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All you need to know about the new iPhone 7

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iPhone 7 is finally official and this marks their 10th generation since its debut in 2007. The iPhone 7 and its larger iPhone 7 Plus are not radically different from its predecessors but it does come with several firsts for Apple.

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The latest iPhone still retains the same flat slab design with rounded corners and edges. Even the dimensions are exactly the same with a thickness of 7.1mm for the iPhone 7 while the iPhone 7 Plus is at 7.3mm thick. The iPhone 7 retains a 4.7″ Retina Display with 1334×750 resolution, while the Plus version gets a 5.5″ Full HD (1920×1080) Retina Display. ForceTouch is also retained and its functionality is further improved with the new iOS 10.

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The antenna bands no longer run straight across the back and it is now placed on the top and bottom edges of the phone for a different look. What’s more obvious is a new camera bump design that protrudes up like a funnel.

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Apart from the usual colour schemes, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus now comes in a unique Jet Black colour that has a high gloss finish. There’s also the option for normal Black with a matte finish along with the standard silver, gold and rose gold variants. In terms of build, the new iPhone uses 7000 Series aluminium which is similar to its older iPhone 6 and 6s series.

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The iconic home button is still there but it is now a static one with force sensitivity. The iPhone 7 also features a taptic engine which provides greater feedback than a typical vibration motor.

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Like most new flagships in the market, the latest iPhones are finally water resistant with an ingress rating of IP67. In theory, that means it is capable of withstanding submersion up to 1 metre deep for 30 minutes. However, Apple isn’t marketing it as waterproof device and they have made it clear that liquid damage will not be covered under warranty.

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As rumoured before, Apple is making a dramatic step in dropping the traditional headphone jack. As a result, audio will be delivered digitally through its lightning port and a set of EarPods with lightning connector will be provided in the box. For those who wish to use their existing headphones will be able to do so with an adapter that comes included.

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For a full wireless audio experience, Apple has also introduced its new set of EarPods. They are basically a pair of wireless in-ear headphones but it gets a pair of legs which houses a microphone and battery. On a single charge, it can push 5 hours of playback which is significantly longer that Samsung’s Gear IconX. The dock case also charges the EarPods giving it up to 24 hours playback with its built-in battery pack.

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For the first time, Apple is also introducing stereo speakers on the iPhone 7. Instead of a front facing dual-speaker unit, it uses a combination of its earpiece and down firing speakers. This is pretty much the same technique used on HTC 10 and on the Huawei P9 Plus. Compared to the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 7 claims to be 2X louder.

With Apple going big on smartphone photography, the iPhone 7 also gets a massive upgrade for its cameras. The smaller iPhone 7 gets a 12MP camera with a faster f/1.8 aperture for 2X brighter photos than its current iPhone 6s. Instead of two LEDs, the new cameras are assisted by four LEDs for brighter and colour accurate illumination. Over at the front, it gets an updated 7MP f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera.

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Meanwhile, the iPhone 7 Plus gets not one but two 12MP main cameras at the back. How it works is similar to the LG G5 and V20. One lens takes wide angle shots while the other takes in telephoto mode. This allows you to take photos clearer with optical zoom quality.

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With its dual-camera setup, you can also take photos with dramatic bokeh effects but that’s only available with a software update that’s going to be released later. Optical Image Stabilisation now also comes as standard for both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Apple has always managed to push high performance with its custom processors. The latest iPhones now run on the latest A10 Fusion Quad-Core processors. Two cores are designed for high performance and another two low power cores are meant for power efficiency. Not only it provides a power boost over the iPhone 6s/6s Plus, but it also offers a battery life improvement of 2 hours with the iPhone 7 and 1 hour extra with the iPhone 7 Plus. So far there’s no mention of any fast charging tech. We are not sure if there’s any change in battery capacities but the new iPhones are about 4-5 grams lighter than the previous model.

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Storage has always been an issue for those who own the base iPhone models. With the iPhone 7, Apple has finally killed off the measly 16GB storage option by offering a minimum of 32GB storage. This is followed by a larger 128GB option and massive 256GB storage. All colours are available across the range but the unique glossy Jet Black is only available on the higher 128GB and 256GB options. At the same time, Apple has also revamped its current iPhone 6s and 6s Plus lineup by offering just 32GB and 128GB options. The base 16GB storage is still available for its current iPhone SE.

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Pre-order for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus starts this Friday, 9th September and it will be available starting 16th September in first wave countries which include Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, US and the UK. As usual, Malaysia is still being left out from its 1st and 2nd wave countries. We’ll probably need to wait for a couple of months for its official release on our shores. For more info, head over to the iPhone 7 page.

Alexander Wong