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iPhone 7 Launches… Well, Pretty Much As Predicted!

Published: September 17th, 2016

iPhone 7 Launches… Well, Pretty Much As Predicted!

 

The whole Apple rumour-mill thing is actually starting to get rather boring these days; nearly everything that “leaks” is true and we all basically know what’s coming in a launch before its date is even announced now.

 

Such was the launch of the iPhone 7, looking almost identical to what we’ve been blogging about here at HQ for some months now.

 

That said, let’s put it all together in a summarised version of what you actually need to know vs what Apple thinks you need to know. There is a lot of marketing hype in this launch and some of it is just window dressing to distract (seriously, who cares if your new processor is 120x faster than the original iPhone, we care about how much faster it is than our current one thanks!).

 

1. The A10 Fusion processor

The upgraded SoC is a quad-core 64-bit setup, with 2 cores dedicated to high-performance processing and 2 to battery efficiency; a performance controller prioritises traffic and optimises for either performance or battery life. With 40% better CPU performance and 50% better graphics performance compared with the A9, it’s definitely an improvement. However, it’s kind of hard to get excited about when Samsung has been dropping octa-core processors (four 2.6GHz cores, four 1.6GHz cores). That said, Apple might do its old trick and surprise us with paper specs outperforming themselves. They have, after all, dubbed it the “fastest mobile processor on the planet”, and knowing how litigious Apple and Samsung are they’d want to be able to back that claim up.

 

2. Camera Update

Short and sweet? Two12MP rear-facing cameras, one for long-distance, one for short-distance, working together with 2x optical zoom and 10x digital. The front facing cam is 7MP. As usual, the specs on the Apple cameras really don’t mean much, it’s the firmware that is going to drive most of the cool stuff, like the bokeh effect (sharp forward focus, blurred background). A 50% brighter flash and improved image stabilisation should make for better quality photos in poor light environments.

 

3. New Home Key and Water Resistance

A redesigned and customisable home button with a new Taptic engine is one of the big changes Apple is keen to plug. And in some senses they’re right, as this change has allowed them to finally introduce water resistance (how long have we waited for that one guys) to a depth of 1m. Ie. if you splash it or briefly immerse it, you should be good, but don’t take it diving.

 

4. Yes, they’ve removed the 3.5mm jack

OK, so this one has been quite the bone of contention. Yes, Apple have done away with the traditional 3.5mm jack that the entire planet use to connect their headphones to their mobile (and most other devices for that matter). Can you still physically connect earphones? Yes, via Lightning connector, adaptor to 3.5mm jack supplied in the box. Can you charge your phone at the same time as listening to music? No, not unless you have a charge pad or other form of indirect connect charging. Is it really going to matter? We think that is going to depend on just what the battery is like in real-life application. If it can take a whole-day-flogging and not die then people will figure it out. If it doesn’t last the day on high end usage however, problems are sure to ensue. And let’s not forget that neat little phenomenon called Pokemon Go.

 

AirPods (Apple’s new wireless ear buds) are the company’s answer to this issue, but we will post a separate blog just on those shortly.

 

5. Size and Price combos (USD)

 4.7inch iPhone 7:

32GB – $649

128GB – $749

256GB – $849

 

5.5 inch iPhone 7 Plus:

32GB – $769

128GB – $869

256GB – $969

 

Both are available in Black, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold and a new shade, Jet Black, which will be limited exclusively to 128GB and 256GB models.

 

The iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will remain in the lineup with 32Gb and 128GB options, and the SE also remains unchanged.

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