iPhone 7 review: Apple sets the stage for 2017


“Is the iPhone 7 worth upgrading to?”

This is the question I’ve been asked by friends, family and MobileSyrup readers since the somewhat controversial iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were revealed.

It’s a difficult inquiry to respond to because while, yes, the iPhone 7 is a surprisingly significant upgrade over the 6s in many respects, it’s actually more so than some analysts expected: it’s water resistant, more powerful, sleeker and, as predicted, the tech giant has also killed the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Depending on your expectations, however, these upgrades might not be enough for you. Make no mistake, this is not a radical redesign of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

Similar to the jump between Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and the S7, the iPhone 7 is an incremental upgrade that solves most, but not all of the issues many people had with the iPhone 6s.

Now that both high-end Android phones and the iPhone have reached the age of maturity, game-changing features are poised to become more of a rarity. Welcome to the new era of iterative smartphone upgrades.

Specs

  • iOS 10
  • A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture
  • 2GB of RAM (iPhone 7) 3GB of RAM (iPhone 7 Plus)
  • Capacity: 32GB, 128GB, 256GB
  • 12 megapixel sensor, Optical Image Stabilizer, f/1.8, 4K video recording at 30 fps
  • FaceTime HD Camera: 7 megapixel, 1080p HD video recording
  • Colours: Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, Black, Jet Black
  • 138.3 mm x 67.1 mm x 7.1 mm (iPhone 7) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm (iPhone 7 Plus)
  • Dual stereo speakers, Lightning connector
  • Fingerprint sensor built into the new ‘Taptic Engine’ Home Button
  • 4.7-inch retina HD display, 334 x 750 pixel resolution at 326 ppi (iPhone 7) 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 pixel IPS dsiplay at 401 ppi (iPhone 7 Plus)
  • 1960mAh battery (iPhone 7) 2,900mAh (iPhone 7 Plus)
  • Rated IP67 under IEC standard 60529, water and dust resistant
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor, barometer, three-axis gyro, accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor

Death of the 3.5mm headphone jack

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Much of the narrative surrounding the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus revolves around Apple’s decision to kill the headphone jack, a port that for more than a century has provided an easy and ubiquitous way to connect audio devices, in favour of Lightning headphones and a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter that’s included in the box.

This shift has been seen by many as a slap in the face to consumers. Apple has a history of nixing aging technology from its devices, with the removal of the optical drive from most versions of its MacBook laptops being the most notable example. This resulted in thinner devices and consumers were able to see a visible tradeoff.

What makes removing the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus more difficult to swallow, is the benefits from the port being dropped aren’t immediately apparent, which, has spurred conspiracy theorists and notable tech pundits to jump on the “Apple has digital audio DRM doomsday plans” commentary bandwagon.

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Sure, battery life has been improved by two hours with the 7 and one hour with the 7 Plus, the phone now includes stereo speakers — which feature the best sound I’ve heard from a smartphone — but the benefits of dropping the jack aren’t immediately obvious and will likely be lost on the average consumer.

On the other hand, Apple also claims removing the headphone jack helped the company achieve IP67 water resistance certification for the device, which is likely true. However, both the Note 7 — which has recently been recalled — and the S7 and S7 Edge, arguably the iPhone’s main competitors in the high-end handset space, feature 3.5mm headphone jacks and are also IP68 waterproof, allowing the phones to be submerged in 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes.

iphone7gifwater

In comparison, the iPhone 7’s IP67 certification means the device can only be submerged one meter for 30 minutes. To the average user, the difference between the two competing devices’ water resistant certification means very little, though it’s interesting Samsung was able to achieve IP68 without removing the headphone jack.

Realistically, dropping the jack changes very little. If you’re an EarPod user, just use the lightning headphones included in the box. If you happen to own an expensive 3.5mm headset, leave them plugged into the included adapter and you’re good to go.

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Of course, there are also Apple’s AirPod headphones, which unlike many people, I’m actually quite fond of, though their $230 CAD price tag is rather steep (we’ll be doing a separate story on Apple’s AirPods in the coming days). Of course, Apple’s headphones can no longer be used with other devices and for some, this could be a significant drawback.

Where Apple truly falters with the removal of the jack is the fact that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus remain the same thickness as the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, 7.1mm and 7.3mm respectively. Motorola dropped the 3.5mm in the Moto Z in favour of USB-C, resulting in the thinnest smartphone of all time.

It would have been great if Apple made a similar size reduction with the 7 and 7 Plus, though the company is likely saving that move for the inevitable iPhone 8. It would have been great if Apple adopted USB-C rather than lightning for the iPhone 7, allowing the company to use the cross-platform standard, but given the Cupertino tech giant’s penchant for proprietary adapters, there’s no way that was ever going to happen.

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For many, despite the rampant controversy surrounding the headphone jack being dropped, it’s really not that huge of an issue and while Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, saying that killing the headphone jack took “courage,” has transformed into an admittedly amusing running joke in the tech industry, sometimes aging technology really does need to be killed in order to push the industry forward.

It’s just unfortunately not clear yet where the tech industry is headed in this particular space.

3GS throwback

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While Apple isn’t keen to admit it, the iPhone 7’s sleek new jet black colour looks like a throwback to the classic iPhone 3GS, which, as you might have expected, turns the phone into a smudge, grease and fingerprint magnet. While it hasn’t happened yet, I also predict the jet black iPhone 7 is a scratch magnet — Apple has already amusingly suggested consumers put the phone in a case. I far prefer the new matte black colour option over Jet Black, though it shows grease stains as well. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is also available in rose gold, gold and silver, with my personal favourite colour, space grey, being unfortunately jettisoned into the atmosphere this year.

Overall, the phone’s form factor is the same as it has been for the last few generations of the iPhone, though it does feature a few subtle differences.

