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Review: iPhone 7 Plus, my first with 5.5 inch screen

I recently published here my complete review of the Apple Watch Series 2, but another device that has been with me since the same time iPhone 7 Plus. And, with the imminence of its launch in Brazil, it's time to tell you what I think of the device.

It is worth noting since this is not an analysis that merely happens that I made the iPhone 6s, just over a year ago. This is because, for the first time, I opted for the larger 5.5 inch trambolhudo model. In other words, this review deals with both the evolution of the new generation of the iPhone and my experience in changing size.

iPhones 7 and 7 Plus

Do you have a few good minutes? Come with me! ?

Videos from unboxing

If you haven't seen:

Why Plus?

iPhone 7 Plus black on the back and iPhone 7 jet black on the back

Let's get straight to the point.

Since Apple introduced the current sizes of iPhones in 2014, I put both models on the scale (an imaginary one, okay?) And ended up opting for the smaller one on both the iPhone 6 and the 6s.

In both, the differentials of the Plus models were three:

  1. Optical stabilization on the iSight camera;
  2. Battery with greater autonomy;
  3. And the screen / resolution itself, of course.

This year, Apple finally took optical stabilization to the 4.7-inch model as well. However, in place of it and joining the other two differentials that remain, a second rear camera with a telephoto lens entered.

It was not for nothing that, in the launch keynote of the iPhones 7/7 Plus, Apple insisted on demonstrating the portrait mode (Portrait) that would arrive in the future: the 2x optical zoom on the camera is interesting, but this mode makes all the difference and made me want the bigger model this time. Fortunately iOS 10.1 is already among us, and that deserves a sub-topic below.

Actually, it wasn't just that: my experience with the iPhone 6s battery was terrible. I was unlucky enough to really face technical problems with my unit, which was happily changed weeks before I bought the iPhone 7 Plus. But, even in normality, his autonomy was irritating me. I heard so many good comments about the Plus battery that I decided, this time, to kill two birds with one stone.

It is worth mentioning here that there is still a fourth differential between the two models this year: the iPhone 7 has 2GB of RAM, while the iPhone 7 Plus jumped to 3GB. But I don't even consider it that much because tests have already made it clear that it is not a feature that brings real benefits to the user; the extra 1GB exactly to support the extra features (especially those connected to the camera) of the larger model.

Performance

From year to year, Apple introduces a new processor to equip its iGadgets. In 2016, it was no different: this time the novelty was the A10 Fusion (with the M10 motion coprocessor), which would simply be called ?A10? were it not for the fact that AMD already uses this brand.

A10 Fusion

In addition to significant CPU and GPU gains, the A10 Fusion is the first system on a chip (SoC) from Apple with four cores. Two of them work ?full steam ahead? and two are less powerful but much more efficient in energy consumption. The idea is to use the most powerful ones when necessary, saving battery.

In short, the iPhone 7 is very fast. But the 6s was gone too, and I would be hypocritical to tell you here that I really felt a practical difference from day to day. I have no doubt that these advances make more noticeable differences in complex apps and games, but I don't usually use them on the iPhone.

The 4G (LTE) chip of the iPhones 7/7 Plus is also now going up to 450Mbps, but obviously that won't make any difference to anyone who is used to the Brazilian cellular networks.

Drums

Since I mentioned the said whose, come on.

It is normal and natural that, in my reviews, I compare my experience with the iPhone battery compared to the previous year's model. Only this time, as I explained at the beginning of this text, I changed the size and, as we know, the batteries in the Plus models are (well) bigger than the normal ones.

Obviously, the screen and resolution of the Plus models also consume more battery and, in the case of the iPhone 7 Plus, we still have 1GB of RAM to contribute to this differentiated consumption. But, in the end, the greater capacity of the battery contributes to a much greater autonomy in the Plus models. And I am feeling it in practice.

It is important for me to score all this because, if I had simply exchanged my iPhone 6s for a 6s Plus, this sub-topic would already have absurdly different comments. I can summarize my experience with the iPhone 7 Plus battery in a very simple way: the one I expected for years on an iPhone.

