comscore Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus review roundup
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Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus review roundup

Apple's new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus maybe the best in the company's portfolio. But it isn't going to be easy to convince people to upgrade, reviews suggest.

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The first set of reviews for Apple’s new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are out. Every year there is a lot of anticipation around the new iPhones and this year it is no different. Though this year’s iPhones may not look all that different, there are more than enough talking points that are being discussed by reviewers. These include the improved cameras, water resistant capabilities, and more importantly the missing 3.5mm audio jack. We have combed the internet to bring you a gist of what reviewers are saying about the new iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Also Read - Apple App store removes this popular dating app for spreading misinformation

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Design: Apple didn’t make wholesale changes to the new iPhones this year. In fact if you put either of the new iPhones in a case, you will be hard-pressed to say if it is a new iPhone or last year’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Business Insider says, “Apple used to pride itself on pushing design standards forward, with the rest of the industry attempting to copy or catch up. Apple s rivals have perfected their designs, but its response was to release the same look for the third year in a row. I know it might sound superficial to focus on design so much, but it s something users take seriously, especially on a device they carry around and use all the time. It s hard get excited about something new when it looks very similar to what you ve seen before.” Also Read - Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' job application sold for over Rs 2.5 crore

This year, Apple has introduced a new color variant it calls ‘Jet Black’, and unlike the other variants it gets a glossy finish. Though it really amps up the premium factor, even Apple has acknowledged that the variant is prone to scratching. BuzzFeed is critical of the color variant and even calls it pointless. “What is even the point of jet black? It s a fingerprint magnet and scratches so easily, even Apple thinks you need a case [but otherwise] the 7 and 7 Plus are more life-proof, klutz-proof than any iPhone we ve seen.”

Performance: There are quite a few upgrades under the hood, and both new iPhones are powered by an A10 Fusion processor paired with M10 co-processor. While Apple doesn’t usually reveal the RAM, benchmarking websites have revealed that the iPhone 7 has 2GB of RAM, and the iPhone 7 Plus has 3GB. Needless to say, performance isn’t an issue, and recently the iPhone 7 shattered benchmark records with a score of 178,397 on AnTuTu. The Verge sums it up pretty well, saying, “It s impressive that Apple was able to create a more efficient processor that delivers the same perceived performance as the previous generation while using less power. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are legitimately among the most interesting, opinionated, powerful phones Apple has ever shipped.”

Battery: Again, Apple doesn’t reveal the size of the battery inside the new iPhones. But different listings online have revealed that the iPhone 7 features a 1,960mAh battery, while the iPhone 7 Plus features a 2,900mAh battery. In comparison, last year’s iPhone 6s came with a 1,715mAh battery, and the iPhone 6s Plus came with a 2,750mAh battery. With a bigger size and a more efficient processor, the battery life on the new iPhones have indeed received a boost. Writing for Recode Walt Mossberg says, “The bigger Plus easily turned in 13- to 15-hour days, often with power left in the tank, doing a wide variety of tasks. For instance, my test iPhone 7 Plus was at just a few minutes shy of 14 hours with 14 percent left when I got to my DC-area home after flying from San Francisco and using the phone heavily on cellular networks, and hotel, airport and airplane Wi-Fi. That s a scenario I usually find to be a battery-killer. The smaller model was typically in the 12- to 14-hour range, even after hours of streaming video and music.” networks, and hotel, airport and airplane Wi-Fi. That s a scenario I usually find to be a battery-killer. The smaller model was typically in the 12- to 14-hour range, even after hours of streaming video and music.”

Cameras: If the recent photos shared by Apple are anything to go by, the cameras on the new iPhones are super-impressive. With the Galaxy S7, Samsung really pushed the boundaries of what smartphone cameras are capable of, and with the new iPhones, Apple has pushed the boundaries a bit farther. One of the talking points is the dual-camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus, which is a first for Apple. The camera on the iPhone 6s was pretty good, but Apple has managed to improve things with the iPhone 7. “[…] the iPhone 6S was already operating at the top of the scale, bested only recently by the latest cameras in the Galaxy S7 and Note 7. In low light, that faster lens and optical image stabilization means that the 7 significantly outperforms the 6S. But compared to the iPhone 6S, the iPhone 7 is a step improvement, not a major leap,” The Verge says.

