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The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have been officially announced

By Bryan Chan - on 14 Oct 2016, 9:04am

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have been officially announced

First published on September 8, 2016.

Apple finally gave us the down-low on what to look out for in the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, via their keynote held at the Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco today. The new smartphones are packed to the brim with brand new features alongside long-awaited upgrades.

The first of many new things is the Jet Black finish, where it uses an aluminum body with a high gloss black finish that's reminiscent of the iPhone 3GS's piano gloss look. The aluminum body will appear seamless with the phone's glass. "Black" is the brushed aluminum alternative to the same color.

Aesthetics was only the beginning of what's to come. The Home button is now force-sensitive, and it comes in a solid state. This means that it is no longer a real button, but it responds by reading the pressure applied on it. Apple says that the new Taptic engine API is what makes this possible.

Another first is the iPhone 7's and iPhone 7 Plus's water- and dust-resistance, rated at IP67. According to Apple's advertising video shown at the keynote, the new phones can be used in rain without dire consequences.

The 12MP rear camera on the iPhone 7 has three times longer exposure, f/1.8 aperture, a six-element lens, and optical image stabilization. It uses four LEDs for its true-tone flash. The camera now uses an Apple-made image processor, and it also packs a high-speed flicker sensor, which is 60 percent faster and 30 percent more energy efficient than previous sensors. The iPhone 7 has RAW camera API and wide color capture API built-in, too.

The iPhone 7 Plus comes with dual-rear cameras. One is a 12mm wide angle lens, and the other is a 68mm telephoto lens. The telephoto lens provides optical zoom (the old zoom feature on old iPhones uses digital zoom). On its own, the telephoto lens has 4x optical zoom, and up to 10x when combining both optical and digital zoom.

The iPhone 7 Plus is also capable of real-time depth of field manipulation, where it combines both rear camera images on top of post-processing to bring a bokeh effect to photos. This capability will only come as a free update later this year.

The Retina HD display found on the iPhone 7 lineup received soft upgrades - the display is 25 percent brighter, with wide color gamut support that features a greater color display range than sRGB. It also supports cinema standard dimensions. Of course, 3D Touch is still here to stay.

Audio-wise, the iPhone 7 now has stereo speakers - a first for the iPhone. It has twice the volume of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, and they are located at the top and bottom of the smartphone.

Sadly, changes can also be controversial, just like the new proprietary Apple ear piece that uses the Lightning port. This means that Apple took away the 3.5mm audio jack. They will still provide an adapter in the box, so you can still use headphones with a 3.5mm jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

 

The last highlight is the phone's performance prowess. The new iPhones comes with a 64-bit, quad-core processor called the A10 Fusion. It's 40 percent faster than the A9 chip in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The six-core GPU is 50 percent faster than the A9's. Apple claims 'console-level' gaming on the iPhone 7, thanks to the A10 Fusion processor. They also said that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus touts the longest iPhone battery life, thus far.

Local pricing and availability remains to be confirmed, but color options include Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Black, and Jet Black. Storage sizes are 32GB, 128GB, 256GB, with the Jet Black versions exclusively available only in 128GB and 256GB. It looks like Space Grey is now a thing of the past. The phone's official website can be found here.

Pre-orders starts on September 9 2016, and they start shipping on September 16, 2016. iOS10 will be up and running on September 13, 2016.

Do note that the pre-orders will first be available in the countries listed below:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK, U.S. Virgin Islands and the U.S. 

Apart from that, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in Andorra, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia and Slovenia beginning Friday, September 23. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will also be available to customers in India beginning Friday, October 7.

Sadly, there's no mention of Malaysia, but rest assured, we'll keep an eye on Apple Malaysia's official store and will let you know when the pre-orders begin.