapidly browsing the web or checking your emails.

We’re absolutely way past the need for such power, but at the same time, it feels nice to know the iPhone 7 is an upgrade.

Talking of musical performance, the audio quality on the iPhone 7 is superb as ever. It’s a hard time to choose between Apple Music and Spotify, for instance, but both offer clean visuals and, if you’re willing to dig, Apple’s platform is quickly becoming a decent alternative to its rival music streaming firm.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

The audio performance is good from both streaming services, and more good news is that your headphones will still work just fine without the 3.5mm jack: plug in a pair of headphones with the adaptor and you’ll still be able to get all the use out of the inbuilt controls, for instance.

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It’s hard to say whether the Lightning port connection for headphones improves things, but without an adaptor you can’t listen to music and charge the phone at the same time… which is a real pain.

Gaming too is superbly strong on this phone, once again ably assisted by the improved performance from the A10 chipset.

What does that mean in real terms? In theory, much more impressive games visually. In practice, however, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. Many of the titles that can use this extra power are yet to come out, and we’ve lost count of the times Apple has told us we now wield console-quality graphics in our hands.

That said, there is one new feature that really improves the gaming experience: Taptic feedback from within the phone.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

The new vibrating engine delivers smaller, more targeted buzzing of the phone, so when you’re firing a machine gun, or crashing a car into the side of a wall, it feels more realistic and engaging.

It sounds like a small thing, but if this is the kind of feature that’s been made possible by the omission of the headphone jack then we’re not complaining.

iOS 10

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

The new iPhone is always the poster child for the new version of any operating system, and the iPhone 7 is no exception.

Apple’s new iOS 10 is one of the best platforms the company has ever put together – but it’s something of an acquired taste.

There’s a lot more going on here than before, with the ‘left of home screen’ panel containing all manner of updates and information – it’s like the News panel and the notification pane from the top of the phone have been merged into one, with more information and widget choices readily available.

The lock screen has also been given an overhaul, with the same pieces of information available with a swipe across. The iPhone 7 also has ‘raise to wake’ enabled, so whenever you pick up the phone it’ll instantly wake itself.

Apple says this was done to stop people missing the lock screen altogether, such is the speed of Touch ID, and that’s mostly been solved here.

But what it has done, especially when combined with a non-clickable home button, is create something of an unlocking vortex when you’re trying to interact with the lock screen.

Pick up the phone, play with some widgets and decide you want into the phone – suddenly, you’ll place your finger down to open things up through Touch ID, and you’re not in. The phone is now telling you to press the Home Button again… for no good reason.

That’s probably the most complex element of the OS though, and anyone coming from an Android phone will enjoy the range of widgets and new twists on board. However, those upgrading their iPhone might not find quite so much joy.

Battery lifeBattery life improved, but not by enoughCharges fairly quickly from dead, but topping up can be harderImproved performance when watching video

Now, onto a crucial part of the iPhone 7: the battery life. This is a tricky one, as has Apple said it’s increased the battery life and efficiency through the improvements to the iPhone and the A10 Fusion chip.

The latter is a key part, as it’s designed to make the new iPhone separate into two task machines: on the one hand, two cores can run the harder stuff, such as video editing, multiple background processes, photo manipulation etc.

The other two cores are much more lightweight, but better at making sure you can still get your emails and browse the lighter apps – presumably Kindle reading would come under this category.

What’s not clear is which set of cores do what – it would be great to know how to activate the lower-power cores only, because during our tests we didn’t see any evidence of great battery life at all.

Every day by around five o’clock things get dicey in terms of battery. Looking at the stats, the reasons were many and varied: one day it was Spotify running in the background that was taking its toll, the next the use of the phone as a portable hotspot, and the next Facebook was pulling the power, or WhatsApp.

There was also a lot of ‘Home & Lock Screen’ taking up the power, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given how short an amount of time we spent there. Is that just the screen being fired up? Either way, it takes a decent chunk of the battery.

In short, it’s hard to see where Apple has improved the battery life on the iPhone 7, because despite a 10% increase in battery life over the previous model, it was hard to see where that improvement was coming from.