I am, of course, being as realistic as possible in the face of current technological advances. I dream of the day when we will only have to recharge our smartphones once a month or with the battery going from 0% to 100% in 5 minutes. In the meantime, having a device in hand that allows me to use it the way a 2016 smartphone should be used (that is, intensely) throughout the day, without worries, I like it too much.

For fans of technical specifications: the iPhone 7 has a battery of 1,960mAh, against 2,900mAh of the iPhone 7 Plus. The numbers compare to 1,715mAh and 2,750mAh, respectively, on iPhones 6s and 6s Plus the average increase in capacity was therefore 12%. In practice, on average, what Apple promised was 2h more on the iPhone 7 compared to the 6s, and 1h more on the iPhone 7 Plus compared to the 6s Plus.

Screen

Nothing consumes more battery in a smartphone than its screen; It is not surprising that batteries evolve a lot but the autonomy for the user does not change so much, after all, the screens also continue to evolve.

On the iPhone 7, Apple did not change either the screen sizes or their resolutions: we continue with 750 × 1334 pixels for the 4.7 inch model and with 1080 × 1920 pixels for the 5.5 inch model. This gives them 326 and 401 pixels per inch of density, respectively; despite the difference, I didn?t find the Plus screen more clear than normal, or anything like that.

IPhone 7 screen / display

What changed even in this new generation was the color range supported by the now P3 devices and the brightness that reached 625cd / m2, whatever those numbers mean. Honestly, I expected the brightness gain to be more noticeable; I didn't think the new screen was bad, but sometimes I still have a little difficulty seeing it when the iPhone is in the car, attached to the dashboard, with a strong sun hitting it directly. I think my glasses (with polarized lenses) also contribute to this, but they shouldn't.

It is worth noting that Apple claims that the new maximum brightness for iPhones (up to 25% more, she said) is only achieved when ?Auto Brightness? is turned on. Screen and Brightness Adjustments, even to avoid excessive / unnecessary battery consumption. But as soon as I use it and always have, and, incidentally, I have my own experience with the Apple Watch Series 2 screen to say for sure that, in this regard, the iPhone can still evolve.

Loudspeakers

There is another thing that has been evolving in short but constant steps, since the first generations of the iPhone. This time, Apple even thought that the novelty deserved a commercial just for her.

Instead of simply working on the quality and power of the sound emitted from the speaker at the bottom of the iPhone, Apple also made the speaker that until then was used for calls (when positioned on the ear) as a second source of powerful sound. With that, she can say that the iPhone now has a stereo system even though the proximity of one to the other does not allow us to differentiate the L from the R, in fact.

But yes, he is well (!) More powerful in general. Even the iPhone 6s, unless I was in a very quiet environment (or with the wife by the side, hehe), it was normal for me to always watch videos or listen to music at maximum volume. Now, with the iPhone 7 Plus, the most common I stay there at 70-80%. It is very good.

Not to mention that we now have a ?front speaker?, which is aimed at us. At least here, it marked the end of that ?shell? gesture with the hand on the bottom speaker so that it would be directed at my ears.

Where is the 3.5mm outlet?

And then we arrived at Apple's controversial decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone, a rumor that originally appeared nearly a year ago. Hardly anyone will celebrate the removal of anything, but Apple has given its reasons for following this path.

Personally, it didn't affect me at all. I hate wires, so I've been using the latest wireless headphones for a while, a Powerbeats2 Wireless. I'm also already in line to buy AirPods, although I don't know when exactly I'll be able to get my hands on one. This way, I would probably be able to count on my fingers the times I plugged a phone into the port of my iPhone 6s.

AirPods on top of iPhone 7 jet black

At home (that is, in my office) I also always leave an iPhone Dock Lightning connected to the Mac, which, by the way, is one of the alternatives given by Apple for those who want to listen to music while recharging the device. That is, not even in this rare scenario, at least for me, my experience was not harmed.

However, while I recognize that this Apple decision which is already being followed by other manufacturers and will continue to do so next year, they can note contributing to the heating of the wireless headset market and that the door itself was harmful to make the iPhone more water resistant (I?ll talk about that later), I fully understand those who hated this ?new thing?. As I said, it is difficult to celebrate the removal of anything, and millions of people with non-wireless headsets of the most diverse qualities will now be forced to use the adapter included in the iPhone 7/7 Plus case, at least this error (the no includes it), Apple did not commit, and will not be able to recharge the device at the same time (unless they purchase an accessory anywhere).

