Introducing iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Today, Apple introduced the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus to consumers. While many of the rumors have been finally confirmed, there were a few tidbits that slipped by that turned out to be amazing surprises. Phil Schiller announced the new features on stage doing the press conference, and he broke down the features into 10 categories:

Design

While the outside may seem similar, Apple has managed to make the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus look much more aesthetically pleasing than its predecessors. They both feature the same dimensions and depth as the 6s and 6s Plus, but weigh a smidgen less. The 7000 series aluminum series remains with two huge changes: space grey has been dropped in favor of “black” and a new high-gloss “jet black” has been added. Black, silver, gold and rose gold have a smooth matte finish. Jet black, on the other hand, has a much more premium feel to it. It is also the only finish that has a layer of glass bonded to the aluminum casing, leaving a glossy finish that makes the incredibly deep black stand out.

Home Button

As rumors had stated, the home button in the iPhone 7 is no longer a physical button. Instead, the home button has been replaced with a solid-state button combined with Force Touch and tactile feedback to simulate a home button press. The new button can sense different types of pressure just like on the screen, so it can differentiate between a press and a tap. This keeps Apple’s original functionality present while still being able to be a complete replacement. The home button is one of the most important and fragile parts on the iPhone, so this move will be a happy surprise to those who can’t use Touch ID or need to use Assistive Touch in order to use their phone properly because of broken home buttons. Apple also noted that it will be customizable, but there is no word on how that feature will work.

Water & Dust Resistant

For the first time ever, Apple is publicly announcing that the new iPhone is both water and dust resistant. Rated as IP67, the new iPhones are protected against submerges of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. Apple suggests that it only protects against splashes and spills though, so I wouldn’t go swimming with your iPhone just yet. This is a big step in the right direction, as competitors like Samsung have been touting the feature for some time now.

Camera

The cameras on the new iPhones are incredible upgrades. The camera gained a 12mp rear camera, resulting in clearer pictures. The FaceTime camera also got a pixel bump to 7MP, making it an HD camera for the first time. Both versions of iPhone 7 now have Optical Image Stabilization, a feature that used to be a Plus-only feature. This feature attempts to eliminate blurs that occur when your hands shake when taking a picture. The new iPhones also have a larger ƒ/1.8 aperture, allowing 50% more light into the camera sensor than the previous iPhone, which results in brighter shots, especially in low light situations. The True Tone Flash also got an upgrade, gaining two more LEDs for a total of four. The iPhone 7 Plus will be gaining additional features. The most notable edition is its two cameras: one 12MP wide angle camera and one 12MP telephoto camera. These two cameras combined result in a clearer picture and higher-quality zoom, allowing you to zoom in 2x using hardware and 10x for photos and 6x for videos using software. Apple also announced that it would be adding a depth-of-field effect in a software update later this year. This will give the iPhone 7 Plus some serious DSLR features that are much needed.

Retina HD Display

Apple is adding its wide color gamut feature originally added in the iPad Pro 9.7″ into its new iPhones, adding incredibly accurate, bold and accurate colors to its newest iPhones. The display is also 25% brighter than the previous iPhone, making this screen the perfect one to enjoy your new crisp, clear pictures on.

Speakers

As a counter to previous rumors, the new iPhone 7 includes stereo speakers. These speakers are twice as loud as the previous iPhone and have an increased range, delivering loader sound at further distances.

EarPods

As long rumored and now officially confirmed, the iPhone 7 will not have a headphone jack. This may be a disappointment for many people, but Apple is confident that wireless is the future and that the 100 year old technology needs to go. That’s why Apple is including a new pair of EarPods with Lightning connectivity. For those of you who would like to still use old pairs of headphones, Apple is also including an adapter bundled with the phone.

Wireless

To move itself into the future, Apple announced its first pair of truly wireless headphones called AirPods. These headphones are completely wireless and powered by Apple’s new W1 chip. Pairing is simple and once paired to one device is automatically paired with every other device connected to your iCloud account. The headphone contain proximity sensors that detect when the headphones are in your ear, so music won’t start until they’re in and it will be paused automatically when removed. The headphones also respond to touch: once to pause and twice to invoke Siri. They have a battery life of 5 hours, but thanks to its convenient charging case, can provide 24 hours of music playback. Charing for 15 minutes results in 3 hours of battery life. These noice cancelling headphones will be released in late October with a price tag of $159. Apple also announce next generation Beats headphones that take advantage of the W1 chip to deliver easier setup, better battery life and better audio quality.

Apple Pay

While this may not matter to most of you, the new iPhone is integrating new technology called FeliCa that will be used to help Apple get Apple Pay into Japan. Nothing to see here, move along.

Performance

The performance of the iPhone 7 took a huge leap with the introduction of the A 10 fusion chip. With its new quad-core processor, the iPhone is twice as fast as its predecessor while using 1/5 of the power using its high-performance cores. GPU power was also increased by 3x. This also results in 2 hour additional battery life on the 7 and one hour on the 7 Plus.

Pricing & Availability

Pre orders begin Friday, September 9th at 12:01am PST. The iPhone 7 will then release the following Friday, September 16th. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are available in 32, 128 and 256 capacities. The Jet Black color, however, is only available in 128 and 256 on both iterations. The iPhone 7 starts at $649 and the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769.

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