“The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is a performance monster with a dual camera setup on the rear that promises great pictures”
Apple’s latest iPhone flagships – the iPhone 7 and the 7 Plus – have finally launched in India. While the changes this year are mostly incremental, the frenzy around the new phones among Apple aficionados and the common folk continues to be the same as every year. Apple was kind enough to send us a review unit of the larger of the two iPhones and we’ve had the change to spend a little more than a day with it. Here are our first impressions of the iPhone 7 Plus.
The design of the iPhone 7 Plus is largely unchanged as compared to its predecessor. What’s different, you ask? The antenna bands have now been redesigned to run along the top and the bottom edges only. On the iPhone 7 Plus, you now also have a dual camera setup. The starkest visible design change is actually the exclusion of a dedicated headphone jack, and we’ve already waxed eloquent on that subject. Apple has also introduced two new Black colour variants – Black and Jet Black. We’ve seen and used both the variants. While the Jet Black one definitely looks more premium and offers better grip than the Black one, it started developing micro abrasions the moment we took it out of the box. You will need to buy a case even before you buy the phone. Note that the iPhone 7 Plus is still a behemoth and feels massive in the hand compared to other compact Android flagships out there. Thank god for the reachability feature or else it would have been a pain using the phone with one hand.
One other important change is the Home button. Gone is the physical button that Apple has used in all its iPhones until the latest one; now you have a solid-state button that is pressure-sensitive. Essentially, it is similar to the new trackpad on Apple’s new MacBooks in that it offers a force feedback simulating the feeling of actually pressing a button.The Home button on the iPhone 7 Plus offers three levels of sensitivity. The lack of an actual physical button might feel a bit disconcerting at first but honestly it is just a matter of getting used to. Oh, and the Touch ID (fingerprint scanner) is embedded in this button as well.
The display used on the iPhone 7 Plus is a 5.5-inch one with the same FHD resolution, featuring 3D Touch as well. However, this time around Apple claims that the screen is 25 percent brighter than the previous iPhone and offers a wider colour gamut. All this change is immediately apparent in the first glance but we shall explore it a bit more in our full review.
In our excitement to use the new Portrait mode (which we shall get to in a little bit), we decided to upgrade to the iOS 10.1 beta as soon as the phone was delivered. In iOS 10 you will notice that the “slide to unlock” feature has been done away with. Moreover, iOS 10 now improves Siri to include third-party app support. What this means is that you can ask Siri to book an Uber for you; we tried it and it works. We will explore all the other features in the full review.
The iPhone 7 Plus has one strong selling point this time around – dual 12MP cameras on the rear. Apple uses a second 12MP sensor – which Apple calls a telephoto camera – to actually simulate 2x zoom. We noticed that having a closer crop of the subject at the touch of a button is actually pretty handy. In case you want to know about the camera quality, we have compared the iPhone 7 Plus’ camera with the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge’s (review) 12MP shooter – arguably the best camera on an Android phone at least until the Google Pixel goes on sale officially.
As far as performance is concerned, the iPhone 7 Plus rocks a new A10 fusion chip coupled with 3GB. The moment you use the phone you will note that it is snappier than ever before and the speed is immediately apparent. We also played a few games like Limbo and Asphalt 8, and boy was it a treat! If gaming performance is all you seek, the new PowerVR GT7600 GPU on the iPhone 7 Plus is the way to go.
These are only our first impressions of using the iPhone 7 Plus and there is a lot more to explore. We can’t wait to put it through our grind and bring you our full review. So, stay tuned for more.