But in the end, we all have to recognize that this is a transitional period. If in 2017 nobody even mentions the absence of the 3.5mm output as a negative point in smartphones to be launched (I don't know if it will be next year, but it could be that it is), rest assured that Apple contributed a lot for this.

Design

funny this sub-topic was not one of the first in the review, as it normally would be, but there is an explanation: for the first time in years, Apple did not bring us a significantly changed design on an ?iPhone no-s?.

I explain: apart from the first generation iPhone, Apple maintained a religious cycle of changing the design of the device in one year and, in the following year, bringing news / refinements keeping the case (practically identical). So it was with the iPhones 3G / 3Gs, 4 / 4s, 5 / 5s and 6 / 6s. With the 7, there was a break.

I do not mean that the iPhone 7 is identical to the 6s, far from it. But very little has changed, considering past jumps. This can already be seen by the fact that the dimensions and weights of the devices have practically not changed, except for imperceptible differences.

Looking from above, front and sides, nothing has changed. At the bottom, the 3.5mm outlet on the left of the Lightning door gave way to holes similar to those on the right but not a second speaker there, but only a microphone (as before). At the rear are the biggest changes: the antenna lines that crossed the iPhone were eliminated and we were left with only a few at the ends, which I personally loved. The iSight camera has widened and shifted slightly, now being lifted by the rear aluminum itself.

All colors of iPhones 7 and 7 Plus

And finally, we have the light colors: silver, gold and pink gold have been kept, while space gray has turned black matte (matte) and Apple introduced a fifth and controversial option, the glossy black iPhone (jet black). All are applied on a case made of series 7000 aluminum, such as the iPhones 6s / 6s Plus.

I came back from our trip to Germany with a silver iPhone 7 Plus, but for lack of options. Weeks later, on the MM Tour V, I managed to buy what I wanted from the beginning: black matte. I found the diamond very beautiful, but I couldn?t ignore so many fingerprints, let alone the ?micro-scratches? that he receives so easily. Oh, well

New Start button (Home)

Just looking at it, it looks the same. But the Home button also received a significant change in the iPhone 7.

Since the very first iPhone, Incio's button was a button. I mean, a little physical piece, that presses. On the iPhone 7, no more: it is still a small part of the front panel of the device, but fixed another change created to make the smartphone resistant to water, as I will talk about below.

But the cool thing is that if someone picks up an iPhone 7/7 Plus without knowing about this change, it is difficult to realize that the button is no longer physical. Maybe even feel something different, but because when we ?press? the button now the iPhone uses its Taptic Engine (internal vibration motor) to give a physical response that simulates the real click well.

I heard some comments from people who hated this new button, but in general it is something you get used to (and even forget how it was) in a few days. And, honestly, I'm even enjoying it more than before because the response is super quick; for me, the experience of giving two ?clicks? to call iOS multitasking, for example, got better with it.

And we have another advantage, in addition to contributing to the resistance to liquids: as the button no longer moves, the chances of it breaking (although they still exist) plummet exponentially. So please: say goodbye to AssistiveTouch, once and for all! ?

The second generation Touch ID remains as good as it was on the iPhone 6s; the complaints I had at the time of the iPhone 5s and 6 were gone. He is now rarely able to read my fingerprint even with his sweaty hand.

Water resistance

There are those who say that Apple did not need to remove the 3.5mm outlet to make the iPhone water resistant, but the tests they have done for it show that today it may be the most resistant smartphone that exists and the absence of the door with certainly contributed to this.

Water resistance - iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Officially, Apple says the iPhone 7/7 Plus is splash, water and dust resistant with an IP67 rating under the IEC 60529 standard. Past generation iPhones were already quite resilient in these regards, but the first time Apple is signing below .

It needs to be made very clear that water resistance is very different from being actually waterproof, like the Apple Watch Series 2. The idea * does * not that iPhones 7/7 Plus owners dip the device in the pool to take underwater photos, especially because if you do this you are likely to experience problems and, worse, Apple does not even cover them under warranty.

