Business Boost | 18 September 2016 - by Henry Groom
The iPhone 7: Does it live up to expectations?
Apple is known for design, refinement, and yes, sometimes some bad things too.
With the latest release it's not shying away from making waves.
The iPhone 7 has been one of the most talked about iPhones so far due to a deluge of leaks and rumours about it. So was it worth the wait? KCOM tech expert Henry Groom shares his review of the latest Apple creation.
Jet Black is the new Black
Apple shows us that Jet Black is the true black in this latest release. The usual suspects - gold, rose gold and silver - join the line-up, but we now see a black with a matte finish to replace the space grey beside the fingerprint magnet “Jet Black” finish. It even comes with a warning to carry it in a case! This finish really is beautiful, it’s almost a piece of art in itself. But it’s not for me, it attracts fingerprints and marks including micro scratches all too easily. However, if you want to show your true allegiance this could be the one for you. Personally, the “black” was my choice, although the temptation for gold was very strong this time round.
Water resistance for when you need it most
The iPhone, since the release of the 6, has had some sort of ability to resist the accidental drop in the toilet or the dog's water bowl without any issue ...well, nothing a bag of rice and a warm place wouldn’t sort. But this is the first time Apple has officially released an iPhone that's water-resistant. What does this mean to us though? Rated IP67 under IEC standard 60529, it offers assurance that there is protection for 30 minutes under water at a depth of 1m. I don’t recommend taking this on your next holiday to the Maldives and filming the sea life, but as a protection for accidents, this lets you rest easy that your precious iPhone will be working long into the future.
Gone is the smaller 16GB entry point and bang! Welcome 32, 128 and the all new 256GB. We have been expecting you - well, waiting in anticipation for a very long time. Content creators are rejoicing around the world. Even with an array of cloud providers offering large data storage plans for small payments, local storage is a requirement for many. App lovers from gamers to business people can revel in the ability to install without worry of that dreaded “not enough local storage” warning.
Speed is always something Apple prides itself upon, it’s not all about what you can do on a device, but how you can do it well. I have always carried around multiple phones with different OS, and while the Galaxy S7 is exceptionally quick in my daily tasks, I favour the iPhone as a quicker phone.
With the new iPhone 7, Apple introduced its new A10 Fusion chip, an industry leading processor offering quad core performance when needed, and reducing its usage to two cores when you don’t need full power, providing improved battery performance.
It is noticeable too. Battery life compared to the 6S Plus is at least 10-15% longer. Performance-wise, it can be seen (using GeekBench) that it's at least 4% faster than the Galaxy S7 and 20% faster than its predecessor. But does this alone equate to a reason to upgrade? For the moment, no. But future developments of games will utilise the new A10 Fusion chip in its entirety and really deliver some eye watering stuff.
Applications for paparazzi being taken
So onto the camera. This camera… seriously, this camera is amazing! Its twin 12MP dual focus lenses are way beyond my expectations. If there was a reason to upgrade, or even upgrade to a plus size phone, this is it! I already ran my daily driver as a 6S Plus so the move to the 7 Plus made no difference to me other than to look for a new case to buy (the all-new Apple Leather one is the way to go, in my opinion).
Apple has taken the standard lens and improved it with its new f/1.8 sensor, resulting in better low light photos and an enhanced ability to gather light into the lens. There's also a new chip to speed up the process when using burst mode.
In addition to this Apple has added a second lens, specifically designed for telephoto. The f/2.8 lens allows the new iPhone 7 Plus to shoot video and take photos at 2x optically and 5x digitally, resulting in some of the best images and footage I have ever seen from a smartphone. And yes, selfies are now even better with the bokeh feature with portrait mode!
So where do I plug my headphones in?
The decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack was bold, very bold. Apple tends to lean towards telling the consumer what they need rather than reacting to their needs. In my opinion this can boost innovation, as on the whole, consumers don’t know what they want and need to be hand-held towards the end goal.
The removal of the headphone jack is an obvious choice. How do you make the iPhone better? Build in more technology, faster processors, more RAM, but also make it thinner and last longer? Wireless technology has improved to a point where Apple truly thinks it is reliable enough to provide users a great experience without detracting from the main purpose, music.
As a user of wired and wireless headphones, I find the ease of wireless enables me to enjoy my music without worrying I am going to rip my headphones off while jumping on and off the Tube or leaning over to pick up my bags in a shop. However, this does lead to a major point: if you don't correctly choose a wireless companion that lasts long enough and sounds as good as wired, you may find the experience lacking. My choice of headphone can be found in the Bose QuietComfort 35s, they're at the higher end of the market in price but show their true worth in battery life and noise reduction.
So why would you upgrade, or even buy this phone at all?
Some say it isn’t Apple’s usual release as there really isn’t actually much difference from last year’s release. Some might say Apple is keeping its A-game for next year’s 10th anniversary of the original iPhone.
For me what Apple does well is refinement.
This is not a company that releases things untested and unreliable. It has to work and work well. First time, every time.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus show us that Apple can produce something that enables us to work better, play faster and enjoy without compromise.
You can also visit our Apple store here to shop the full range of devices.