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The first thing most people will notice about the 7, apart from the 3.5mm headphone jack’s absence, is its new ‘Taptic Engine’ home button. Similar to the 2015 and 2016 MacBook, rather than a physical button, the iPhone 7’s Home Button subtly vibrates, with three distinct levels of intensity that can be altered in the settings.

At first, as I discussed in my hands-on, I loathed the Taptic Engine because it makes the entire base of the phone feel like it’s vibrating, similar to the haptic feedback featured in some Android phones but considerably more intense. However, over the course of the last few days, it’s grown on me considerably, especially when playing games and using apps that take advantage of the feature. Unlike traditional haptic feedback, Apple’s Taptic Engine more closely resembles the feel of touching physical buttons, a sensation I’ve never experienced before with a touchscreen.

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Build wise, apart from the the headphone jack removal I discussed earlier, and cleverly hiding the 7’s antenna lines in the top and bottom of the phone, Apple’s latest iPhone, especially when looking at any colour variant that isn’t Black or Jet Black, looks nearly identical to the 6s.

It’s worth mentioning, however, that the camera bump now has a curve to it, with the phone’s body slanting into the shooter, as opposed to it sticking out a few millimeters like it did with iPhone 6s. While at first I wasn’t fond of this aesthetic shift, it quickly grew one me and gives the rear of the 7 a new, rounded look.

For me, one of the main issues surrounding the 7’s reveal is whether or not it stands up to the incredible aesthetic Samsung created with the Note 7’s linear lines and curved glass.

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Unfortunately for Apple, despite the company’s best efforts, the fact that the phone still adopts the same form factor it’s clung to since the 6, results in it looking slightly dated when sitting beside the Note 7 and to a lesser extent, even the S7 and S7 Edge.

That’s not to say that the 7 doesn’t look sleek when compared to most other high-end handsets, but for me, Samsung has usurped Apple’s smartphone aesthetic crown by a small margin.

Under the hood

iphone7-14

Moving to technical specs, the 7 and 7 Plus feature a variety upgrades over the 6s and 6s Plus, though it’s important to note that a number of key features haven’t changed.

For example, the 7 Plus measures in at 158.2mm x 77.9mm x 7.3mm, with the iPhone 6s Plus coming in at 158.1mm x 77.8mm x 7.1mm, making it actually thicker than its predecessor. In comparison, the 6s measure in at 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1mm, with the 7 also coming in at 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1mm.

The 7 Plus’ 1080 x 1920 401ppi IPS LCD display measures in at 5.5-inches just like last year’s phone, though the phone is 30 percent brighter now according to Apple and features 625 nits over the 500 nits in 6s Plus.

The 7 Plus is also slightly lighter at 188g over the 192g 6s Plus. The 7 is in the same situation, coming in at 4.7-inches with a 750 x 1334 pixel IPS LCD display and 326ppi, just like the 6s, though does feature a 30 percent brighter display. It also weighs 138g compared to its predecessor’s 143g.

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In my experience, the 7 and 7 Plus’ screens look great, but also nearly identical to last year’s devices. I buy Apple’s claim that the screen is brighter and more vibrant, but the difference is negligible. It would have been great to see the tech giant finally opt for a quad HD screen like many of its Android competitors, but for most purposes, the added resolution is not necessary.

While the 7’s display and body dimensions remain nearly identical to the 6s, its processor has actually received a substantial upgrade. Apple says that its new A10 quad core Fusion processor is 40 percent faster than the 6s’ A9. While my time with the phone has been relatively limited, it handles high-end gaming, jumping between apps, and various intensive photography apps, with ease. Not once during my time with the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus have either phones lagged or slowed down.

The A10’s new quad core setup also has a stark division between its cores, with two being focused on high-end tasks like gaming, and then the remaining energy efficient pair of cores focused on everyday activities. While it’s difficult to know for sure, I think my smooth experienced with the phone, at least so far, is due to the Fusion chip’s new quad core setup. Apple also says that graphics performance has been improved by 50 percent over the A9 thank to its new silicon.

iphone7-15

It’s also worth noting that the 7 features 2GB of RAM with the 7 Plus opting for 3GB (I ran benchmarks and doublechecked this spec). Coupled with the A10, the 7 Plus is benchmarking as one of the fastest smartphones on the market, exceeding even the 12.9-inch iPad Pro in terms of performance.

With all technical jargon aside, if you’re curious about the iPhone 7’s performance, rest assured — the phone is a beast.

Apple regains its camera dominance

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The Note 7, S7 and S7 Edge, are the current kings of mobile photography, followed closely behind by Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and a number of other smartphones. With the 7 and 7 Plus, Apple has successfully regained its camera throne, in part, due to the fact that the 7 now features image stabilization just like the 7 Plus, but also because of the 7 Plus’ new dual-camera setup.

We’ve seen dual-camera before in smartphones like the LG G5, upcoming LG V20 and the Leica-powered Huawei P9, which just like most of the Chinese company’s devices, isn’t coming to Canada. In the case of the 7 Plus, however, Apple has finally made the concept of a dual camera make sense.

Here’s how it works on a very basic level: the iPhone 7 Plus actually contains two cameras, a 27mm lens and a 56mm wide-angle shooter, with the former featuring optical 1x-zoom and the latter 2x-zoom. When shooting with the phone you can select between 1x or 2x optical zoom, and then all the way up to 10x digital.

Apple claims it has improved the clarity of photos that utilize digital zoom and while this is true, they still tend to be blurry and difficult to shoot. 2x optical shots, however, look spectacular. It may sound hard to believe, but 2x zoom actually makes a significant difference when shooting from a distance.

Overall image quality, whether you’re shooting with the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, has been improved significantly thanks to both phones now featuring image stabilization — last year only the 6s Plus included IS — as well as a faster f/1.8 lens, allowing more light to hit the phone’s sensor. In comparison, the S7 features an f/1.7 lens.

