Today, Apple announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in what can only be described as the most-telegraphed Apple event of all time. And that’s too bad, really: Apple rumors are a big deal for some reason, but it’s astonishing that every single iPhone 7 feature was leaked previous to this event.
You can—and should—check out Apple Announces iPhone 7, Apple Watch Series 2 for my rundown of the news from the event. And I hope that you followed along with me on Twitter today, since I skewered the presentation live. But either way, here’s a quick rundown of what Apple announced.
Two models, as before. As with the other members of the iPhone 6 family, the iPhone 7 will come in two versions, the iPhone 7, with a 4.7-inch screen, and the iPhone 7 Plus, with a 5.5-inch screen.
Three storage configurations. As with the previous two iPhone 6 lineups, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus each come in three memory configurations. But this year, finally and belatedly, Apple has doubled each, to 32 GB, 128 GB, and 64 GB. That is most welcome. (And it has likewise kept the year-old iPhone 6S and 6S Plus products around at a lower price, but has doubled the storage offered on those devices too. Almost most welcome.)
Four colors. Apple is subtly changing the colors offered this year, with a high-gloss (and scratch-tastic) jet black, a more typical matter black, silver, gold, and rose gold. This is one area where the rumors failed us: We had expected a dark blue color as well.
Stereo speakers. Belatedly, Apple has introduced stereo speakers which appear to work similarly to the speakers on other smartphones (including my Google Nexus 6P). This should be a big improvement over all previous iPhones, which offered just a single mono speaker at the base.
No analog headphone port. As rumored, Apple has dropped the headphone port, and is instead providing Lightning connector-based EarPods headphones plus a Lightning-to-headphone dongle for you Luddites. (Apple separately announced new wireless AirPods headphones too, but given the high price ($160) and paltry 5 hours of battery life, I’ll be ignoring these.)
Improved display. Apple did not change the resolutions of the iPhone 7 (1334 x 750) or iPhone 7 Plus (1920 x 1080), nor did it add the True Tone display technology found in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, as some had expected. But the new iPhones feature brighter screens with a wider color gamut and wider viewing angles than before.
Redesigned Home button. Apple describes the iPhone 7 Home button as being “all-new,” with a solid-state design that is backed by the new Taptic Engine in the device for “more precise and customizable tactile feedback”.
Cameras. Here is where things get truly interesting. The iPhone 7 features a 12 MP rear-facing camera with an ƒ/1.8 aperture, optical image stabilization, a six‑element lens and quad-LED True Tone flash. This looks impressive. But the iPhone 7 Plus takes things to 11 withdual cameras—a 12 MP wide-angle camera and a 12 MP telephoto camera—that offer 2X optical zoom (a first for any iPhone) capabilities. And a coming update in late 2016 will add a new depth-of-field effect that will make for incredible portrait shots.
Processing power. As you should expect, the iPhone 7 is the fastest iPhone yet, thanks to its Apple A10 Fusion processor, which offers a 64-bit architecture and four processor cores.
iOS 10. No confusion here, but the iPhone 7 will ship with iOS 10, the latest release of Apple’s mobile OS.
Accessories. New leather and silicone cases for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are now available, as is an iPhone 7 Smart Battery Case (in black or white). New Lightning Docks in several color-matched metallic finishes will also be available soon.
Same pricing structure as before. Apple’s not raising prices, which isn’t surprising. (But it’s also not lowering prices.) So the entry-level 32 GB iPhone 7 will cost $649 here in the US with the other models costing $749 and $849. The iPhone 7 Plus models will cost $769, $869, and $969.
When? You can preorder the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus on September 9, and the devices will become available for sale on September 16.
As you may recall, I declined to review the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, describing them as “review-proof” products. The iPhone 7 is no less review-proof, but given my personal interest in the camera technology, I think I will be reviewing this one. At the very least, I’ll write about my experiences with the iPhone 7 Plus camera.