There was anticipation from many of us in the office come yesterday morning.
The biggest takeaways to note, both good and meh:
- Wireless earbuds, dubbed AirPods
- Dual lens camera
- Wider variety of colors
- Longer battery life
- Water resistance
- New home button
- New OS
- Stereo speakers
We'll briefly touch on each new or improved feature in order to help us decide if we're going to purchase said iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. We hope it informs you as well, of course. Apple starts taking orders this Friday, September 9th, with shipments starting on September 16th.
AirPods: The already-controversial AirPods have techies rejoicing, but we're kinda freaking out. Pretty sure we'll lose at least one of the pods within a week. Don't get us wrong, we think it's a pretty amazing technology; just not sure if it's practical for the majority of us. The pods work via infrared sensors, which detect when each pod is in your ear. Motion sensors control the headphones to use Siri and detect your voice. Sounds cool, right? It is. Maybe we're just a little scared to try new things. Thankfully, there is an adapter that plugs into the charging port, which you can then use to plug in your trusty headphones. The jury is out. We'll let you know what we think. P.S. How is battery life affected by using these bad boys? Apparently, it extends battery life and not the reverse. For now, we're feeling "Meh."
Dual Lens Camera: Sharper photos? Yes, please. Better photos in low lighting? Yes, we'll take that. Better selfies? Absolutely. We're pretty excited about this upgrade. For one, our Instagram pics are going to be even better. But more importantly, the technology behind the camera is pretty neat. In the 7 Plus, there are two 12MP (megapixel) cameras, one of which is a wide angle lens and the other a telephoto lens (zoom power!) that can zoom 2X in high quality without using any software. Both the 7 and 7Plus will also have two MP sensors, as well as 4K video recording capability. This basically all means bigger, better and more versatility. There is also a live editing feature! Additionally, a new camera flash will improve photos shot in low light. And for all of our selfie lovers out there, both the 7 and 7 Plus front cameras have been upgraded from 5MP to 7MP. Basically, the image resolution is going to be much sharper. We're feeling "Good."
Appearance: It's kind of a given that they should introduce new colors with each upgrade, so we're not super impressed with the addition of matte black and glossy black. And they got rid of the grey option. The handset is pretty much the same as well with no change in size. The only small adaption is that the antenna bands are moved from the back of the phone to the side. We're feeling "Meh."
Battery Life: Both models will have the longest battery life ever, about two hours longer on average over the 6s or 6s Plus. The 7 will last up to 14 hours on Wifi, and 12 hours without. The 7 Plus will last 15 hours with or without access to Wifi. With each upgrade, this should be expected, but overall, we're feeling "Good."
Water Resistance: Thank you, Apple. Thank you. For every time we've dropped our phone in the toilet, or a mug of beer... no longer will we need to buy rice in bulk from Costco. The new iPhones can now withstand being in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes. 30 MINUTES!!! We don't even need 30 minutes! This is very exciting. We are feeling so, so "Good."
Home Button: Not a huge change here, but mirroring Apple's MacBook laptops, the home button now has a vibration-based taptic feedback system. So, it vibrates when you use it. We'll have to actually experience this before we can give you a thumbs up or thumbs down.
OS: A new Apple A10 Fusion with 64-bit 4 core CPU has been announced as well. This means that the new models are 40% faster than the 6s and the processors are double the speed. Graphics performance are 40% faster as well. We'll have to experience this for ourselves, but overall we're feeling "Good."
Stereo Speakers: All models of the new iPhone 7 will now feature dual, stereo speakers. By enhancing the speaker earpiece so it is capable of loud enough volume to be an external speaker on its own, the phones will have dual outputs for all speaker audio. Say sayonara to the days of external mobile bluetooth speakers! We're feeling "Good" about that.
So, what will a 7 or 7 Plus cost you? $649 for the 7 and $769 for the 7 Plus. This is before any carrier charges, etc.