After three weeks of using the iPhone 7, there were very few days where I didn’t need to connect to the charger at some point. On the weekends, where I was using the phone a little harder, I’d always get to nearly running out at about half three and need another boost.

There’s no reason that this should be such an effort, and it’s not something we’d ever encounter on newer Android phones – Apple needs to get up to the level of its rivals.

The charging speed of the iPhone 7 is decent though – Apple’s not put a number on it, nor made this the big feature on stage, but if you plug your iPhone into a faster 2.1A iPad charging block it’ll juice up the handset faster.

That’s not something a lot of people will do, or even be aware they can do, but in 30 minutes they’ll get around a 25% boost in battery power, with that absorption rate maintained until later in the charge cycle.

Later on, when the battery is getting close to topped up, the charging definitely slows down, although it does trickle over the line eventually.

We’ve seen other people claim excellent battery life for the iPhone 7, but we can’t work out how that’s happening. Even trying different power-use levels on the phone rarely led to better battery life.

We ran our usual battery test (HD video at full brightness for 90 minutes) and that’s where you can see how the iPhone 7 has improved: where the previous iPhone 6S managed to drop 30%, the new handset only lost 23% for the same test.

It’s not as good as some other phones, but for the iPhone lover (who doesn’t want a phablet) this is the phone to go for.

Does the iPhone 7 have decent battery life? Well, we’ve needed to charge it sooner than most phones of its ilk, and while we get the trade-offs needed to create this phone (the thinner design, for example) it still feels odd that Apple’s not gone all-out on battery life yet.

CameraNew color capture does work wellLow light performance now excellent12MP resolution is still perfectly fine for smartphone snaps

Before we get onto the actual camera performance, let’s look at the specs that Apple is promising with the new camera: a 12MP lens, an improved f/1.8 aperture sensor for better lower light photos, an enhanced ability to gather color and light into the lens, and a dedicated image processing chip to speed things along when taking multiple snaps.

Oh, and the front-facing camera has been upgraded too, to a 7MP option when you’re taking pictures of yourself – and that’s meant to be better in lower light too, to make sure you get the right pictures when you’re out for dinner at a candlelit restaurant or getting down in da clubz.

It’s a real shame that Apple didn’t decide to include the dual-camera array that it’s added to the iPhone 7 Plus here too – it would have been a killer feature, and just the kind of upgrade many are looking for to help convince themselves the new iPhone is the one to go for.

But, it’s not here so… how does the iPhone 7’s camera bear up in real-world usage? About as well as you’d expect, with Apple making a few small steps forward in a number of areas, rather than making a colossal stride forward in picture quality.

One thing that Apple has always done is favor the more natural image when taking a picture, meaning you won’t get a heavily saturated picture. Instead, colors will be more muted but true-to-life – if that’s the kind of thing you want, then this phone will service your needs well.

That does mean that when taking lower-light shots you’ll see a bit more noise, as smoothing the image doesn’t seem to happen as readily on the iPhone 7 as other models.

In terms of darker shots that’s probably where the iPhone 7 has improved the most – check out the pictures of the rabbit in the dark on the next page to see how much things have come on since the iPhone 6S.

We took the two phones out for a little test (the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 6S) and, lo and behold, every photo was a little bit better.

The colors were nice, the brightness better, the sharpness the same but also looking better thanks to the new color-capture ability.

This is in addition to the usual range of impressive tweaks on an iPhone: the ability to switch on HDR mode, Live Photos, the flash and a few other smaller settings.

However, the improvements seem pretty minimal overall (the low light excepted), meaning that if you’re after an iPhone with a decent camera you can probably just buy the iPhone 6S and get the same amount of joy from it, and save some cash into the bargain.

Apple should be applauded for its stance on photography – the idea of keeping it pure and simple and not confusing things with pro modes rammed down your throat the moment you turn on the camera.

It would be nice if the inbuilt camera app had some more settings you could tweak, but there are multiple apps out there to do such things for you – so if you do buy the iPhone and want to improve the camera experience, it’s totally possible.

