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iPhone 7 plus - a review

iPhone 7 Plus, silver

The launch of the iPhone 7 was at first a little "meh", for me and obviously quite a few others. There is however a lot to like about it.

So, the dimensions and the look is pretty much as the 6 and 6s. The few differences in the looks-department are pretty though; the antenna-lines has moved to the top and the bottom of the phone,  the camera-lenses actually looks pretty and stylish (look at the picture above).

Design

No need to talk too much about the look, but I will add some thoughts. First, how much can you actually "design" a flat slab with a screen on? It´s like designing a TV; not much room if you don´t go to extremes (think B&Os insanely bad designchoices). The way the iPhone looks now in it´s third incarnation, so to speak, has settled on this aluminumclad glasscreen with rounded edges. It´s very iPhonesque. I like to think of it as looking at a Porsche 911 1966 model besides a 911 2006 model, or a Rolex GMT Master 1955 model vs a 2016 model, they are immediately recognized. That is how iconic the iPhone is.

The scond thing about the design is the bezels on the screen. Samsung S7 Edge has a rounded edge that make it seem bezel-less (I quite like it), while Googles Pixel has the same bezel as the iPhone (let´s be honest; it looks like an iPhone too). Many complaints are made on why Apple has not yet gone for a bezel-less screen, but I disagree. I guess Apples (and Googles) reason for keeping a bezel is that is it actually good for our eyes to have an area to focus on. A bezel-less TV looks good when it´s not turned on, but if it´s on and there is nothing separating it from the wall behind it´s not that good. That´s why I like the bezel on my iMac. It kind of focus my eyes on the workspace.

Homebutton, heptic engine and 3D touch

The homebutton is no longer a clicable button, but a forcetouch enabled button-look-alike. I was a bit skeptic in the beginning because even on setting 1 (of 3) it almost felt like the whole bottom of the phone was moving. A feew weeks in and I actually love it. It´s still not as clicky as my trusty iPhone 6 button, it can´t but the hectic engine has a lot of potential.

When I pull don the notifications theres a little thump when it hits the bottom, very subtle, but it is a good experience. Also when setting dates or times, scrolling on the numbers, the hectic engine does its magic. Still it´s mostly Apples own apps that takes advantage of this, but soon plenty of third party apps will update with some clever use of the hectic engine.

3D-touch is a nice feature. Press hard on the screen and a contextual menu pops up. Like right-clicking the mouse. I use to answer iMessage directly from the screen, without opening the app. Also mail.app let me go to the inbox with one click. Again, 3D-touch will be even cooler when more third-party apps find cool and good ways to use it.

Waterproof

The iPhone is now waterproof, with the IP67 seal. IP means "Ingress Protection", and the numbers following are for the level of protection from dust and water respectively. So 6 is the raring for dust protection, where 6 is the highest level, and 7 is the level of water protection (9 is the highest level for water protection). At level 7 the iPhone 7 should be able to stay in freshwater for 30 minutes on max 1 meter, without any water getting in. Apples does however not guarantee for this. So don´t use it as an underwater-camera, which leads us to the ...

Camera

The camera, the worlds most used camera actually, deserves some space. It now has dual 12MP sensors. One Wide angle equivalent to a 28mm and a standard lens equivalent to a 56mm lens.

The new wide-angle lens has a f2.8 aperture and no OIS (optical image stabilization), while the standard 28mm has an aperture of f1.8 which is pretty good. Aperture is how much light that enters the sensor. The lower the Aperture the better pictures. The 28mm also has OIS so this is of course the best of the two lenses.

  • 28/56 mm equivalent focal length
  • F1.8/2.8 aperture
  • On-sensor phase detection
  • Quad-LED flash
  • DNG Raw capture and manual control with 3rd party apps
  • 4K video at 30 fps
  • 720p/240 and 1080p/120fps slow-motion video
  • 7MP front camera with F2.2 aperture and 32mm equivalent focal length

Speakers

Yes, as in a pair of speakers. There is now a speaker on top, so that it´s close to a stereo experience . The bottom speaker points out so it will not be "real" stereo, but what counts is how it sounds; and it sounds great. High and crisp. I watch The Simpsons in my lunch break (alone of course) with only the speakers and it´s a great experience.

 

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