The iPhone 7 & iPhone 7 Plus announced during the Apple event on 7 Sep’16 are almost ready to be shipped. The pre orders which started on 9 Sep’16 are happening in full swing judging by the slipping shipping dates. The new iPhones will start shipping from 16 Sep’16 in the USA and 27 other countries. India will have to wait till 7 Oct’16 to get their hands on the latest Apple flagships.
The optimism surrounding the iPhone 7 is quite evident, helped in no small measure by the recall of Galaxy Note 7, the latest big screen flagship by Samsung necessitated by faulty batteries. Apple and its investors seem to be confident about their latest offerings made apparent by Apple placing increased orders with its vendors for 10% additional sets and investors fueling the stock prices of Apple.
In the past three days, Apple stocks have increased by 10% on Nasdaq and market cap inching towards highs previously seen in Apr’16 around the time iPhone SE was announced.
While Apple has refused to share the weekend sales figures, USA telecom operators such as Sprint and T-Mobile have reported that the pre-orders for this year’s iPhones is four times the pre-orders of last year.
So now the question arises how good the new iPhones are compared to the last year’s iPhones. While we all heard that the new iPhones are the “best iPhones ever”, there are a lot of things that are deliberately not stated during the keynote address. For one, Apple never mentions the capacity details of the iPhone’s battery, instead it prefers to state the endurance of the iPhone while doing various activities.
The reason being while measuring the battery capacity in milliamp Hour (mAh) gives a measure of the electric power that can be delivered over time; the truth is direct comparisons based on mAh capacities can be misleading. Due tight control over hardware and software integration, Apple is known to squeeze out much more than the specs would otherwise indicate.
However as iPhone reaches in the hands of various certifications, regulatory and benchmarking organizations, more and more actual untold specs of the iPhone are getting revealed. The specs also indicate the various areas of improvements that have been made in iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus over the last year’s models.
iPhone 7 is Worlds Fastest Smartphone Beats One Plus 3
iPhone 7 is Worlds Fastest Smartphone Beats One Plus 3 – The new iPhones are powered by the new A10 Fusion 64-bit processors compared to the 64-bit A9 processors of last year. The A10 chip has 4 cores instead of the 2 cores found on the A9 processor. Two of the four cores of A10 are designed for high power processing while the other two cores are meant to handle more mundane less taxing tasks. The result is that there is no need to keep the high powered cores running at all times which results in lower power consumption as the lowered powered cores take only 20% of the power required by the higher powered cores. The new GPU has 6 cores and is 50% faster than the GPU on A9. Exactly how fast the iPhone 7 is will become abundantly clear when we see the benchmarking scores.
The AnTuTU benchmark result is record shattering; with a score of 178,397 the A10 Fusion blows away the competition. To put the score in perspective, the previous record holder was Qaulcomm’s Snapdragon 820 powered, OnePlus 3 having a score of 140,288 and Vivo Xplay 5 Elite scored 138,706. The last year’s iPhone 6s has scored 133,781 which most current year’s models have not been able to beat. Without any contest, the iPhone 7 is the fastest smartphone and it seems it will retain the position for foreseeable future.
We now know that the battery in both models have received a jump in capacities helped by the increased internal space due to removal of 3.5mm audio jacks. The iPhone 7 now sports a 1,960mAh battery, up 14% from the 1,715mAh one found in iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7 Plus sports a 2,900mAh battery, up 5.5% from 2,750mAh in the iPhone 6s Plus. According to Apple this translates to additional time of 2 hours for the iPhone 7 and 1 hour for the iPhone 7 Plus over the last year’s models.
The iPhone 7 has 2 GB of RAM, the same as that found on iPhone 6s, there has been no increase in the memory size. The iPhone 7 Plus sports 3 GB RAM, up 50% from the 2 GB found on the iPhones 6s Plus. The increased RAM is necessary to handle the increased work load arising out of dual camera and larger display with considerably higher number of pixels.
There is no change in display size and screen resolution for both the iPhone 7 models compared to previous year’s models. This would sound disappointing to some users who find the display resolution of the smaller iPhone 7 at 326 PPI to be lagging in terms of industry standards while the 401 PPI on the iPhone 7 Plus is respectable.
However the display has got other upgrades like 25% increased brightness even though the current display seemed to be bright enough. Other improvements include features like wide colour gamut, cinema standard, colour management, improved 3D touch and enhanced haptic feedback.
The measurements for the new iPhones remain the same. The expected cut in thickness after letting go of the audio jack did not materialize. The iPhone 7 remains 7.1mm thick while iPhone 7 Plus retains the 7.3mm thickness.
However the good news is that both iPhones did shave off some weight even if by a small amount but any reduction is welcome. The iPhone 7 managed to shed off 5g and now weighs 138g while the iPhone 7 Plus sheds off 4g and now weighs 188g.
The general design of the iPhone 7 is almost same as that of iPhone 6s with similar curves. However the not so appealing antenna bands on the back side have been reduced to mere strips on the top and bottom edges. Another major change is the missing audio jack at the bottom, the gaping has been replaced by an elegant grill similar to the speaker grill on the other side of the lightning port. The last major physical difference is the replacement of the iconic mechanical home button with a newer force sensitive button.
The omission of audio jack and change of home button has resulted in the biggest improvement in the iPhone 7’s design, they are now waterproof. The body is now more sealed and manages to get an IP67 rating against water and dust protection.
The new iPhones have dropped the Space Grey colour and introduced two new black instead. The gorgeous looking glossy Jet Black in high gloss aluminum finish and a matte Black colour have been introduced. The glossy black is a beautiful looking device but more prone to scratches. The silver, gold and rose gold have been retained without any change.
The cameras for both the devices have seen some major improvements. The iPhone 7 still has a 12 megapixel sensor on the rear facing camera but it now comes with optical image stabilization previously only present in the Plus model. The wider f1.8 aperture, a new 6 element lens combined with an improved image signal processor results in better pictures even in low light.
The iPhone 7 Plus now has dual camera setup with one wide angle 28mm lens and other Telephoto 56mm lens. The cameras can be used to get a 2x optical zoom and other photography tricks like shallow depth of field also known as the Bokeh effect. However what was not announced was the fact that the Telephoto camera lacks the optical image stabilization while the reality is that telephoto unit is more in need of image stabilization.
The front camera for both devices has been bumped up to 7 megapixel camera instead of the 5 megapixel cameras found on the last year’s models.
The true tone flash on both devices now sports 4 instead of 2 LEDs, two for warm and two for cool colour which results in 50% more brightness.
The cameras can now capture RAW images but the stock photo app on iOS will not be able to do that. Apple recommends use of apps such as Adobe’s Lightroom app which allows you to capture RAW images in DNG format which would consume more space than the processed JPG images.
The new iPhones will come in capacities of 32GB, 128GB & 256GB. 16GB and 64GB of the iPhone 6s have been phased out. The increase in capacity was becoming a necessity considering the introduction of RAW images and 4K videos.
Overall the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have some important differences over the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. They are lighter, have more storage, come with better cameras, bigger battery, faster processors and they ship with iOS 10. Worthy upgrade if you still have iPhone 6/6 Plus or older but would you ditch your iPhone 6s/6s Plus for 7/7 Plus?
Written By – Karanjot Singh
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