 

 

iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6S camera

There’s a few upgrades in the iPhone 7’s camera that are worth digging into: while the resolution is the same, the improvements are more behind the scenes. You can look at things like a six lens system, but it’s hard to demonstrate the practical benefits of these to the average user.

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Instead, a few key upgrades stand out: much better low light performance, a faster shutter speed, brighter and more colorful images – complete with a better screen to view them on.

However, some of the changes don’t add a huge amount, with some scenarios not showing a massive upgrade in picture quality.

Verdict

If you’re reading this review, chances are you’re wondering whether the iPhone 7 is worth buying. Well, the new iPhone isn’t the phone that many will have been waiting for, as it comes with a similar look and feel to previous models.

That’s a critical point, as it will sit shoulder to shoulder with the iPhone 6S on shop shelves, and while there are upgrades, they’re more changes and tweaks to improve the user experience than sweeping updates to bring a whole new iPhone experience.

If you’re thinking about buying a new iPhone (and aren’t interested in the larger frame of the iPhone 7 Plus), the question you should be asking yourself is: do I go for the 7 or the 6S?

Let’s face it, Apple knows how to make great phones, and the foundations of the iPhone are excellent – that’s why so many millions are instantly sold each year – so it comes down to whether you want to buy the new iPhone, or can get most of the same benefits by paying a bit less.

The biggest updates to hook onto are the fact the iPhone 7 is water-resistant and has more powerful dual speakers for showing off videos to friends. These are good upgrades, but don’t seem to be enough to entice people we’ve spoken to.

What’s in the box? Find out in our iPhone 7 unboxing video

The brighter and more colorful screen, the more powerful innards, the slightly larger battery and the upgraded camera feel more like the kind of changes we get on the S variants of the iPhone, not a new-numbered model.

It’s hugely disappointing that only the iPhone 7 Plus got the dual-camera array, as being able to use optical zoom, create DSLR-esque effects and get improved snaps all round would have been a real reason to entice people to move to the latest iPhone.

The upgrades to the internal memory are thoroughly welcome though, with the doubling of the capacity for the same price (or a touch more in the UK as exchange rates fluctuate), a move we’ve been begging Apple to make for a long time.

The price is still high for what you’re getting – but then again, we’ve said that time and again about a new iPhone, and people keep buying them… so perhaps at some point that argument ceases to be relevant.

 

The loss of the headphone jack does make sense – possibly. But even if this does turn out to be a masterstroke, it’ll be a couple of years before it stops being an inconvenience… which is about the shelf life of the iPhone 7.

Who’s it for?

There are some clear indications as to the type of person who would enjoy the iPhone (beyond someone who’s just going to buy the latest model because it’s there).

The camera is probably the biggest hardware upgrade in terms of its low-light capability, and combined with the water-resistant nature of the iPhone 7 it’s good for someone who just wants to capture the precious moments day by day – so if you’ve got kids doing adorable things constantly, want to document time with friends or are just obsessed with taking snaps of pets, you’ll get something from this phone.

Review: Updated: iPhone 7

 

It’ll also be good for those people who like to watch films without headphones, as the dual speakers really help sell the handset in that respect (although you’ll need to be careful not to cover the speakers).

You’ll also need to either be: a) someone who only uses bundled iPhone headphones, b) someone with a single pair of headphones they use daily, so you can put the adaptor on and forget about them or c) someone willing to invest more money in Lightning or Bluetooth options instead.

In short – this is the best iPhone around, and if that’s the thing that matters to you, then go straight for the new model.

Should you buy it?

Apple has hit its marks with the iPhone 7, delivering upgrades in the right areas and to a decent level at times – it knows the level it needs to hit to make the iPhone seem new, and it’s done just enough to achieve that.

The water resistance is mostly there to improve your confidence in the robustness of the phone, and you’ll need to be ready to listen to your music on the new phone in a slightly different way.

 

If you have three pairs of 3.5mm jack-connected headphones in constant rotation, it’ll be mere days before you get incredibly frustrated that you can’t use your cans or buds with the iPhone 7 as you’ve left the sodding adaptor somewhere else.

But if you’re someone who just uses the headphones in the box, or only has Bluetooth cans, then you’ll not notice the change one single jot.

