A Look at the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Along with turkey, leaf piles, cooling temperatures, and shorter days, fall brings about another yearly tradition. That’s right, every autumn, tech enthusiasts are treated with the latest offering in Apple’s flagship iPhone line of smartphones.

This year is especially exciting, since it marks two years since iPhone 6 and a year since the intermediate update, the iPhone 6s. That means it’s time to move on to the next major revision of the iPhone: the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Does the latest and greatest model live up to all the hype that a newly numbered iPhone brings to the tech world? Find out here as BFAds.net takes a look at the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.


iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Compared

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Compared

For those embarking of their first journey into the iPhone world after having previously been an Android devotee, the differences between the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus might not be so obvious.

Not just a clever name, the iPhone 7 Plus is the plus-sized version of the iPhone 7. The overall size and weight of the Plus is a bit larger, measuring 6.23” x 3.07” x 0.29” and tipping the scales at 6.63 ounces. This is a bit hefty compared to the iPhone 7, which measures 5.44” x 2.64” x 0.28” and a svelte 4.87 ounces.

In the past, the size and weight difference was explained simply by the fact that the Plus housed the larger screen, which is still true with the 7 and 7 Plus, which are 4.7”and 5.5” respectively. The extra screen real estate on the Plus also allows for a full HD 1920 x 1080 401ppi retina screen. That’s not to say that the 1334 x 750 326ppi retina screen on the iPhone 7 is a slouch, but for those who demand a 1080 display on their phone, the Plus is the way to go.

This year, however, the iPhone 7 Plus delivers much more than just a larger screen. Apple has tossed in several noteworthy camera upgrades, specifically adding dual cameras. We’ll delve deeper into this later, but for now, if you’re looking for a new iPhone to take advantage of both a wide angle and telephoto lens, the iPhone 7 Plus is your only option.


Design Changes

Design Changes

There’s no sense in dancing around the most obvious and controversial change in the iPhone 7: the headphone jack is gone. Whether or not this is a big deal depends on how you use your phone. If you don’t have a pair of premium headphones, or if you’ve always felt that the included white Apple earbuds are good enough (a pair of lightning-connected buds are included), then it probably won’t bother you at all. If you’re a music junkie, however, this could be a deal breaker. Sure, there will be an adapter to allow you to connect your 3.5mm headphones to the lightning adapter port, but if you’re heavy user of your iPhone, what do you do when you have to charge your phone? And what happens if you lose or break the adapter? Sounds like you’re out of luck, at least temporarily, in either scenario.

While your phone charges or you wait for your replacement 3.5mm to lightning adapter to arrive in the mail, you can still enjoy stereo sound through the iPhone 7’s new stereo speakers, a nice addition to the somewhat lackluster single speaker options found on most phones.

While Apple patted themselves on the back in celebration of “courageously” omitting the 3.5mm headphone jack, it left many people scratching their heads as to why this change was necessary. The answer came in the addition to a water-resistant design to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which made it necessary to remove the most vulnerable area of the phone through which water may enter.

While the body is now water-resistant, there is no major design change when compared to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Instead there are two new colors to choose from, including Black and Jet Black (which is technically one color) but since one is matte and the other glossy, it brings your total choices to five, including the original gold, rose gold, and silver finishes.

Helping to add to the new watertight design is the revamped home button, which is no longer actually a button at all -- rather, a touch-sensitive pad with haptic feedback. The button is pressure sensitive, and when pressed the user gets a small vibration beneath their finger, giving that small but important confirmation that the phone has received your input. The benefit here is, again, the waterproof design; although anyone who has had an iPhone home button go bad on them is probably open to having fewer moving parts.


Processor and Performance

Processor and Performance

Apple always seems to be a huge fan of Moore’s law, as they proudly proclaim with every newly numbered iPhone that the processor speed has doubled. That tradition is not going away with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and Apple is boasting that their new A10 Fusion processor, you guessed it, DOUBLES the speed of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, while also delivering the “longest battery life ever in an iPhone.” Everyone likes more speed, and the fact that a new Apple chip with twice the speed seems like a checkbox at this point just shows how spoiled Apple fans are to cutting edge tech in their phones.

On the retina screen front, there is sadly no major upgrade in resolution or pixel density, but the retina displays in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are said to be 25% brighter with a wider color gamut.

Just as with their processor speed, every new iPhone is delivered with the fastest available wireless speed, and the 7 series iPhones have triple the LTE speeds of the iPhone 6. Whether or not you benefit from this, of course, is entirely up to your service provider, but the phone is capable should you be in an area that can deliver 450Mbps LTE.


Camera

Camera

Having a killer camera is an absolute must to have a successful flagship smartphone. As with other tech features, cameras evolve along with other hardware as each manufacturer attempts to beat the other over the head with megapixels, HDR, OIS, or any other trendy buzzword in digital photography. This year, there is a major difference between the camera features on the iPhone 7 and the 7 Plus, with the Plus featuring two different cameras.

First, the iPhone 7 features a 12MP f/1.8 aperture camera with optical image stabilization. The big new feature here is a quad tone LED flash that adjusts the brightness automatically based on the setting of your subject. As is standard these days in a flagship, the camera will take 30fps 4K video and 1080p video at 30 or 60fps.

Those who opt for the iPhone 7 Plus will enjoy all the benefits of the iPhone 7’s camera but with two entirely different cameras, one wide angle and one telephoto, that combine to make a superb camera phone unlike any other on the market. Not only can you shoot in wide angle, but switching to the telephoto lens gives you true 2x optical zoom on a camera phone, a nearly unheard of feature.

If a quality camera is paramount to you, the iPhone 7 Plus is a must-have.


Accessories

Accessories

Apple always releases the same slew of stylish cases and various cables to go along with their new devices, but with the removal of the headphone jacks, it left the door open for Apple to try and take the reins and usher in a new era of Bluetooth headphones.

What they came up with are Airpods, which are small, slick, wireless, and rechargeable ear buds that are made to perfectly compliment your new iPhone 7. Yes, Bluetooth buds have been around for a number of years, but only Airpods carry the Apple design niceties that make them uniquely Apple.

Airpods deliver a total of 5 hours of listening time, but the unique part of about the battery life is that the carrying case acts as a portable port bank, recharging the Airpods while not in use, and will provide 24 hours of battery life before having to be recharged itself. Apple boasts that charging Airpods for a mere 15 minutes will provide 3 hours of listening time, making your downtime minimal should you run out of juice.

Airpods provide AAC sound and give you full control of your phone through Siri, which works seamlessly through Airpods. Should you be forced to forgo your beloved wired headphones, Airpods will at least soften the blow a bit.


Conclusion

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were met with a bit of disappointment by Apple fans. Apple has made their fans accustomed to dramatic design changes when moving on to the next numbered iPhone, so the fact that the form factor was more or less identical left a bit to be desired by some, and was derided by many who labeled it the iPhone 6ss.

Still, with a significant increase in power, a new water resistant chassis, stereo speakers, and a dual camera system on the Plus, the 7 series iPhones are worthy successors in just about every other regard.

Over the last few years, while Apple continues to be a Grinch, we have seen many retailers offering free accessories and gift cards to help subsidize the Black Friday price on iPhones. If you’re ready to make the jump to the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, keep your browser and smartphone trained on BFAds.net, where we’ll be bringing you all the latest and leaked deal info heading into Black Friday and beyond.

October 12, 2016
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