The September 7th Apple event set the stage for the unveiling of the iPhone 7. Apple’s new smartphone is all about subtle enhancements across a wide variety of components of the device. As always, Apple claims it’s the best iPhone ever, and of course it is, but what exactly does that entail? The first enhancement is the processor with the new A10 Fusion chip that delivers up two times faster performance than the A9 chip in the iPhone 6S. The processor has a 64-bit quad core architecture with two high performance cores, and two energy efficient cores with the system automatically assigning specific apps to the two different core sets.
The second big enhancement is to the camera system with the iPhone 7 including a 12 megapixel sensor with optical image stabilization, a larger ƒ/1.8 aperture, and 6-element lens. The 7 Plus includes a new dual lens system that combines two 12 megapixel lenses with a wide angle camera and telephoto camera. The dual lens system allows for optical zoom at two times, as well as new depth of field photography. Both devices include a new Image Signal Processor that processes over 100 billion operations in as little as 25 milliseconds. There’s also a new Quad LED True Tone flash system that is 50% brighter than the 6S. The front facing camera is also improved with a seven megapixel lens, up from five megapixel.
The third improvement is all about water and dust resistance. The iPhone 7 is rated at IP67 standard with the “6” indicating top tier dust resistance, and “7” being the second tier of water resistance. The IP7 standard for water means the iPhone can withstand immersion in water up to one meter (3.3 feet) for 30 minutes. Apple claims the iPhone 7 should withstand accidental drops in the pool, bathtub, or shower, or light splashing. The iPhone 7 is not IP68 for full water proof. Also, liquid damage to the iPhone 7 is not covered under warranty.
The fourth enhancement is to the screen with the same Retina HD Display with 3D Touch, not it’s now 25% brighter. Not only does the display shine brighter, but it also displays more colors with the wide color gamut standard used in the digital cinema industry. It’s worth noting that the iPhone 7 camera system offers wide color capture, and now you can fully see those colors on the new display. The fifth change is to the speaker system with stereo speaker capabilities. The iPhone 7 has a speaker at the top and bottom of the device to offer more audio immersion than any previous iPhone. The audio output of the iPhone 7 is also twice as loud as the 6S.
The sixth enhancement is battery life with the longest lasting iPhone to date. The changes aren’t major, but there are battery life improvements across the board for video, WiFi browsing, LTE browsing, and more. On average, the iPhone 7 offers two more hours of battery life in a typical day than the iPhone 6S, while the Plus line is one hour more. The seventh improvement for the iPhone 7 is double the storage space across the board. The iPhone 6S came in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB, while the iPhone 7 comes in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The storage space enhancements might be the most appealing upgrade of the seven items.
A couple smaller items are included in the iPhone 7 that aren’t fully new features, depending on your point of view. First is a solid state home button that is designed to be more durable and responsive. The iPhone 7 includes a Taptic Engine next to the home button to offer more precise and customizable tactile feedback, though the jury is out on how well it works. Apple has removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 in favor of lightning connected EarPods. An adapter from 3.5mm jack to lightning is also included in the box.
The iPhone 7 is set to launch on September 16th in three storage configurations, and five colors with the baseline starting at $649, or $27/month. The color choices for the white iPhone are consistent with silver, gold, and rose gold. There are two new black options with a matte Black, and a glossy Jet Black to choose from, though the Jet Black option is limited to 128GB and 256GB options. Pre-orders began today, September 9th at 12:01am Pacific with all Plus models and high storage 4.7” models delayed until at least October at the time of publishing. If you missed pre-ordering for shipping, the iPhone 7 will be available in stores on September 16th.