The real question you should ask yourself here is: should I just go for the iPhone 6S? That phone has the same sharpness of display, a similar camera, the same dimensions and the same iOS capabilities – plus a clickable home button and a headphone jack, familiarities some will love.

It’s the same phone but just a paler version – it depends if that matters to you, as it’s a good way to save money without losing loads of functionality.

The iPhone 7 isn’t a huge upgrade; it’s a few small – but useful – steps forward.

Source: feedproxy.google.com

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49 thoughts on “iPhone 7 updated review

  1. Yeah, he’s basically the fat guy out of the South Park world of warcraft episode in my head. It’s funny, I don’t mind. He gets so angry!

  2. value is something that is self defined, my god. And no; it’s mostly you not knowing one OS, and comparing it to another. (as i’ve shown through 8 posts of your drivel, and complete mis understanding of how music comes out of phones via digital files. \n\nPlease learn about what you’re talking before spreading all this (mis)information.

  3. please click on this kids, name (@brack vakic) he has no clue what he’s talking about.

  4. Well, yeah, but utility is subjective and impossible to quantify or measure; it depends on the customer. For me, an Android phone wins and is far more useful to me as I can’t even put music on an iPhone without doing that stone age ‘sync’ BS and I can’t configure it to how I want it, it’s just a one size fits all thing. For others, it’s the other way around. For ME, Android wins hands down in the ‘utility’ stakes AND it’s cheaper so for me an Android phone is far, far better value. For others who’ve grown up in the Apple ecosystem and have no idea how to view their photos on other devices using third party solutions (a lot of Apple users I know have no idea ‘where’ their photos are, just that they can always see them…)…well, I can see that an iPhone is ‘better’ value. \n\nSo, I don’t think you can really measure absolute value in this way (I’m not trying to measure it at all, but the guy I replied to was…remember this was in response to that)…if you want to measure absolute value and announce catagorically that ‘this is better value than that’ then surely you need to disregard the user and simply consider the facts and profits in the way I described…at least to SOME extent.\n\nConsidering solely the customer experience is fine if there is a definitive ‘winner’ in the utility stakes but that’s not the case here so I don’t see the point in factoring it in.

  5. But that makes no sense, Apple have a way bigger mark up on their phones. How can you so confidently say that Android phones are far worse value? Surely to some extent the ‘value’ is defined by the ratio of build cost to actual cost? \n\nAndroids changed a lot. It used to be cheaper and more versatile but a bit clunky and not so slick as iOS. But that’s changed; using iOS after Android you wonder why Apple deliberately make it so clunky, frustrating and awkward to use.

  6. Wow, talk about complete ignoarance, aragance and many more negative adjectives towards your post. The sheer amount of what can only be called, basic features, missing from iOS is enough to make even an Amish person wanting more. I mean it took Apple 8 years to even introduce a sharing function, a feature mind you that creates another file or copy everytime you use it, I have to clean up around 500 files every month that are nothing but copies of copies of copies. Simply ridiculous! \n\nDon’t get me stated how horrible file management is or the almost complete lack of multitasking or the ability to run apps in the background.\n\nIt costs less than $280 to produce an iPhone, saying an Android phone, which contains the identical parts except for the CPU, is less of a phone is complete and utter BS. It’s fine that you prefer iOS but stating it’s better than something else is just an opinion and a meaningless one at that. Especially when I can do a lot more with my Android phone than you can with your iPhone, a lot, lot more. I say this as I’m typing on a keyword, which is connected to my phone, which also has a monitor, mouse, external HD, HP printer connected to it. Running Chrome, full version through a Citrix client, which runs with zero lag, as in, my phone is also my desktop computer, why, because I can and it works great. iOS, I can t even run a terminal in the background let alone use it as desktop computer.

  7. I actually burst out laughing in the office reading your reply.\n\nI really hope that you are kidding or missed the /s at the end.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\n.\nOh, you really mean what you wrote?

  8. hahahh love how the A-holes only start sprouting bs about processor specs once crapple have finally made something comparable….\n\nbut wait, where is your multitasking?

