It’s finally here.
After months of leaks and speculation, Apple has finally announced the iPhone 7 – ironically, via its own Twitter account before it was unveiled at the actual keynote event (the tweet has since been deleted). We’re still waiting for more details, but the company has revealed quite a lot already.
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Much of it is as we expected. The antenna lines have been reshaped to curve around the top and bottom of the device. The camera hump has been smoothed a bit. The Plus model has two cameras, much like the Huawei P9 or Honor 8.
But there are also a few facts that hadn’t been confirmed: the iPhone 7 is waterproof and dustproof IP67 rating),and includes stereo speakers that are two times as loud as on the 6s.
There’s also a new glossy Jet Black color, which looks wonderful, and much like the Mac
Trash Can Pro – although apparently it’s more prone to scratches. I personally find the new antenna lines to be even more gaudy than the old ones, so thankfully the Piano Black color hides them with the new sheen. There’s also new plain ol’ black, which is just the regular aluminum matte finish but painted darker. You have your standard silver, gold and pink options too.
One other difference in the body: the home button doesn’t click in anymore. Instead, it provides some haptic feedback. There’s a new Taptic Engine powering it, which should help make 3D Touch feel a little more realistic, but early impressions suggest the home button doesn’t feel anything like the illusion of a click on the newer MacBooks.
The cameras are getting a huge bump (and I don’t just mean the large hump on them). For more on the cameras, check out our extensive breakdown here.
On the smaller iPhone 7, there’s a new larger sensor with a wider F1.8 aperture on its six-element lens. The camera has also been boosted to be able to take photos in just 25 milliseconds.
Apple says the dual-camera system on the larger device is used to provide 2X optical zoom, which means it isn’t simply cropping the image like the zoom function on almost every smartphone. Instead, it’s pairing a standard wide angle lens with a telephoto one. Digital zoom now works up to 10x thanks to the added sensor.
More exciting is that Apple is implementing a shallow depth of field effect – again, like the P9, but using a more clever implementation.
The camera uses machine learning in order to create a depth mask of people’s faces. In the samples Apple showed, the photos looked more believable than other dual-camera systems have achieved so far, closer to a photo from a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
Meanwhile, the front facing camera has been improved from 5 MP to 7 MP and includes deep trench isolation for sharper pictures and more accurate colors. The true-tone flash has been improved with four lenses instead of two, able to put out 50 percent more light.
As predicted, the iPhone is dropping the headphone jack. It includes headphones that connect directly via the Lightning port – which means you can’t charge and listen at the same time – as well as an adapter for your old headphones. Meanwhile, new wireless AirPods will be available, including their own charging case.
The display is now 25 percent brighter with a wider color gamut, up to ‘cinema standard.’ The resolutions remain the same.
Performance is getting a boost too, of course. A new A10 Fusion chip makes the iPhone 7 twice as fast as the iPhone 6 and 50 percent faster than the 6s. Graphics are 3 times faster than the iPhone 6.
The chip also allows the iPhone 7 to net two more hours of battery life than the 6s (1 hour more for the Plus models).
Pre-orders go live Friday September 9, and the device will be available starting September 16. It starts with 32 GB of storage (finally!) at $649 for the smaller device and $769 for the Plus. There are 128 GB and 256 GB options too.
Follow our coverage of Apple’s iPhone 7 keynote and find the latest stories about it here.