As for the iPhone 7 Plus, the zooming is described as ‘great’, but without the upcoming software update, there is little more that the camera does. “I took a few photos with the iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 6S Plus under decent light and asked people to tell them apart on a laptop screen. It was pretty hard for most everyone, although the 7 definitely has more vibrant colors and a noticeably shallower depth of field because of the brighter lens. You can tell if you know what to look for, but the difference in most shots will be imperceptible in an Instagram or Facebook feed.” RELATED: Apple iPhone 7 dual-cameras explained: Here s how it is different from other smartphone cameras

Missing 3.5mm audio jack: One of the biggest points of discussions is the missing 3.5mm audio jack on the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Apple wants everyone to use headsets with Lightning connectors and also sees the future as wireless. While many deem the missing audio jack as a minor inconvenience, its wireless AirPods have been almost universally panned. CNET compares the inconvenience of the missing audio jack to the single USB-C port on the new MacBook and also calls it a ‘compromise that feels forced’. “If you’re already a wireless headphone power user, you won’t miss a thing. But someday who knows when? you’ll find yourself somewhere wanting to use a pair of wired headphones. And you’ll find that you can’t plug them in because you left your dongle behind. Don’t cry to me when that happens.”

Though Business Insider says that the missing audio jack on the iPhones isn’t that big an issue, the problem is that everything else isn’t compatible with a Lightning port or Bluetooth. “When I was flying back to New York last week, I wanted to watch a movie on Delta s in-flight entertainment system. But I had shiny new pair of the Lightning EarPods, and Delta s system requires the standard jack. That means I had to pull out a second pair of regular EarPods that I had with me from my iPhone 6. Bluetooth was out of the question.” ALSO READ: Here s why Apple is killing the 3.5mm audio jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Touch ID: With the new iPhones, the physical home button below the display isn’t clickable any more. Instead, it now comes with Force Touch technology and via haptic feedback, it can now simulate the feel of a button. But whatever Apple was trying to do, doesn’t seemed to have worked, and here’s how Daring Fireball‘s John Gruber describes it. “Alas, [the Home button is] nothing at all like the new Force Touch trackpads, which use haptic feedback to simulate an artificial click. […] This new home button is the one and only thing about the iPhone 7 that I don t like. Why would Apple do this? It does remove one more potential point of ingress, improving water resistance. But the power and volume buttons are still actual buttons, and the iPhone 7 is IP67 water resistant. To me, it feels worse, not better.”

Durability: This is the first time, an iPhone comes with IP certification. Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are IP67 certified, making them resistant to water and dust. As expected, this feature works exactly has advertised. Mossberg writes, “I left an iPhone 7 submerged in a large mixing bowl of water for about 20 minutes (it can go deeper and longer, Apple says 1 meter for 30 minutes). It was fine when I fished it out and dried it off. No rice needed. The only effects were somewhat gravelly sound quality for about five minutes, and an admonition not to charge it for five hours thereafter.” ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are water resistant, but liquid damage isn t covered under warranty

Apple iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus review verdict

With so many publications having got their hands on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the verdicts are quite varied. Apple’s new iPhones may not be the best smartphones available today, but there are quite a few positives to keep fans happy. They won’t feel like a massive upgrade for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus users, but those with older iPhones will appreciate the many changes.

NYT concludes by saying, “The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are tremendously fast more than double the speed of the two-year-old iPhone 6 and their cameras produce superb, vivid photos. The battery life is improved, and the iPhones survived water torture tests. And after a while, I didn t miss the headphone jack as much as I thought. […] The bottom line: Those who have been waiting years to buy a new phone are in store for a major upgrade with the iPhone 7.”

WSJ says that the iPhones aren’t the “most advanced phone money can buy. These benefits would make the iPhone 7 the best smartphone of 2015. Last year is when Apple should have put it on sale. Now Apple s just playing catch-up to Samsung, which added an equivalent camera and waterproofing to its Galaxy S7 six months ago.”

Mossberg’s verdict are a mixed bag of sorts — “The most important thing about the 2016 iteration of the iPhone is that, overall, it takes a truly excellent smartphone and makes it significantly better in a host of ways. Despite the undisputed improvements, this new iPhone just isn t as compelling an upgrade as many of its predecessors. Some might want to wait a year for the next really big thing and maybe a better audio solution to boot.”

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  • Published Date: September 14, 2016 5:15 PM IST


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