The launch was another theatrical masterpiece. From the moment you saw James Corden bopping along with Tim Cook to the eventual iPhone 7 announcement, you could virtually taste the excitement. The audience had been whipped up into a hot quivering mess with a Nike Apple Watch, Super Mario and some banter about Pokemon. Then, when the gathered crowd couldn’t take any more, the iPhone exploded all over the stage … and not in a Samsung Galaxy Note7 way either.
Of course, Apple did kinda give the game away by showing both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus on the Hong Kong site beforehand, plus we pretty much knew what was arriving anyway. Let’s talk pricing and availability then. You can pre-order from this Friday (September 9th) and you can get it in the shops on September 16th, that’s next Friday people. In America you’ll be paying a base price of $649 for the iPhone 7 or $769 for the iPhone 7 Plus. Here in the UK the iPhone 7 will cost £599 and the 7 Plus will cost £719.
Network-wise, EE tell us that they’re the only network to give iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus customers the full CAT 9 beans over their EE 4G+ network. In theory this should give you 400Mbps speeds and it’ll be hitting 500 masts by December next year. Head to www.ee.co.uk/iphone7 from September 9th to pre-order. They’ll be taking the new Apple Watch Series 2 too. Vodafone have also confirmed that they’ll be taking both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The Apple Watch 2 is now more than just splash proof – you can swim in the thing and the screen is twice the brightness as that Apple Watch 1. The Watch 2 comes in aluminium, stainless steel and… yes, ceramic. There’s GPS inside, so you can go swimming and do everything else without having to cart your phone around too. Like the phones, you can pre-order it this Friday and it’ll be in shops next Friday.
Back to the phones then and – to huge whoops and cheers from the assembled audience – two new shades appeared. Not only is there Rose Gold, Gold and Silver. No… now we get Jet Black and Black too. The new iPhones are now water and dust resistant, plus they’ve virtually got rid of those antenna bands around the edges of the phones. Good.
As with the new Watch 2, the iPhone 7 has a brighter display – 25% brighter than the 6s and with 3D Touch to register a wider range of pressure. New features in iOS 10 will appear to make use of this.
The camera then and, as widely expected, there’s two… on the iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 has just the one, but there’s 12 megapixel resolution on both and an f1/8 aperture. The iPhone 7 camera will do 5x digital zoom, but thanks to the double camera arrangement on the iPhone 7 Plus you’ll get an optical zoom at 2x plus a digital zoom up to 10x. Again, this is all widely leaked – the iPhone 7 Plus has a wide-angle megapixel camera alongside a telephoto camera. Apple state that it’ll get 50% more light onto the sensor and the 12 megapixel shooter is 60% faster than the 6s. There’s OIS, plus head and body detection and a 7 megapixel selfie shooter up front.
As expected, the 3.5mm audio port is gone. Lightning EarPods will be in the box and there’s a fugly adaptor to connect those “old school” (or, as I like to call them, the PORT THAT EVERY OTHER BIT OF AUDIO KIT IN THE WORLD USES) 3.5mm audio plugs into the Lightning port. Want to charge your iPhone while you listen to tunes? Not with this adaptor mate, you’re flat out of luck.
Bluetooth seems to be part of the push here, especially as it’ll give a more predictable audio output, and you can use Apple’s AirPods to listen to music wirelessly.
At the heart of the iPhone 7 – a new A10 chip. This is said to be 40% faster than the 6s CPU. The phones are available in three storage sizes – 32GB is the smallest, then there’s 128GB and 256GB. Don’t ask me why there’s no 64GB one. If I’m honest though, when the iPhone 7 is in a case, you’ll struggle to tell the difference between this and the iPhone 6s.
Come on. You know it’s true.
If you want to look different, if you want people to know that you’ve got the new phone; you’re going to have to buy the eye-wateringly expensive iPhone 7 Plus because that one has the more obvious design difference with that double camera arrangement. That means spending more, which is great for Apple.
The only real difference that is immediately noticeable between the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7 is the lack of those antenna bands. Here’s the official imagery from their website…
Head to Apple.com to dive into the full specs. Full details in the press release below.