Apple News Phones

Apple Announces the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus w/ New Waterproof Design, Dual Camera Setup, A10 Fusion, Force Touch Home Button Alongside New AirPods and FeliCa Compatibility

Today at their big press event, Apple finally took the wraps off of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, the two successors to last year’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. These phones have been no doubt highly rumored for quite some time now, but now the company has unveiled each detail about the latest smartphones which we’ll get to right now…

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Starting off with the build of the iPhone 7, not much is different between it and the 6s. An aluminum body is present when you pick up a Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, or Black model, while a glossy design gives the Jet Black its distinct color. Yes, you read correctly, there’s two shades of Black and no shade of Space Gray to be seen. This is due to Apple replacing the former darkest color option for the iPhone with both of these new looks the company hopes you’ll buy. But hey, it’s the newest iPhone, you’re gonna buy it anyway…

All jokes aside, a differentiator between the 6s and 7 models are the antenna lines. The lines on the 6s are striped across the back of the phone, while the 7 lifts them up to the top of the handset and brings them down to the bottom in order for them to not be all that visible. In addition, the headphone jack has been removed and replaced with a speaker grille, however this particular grille doesn’t include its own driver and instead is there for uniformity. In other words, it looks good.

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The same 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screen sizes and resolutions on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus respectively, however the actual display technology for both handsets has been upgraded. With these new models, Apple updated the Retina HD Display with some pretty cool new enhancements to make viewing content more enjoyable. Have a look at their description below.

The new iPhone features the brightest, most colorful Retina HD display ever in an iPhone, now with a wide color gamut for cinema-standard colors, greater color saturation and the best color management in the smartphone industry.

While the same resolutions are present, the screens on the 7 and 7 Plus should no doubt be any worse than the 6s and 6s Plus and should provide an even greater viewing experience. Of course, I’ll have to try out the phones before I come to any conclusions, so stay tuned.

On the bottom of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, you’ll find the home button. Nothing special there, right? Wrong. Apple decided this year to re-engineer the home button and create a Force Touch home button. This allows the user to press firmly on the button to navigate back home, use Touch ID more accurately, and more. Using a Taptic Engine, the new home button provides feedback when a command is registered and the software on the iPhone responds. Plus, developers will have access to the home button so they can program it to open certain utilities or show a particular screen within an app by adding a certain amount of pressure to the button. This is probably one of the coolest features of the iPhone 7, so I can’t wait to use it in real life.

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On the inside, Apple built in a new A10 Fusion processor in both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. This chip includes four cores, with two being built for high-end operations that can run, by theirselves, up to twice as fast as the iPhone 6 and two for high efficient operations to save battery and use up to a fifth of the power the other two cores would use. This results in support for very intense applications and games one might use, plus the whole thing is way faster than the iPhone 6s. Trust me.

Battery wise, Apple promises that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have the best battery life of any iPhone on the planet. Here’s a full rundown of the battery life times Apple got from testing their new handsets.

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As of yet, we haven’t figured out how big the batteries are inside the iPhone 7 and/or 7 Plus, however when that information is obtained, we’ll let you know.

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For listening to music without headphones, Apple has upgraded their sound system on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to include stereo sound. This means that both the ear piece and bottom-firing speaker play sounds at the same time, resulting in a more immersive experience when watching videos or jamming out to your music playlist. HTC did the same thing with their 10 flagship this year, and reviews of their stereo sound weren’t very good. So hopefully, Apple did a better job in this department.

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Obviously, I can’t go through this entire article without mentioning the cameras. On the back of the standard iPhone 7, you’ll find a 12MP sensor similar to the iPhone 6s. However, Apple says that this sensor is much different. For starters, there’s a large f/1.8 aperture that’ll for sure bring in a lot more light. Secondly, not only does the 7 Plus get OIS, but now the standard 7 does as well. This will result in much more stable videos, while you’ll have a smaller chance of getting blurry photos if you’re taking pics of high-motion scenes. In addition, a 6-element lens is present to deliver more bright, colorful, and detailed photos and videos. At least, that’s what Apple says.

Of course, rumors have pointed to the iPhone 7 Plus including a dual-camera setup for a while now, so guess what Apple did? They confirmed them. In other words, the company announced the special dual sensor system on the rear of the 7 Plus which includes two 12MP cameras with one being the same on the standard 7 and the other being known as a telephoto camera. This will let users focus more properly on their subjects by allowing a 2x physical zoom via the cameras, while a 10x digital zoom will be present to deliver even more precision. And via a software update coming later this fall, you’ll also have the ability to capture even better photos once Apple enables a new depth-of-field effect. More on that can be seen below.

Coming later this year, the dual 12-megapixel cameras also enable a new depth-of-field effect, using both cameras on iPhone 7 Plus to capture images, while sophisticated technology including Machine Learning separates the background from the foreground to achieve amazing portraits once possible only with DSLR cameras.

