Display: 8/10

iPhone 7 Plus (2)
The iPhone 7 Plus sports a 5.5inch FullHD display which gives a pixel density of 401PPI. The panel is an LED backlit IPS LCD panel. However with the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple claims to be using a wide gamut display (cinema standard). When placed side by side with the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, I noticed that the iPhone 7 Plus had a slight warm tinge to it. The iPhone 7 Plus is definitely a notch brighter than the 6s Plus. The Night Shift mode lets you select the time when you want to display to control the blue light, and it also lets you select the shade of yellow that you are comfortable with. This added granularity is a nice touch.

Colour reproduction is spot on and it is still a class-leading display among smartphones. Colours aren’t unnecessarily vivid. Legibility in sunlight is not an issue, as its auto-brightness mode works quite well. The display, as has been the case with previous generations, is quite glossy. It was while shooting in bright sunlight where at times all I could see on the display was my reflection, specially when shooting from chest height. Not so much at the eye level.

The black levels on the display are quite good and watching movies or playing games is a lot of fun. Games such as Vain Glory, Real Racing 3, Nova 3 look gorgeous on this calibrated display.

Software: 8/10
Apple iPhone 7 Plus comes with the latest iOS 10 operating system. The one running on the review unit was 10.0.3 on which majority of the testing was done, before switching to the 10.1 beta to access the Portrait mode in the Camera app. The iOS 10 is refined and operationally quite smooth on most occasions. There were a few instances of apps not registering action on first tap.

iOS 10 dosen’t look very different from its predecessor, but packs in a lot of new features. For starters, you can now uninstall the native Apple apps if you don’t need them. I figured I would do without Stocks, Home and a couple of other apps which I deleted. Technically it just hides the icon and deletes all the app data from your phone. You can reinstall the app by searching for it in the App store.

The 3D touch still offers the Peek and Pop features, with support added to a lot more apps than we had seen when the 6s Plus launched.

Messages has got a complete revamp with the app letting you add in GIF animations; finger gestures –  creating animations such as heart break, beating heart and more; send photos from the camera while in the app; share music and so on. While these additions are playing catch up to the likes of apps such as Telegram, it makes little sense to use Messages if your family or friend circle isn’t on Apple devices.

3D touch 1

Control Centre has been modified, with the music control shifted to a new tab. Also the four icons at the base – torch, timer, calculator and camera support 3D gestures, letting you access more functions without leaving the Control Centre screen. iOS 10 also lets you do a lot from the lock screen itself. You can swipe left to open the camera or swipe right to access widgets or swipe from the top to bottom to see notifications. There’s also the ‘Raise to Wake up’ feature which wakes up the display when you just lift your iPhone to your face if its lying in the sleep mode on your desk.

Music

Music app has got some design changes. Instead of My Music, you now get a Library tab which lets you enlist a variety of options from Playlists, Artists, Album, Songs and so on. You can download songs if you are a subscriber, optimise storage by setting a limit on auto downloads, auto-generated playlists in the ‘For You’ section and more.

The Photos app has got some additions in the form of Memories, where in iOS makes albums based on your photos shot at a particular location. In short, this is Apple Photos playing catch up to Google Photos, which has much more interesting features.

Siri 2

Siri was the star feature of the iPhones when it was first announced back in 2011. Since then Google has been getting better with its AI-backed virtual assistant game – first Google Now and this year the Google Assistant. Between the two, we noticed that the Assistant was able to understand accents better and let you have contextual conversations, whereas with Siri you still have to pay attention to your diction.

Siri 1

Even asking Siri simple questions such as “what was the iPhone 7 Plus pricing for India” or “when was Siri released?” the responses weren’t very forth coming. Also between the two I also realised that most of the times you have to ask Siri questions in a particular way, and you cannot ask follow up questions and get satisfactory responses as you do with Assistant. Apple says Siri is a self-learning system, so maybe it needs more usage. But after using it for a week, it isn’t significantly better than Google Assistant. One thing I would grant Siri is the way it presents card information – is much more richer and informative than Google.

Publish date: October 25, 2016 12:50 pm| Modified date: October 25, 2016 12:50 pm

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