The Good The iPhone 7 still has the biggest key features you want: faster processor, waterproof, a more solid solid-state home button, and still very good cameras with optical rear image stabilization. iOS 12 should help this phone work even better than iOS 11.
The Bad Not enough extra speed and improved camera quality for the iPhone 8. There’s no fancy Face ID or other design such as the iPhone X, which will likely spread to other iPhones shortly in the fall. No headphone jack (adapter included). There is no wireless charging.
The Bottom Line The gap between the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7 is not as big as you think, and for the right price, it’s still a great choice if you’re not chasing the latest stunning iPhone and want to save money.
Editorial Note (September 12, 2018): The iPhone 7 reviewed here is now available at a reduced price of $449 . See all of the new iPhones and new products that Apple just announced.
The iPhone 7 is one and a half years old, and will drop in two years in September new iPhones probably arriving. Where does that leave you, the potential buyer of the iPhone?
The iPhone 7 is not a bad place to land if you are shopping and want the basics, as it costs only $ 549 for 32GB. It has an almost identical physical design to iPhone 8 , waterproof for spills or pool drops, a sturdy home feedback button … and no headphone jack The iPhone 7 doesn’t have wireless charging like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X , but does it matter? Lightning works great.
It may also be the best time to consider old hardware as Apple’s future iOS 12 the software update promises significant productivity gains on perennial phones and iPads. The iPhone 7 already has a really good A10 processor, and it could work even better by the fall (when did we ever say that?).
This is currently hypothetical, as we have not yet tested iOS 12 on the iPhone 7. But this means that if you are looking for a reliable camera and phone, it may be the best budget choice … even before the age of iPhone SE . The iPhone SE is still cheaper, starting at $ 349 for 32GB.
Note that this fall, Apple rumors point to the release of up to three iPhones with iPhone X-like notches, Face ID cameras instead of home-based Touch ID buttons, and perhaps a cheaper model that can push where the iPhone 7 currently stands. It all depends on whether you can wait and if you prefer the home button and the fingerprint sensor to the unlocked life.
The 7 Plus has the added benefits of a larger screen, slightly better battery and dual cameras that add extra zoom and amazing depth-of-field portrait mode. These are good apps, but if you are already shopping for an iPhone or want something small, the regular iPhone 7 is simply great.
The full iPhone 7 review, originally posted on November 22, 2016 and last updated on March 21, 2017, follows.
Curved rotating screen? No. Wireless charging? Not yet. Worried that the 2016 iPhone looks just like its predecessor? If you are, I understand the feelings. IPhone 7 ($ 170 at Walmart) doesn’t feel like a “whole new thing”. Does this bother you? Maybe. But is it better? Yes it’s true. Except for one small 3.5mm thing.
The iPhone 7 was released in September, so you’ve probably heard it has no headphone jack and looks almost identical to 2014 iPhone 6 and 2015 iPhone 6S . The sooner the better – but his successor is likely to be announced in September 2017.
From 2017, you can choose from many good or even great Android phones Samsung Galaxy S8 and OnePlus 5 to Google Pixel 2016. The iPhone 7 beats them in speed, but not from battery life. Its size, performance and camera are unique features – of course, as a way to use iOS, of course – but the unique qualities of the iPhone are enhanced in many subtle ways this time.
But there are good reasons to consider the iPhone 7, even if you own one of the latest iPhone models … provided you have an affordable upgrade method.
- The iPhone 7 is now fully waterproof (can take a shallow dive).
- The camera takes more noticeable photos, especially in low light, and adds optical image stabilization, previously limited by the 5.5-inch Plus model.
- The battery lasts a little longer – sometimes it’s noticeable, other times it feels a little better than the iPhone 6S.
- The processor is definitely faster, though keep in mind that last year’s iPhone 6S has more than enough speed for most people’s needs.
He also came with a “wide color” screen with enhanced color accuracy and improved stereo speakers, though I didn’t find these enhancements as critical as above. And the home button can no longer be pressed – it uses the same pressure sensitivity and vibration feedback as on a 3D touch screen. This works fine, but it gets used to some because there is no mechanical click when the home button is pressed.
iPhone 7 up close: Better camera, water-resistant — and no headphone jack
As with the 2015 iPhone selection, you can also choose this step iPhone 7 Plus , which offers a larger screen (5.5 inches vs. 4.7 inches). But the big appeal of this model is the dual rear cameras, which allow 2x optical zoom and a cool bokeh portrait effect in the camera, blurring the background while keeping the focus of the foreground. (This is the model I would choose this year, but the 7 Plus is still in the hands, and it’s expensive.)
