Apple unveiled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus during its “See you on the 7th” media event Wednesday morning. The new models replace the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus as Apple’s top of the line iPhones with faster processors and improved cameras.
The iPhone 7 line looks almost identical to the iPhone 6s with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch Retina displays, but changes up a lot under the hood. The new models sport Apple’s own A10 processor and ditch the 16GB storage option while bumping the high end capacity to 256GB. The base storage option is now 32GB and the mid range is 128GB.
iPhone 7 is driven by the new A10 Fusion processor—a 64-bit four-core processor that’s 40% faster than the iPhone 6s A9 processor. Two core are high-efficiency that use a fifth the power, and the system automatically decides when to use the energy efficient cores or the high performance cores.
The new graphics processor is 50% faster than its A9 counterpart and 240 times faster than the original iPhone. Apple’s Phil Schiller said the processors allow for consol-level gaming on the iPhone 7.
Battery life is improved at 40 hours of wireless audio on the iPhone 7 and 60 hours on the iPhone 7 Plus. Compared to the iPhone 6s, you’ll get two more hours each day on an iPhone 7. LTE is faster, too at 450 Mbps.
The Home Button is now solid state, just like the MacBook Pro’s trackpad and includes Taptic feedback, like the Apple Watch.
Apple made the new models more water and dust resistant. It’s now IP67 standard, which means it’ll withstand accident dives into swimming pools.
The updated camera sports an f/1.8 aperture, six-element lens, optical image stabilization on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, a 12 megapixel sensor that’s 60% faster and 30% more efficient, and a Quad-LED True Tone flash with a flicker sensor. The new cameras handle low light situations far better than previous models.
Live Photos get live video image stabilization, editing, and developers can access the feature for their apps, too. iPhone 7 supports RAW image capture, which is going to make serious photographers happy.
The iPhone 7 Plus gets two 12 megapixel cameras: wide angle and telephoto. The Camera app lets you switch between wide angle and telephoto with a tap. It offers 2x optical zoom, and 10x software zoom.
Apple’s engineers also figured out how to use both cameras to let photographers to create bokeh shallow focus depth effects in their images as a style called “Portrait.” Unfortunately, it won’t be available at launch and instead will come as a software update later this year.
The front-facing camera is 7 megapixel with wide color capture and auto-image stabilization.
The new iPhone display is 23% brighter and a wider color gamut, and gets the same color management feature introduced on the 9.7-inch iPad Pro.
iPhone 7 sports stereo speakers—one on the top and one on the bottom edges of the device. The speakers have an increased dynamic range and are louder than the speakers on the iPhone 6s.
True to the rumors, Apple chose to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack in the new models. Wired headphones now use the Lightning connector for digital audio out, and Bluetooth is still an option for the wireless crowd. Apple is including Lightning EarPods in the box, along with a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter.
The iPhone 7 will be available in glossy black, matte black, gold, silver, and rose gold. It’s priced starting at US$649, and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769. Pre-orders start on September 9th, and will ship on September 16th. iOS 10 will be available as a free download for compatible devices on September 13th.