With Wednesday’s Apple keynote done and dusted, we now have two new iPhones to swoon over; the 7 and the 7 Plus. Apple’s put its best foot forward with these new devices and we think the Android crowd should be scared.
Here are four reasons why the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus outclass the competition.
1. New colours
As with so many things that the company does, it might not be the first, but when it makes a design decision, people pay attention. The addition of the rose gold iPhone 6S last year brought with it a spike in new rival smartphones adopting similarly rosy hues and you can bet your bottom dollar that history will repeat itself this year.
Most of Apple’s rivals initially launched their 2016 flagships in two or three colourways at most, but the new iPhones come in five stunning shades, including an all-new option called Jet Black. Unlike the satin-finish sandblasted bodies of the four other options, the Jet Black iPhone 7 adopts an almost mirror-like shine from its glossy finish.
Apple says it used rotational 3D polishing and a magnetised ion particle bath (whatever those are) to achieve the finish on the new iPhone and it really is a thing of beauty. We’ve seen diamond chamfers and etched glass backs, but the iPhone 7’s new lick of paint (or rather anodisation) stands out as a design that’s so unapologetically Apple, we can’t help but love it.
It feels weird to commend Apple for the storage in its phones, but along with finally bumping the base capacity from 16GB to 32GB, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have just become part of an exclusive group of handsets that boast up to a whopping 256GB of space.
With the exception of Asus’ Zenfone 2 Deluxe and 3 Deluxe (which are only available in a few select markets) and 2015’s Saygus V2, no other Android phone can match Apple’s new blowers for internal storage space without having to fall back on expandability and none of those that can can’t compete with regards to global availability and sheer brand popularity.
3. Dual cameras
The iPhone 7 Plus serves as Apple’s first ever smartphone with a dual-lens camera. The larger of the company’s new handsets leverages not one, but two 12-megapixel sensors, which brings to the table so welcome benefits to the iPhone’s already competent photography chops.
The likes of LG and Huawei have both launched flagships this year with dual-lens cameras, but each makes sacrifices that Apple’s new smartphone doesn’t. LG’s G5 offers a 16-megapixel primary camera with an 8-megapixel secondary sensor alongside to pull out for wider imagery. Whilst you can zoom between the two, resolution automatically jumps to half the resolution the moment you do.
Meanwhile, Huawei’s dual 12-megapixel sensor, found on the Huawei P9, P9 Plus and Honor 8 is used explicitly for adding greater colour depth and offering refocus-after-capture functionality, zoom is still lossy.
The dual 12-megapixel arrangement found on the iPhone 7 Plus prioritises the wide-angle sensor first so you can achieve up to two times zoom by switching to the secondary sensor without any loss in quality. As with Huawei’s phones, the 7 also now utilises depth data to create DSLR-like narrow depth of field and creamy bokeh using the company’s own proprietary image processing techniques.
4. Software support and longevity
It’s no secret that the world of Android updates is a bit of a mess. Not only does Google publish its own unfettered build of its mobile operating system, but then manufacturers like Samsung have to reshape it into a workable form for their own devices, and on top of that some carriers then want to modify it further.
All in all, this makes for an incredibly frustrating and fragmented update experience, with delays or promised updates that in some cases simply don’t materialise at all. Google’s own Nexus line usually fares the best with regards to major Android OS updates, usually supporting at least one additional major release following a phone’s launch.
Now take a look at Apple’s mobile operating system. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will launch running the new iOS 10 software experience, which brings with it greater security, enhanced iMessage and a redesigned Music app to name but a few of the tweaks. More importantly, as Apple retains such tight control over the experience, it’s also able to ensure more consistent compatibility further into its back catalogue of devices.
When iOS 10 launches on September 13th, it’ll run on devices as far back as the iPhone 5, including the new iPhones, that’s five generations of iPhone spanning four years and encompassing ten different devices. Sony’s Xperia Z3 flagship launched in September 2014 and won’t be making the jump to Android 7.0 Nougat, which has just arrived, and it’s not alone.