Now you have to wait until September 2017? All rumors indicate that Apple has overhauled the design for the 10th anniversary of the iPhone – everything from the Galaxy Edge-style OLED screen to the under-the-screen fingerprint sensor to wireless charging. It’s tempting. But in the meantime, especially if you want to take advantage of the various free-of-charge two-year retro-contracts, be aware that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are decent, useful updates to their predecessors – even if they look almost identical in appearance.
All things iOS 10
- iOS 10: All New Features, Tips, and Tutorials
- 23 hidden features in iOS 10
- 15 ways iOS 10 will improve the iPhone
We will not reduce the missing ones headphone jack. The loss will be detrimental, especially if there are other iPhones that still have it headphone jack on board. If you want to connect normal headphones into your new iPhone, a process that used to be simple and straightforward, you now need to consider whether you brought a key or a pair of Bluetooth headsets. Or your special Lightning headphones that come with the kit. But this is insurmountable.
Looking back on the iPhone 7 months after its release, it is a great phone with many decent advanced features, and its waterproof is a reliable expired feature. But even though I switched to Bluetooth headphones most days, I still miss this headphone jack.
Editors’ note: Since this review was published in September 2016, it has been updated with benchmarks, battery test results, and new information on competing products. Buyers should also mention this Since then, Apple has released a new version of its flagship iPhone 7 as part of Product Red, which funds HIV and AIDS programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Special editions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus come in 128GB and 256GB, starting at $ 749 (£ 699, $ 1,229).
The company also doubled its budget for the iPhone SE, which starts at $ 399 and is now available with 32GB or 128GB. The company is expected to launch the next-generation iPhone 8 (and possibly the iPhone 7S and 7S Plus) in September 2017.
No headphones without headphones
I repeat: Mark me as the person who is missing the headphone jack.
Even though they live in a mostly wired world, I don’t like Bluetooth headphones. And I also hate dongles. I am now learning to deal with both. New Apple AirPods are looking at how advanced Bluetooth mini-headsets can be fun to carry, and I’m used to reaching for them with wired headphones. But for me, there is nothing wrong with a cheap pair of headphones to plug in and plug in.
Although some phones in 2017 are something HTC U11 , the upcoming Essential Phone – followed the iPhone in snatching the 3.5mm jack, other competitors, including the Samsung Galaxy S8 line, were able to save it while retaining waterproofing before loading.
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True, the iPhone 7 has a number of options: Get a pair of Bluetooth headphones. AirPods Apple ($ 159 on Amazon) , maybe? I’ll get to them in a minute. You can use the included Apple EarPods, which now have an amazing zipper rather than 3.5mm. Or the headphone adapter from lightning to regular headphones Apple has thoughtfully included in the box. (You can purchase additional services for $ 9 per pop.) But you need to remember to bring it with you everywhere, and who wants to remember to carry the key? (If you leave it attached to your headphones, it is best not to bring another pair of headphones with you.)
This little headphone jack is one thing I could see worrying people about this phone. Like those USB-C ports on the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro, this is a compromise that feels forced.
If you are already a wireless headset user, you will not miss anything. But once – who knows when? – you will find yourself somewhere wanting to use a pair of wired headphones. And you will find that you cannot connect them because you have left your key. Don’t cry to me when that happens.
Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus cases
Design: Black – New Black
In a world of curved, eye-catching eyes, the iPhone now looks a bit old-fashioned. It’s slim and attractive and still very well designed, but the iPhone 7 looks just like the iPhone 6 and 6S. It’s like a MacBook Air, or iPad: a familiar, old form. Probably more durable, but basically it’s the same. Apple smoothed out the seams that hid the phone’s antenna, making the aluminum look smoother on the back. The camera failed, only slightly.
Apple has added new colors this year. The phone now comes with two black versions in addition to the silver, gold and rose gold. Normal black is matte and jet is high gloss. The black jet, it turns out, is a fingerprint and a magnet on the scratches. The mine is already filled with microabrasion in just a few days. My suggestion: don’t buy jet black unless you care about scratching.
But if you look at the iPhone 7 in the front, it is almost indistinguishable from the iPhone 6 or 6S. Here’s how similar the design is.
