Last night saw the launch of the brand new MacBook Pro, and it’s probably one of the coolest laptops you’ll see this year. Apple has added an innovative new Touch Bar, Touch ID and a host of performance upgrade – but it looks like there’s a catch. The new MacBook Pro has four USB Type-C ports, and no USB ports at all. That means if you’ve got anything that uses a conventional USB cable – like an iPhone 7 for example – you’ll need to buy another cable or shell out for a adaptor. That’ll cost you £19 for an adaptor, or £25 for a 1m USB Type-C Lightning Cable.
While I’m not that bothered about Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, the decision to drop normal USB ports on the MacBook Pro but keep its headphone jack is an odd one. The MacBook Pro and the iPhone 7 both huge products for Apple, and the fact they can’t play together straight out of the box is pretty terrible.
For a more detailed look at the iPhone 7, head over to our sister site Expert Reviews. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about the iPhone 7 at a glance.
1. The iPhone 7 makes Apple less money
According to component analysis by IHS, an entry-level 32GB iPhone 7 costs $224.80 to make, while a similar iPhone 6s cost Apple $200 to manufacture last year. It’s important to remember that the price of the iPhone 7 has remained the same as the iPhone 7, and that means Apple is actually making less on its latest handset. According to IHS, the reasons for the decrease in profit come from several different areas, not just the camera, or the new screen for example.
2. The iPhone 7 is fast
As you’d expect, the iPhone 7 uses a brand-new processor, but its A10 Fusion is much faster than we thought it’d be. Apple claims that the quad-core A10 Fusion processor at the heart the iPhone 7 makes the new handset twice as fast as the iPhone 6, but also achieves those speeds while giving you better battery life. It does that by using two efficiency cores and two high-performancee ones, and intelligently assigning tasks to each. That way, you should get a seamless mix of power and stamina.
3. And the iPhone 7 Plus is faster than the iPad Pro
Apple’s latest handset has been benchmarked, and according to new Geekbench results, it’s actually faster than Apple’s own 12.9in iPad Pro.
4. The 32GB handset up to EIGHT times slower than 128GB model
Unbox Therapy conducted read and write tests using a £599, 32GB iPhone 7 and larger 128GB and 256GB versions of the iPhone 7. The 128GB iPhone 7 was able to read at speeds of 856Mbps compared to the 32GB handset’s 656Mbps. When it came to saving data, the 128GB model clocked a speed of 341Mbps while the 32GB handset lagged behind with 42Mbps.
While the tests look pretty damning, in real world use, you probably won’t notice much of a difference between the handsets. Furthermore, it’s actually not Apple’s fault that the 32GB version of the iPhone 7 is faster than the 128GB version. As Extreme Tech points out in its article, larger SSD modules are inherently faster than their smaller counterparts.
5. You’ll want a jet black iPhone 7… Probably
The iPhone 7 will come in silver, gold and rose gold – just like the iPhone 6s before it – but Apple has also decided to introduce two new finishes to the mix. The new iPhone will also come in a matte-black finish debuting alongside a super-glossy jet black finish, too. However, the latter finish comes with a durability warning, and Apple claims it’s liable to small “micro abrasions”. In other words, if you’d prefer to have a phone that looks great for longer, it might be best to steer clear of the Jet Black finish.
6. The home button is totally different – but the same
The iPhone 7 features a completely redesigned home button, even if it does look identical to the one on the iPhone 6s. This time round Apple has removed the mechanical workings of the home button, and replaced them with a Force Touch-enabled sensor with haptic feedback. That means users should be able to customise the sensitivity of the new button, and it also means third party developers will be able to use haptic feedback in interesting new ways. Although the changes sound drastic, we’ve already tested the new home button, and somehow it feels just like the old one.
7. And it adds a cool new feature
That lack of mechanical parts means the new Home button less likely to go wrong, but it also means that when it does, Apple can use software to detect the problem and create a neat workaround. Over the weekend, a MacRumors forum member discovered that if the new home button goes wrong, the iPhone 7 is able to detect the issue, and give users an onscreen button instead. The button appears along with a fault warning telling the new user to get their new phone fixed. While a broken home button is the last thing you want to see on your new iPhone 7, at least you’ll still be able to use it. You can see what the feature looks like in the image from MacRumors below.
