The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus at first glance don't look all too different from their predecessors. In fact they are physically identical except for: The home button on the front, the camera in the back, and of course the missing headphone jack at the bottom. The new iPhones are IP67 dust and water resistant so they can take a splash or accidental drops in the toilet which I won't demonstrate and will take Apples word for it!
Other than that, everything else is practically the same. The basic design scheme, layout of the buttons, and the screen sizes are still 4.7 and 5.5 inches. Anyone looking for a complete redesign, well maybe next year. Sure we get black and Jet Black colors but that's not as big a deal as apple made it to be on their key note.
I decided to go with the matte black, or just simply the black color because I like black phones, and the Jet Black looked like it could scratch and smudge way too easily.
There is a welcome change in the weight. This year's iPhones are slightly lighter than the previous generations and they house a higher capacity battery that will give you an extra hour on both devices.
Now the big differences from the 6S and 7 are almost all internal. The iPhone 7 and 7 plus new feature the new A10 chip which is of course much faster than its predecessor. There's also more RAM added, the 7 has 2GB and the Plus has 3GB. the smaller sized iPhone now comes equipped with OIS in the camera so that's no longer a unique Plus feature.
What makes the Plus unique however is the extra 55mm camera for 2X optical zoom and bokeh effects. Which we will get into later.
How well does the new home button work? Well it was weird at first. When I tried it out at the apple store when these were on display, I hated it. The force touch effect was nowhere near as real as the force touch on the MacBooks which feels like an actual click. However after a few days use, I got used to it and it.
As for the missing headphone jack, this omission obviously didn't make any sense and Apple's courage explanation still remains one of the greatest mysteries of life. There was no real benefit to the device in removing it and adds a minor inconvenience having to carry an extra dongle.
As it turns out… it isn't so bad. My solution is to leave that dongle on your favorite pair of headphones… or if you've already switched to bluetooth, then it doesn't really matter. However, times when you want to top of your battery while listening to your music especially in a flight, you''re either s*** out of luck or you need to invest in another adapter that supports both lightning and the headphone jack creating more first world problems!
Battery Life on the iPhone 7 Plus is on the above average side and you can pretty much get all day use out of this. I usually have my phone unplugged in the morning, use it for work, make calls, send emails, social media stuff, watch netflix while working out, and then by 9:30PM, I have 32% battery left.
As for the camera, just like every year it gets better every time. Now how much better is the question. As Phil Schiller mentioned in the iPhone Keynote, the smartphone or in this case the iPhone is the best and only camera most people will ever own. The 12 megapixel camera on the iPhone 7 Plus doesn't disappoint, it launches fast, focuses quickly and takes great photos.
On the Plus, you get that extra 55mm lens that gives you the 2X optical zoom as well as giving you the depth effect (or bokeh) after the recent 10.1 iOS update. Front facing camera has been upgraded from 5MP to 7MP so you can now take even better selfies.
Another nice addition to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is the inclusion of stereo speakers. It's a little weird how this is set up but it sort of makes sense. You have one speaker located at the earpiece, and another located at the usual spit at the bottom of the phone. They can't replace high quality stereo speakers but they sound decent enough.
Performance on the iPhone 7 is just incredible. It is faster than any smartphone out there, which is the trade off of Apple's tight grip on the software and navigating through the UI, launching apps, and running them is where the iPhone shines. Sure you get a few hiccups on some third party apps but they are almost always constantly updated.
I'd do a comparison with other phones but again, I turned in my fire hazard note 7 and am waiting for the google pixel. We will just have to wait and see how the pixel or 821 based devices compete against the iPhone.
But is it significantly faster than the iPhone 6S? In real world usage, you will probably have a hard time finding the difference. However, if you are coming from an iPhone 6 or older, then I would totally recommend the upgrade.
And to state the obvious, it is the best iPhone you can get. As for the best smartphone… well that's for you to decide.