If you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to dive in and get Apple’s new iPhone 7, a number of iPhone 7 reviews went live early this morning and should help you make a decision.
By and large, the vast majority of iPhone 7 reviews we’ve come across thus far have been overwhelmingly positive. From endless praise about the camera and overall systemwide performance, it appears Apple has another blockbuster product on its hands. Notably, most reviewers found the device’s missing 3.5mm headphone jack to be a minor inconvenience at worst and completely a non-issue at best.
So, to help get you rolling, we’ve compiled a list of some of the more informative iPhone 7 reviews for your reading pleasure. One item to keep an eye on as you read the following reviews and excerpts is how reviewers took to Apple’s new static home button. While some reviewers praised the design, others were less than impressed.
The 7 Plus is the more interesting camera, mostly because it’s actually two cameras, both 12 megapixels, each with a different focal length. The wider camera, at 28mm, is basically the same you’ll find in the iPhone 7. Next to it there’s a similar lens at 56mm, and the camera app lets you switch between the two instantly.
What they offer is real, true, actual zoom on a smartphone. It’s only 2x optical zoom, plus digital zoom up to 10x, but it makes a big difference. Hiking in the redwoods, I’d take a snap from the ground, then zoom in and appear to be shooting from among the branches. I could also take portraits without standing creepy-close, which made friends and loved ones happy. Both cameras capture data every time you hit the shutter, and the images stitch together to achieve even more noise reduction and quality assurance.
The iPhone 7 Plus can’t match a truly professional-level camera, but I’ve gotten more detail and richness from my photos than I can ever remember getting off a smartphone.
Now, about that iPhone 7 dual camera. This is quite simply the most sophisticated camera and image processor pairing ever seen in a smartphone or any camera period. There have been a couple of other applications of dual camera setups in phones, but the execution is crude by comparison. The optical zoom works great, and the 56mm lens naturally adds that nice compression of facial features and slight blurring of background that a standard lens gives, especially up close.
Apple claims the battery life is two hours more than the 6s. For the iPhone 7, it runs from 12 hours (continuous web browsing on 3G and LTE) to 40 hours of wireless audio playback.
On the 7 Plus, you get 13 hours of internet use on data and up to 60 hours of wireless audio playback. I kept the phone on LTE, streamed music for several hours on Spotify, used 1.5 hours of background GPS activity on Strava, watched a video with audio over the new stereo speakers, and checked Facebook/Snapchat/Twitter incessantly.
Under these fairly aggressive conditions, I got 15 hours with 15% left to go. What impressed me most was the charging time: The iPhone 7 went from 9% to 96% in just a little over an hour. The stereo speakers are, as promised, louder than before. The display is bright as hell. Watching videos and reading text in direct sunlight isn’t as painful.
I had a good time placing the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus under running water and dropping them into water-filled containers and sinks. Not only did they hold up, but both phones continued to function in the drink. No, you can’t use a capacitive touchscreen underwater (though you can write with the Samsung S-Pen on the IP68-rated Samsung Galaxy Note 7 while it's immersed), but I was able to use the side button to take pictures and even set the iPhone 7 up to film in slo-mo while it was underwater. The result was pretty awesome.
This new home button is the one and only thing about the iPhone 7 that I don’t like. Why would Apple do this? It does remove one more potential point of ingress, improving water resistance. But the power and volume buttons are still actual buttons, and the iPhone 7 is IP67 water resistant. To me, it feels worse, not better. I could wind up in the minority on this point, but hands-on room feedback was on my side, and, well, I consider myself a connoisseur of button clickiness.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are legitimately among the most interesting, opinionated, powerful phones Apple has ever shipped, and the most confident expressions of the company’s vision in a long time. iOS 10 is excellent, the cameras are better, and the performance is phenomenal. And the batteries last longer. These are terrific phones.
But they are also incomplete. The most interesting feature of the iPhone 7 Plus’ new dual camera isn’t shipping at launch. Apple’s making a big bet on iMessage and Siri apps in iOS 10, but it hasn’t paid off yet. Apps haven’t been updated to use the Taptic Engine or the new wide color gamut display. The entire ecosystem of new headphones and adapters required to make use of Lightning and wireless audio is just getting off the ground. Only Apple or Beats headphones offer the best wireless audio experience, and you might not like how they sound or fit. By the time developers even come close to hitting the performance limits of the A10 Fusion chip, Apple will be shipping the A11 Fusion Pro with six blades.