How the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Stack Up Against Their Toughest Competition

By Tom Pritchard on at

So Apple has revealed two brand new iPhones, showing us a lot of things we already saw in leaks that popped up online many moons ago. Obviously all of you who are willing to buy iPhones are going to want to see just how well these new devices stack up against other phones available from other companies. So let's take a look.

I'm ignoring all the arbitrary specs like weight and thickness that Apple always seems to be so obsessed with. That's because they're totally arbitrary for a device that's going to be put into a protective case. I won't waste any of our time discussing those, and start digging into the good stuff.

The biggest issue with the 7 and 7 Plus are that the screens still lag behind a bit. Apple is still clinging to Retina displays, so the iPhone 7 comes with a display close to 720p and the 7 Plus has a Full HD 1080p display. That puts Apple at a distinct disadvantage with its base model, since 720p is now relegated to the cheap entry-level phones that most technophiles won't bother with. The 7 Plus fares slightly better, since the competition haven't all upgraded to Quad HD/2K, though it is at a disadvantage compared to the likes of the LG G5 or the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Both phones also use LCD displays, rather than the more energy-efficient OLED displays that are starting to be adopted elsewhere - notably by Samsung.

As ever the new iPhones come with Apple's in-house processors, upgrading from the A9 to the A10. It has four cores inside, which seems like a big disadvantage compared to all the premium Android phones that come all come with eight cores. iOS is pretty different to Android, though, so we'll have to wait for all the benchmarks tests for some proper comparisons. The same goes for the RAM and general performance, especially since Apple hasn't told us how much RAM is available in both models.

Camera is difficult to talk about, since the number of megapixels doesn't always have much bearing on the picture quality. What does set the new iPhones apart are the 7MP front-facing cameras. It's not the highest resolution available on a front camera (that goes to the Xperia XZ's 13MP sensor), but it is a nice step up from the 5MP sensors available on most premium phones. The iPhone 7 Plus does have a dual camera, which comes with some extra bonus features like optical zoom. We'll have to wait for some proper tests to compare the new camera to the competition and work out the nitty gritty details.

As you might expect, the iPhone 7s really fall down with the battery life. We don't know the exact capacity each model has just yet, but Apple said that the new handsets get two hours more than their 6S counterparts. For comparison, the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus only lasted through a single day.  That's not good, especially when you have phones that are capable of lasting two days of regular use. If you want one of these new phones, make sure you have ample access to power.

As you might expect, the new iPhones don't have expandable storage. Which sucks, especially since a lot of other big names do offer that (except Google and OnePlus). You can get a model with 258GB of storage, which is pretty incredible, but it does cost £799.