The rear camera rocks a 12-megapixel shooter, the same amount of pixels as last year, with the front-facing camera being bumped up considerably, from a measly 5 megapixels in the 6s series, to 7, resulting in significantly better selfies.

iphone7-18

A new image signal processor (ISP) that’s part of Apple’s new A10 chip, a Quad-LED True Tone Flash and new Wide Colour Capture, round out the experience. In practice, I found both the 7 and 7 Plus’ camera performance to be spectacular, with the handsets snapping vibrant, colourful photographs under almost any conditions, including extremely low light and notably even with the selfie shooter.

Unfortunately, the impressive depth-of-field iPhone 7 Plus feature the company showed off during its keynote is not yet available, though it’s coming in an update next month. It’s a shame this feature isn’t ready for launch because it could be a game changer, especially for those, like myself, who are tired of lugging their DSLR around all the time — get ready for ‘Bokeh.’

iOS 10’s Today View is spectacularly useful

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On September 13th, iOS 10 drops on the every iPhone 5 and up, bringing a number of new features to the device. We’ve covered iOS 10 considerably a few weeks ago when the beta first launched and my thoughts about the operating system generally echo my view on the iPhone 7.

New features like Today View, which gives a brief overview of various widgets like Transit App, Weather and Calender, raise to wake, the ability to slide into the camera option and a revamped, significantly more useful Control Centre, are great. It’s worth noting that none of iOS 10’s new features are particularly mind blowing and that new third-party Siri voice integration remains somewhat sparse.

Also, as an avid photographer, it’s great that RAW support is coming to third-party photography apps, though only the 6s, 6s Plus and SE will be able to utilize the new feature. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test out iOS 10’s new RAW support because no camera apps have released updates to support the file format.

An iterative future

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Whether or not the iPhone 7 is for you will depend on your expectations and which current iOS device you’re using. If you’re still rocking a 6 or 5, the 40 percent increase in hardware power over the 6s with with the iPhone 7, could be reason alone to warrant an upgrade. Subtle new features like the home button’s new Taptic Engine and Stereo speakers, breathe new life into the aging overall design.

Still, it’s hard hard not to wonder what Apple has in store for the iPhone 8 given the 7’s incremental step forward.

Those hoping for a complete overhaul, which is still reportedly coming in the iPhone 8, will likely be disappointed with Apple’s ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ approach with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

The iPhone 7 is available in 32GB for $899, 128GB at $1,049 and 256GB at $1,159, and the iPhone 7 Plus is priced at $1,049 for the 32GB model, $1,179 for 128GB and finally, $1,309 for the 256GB iteration.

Pros

  • Sleek new colour options (Jet black and Black)
  • One of the most powerful smartphones on the market
  • Taptic Engine is great
  • Waterproof
  • Camera is incredible, especially in the 7 Plus

Cons

  • No headphone jack (for some, this is a dealbreaker)
  • An iterative update
  • Screen resolution has not been improved
  • Jet Black is a fingerprint magnet

Related: iPhone 7 and 7 Plus hands-on: Death of the headphone jack

Comments

  • Do Do

    Check this out on youtube RgBDdDdSqNE

    Wish this site would make it clear on why some links can be posted and some can’t.

    • It’s Me


      fixed it for you

    • Funny video, but a little blinded mostly unwarranted hardcore Apple hate.

    • It’s Me

      Then a perfect fit for the mobile syrup comments section 😉

    • Do Do

      Well I found funny and as happy owner of a MacBook pro I can assure I don’t hate “apple” now fanboys off apple or samsung or any corporation is another story and i still wouldnt use the word hate.

    • I was referring to the funny video with that other comment lol.

    • That’s Disqus’ moderation and not under our control.

  • Yearoftherat

    A good review. Imho another con is dropping the 64gb option. 32gb is definitely a step up from the measly 16gb they offered in the past but will consumers now complain that 32 is not enough? Also as much as I hate contracts and would buy it outright, the prices of these flagship phones are getting a bit out of hand. I guess it’s the price to pay for having the latest tech.

    • That’s an interesting perspective. I was just hyped the 16GB option is finally gone so that didn’t even occur to me.

    • Word

      People keep saying that, but correct me if I’m wrong, was the 6 and 6S outright pricing not almost identical? I understand the storage has jumped considerably (finally), I’m moreso wondering about the 32GB which would have been equivalent to the 16 in 6/S. Did they not launch at over the $800 mark?

    • neo905

      Ironically the 6S is more than the 7 at launch. At least for Telus.

    • It’s Me

      Correct. Pricing is identical in the US. Unfortunately our dollar dropping means they end up costing more in CAD. Also Apple has reverted to adding a small premium to Canadian pricing, I think 2-5% which sucks but isn’t much compared to the increase caused directly by our weak dollar.

    • Alex

      I actually think the 64GB option is great. 32GB is nice, and MUCH better than the 16gb option from the past as a starting option. But from 32gb and skip to 128gb is a little odd too. Again, its forcing most people to choose 128gb, which is a good marketing strat in general, but i personally dont like it. If it wasn’t for google photos being what it is now, i’d have much more problems with this. Even though i do take lots of photos, my parents take more than me! Ever since i got them iphones, (iphone 6s plus) they take videos, photos of like everything, and they didn’t do that back then. My dad had a nexus 5, and my mom came from a moto android phone from 2.3 days. When i asked, they said the photos, videos, and the audio recorded from videos are phenomenal, and just makes them want to use it more. Plus now they figured how to send stuff to their brothers and sisters overseas, it gets more hectic…

      I feel apple actually did a great job with the camera, and the software is great, but it gets difficult to manage with the apps from apple. Even with icloud drive, and pay for more storage doesn’t really help in ‘managing’ photos, where you could manage the space better. Though one day i feel it will do a better job with the new Mac OS sierra coming, and similar functions will come to the phone, if not already. (the thing that frees up space on device, moves to icloud)

    • It’s Me

      So, with the increase of the base to 32GB, it would have been preferable to leave the mid-range at 64 instead of doubling it to 128 for the same price?

    • danbob333

      who’s talking about the same price?

