It feels like the tech industry has been holding its breath in anticipation of what Apple will bring with the iPhone 7 this year - and not entirely in a good way. Torn between whether the fiery rumors of ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack is a necessary evil or just plain evil, enthusiasts (and non-enthusiasts alike) have been waiting for this moment for several months. Fortunately, overall the Apple iPhone 7 appears to be a decent upgrade from last year's iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, even if it's not as drastic as we had initially thought it would be.
As it turns out, rumors were right – Apple has indeed ditched that 3.5mm headphone jack in both the iPhone 7 and the larger iPhone 7 Plus. Instead, Apple wants users to use the Lightning port for their new included headphones, which uses a Lightning connector. Alternatively, you can continue to use headphones with the 3.5mm headphone jack by using an adapter, which is included in the box. Apple also introduced a new wireless set of headphones called Apple AirPods.
As for the iPhone 7’s design, very little differs between it and the past 2 generations of iPhones. The screens are still the same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch varieties. The antenna lines have been moved so that they’re not as prevalent along the back, instead tracing around the outer edge of the device. iPhone 7 colors include: black, jet black, silver, gold, and rose gold.
Performance-wise, the iPhone 7 now features the A10 Fusion processor, which is 120 times faster than the original iPhone, and 40 percent faster than the A9 chip in last year's iPhone 6S. Apple promises "console level gaming" with faster graphics processing that comes with the A10 Fusion chip. The A10 Fusion chip not only provides better processing and gaming power, but also better battery life. Apple claims that the iPhone 7 will feature 2 more hours of battery life with "average use" when compared to the iPhone 6S; the 7 Plus will last around 1 hour more than the 6S Plus.
Another major aspect that has been upgraded is the iPhone’s camera. The 4.7-inch iPhone 7 features its own set of drastic improvements, which includes a more advanced camera sensor and better OIS, but the more impressive feat comes with the iPhone 7 Plus, which now features a dual-camera setup with two 12-megapixel cameras that allows you to zoom in up to 10x. Both phones have 12-megapixel rear-facing shooters (the iPhone 7 Plus features two), and a 7-megapixel “FaceTime HD” camera on the front.
And then we get to internal storage capacity. I’m happy to report that Apple has finally done away with the 16GB base tier iPhone, and has decided upgrade base-tier storage to 32GB. Additional tiers have also been increased to 128GB and 256GB variants. Apple also upgraded iPhone 6S and 6S Plus storage to 32 and 128GB options.
Other notable features mentioned of the iPhone 7 include display improvements, water and dustproofing certifications, and improved speakers. The iPhone 7 has more advanced display technology by including wide color gamut and a 25% brighter screen. iPhone 7 is now IP67 certified, making it fully water and dustproof. Stereo speakers are features of the iPhone 7 for the first time in iPhone history.
As for pricing, the iPhone 7 will start at $649, and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769. Pre-orders start on Friday, September 9th, and the phones will start shipping 1 week later on September 16th. AirPods will start at $159, and will be available for purchase in October.