Editor rating : 8
Editor rating : 8
Editor rating : 8
Editor rating : 8
Editor rating : 7.5
Apple iPhone is now in its ninth year with the iPhone 7 / 7 Plus. With just a year to go for the big 10th anniversary, Apple seems to be saving some goodies for the next year. I will get to that in a bit. Launched in India on 7 October with prices starting from Rs 60,000 and going all the way to Rs 92,000, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have arrived in India quite soon after their international launch. With Diwali just around the corner, and its arch-rival Samsung pulling out its flagship Note 7 after the unfortunate battery burning issues, the field is wide open for Apple iPhone 7 / 7 Plus to make a killing.
Or is it? Let us find out
Build and Design: 8/10
The iPhone 7 Plus does not come with a drastically new design. You can look at it more of adding finesse to the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus designs. The similar design is now in its third generation. Is Apple holding out till next year, to release a brand new design language? Not that it is bad in the current state, but it dosen’t make it stand out from its predecessors. Not to mention, the designs from its Android arch-rivals has certainly seen changes over the years.
The first thing that you will notice when you handle the phone, is that the visible antenna lines have been nicely camouflaged. While it is still visible to an extent on the Rose Gold, Silver and Gold variants of the phone; on the Matte Black and Jet Black versions, you have to really look for it.
The rounded edges, power / standby, volume rocker buttons and the ringer notch are all in the same spot as the iPhone 6s Plus. So is the home button. But there’s a catch. The circular button isn’t a push button anymore but is supported by the Taptic Engine’s feedback mechanism. The Taptic Engine which supports the 3D touch mechanism for the display, also controls the touch response on the button. You can set the levels of feedback for the button, and honestly after a while you forget that the button isn’t there. It is one cool implementation. And it is such fine design details that make Apple products what they are.
The edges are 7.3mm thick and it weighs around 188 grams. While the thickness is the same as its predecessor, it is around 4 grams lighter. In terms of overall feel of the phone and sturdiness, there isn’t much different from the iPhone 6s Plus. And the complaint we had with the 6s Plus remains. The iPhone 7 Plus offers a terrible body to screen ratio as compared to some of its Android flagships such as the Galaxy S7 edge or the newly launched Google Pixel XL, which offers 5.5-inch display in a more compact body.
The rear side has a bump in the top left hand corner which houses two 12MP camera sensors. Snapping on cover on the iPhone brings the camera bump with the plane of the iPhone back.
There is one important addition though. It is IP67 certified which makes it water and dust resistant.
Metal back is still as slippery as its predecessors. Apple has some really cool leather covers with metallic button areas if you have buttery hands. They sell separately, of course. Snapping them on further reduces ease of one-handed use. And no, you cannot use the last generation covers on this phone for obvious reasons. I got the matte black variant to review, and it looks quite wonderful, as compared to the other three colours. The Jet Black variant is still the more premium variant, and I would not be surprised if we see more Jet black or piano black phone colours over the coming months.
Thanks to a limited product portfolio in its smartphone segment, Apple really ensures that the internals get a good amount of upgrade in the coming generations. To that extent, the iPhone 7 Plus comes with the Apple A10 Fusion chipset which has a quad-core processor clocked at 2.23GHz. This is paired with 3GB RAM. It comes with a 5.5-inch Full HD resolution display.
There are three storage variants – 32GB, 128GB and 256GB of which we have the 256GB variant for review. There is no expandable storage.
It runs on iOS 10. A single nano SIM card slot is present on the right hand side, just below the power/standby button. It supports dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Wi-fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, NFC only for Apply Pay which is not available in India. And also, no FM radio.
The big changes on the features front is the dropping of the 3.5mm audio jack. You will need a lightning port connector on your earphones. Apple bundles a pair. Other option is using a Bluetooth headset to enjoy your music. Apple has also bundled in a lightning port to 3.5 mm audio jack adapter for those who still want to rely on their personal audio gear. This is one move that drew a lot of flak as a lot of us still prefer using personal earphones / headphones which still have a 3.5mm jack. But give it some time and you will see a lot more lightning port earphone accessories, going by Apple’s history of spawning off accessories market segments. The iPhone 7 Plus comes with stereo speakers finally, with one being at the base and the other on the earpiece speaker.
On the camera front, you get two 12MP sensors on the back and there is a 7MP front-facing FaceTime HD camera. Apple has implemented the dual rear cameras in a way that you get to use true 2x optical zoom.
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