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iPhone 7 Review Roundup: What Tech Experts Are Saying

13 September 2016, 1:00 pm EDT By Horia Ungureanu Tech Times
The first reviews of the iPhone 7 started to pour in, and we synthesized the relevant information so you know if you should upgrade. Take a look at what tech experts say about Apple’s latest smartphone.  ( Apple )

The iPhone 7 is finally here, and the latest smartphone from Apple was greeted with enthusiasm as well as apprehension after some rumors about it proved to be true.

Although it is time to say farewell to the 3.5 mm headphone jack, we compiled a list of opinions from experts that show that the new iPhone has a few redeeming qualities.

A Jack Of All Trades

Apple placed a big bet on renouncing at the universal headphone jack, and it is easy to see how annoying it can be for users to carry two sets of headphones, one for their iPhone 7 and another for... pretty much anything else.

The company's push toward wireless could be a reason for the axing of the standard jack, but such a change will take time before users will get used to it. To make the change easier, Apple delivers the iPhone 7 with a dongle that allows for old-school headphones to adapt to the Lightning port.

Sometimes, though, using the dongle to plug in the headphones limits the flexibility for users.

"[W]hen I'm on the train, I can't charge from an external battery and listen to music at the same time," Wired points out.

Design, Screen And Build

Apple used to be a staple of design innovation and refinement, with the rest of the industry pushing to emulate the iPhone manufacturer. The company seems to be so content with its current aesthetical approach that it is the third year it releases a smartphone with little innovation in terms of design.

"[iPhone 7] is nearly identical to the iPhone 6s from last year," Business Insider notes.

In what looks like a successful self-imitation attempt, Apple fitted the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus with identical physical dimensions, screen sizes and screen resolutions of its predecessors — the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

Apple played it a bit too safe with the iPhone 7, and that was bound to bring it some criticism.

The screen on the new Apple smartphone is a small upgrade. The company touts that it delivers 25 percent more brightness for both variants of the device. However, the resolution, density and contrast ratio are the same with the ones from the 6 and 6s.

In order to provide additional water resistance to the iPhone 7, the company modified the Home Button. This means that it no longer moves, and instead it relies on its Taptic Engine to simulate a physical button interaction.

"[T]he vibration effect, while button-like, has more in common with the force feedback you get by pressing Android buttons than it does with the classic clicky button," Ars Technica points out.

On the upside, the iPhone 7 is able to generate quick and precise vibrations, which can be turned into feedback patterns that feel unique.

However, not everyone is pleased with the new Home Button's response.

"It's not a button anymore, just a capacitive surface that uses haptic buzzes and taps to provide feedback," Wired reports.

Water Resistance

Make no mistake: the iPhone 7 is not a waterproof device, but merely a water-resistant one. Apple urges its users to keep it away from pool parties, but guarantees that rainstorms, spills and the occasional accidental submerging will no longer render the device useless.

"Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear," Apple notes.

Both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus meet IP67 water resistance standards.

"Catching up to the competition has never been so welcome," Engadget says.

Camera

Despite having the same number of megapixels on the iPhone 7 as on the iPhone 6s, the new flagship's pictures came out at a sensible better color quality.

"[T]here wasn't a big difference in how much detail was captured, but colors looked more vibrant and true to life than on the iPhone 6s Plus," Engadget observes.

Both variants of iPhone 7 come packed with optical image stabilization (OIS) and wide apertures of f/1.8, meaning that shooting in poor lighting conditions yields good results. When compared with strong rivals such as the Galaxy S7 and Note 7, Apple stands its ground.

Keep in mind that the iPhone 7 Plus also comes with optical zoom, which can be a big plus for mobile photographers.

Hardware Specs

"Another good move: The 16 GB storage option is finally gone," Business Insider commends the company.

With the 7 series of iPhones, Apple starts its default storage space at 32 GB, a move that its rivals have been practicing for some time now. Space intensive-users might want to invest a tad more and get the 128 GB variant, but that is up for personal taste.

"[T]he CPU clock speed in both the 7 and 7 Plus at a maximum of around 2.35 GHz, making it Apple's highest-clocked mobile CPU," Ars Technica reports.

While most of its competitors sprout more and more cores, Apple focused on keeping fewer cores with high single-core performance. That strategy seems to work well for the company, and its latest iPhones show strong performance in single and multi-core processes.

Software

Maybe the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are not revolutionary in terms of hardware, but the upgrades in iOS 10 should make most users giddy.

The mobile OS has been in beta testing for months, and its slew of new features is commendable. Check out our coverage of some of the best features from the latest iOS version.

There are features that improve the Photos app, and the Music library also got revamped in iOS 10.

"iOS 10, which comes with the iPhone 7 and launches on other iPhones this week, is the biggest update to the iPhone software I've seen in years," Business Insider states.

Pricing And Availability

The iPhone 7 will hit the stores on Sept. 16, with the basic model costing $649. The Plus variant debuts at $769.

Conclusion

The iPhone 7 remains a highly powerful processing machine, featuring a solid 12-megapixel camera, and with the enlarged battery and increased optimization, the water-resistant device can turn some heads.

On the down side, the removal of the headphone jack will surely displease some of its fans, and the laziness in the design department could also take its toll. Last, but not least, tweaking the home button to react differently than expected will ask some patience out of loyalists of the brand.

"The iPhone 7 might not be a revolution, but it might be the catalyst for lots of them," Wired wraps things up.

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