Apple Unveils New iPhone 7, Aggravates Headphone Users
Even if you don’t know what day it is, there are some events that let you know which month it is. Christmas will always be in December. Canada Day and Independence Day are always in July. And new iPhone reveal day is a hallmark of September. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were unveiled, though likely to pre-event fanfare than the PlayStation Meeting also held on Wednesday. As seems to be the case with Apple, they’re bringing a few features that were formerly Android phone exclusive to the iPhone with a new one that might have people up in arms.
The new iPhone 7 line will look roughly the same as last year’s 6S line with the exception of an updated black finish and larger bumps on the back for the camera(s). The Home button has been redesigned so that you don’t have to click it in to use it. It instead appears to respond to your touch similarly to a touch screen. Apple also says that this year’s displays will be 25% brighter and display more colours without an upgrade in resolution since the 6 two years ago.
The body of the iPhone 7 phones will be water-resistant. Their current rating says they can survive for 30 minute submerged in one metre of water. Would I do that? No. I must have gotten some water on my Galaxy S7 and, while it worked, the speaker took a couple weeks before it was back to 100%.
As had been rumoured pretty much since the launch of the 6S, the iPhone 7 won’t feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. As a somewhat compensating measure, the 7 & 7 Plus will come with a second speaker to allow for stereo audio. The standard Apple EarPods™ will come with a Lightning connector plug-in for their own headphones and a 3.5mm to Lightning adapter will also come with the new line of iPhones. Many people weren’t happy with Apple switching to a proprietary connector when they did it the first time and I can’t imagine that this will go over well either. It was originally reported that removing the 3.5mm jack was supposed to allow for the phone to be thinner but that’s obviously not the case here. So what is the point of going Lightning port only?
The camera has been upgraded on both sides. The resolution of the rear camera is the same as the 6S but has a larger aperture opening (from f/2.2 to f/1.8) and an upgraded LED flash which means that the camera will have be letting in more light through the lens and gets a boost from the flash. The front-facing selfie camera has been upgraded from 5 megapixels to 7 megapixels which will require us to all make more liberal use of Instagram filters before posting selfies.
Now, if you have the iPhone 7 Plus, you will get a dual-camera setup on the rear of the phone. The dual-camera setup is already available on the LG G5 and Huawei P9. This is supposed to allow for 2x optical photo zoom rather than handling it all digitally. There will still be digitally simulated optical zoom of up to 10x on the Plus but the image will likely be of a lower quality than at 2x zoom.
For those more concerned about the innards of the iPhone 7, this year’s phone will have the A10 processor which Apple says will have 40% more processing power than the A9 chip in the 6S and 50% more power in terms of graphics processing while dropping power consumption by one-third from the A9. They say this translates to an extra two hours in battery life for the base phones and one hour for the S line phones when comparing the 6S and 7.
I guess the tl;dr of the iPhone 7 is that it’s another incremental improvement over the previous iPhone. It’s faster and has a better camera but there are no really big features that Apple were touting coming out of Wednesday’s announcement. The biggest news from the announcement was the unveiling of Super Mario Run. If I had an iPhone, my contract would have to be up for me to consider jumping to a 7 because they have to be due for a big upgrade with the 7S.