11 things you need to know about the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

11 things you need to know about the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

The cold, hard and essential facts about Apple's latest smartphone.

SINGAPORE: Technology enthusiasts spent the past year stabbing in the dark over the iPhone 7's specs, design and features. But now we know everything.

Apple has finally pulled back the curtain, revealing its 2016 flagship smartphone to the world - spilling several cans of beans about the CPU, camera, storage, screen and features in the process.

There's a lot that's new - and some stuff that isn't - so let's take you through everything you need to know about the iPhone 7.

1) YOU'LL HARDLY SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

An iPhone 7 is displayed during an Apple media event in San Francisco

An iPhone 7 is displayed during an Apple media event in San Francisco. (Photo: Reuters)

The iPhone 7 looks just like the iPhone 6S, right? Well, yes and no.

Apple has mostly stuck with the same exterior design, so in terms of shape it's near identical to the iPhone 6 and 6S.

Sure, there are a few minor differences - and some bigger ones too, like the lack of a headphone jack. The two plastic channels on the back of the phone are gone, but the general look is very much the same.

From a distance, you might find it hard to tell any of the last three generations of iPhone apart – unless you're talking about colour.

The jet black model is brand new but that glossy back stands out – hopefully it won't be a fingerprint magnet.

There's a matte black colour option too which shouldn't show up your greasy mitts quite so badly. Other colour options are gold and rose gold.

2) THE HEADPHONE JACK HITS THE ROAD

The Apple iPhone7 and AirPods are displayed

The Lightning connection on the Apple iPhone 7 is shown on display. (Photo: Reuters)

We said it would happen, and many were upset - but Apple went and did it anyway.

The iPhone 7 doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone socket. That's a big deal, and this is likely to upset many – even if Apple did include a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter.

If you don't want to lug an adapter with you everywhere, you can pick up some Bluetooth buds or buy a set of lightning cable headphones. Apple's got a pair of its own – the Airpods.

AirPods are wireless in-ears that'll rock for five hours on a single charge, but they look a bit like a pair of rabbit ears.

The obvious question is: "Why remove the jack at all?" Turns out, having a great big hole in your phone is a hindrance to keeping water out.

3) IT'S WATERPROOF, BABY

waterproof Apple Watch

The new Apple Watch, like the iPhone 7, is waterproof. (Photo: AFP)

Many previous versions of iPhones have been dropped into a toilet, pint glass or swimming pool. The good news is that this would not destroy the iPhone 7.

That is because it is the very first waterproof Apple phone.

The iPhone 7 will shrug off spills and even survive a dunking if you have an accident. The waterproof seals will keep the delicate inside bits safe from moisture, so you won’t get caught short in the rain either.

Dust won't be a problem too. The whole thing is sealed, and the IP67 rating means there aren't really any holes for sand and grit to hide in.

4) THE CAMERA KICKS THINGS UP A NOTCH

Phil Schiller discusses the camera on the iPhone7 during a media event in San Francisco

Phil Schiller discusses the camera on the iPhone7 during a media event in San Francisco. (Photo: Reuters)

Just like last year, there are still a few differences between the iPhone 7 and its bigger brother, but there are still a few upgrades you'll want to keep an eye on.

First up: Optical image stabilisation. It was only on the iPhone 6S before, but now it's on the mainstream model too. It's still rocking a 12MP sensor, but it's 60 per cent faster now, and 30 per cent more energy efficient. This is good news for shutterbugs who worry about their phone batteries getting drained.

The lens has a wider f/1.8 aperture now, which lets in a lot more light than last year's models. It's paired with a TrueTone flash, like before, only it's got four LEDs now - for 50 per cent more light in dark scenes. Anti-flicker should adjust the shutter to cope with artificial light.

You can finally save RAW files as well as JPEGs, and it'll shoot in wide colour gamut too.

The front-facing camera has also had a bit of an upgrade with a 7MP FaceTime HD sensor.

5) THE IPHONE 7 PLUS GETS ITS ZOOM ON

Phil Schiller discusses the camera on the iPhone7 during a media event in San Francisco

Phil Schiller discusses the camera on the iPhone7 during a media event in San Francisco. (Photo: Reuters)

On top of the regular 12MP lens, the iPhone 7 Plus has a second 56mm telephoto lens (compared to the standard 28mm lens).

This lets Apple work wonders with zoom. There’s a new button that appears in the camera app - 1X. Press this, and you are going to enjoy 2x lossless zoom, thanks to that second telephoto lens.

However, you can drag this button up all the way to 10x zoom, without any apparent loss in quality.

Apple kept pretty quiet on the actual details, but it did confirm that this advanced zooming is possible as a result of a mixture between both lenses, and some clever software tricks.