    • It’s Me

      The 3 tiers are diffentiated by price and capacity. Low, mid, high. So if the low end got a bump, is the argument that the mid and high should not have?

    • danbob333

      Prices are not fixed. Apple would have been free to release a 64 GB mid tier cheaper than last year’s 64 GB if they wanted to.

    • It’s Me

      Sure, the could have done 86 different skus.

      The fact is they always done the 3 tiers. No good reason to change that. Given that fact, they doubled each tier. Someone that would have paid to get more than 16 or 32 now pays the same and gets 128 instead of 64.

      You guys makeup the weirdest things to whine about. Must be running out of missionary ideas.

    • Riley Freeman

      absolutely right. if the price of the 126gb now is the same as the price of last year’s 64gb then there really isnt any reason to complain. This shouldnt even be a topic of conversation and adding a 4th sku makes absolutely no sense.

      You;d have a better argument if you said start at 64gb instead of 32gb

    • gommer strike

      Different strokes for different folks for sure, but just think of as Apple doubling the storage capacity across the board.

      What was 16, is now 32GB, and so on. In my case 32GB is more than enough because i didn’t even pass 13.3GB storage on my iPhone 6.

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      This isn’t the latest tech. It’s the latest Apple. There are tons of options outside Apple and Samsung if you want latest technology at reasonable prices.

    • Riley Freeman

      lmao samsung no contract prices are 900 and $1000 whats reasonable about that?

      Latest tech? Does the iphone beat samsung in every single benchmark test with lower tech every single year?

    • Can’t Fix Stupid

      What year was it you finally got a phone bigger than 4″? How about a QHD screen? NFC? Yep you are a real leader with your $1000+ gadget that you keep trying to convince yourself is the best ever.

      Keep laughing the jokes on you.

    • Riley Freeman

      id hard call a larger screen new “tech”

      Did you bring up NFC? Probably the least thing used in a cell phone lol. No one is losing any sleep over NFC and this comes from someone who actually uses apple pay. QHD is your only valid point and honestly, my screen does me just fine. People that want 4k screens and all that nonsense are just ridiculous. I dont care about having 4K tv screen at home where i watch sports, why would i care if its on my phone?

    • jay

      NFC is awesome. use it actually all the time. when i come home and tag the nfc tag my light in the office goes on computer starts up and music start playing. no need for homekit bla bla and talking to siri . yeah nothing is better than a nice screen. i think the S7 has the same size phone but a 5.2 inch screen? but than again for the benchmark control its harder pushing more pixel. 720P screen is still the same for three years. but important is that apps open a MS faster.

    • Brad Fortin

      The A10 chip has more than twice the single-core performance of any flagship on the market, whether it’s using a Snapdragon 820 or an Exynos 8890, and the dual-core performance of the A10 is faster than the quad-core performance of the Exynos 8890. Apple’s also the only OEM that uses PCIe/NVMe instead of the older and slower UFS/eMMC. I’d say the fastest chipset on the market qualifies as the latest tech.

    • Riley Freeman

      no the price is ridiculous. I say that and i preordered the 256gb model without a contract since i am a old corporate plan with bell that has unlimited data. Apple is considered a premium product but the prices are disgusting. The good thing is a used iphone 6 plus 128gb unlocked in perfect condition is going for 800$ on kijiji so i am not feeling the full brunt of the price. Next year after i get the 8 complete redesign, i think i will keep that one for 3 years.

    • Brad Fortin

      They now offer 128 GB at the same pricing as last year’s 64 GB. They’re also updating the 6S to 32 GB and 128 GB at nearly the same prices they used to offer the 16 GB and 64 GB. How is doubling the storage for the same price a bad thing?

    • alphs22

      The launch price of the iPhone has been incredibly consistent: $649US for the unlocked base model. This has been true going back to 2012 with the iPhone 5.

  • Skippypaccino

    Good phone that should be great for that price… Maybe next year they’ll stop selling 720p screens…

    • That’s definitely a misstep, though I do feel like the difference between quad HD and 1080p is negligible.

    • Skippypaccino

      Exactly, at the price they charge they could easily outfit their two models with 1080p panels… That would make the 7 screen pop!

      They most likely don’t put higher resolution screens just for the fact that they would have to put more Ram in each model, which would bring up the cost, lower the battery stamina and force them to evolve more quickly (that’s not their style, they’re the King’s of slow and steady)

      With all that, this is probably the first iPhone I would recommend to a sheep in a long while. I personally can’t get behind it since I hate the OS.

    • neo905

      You’re also forgetting that the battery was 1,715mAh and now 1,960 mAh which by today’s standards is pretty small so that is probably why they keep it at 720p screen. Even at 720p the battery of the 6S wasn’t that great. They are trying to save money on the battery even more so than the screen. All these things to save Apple money but not their customers.

    • Skippypaccino

      Apple decides what’s best for us… Lol

    • I think higher resolution screens are coming in the 8, that’s my prediction anyways.

    • Skippypaccino

      I also have the feeling they’ll skip the 7s and go straight to the 8 next year

    • Yea, totally.

    • jay

      remove the headphone jack is just the start next year no lightining port and wireless charging in a full screen iphone and it will be called iphone 10. done

    • Lil’ Cwyin’ Cowar316

      …and no bezels….?

    • Riley Freeman

      its not about price. itt’s been made clear (albeit not by apple) but they are saving everything for the 10 year anniversary. I i dont really understand people still asking why they didnt put this, that and the other in this phone. Every year theres like a 100 articles of what is and isnt coming into iphones and then when its released or announced people complain about the stuff that was leaked for monthssssssssssss prior.

    • Skippypaccino

      Saving things is exactly why people pick on Apple (like they really care while they Scrooge McDuck dive into their mountain of money)

      To be fair Apple gets a ton of fluff articles, the mainstream media can’t stop talking about them, sheep’s on blogs etc… They get millions of dollars of free advertising (I guess the rich do get richer) for a phone that isn’t much better than what’s on the market now and in some cases worst.

