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Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus hands-on and first impressions roundup

Despite retaining the overall design, the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come with a host of improvements and new features. Let's take a look at some of the first impressions of Apple's latest flagship smartphones.

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The rumor mills can take a breather now that Apple has taken the wraps off the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. While most of what was unveiled last night have been leaked before, there were still some aspects that took people by surprise. After CEO Tim Cook’s keynote wrapped up, those present at the event got some hands-on time with the new iPhones, and here’s a roundup of the first impressions of the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

The new iPhones might not look a whole lot different from last year’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but Apple has made enough changes under the hood. The display is brighter, the phones are more powerful, they now come with IP67 certification and bumped up storage, and there is no 3.5mm audio jack now. Other talking points include improved cameras, especially the dual-camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus, which is pushing the limits of how good a smartphone camera can be. Both iPhones are set to go on sale in India from October 7, with prices starting from Rs 60,000.

Despite all the changes under the hood, there is no denying that the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus looks the same as last year’s iPhones. TechRadar‘s summary then comes as little surprise — “The iPhone 7 feels iterative AGAIN, which is an odd move at this inflexion point in the company’s history. Is this because Apple knows there’s not a lot a lot of scope left for innovation in terms of smartphone design? Or is there a big change coming further down the line – could we see the iPhone 8 next year, with all the changes we were expecting?”

Apple has introduced new color variants, including one called black and the other is ‘jet black’. This glossy-finished variant may add to the premium-ness of the device, but even Apple says that it is prone to scratches and should be used with a case. On the jet black variant, TechCrunch says, “It’s pretty nice, actually, managing the so-rare feat of looking classy whilst reflecting everything in sight – and yes, it’s every bit the fingerprint magnet you’re currently imagining. Personally, I’d opted for the decidedly less creatively-named “black,” which is a matte finish from which no light can possibly escape, and honestly, it might be my favorite look the iPhone has sported thus far.”

Now it may be too soon to comment on the phone’s performance, but Mashable does give a glimpse into how it feels to play a game on the new iPhone. Along with the bumped up specs, there is also a new stereo speaker system, which really comes into its own when holding the device in landscape. “…Apple has always impressed on the performance front. The game I played was also enhanced by the new stereo speaker system, which pumps sound out of the bottom edge of the phone and from the opening next to the font-facing camera. It can get loud. That in combination with the game’s use of the Taptic Engine that third-party companies can now write to added up to a pretty interesting little game experience.”

One of the big changes include a new Touch ID sensor, which doesn’t click any more. Instead, the overall functionality is much like a MacBook’s trackpad, but seems like it will take users a bit of time to adjust. According to The Verge, “The new home button, which uses a “taptic engine” to give you physical feedback when you press it — it’s pressure sensitive too, so it can tell if you really mean to press it or just tap it. And it’s awful. On a MacBook trackpad, you get this uncanny feeling that you’re actually hitting a button. On the iPhone, the whole bottom of the phone just sort of “kicks.” It’s not bad haptics like you remember, with weird vibration, it’s just a new kind of bad haptics. It doesn’t feel like a button at all. It’s a bummer.”

Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of chatter around the lack of 3.5mm audio jack on the new iPhones, and most of them present there were able to try on the new AirPods. Social media has mixed feelings about Apple’s first-ever truly wireless earphones, and it is reflected in The Telegraph‘s first impressions as well — “The sound quality is good, and there’s a lot of potential for this type of technology – it feels one step closer to Joaquin Phoenix in Her. There’s one catch – these are going to get lost, a lot. They felt more secure in my ear than Apple’s usual EarPods, but I still wouldn’t feel comfortable running for the bus or falling asleep on a plane wearing them.”

These are only first impressions of the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and it usually takes some time to make a more rounded opinion of a device. But suffice to say the initial impressions of publications are positive. While some have gone ahead and said that these are the best iPhones Apple has developed so far, we will reserve our judgments till we have reviewed them. ALSO READ: Should you buy the Apple iPhone 7?

  • Published Date: September 8, 2016 3:35 PM IST