Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus during its annual fall press conference on Wednesday at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, giving the world the first look at its latest smartphones.
Proving many of the rumored specs to be true, the new iPhones are water-resistant, have better battery life, wireless headphones, got a camera upgrade and sport a brand new sleek Jet Black color.
The new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB options and come in Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold colors. The iPhone 7 will start at $649, and the iPhone 7 Plus at $769, with preorders starting this Friday, Sept. 9. The smartphones will start shipping on Sept. 16.
For those still debating whether or not to upgrade to the latest and greatest model or switch to team Apple, here are the main new features the smartphones:
"The best iPhone we have ever created" has a brand new design that includes the new gorgeous Jet Black color on the high-gloss aluminum body that has a mirror-like finish, which is made through a nine-step anodization and polishing process, and features a stainless steel Apple logo.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus mark the first time that Apple smartphones are water-resistant. The devices are now IP67-protection standard, meaning they are safe from mishaps like splashes, spills and dust.
While some rumors surfaced that Apple would get rid of the home button this time around, that was found to be untrue. Instead, the home button will continue to be the way to multitask, access Siri, enable Touch ID and use Apple Pay. However, it has been designed to be more responsive now with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus' new Taptic Engine that proves more precise and customizable feedback when it comes to quick actions, messages, notifications and ringtones.
Apple also made improvements to the Retina HD display, with the 7 and 7 Plus having a 25 percent brighter display compared with the iPhone 6, along with a cinema-standard wide color gamut and greater color saturation for more vibrant colors. This will come in especially handy for Instagram users when the app releases an update later this year that includes new filter enhancements that give a pop of color thanks to the new gamut.
Speaking of Instagram, selfie lovers are in for a treat when it comes to the kinds of things the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus can do when it comes to camera capabilities.
Everything about the camera on these smartphones is new. This includes a high-speed 12 MP sensor that is 60 percent faster and 30 percent more energy efficient than the previous model, with optical image stabilization, larger f/1.8 aperture, a six-element lens for sharper and more vibrant images and a new Quad-LED True Tone flash that is 50 percent brighter than the flash on the iPhone 6s.
Behind it all is the newly-designed Image Signal Processor that does things like using machine-learning to detect faces and people in photos, set exposure, focus and color with white balance, reduce noise and fuse multiple photos together to make best image. These are just some of the more than 100 billion operations it performs in just 25 milliseconds, making it "a super computer for photos."
The iPhone 7 Plus also has a second camera and lens, a 12 megapixel telephoto camera that has a built-in zoom that goes from two to 10 times closer.
Along with zooming in with great detail, the iPhone 7 Plus camera also features a new "Portrait" mode in the app that blurs the background and uses machine-learning to detect the face for depth-of-field effect that is generated in real-time.
While this camera won't replace DSLRs, Apple calls it the best camera in a smartphone and probably the best one many users will own.
The smartphones also have a 7 MP FaceTime HD camera for selfies, up from 5 MP, with an upgraded sensor for sharper images and auto image stabilization.
Live Photos are also getting image stabilization, as well as editing tools like cropping and filters.
The biggest change compared with older models is the removal of the headphone jack. Instead, the iPhone 7 will rely on wireless headphones called AirPods.
The AirPods are equipped with the new Apple W1 chip that provides a reliable wireless connection. The earbuds feature infrared sensors that detect when in-ear to only play music when the user is ready to listen. They also use motion sensors to be able to reduce external noise when talking on the phone, and can enable Siri with a double-touch.
The AirPods provide five hours of listening on a single charge, with 24-hour battery life when in their portable charging case.
For the first time, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also include stereo speakers, one at the top and one at bottom on the device for two-times louder sound with increased dynamic range.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus come with a Lightning connector that is included in the box with device, along with a 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter for analog.
Performance And Battery Life
Apple's iPhone 7 and 7 Plus feature the new A10 Fusion chip, which enables the CPU to have four cores, two of them high-performance cores that make the devices run two times faster than the iPhone 6.
The other two high-efficiency cores help extend battery life, which makes the iPhone 7 last two hours more than the iPhone 6s, and the iPhone 7 Plus last for one hour more than the iPhone 6s Plus.
The A10 Fusion chip also results in 50 percent faster graphics than A9 in iPhone 6s, which means it's 240 times faster than original iPhone. "The most powerful chip ever in smartphone" will enable console-level gaming with cinematic gameplay.
The new smartphones will run on iOS 10, "the biggest iOS release ever" that is "jam packed" with new features like the ability to shake to wake, redesigned Maps, Apple Music and update to Messages with more animations and stickers. iOS 10 will launch on Sept. 10.
Pricing and Release Dates
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available for preorder on Sept. 9 in 32 GB or 128 GB options in Silver, Gold, Rose Gold and the new Black finish. The Jet Black finish will be available exclusively for the 256 GB model.
The iPhone 7 starts at $649, the iPhone 7 Plus for $769, with the option of paying $27 per month for 24 months as part of carrier plans for the 7 and $32 per month for the 7 Plus.
The smartphones will become available on Sept. 16 in the U.S., as well as 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 and U.S. Virgin Islands.
They will then 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, Sept. 23. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will also be available to customers in India beginning Friday, Oct. 7.
The wireless AirPods with charging case will retail for $159 when released in late October; however, they come included with the Lightning Connector and 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adaptor with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.