      Trust me, if they were selling their iPhones at one plus 3 prices, no one would say anything negative, but since they’re deemed to be at the top, people want to bring them back down…

      Don’t worry too much and enjoy your phone, because at the end of the day it’s just that…a phone

    • Riley Freeman

      I do agree with you about the excessive articles. Including from idownloadblog. Every week there’s a new component leak and in some cases the same component but somehow it gets a brand new article.

      Jigsaw puzzle pieces of the phone. I could careless about all that stuff personally. Leak the phone not the parts

    • Skippypaccino

      That’s why we can’t have nice things anymore… Someone always has to ruin the party to get a few extra clicks… Lol

    • AppleBerrySandwich

      Negligible but noticeable. Apple will probably release an iPhone 8 “ultra HD” next year with a special premium price. LOL.

    • Mr Dog

      DisplayMate claims that the screen doesn’t need the 4K resolution because of sharpness.

      Quality over Quantity. There are a lot more good things they had to say about the screen.

    • Skippypaccino

      Who said anything about 4k screens? 2k on the 7 plus and 1080p on the 7 should be the norm. I’m well aware there’s more than pixels that makes up a great screen, but wasting time perfecting a 720p panel in 2016 is a waste of time…

    • Mr Dog

      Lol what? Missed the whole point

      If they are saying it doesn’t need a 4K screen then 1080p doesn’t make that big of a difference.

      I completely agree 1080p would be beneficial in very minor cases. And 4K would be ideal for VR.

      But there are a ton of other factors to consider. If Display mate is saying that the 720p screen is as good as a 4K screen from the average distance why should time, money and processing power be wasted on a higher density screen?

      Upping the pixel count sacrifices other factors of the screen while also diminishing battery life and limiting processing power. All so we can say we have a 1080p screen?

  • Techguru86

    The camera quality looks no different than the LG G5 or G4, and all the Samsung devices, yes it’s slightly more powerful than last year model, but the price tag is still too high considering expanded storage costs nothing

    • Given I’m not a fan of the G5’s camera, I have to disagree. The S7 and Note 7 shooter is stellar though. What pushes the iPhone 7’s camera over the top for me is the Plus’ dual shooter with the 2x zoom.

    • Rybone89

      So the i7 has a wide angle lense but can’t take wide angle shots like the G5? I think 135 degree shots are just as useful as a 2x optical zoom, and many reviews comparing the G5, S7 and 6S, surprisingly have given the edge to LG in 2/3 of situations. I know the S7 is better in low light and is supposed to be better on paper in general but it’s a lot closer than people think. (Also the 6S has a 5MP camera, not 1.2)

    • Patrick Cuyegkeng

      I wouldn’t call the iPhone 7’s 27mm (35mm equivalent FL, it’s not physically possible to be physically 27mm) wide angle in the same vein as the G5. The G5 is really ultra wide angle as the 135 degree angle of view is even greater than many ultrawides (a 14mm ultrawide angle of view is more around 110-120 degrees).

      24-35mm is generally “wide enough” for most people. Compositionally, the wider you go, the more difficult it can be to compose a good photograph since you are bringing in so much more into the image (the number of times I have to crop out my own feet astounds me). That’s great for some things, but terrible for others. For most people, zoom (real optical zoom) is more useful than ultra wide. It’s easier for most to back away than it is to move forward. I’ve always figured it’s a comfort level thing, and the voyeuristic nature of people not wanting to necessarily get up in someone’s face. This is why you still see crazy superzoom camera and lenses on the market, and far fewer wides and ultrawides (which are also much more difficult to make well, and generally more expensive).

    • Techguru86

      LG camera isn’t bad by any means but considering you are getting great shooters at half the price nowadays. I’d like to see how the camera performs against Samsung, LG and HTC 10, but audio still goes to the DTEK50 and Nexus 6P

    • neo905

      The DAC on the 6P isn’t very good for headphones compared to the HTC 10 and LG V10 for instance. The front facing speakers are awesome though.

    • Lil’ Cwyin’ Cowar316

      The DAC is custom made by Cirrus Logic for Apple and plenty good enough for easily driven phones.

    • neo905

      Never said it wasn’t. I was talking to someone else and they mentioned the 6P DAC is superior and it isn’t.

    • Lil’ Cwyin’ Cowar316

      Never said it was…hang on, what are we talking about…?

    • Lil’ Cwyin’ Cowar316

      Right…..and the iP7 probably won’t explode….’chick, chick, BOOM’.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Like BrokeBerry’s stock price!!!

    • jay

      i believe for all these pocket cams out there all phone cameras are fine. sure if someone looks close and see the different but no need to lay down 1200$ for a better cam. because the iphone 6s is already good

  • ciderrules

    “One if he most powerful”? It’s THE most powerful.

  • AppleBerrySandwich

    The price and the lack of a headphone jack pushed my wife to an iPhone 6. Apple’s C$ pricing is nuts.

    If you do want a 7 off contract – go to the Buffalo Apple store. Much cheaper.

    • Anton Bruckner

      Why is it cheaper in Buffalo? The exchange rate is going to result in the same price for Canadians regardless after you convert to USD.
      Bottom line is the pricing here is nuts as you say and there are better options out there for less money unless you absolutely need an iOS device.

    • It’s Me

      Save about $45 if you buy in the US. US price has remained the same for years now, starting at $650. At today’s current exchange rate, that would be $855 but it starts at $899 here instead. After gas for driving to Buffalo, the savings would be less than $45,

    • gommer strike

      I guess it’d be more of a short road trip if say, I drove down to Seattle or Bellingham to get an iPhone 7, then drove back up here. And I guess it depends if, when I declare my phone at the border crossing, whether or not I’ll be charged(I forget what the min/max figure is per day).

      Because if they do charge me – and that amount exceeds $45…then blech it’s not worth the trip down.