If it delivers, this could very well be the best smartphone camera ever made.

Also, the iPhone 7 Plus makes use of both lenses and some clever software tricks to power a new portrait mode - which automatically detects a person’s face, blurring the background via software, giving a reasonably convincing DSLR-like bokeh effect.

Again, we’ll have to wait to see how it performs in real world use - but it’s a feature that no other smartphone currently offers.
6) WE FINALLY SAY GOOD RIDDANCE TO 16GB

A lawsuit filed in Silicon Valley federal court over the weekend accuses Apple of knowingly selling

The 16GB iPhone model is a thing of the past. (Photo: Reuters)

So, the 16GB model is finally gone. Once you take into account iOS and the essential apps, the 16GB model only gives you enough space for about 20 photos and two apps.

The iPhone 7's new base-level storage is a somewhat more sensible 32GB, with the other editions offering 128GB and a new 256GB of internal space. 256GB is a lot for a phone. In fact, it has more storage than most of Apple's laptops – so props to the company for catering to power users.

7) IT'S A PERFORMANCE POWERHOUSE

Phil Schiller discusses the iPhone7 during a media event in San Francisco

The iPhone 7 will have the new A10 processor. (Photo: Reuters)

Another year, another iPhone, and another impressive processor baked directly in Apple’s own kitchen.

This time we’ve got the all-new A10, and it’s Apple’s (and possibly the world’s) most powerful smartphone processor.

The numbers are impressive. We are looking at a quad-core beast with two high-performance cores which are 40 per cent faster than the equivalent found in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Not only that, but they run at a higher efficiency, sucking up less power.

The two other cores use up one-fifth the power of the more powerful cores, and are used for less intensive tasks, helping preserve battery life.

You can’t talk about processors without throwing a sexy GPU into the mix, and Apple’s new six-core beast is 50 per cent faster than the graphical grunt found in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

Apple promises “console-level gaming”, which is a pretty big sell, so we’ll have to wait and see what gaming goodies the App store will throw our way in the near future.

8) IT'S HAD A BATTERY BOOST

New iPhone 7

Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, talks about the iPhone 7's battery life. (Photo: Reuters)

Apple never reveals the exact size of its iPhone batteries, and this year is no different.

Unsurprisingly though, we’re promised the “best iPhone battery life ever”. This is of course rather vague, but a figure of “two hours longer” than the 6S and 6S Plus was mentioned.

We are definitely going to have to wait for our full review to see if Apple’s selling us the true picture. But with more efficient processors, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this claim come true.

9) THE SCREEN ADDS A SPLASH OF COLOUR

Phil Schiller discusses the depth of field and bokeh effects in the iPhone 7 Plus during an Apple m

Phil Schiller discusses the depth of field and bokeh effects in the iPhone 7 Plus. (Photo: Reuters)

Apple has borrowed some screen tech from the iPad Pro 9.7, giving the iPhone 7 a more natural-looking display.

That's because it's got a wide colour gamut, which gives better colour saturation and in turn, more vivid, lifelike pictures and video. Combined with the camera, which captures photos in wide colour, your photos should practically jump off the screen.

Apple says it'll be calibrating every phone as it leaves the factory, and iOS will manage the display's colour accuracy for the best possible quality. It'll be a hot contest to see how Apple's calibrated LCD stacks up against Samsung's OLED.

3D Touch is on-board like last year's models, too.

10) THE TOUCH ID BUTTONS - ALL TAPTIC NOW

Phil Schiller discusses the iPhone7 during a media event in San Francisco

Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, discusses the redesigned home button on the iPhone7. (Photo: Reuters)

The home button hasn’t been axed just yet - but it has had a serious under-the-hood makeover.

It has been given the same magical Force Touch treatment which graces the trackpad on the new MacBook.

That means it can detect how hard you’re pressing it, adjusting its feedback with vibrations, supplied by an all-new Taptic Engine, which can deliver customised vibrations for things like notifications and apps.

In all honesty it doesn’t sound massively useful right now, mostly because we haven’t been shown what it can actually do, or what benefits it can really bring to the table. Still, we’re looking forward to finding out.

11) IT WON'T COST ANY EXTRA

Phil Schiller discusses the iPhone 7 during a media event in San Francisco

Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, talks about the pricing on the new iPhone 7. (Photo: Reuters)

In the US, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will launch at exactly the same price as the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.

You'll be able to pre-order a phone this Friday (Sep 9) in 22 countries, and it'll land in your hands on Sep 16. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is available for pre-order for S$1048 and S$1248, respectively.

Read the original report from stuff.tv here.

Source: CNA/am

Bookmark