After endless churning of the rumour mill and leaks on what Apple‘s next generation smartphone would entail, the American tech giant has finally unveiled the iPhone 7. The verdict? It’s the boldest iteration of the iPhone to date since the departure of Steve Jobs.
But don’t let us tell you that. Here are the four main changes that users will see in the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.
Say Goodbye To The Headphone Jack
One of the worst kept secrets of the iPhone 7 was Apple’s intention to eradicate the obsolete input to save more space. That’s what they say anyway (see below). The conventional 3.5mm audio jack takes up the most real estate on modern iPhones so it’s now gone in favour of features such as a thinner body and better water resistance capabilities.
In its place is Apple’s Lightning port which acts as the main charging port as well as the audio output and connection to other devices. Those wanting to use conventional earphones which rely on the 3.5mm jack will be glad to know that Apple have included a Lightning-to-headphone-jack adaptor for old school cord lovers. It won’t be pretty and that’s exactly why Apple is an expert at phasing things out.
Issues: Charging the iPhone whilst listening to music is now impossible even though the company is claiming “the longest battery life ever in an iPhone”.
Say Hello To Wireless Earphones
Apple says that the reason for consolidating everything into their single Lightning port was to make a better iPhone. The crowds thus far haven’t warmed to this and instead say it’s just an elaborate ploy to push more users onto their latest AirPods, Apple’s first ever wireless earphones.
On the flip side, they look fancy but sound quality and canal fitment appears to be unchanged with the same driver units and plastic housing carried over from the previous wired versions, sans the wire.
Users who go the wireless route can enjoy up to 24 hours of battery life on full juice with charging conveniently taken care of by placing the AirPods into a case. It’s intuitive too with a brand new Apple W1 chip making connectivity a breeze by automatically switching on and connecting to your device when removed from its charging case. A 15-minute quick charge affords users 3 hours of listening time.
The AirPods also feature accelerometers and optical sensors which can determine when a user pulls them out of their ear to automatically pause music. Adjusting the volume can be done via double-tapping the AirPods which activates Siri.
Issues: The cost. At AU$229 a pop, they’re not cheap. In fact they’re moving towards premium quality earphone territory, so punters will be expecting a boost in audio quality. Given the same housing design, we’re not sure if this is the case yet until the reviews come out. Also they’re easy to lose and expensive to replace.
They Heard You Like Cameras…
Apple heard you like cameras so they put a camera on your camera. Seriously, they did. The standard and smaller iPhone 7 receives a better quality 12MP camera whilst the larger iPhone 7 Plus gets dual cameras on the back for some epic selfies complete with a 2x optical zoom.
Apple did this for the iPhone 7 to improve zooming, focus and stabilisation in smartphones. In technical terms that’s a 28mm wide angle lens and a 56mm telephoto lens in the same unit, bettering the standard digital zoom which can leave images grainy.
Issues: Dual cameras only come in the bigger and pricier iPhone 7 Plus.
Welcome Water & Dust Resistance
Playing catch up in the practicality game, Apple can finally boast about their phone surviving a toilet drop. Not that you’d use it again after that. The iPhone 7 features a water resistance rating of up to 1-metre for 30-minutes.
Due to this new design, it’s also dustproof so beach-goers won’t need to worry about the sand jamming up buttons. Not that it matters since the Home button has been deleted in place of a solid state Taptic Engine-powered virtual button. That’s fancy for a touchscreen button.
Issues: You’ll never need to place another wet iPhone into a bowl of rice grains.
Cooler Colours…At A Price
Always bet on black. That’s what Wesley Snipes said in Passenger 57 and Apple have finally listened. The iPhone 7 will come in two sleek new hues: an anodised matte black and an ultra glossy jet black version. Apple says that the new jet black colour takes a nine-step process in order to achieve its deep appearance.
For the conventional user, Apple will also offer the phones in silver, gold and rose gold hues.
Issues: Apple knows how to sell ‘cool’ and this means the standard iPhone 7 set in silver, gold, rose gold and anodised black will start at AU$1,079 for their 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models. The iPhone 7 Plus in those same colour variations will start at AU$1,269.
Thinking of going jet black? You’ll need to pay more with the colour only coming in the higher spec and more expensive 128GB and 256GB versions.