  9. yep… and as i want a phone with software that works as a smartphone should, i’ll stick with ios… Android is getting tempting and better overall, but not enough for me yet… My iphones can be used for years each without any major headaches. It is ok for me, it just

  10. It is a con to a certain degree and it’s noticeable when you use the phone heavily day in day out. I’ve used Androids in the past and to me it’s not as fluid or responsive as an iPhone. Most quick actions feel somewhat forced, almost as if the OS is trying to catch up to the commands on the handset, I just found it annoying over time. And let’s be real, most Androids users don’t customize the phone beyond the first week after they get it. Aside from maybe the wallpaper, ringer or text tone most don’t really tweak anything. Keep in mind Apple has a closed ecosysten because security and stability is the main priority for the company. I’m on my third iPhone and I’ve never had a single problem any of my handsets, but I couldn’t say the same when I owned the S5. I’m not saying Androids are not excellent phones but they’re not iPhones

  11. ”Androids are the PCs of the smartphone world”\n\nAnd that’s supposed to be a con?…\n\nI mean, sure, if you don’t know what you’re doing… Personally, I LOVE to know about the hardware and software I use and to be able to control it myself. \n\nTo me, Apple products are a bit like a controlled and secure environment. It works perfectly, but it doesn’t let you do much with it.

  12. AFAIK more titles, more gamers, better looking games, better performance due to games being developed for iOS first and with better optimization. Vulkan will close most of the performance gap I think.\n\nYes, it’s unfortunate that the iPhone screen on time sucks, especially with the 7 when you can’t plug headphones and charge at the same time to play games.\n\n

  13. Care to explain what advantage iOS has over Android for gaming?\n\nI play a tons of games on my S7 Edge and never had any problem. Only difference I notice is that it doesn’t eat as much of my battery life as what it did with my iPhone 6 (I mean, of course, the S7E’s battery is better too).

  14. No Lincoln ever made was better built than a Mercedes. The S7 edge looks and feels like a Mercedes next to the iPhone. \n\nI forgot the single advantage iOS still has over Android: mobile gaming. I’m not a mobile gamer so I tend to forget it’s a thing.\n\nAndroid flexibility isn’t a gimmick. It’s what iOS will have two generations later.\n\nAs long as you don’t buy direct from China, Android is stable. I have a HTC One M7 and in over two years I’ve had zero stability problems.

  15. Let’s be real, Androids are the PCs of the smartphone world and will never be as stable, reliable or as fluid as an iPhone. The problem lies in the fact that the OS has to continually factor in hundreds of different hardware configurations. Does this mean Androids are bad phones? No, they’re actually excellent phones but it’s still not an an iPhone and never will be. Buying an iPhone vs an Android is like buying a Mercedes vs a Lincoln. Sure Lincoln will throw every gimmick and feature possible to reel you in for the sale but in the end it’s still not a Mercedes. Either way enjoy your Lincoln bud.

  16. Fewer heavy cores beat multiple lighter cores usually, it’s a choice. Phone performance is irrelevant these days when a 350$ phone has almost no perceptible performance penalty compared to an 800$ phone.\n\nAndroids have better form factors, better design (S7 edge beats 7s by a country mile), much better screens, much better charging and wireless charging, infinite storage with micro SD slots, better screen on times, better audio (some even have audiophile DACs & headphone amps), better cameras (maybe Apple achieved parity for a couple of months with the 7+). \n\nThe app gap between iOS and Android isn’t a thing anymore but you might find some esoteric apps from small publishers that are iOS only. And Android has some advantages in day to day use, especially the sharing function.\n\nWhat Apple still has is better updates (doh, it’s only a phone not 1000) and a little better OS stability. Other than that, zilch.

  17. Why would an Android user limit himself to Samsung Pay? That’s like saying, Windows is great, because you can always use Lenovo Pay.

  18. You realize that you can use the Samsung Pay on a mag strip reader, right? That

  19. I don’t care who you think you are or what you believe to know about Apple fanboys. It’s still a fact that only one half per mille Europeans own a Samsung VR unit ( mostly because they got it for free with one of their stupid phones ). All while even refugees nowadays come equipped with smartphones. The one phone accessory most people own is a case, not a battery case just a protective case. And that’s the world of mobile computing for you.

