Hit the Road, Jack: Apple Debuts the iPhone 7

Written by | Lifestyle

Is dropping the headphone jack an innovation? Sure. Is it also a way for Apple to force its customers to buy something new besides the iPhone 7 that hits shelves within the next six weeks? You bet. Read more:

iPhone 7

So what are the new features of the iPhone 7, unveiled today by Apple? Well, this new iteration does away with the headphone jack, making their less-than-impressive earbuds now obsolete. The new design closely resembles last year’s iPhone 6S – and the previous year’s iPhone 6 – with the same rounded aluminum body, only housed now in a more water resistant casing, which means you can spritz, but not toilet-dunk, the iPhone 7 or the larger iPhone 7 Plus without instantly knowing you’ll have to replace it. Other new features include a much-hinted-at dual camera system, stereo speakers, and a black color that is somehow . . . blacker. And, as expected, the iPhone 7 does not have a headphone jack, rendering countless 3.5mm headphones useless with the device (or requiring the use of an adapter).

While the new phone does resemble previous models, the matte metal finish has been replaced by a glossy, mirrored design. Apple’s new color has been dubbed “Jet Black” and is both darker and richer than the “Space Black” of yesteryear. Apple is also releasing a standard black model, along with the expected gold, silver, and rose gold options.

Among the more impressive upgrades: iPhone 7 will ship with optical image stabilization and a brighter f/1.8 lens that accommodates 50 per cent more light than the old iPhone 6S lens. Apple attests that the new 12-megapixel sensor (with the same resolution as last year’s phone), is also 30 per cent more efficient and 60 per cent faster. That’s paired with a quad-LED flash that produces 50 per cent more light and a new image processing chip.

But the real upgrades were saved for the larger iPhone 7 Plus’ dual camera system. The company says the new dual camera provides greater zoom optics without loss of image quality. One of the lenses, they say, is equivalent to 28mm for wide angle shots (like today’s standard iPhone cameras), while the other has a closer, 60mm equivalent lens. Switching between the two cameras is seamless in the iPhone 7 Plus’ camera app, and can be toggled back and forth simply by tapping the 1x or 2x button. The new camera can zoom farther, up to 10x, but beyond 2x is digital zoom engages to crop the photo.

Engineers have also redesigned the iconic home button for the iPhone 7, making it force sensitive, not unlike the Force Touch trackpads used in recent MacBook laptops.The new phones also boast upgraded displays some 25 per cent brighter, with a wider color range for better color management and improved color reproduction.

Last modified: July 27, 2017