Apple's idea of ??preventing iPhones from being broken / unusable due to any splash or accidental diving, something that is very common to happen. As the device is now much more resistant, the chances of it continuing to function perfectly after such an incident are enormous. With the iPhone 7/7 Plus, you also don't have to worry about answering an urgent call, cycling or running in the rain just to name a few common examples.

Cameras (and Portrait mode)

Taking the iPhone 7 as a base, we already had good improvements in the two cameras of the device: the front (FaceTime) went from 5 to 7 megapixels, still with a /2.2 aperture, while the rear (iSight) kept its 12 megapixels but went from an aperture /2.2 to /1.8, which allows for much greater light input. Furthermore, as I already mentioned, it now also has optical stabilization and is now built with a system of six elements instead of five.

IPhone 7 Plus Cameras

The video capture options, something that interests me a lot, have not changed: 4K resolution with 30 frames per second, Full HD 1080p with up to 60 fps or slow motion at 120 fps (1080p) and 240 fps (720p). The FaceTime camera now also supports video up to 1080p, whereas before it was only 720p.

Having said that, we have a gain in image quality, especially in low light environments, which is quite noticeable, more than the change from iPhone 6 to 6s. The focus is very fast, there is automatic detection of both body and faces, and if necessary the flash True Tone It has also improved: now it has four LEDs, for greater lighting (50% more, according to Apple).

My iPhone 6s has already been passed on to a relative who lives in another city, and since I couldn?t borrow it for a whole day to take comparative photos under different luminosities, I used my wife?s iPhone 5s. It is cool, because we can observe the jump of the camera well in a space of three years:

iPhone 5s vs. iPhone 7 PlusClick / tap on the images to enlarge them.

In short, whoever will choose the 4.7 inch model will not regret it. The new cameras are excellent and the improvements are noticeable even in relation to the iPhone 6s, although the jump is always greater when comparing a model with two years ago (or more).

But obviously, in this sub-topic, the big news was once again in the Plus model. There we have a second camera, also 12 megapixels, but with a telephoto lens that works as a kind of ?2x optical zoom? for the conventional wide angle. This one, however, has an aperture of /2.8 and does not have optical stabilization, that is, it only works for real in well-lit environments.

I hate it and do not recommend that anyone use digital zoom, not least because in practice as if you took the photo without any zoom, then crop (crop) a piece of it and magnify it digitally. There is no magic: there will be loss of quality and the more you zoom in, the worse it will get. The good news is that, starting from 2x the telephoto lens, we can at least combine it with digital zoom if you insist on using it even with less loss of quality. At the extreme, d now to reach 10x (against 5x before).

The following are some examples of photos taken with the wide angle and telephoto lens, so that you can understand what 2x is in practice:

iPhone 7 Plus: without vs. with 2x zoomClick / tap on the images to enlarge them.

And a quick video:

However, as I said at the beginning, what really interested me in the iPhone 7 Plus was its Portrait mode. What this feature of iOS 10.1 does to activate both lenses of the device simultaneously, using the telephoto lens to focus on the person (or the object) and the wide angle data to blur the background well and generate a common effect in professional DSLR cameras.

It has been a while since there are apps that promise this and recently they even launched one that promises to specifically simulate the Portrait mode of the iPhone 7 Plus, but the results are far below those obtained natively. And this is not perfect, of course: we are combining data from two lenses, but generating the whole effect through numerous software algorithms that, inevitably, will fail. In the case of a DSLR with a wide aperture lens, the totally physical thing then the comparison is even a little unfair, even though the iPhone offers a big difference in relation to them: previewing the effect in real time, on the screen.

Bearing all this in mind, what can you get by playing with the phenomenal Portrait mode, very fun. Check it out:

iPhone 7 Plus: without vs. with Portrait modeClick / tap on the images to enlarge them.

The good news is that, like most of the results of Portrait mode thanks to the software itself, the trend is that it will improve with future iOS updates without having to wait for the arrival of the "iPhone 7s" or "iPhone 8".

Capabilities

If there's one thing that takes up a lot of space on iPhones, it's photos and videos. And, for the happiness of all nations, this year Apple was quite generous: it * doubled * the three capacity options of iPhones, obviously maintaining the same price structure as before.