8. The iPhone 7 has two speakers, but no headphone jack
Apple has removed the 3.5mm on both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, but it’s throwing a Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter in the box for free. However, it’s clear that Apple wants us to go wireless with the iPhone 7, so the company has released its own AirPod earphones, as well as three new Beats models. Interestingly, each of these Apple-made headphones use a W1 chip, which Apple says will change how we think about wireless connectivity. In addition, the iPhone 7 now has dual speakers too, so you can listen in stereo without headphones.
9. The iPhone 7 features much-improved cameras
The iPhone 7 includes big improvements to the camera, whether you buy an iPhone 7 or an iPhone Plus. The standard iPhone 7 comes with a 12-megapixel camera at the rear, but the iPhone 7 Plus comes with a dual-camera system, comprising of a wide-angle and telephoto lens, too. That means you’ll be able to 2x optical zoom, and also get a neat bokeh effect on your pictures. This time around, Apple has given both phones optical image stabilisation, and the front-facing camera is a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera.
10. The iPhone 7 DOES have a sapphire lens
The results of a recent scratch test suggested the iPhone 7 didn’t feature a sapphire lense, but Apple has since clarified the specs of the new iPhone 7 camera. “Apple confirms the iPhone 7 camera lens is sapphire, and under proper testing conditions, achieves the hardness and purity results expected from sapphire.”
Sapphire is supposed to be virtually unscratchable – one of the reasons it’s used in high-end watches and camera lenses – but in this case, the lense looked to be damaged. So what happened? iMore suggest that the lens was fractured rather than scratched, and that this can happen when “you have something so incredibly thin — unlike the much thicker watch used for comparison — and you apply pressure with no level of control.”
11. The iPhone 7 will have better battery life
Most importantly, the new iPhone should have significantly better battery life. Apple says the new iPhone 7 will “two more hours on iPhone 7 and one more hour on iPhone 7 Plus than the previous generation”. That equates to 14 hours of talk time for the iPhone 7 and 21 hours for the iPhone 7 Plus, or ten days’ standby for the regular handset and 16 days’ standby for the Plus.
12. The iPhone 7 is water-resistant, not waterproof
We’ve seen water-resistant phones from the likes of Sony and Samsung for a while now, but the iPhone 7 marks Apple’s first attempt at a handset that laughs in the face of swimming pools. Both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus are IP67 rated, which translates to “splash, water and dust resistance” in tech speak. However, water damage isn’t actually covered by Apple in the iPhone 7’s warranty, so it’s probably best to avoid dunking your new iPhone in water if you can.
13. The iPhone 7 is super hard to make in Jet Black
According to a new report by respected analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple is in the midst of a global shortage of Jet Black iPhones, and it’s because the finish is so tricky to get right. According to Kuo, the Jet Black iPhone 7’s 9 step manufacturing process has a 60-70% yield rate – meaning 30-40% of Jet Black components don’t make the cut. The result? Despite lower demand for the iPhone 7 than the iPhone 6s, Apple is struggling to make enough Jet Black iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets. That’s bad news for Apple, and terrible news if you’re one of the many people still waiting for a Jet Black iPhone 7.
iPhone 7: Release date, price and storage
You can pre-order an iPhone now, and Apple began shipping the first handsets from 16 September. Of course, those dates only refer to unlocked phones bought directly from Apple. If you’d prefer to get the iPhone 7 via an upgrade or contract, you might have to wait longer – especially if you’re after the sold-out Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus.
The iPhone 7 starts at £599 for the 32GB version, £699 for the 128GB version and finally end at £799 for the 256GB model. The iPhone 7 Plus will cost a fair bit more, and start at £719 for the 32GB version, £819 for the 128GB model and £919 for the 256GB model. If that sounds expensive, you’ll be glad to know the iPhone 7 will also be available in the UK on Apple’s upgrade programme for the first time, which you can read more about here.