New iPhone 7 Features
After months of rumors, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are here in the flesh! Apple announced both today at its launch event in San Francisco.
Size and feel: The iPhone 7 feels pretty much the same as the iPhone 6S, with the same 4.7-inch screen. Apple says the "HD Retina display" is 25 percent brighter than last year's model. It includes the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch layer that buzzes slightly when you press and hold the screen.
Static home button: The home button is now solid state, which means you can't physically press or click it in -- kind of like the Motorola Moto Z and OnePlus 3. It's customizable and pressure-sensitive, including "taptic feedback". More on what that is when we've had a chance to play around. That gives a little buzz like the MacBook trackpad. It doesn't feel like a button and definitely takes getting used to, but so far it seems to get the job done.
Water-resistant: Yes, Virginia, it will be water-resistant (IP67), like several Samsung and Sony phones (IP68). Cannonballlll!
No headphone jack: It's gone. Really. Instead, Apple's new EarPods headphones will connect through the Lightning connector port; you'll also get an adaptor in the box. Apple's also pushing new, funky-looking AirPods headset connects wirelessly through auto-pairing. These worked pretty well, actually, and sounded pretty good in a the loud demo room.
New camera: The iPhone 7 keeps the 12-megapixel camera, but adds a larger aperture and -- this is a big deal -- optical image stabilization that keeps images steadier. We do notice that the camera sticks out more from the back. (The iPhone 7 Plus gets a second, 56mm telephoto lens on the back that works like a built-in zoom feature. Phones like the LG V20, Huawei P9 and Huawei Honor 8 have two cameras, too.) We have lots more detail below.
New front-facing camera: The iPhone 7's 7-megapixel front-facing camera leaps up from 5 megapixels on the iPhone 6S, and includes auto-image stabilization (but not optical image stabilization).
Stereo speakers: A second speaker joins the iPhone to give you stereo speakers. There's now one at the bottom and one at the top (this is brand-new for Apple).
Longer battery life: Greater battery capacity for longer battery life. Apple estimates 12 hours of LTE browsing (the iPhone 7 Plus should clock about two more hours). Apple notoriously never tells us what the capacity is.
Faster processor: The iPhone 7's new A10 Fusion chip is a 64-bit, quad-core processor that Apple says is 40 percent faster than last year's A9 processor. Two cores are high-performance, the other two are "high efficiency," which means they'll conserve battery while handling tasks. Take-away message: deeper visual graphics, especially with gaming. (Did we mention that Super Mario is coming to the iPhone?!?!)
More storage!: 32GB, 128GB, 256GB capacities
Colors: Glossy jet black, matte black, gold, silver, rose gold (P.S. Jet black is only available in 128 and 256GB models).
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