Tom’s Guide reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Great upgrades, but one is greater

“Last year I said that Apple ‘pushed smartphones forward’ with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but ultimately it didn’t have enough pull to get me to upgrade,” Mark Spoonauer writes for Tom’s Guide. “My iPhone 6 was simply good enough. I don’t feel the same way about the iPhone 7, which starts at $649 for 32GB; $769 for the larger Plus.”

“Important enhancements in the iPhone 7, such as a much improved camera (especially in low light), considerably longer battery life and faster performance, compel me to put my money where my mouth is this year,” Spoonauer writes. “And this time I’m going for the bigger 7 Plus because of one special feature.”

“Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus feature a new 12-megapixel camera that delivers excellent performance in low light — a weakness of the iPhone 6s. There’s two reasons for this: a wider f 1/1.8 aperture lets in more light, compared with f 2/2.2 on the previous phones,” Spoonauer writes. “The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also benefit from a new Quad-LED flash, which is 50 percent brighter than the flash in the iPhone 6s… The reason to get the iPhone 7 Plus over the iPhone 7 isn’t the bigger screen, but the second telephoto lens that gives you true optical zoom… [and] soon, Apple will release a camera update for the Plus that will add a special Portrait mode for taking photos that leverage the dual-camera setup. You’ll be able to artfully blur the background for a dramatic ‘bokeh’ effect.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We want our “bokeh” now!

(But, for now, we’ll settle for having a real zoom capability that produces crisp, clear photos!)

Again, the jump from iPhone 6s Plus’ A9 to iPhone 7 Plus’ A10 Fusion is remarkable.

More evidence Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus is more than a modest refresh – September 20, 2016
Professional photographer Benjamin Lowy puts Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus cutting-edge camera to the test – September 20, 2016
Apple’s A10 Fusion chip miracle – September 20, 2016
The iPhone’s new A10 Fusion chip should worry Intel – September 16, 2016
Apple’s remarkable new A10, S2, W1 chips alter the semiconductor landscape – September 15, 2016
Wired reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘Fantastic’ – September 14, 2016
Sprint, T-Mobile: iPhone 7/Plus pre-orders up 4X over last year; Apple shares surge – September 13, 2016
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘A strong handset for sure’ – September 13, 2016
WSJ reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘Get over the headphone thing and upgrade’ – September 13, 2016
Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: It’s a great phone, but where’s my headphone jack? – September 13, 2016
The Verge reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘The future in disguise’ – September 13, 2016


    1. Same for me. Still using an iPhone 6 plus. Upgrading in November. Having played with the iPhone 7 at the Apple Store I could really feel the speed improvements. Funny this is in a couple years this current new shiny phone will feel dog slow once iOS has more features and code added. It’s the way of the techverse over time.

  1. I’m really interested to see what the Portrait mode looks like—current iPhones already achieve some amount of background blur under certain circumstances. It is most pronounced with a close-up subject and distant background, but it even works when the two are only a foot or so apart. I’m hesitant to plunk down another $100+ for the 7 Plus when I haven’t seen what the actual difference is for this new feature. I don’t really want a bigger phone, but if the new cameras are good enough, I might do it. Does Apple have any side-by-sides of a 7 Plus in Portrait mode and a regular 7?

  2. My guess on the bokeh wait is that it stems from the “machine learning” that Shiller mentioned in the keynote. They simply need the algorithm to see enough faces (remember face-detection, which iOS 10 has by default?) to learn how to be 100% accurate in all sorts of conditions, cultures, locations, etc. I’m guessing that inconclusive “face detects” will send a ping to AppleHQ, noting certain conditions. When the software is fully self-aware we will see the bokeh reveal. I’d guess between Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

  3. I’m going to make my iPhone 6 stretch a little longer. I really want the camera of the 7 plus but absolutely do not want a phone that big. I’m now getting an Apple Watch and my iPhone 6 still works perfectly well. I don’t feel the need to upgrade in the same way I did from the 5 to the 6. I would have happily paid more for an iPhone 7 with that camera. Oh well.

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