Everything You Need to Know About the iPhone 7

iPhone 7 Colors

The iPhone 7 was just released and whoa! There are five color options, a HUGE upgrade to the Plus model, and ten areas of improvement to our favorite phone. Here's everything you need to know. 

In addition to the Rose Gold, Silver, Gold, and Black iPhones, there will be a new finish available–Jet Black. 

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Jet Black iPhone 7

There are so many areas of improvement in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. I saw the leaks online, and was still surprised. 

There are two huge design announcements—The new Jet Black option has an aluminum-body, high-gloss casing, and  a seamless transition between the glass and aluminum, with a beautiful sterling silver Apple logo.  The antenna is embedded subtly within the design, and the camera housing is sculpted within the body of the device. 

The other new black iPhone 7 is a matte black with a black logo—it's a subtle and beautiful color. I'm struggling to choose between the two. The other color options are matte, as well. 

The Home button got an upgrade. The button that iDevice users use for almost everything is now equipped with a more responsive, reliable, and customizable design. The Home button is now force sensitive and works with a Taptic Engine that gives you solid feedback with every move you make. Unique feedback will now alert you to notifications, messages, and ringtones. There's also a Taptic Engine API available for third-party developers. 

Taptic Engine in Home Button

The iPhone enclosure is now rated IP67, which means it's completely dust and water resistant when immersed in water up to 1 meter. 

The camera has gotten quite a few sizeable upgrades with the iPhone 7! I'm going to go ahead and break these up between the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, because if you weren't sold on the Plus before, I'm guessing you will be now. 

New features of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Camera: 

  • Optical Image Stabilizer
  • 1.8 aperture lens, lets in 50 percent more light
  • Six-element lens for sharper edge to edge images
  • 12MP high-speed sensor that makes the camera 60 percent  faster and 30 percent more energy efficient for less battery drain
  • True Tone flash now has four LEDs provides 50 percent more light
  • Flicker sensor which senses and compensates for the flickering of artificial light 
  • Apple's new Image Signal Processor (ISP), which controls the 100 billion (you read that right!) processes that happen every time you take a picture, including auto exposure, white balance, tone mapping, noise reduction, and so much more
  • With iOS 10, you'll be able to capture RAW camera files and wide color capture within third-party apps
  • The FaceTime (front) camera has been upgraded from 5 to 7MP
  • Wide color capture and auto image stabilization

iPhone 7 Camera

New features available in only the iPhone 7 Plus Camera:

  • TWO 12MP cameras: one wide angle and one telephoto (56 mm)
  • Zoom up to 2X with optical zoom (camera lens), then up to 10X with included software, with NO loss of resolution
  • New portrait mode using shallow depth of field. The camera creates a depth map which results in a type of 3D photo

iPhone 7Plus Camera

Live Photos have gotten an upgrade, too! You can now edit them after they're taken, stabilize them, and Apple is offering a capture and edit API for third-party developers. Instagram has a fun Live Photo Boomerang feature that will be released later this year! 

Retina Display is on fire! 25 percent brighter with a wide color gamut, cinema standard view, 3D touch, and color management. 

The sound on your iPhone just got better with stereo sound. Stereo speakers on the top and bottom of your phone means your sound is 2X louder. Also, your lightning charging port is now doubling as a digital audio port. Plug your lightning charging cable or (included with the iPhone 7) lightning headphones into the port at the bottom of your phone. YES you can still use your "old" headphones by making use of an included analog adapter. Unfortunately, this means you can't charge your phone while listening to music, and I haven't seen a great band-aid for that, yet. I'm sure it's coming, though. 

Lightning EarPods

Wireless Air Pods are available for the iPhone 7 with a special feature—the W1 Chip. They are touch sensitive, and only begin to play when they're in your ear. When you speak, they create a noise-cancelling beam for better sound. 

Air Pods

Over 90 percent of wireless transactions are made with Apple Pay. iOS 10 makes this even easier and more secure. Apple Pay will also be available in Japan in October. 

Felica and Apple Pay

Wondering about performance? The new iPhone 7 is again the fastest smartphone on the market. The A10 Fusion chip is a 64-bit 4-core processor, a "rocket ship" according to Philip Schiller. 40 percent faster than the A9 chip in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, which is 120x faster than the original iPhone. 

iPhone 7 Processor

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing stated “The completely redesigned cameras shoot incredible photos and videos day or night, the A10 Fusion chip is the most powerful chip on any smartphone while delivering the best battery life ever in an iPhone, and an entirely new stereo speaker system provides twice the sound, all within the first water- and dust-resistant iPhone.” 

It truly is the best iPhone yet. 

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.
Becca Ludlum's picture

Becca is a blogger, freelance writer, and iDevice addict. She lives in the middle of the Arizona desert with her husband and two boys, and can't imagine life getting any better. Read about her crazy life at MyCrazyGoodLife.com, or connect with her on twitter @BeccaLudlum