The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are this year’s new iPhone series, and to a lot of people, these phones might seem a bit of a disappointment. It’s the first “non s” iPhone series phone that doesn’t have a huge visual upgrade or redesign. If you’re waiting for the big redesign, you might have to wait till next year’s iPhone–which is rumored to be the iPhone 8–an anniversary edition without a bezel.

The only differentiator between the 6, 6s, and seven series is the antenna stripes on the back. The plus model has a slightly different looking camera with a wider two camera sensor on the seven and a bigger circular camera on the regular 7. However, as you’ll find out in this iPhone 7 review, just because the outside looks very similar–doesn’t mean that the iPhone 7 isn’t worth an upgrade.

The main upgrades for the iPhone 7 are it’s new A10 Fusion chip, a redesigned pressure-sensitive home button, new stereo speakers, a brighter and a more color-rich screen, a camera upgrade, and faster internet speeds. The phone is also water resistant–finally. Although, I’m not going to be throwing it in the toilet in this review to give it a test.

iPhone 7 Plus Review

To top it off, the iPhone 7 and 7 plus rock iOS 10 (and 10.1 beta now if you want the depth of field camera effect), which is a huge step forward in iOS with great advancements like improved notifications, some application upgrades, and fun visual improvements with new integrations within iMSG.

For this iPhone 7 Plus review, I’ll be reviewing the iPhone 7 Plus Matte Black edition.

Home button

The iPhone 7’s home button is a pressure sensitive home button similar to the technology used in Macbook Pros. You can set the setting you want from the home button settings, but I prefer the most “clicky option.”

At first, it’s strange using the new home button, and in fact, I still find it a bit tricky to activate Siri at times since if I hold down the button and my finger slips it ends up being a double click querying Siri to ask me what I wanted instead of just listening.

But, after awhile the small vibration and clickiness of the home button feel fun and exciting to use. The haptic feedback does an excellent job of making the device feel brand new and interactive.

Speed

Coming from an iPhone 6, the speed in the iPhone 7 Plus is extremely noticeable. Using Siri is insanely fast without the noticeable delay from before–which makes me use Siri even more.

Using the “Hey Siri” commands works well, and touch operation through the touch ID is also very quick. The phone unlocks and performs every task almost instantly. This is one of the most noticeable things about the phone–how quickly you can start using it.

Whether you are launching a game, loading an app, or switching between tasks–you’ll experience very little downtime. Using the phone just feels so much more efficient now.

Speakers

The speakers get much louder than other iterations, but at max level, there is some noticeable distortion and lack of bass. Mainly it seems like the focus was to make them louder.

The speakers sound the best around 75% or 80% volume, but they are a real improvement from past iPhones especially if you just want to be able to hear your phone’s music or video in a larger room.

Before I would have the issue of not being able to hear my phone play video while I was eating, but that’s no longer the case–even if the quality could be better at max volume.

Screen

iPhone 7 Plus Review

A lot of people are disappointed that the iPhone 7 Plus’s screen isn’t AMOLED, and at first, I was too. The screen mainly looks the same, but the brightness and clarity in picture and video are noticeable if not game changing. The screen still looks great, and it looks even better on the iPhone 7 Plus’s 5.5-inch display.

Using the iPhone 7 Plus compared to a 6 is a welcome experience and browsing Reddit, and reading articles are very pleasant and always easy to read in any lighting condition.

Camera

iPhone 7 Plus Review

The iPhone 7 and 7 plus have two different cameras, and testing out the plus’ is very satisfying. Zoom works well and is very fun to use in videos, and pictures look great when you need to get a subject that’s far away to look sharp.

Additionally, the depth of field effect available in iOS 10.1 beta is spectacular. You can get some truly impressive shots with great blur in the background making your center object pop. Lastly, the low light performance is MUCH better than previous iPhones.

iPhone 7 Plus Review

Overall, the iPhone 7 Plus has taken iPhone photography another leap forward, and this time, you get some of the features, you might in a $400-500 compact digital camera. Without question, it’s one of the best phone cameras to date.

iPhone 7 Plus Review

Battery

Battery life on the iPhone 7 Plus feels reliable, and it took me considerable effort to drain it to 0% after my first charge to 100%.

Battery lasted for a night, a day, and then another half day. With moderate to good use, you can expect two days, and a day and easily a day to a day and a half with heavy use.


Conclusion of iPhone 7 Review

iPhone 7 Plus Review

Should You Get the iPhone 7 Plus?

My time with the iPhone 7 Plus has been a transition in a lot of ways since I’m still getting used to the bigger form factor compared to my old iPhone 6.

I’ve found that the size and weight of the device feel hefty in a satisfying way. Now, in comparison, my iPhone 6 feels more like a toy device whereas the iPhone 7 Plus feels like a powerful phablet which makes reading articles and watching videos a great experience with the increased battery life. Battery life is so good in fact that I don’t even really worry about charging my phone for daily use.

The new home button has its quirks, but I think the technology behind it is a step in the right direction pushing forward build design even without a headphone jack. That’s right; I didn’t mention that did I?

Well, everyone else has been throwing a shit storm, and the included dongle and compatible headphones and the upcoming Airpods have made me more excited for what’s to come then mad about what I’m not missing.

That’s a good summation of my thoughts on the iPhone 7. It feels almost more like a transitionary device than most solid number iPhones do, but that’s not a bad thing. Whether you’re on an iPhone 6 like I was, or wanting a bigger screen, or just wanting to experience the “cool factor” of the new home button, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed since the phone’s features are competitive with other phones out there.

There’s nothing CRAZY here, but sometimes that’s better. There aren’t any gimmicks here like The Note 7’s Iris Scanner, after all.

We will have to wait till next year to see what Apple has up its sleeve, but I think hyping up the iPhone 8 has stolen some of the iPhone 7’s humble glory. It’s polished, incredibly powerful, and performs better than ever.

Case suggestion: Spigen Liquid Armor 

iPhone 7 Plus Review

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iPhone 7 Plus Review

Tom Spark is a chair researcher, VPN expert, and a geek product extraordinaire. When he’s not spell checking his articles with Grammarly, he’s playing video games, watching too much Netflix, and deciding if he likes his current chair or not.