Apple iPhone 7 Review
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are Apple’s most criticized iPhones so far ( except the 5C ). Not only they use the same design from 2 years old iPhone 6, but also lack the headphone jack which was something that all of us were using for years on all of our devices.
If you don’t see count negative things though, it is probably the most revolutionary iPhone. They have a new home button which cannot be clicked at all. Instead, it senses how much pressure you apply to the home button and then, vibrates so you actually feel like using a real button but you are not. New models also come with new cameras and I can say that now, iPhone cameras are competing with professional cameras; not with other phones. Inside the iPhone 7, there is also a new chip called “Apple 10 Fusion”. It is so powerful that Apple didn’t want it to name it as “A10”. It is even faster than the A9X used in iPad Pro which was trying to replace your computer. Despite of the performance though, it provides 2 hours more battery life.
iPhone 7 is not very different than iPhone 6 or 6S. They look so familiar that when you look at iPhone 6 and 7 from a distance, you cannot tell which one is the newer one. However, there are few changes after all. To start with, antenna lines are less annoying with the new design. On the black models, they are colored to the same color with the body so you can’t even see them. But they are still grey on Silver, Gold and Rose Gold because Apple says that not every color can be applied to the antenna lines. The other change with the new design is the new camera. Instead of just sticking out of the body, it has been curved so it looks like a part of the body. Like the new antenna line, it is less annoying.
The last improvement with the design is the fact that the phone is water resistant; not waterproof. Those are two different things. In this case, you cannot swim with iPhone 7 because it is not water proof. Water resistance means that the device will not be affected by the water splashes. Even though other phones such as Note 7 or S7 show better performance under water, still, it is a really important step for Apple to make their phones water resistance.
Even though improved design looks better, there are still huge problems such as the big bezels. This is not a problem on the 7 at all, but I can’t say the same thing for the 7 Plus which is bigger than the Note 7 despite its smaller screen.
No Headphone Jack & No Physical Home Button
Apple continues to remove things from its devices. In the past, we have seen them removing Floppy drives, its own 30-pin connector and even USB. With iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, we say goodbye to two things.
First one is the headphone jack. Yes, it is gone. The jack that was present on every phone since the iPhone is gone. Instead, you have lightning or adaptors. You can also use wireless ones but most of the people will be using the lightning EarBuds given to them with iPhone 7 or they will just use their old headphones with an adaptor. This brings yet another problem. Even though lightning gives you better sound quality and noise-cancelling features without external batteries, it prevents you to charge your phone and listen music simultaneously without using additional accessories. Yes, there will be adaptors allowing you to do that, but come on. Who loves adaptors?
Second thing that Apple removed is the physical home button. Even though you will see a same-looking home button, it is not same. Now, it is not even a button at all. It is just a surface ( with TouchID ) sensing how much force you apply. Then, it vibrates so you don’t feel the difference. It is eventually the same technology with the Force Touch but unlike the new trackpads on the MacBook, it does not feel natural. When you click on the button, it feels like the whole bottom part is a button and you are clicking to the bottom part. It could be better, but, in any ways, replacing physical buttons with the new Force Touch technology is brilliant. If Apple allows developers to use this technology with their apps or games, then it may change the way you interact with applications.
We had a huge leap with the mobile image quality over the last few years. While the phones were competing with computers in terms of performance, they were also competing with professional cameras in terms of image and video quality. Nevertheless, they succeed. Now, mobile phone cameras are more than just being able to capturing the moment.
In this case though, iPhone cameras were always great and they didn’t have any one to compete with. As Android flagship phones catch up the iPhones’ camera, Apple needed to make changes in the camera with iPhone 7.
Now, with iPhone 7, we have a new faster camera which is great in every aspect as well as new flash. On the 7 Plus, we have two cameras, still a new flash and most importantly, the ability to do the physical zoom.
However, I should detail the physical zoom feature. The camera on the 7 Plus is not moving to do zoom but instead switching between the cameras. While the main sensor is the normal camera from 7, the second one is for to take closer shots. This means when use the zoom feature ( at least, until 2X ), you are just switching to the second camera. When you try to zoom more though, the software does the job.
Other advantage of having a second camera is the ability to switch the focus point. But this is not still really good. If you want to make one object clear and the background blur, you need to switch the mode and then take a photo. Also, you are unable to switch the focus after you take it. I was actually expecting more because Lytro, a company which was famous for making weird cameras that allowed users to do the exact same thing after you take the picture, was bought by Apple few years ago.
In anyway though, this feature works better than other phones as the hardware also helps the software to make changes in the focus point.
Yet, another big change is the new Apple A10 Fusion. It is the fastest processor Apple has ever made. This even means that iPhone 7 and 7 Plus has a better performance than the iPad Pro line. Do you remember how Apple was comparing the iPad Pro with computers? iPhone 7 is faster than those tablets.
In the real life though, you don’t see any differences at all. I couldn’t experience a huge performance gap between iPhone 7 and 6S although there is a big gap in terms of benchmark scores. That is probably because I wasn’t pushing hard on the phone. A10 Fusion is so fast and powerful that normal apps and even games like Mortal Combat is not enough to see the limits of the A10. So we are talking about another problem. Yes, we do have computer-like processors on the mobile phones but the applications you use on mobile does not need that much power.
The other thing iPhone 7 is good at it is the battery life. Despite its crazy A10 Fusion chip, you get 2 hours more battery life on the 7 compared to the last generation. In other words, 7 is faster and yet, provides more battery life.
In my normal usage ( which includes surfing on the web and messaging ), I got about 10 hours of battery life on the small model and more than 11 hours on the Plus which is what Apple is saying.
However, neither iPhone 7 nor 7 Plus will able to work for about 2 days, even if you don’t play games on it. It is better than the last generation but still, not as good as it should be.
Apple iPhone 7 feels like what Samsung did with the S7. I think it cannot go beyond than solving the mistakes made with iPhone 6 and also, when reviewing the phone, it seemed like I was using a prototype. I mean the new home button is great but not convenient for everybody; the removal of the headphone jack is a essential step for a future without wires but right now, Apple cannot promise you a better solution.
However, don’t get me wrong. iPhone 7 is still a great phone but the question is if it will be worth it to spend this much money on a phone that feels like a prototype. Also, don’t forget that the leaks suggest Apple is working on a completely new iPhone for the next year.
Score – 8,5
Cons & Pros
Things that feel right;
- New Jet Black color option
- Antenna lines are not visible at all on the black models
- Camera and the antenna lines are less annoying
- New camera is great on both 7 and 7 Plus
- Home button is futuristic
- There is no better solution than the handphone jack right now
- There is no major changes with the design
- Jet Black scratches easily