So amidst huge noise and fanfare, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were finally launched on 7th Oct at 7 PM in India. There was unprecedented rush at leading Apple stores with people standing in queues for hours to lay their hands on the latest and supposedly the best iPhone till date. While some were lucky to get it the same day, others were bit disappointed for not getting it on that very day. I was lucky to get my iPhone 7 plus on 8th Oct morning. And was I glad ?
I was using iPhone 6 Plus for last two years which was space grey in color. I ordered a Silver color for iPhone 7 plus and frankly the first look of the front was just the same. For a while it was difficult to even imagine that this is a new model from Apple. It is only when you flip it to the backside that you see what this is. First is the absence of Antenna lines. The phone is totally clean from the rear side and the most notable difference is the camera, a big camera with two lenses. The top looks the same with no variation; the sides are also similar as in iPhone 6s Plus but there is a huge change at the bottom. There is NO headphone jack and both iPhone 7 and 7 Plus come with stereo speakers. Both iPhone 7 and 7 Plus comes in Rose Gold, Gold, silver and newly launched Black & super shiny Jet Black. The thickness is just the same and even the weight feels the same.
Jack of none
Both iPhone 7 and 7 Plus do not come with the headphone jack. This means you cannot use your existing 3.5 mm headphones. But don’t get disheartened as Apple ships these phones with a lightening to 3.5 mm adapter and hence you can connect your old headphones easily with it. The sound quality has improved now with stereo speakers and is also loud enough to be heard in a room. However it takes some time to get used to this as I still find out old iPhone 6 Plus’ ring tone better than this new one. The headphones with this adaptor sound great however there was some hissing sound when the noise reduction was enabled. I have disabled the noise reduction from the headset and now these headphones are sounding much better. Apple is also launching bluetooth wireless headphones called Airpods by the end of this month.
Apple uses the same 4.7” and 5.5” Retina display in iPhone 7 and 7 Plus as was used in 6s series. However the brightness is now increased from max 500 cd/m2 to 625 cd/m2. And seriously this phone comes with some brightness. It’s not possible to keep it with more than 50% brightness as it feels and looks very bright. Viewing in bright sunlight is also quite possible now which was a challenge earlier in my iPhone 6 Plus. But Apple has now made this display slightly towards the warmer side (yellowish) and as a professional photographer I am a bit disappointed with this change.
Done and dusted
Both the models are now splash, dust and water resistant. I have used my iPhone 6 Plus for two years during Pushkar fair in Rajasthan which is extremely dusty. Further, have seen the lens of the same 6 Plus catching moisture in Goa. The new iPhone 7 series will now have no such issue. But that does not mean that you should swim with this phone in your hand 😉
Processor, Battery and Capacity
The iPhone 7 series comes in the capacity of 32GB, 128GB and 256GB. They have discontinued the 64GB model. Apple never discloses the size and specifications of the battery used however both iPhone 7 and 7 plus gets boost in its battery performance. Although I have only used my 7 plus for one day only and hence its battery is yet to be optimized, but still I can very clearly make out that this is definitely far better than my earlier iPhone 6 Plus. And this phone is fast and pretty fast. The iOS 10 works beautifully on iPhone 7 plus and the performance till now is pretty impressive. The iPhone 7 series uses 64-bit A10 processor, which makes its performance way better than its predecessors.
The biggest improvement of all. This changes the way a smart phone will be perceived from here on. The iPhone 7 series uses the same 12MP camera but that is it. Every thing else changes in this new model. iPhone 7 plus comes with dual wide angle and telephoto cameras at aperture f/1.8 and f/2.8 respectively. The 7 Plus also comes with 2X optical zoom and digital zoom upto 10X. I tried clicking pictures in various zoom combinations and the result is simply impressive. Not too much distortion happens even when we are using the digital zooms. Both the models come with optical image stabilization. The camera on iPhone 7 plus is a game changer. And for those who want to know, it can capture 4K video @ 30f fps and 1080p video @ 60 fps and comes with 2X optical zoom and 6X digital zoom in video mode as well.
There are phones and then there are iPhones. With iPhone 7 plus, Apple has once again raised the bar in the premium smart phone category. Yes this phone looks almost like iPhone 6s Plus but what it’s capable of doing is to be seen and experienced. It has bridged the gap between the camera and camcorder by this powerful smart phone. If you can afford it there is not doubt you shouldn’t buy it.