iPhone 7 Revealed: Everything You Need to Know

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

At long, long last, Tim Cook's put us all out of misery and formally unveiled Apple's latest handsets: the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus.

The duo have been subject to a quite frankly irritating amount of speculation over the past 12 months -- seriously, the iPhone 7S and iPhone 8 rumours have already kicked off -- some accurate, some hopeful, some completely farcical. So did Apple drop the headphone jack? Is the home button still around? Has the Apple Watch's Digital Crown thing's transfer gone through?

Now that it's officially launched, here's everything you need to know about the iPhone 7.

Design and Colours

Well, it's the same, but a touch different. The new handset looks a little slicker than its predecessor, thanks mainly to the disappearance of those antenna lines. Where've they gone? You can just about make them out on the sides.

Space Grey is out and a very glossy Jet Black is in. At last! Hurrah! Why did grey replace black in the first place? It's water-resistant too. About time really.

Apple's also reworked the home button. According to Phil Schiller, the new button is more reliable and customisable. With a new generation taptic engine, it's also Force Touch (3DTouch?) sensitive. Your thumb will get feedback for... something. Exact details are a little vague at the mo.

A bigger talking point, however, is the removal of the headphone jack. It's no use grumbling about it. That familiar circular hole has gone, with a new all-in-one Lightning connector now designed for both charging and audio. Fortunately, Apple will be including an audio jack adaptor in every box for the iPhone 7. It says its vision for audio will be wireless. Hence, Apple AirPods. Apple’s new ear gear will work for up to five hours on a single charge and its included case will brings that number up to a full day. When you open the case, the iPhone immediately recognises the AirPods. All you have to do is press Connect.

Display

Sigh. Apple's sticking with an LCD Retina display, though it says it’s brighter than the screen on the the iPhone 6S.

Camera

Apple focused heavily on making the two camera systems in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Each phone now comes with optical image stabilisation and f/1.8 aperture lens for muuuuch better low-light photography (hopefully). Apple's also reworked the flash to make it brighter and able to capture true tones, and its image processor for better editing. It can perform 100 billion operations in just 25 milliseconds.

With iOS 10, you can finally capture RAW photos and the front-facing camera comes with a 7-megapixel sensor, an upgrade from 5 megapixels on the iPhone 6S.

The iPhone 7 Plus has one normal lens and one telephoto lens. Apple says this new camera system can build a zoom feature into the iPhone. When in the camera app, a new button can zoom 2x instantly with just a tap. After 2x, however, further zoom relies on software. But because of the added telephoto lens, the images are much clearer than before.

The dual camera can also create an almost machine learning to create a depth map. After selecting the camera app’s new “portrait” mode, you’ll immediately see the depth effect in real time. Of course, we haven’t really get to see the effect in real time on stage yet, but the photographic results Schiller did show looked damn good. This feature will come as a software update to all iPhone 7 Plus users.

Software

iOS 10. Next.

Innards

It has a battery. Apple says it'll last a bit longer than the old one. We're not sure how reliable that claim is yet.

There's also a new A10 Fusion chip. It’s a 64-bit quad-core processor. Two cores are high-performance, so they can run 40% faster than the iPhone 6s and twice as fast as the iPhone 6. If you want to keep playing this game, it’s 120 times faster than the original 2007 iPhone. The other cores are “high-efficiency” to handle lighter applications for better battery life. The new graphics chip is also 50 percent faster than the iPhone 6s.

Of course, these are all just numbers. Hopefully these impressive specs translate to impressive real-world use.

Apple has also doubled all the storage, starting with 32GB and going all the way to 256GB through 64GB. Even old iPhone 6S models will get the storage upgrades.

Price and Release

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available to pre-order on September 9th and will begin shipping on September 16th, starting at £599. The same applies to the iPhone 7 Plus, but that starts at £719.