iPhone 7: A New Step Forward or 2 Steps Back?

By: Zacchaeus Benesh


“OMG! Where did the audio port go?” “It looks just like the last phone!” “First Harambe and now our audio jacks!?!” Chances are that you have heard one, if not all, of these sayings since the announcement of the iPhone 7 at the start of September. If you’ve been on Facebook in the past month, I would be surprised if you have not seen an audio jack meme or a video making fun of the new iPhone. All the talk about the new iPhones being “downgrades” or “unimaginative” got me curious. Has Apple finally lost their connection to the customers that have looked forward to their products? Or are people simply misunderstanding what the new phone actually is? After an hour and 42 minutes of an Apple presentation, followed by 10 redeeming minutes of Sia performing, I can say that while it may have some problems, the iPhone 7 is still a step up for Apple.


The biggest announcement is that Apple, arguably the number one smartphone provider and developer, has finally caught up to everybody else and made the iPhone 7 water and dust-proof. So not only can you use the new spectacular camera and 4K video recorder to take amazing pictures, but you can do it underwater. It may not be surprising to most people that the iPhone 7 has improved their camera since sometimes that feels like that’s the only thing they upgrade, but now there are two cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus. If photography or Instagram is your life, then the iPhone 7 Plus is the phone for you until the iPhone 7S Plus comes out next year with an even better camera.


Aside from all the camera improvements, the iPhone has also improved its sound. The iPhone 7 has upgraded to immersive stereo speakers that now make it 2x louder than the iPhone 6s. It is also now 25% brighter than the 6s, 2x faster at processing than the 6, and has 3x faster graphic speed than the 6. Apple also added new chips that lengthen the battery life of the 7 by 2 hours and the 7 Plus by 1, however, it’s too early to tell if it will stay that way.


Most people upset at the announcement of the iPhone 7 seem to have a misunderstanding with the new Airpods. The Airpods are not the default headphones for the iPhone 7 and are not included in the purchase; they are just a new option of wireless headphones. So if you were worried that the new headphones wouldn’t save your phone from falling to the ground, rest at ease because the default iPhone 7 headphones are Earpods. The Earpods, included with the iPhone purchase, are corded and look exactly like your old Apple headphones except that they have a lightning connector instead of a jack. If you are sentimental about your old Apple headphones and want to use those instead, you’re in luck because Apple is also including a jack adaptor that will plug into the lightning port


This new audio idea does bring up a problem if you want to listen to music while charging your phone. There are a few solutions: You could use the stereo speakers on your phone, however, if your roommate is trying to sleep, maybe you’d want to use headphones instead. In that case, you could buy the Airpods and not have to worry about two cords, but I know some people prefer corded headphones. In that case, you have two options: buy a lightning adapter for $40 that will plug in both, or buy a lightning dock for $39-$49 that you can plug in your old Apple headphone jack into. Too bad Apple still won’t do wireless charging.


A feature that most people don’t like is that fact that the iPhone 7 looks the exact same as the last iPhone. I guess society still cares more about looks than performance though. So to please society, let’s talk about the new looks for the iPhone 7: black and jet black. While you can still get Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold, Apple added two new colors to admire the 2.5 seconds before you slid a case onto it: black and jet black. While both of them looked good when advertised, the jet black has problems. Not only is it a fingerprint and scratch magnet due to its mirror-like state, but it starts to show signs of scratches just from normal use. When the phone becomes marred with scratches, Apple with not replace it, and will only recommend you get a case to hide it.


The last new feature for the iPhone 7 is the upgraded storage. The new iPhone will increase its storage to 32 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB. This should be plenty of room for all your favorite apps and then more. If you don’t want to get the iPhone 7 but would like more space, then you’re in luck because Apple announced that they would be increasing the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus storage to 32GB and 128GB.


The iPhone 7 would not be considered a “must have” like the 6 and 6 Plus were on their release, but it is still a good buy if you are switching over to an iPhone, have an iPhone previous to the 6, or make a living off of photography or recording. I do strongly recommend that you do NOT get the jet black phone. The iPhone 7 costs $649 and the iPhone 7 Plus costs $769.

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