Apple may have unveiled the iPhone 7 last night, but the rumour mill hit the nail on the head in the lead up to the event.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of cool features touted by the latest devices, as well as a few bone-headed decisions made by the Cupertino company.
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The iPhone 7’s green ticks
Water resistant design
The last few iPhones have all featured some level of water resistance, but Apple has decided to actually implement proper water resistance and advertise the fact.
At IP67, the iPhone 7 isn’t quite at the IP68 level of the Galaxy S7 or the last few Xperia Z phones, but the difference should be negligible for most users.
That dual camera setup
I’m a sucker for dual-camera smartphones, so we’re glad to see the iPhone 7 Plus offer two 12MP cameras. One is a wide-angled f/1.8 shooter, while the other is a telephoto f/2.8 shooter.
We’ve covered uses for dual-camera setups before, but Apple is taking the depth of field route for one (albeit not quite as full-featured as Huawei’s). Additionally, the second camera also enables 2x optical zoom. Apple made a big song and dance about digital zoom being much better as well, but we’ll take that with a big pinch of salt.
The smaller iPhone has a killer camera too (on paper)
The standard iPhone doesn’t have two cameras, but it does have a large f/1.8 aperture 12MP shooter though, as Apple looks to reclaim the single shooter crown from Samsung.
The smaller iPhone also gets optical image stabilisation for the first time, so blurry shots and shaky video should be reduced in a big way. It’s also worth noting that, despite the dual camera design, the iPhone 7 Plus also gets OIS.
The processor looks to be a screamer
The A10 processor powers both iPhones and this is traditionally where Apple excels in a massive way, as their chips feature strong single core performance.
Apple’s new chip finally moves to a quad-core layout, featuring two high-powered cores and two energy-sipping cores, aping the big.LITTLE tech innovated by ARM and other chipmakers.
32GB base models, finally
It’s been long long long overdue, but Apple has finally ditched 16GB entry-level iPhones in favour of 32GB iPhones as the starting point.
The company also announced that they were ditching 16GB entry-level models for the iPhone 6s models and moving to 32GB.
The iPhone 7’s red crosses
The lack of a 3.5mm audio jack
We all knew it was coming but we didn’t expect them to actually do it, I guess. But Apple has decided to ditch the audio jack – say goodbye to aux cords and your old headphones.
Well, Apple is including an adapter in the box for your old accessories, but what would’ve been better was if they just, you know… left it on the phone. Hell knows how much you’ll pay for an adapter if you lose it.
Is that all you’re doing with the dual camera system?
We didn’t hear Apple talk about some of the more obvious uses for dual camera setups, such as refocusing after the fact. In fact, the depth-of-field trickery used in Apple’s portrait mode isn’t even available at launch.
Additionally, the portrait mode seems to pale in comparison to Huawei’s implementation, which allows you to refocus and adjust the level of blur after the fact. Nevertheless, 2x optical zoom is a neat addition to the Apple formula as well.
Only an extra hour of juice?
Apple claims that their new iPhone 7 Plus is able to eke out “up to” an extra hour of juice compared to the older model, while the smaller model gets “up to” two hours of extra juice.
These are Apple’s claimed figures to begin with, but when the likes of the Galaxy S7 Edge and Redmi Note 3 are able to eke out two solid days of juice, we expected a similar improvement. The smaller iPhone will also be under the spotlight for battery life, as the previous model wasn’t exactly known for being a trooper.
Aside from the ease in setting up, the wireless Apple AirPods seem rather underwhelming. Five hour battery life? Blegh. The possibility of losing them in a couch? Shucks…
Then there’s the US$159 price tag. You can get better Bluetooth earphones on the market, with a better battery life to boot. I wouldn’t want to go running with them either, for fear of them popping out.