A non-pressing home button
Using a new home button even a week feels weird. It was a difficult adjustment.
I pressed so many home buttons. The iPhone 7’s “button” is a really solid circle that doesn’t move at all. This is similar to the new MacBook trackboards, in a sense. Click, and you’ll get a quick “click”, which is not entirely fun.
You will not wear the button because it is not moving. And indeed, it’s a bit like 3D Touch – Apple’s new pressure-sensitive touchscreen, introduced to the 6S and turned to 7 – has moved to the main button.
So if this home button is now just a flat surface, it also feels like a carrot on a stick to make more use of 3D Touch. I still use it a little bit, but iOS 10 uses it a lot more … and for some effective purposes. There are so many ways to bring applications to the home screen or check information that the home button is really not needed. Now that the screen automatically wakes up when lifted, this is doubly true. I bet the home button just disappears next year when the fingerprint reader swallows up on the display. Why not?
Yes, it’s really waterproof (but don’t swim with it)
Apple’s IP67 water resistance rating on the new iPhone is finally catching up with phones that have been under construction for some time. Samsung Galaxy S7 can survive the drop of a sink. Even the Super Bowl Moto G4 can do it.
How Waterproof is the iPhone 7? Apple calls it “splash and water resistant,” and by the way, the IP67 means one meter of water for 30 minutes and full dust resistance. But Apple also warns that any submersion of salt water should be immediately flushed with fresh water. And you also need to dry your phone for at least a couple of hours before charging (I would be wrong).
I took the iPhone 7 in the shower. I dumped him several times in a fish tank. I put it in the sink and turned on the faucet and filled the iPhone sink in it.
During the more aggressive tests, we ran the iPhone 7 a little more than the advertised water limits: plunging to a depth of 1 meter into the chlorinated water pool just over 30 minutes. In this case, the quality of the speakers was a little tricky, but the phone was otherwise in working order.
Bottom line: The iPhone 7 should be able to easily travel in the rain and snow, and get into baths, pools, sinks and other wet surroundings. But do not tempt fate by leaving it in water for longer than you need.
Other small benefits: stereo speakers, slightly improved display, moderate haptics
I couldn’t appreciate the wider color range of Apple’s iPhone 7 display, which is considered to be the best next to the iPhone iPad Pro 9.7 and 5K iMac , as well as 25 percent brighter. That’s good, don’t get me wrong. But in my eyes, next to the 6S or 6S Plus , it felt the same. And in direct sunlight (I used it in the seriously bright New York September sun), it was sometimes hard to see. Like all iPhones, but not much better.
The speakers sound louder. They now surround the left and right sides of the iPhone, instead of one speaker down the home button. It’s better for casual games or movie watching, but I would take my headphones every time. Or, if I shared with someone, I would choose a larger screen. They don’t always sound as definite and clear as I would like.
The best improvements can be the haptics: vibrations, crashes, calls or shocks that your phone does in response to your actions. Apple has updated the “Taptic Engine” in the iPhone 7, making all vibrations seem sharper and more defined. Silence mode is now a quick tip. Clicking on the 3D Touch icons (if you even do it) makes it easier to push a button. Some sounds and settings are now booming with a handset upgrade. Change the time of the clock, feel the wheel click as you spin it. This means that more tactile feedback is possible, even in applications with on-screen buttons. It’s like an Xbox One phone package on the whole phone.
Nice bumps in the camera, especially in low light
The iPhone 7 is getting the update I wanted it to be in the 6S, namely optical image stabilization (or OIS). The slightly wider f1.8 aperture also gives more light for low-light photos. I found that OIS and this new lens affect everyday shots. The twilight photos in my backyard that were barely visible on the 6S looked much brighter at 7.
Other enhancements to the 12-megapixel camera, including a new provider for other image enhancements, may be too thin for everyday shooters. The four-LED flash is brighter and helped to illuminate the room so well that I could even take a barely aisle photo of the darkened room nearby. Note that Live Photo slows down the shutter speed, so turn it off for faster shots.
FaceTime’s front camera is now up to 7 megapixels, and it looked great for selfies or videos. With one slight caveat: I found that some of the shots seem a bit washed out in the background, even with the HDR turned on in my early review.
