Ap­ple un­veils iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Af­ter all the ru­mours and spec­u­la­tion Ap­ple’s new phones are fi­nally here.

Macworld - - Contents - Caitlin Mc­Garry re­ports

The ru­mours were true: Ap­ple’s next-gen­er­a­tion iPhones, the 7 and 7 Plus, traded the head­phone jack for Light­ning EarPods. Now there’s one port in­stead of two. The com­pany is in­clud­ing Light­ning-con­nected EarPods with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Ap­ple is also in­clud­ing a Light­ning to 3.5mm adap­tor in the box to avoid caus­ing too much out­rage over sup­port­ing non-Light­ning head­phones, or you can buy one sep­a­rately for £9. So why that lack of a jack? “It’s been with us for a re­ally long time,” Ap­ple mar­ket­ing VP Phil Schiller said dur­ing Ap­ple’s iPhone pre­sen­ta­tion at the launch event. “It comes down to courage – courage to move on, do some­thing new that bet­ters all of us.” That some­thing new is a wire­less stan­dard, de­but­ing in an­other head­set prod­uct called Ap­ple AirPods (sold sep­a­rately for £159). The W1 chip in­side the AirPod of­fers one-tap pair­ing

to ease the pain of poor Blue­tooth con­nec­tion, plus the pods of­fers con­sis­tent play­back that only start when you in­sert them in your ears. You can dou­ble-tap a pod to ac­cess Siri.

Both iPhone 7 mod­els are wa­ter-re­sis­tant up to 1m for 30 min­utes with an IP67 rat­ing. Both pack new stereo speak­ers at the top and bot­tom into the same slim body as the 6s.

Aside from be­ing splash-proof, the iPhone 7’s mar­quee fea­ture is a dra­mat­i­cally im­proved cam­era. Both the 4.7in iPhone 7 and 5.5in 7 Plus have a wider f/1.8 aper­ture to cap­ture more light, a 6-el­e­ment lens, high-speed 12Mp sen­sors, quad-LED True Tone flash, a new sen­sor to com­pen­sate for flick­er­ing lights, wide colour cap­ture, and op­ti­cal im­age sta­bi­liza­tion. The 7 Plus, as long ru­moured, has two cam­eras, both 12Mp, with two lenses. One is wide-an­gle, and the other is a 56mm tele­photo lens. Both cam­eras have zoom.

The new phones have an A10 Fu­sion chip with a four-core CPU: Two are high-per­for­mance cores that are 40 per­cent faster than the A9 chip in the 6s and 6s Plus, and two are high-ef­fi­ciency, run­ning at 20 per­cent of the power as the high-per­form­ing cores. It’s all about bal­ance.

Shal­low depth of field is some­thing you can usu­ally only achieve with a DSLR’s full frame sen­sor or a gi­ant lens. The 7 Plus cam­era ac­com­plishes it eas­ily – just tap the new Por­trait op­tion in the iOS Cam­era app com­ing in a free iOS up­date later this year to pre­view it au­to­mat­i­cally.

The 7, which now comes in black and jet-black (matte and glossy, re­spec­tively) in ad­di­tion to sil­ver, gold, and rose gold, is mov­ing from a me­chan­i­cal

Home but­ton to a solid-state Force Touch but­ton, with a Tap­tic En­gine so you’ll feel vi­bra­tions when you press it. Ap­ple is open­ing the Tap­tic En­gine to third-party de­vel­op­ers with an API.

The iPhone 7’s wa­ter re­sis­tance and over­hauled cam­era are its mar­quee fea­tures, but the head­phone jack re­moval is sure to be Ap­ple’s most con­tro­ver­sial move since the switch from 30-pin to Light­ning con­nec­tors back in 2012 (prob­a­bly more so). Ap­ple sold adap­tors sep­a­rately for £29 back then, but this time around the com­pany is in­clud­ing an adap­tor in the box.

If you’re up­set about the head­phone jack and don’t like the adap­tor op­tion, Ap­ple is dan­gling the prom­ise of more bat­tery life: The 7 and 7 Plus have the long­est bat­tery life of any iPhone, Schiller said, with the 7 last­ing two hours longer than the iPhone 6s on av­er­age and the 7 Plus promis­ing an av­er­age of 1 hour more life than the 6s Plus.

The iPhone 7 starts at £599, the same price as a 16GB iPhone 6s, for a 32GB base model. That’s right, Ap­ple is ditch­ing 16GB for all but the iPhone SE. The 7 Plus starts at £719 with 32-, 128- and 256GB con­fig­u­ra­tions. The new jet black op­tion is re­served for 128- and 256GB mod­els only, so you’ll have to pay more for Jony Ive’s mas­ter­piece. Read our hands-on re­view of the iPhone

7 on page 23.

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