Apple has announced the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with Tim Cook and chums taking to the stage in San Francisco to present Apple’s latest smartphones.
Following the trend of the iPhone 6, there are two new iPhones, the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
With a wealth of information on these devices, we’ve picked through all the details to bring you everything that you really need to know about “the best iPhones ever”.
Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Design
Apple has followed a traditional release pattern in the past when it comes to design. Every two years, the iPhone sees a design spruce up and as 2015 was the “S” year, the iPhone 7 should be radically different to the iPhone 6 and 6S before it.
It isn’t radically different, but there are a number of important changes. The first biggest change is the inclusion of waterproofing, taking the fight to the phones of Samsung and Sony with IP67 protection. Now you don’t have to worry when you drop iPhone 7 in the bath.
There’s a change around the camera, with a smooth, but more pronounced bump, integrated into the body. For the iPhone 7 Plus, the addition of a dual camera setup means a wider bump in that top left-hand corner.
The iPhone 7 will be available in silver, grey, rose gold and two new black colours, a flat black and a glossy jet black. Of course, the antenna bands are now almost invisible too.
The home button has also been redesigned, changing the way you will interact with your iPhone. It’s now pressure sensitive and combined with a taptic engine so it will give you feedback as you move around iOS 10.
Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Display
The display on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both offer the 3D Touch layer, which is now deeper integrated into iOS 10.
The big change on iPhone 7 is the colour, with Apple saying that it now shows a wider colour gamut and offers great brightness than ever before.
Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Camera
The iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus saw a bump in camera megapixels, which was a long time coming and a big change for the iPhone. With smartphone cameras going into overdrive elsewhere, any change from Apple is a big deal. Fortunately, the camera in the iPhone 7 is completely new.
The iPhone 7 has a f/1.8 aperture, offers optical image stabilisation and there’s a new 12-megapixel camera offering larger pixels to absorb more light. The quad LED flash is also new with greater range and more power. There’s a flicker sensor, designed to cut out those flickers during video capture.
Powering the new camera is a new ISP, designed for higher throughput and greater intelligence.
For the iPhone 7 Plus model, this now sees the move to a dual lens setup. There’s been no shortage of dual lens cameras before, but this combining technology goes mainstream with inclusion on the iPhone.
In the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple says that the combination of these will give you a 2x optical zoom function with a high resolution, because one camera is wide angle at 23mm, the other is zoomed at 56mm (equiv). Both sensors are 12-megapixel. The idea is that if you want to get a little closer, you switch to the 56mm lens, like zooming in on a normal camera.
The two cameras can also work together to create a depth map and introduce bokeh effects, using a new Portrait mode. This will arrive as a software update for iPhone 7 Plus users later in 2016.
There’s a 7-megapixel front-facing FaceTime HD camera, with auto image stabilisation.
Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Lightning audio and AirPods
Not only is there a pair of stereo speakers on the iPhone 7, but as rumours suggested the 3.5mm headphone jack has been removed.
Now, if you want to connect your headphones, you’ll have to use the Lightning connector. You’ll get a pair of Lightning headphones in the box, but if you want to use your existing 3.5mm headphones, there will be an adapter included too.
Aside from these offerings, Apple will also be pushing wireless through its new Apple AirPods headphones, a set of independent wireless headphones free of cables. Powered by a W1 processor, packed with accelerometers to detect your movements, talking and taps to access Siri. The AirPods will offer 5 hours of playback, with the carry case offering 24 hours of charge on the move.
There will also be a range of Beats headphones, based on the same W1 chip, offering the same technology as the Apple AirPods.
Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Hardware
With every new iPhone comes a new processor. We are currently on the A9 with the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus and the iPhone SE, and the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will feature the A10 Fusion a quad-core 64-bit processor, using two power cores and two efficiency cores. There’s a boost to graphics too.
Apple doesn’t like to talk about the specifics of its hardware, apart from Apple saying it’s the most powerful smartphone ever, but a leaked benchmark of the iPhone 7 Plus suggests it will be much more powerful than the CPU in the iPhone 6S Plus, as well as faster than the devices running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also claim the longest battery life of any iPhone so far, with Apple saying you’ll be getting about an hour or two extra over the last generation of devices.
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