So this is the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. This year, we also have two new colors, Matte Black and Jet Black. There has been some controversy surrounding the durability of the Jet Black iPhone and how easily it scratches. I have yet to really notice any micro scratches on my iPhone 7 Plus but I have also kept this guy in a case from Day 1. I wish I didn't have to because the difference in feeling when holding these two phones and colors without a case is great. The Matte Black is certainly slippery and is harder to hold and there is just something about the way the gloss grips around your hands. Long story short, they both feel really nice and premium in the hand.
Moving on, the rest of the build quality is what you would expect in an iPhone. Not a lot of differences but a couple of changes with major impacts. The first one being the camera. On the smaller 7, we have a single camera with a larger camera hump than last year's model but the real story here is on the 7 Plus. The 7 Plus has two cameras, which is your standard wide angle lens and a telephoto lens for a better quality zoomed in picture.
The next major design change is the controversal removal of the headphone jack. I understand why they did it but I think this affects more users than Apple thinks. In a few years, it really won't matter but if it matters to you now, there are lots of accessories being created to help you out. Don't worry.
There is one change on the front of the iPhone that might go under the radar when looking at it but when using the home button, you certainly will feel the difference. This is because the home button isn't actually a button at all. Just like the new MacBook trackpads, the feeling of a button is all software and vibration based giving you the idea that you are actually pressing something but when in reality, you're not. Pretty interesting feeling and something that I am starting to really enjoy.
Now, a lot of people have asked me what I thought about the new iPhone or whether or not it's worth the upgrade. It really depends on what your use case is and what type of phone you have now. If you have any Android phone at the moment and are looking to switch, then yes, you absolutely should. If you are an iPhone 6/6S user and you don’t take a lot of photos, I would save your money for the next iPhone. Anything under a iPhone 6 or a heavy photographer should ABSOLUTLEY upgrade.
The iPhone 7 is a great phone but coming from me, who doesn't use their smartphone cameras a lot or at all, and someone who had the 6S prior to this with a beta version of iOS 10, there was really no excitement left when the phone came into my hands.
I was actually more excited to try out the Jet Black color or the smaller iPhone 7, because I am generally an larger phone kinda guy. I must admit, the 4.7 inch screen is small but not terrible. Sometimes I find myself preferring the smaller form factor.
The phone is plenty fast and capable of handling everything I need it to do. The problem is, there is a noticable difference when coming from a higher resolution screen. Considering that it's 2016 and Apple is still using a display that's less than 1080p is mind blowing. I don't understand how they do it. On the flip side, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, even with their lack of higher resolution, they still look really good compared to other phones with the same resolutions.
Some of the bigger changes in the iPhone this year lie within the software. iOS 10 has a lot of different looks and features and, of course, relies heavily on 3D Touch. I am trying to force myself into using 3D Touch more because it's hard to remember that it actually exists and can be helpful. The software always compliments Apple's hardware and the phone is super powerful and can compete with anything else on the market.
I didn't like iOS 10 much at first but it has really grown on me. If you are on the fence, try to use 3D Touch more and you just might come around to liking it a lot more. If you want to see all the new features on iOS 10, check out this video featuring all of the latest changes:
Finally, the main star of the iPhone 7 is the camera. The camera on the 7 is still an upgrade over last year's but the real story here is the dual camera setup on the larger Plus model.
This year, you have the ability to switch from two cameras and maximize full quality when zooming up to 2x. So 1x uses the wide angle lens all the way up to 2x when the telephoto kicks in. You no longer have to sacrifice quality for a tighter shot. You can also do a digital zoom all the way up to 10x but with digital zoom, comes less quality. Even still, the photos can look pretty remarkable.
There is one feature that is currently in beta and I have not tested it but that is the ability to get some great blurred depth of field. Lots of Android phones have already had a software feature like this, where objects in the foreground are crisp while the background has blurred giving you that blurred depth of field look. Of course, what Apple does is they usually sit on feautures for years, until they are no longer revolutionary but make them a LOT better (i.e. the TouchID fingerprint sensor). This feature is set to release later this month and so I will reserve my judgements and full review of the camera until then.
So is the iPhone 7 worth the price or upgrade? Again, if you don't take a lot of photos and absolutely don't need the latest and are happy with a one year old model, keep your 6S. It's more than enough. 5S or less should absolutely upgrade and if you want to switch from Android, then you should absolutely get the 7. It is the best iPhone yet. Obviously.