Surely, Apple has removed the headphone jack - and I know most of you were frustrated by such decision – but the iPhone 7 series is going to be a gamechanger: starting with the dual cameras, unrivaled in terms of quality among other smartphones. The new A10 Fusion processors are nothing short of a laptop hardware and, much like the headphone jack, the home button is gone. However, this time no one can really complain.
Removing the jack, whether you like it or not, is something only Apple could have had the status to do: floppy drives, optical drives, even USB are all features that Apple devices were the first to drop. Apparently, it was time for the jack to go.
Apple has a strong opinion about how the next generation of phones should be, and the 7 series is the first step towards it.
Little has changed, aesthetically, but your iPhone is now somewhat waterproof, which is nice. You can get it wet, casually, but don’t go swimming with it unless you’ve got a proper case, as if you submerge it in a meter of water for more than 30 minutes it might be the end of it.
Apart from that, the antenna lines on the back have been colored to blend into the body if you have a matte black or glossy jet black model, and the camera bump has been enlarged and curved into the rear casing.
Really, once you put it into a case – which you really should do, especially if you have an unusually easy to scratch jet black – you won’t be able to tell the difference between your iPhone 7 and an iPhone 6. There’s nothing innovative about the 7 series design and the 7 Plus might be a bit uglier than some other large-screened competitors.
There’s no real button. It’s totally solid, but a linear vibration – Taptic Engine – will trick your brain into believing something’s clicking. It almost feels like the entire bottom of the phone is clicking and you can even set the feedback to one of three force settings. The Engine will activate in various situations, like when you drop the notification shade down, or even when using third-party apps.
It might feel weird, or you might really enjoy it. Either way, it will take you a while to get used to it.
DISPLAY AND CAMERA
The display has improved and, though it’s not as good as a 2K or 4K OLED panel on many Android phones, it has got a wide range of colors and it’s rather sharp and bright.
The cameras have also improved dramatically: the pictures you take are going to look insane and the display is going to make them really stand out.
Mobile photography is really a thing now, with Instagram, Snapchat and social media in general. The iPhone 7 is another upgrade over the already great camera on the 6S: you’ve got a new, faster f/1.8 lens, optical image stabilization, a new four-color True Tone Flash and wider color capture features. The 7Plus model has two lenses and sensors, with the same f/1.8 28mm angle lens as the iPhone7 and an f/2.8 56mm telephoto lens. They operate simultaneously, so that you can switch to a true 2x zoom.
The front camera has a 7-megapixel sensor with a bright and sharp lens. The Retina Flash is also a great feature.
The 7 series has added stereo speakers, which is a pretty neat feature: one is at the bottom, as usual, while the other is integrated into the earpiece. They’re never going to replace the real speaker, but they’re a great improvement and will let you work a conference call like no other model before.
HEADPHONE JACK AND LIGHTNING EARPODS
There is no such thing on your 7 series device. Apple said they needed to drop it if they wanted to make space for better cameras, bigger batteries and, of course, water resistance.
When you buy an iPhone 7, you get a pair of EarPods headphones with a Lightning connector and a Lightning-to-3.5mm dongle that allows you to use your traditional headphones. If you lose it, since it’s very small, you can always buy a new one for 9$, which is fair, so you might even just buy a couple and keep them attached to your headphones.
The Lightning EarPods are just like regular EarPods and when it comes to quality, they sound pretty bad. You might choose to buy AirPods, but they sound almost the same, so I don’t really understand why Apple doesn’t upgrade the pods. It’s kind of disappointing really. I think losing the headphone jack wasn’t that big of a deal, since we’re all moving to wireless and Bluetooth anyway, but I really think Apple should give us a much better quality sound than it does right now. The AirPlay interface is also a bummer: it’s frustrating, obsolete and it doesn’t really allow most of third-parties devices to connect.
Other than that, I do have to remind you that, because of the adapter, you can’t really charge your phone and listen to music through jack-wired-headphones at the same time. So, until the charging becomes wireless too, you’ll have to choose either one or the other.
PERFORMANCE AND IOS 10
The new A10 Fusion chip is a new design with four cores: two high-performance ones and two low-power ones for everyday tasks that will save you a lot of battery. It’s incredibly fast and works great. You might not really see a big difference if you don’t use heavy apps, as your two high-performance cores won’t even step into action. Still, it’s faster and the battery – which has also been replaced by a bigger one - will last longer.
IOS 10 is the best iOS update in a very long time. The visual design is great and it just works flawlessly. Control Center is easier to use and you get a ton of new features.
These are fantastic phones: the 7 series is made of some of the most interesting and powerful phones we’ve ever seen. Does it make up for the inconvenience of not having a jack?
It really depends on how much you used it, but I don’t think so.
The iPhone 7 series still feels like a 6 Upgrade. It has laid down the foundation for the new generation of smartphones, but we might have to wait for the next model to really achieve that status.
Improved battery life
Jet Black scratches way too easily
Looks just like an iPhone 6