Rounding off the iPhone 7’s camera systems, on both the 7 and 7 Plus, Apple has included a new Quad LED flash for better low-light scenarios, while a new 7MP FaceTime camera is present for all you selfie takers. In addition, a new Apple-designed Image Signal Processor comes built-in “which processes over 100 billion operations on a single photo in as little as 25 milliseconds, resulting in incredible photos and videos.”

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To finish things off iPhone 7-wise, Apple designed the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to be water and dust proof. Thanks to an IP67 certified rating, splashes or tumbles in some dirt won’t hurt your new iPhone. This way, you’ll have piece of mind that you’re not entirely screwed if it starts raining or if you accidentally drop your phone.

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Also found inside the new iPhones is a new type of payment system that’ll be exclusive to Japan. Apple has built in FeliCa, the standard in mobile payments in Japan, into the new phones that’ll make them compatible at various locations throughout Japan where mobile payments are accepted. Apple’s also granting Japanese users with new transit information within Maps, so it looks like the company’s really trying to take care of other markets just as well as they have with the US.

By now, you’re probably like, “Okay, that’s all great, Max, but what am I gonna do about that dumb ol’ missing headphone jack?” Well, fortunately for all of us, Apple decided to include a pair of EarPods with a Lightning connector on the bottom which will allow you to simply plug in your headphones and start listening to music or watching a video more privately. You won’t be able to charge your device this way, however, but I’m sure some third-party company will come out with something to allow this operation to take place.

In addition, you’re also getting a 3.5mm jack female to Lightning male adapter in the box of every iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to make using your standard 3.5mm-enabled headphones and accessories possible again. I think we should all applaud Apple for doing this as they’re usually not one to help their users out unless they can gain a separate profit. So kudos to you, Apple. You made everyone’s day.

 

If you think wired headphones are a thing of the past, Apple has you covered. Launching alongside the iPhone 7 is a new pair of headphones called AirPods. These earbuds look identical to the standard EarPods minus the wires. They connect over Bluetooth and can be used with your iPhone, your Mac, your Apple Watch, and more. The earbuds come with their own charging cradle which can result in 24 hours of use, while 5 hours is all you’ll have to use with these headphones if used from 100% battery to 0% battery. You can also access Siri by tapping on one of the headphones and talk to her via the built-in microphone which is also used to make and receive phone calls. It’s unclear whether other devices can also use these headphones, however stay tuned for more on that in the near future.

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Powering the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus is obvioulsy iOS 10 which will bring new features to Messages, a redesigned lock screen, new widget capabilities, and more.

All in all, the new iPhones look pretty sweet. Of course, only time will tell if users really like the latest handsets from Apple over the 2015 iPhone 6s and 6s Plus which gained a lot of momentum as the best smartphones to buy. I’ll do my best to get a hold of the new iPhones and give them my fair impressions, so be sure to stay tuned to MBEDDED for that.

Pricing for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus starts at $649 and $749 unlocked, respectively. Storage wise, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will come in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB (yes, 16GB is finally gone!), while Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Black, and Jet Black are your color options. For more details on precise pricing on other products such as the new accessories for the 7 and 7 Plus alongside the cost of the AirPods and where the new phones will land first, scroll down.

Pricing & Availability

  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in silver, gold, rose gold and the new black finish in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models starting at $649 (US), and the new jet black finish will be offered exclusively on the 128GB and 256GB models from apple.com, Apple Stores, Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers.
  • Through Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, customers in the US, and for the first time in the UK and China, can get an unlocked iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, with the protection of AppleCare+, choose their carrier and have the opportunity to upgrade to a new iPhone every year. The iPhone Upgrade Program is available at apple.com and Apple Stores in the US with monthly payments starting at $32.3
  • Customers will be able to order iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus beginning Friday, September 9, with availability beginning Friday, September 16, in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK, US Virgin Islands and the US.
  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in Andorra, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and Slovenia beginning Friday, September 23. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will also be available to customers in India beginning Friday, October 7.
  • The new Apple-designed wireless AirPods including charging case will be available for $159 (US) from apple.com and Apple Stores beginning in late October. All iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models will include EarPods with Lightning Connector and a Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter, also sold separately at apple.com and Apple Stores, for $29 (US) and $9 (US), respectively.
  • Apple-designed accessories including leather and silicone cases in a range of colors will be available starting at $35 (US) and iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case will be offered in black and white for $99 (US) from apple.com and Apple Stores. Lightning Docks in several color-matching metallic finishes will also be available for $49 (US).
  • Every customer who buys iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup, in-store or online4, to help them customize their iPhone by setting up email, showing them new apps from the App Store and more.
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus or iOS 10 can register for the free workshops offered at every Apple Store.

Source: Apple (1), (2), (3)

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Max Buondonno is a technology enthusiast who has been working as a journalist in this industry for more than a year. He has grown up in the age where everyone has a smartphone which has influenced his decision to become a professional technology writer, his passion in life. He's dipped his toes in the development of websites, while you can ask him anything about Apple, Google, or Microsoft and he's bond to give you an answer. He's reachable on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and email.

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