That is, we went from 16GB, 64GB and 128GB to 32GB, 128GB and 256GB. I think the ?Sweet spot? remain the middleman, although now it is possible to say that 32GB will meet the needs of many, many more people. At the other extreme, I think the 256GB is too much; nor did I, who consider myself an advanced user, choose it. But I think it's super cool that this version exists.

For those who want a shiny black iPhone 7/7 Plus (jet black), however, the options are only 128GB or 256GB.

iOS 10

very common new iPhones hit the market with iOS features unique to them. This year, with the exception of the iPhone 7 Plus Portrait mode, this did not happen.

iOS 10 on an iPad and an iPhone

The functions of 3D Touch (pressure on the screen) continue to evolve, but all that work on iPhones 7/7 Plus are also compatible with iPhones 6s / 6s Plus. Siri enhancements in the Messages app (Messages), the Photos Memories feature, other native system apps, etc. are available for virtually all devices. Even one of the news that I liked the most was that the possibility of answering calls from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype and others as if they were native (thanks to the new framework CallKit), also in the exclusivity of the latest models, which is excellent.

But iOS 10 brought a new feature that greatly changed the way I interact with my iPhone, and that is compatible with last year's models for c (ie 6s / 6s Plus, SE and 7/7 Plus): the ? Raise to Awaken ?("Raise to Wake"), inside of Screen and Brightness Adjustments. It was created basically to solve the "problem" of Touch ID being too fast now, but regardless I think the behavior makes perfect sense as well as the new MacBooks Pro turn on right when its cover is open.

More device views in photos

When we were still in Germany, we posted here on the website a huge photo gallery of the devices we bought.

Here are some of them, so you can have some more views of the iPhones 7/7 Plus in addition to the official photos of Apple only as an aperitif:

"iPhone

Completed

At 45 ? in the second half, I still wasn't sure if I would get the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus. And I don't regret my choice at all.

IPhone 7 case

I still find the 5.5-inch iPhones very ?clumsy?, but I got used to its size much more quickly than I imagined. In day-to-day life, I don't even think about it anymore, I only bother from time to time when trying to use it with one hand.

It gets unbelievable to take my wife's iPhone 5s, it feels like a toy smartphone without any exaggeration. At the same time, when I use an iPhone 6s or 7 I still feel that there is the ideal size for me, but putting all the benefits of Plus on the scale I believe it is now a migration without return. This does not mean that anyone can adapt like me, of course.

This year's iPhone generation brought more changes / improvements than it seemed at first; no wonder this is possibly one of the biggest reviews i've ever written here on the site. The device is more beautiful (again: goodbye, antenna stripes! Hello, beautiful matte black!), More resistant, faster than ever, it has sensational cameras (plural button on it: only three!), Speakers with the power I always wanted on an iPhone and, finally, options of internal capacity of respect from the entry version.

In case you haven?t seen our video hands-on yet, here it is:

Despite the recent advances, there are also the counterpoints: if you have a wired headset and hate adapters, as well as whether it is common for you to recharge your iPhone while the headset is plugged in, prepare to be irritated. If you don't think about migrating from the 4.7 to the 5.5-inch model and think its battery is bad, don't expect anything very different in this generation.

I always say, and it is a fact, that switching from one generation to the next immediately does not generate such noticeable improvements. This year there is not much different, unless you focus on certain very specific news if the iPhone is your main camera, then this year's jump is really visible. Therefore, for those who have an iPhone 6s / 6s Plus, the evaluation is very personal; for those who are on the 6/6 Plus or earlier and are able to invest in a 7/7 Plus, I highly recommend it.

Having said all that, my evaluation of new iPhones year on year continues to be based entirely on my experience restricted to the Apple ecosystem, which is not bad, because even some differences here and there, advantages / disadvantages for one side or the other, we know that there are h years one of the best (if not the best) smartphones on the market. I do not deny, however, that I still owe you for years, let me tell you that my #DesafioAndroid experience. So, if any of Google is reading this, know that I * would * love to spend a month with a Pixel XL in order to share it with readers a vision of someone who has never had an Android and used one for real in everyday life.

They say that 2017 marks one of the biggest leaps in the history of the iPhone, in "celebration" of its ten years of life. I'm really looking forward to seeing what comes next, but in the meantime, I'm delighted to have one of the portable computers more advanced than have ever been created.