However, I still found that I preferred the iPhone 7 Plus camera. Part of this is obvious: there’s a dual camera on the back that lets you do 2x optical zoom or extra levels of digital zoom. It also has a very cool portrait mode that keeps the subject in focus while blurring the background. And the added screen size is more useful for viewing and editing photos.
iPhone 7 sample photos
The new iPhone 7 processor, called the A10 Fusion, promises another significant dual-core speed set. There is also a new wrinkle: Low-power battery optimization mode with two other cores. In classic Apple fashion, the phone switches between these kernels automatically and you can’t customize it.
In several landmarks that use GeekBench 4 (an updated version of the unavailable GeekBench 3 we use to test phones), 7 have great benefits (3,488 single-core, 5,605 multi-core, if you’re curious).
The phone is seriously fast. It’s faster than any other iOS device, including the iPad Pro, and faster than the last batch of Samsung phones by a large margin, faster than Google’s Pixel ($ 449 on Amazon) phone. But I have to say – like many years – that this iPhone feels as fast as the last iPhone in most everyday cases. You don’t need all that speed, but this iPhone is the world’s fastest phone without a doubt.
Someday, we may see that phones cease relentlessly faster each year. So far, it’s worth evaluating. But I wouldn’t drop everything and get this phone just for any promised speed.
Battery life: Minor benefits
It’s hard to judge the claims on Apple iPhone 7’s battery life, since much of what is being advertised involves low and high power performance that happens automatically on the Apple processor and can’t be tweaked in settings.
It also took us a while to figure out how best to test the battery on this iPhone.
Our battery life test provides an on-air video playback cycle that does not reflect everyday use for how most people will use their iPhone. But on that test, using iOS 10 .1, the iPhone 7 lasted about 10 hours 45 minutes – slightly better than last year’s iPhone 6S, but not much. Android phones, such as theSamsung Galaxy S7and Google Pixel, performed much better in our test.
And, as Apple’s own claim goes, your mileage may vary depending on how you use your phone. I still think I need a charging charge around 4:00. Despite this, I have found that the iPhone 7 is way ahead of battery life a day, which takes me a little longer than before. I would say that the difference is imperceptible. With Apple’s new power management processor, what you do may produce different results.
Apple promises to be more energy-efficient. But many great phones now have big batteries: think of Motorola Moto Z Play, OnePlus 3T and Galaxy S7. If you want an even better battery, consider the iPhone 7 Plus, a rechargeable battery or another phone.
Finally, all iPhones received memory updates. Now $ 649, £ 599 and 1079 AU will get 32GB, followed by £ 749, £ 699 and $ 1,229 for 128GB and $ 849, £ 799 and $ 1379 for 256GB. 32GB is the bare minimum, I recommend anyone to get a phone that doesn’t have enough memory to expand. I’m sad that 64GB is gone.
256 GB seems like a crazy amount if you are not a filmmaker and do not live with your iPhone. Shooting in 4K increases space, and 256GB is not at all realistic if you record video clips daily.
Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus storage and pricing
|Apple iPhone 7||32GB||$649||£599||AU$1,079|
|Apple iPhone 7 Plus||32GB||$769||£719||AU$1,269|
Hub to a connected world
Phones – hubs. They are useful devices. They are important. Some people want a fully replaceable, lockable, functional phone. Some want a great battery life Some want a stunning camera or a huge display. Some want weird things. Some want something easy. There is no right answer. This is difficult now, but in a good way. Now, most phones are doing a better job than anything that used to be.
Our favorite CNET phones are those that combine great utility and amazing design. Now comes the iPhone 7, and it’s … well, it’s something boring.
The iPhone as It Is: Highly engineered, advanced fusion of hardware and software. This version is better than before.
Phones are just how we relate to the tons of things around us. I spend my time with dozens of wireless peripheral media. Apple, as never before, is promoting its own versions: AirPods, the Apple Watch and probably many more things. Virtual and augmented reality, perhaps. The whole universe of connected smart home gadgets.
The iPhone is the center of things. And this one is generally better. But if you want something that looks and looks different, wait for next year. Or go somewhere else. Almost every other phone, including the iPhone and Apple’s gorgeous iPhone 6S, still has a handy old headphone jack.
This may change very soon throughout the smartphone landscape. And the iPhone can change dramatically.
This iPhone feels that it is laying the foundation for a more tight, sophisticated wireless system. And while a little boring.
I’m fine with that, if it’s reliable. This year’s update is not something you need to have. But its enhancements probably make some paving the way for change in another iPhone next year.
If you care about better photos and want to be a little more reliable for what Apple has in store for this dual camera, seriously consider getting a 7 Plus.