But Is the iPhone 7 as Revolutionary as Apple Claims?
September 14, 2016: On September 7th, 2016, something revolutionary happened. Or did it? Apple unveiled their latest smartphone creations to the world, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The new phone features dozens of new bells and whistles, most of which had been accurately rumored about for months.
However, how many of them are truly unique to the iPhone 7? Couponbox.com decided to find out, so we focused on the 13 major changes and additions to the most recent incarnation of Apple’s flagship smartphone. If you are on the fence about buying the iPhone 7, our research will help guide your smartphone shopping.
In addition to the analysis of the phone’s new features, we also prepared an iPhone 7 pricing cheat sheet for those of you who are already convinced that you will buy one.
Although most rumors were focused on the removal of the 3.5-mm audio jack (which will be covered below), Apple’s biggest triumph last week was the iPhone 7 Plus’ new camera. It is a dual lens camera with one wide-angle lens, one telephoto lens and a quad-LED True Tone flash.
It sounds impressive, but its real claim to fame is its ability to take pictures with a larger depth of field. This is something that is usually reserved for “real cameras” like SLRs and DSLRs. And it’s the first time a smartphone has featured this capability. But unfortunately, that’s not true. Two years ago, HTC released a smartphone with this same feature, the One (M8), and several others have done the same since.
The 12 MP resolution of the rear camera and 7 MP of the FaceTime (front) camera are great, but also far from unique. HTC’s Desire Eye has 13 MP on both its rear and front cameras. The new optic image stabilization feature of the iPhone 7 cameras has also been featured in dozens of other phones to date.
Apple loves its Retina HD displays. And why, not? They have eye-popping resolution and color. There’s no arguing that. However, the latest change to the Retina HD display is simply what other phones, like the Galaxy Note 7, have already featured: cinema-quality color, what Apple referred to as a “wide color gamut.”
And although the Retina display is touted as top-of-the-line, it is rumored that the company will ditch its LED-based Retina display and move to OLED displays which are now all but standard in most other smartphones.
The New Home Button
The haptic feedback generated by the Apple-branded Taptic Engine of the new home button is the feature Apple wants us to focus on. However, many people are not big fans of haptic feedback and end up disabling it to save battery power and overall phone longevity. What’s more useful than the haptic feedback of the new home button is its customizability.
But the truly great thing about the new home button is that it is solid state, which means that it has no moving parts. This no doubt enabled the iPhone 7 to upgrade its water resistance to the standard that most smartphones have already exceeded, IP67.
During the September 7th event, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Phil Schiller, said that the iPhone 7’s new 64-bit A10 Fusion processor is a “rocket ship.” And he might be right.
It’s 120 times faster than original iPhone. It has a quad core with two high performance (HP) cores that are 40 percent faster than the iPhone 6’s A9 and twice fast as the A8. The other two cores are high efficiency (HE) and run at one-fifth the power of the HP cores.
Schiller went on the say that, “There is absolutely no question. A10 Fusion is the most powerful chip ever in a smartphone.”
Based on those figures, Schiller’s claim may be correct. But it’s too soon to tell. A true comparison of the phone’s speed will be possible once the iPhone 7 hits the market officially on September 16th.
Audio & Wireless Headphones
Our research found that the only truly revolutionary thing about the iPhone 7 is the removal of the 3.5-mm audio jack. And this is nothing to snicker at. Most high-end smartphones have been reluctant to take this big step. However, it’s not completely unique as several lower-end smartphones have already ditched the 100-year-old audio jack. Still, the iPhone 7 really is leading the way in terms of high-end mobile audio.
The iPhone 7’s additional speaker for stereo sound is also not a first, but shows Apple’s dedication to providing the best options for audio.
Each new iPhone 7 comes with Lightning-connected EarPods. A slew of other Lightning-connected and wireless headphones are already available. Apple’s own AirPods will be available in late October for $159. If you’re in the market for new headphones for your iPhone 7, we prepared a cheat sheet for that too. Many are available on sites like amazon.com.
The rest of the iPhone 7’s features are all very iPhone specific, so comparing them to other smartphones wouldn’t make sense.
These features include LTE Advanced connectivity for up to 450 Mbps for faster wireless service, the longest battery life ever in an iPhone, the new iOS 10, the new colors Jet Black and Black and the new storage capacities of 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB.
Pricing and Availability
On Apple.com, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have been available for preorder since September 9th and will be available for purchase on September 16th.
Pricing for the iPhone 7 on the site starts at $649 for the 32-GB version and goes up to $749 and $849 for the 128-GB and 256-GB versions.
The iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769 for 32 GB and goes up to $869 and $969 for 128 GB and 256 GB.
Consumers who don’t want to buy the iPhone 7 outright can buy the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus and pay for it in monthly installments.
Contracts from leading carriers like Sprint, Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile are available with little to nothing to pay up front, spreading the cost of the phone across 24 months. The catch is that you have to pay for 24 months of wireless service as well.
According to our research, Sprint has the best 24-month pricing for the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus for the 32-GB version. AT&T was a close second.
Additionally, most top carriers offer up to $650 in credit for trade-in of the iPhone 6 and other models. This effectively makes the 32-GB iPhone 7 free with a trade-in and 24-month contract.
If you want to have a closer look at pricing for the 32-GB iPhone 7, the chart and infographic below will be of great help. Prices exclude taxes and activation fees.
In the Box
Each new iPhone 7 comes with Lightning-connected EarPods, a Lightning to USB Cable, a 5W USB power adapter and a Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter.
Stay up-to-date on tech deals and offers for the iPhone 7 and other products at shops like Best Buy and many more on Couponbox.com.
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