- Lack of headphone port
- Limited NFC support
Quickly selling out upon release, the iPhone 7 is the next release in Apple’s famous smartphone series. While they typically followed what they called a “tick-tock” release pattern, where major updates and features changed every two releases, the 7 marks a first in that while it should be a “tick” release, it appears to be a refinement of previous releases.
As it’s also the most expensive iPhone to date, do these refinements make it worth purchasing? Reviews are rolling out and we’ve dug into them all to bring you this summary!
Four of the biggest changes to the iPhone 7 come in the design. Reviews indicate that while some are controversial they’re all improvements.
The first is the lack of headphone port on the phone. Apple provides both a pair of Lighting port earbuds and a 3.5mm-to-Lightning adapter in the box to ensure you can still enjoy your iTunes collection. In a few months, they plan to introduce their AirPods for wireless connectivity.
The second change is a virtual home button. While the button no longer clicks, Apple claims their “taptic” feedback will make it feel like a physical button. Reviewers agreed with Pocket Lint noting, “It works amazingly well. Although Apple says that Touch ID hasn't been upgraded, it feels a lot more responsive to our touch in the iPhone 7 - even with sweaty hands after a run.”
The third change is an IP67 water-resistance rating. Reviewers ran their iPhones under taps, dunked them in pitchers and jumped in the pool and all still had working phones.
Lastly, ditching the headphone jack made room for Apple to upgrade the audio experience. The phone now includes two stereo speakers. Pocket Lint put the audio to the test and declared, “The audio enhancements certainly make a difference: the iPhone 7 produces a richer sound that the iPhone 6S.”
The 4.7-inch display on the phone runs at 1334-by-750 and Apple claims it has both improved color range and brightness. Reviews on the screen were great with many noting the details and vibrant yet natural colors.
Powering the phone is Apple’s newest A10 Fusion processor. Review benchmarks found significant performance increases over the iPhone 6 and comparable performance to most Android flagship models at the time of release. Phonescoop said, “In terms of real-world performance, the A10 delivers a huge jolt. I've never seen apps download to any mobile phone this fast.” IT Pro UK noted, “It's great at handling demanding tasks like 3D gaming and video streaming.”
While you won’t find microSD support, Apple increased the storage of the base iPhone 7 to 32GB. Need more space for your apps and media? You’ll find 128GB and 256GB models too.
Apple’s latest phones have set the bar for mobile photography. While only slightly so, reviews indicate the 7’s front-facing 12MP lens with optical image stabilization appears to continue to this trend. IT Pro UK described images captured with their phone as “absolutely superb” while BGR put the camera to the test and declared, “If you don’t have the time to mess with settings, the iPhone 7’s camera will reliably get a usable photo.”
All of this is available from a device that will easily last a full day on a single charge. While specifications aren’t available at the time of writing on exact capacities, Phonescoop noted, “On what I consider to be a normal day (email, some music, social networking, taking a few photos, watching some video, messaging, and so on) the iPhone 7 easily managed to last from breakfast to bedtime. I had about 20% left at the end of each day — and that's with location services on and a Bluetooth device connected the entire time.”
Overall, reviews on the iPhone 7 are overwhelmingly positive. Even those who initially questioned the lack of headphone port were warming up to the idea by the end of the review. In the end, the biggest questions for most reviewers centered around price.
Pocket-Lint summed up opinions well, saying, “Tim Cook is right: the iPhone 7 is the company's best iPhone yet. It's just that the best is only slighter better than what we've already had for the past year.”