  20. Gets mad when people call Apple products ‘hyped’ but cannot help himself talking bad about everything non-Apple, preferably ‘gimmick’ and ‘meaningless spec’. \n\nIn 100% of the cases, when Apple implements these ‘gimmicks’ and ‘meaningless specs’ about 2-4 years later, it is suddenly ‘revolutionary’ or at least ‘perfectly normal’. \n\nProof of case: Larger screens, notification bar, stylus, waterproof hardware, quad-core CPU, dual camera’s, widgets. Within 2-4 years, you would be defending using iPhone 8 or 9’s 4K displays, iVR and octa-core CPU. And you know it.\n\nSigned,\na non-Android fan (nor user).

  21. We started with high-end VR is the future and ended with a piece of cardboard. Gimmick.

  22. Did u get the number of google cardboard that was sold? \n\nSpec race? Do you even know tech? If you maybe research on what type of hardware is required to run VR, you will understand that its not as widely accessible as an xbox/ps4. Thats the reason snobs like you continue to make dumb comments. I’m betting you have no clue of what ‘hololens’ is do you?\n\nPlease stop your useless rant. And maybe research more thoroughly before you post another shallow argument. \n

  23. Samsung Has Sold 300,000 Gear VR Units in Europe This Year\n\nThat’s less than a half VR unit on 1000 Europeans. Nobody owns this gimmick and nobody will program a game directed at a market of 300K people. VR is a dead end and so 4K on a smartphone screen are wasted pixels. You are blinded by a meaningless spec race with no user benefits.

  24. Again, another thoughtless reply…\nNFC payments were only fully adopted when apple decided to ‘join’ the game. \n\nVR gimmick? Sounds like you’ll be left behind and become stagment. Sounds like a familiar comment when touch screens replaced buttons on a phone.\n\nYour CPU comparison is shallow. Comparing the same CPU’s power on Windows and Mac dont ever show the same result. Especially games. \n\nHigh end Android CPUs are made to run QHD displays. Apple has it very easy with 720p and only recently 1080p. The rest of the world are playing games on 4K. VR on PC requires computing power only Macs can dream of. But when you live in the apple world, none of this makes sense or matter anyway. Its only when. You start your blind comparisons that just shows the extent of your understanding. \n\nThe billion dollar company has been working with refining iOS on 720p for years. You would expect no less from the fluidness of an iPhone. Android handsets are constantly evolving, adapting and paving the way. If you consider this, Android is more versatile.\n\n\n\n\n

  25. And nobody cares! Android had NFC first, nevertheless now 90% of all contact-less payments in the US are made with Apple Pay. VR is a gimmick, no games or movies use it. It’s a technology without an application. Only when there is a service build upon the technology, it will have value to the customer. Besides that, even last years A9 chip delivers more CPU power than every Android phone this year. If CPU power is for VR, than Android isn’t very good at it.

  26. That’s not the point, see the rant above my post. The point is android devices have higher specs because they are more capable. VR being an example and is only 1/20th of the price compared to vive/oculus.

  27. You don’t run PC games on a mobile device but that does not mean you can’t play games on them. Same with VR on mobile. Use it once, even on a mobile device, it will blow you away.

  28. The Galaxy can also only dream of doing VR. The experience is so far away from Oculus Rift / HTC Vive that its more of a gimmick

  29. Let’s be honest it’s more than that….what Apple exploits is how powerful marketing is and how Americans love shiny things. While Samsung and others push the envelope, Apple just sits back and collects and it won’t change until their general buyers become more educated. By what he Scrobbel said, the fact the company is charging you more is unbelievable.

