Introduction to iPhone 7

iphone-7

The new iPhone is kinda tough for me to get excited about. From a distance, it’s the same gently rounded slab, its screen full of the same gently rounded apps. To see what makes Apple’s newest phones stand out, you need to get closer.

So holding an iPhone 7 is a lot like holding an iPhone 6s, or 6. I kinda said that in the intro, but it bears repeating because it’s the first time Apple has ever gone three years with the same basic design.

Fortunately the ugly antenna inlays have been minimized on the latest generation, and they’re all but invisible on the new glossy, jet black version. Which, yes, holds onto fingerprints just like you’d expect.

And as much as Apple geeked out about how this finish was applied, it feels, well, kinda like any other high end phone with a glossy coating. I much prefer the matte black option, which is more slippery but less prone to scratching, and I think better looking.

Of course, you’ve got other color options too, though be advised that the antenna lines will be more prominent on those. As you probably know, there’s no headphone jack on either version of the iPhone 7, which gives you a great excuse to buy some of those Bluetooth headphones I reviewed recently.

Or, you know, just deal with the inbox earbuds, that now plug directly into the lightning port. There’s also an adapter included in the box if you need it. Ditching the headphone jack

made room inside the casing for an expanded Taptic Engine, that little linear motor assembly that makes iPhone vibrations different from other phones’ vibrations.

That sounds like a little thing, but it’s critical to a central aspect of the iPhone 7: the new home button, which isn’t a button at all, it’s a touch pad that feels like it clicks when you press on it. But actually, that’s the Taptic Engine at work, producing the illusion of mechanical action.

If you’ve used a newer MacBook, you’re already familiar with this. It’s how the trackpad clicks work. It’s a cool sensation, and you can actually choose how intense you want the click to be, which is trippy. But it does take some getting used to, because it’s capacitive. You can’t press it with, say, a fingernail, and gloves or water will give it trouble too.

Speaking of water, there’s good news there. This is the first iPhone to earn an IP67 rating and like they say, better late than never. Water and dust resistance is one of those things that should be standard on every smartphone if you ask me, and it’s nice to see Apple join the swelling ranks of manufacturers who include it.

The other most visible improvement is in the cameras and apart from size, it’s also where the 7 and 7 Plus differ the most. The 7 sticks with the 12 megapixel resolution from last year, but adds  ton of improvements. The 7 Plus mirrors all of that, and adds a second camera specifically for longer shots, so you don’t need to rely so heavily on terrible digital zoom.

Lots of manufacturers these days are doing a two-camera setup on their smartphones, but this is a really smart implementation of that design. People are always zooming, so it makes sense to make zoom better, right? As for camera performance itself, well, I was in a rush to grab my samples, and I didn’t always snap the sweetest shots.

But what I see, I like. The iPhone 7 seems poised to improve on what was an already excellent camera in the 6 series. The newest iPhone the most exciting mobiles to hit the scene? Well, no.

Even adding in the new A10 chip-set and the new iOS 10 interface, this is still very much an iPhone, which is to say a conservative evolution of the familiar. That said, what Apple’s doing is paying off.

Like always, the new iPhone is breaking pre-order records all over the place. If you’re an iPhone user, or you’re thinking of becoming one, there’s plenty about the 7 series to make you sit up and take notice.

Whether the new iPhone delivers enough to justify its perpetually high price point, and newly handicapped port selection, well, I’ll tell you that in the full review, coming soon. Stay tuned to Mr. Mobile for that, and the Apple Watch Series 2 review, and hey, let me know if you want me to check out those funky new air pods as well.

Like always, the new iPhone is breaking pre-order records all over the place. If you’re an iPhone user, or you’re thinking of becoming one, there’s plenty about the 7 series to make you sit up and take notice.

Whether the new iPhone delivers enough to justify its perpetually high price point, and newly handicapped port selection, well, I’ll tell you that in the full review, coming soon. Stay tuned to Mr. Mobile for that, and the Apple Watch Series 2 review, and hey, let me know if you want me to check out those funky new air pods as well.

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