    • It’s Me

      Yeah, you have to take into account the small difference in price, the difference in sales tax, cost to get there and duties at the border. But it’s definitely not a huge difference either way.

    • danbob333

      Also most canadian credit cards charge a 2.5% forex fee

    • It’s Me

      That too. I’ve got a USD card so not an issue for me. But no plans to return to the US in the next couple months. Maybe I’ll do Vegas in November as an excuse 😉

    • Lil’ Cwyin’ Cowar316

      Pricing ain’t nuts if you’re a shareholder, amigo.

  • jay

    i actually like the iphone 7 plus. however price screen and no headphone jack is just a deal breaker. also apple does move forward in the right direction for me. fast charging or wireless charging at least. but this years iphone isnt the one to buy because next years will be a better iphone 10th year. than we getting wireless charging and apple will tell us we invited it….

    the price is ok for me if my boss gives me a raise of 25%

    • Brad Fortin

      You can get fast charging by using a 10 W or 12 W adapter.

      Apple only claims to “invent” something when they genuinely invent it. Most of the time they simply “introduce” something. I suppose it’s easy for some people to confuse “invent” with “introduce”.

  • Karl

    You made a mistake with upgraded specs. The 6s line up had a 5mp front camera not 1.2

    That’s one thing apple does right is front facing camera. Samsung ones are a soft compressed mess.

    I want to see a video showing the raw capabilities of the 7. I’ve achieved some unbelievable shots in pro/raw mode with s7 edge

  • Talking Teck

    Apple is one dirty dog here.
    I want the iphone 7 with the dual lens, 32gig in jet black which isn’t going to happen. I have to spend hundreds of extra dollars to get the dual lens camera and have to spend more to get the 128gig model to get the Jet black color. What a crock of crap.

    • It’s Me

      If it’s the dual camera you want, then all things being equal, if you pick the specs you want on the 7, the plus is $150 more. Flat.

    • Grumpel

      They did the same thing with the matte black MacBook 10 years ago.. it was a cash grab then, same as now. What are you, poor?? Buy the most expensive one!

    • Lil’ Cwyin’ Cowar316

      They don’t take food stamps…

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      DaDS lives off them.

    • Lil’ Cwyin’ Cowar316

      Say ‘waaaah’? Who’s makin’ you?!?

    • gommer strike

      Well then. Why don’t you just get the Huawei P9 then. After all they are the ones who did the dual lens thing before Apple, right?

    • Brad Fortin

      Even the HTC M8 did the dual-lens thing before Apple, but none of the OEMs implement it the same way, and most don’t even use the same sensors behind both lenses.

    • FTR_Part_deux

      lol…u want to have something that you can’t afford or unwilling to shell out the extra dough for and complain about it. Hey, I wanna live along the Bridle Path, but don’t want to pay the $5mil. lol Cry me a river buddy.

  • kaostheory

    It’s rumoured that the lightning port can’t power larger wired headphones. Until bt headphones have full day battery with similar weight to wired I’m sticking with wires. I also use FM and have batteryless noise cancelling. Apple has a long way to go.

    • Brad Fortin

      “Until bt headphones have full day battery with similar weight to wired I’m sticking with wires.”

      Bose’s latest QC35’s last ~20 hours per charge, enough for a full day, and the new Beats Solo 3 (with Apple’s new W1 Bluetooth chip) last ~40 hours, enough for 2 full days, and both have been described as comfortably lightweight. The new iPhones 7 are also rated for 1-2 hours longer battery life than the iPhones 6S (worth noting that the battery life ratings for the iPhones 6S don’t include a Bluetooth connection, but the battery life ratings for the iPhones 7 do).

    • Mr Dog

      I really do not know how more people aren’t talking about the Beats Solo 3.

      They went from 12hours to 40 hours, while maintaining the same physical shape. WTF?!

      I couldn’t find any other Bluetooth headset with battery life like that.

    • kaostheory

      Should hae added noise cancelling. Mine is built into the phone eliminating the need for an extra battery. Still lasts all day with NC on.

  • southerndinner

    Yawn. Pretty boring upgrade whose major highlight is the removal of a feature.

    Also LOL at how gigantic the 7 Plus bezels still are. It’s 2016 and they’re still woefully behind virtually every other OEM (except Sony who is arguably worse) in terms of big phone design, the iPhone 7 Plus is the ugliest phone since the iPhone 6 Plus or Sony ultra series. This is the same company who designed the much nicer looking iPhone 5, how is this even possible?

    I like that the tech media isn’t trying to spin this particular launch like the last few iPhones. This is an iPhone 6SS with an integral part of the phone removed, nothing more.

    Oh yeah good justifying the jack removal with IP68. I guess Sony and Samsung are using voodoo to get an even better IP68 while keeping the 3.5mm jack?

    Such courage.

    PS nice review Patrick. You’re getting much better as time goes on with attention to detail.

    • It’s Me

      The same as the 6S with the jack removed and nothing more. Except a much faster processor, water proofing, bigger battery, hella better camera and much better colour display.

      Samsung is in the midst of a class action lawsuit over their water proofing claims. Maybe they wouldn’t be if they’d removed the heaphone jack.

      How big of a jump was the Galaxy S6 to S7? How about the Note 6 to Note 7 (aside from the new exploding battery)? No one is claiming this is a revolutionary or monster leap, but why is this problem only when discussing new iPhones? Not like the others are changing the world with each release.

    • neo905

      No such thing as a Note 6 (-:

    • It’s Me

      No? Then what did I win last year?!?!?!?

      Oh. Note 5. What happened to the 6?

    • Mr_Smoosh

      They skipped 6 to line up with Galaxy numbering.

    • downhilldude

      You mean “S” numbering. All Samsung Android phones are “Galaxy”.