  30. Whos the ignorant one here? \nThe high end screens and CPU power is for VR, which the iPhone can only dream of doing.\n\nCan you tell whats the difference between an iPhone, ipod or ipad? Nothing… Thats what your buying into. \n\nIPhone is a good phone. But its playing catch up for a while now and the stretch is only getting longer\n

  31. Senseless nonsense.\n\nThere is no Android competitor ahead of Apple; they’re all still power-hungry, lower quality products that pack in bargain bin components to make up a wholly inefficient architectural configuration – all sold to the public for a massive premium. At least when forking out for an iPhone, there’s tangible effort (and a complete OS) that makes it somewhat better value for money.\n\nBut as the majority of Android droners, it’s all about

  32. Yeah I think HTC was one of the first that got into the whole dual speaker thing. I never owned one though. I just think it is sad that my relatively new s7 Edge’s speaker basically sucks compared to my two year old iPhone’s speaker. Probably because I actually tend to use it for podcasts and audiobooks. Never used to until I got the iPhone 6 and deemed the speaker ok for that.

  33. There are better phones then the Samsung Note 7. The LG V-20 for one. And HTC makes far better speaker phones.

  34. wow, couldn’t agree more. I feel exactly the same way you feel. My former Note 5 got me so frustrated with those

  35. It’s highly personal, but as someone who had iPhones for my last 3 phones before switching to Android, I find my new S7 Edge to be the most beautiful piece of hardware I’ve ever owned.\n\nThose curves…gorgeous.\n\nAs for Android in general, the only negative I can think about is that it leaves more room for tinkering (actually can require some) with it, which can be bothersome for those who are only looking to use their phone for basic communications. But I love customizing stuff and it’s one of the things that totally helped me leave behind the closed system of Apple.

  36. Thank you. I think that a lot of people get caught up in thinking that we need to have groundbreaking options. To me, what’s important is the phone works for calls, messaging, video conferencing, camera, browsing, convenience built in with notes and so on, every time I use it. This is guarenteed with iphone (quick, easy, one or two clicks or voice commands for everything). I don’t need a retina scan because my phone is already unlocked by my fingerprint. I speak and Siri (usually) responds. I think it’s great that there are options for everyone – big speakers on HTC, great camera on Samsung (though I rarely see ohotgraphers using a galaxy to take photos), modularity on LG, durability on Motorola. But for me, just give me the on that works the best so I can get on with my life (business, romancing my girl, playing with my kids, exercise, repeat).

  37. The little led is one of the best features on the Galaxy phones. I know when its fully charged, I know when I have a message and depending on the colour what app it is from – all without having to fire up the screen

  38. Who is far ahead is all about what functions and aspects are important to you. I chose that waterproof was important, so I got the S7 Edge. It turns out the little things are more important.\n\nSubjectively, the ease of typing is important. I find the finger to screen interaction way more pleasant on the iPhone. I am not sure what they do, but it is something that is different.\n\nVery objectively, the speaker on the S7 Edge completely sucks in comparison to the 2 year old iPhone 6. I actually use it a lot for audiobooks and podcasts, so that is a big letdown.\n\nThe S7 Edge does not know what

  39. It’s pretty clear this is deliberate to make next year’s iPhone even better. I wondered why wait to add amoled next year?\n\nWaterproof and stereo speakers though, is that it of real value?\n\nSamsung especially but Sony and HTC are now so far ahead in the phones to Apple it’s embarrassing.\n\nNot that it matters to still ask why didn’t you get an iPhone?\n\nBut it’ll continue to hurt sales for those choosing Android.

  40. Why have customers pay more for nothing? Sounds like a sound business move…

  41. You literally just made your own counterpoint. So if that’s the case why change ports and have customers pay more for nothing? Exactly.

  42. Yeah; I don'[t understand that either. I think the author was told that fact but didn’t really understand it. If the DAC is in the actual headphones then I can sort of see the point, but how do you then get the ‘sound’ from the DAC to the actual headphone drivers? Most likely via a cable very similar to the ones used with 3.5 jacks, albeit much shorter. I guess the only real benefit in that is the lack of degredation from a much shorter audio cable. But that’s very, very minor and you’d have to spend a lot of money to notice. And be listening to full size FLACs, using a DAC that definitely couldn’t fit in a pair of headphones. Hmm. Maybe it IS all about locking people in and selling more licenses…

  43. Totally agree. And even if the theoretically better DAC was in the buds, wouldn’t it be better to have it on the phone so that all earphones benefit from the improved conversion? I’ve got some gold-plated HDMI cables to sell you…

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