Tech aficionados around the world have been counting down the days but, finally, we know everything there is to know about the iPhone 7.
A little over an hour ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook and his associates took to the stage in San Francisco – via a Carpool Karaoke sketch featuring James Corden – and revealed the newest products to bear the Apple name: two new iterations of the ubiquitous iPhone and a refined and reformed update on the rarer Apple Watch – the Series 2.
But whilst the built-in GPS connectivity and faster processor of the world’s top smart timepiece will inevitably have the watch watchers excited, we’re more excited to put the new handset through its paces. So what new features and functions can we look forward to playing with when the 7 hits shelves in two weeks’ time?
1. No more headphone jack
As many predicted, the 3.5mm headphone jack – described by Apple as ‘ancient’ – is no more. Instead, the company have introduced two new options. Firstly, the wired iPhone headphones are now plugged into the lightning connector, and these will be included – along with a 3.5mm lightning adapter – for free.
More excitingly, the company has also launched Airpods – wireless headphones for the iPhone. With tap technology, 5 hours of wireless listening and a charging case, these Airpods also contain microphones – so have all the benefits of the current earpods without ‘tethering you to your device’.
2. A longer battery life
To run apps that include a redesigned Maps and revamped Siri, the iPhone 7 now has a better battery – the longest ever in an iPhone. With a life 2 hours longer than that in the 6S, the 7 can support 40 hours of wireless audio play, 14 hours of WiFi browsing and 12 of 3G browsing.
3. A higher screen resolution
As the most popular gaming device in the world, Apple have really stepped it up. 25 per cent brighter and with a wider colour gamut, the 4.7 inch iPhone 7 screen now delivers a cinema standard, Retina HD picture. The new A10 Fusion graphics chip is 50 per cent better than the previous incarnation, and 240 times better than that found in the original iPhone – all whilst using half the power. And with new gaming titles from Formula One and Super Mario coming to the iPhone 7, you’re going to need the best display you can get.
4. A higher-quality camera
The iPhone 7 has a 12 megapixel camera, with integrated image stabiliser, a larger aperture lense and an all-new 4 LED flash. The front camera has been upped from 5 to 7 megapixels for perfect selfies and the iPhone 7 Plus is even more impressive – for the first time, two cameras will be integrated into this slightly larger Apple cornerstone (which now includes a wide angle lense and a telephoto lense). And, across both models, improved sensors help elevate focus, exposure, colour, noise reduction and tone mapping above any other smartphone to create, in the words of the brand, “a supercomputer for photos”.
5. Stereo speaker
The built-in speakers of the iPhone have also had a revamp. With two times more volume, the new top and bottom speakers make this the first iPhone with stereo capability – creating a powerful, immersive audio experience. And worry not, despite more entry points opening up on the casing, the clumsy amongst us need not worry – the iPhone is now water and dust resistant.
6. A force-sensitive home button
The home button, branded a piece of ‘quintessential Apple design’ by Tim Cook, has changed. A new solid state button works as we know it – it can be used to prompt Siri, read our fingerprint and wake up the phone – but it is now more responsive, reliable and customisable than ever before. Force sensitive, the button has a taptic engine behind it – and allows you to personalise the feedback felt through the feature depending on who’s texting you, which alarm is going off, or what app wants your attention.
7. More colour variation
The new iPhone is crafted seamlessly, and its surface comes in a new high gloss finish – achieved using pioneering polishing technology. This colour is to be called ‘jet black’, but the handset also comes in a matte finish simply called ‘black’. The aluminium case – with integrated invisible antenna – is also available in other colours including gold, silver and rose gold.