    • southerndinner

      Faster processor – no question, the fastest in the industry
      Waterproofing – Definite improvement but long overdue. I hope this pushes Android OEMs other than Samsung and Sony to start doing this though.
      Bigger battery – compared to an older iPhone perhaps
      Better camera – yes, catching up to competition
      Display – sure, it’s better but almost every other flagship out there has had a vastly superior screen to even this for 2-3 years

      If you’re comparing only Apple to Apple, then yeah it’s a definite upgrade. And there are people who will only consider Apple phones, more power to them. But for those of us who don’t live in a bubble of Apple products and/or consider competition, this is pretty lackluster aside from the processor.

    • It’s Me

      Well, yeah, apples to apples. You said it was basically the same as the 6S, another iPhone, with nothing more, minus a jack.

      Clearly it’s a substantial upgrade. But it’s just an upgrade.

    • Victor Creed

      I guess it’s the attention the media gives them, and pricing that causes so much hate. That’s my guess.

    • It’s Me

      Maybe. But Samsung charges similar prices and gets as much attention (almost) so that can’t be the main reason.

      I think part of it, but only part, is that people love an underdog and by the same token cheer for the dominant to fail. Samsung still manages to portray an image of an underdog that is succeeding while Apple is clearly dominant. But even that isn’t the main reason I think. Apple had lots of the same haters when they were the seriously undersized underdog to Microsoft.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      There was a lot of vitriol when Samsung released the ‘same’ phone. There was also a lot when Samsung removed features such as the SD card and removal battery in the S6. The complaints are always the same, no matter the company. It’s the people who change depending on their religion.

    • It’s Me

      To some degree you are right of course. When Samsung changes things (or doesn’t) then it’s Samsung users that complain. When it’s another android OEM, then it’s their users that complain. But when it’s Apple, it’s samsungs and other platform users that complain mostly.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      The pretentiousness of some apple evangelists will always create this situation. On the other end of the spectrum there are many apple users that just aren’t into tech, they just want an appliance (vs a computer) that works. Creates the image of a ‘lesser’ user ‘who doesn’t know any better’.

      I’m an android fan because I like control of my device, but many things about android piss me off. Conversely, I’m getting my wife an iphone from her note 4 since she just doesn’t care to learn how to change wallpaper, etc.

      There are things that compel me about apple, but itunes squashes any notion of actually buying one.

    • It’s Me

      Pretentious Apple evangelists make non-Apple users obsess about Apple? Not sure if that a good argument.

      I fairly technical but I don’t want to have to work to use my phone. I want it to just work.

    • Mr_Smoosh

      Of course it’s cogent, and quite apparent. Same goes for Bberry, Xbox vs PS4, liberal vs PC and such polarizing threads.

      For your second point, I guess the difference is- you want your phone to work, I want mine to work the way I want it to.

    • downhilldude

      I don’t know. I’ve heard enough iPhone users complaining about the headset jack removal. Haven’t heard a single one say, “about time!”

    • It’s Me

      Of course you’re right about that. Lots of Apple users will have complaints, just like any brand. But go through the comments here and the ones complaining loudest aren’t Apple users.

      It’s amazing how many android users, for example, are super upset at the loss of a jack on a phone they won’t use.

    • downhilldude

      That may play into the stereotype of the Apple fan, and that saying anything against Apple would be sacrilege, particularly in front of Android fans.

    • It’s Me

      Also plays into the stereotype of some android fans obsessively needing to evangelize by bashing Apple (and some other) platforms and brands.

    • downhilldude

      Ha-ha! Oh, the hypocrisy…

    • It’s Me

      Answer honestly, assuming you don’t own Apple products, when you see an Apple story, do you feel an obsessive need, a compulsion to pop in and trash them?

    • downhilldude

      I’m not sure how you will validate my honesty, but “No”, I don’t.

    • It’s Me

      I’ll take you at your word. But a quick skim of the comments on most Apple stories and you can’t honestly say I’m wrong.

    • downhilldude

      Whatever you need to tell yourself…

    • It’s Me

      Always, just the truth. We should all tell ourselves the truth. Otherwise you’re just kidding yourself.

    • neo905

      It’s actually IP67 water resistant not waterproof. The removal had more to do with earning ancillary income off of accessories and nothing more.

    • southerndinner

      This is as obvious as it gets, you’re right. They needed an artificial way to bump profits and nothing like an extor… I mean licensing fee.

    • ciderrules

      Sure. That’s why they give you an adapter for free with your phone and slashed the price of replacements to only $9. Boy, they’re going to make a fortune off those ridiculously high priced adapters. /s

    • Mr_Smoosh

      No, but they will make a fortune off their beats brand, as well as licensing requirements for third parties to make headphones.

    • Brad Fortin

      Yeah, because Beats is the only company making Bluetooth headphones. /s

    • Brad Fortin

      The removal actually had more to do with:

      – Making room for a 14% larger battery (something people have been asking for)
      – Making room for OIS on the camera (something else people have been asking for)
      – Making room for a better vibration motor (“TapTic Engine)(something people haven’t really asked for but appreciate in real-world usage)
      – Making room for louder and now-stereo speakers (something people have been asking for since the M7 had it)
      – Increasing the water resistance by removing points of ingress (something people have been asking for)

      Recent surveys have also shown that >50% of iPhone users use the headphones included in the box, so Apple will actually be making *less* profit from the new Lightning EarPods due to their increased manufacturing cost. They’ll also be including a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter in every box, further reducing their profit.

      Also, Beats is far from the only manufacturer of headphones, wired or wireless, so Apple won’t see much of an increase in sales in that department. At best they can hope the mild increase in Beats sales allows them to break even on the decrease in profit from including Lightning EarPods and the adapter in the box.

    • jay

      but now leaving bluetooth on all day decrease the battery life. the only thing they did it was the next years iphone. you gonna see that will be the one that everyone wants even none apple fans will line up and buying it.

    • Brad Fortin

      Apple’s battery life stats for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus don’t include a constant Bluetooth connection, but the battery life stats for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus *do* include a constant Bluetooth connection, and the battery life is 1-2 hours *longer*. I imagine using the iPhone 7 without a Bluetooth connection will result in even longer battery life.

