At their San Francisco event Apple launched the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, with Apple CEO Tim Cook taking to the stage to fill everyone in on the new features and the changes being made this time around. In short, the look of the phone isn't miles away from the 6s and 6s Plus, but the major differences come in the features.
The removal of the headphone jack
The most noticeable feature of this model, and the one that has got people talking, is the removal of the headphone jack. This means traditional headphones cannot be plugged into the phone and you will now need Apple's earphones that fit into the Lightning port of the phone instead, currently used for charging and transferring data.
There are also the wireless Apple AirPods, powered by a W1 chip, and these use infared sensors to detect when each is in your ear, motion sensors also controlling the headphones and Siri to detect your voice. These AirPods allegedly provide five hours of listening which, with the charging case, could extend to an impressive 24 hours of battery life.
Apple will also supply an adapter for those who want to plug their traditional headphones into the phone, but this will not allow for charging at the same time. Those who want to listen to music out loud will be pleased to know that speakers are now on the top and bottom of the device, though.
Beats have also released another two versions of wireless headphones to accompany the iPhone 7 models, capitalising on the increased need for wireless after the removal of the headphone jack.
The iPhone camera gets upgraded
Another key feature of the new iPhones is that the camera has an f/1.8 lens that lets 50% more light onto it, enhancing low-light capabilities. There is also a new 12MP sensor that is 60% faster and 30% more energy efficient.
The iPhone 7 Plus even has a dual-lens camera, allowing users to take higher quality photos when zooming in. These are both 12MP cameras although one of these has a wide angle lense, the other having a telephoto lens that can zoom in high quality without using any software, the latter meaning that the camera can zoom to ten times with soft and optical zoom.
The camera has a new flash, improving low-light photography again, doubling the number of LEDs to four as well, two being cool and two being warm, to create a better flash. A flicker sensor will supposedly make the flash look like natural light too and image stabilisation is also promised.
In terms of video recording, the cameras will also enable users to record 4K video as well as live edit video files. Wide colour capture rounds off the impressive new features for video capture on the device.
For those who prefer selfies and FaceTime the front camera has has an upgrade too, moving from 5MP to 7MP, with Apple using examples on stage to show the quality of picture.
Appearance and colour options
Along with the new features Apple has introduced two new colours for the iPhone 7, replacing the 'space grey'. The new phones are available in five different colours overall.
Two new kinds of black, matte and glossy, accompany silver, gold and rose gold in the colour options. For the 128GB and 256GB models, though, a shiny jet black finish will be offered.
Aside from that, the appearance looks extremely similar to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus although one change is that the antenna band have moved from the back to the edges of the device.
Apple claim these models will have the longest battery life ever seen in an iPhone, with the 7 lasting on average two hours longer than an iPhone 6s and an hour longer than the 6s Plus.
When using WiFi the iPhone 7 lasts 14 hours, lasting 12 on 4G. The Plus, however, lasts 15 hours on WiGi and 15 on 4G too.
The home button
The home button has also seen some changes in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus as it now has a vibration-based taptic feedback system, vibrating when touched. This feature is already in use on the MacBook laptop, so isn't a total surprise.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are also water resistant, having an IPX67 rating, meaning that they can withstand immersion in up to one metre of water for half an hour.
Power and processing
These new iPhones are set to be powered by a new Apple A10 Fusion which has a 64-bit 4 core CPU. Relatively, this is 40% faster than the A9 of the iPhone 6s and double the speed of the A8. Ramped up graphics performance is also featured, being 40% more powerful than the A9 too.
The supply chain has been impacted in part by the high standard for water resistance and total production of the phone will be lowered. Apple are believed to have cut production levels of the 6s and partner unit the 6s Plus by a third amid fears of slowing demand for the models, despite initial sales of over 13 million of them within three days of being made available.
KGI is predicting that 65 million iPhone 7 units are set to be shipped by the end of the year, a 20% decrease compared to iPhone 6s last year.
Release and cost
On this Friday, September 9, orders will begin for these new models and shipping will start September 16. As for cost, they are broken down as follows.
£599 for the 32GB
£699 for the 128GB
£799 for the 256GB
iPhone 7 Plus:
£719 for the 32GB
£819 for the 128GB
£919 for the 256GB
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