Today at its event, Apple unveiled the highly anticipated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models, focused primarily on an enhanced design aesthetic, water and dust resistance and some significant camera improvements. Both of the iPhone 7 models now come in a new jet black glossy finish and black finish, in addition to the more standard silver, gold, and rose gold options, and also now feature IP67 water and dust resistance. A new taptic, force-sensitive Home button replaces the prior mechanical button, allowing real-time haptic feedback in both built-in and third-party apps for things like quick actions, messages, and notifications.
The two new iPhone models feature a significantly enhanced camera system, with the optical image stabilizer now available in both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, an f/1.8 aperture to allow in 50 percent more light, a six-element lens, a new high-speed 12MP sensor, and a quad-LED true-tone flash with a flicker sensor to compensate for artificial lighting. Both models also gain a 7MP front FaceTime HD camera with wide color capture and auto image stabilization. The iPhone 7 Plus has set itself apart further with a new dual camera system, which combines a wide angle and telephoto lens to allow for 2x optical and 10x digital zoom. In addition, Apple has designed a new image signal processor for the iPhone 7 lineup that uses the company’s machine learning research to instantly analyze photos at capture time for auto-exposure, focus, white balance, tone mapping, noise reduction, color optimization, and more. A new feature coming later this year to the iPhone 7 Plus in a software update will also allow the dual-camera system to be used to capture depth-of-field portraits, creating a stylistic photograph depth effect of blurring the background to emphasize the subject in the foreground.
The new iPhone models also feature an improved Retina HD display that is 25 percent brighter, and includes a wide color gamut and improved color management. For the first time, stereo speakers are also included on the left and right sides in landscape orientation to provide stereo audio.
As expected, the iPhone 7 models also remove the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of Lightning-based headphones, and Apple will include both Lightning EarPods and a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter in the box with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
A new A10 Fusion chip in both of the iPhone 7 models also promises significantly improved performance and better battery life, with four cores — two high-performance cores that provide up to 40 percent better performance than the A9 chip found in the iPhone 6s, and two high-efficiency cores that use 1/5th the power. An Apple-designed performance controller determines which cores to use for various functions, allowing users who routinely use their iPhone for less energy-consuming tasks like messaging and checking email to see significantly improved battery life — up to two hours more on the iPhone 7 than the 6s, and up to one hour more on the 7 Plus when compared to the 6s Plus, on average.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will start at $649 and $769, respectively, and Apple has doubled capacity options across the board, meaning that the base model now starts at 32GB, and then jumps to 128GB and 256GB options. The jet black color option will also only be available in the 128GB and 256GB capacities. (Apple has also noted that the jet black high gloss finish may be more apt to show “micro-abrasions.” As always, we recommend using a case with any iPhone.) Pre-orders begin Sept. 9 with retail availability in 28 countries on Sept. 16, and the new iPhones will arrive in 30 more countries on Sept. 23. Apple will also be expanding its iPhone Upgrade Program to the U.K. and China, so users in those countries will have the option of purchasing the new iPhone through this program.