    • Thanks I’m glad you enjoyed the review. I made an effort to focus on specific features I know the MobileSyrup community is likely interested in.

  • Lil’ Cwyin’ Cowar316

    I miss the caulk lines……*sigh*

    • Victor Creed

      So you’re saying you like the caulk?

    • It’s Me

      Some guys are all about the caulk. Caulk crazy I guess.

    • Lil’ Cwyin’ Cowar316

      An iPhone without caulk is like a summer without a swallow….

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Damn straight girl.

    • Lil’ Cwyin’ PC Cowar

      Aunty Sal says to say ‘hi’.

    • BBRYSUXBALLS_2.1

      Sals is the best ever. Bunch of fakes runnin ’round here now.

    • Lil’ Cwyin’ PC Cowar

      Well, it’s easy for the PC Brigade to weep and flag even the most inoffensive of comments…sad times we live in, bro.

  • gommer strike

    Hey that’s a nice SNES controller wallpaper. I dig it.

    • Thanks! I don’t even know where I found it anymore since I’ve had it for a number of years.

  • jellmoo

    I like the review, but I find the following a little concerning: “While my time with the phone has been relatively limited…”

    I worry that in a rush to get the review out as quickly as possible, you’re missing out on more than just the skin deep thoughts. Will there be a followup review(s) over the coming weeks, so people will be better able to make an informed buying decision?

    • I hear you, but Apple set a very tight embargo for those with early access. We worked with the time that was made available to us. Rest assured we’ll be updating this review the more time we spend with the phone and also plan to do a “few months later” style story about the iPhone 7 well.

  • jay

    i believe that next year will be the year of the iPhone. 10th anniversary and that will be awesome. after ten years is about time. maybe we see a nice screen. why would someone upgrade from a iPhone 6s? is there any reason? i know camera is better and it is faster… water resistance but is that worse 1000$? if i make a review without touching the iPhone i wouldn’t recommend to anyone.

  • Alex

    “the iPhone 7 is an incremental upgrade that solves most, but not all of the issues many people had with the iPhone 6s”

    Did I miss where you mentioned what these issues were?

  • I’m not an Apple hater, but I simply can’t justify paying this price get a cell phone. (I’m not buying a s7 or a Note 7 either).
    I’ll stick with a LG G3/G4.
    If the iPhone was a few hundreds cheaper, I’d be willing to spend the $600ish to get it, but not $900+.

  • Verne Arase

    I don’t get it – everyone harps about QHD when the human eye can’t really perceive a difference over 300 dpi or so.

    Apple stopped bumping resolution at 1080p (which makes sense for airplay) because that already brings their handset up over 400 dpi, and there’s really no point in going over that unless you viewing your display through a magnifier.

    Some have mentioned weirdo ViewMaster peripherals but really that’s such an edge-case that it doesn’t make sense to make your average customer’s battery life and graphics speed suffer needlessly; and the whole “using a phone display for VR” is really just a side-effect of the insane display densities which Android phones compete over rather than any kind of pre-planned design.

    • downhilldude

      VR may not be important you, yet, but many of us want increased resolution for this very application.

    • Verne Arase

      A’know, it’s a phone … not an Occulus Rift.

      Do you really want to pay day in and day out in battery life and graphical speed just so you can use a makeshift VR headset half an hour a day?

      Remember: you pay the bill all the time – not just when you’re doing your Lawnmower Man thing.

      Then again, I guess if you’re already paying the bill any way, why not have a have a device which actually makes the sacrifice mean something …

    • downhilldude

      What kind of argument is that? It’s not a computer, but I do email and surfing on it. It’s not a Fitbit, but it tracks all my steps. It’s not a clock, but I get the time off of it.

      It works as a VR. Get on board.

    • Verne Arase

      The time between your steps you can probably count in hundreds of milliseconds (while you’re walking or running), the time between emails seconds, and the time between web pages seconds or minutes.

      I’m just not willing to pay a 77% penalty both in energy and CPU time on an operation that probably takes place every 16 milliseconds for an operation which (for me) would be at most a curiosity.

    • downhilldude

      ???

  • downhilldude

    Still no wireless charging, or open NFC?

  • Brad Fortin

    Solid review on a solid phone.

    “as well as a faster f/1.8 lens”

    Doesn’t the F-stop refer to the size of the opening, not the speed of the shutter?

    “Still, it’s hard hard not to wonder what Apple has in store for the iPhone 8 given the 7’s incremental step forward.”

    Typo on “hard hard”.

    “One of the most powerful smartphones on the market”

    According to Geekbench it’s *the* most powerful smartphone on the market, even besting many laptops. Apple’s CPU team is just killing it lately.

  • EP_2012

    The low light photos look terrible and the highlights seem to be blown on most of the outdoor shots. That’s not what I was expecting for the best smartphone camera around.

  • Bob Loblaw

    The most courageous phone of 2017! Apple is the most courageous bar none! No one else can remove essential features and charge premium pricing for proprietary accessories!

  • jay

    It’s a difficult inquiry to respond to because while, yes, the iPhone 7 is a surprisingly significant upgrade over the 6s in many respects

    I would say NO everyone who ask me. Because first it still has the same screen. Still the same size and a lot user not gonna look at the pictures for hours and compare it with the 6s. Speed not gonna see a friend open her Facebook a MS faster the only thing people would ask is where is my headphone jack?

  • theycallmeWat?

    Good review. But interesting that you find the camera to have regained the top spot. I’ve read reviews on other tech sites claiming the throne still belongs to the S7, S7 edge and Note 7. I guess it could go either way depending on what’s important to the user.

  • TechGuy

    An important iterative update, no doubt. The statement on Apple regaining its camera dominance, however, is over-reaching a bit. I see no evidence to substantiate this, particularly from the tens of other reviews and actual photo/video samples I have seen. It’s not true optic zoom and the “telephoto” lens is not of the same quality.

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